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Will It Last? The Lifespan of Your Dental Filling

May 24, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — AdvancedDental @ 2:51 pm
patient getting a dental filling with the curing light on

Almost nothing lasts forever—it’s a sad but true statement. However, when it comes to your dental work, you actually have some control over how long the results last. Dental fillings, for example, are the mildest restoration for superficial cavities and have a certain lifespan, but through healthy habits, you can extend that time. Continue reading to learn more about fillings, how long they are expected to last, and how you can prolong their function.

What Are Fillings Made of?

Historically, fillings were composed of metallic ingredients, including silver, tin, and even mercury. Although durable and long lasting, these amalgam fillings required that more tooth structure be removed. They also could react negatively to extreme cold and hot temperatures, causing discomfort.

Nowadays, dental fillings are made of composite resin, a mixture of fine ceramic particles and plastic. Not only does this material look more like real enamel, but it preserves more of the natural tooth. However, it does require more frequent replacement.

How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

Composite resin fillings typically must be replaced about every seven years or so. In that time, wear and tear weakens the material and the bond between the tooth and the filling. Most of the time, the dentist identifies that the filling needs to be replaced before it fails or comes out.

How Can You Make Your Fillings Last as Long as Possible?

A major determinant of how long your filling lasts is how well you maintain it. In fact, the basic care for fillings overlaps with how you should be taking care of your natural teeth: daily brushing and flossing and attending your routine dental checkup and cleaning twice a year. Keeping your filling and teeth clean every day prevents bacteria from causing additional damage, and your dentist can make sure they catch and replace the filling when the need arises.

What Should I Do If My Filling Comes Out?

Even if you are diligent in at-home care and regularly visit the dentist, your filling may come out on its own while you eat something hard or sticky. If this occurs, reach out to your dentist’s office for an urgent appointment. Rinse the filling off with clean water, put a dab of toothpaste on the filling, and position the filling back onto your tooth. This should hold the restoration in place until you can get to the office. Do not use superglue or another adhesive, which are not approved for oral use.

In all likelihood, your filling will probably not last for decades, but through wise choices, you can make the most of the time you have with this restoration. Even though your filling won’t last forever, your strong smile can!

About the Practice

Advanced Dental Treatment Center has two highly trained dentists on staff. During appointments with patients, Dr. Carini and Dr. Farr prioritize education to empower patients to take better care of their smiles. They are compassionate and respectful of patients coming from all walks of life. If you have questions about your fillings, you can contact our Greenfield office online here or call us at 414-209-7465.

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