What Is the Life Span of Dental Fillings?

What Is the Life Span of Dental Fillings?

Feb 01, 2021

When your dentist detects cavities in your teeth, they recommend having them filled immediately with dental fillings. You may accept the suggestion or prefer to take a second opinion. You may think you maintain appropriate oral hygiene and shouldn’t have developed cavities. However, if the dentist confirms the presence of a crater on your tooth or teeth, you may as well believe the professional because they have no reasons to misguide you on the subject.

When recommended dental fillings in your teeth, the question that bothers you most is probably the investment needed to have the fillings, aesthetic appearance, and the lifespan of the fillings. Different types of materials are used to make dental fillings, and the kind of material you choose determines the cost, aesthetic appearance, and lifespan of the restoration.

Whether you need a new dental filling or a replacement, it is essential to consider all your options when choosing the materials or alternatives besides identifying tooth decay symptoms indicating fillings are necessary.

Do Dental Fillings Last for a Lifetime?

The average life span of dental fillings is around ten years, although many restorations last longer. The materials used for the filling and several other factors can affect the lifespan of dental fillings. Prominent among them are:

  • Your eating habits.
  • Your dental hygiene and any trauma to the tooth.
  • Teeth grinding habits when sleeping or decay around the tooth filling.

Although several factors determine how long dental fillings last, the materials used can make a difference to provide information on how long a specific filling will remain in your mouth. Amalgam and ceramic fillings last for around 15 years, composite fillings for about seven years, and glass ionomer fillings for approximately five years.

Types of Dental Fillings You Can Have

If you seek dental fillings in Oshawa, ON, they provide you four types of dental fillings, with amalgam and composite fillings being the most popular among the four.

Amalgam fillings also called silver fillings, contain more metals than merely Silver. Amalgam fillings are a mixture of silver, copper, tin alloy particles, and elemental mercury. Dentists provide amalgam fillings for over 1 ½ century. They are the most affordable, besides being durable.

Silver amalgam fillings need replacements in six to 15 years, depending on the factors discussed earlier. Harmony dental care doesn’t recommend silver amalgam fillings for pregnant women and children under six years. Patients with neurological conditions or allergic to mercury are also advised other varieties.

Composite fillings are popular as they are tooth-colored. They are made by combining acrylic and ceramic resins. Chemically bonding with the surrounding tooth with an adhesive is a feature of composite fillings. However, composite fillings’ lifespan is around seven years, although many people have them for over ten years when used on small cavities or to repair teeth chipped or broken.

If you don’t mind displaying gold in your mouth, you can consider having gold fillings that are the most durable and last for over 20 years. Therefore, if the fillings’ durability is a concern in your mind, you must opt for gold fillings.

When Do Fillings Need Replacements?

If you are lucky, you may never need to get replacement fillings. However, the chances are high that fillings may crack or wear down to make the tooth susceptible to further decay. Sometimes fillings merely fallout, needing replacements.

It is challenging for you to determine when a dental filling has problems. However, if you visit your dentist regularly for exams, the dental professional sports the trouble early before the filling falls out. Your dentist examines the fillings using dental instruments to ensure it is still functioning appropriately and identify any spots from where bacteria can penetrate the tooth. Dental x-rays are also useful for revealing decay under the filling. If the dentist determines the filling is no longer capable of preventing bacteria from entering the tooth and supporting it is time for you to have a replacement.

Having a tooth filled shouldn’t make you confident that tooth decay will never affect you again. It helps to remember you needed the filling because you are allowed tooth decay to develop improper oral hygiene. If you want your dental restorations to last longer, you must maintain excellent dental hygiene and schedule regular appointments with your dentist for exams. Discuss with your dentist any problems you experience with issues like teeth grinding that are quickly addressed by providing a nightguard to protect your teeth.

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