Why are dental check-ups important if I have fillings?

Regular dental examinations are important because problems with existing fillings generally can be detected in the early stage. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is worn, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your dental restorations during a regular check-up.

During the exam, the dentist determines if the existing fillings are intact or if any have cracked or become worn. An instrument called an explorer can be used gently to detect any worn spots around the filling's edge. Dental x-rays may be taken to find decay under a filling or between the teeth, neither of which can be seen simply by looking at the tooth.
Actually dental examinations are important even if you don't have fillings or any natural teeth.

A complete dental examination involves many things including checking the status of the gums, teeth, any restorations (fillings, crowns, veneers, etc.), and oral mucosa of tongue, cheeks, top and bottom of mouth and back of throat. There are many problems that can develop in the mouth that don't hurt until they do, and then the treatment may be more extensive, expensive, or even too late to save a tooth or teeth. In addition, the importance of periodic evaluation of the oral mucosa is to look for lumps, bumps and other irregularities that may even be signs of disease...even cancer.

There is a saying that certainly applies to dentistry which is "Don't wait until it hurts."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.