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How to tell if a filling needs to be replaced?



Well-known member
May 15, 2013
How do I tell if a filling needs to be replaced?

I have an upper molar that is not sensitive to hot or cold. It has an old composite filling that on x-ray looks dark under it almost like there is an underlayment but there is not. The toooth seems a little sensitive to sweat things but not extremely. A month or two ago I got a tooth next to it re-filled MOD because anything sweet was downright painful. The filling in that one was a 6 year old composite as is this one. That pain to sweat is at least reduced, so I think it was a success.

That said it once feltlike a I was brushing inside the current tooth that sometimes bothers me. That got better. I bought a Water Pick to supplement and when I was spraying non-alcoholic mouthwash (I.e. Crest) and I got to that tooth it felt like I hit it with a dental drill (not really but instant 9 out of 10). At any rate I lowered the pressure and tried a few times with just warm water and it hurt but not as much.

I think it is somewhat improved, but it still hurts when Ali hit that one interproximal space.

I bring floss with me for trapped food, brush at work at least once often twice. At home after flossing I Water Pick, then I spend 45ish seconds brushing my gums and tongue with mouthwash. Then I switch to my Sensodyne /w Potassium-Nitrate and brush my teeth with a Sonic toothbrush for two minutes spitting not rinsing for maybe 5 minutes. That is when I take a shower. Sometimes I grab the brush and then apply some staneous Floride a Sensodyne and let it dwell for about5 more minutes. Lastly I use Gum Brand Perio Guard at night.

At this point my gums are healthy pink with very little inflammation. There is not a drop of blood.

I just have that one tender spot to the Water Pick. Do you think it best I get that filling re-done? It is not a large filling, but it is also a 6 year old composite put in at the same time as the other one that feels better having been replaced.


Staff member
Verified dentist
Oct 25, 2005
Honestly there is no way to tell without examining you, sorry.