Dental fillings are made from several kinds of materials, and the type of fillings determines how long they will last. Different types of fillings have to be replaced after a certain period.
Dental fillings do not last a lifetime, but one can determine when you may have to replace them with regular dental checkups. When choosing a new or replacement filling, you have to consider all the available options when it comes to the type of materials or the alternatives to the fillings. You also need to identify tooth decay symptoms, which may indicate the need for a filling.
This article will help you learn how long different types of fillings last, when to replace them, and the ways you need to adopt to ensure that your dental fillings last longer.
Although a dental filling will last for several years, it will not last forever. Dental fillings will last longer depending on the type of materials used and the dental filling procedure. Below are the types of tooth fillings available at Koren Family Dental and their lifespan.
Amalgam is the most traditional fillings which are made from a mixture of metals. They are durable and effective and have been used for over 100 years. These fillings can last for about 15 years before it is replaced, but the length of time can vary based on factors such as oral hygiene and the frequency of grinding or clenching your teeth.
Composite fillings are made from a mixture of plastic particles and fine glass. They are customized to match your teeth and blend with your smile. Although they are not made from metal, they are durable and can last for 10 to 12 years before replacement.
Gold fillings are relatively expensive as compared to amalgam or composite fillings. However, they are also durable and can last up to 20 years if taken care of properly.
Ceramic fillings are made from porcelain and can last for 15 years. Ceramic is more expensive than gold fillings and is among the least common type of fillings.
Glass ionomer, on the other hand, is made with a kind of acrylic and glass that can be replaced directly in the tooth. They are weaker than all the above fillings and are meant for small cavities near the gum line. They last for about five years.
Dental fillings are meant to restore the function, form, and aesthetics of decayed or damaged teeth. When your teeth are filled, you need to take special care of them to work effectively. Proper caring of your teeth can reduce the risk of further cavities and prevent damage to your fillings. The following tips can make your fillings last longer:
After the dental filling procedure, the local anesthesia will take some time to wear off. We should therefore be mindful of our mouth functioning, such as chewing, biting, and talking. Dental fillings take 24 hours to settle but once it does, be mindful of the foods you eat and try to remove any food debris from your teeth.
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush if you have dental fillings. When cleaning your teeth, do it softly and slowly and pay more attention to brushing in and around the filling because the filling may feel a bit tender a day after.
Experiencing sensitivity after the filling has been applied is normal. Avoid foods that are extremely hot or cold, take softer and milder foods that are friendlier to your dental filling. Eating chewy foods is more comfortable when the anesthesia wears off and the filling settles but ensures that you minimize its intake.
Soft drinks such as sodas are the worst liquid to take after applying a filling to your teeth. This is because the filling may have been caused by excess sugar. Instead of sodas, take milk and water to keep your teeth clean, strong, and healthy.
Dental checkups are very important as your dentist will inspect the state of your filling and fix any broken or cracked filling. Follow up with your dentist on the health and state of your filling. If you have any sensitivity or notice a crack, it is good to consult your dentist.