How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

Aug 01, 2022

Tooth decay and cavities are key dental concerns. Cavities often develop when the tooth’s enamel is eroded and damaged by acids, plaque, and bacteria. Treating it as soon as possible is crucial if you have a cavity. Otherwise, the cavity will likely deepen further.

Once you visit our dentist in Dallas, TX, they will examine you and design a customized treatment plan that’s best suited to correct your condition. In most cases, minor to moderate cavities are treated with dental fillings. Dental fillings provide a cost-effective, long-term solution to protect your dental health and smile.

What is Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a hard filling material used to repair damaged or decayed parts of a tooth. A filling restores the structure and strength of a damaged tooth and prevents it from worsening. Before placing a dental filling, the dentist will begin by examining your tooth to determine the extent of the damage. X-rays are often necessary when filling a tooth.

If the tooth has significant decay or damage, the dentist might recommend more advanced treatments like root canals and dental crowns to save the tooth. Tooth extraction can also be an option if the tooth is extremely damaged beyond repair. Contact our dentist at 75208 for dental fillings near you.

Which type of filling is the Best?

When selecting a filling material, there are numerous options to consider in terms of esthetics, strength, cost, and durability, among other factors. Below are the four main types of dental fillings materials:

  • Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings have been in use for more than 150 years. They are also known as silver fillings or mercury amalgam fillings. These filings have metals such as copper, silver, and tin bound together with mercury. It provides a strong, solid, and durable bond. While strong and resistant to damage, they remain among the least expensive types of filling.

On the downside, silver amalgam fillings aren’t aesthetically appealing. Similarly, they tend to create a grey discoloration on the surrounding tooth over time. The filling also tends to respond to extreme temperatures like heat and cold, which can cause the filled tooth to crack. Some patients also complain about allergies due to the mercury component in amalgam fillings.

  • Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are a popular choice for patients looking for affordable tooth-colored restorations. These fillings have a composite resin bonded to the tooth with an adhesive.

A key benefit of using composite fillings is that you can customize them to match the color of your natural teeth. Hence, they’re ideal for front tooth restorations. Similarly, they only require less of a tooth to be removed, unlike silver fillings.

The primary disadvantage of composite fillings is that they aren’t as strong, durable, and stain-resistant as other fillings. They can easily chip, crack, or break when exposed to high chewing forces. Furthermore, they are more expensive than amalgam fillings.

  • Gold fillings

While expensive, gold fillings are among the strongest and most durable dental restorations. They can withstand great chewing forces and don’t erode. Apart from being expensive, gold fillings require two dental appointments to fit. Similarly, you can’t use them next to a silver filling as they can cause a galvanic shock. The color of the gold filling might also be a concern to patients looking for tooth-colored restorations.

  • Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings have a special type of porcelain material. They are solid, durable, and resistant to damage and stains.

How long do fillings last?

The durability of your fillings depends on factors such as:

  • Location of the filled tooth
  • Type of filling material used
  • The severity of tooth damage around the filling
  • Eating habits
  • Dental hygiene
  • Existing conditions issues like bruxism

As far as the material of the filling is concerned, here’s the average lifespan to expect:

  • Amalgam fillings – 10 – 15 years
  • Composite fillings – 5 – 10 years
  • Ceramic fillings – 15 years
  • Gold fillings – 15 years

If your filling gets damaged or worn out before the expected time, be sure to replace it for maximum protection.

Schedule an Appointment Today

For more information about dental fillings and other restorative treatments, contact Trinity Dental Loft – Dallas to book your appointment.

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