Even when a filling isn't loose or obviously broken, it may still have problems. For a filling to protect your tooth, it has to seal out bacteria. When a filling has begun to let bacteria into the tooth, we say that the filling is leaking.

A common misconception is that a silver filling will last forever. Amalgam is one of the most durable filling materials, but amalgam fillings don't last forever. Some may last for more than a decade, but others can begin to fail in as little as five years.

moisture in your mouth. This expansion creates a wedging effect in the tooth that can fracture or break off tooth structure.

in the tooth, creating a gap at the margin between the filling and the tooth.

both expand and contract, creating many small gaps or micro-fractures in the tooth or filling.

Expansion caused by moisture Replacing the filling Because a leaking filling no longer protects the tooth, more decay and other more serious problems may occur. When this happens, it's important to replace the filling with another restoration.

We'll inspect your fillings every time you come in for a checkup and recommend a new restoration at the appropriate time.