Those old silver amalgam fillings that you have been bragging about could be causing problems. Even if everything looks okay on the surface, your mouth could be a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off.

Although silver amalgam fillings last longer than other types of fillings such as porcelain and resin they will not last forever. According to Colgate, silver amalgam fillings will last about 10 to 12 years. Some can go longer if you practice good oral hygiene, but should always be checked by your dentist during every dental appointment.

Silver amalgam fillings do not expand or, “Breathe,” as other materials do. Because of this, your fillings may crack, chip or leak over time. If this happens, the tooth is no longer sealed and even though the old cavity is covered with a filling or cap, new cavities and tooth decay can still occur in any part of the natural tooth.

If you have cavities under your old fillings, you may not feel any pain. The only way for your dentist to tell if you have tooth decay in a tooth that is already filled is by doing several tests during the examination. Your dentist may also order x-rays and take pictures to make sure that the rest of the tooth is still healthy.

Your dentist explains that tooth decay can be very extensive, so extensive that the whole tooth made need to be pulled or topped with a crown.

If you haven’t had an appointment with your dentist in six months or more, have a sensitive tooth, see a crack in your tooth or can feel or see part of a filling has gone missing, call or click and schedule an appointment with your dentist who can repair the damage once and for all. Call or click today for a healthier mouth in 2016.