Dental fillings play an essential role in maintaining oral health. Filling cavities and repairing teeth during root canal therapy help prevent further damage and keep your smile looking its best.
Composite fillings are one of the most popular types of fillings. They are a popular choice for dental patients because they are strong, durable, and match the color of your natural teeth. Composite fillings are made of plastic and glass particles, making them a tooth-colored filling material. They can last for many years with proper care and maintenance, and healthy patients make them last anywhere from 5 to 7 years.
Factors That Affect Their Lifespan
Composite fillings are a popular choice for dental patients because they are strong and look natural. However, composites do have a lifespan, and factors such as diet and oral hygiene habits can affect how long they last. These are some of the most significant factors contributing to how long your fillings may last.
You may not give much thought to your diet when it comes to your composite fillings, but what you eat may play a role in how long they last. That is because the foods you eat can affect oral health in several ways, and composite fillings are no exception. Certain foods that you consume can cause the fillings to wear down faster and even damage them. We recommend avoiding hard or chewy foods like nuts, ice, hard candies, and chewing gum.
The location of your dental fillings in your mouth can determine how long they last. While the location of your fillings will not affect their overall function, it can have a significant impact on their lifespan. Certain spots in the mouth are exposed to a higher degree of wear and tear, such as your top molars, and these higher wear areas will require replacement much sooner than others.
Oral hygiene is super important for the health of not only your teeth but the lifespan of your fillings. If you do not adequately care for your teeth and fillings, they will not last long at all. Your fillings are more likely to stay adhered to your teeth when you have healthy tooth enamel for them. When you start to develop tooth decay or plaque buildup, it can lead to many dental issues and the loss of a filling. Keeping your teeth clean and practicing healthy habits every day is vital.
Other Options for Dental Fillings
Your dentist will probably recommend a composite resin fill if you require a dental filling. However, other dental filling materials are used if you are uncomfortable with composite materials.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin is made of plastic and glass particles. The composite resin is color-matched to your teeth, so it blends in seamlessly. In addition, the composite resin is less likely to stain than other filling materials.
Composite resin fillings can last for up to 10 years, but they may eventually need to be replaced if there is significant wear and tear. Composite resin fillings are not as strong as metal fillings, so they may not be suitable for cavities that are located near the gum line or on your back teeth.
Traditional Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam is a type of metal alloy that has been used for dental fillings for many years. It is solid and durable, but it may corrode over time. Amalgam fillings are less expensive than other metal fillings, but they do not look as natural as composite resin or porcelain fillings.
Gold fillings are a type of metal filling made of gold alloy. A gold filling is solid and durable, making them a popular choice for molars. In addition, they do not corrode or tarnish over time like other metals, and they can last up to 20 years with proper care. The downside is that gold fillings are costly, and they cost more than different types of fillings.
Silver fillings, also called silver amalgam fillings, are metal fillings, but they are made of amalgam alloy. They are very strong and long-lasting and can last up to 20 years. In addition, a silver amalgam filling will cost less than other types of dental fillings. The downside is that it is not color-matched like a composite filling.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
These fillings are made of acrylic and glass, which are color-matched to your teeth. Glass ionomer fillings also release fluoride over time, helping to prevent cavities from forming again in the future. The downside is that they wear down quickly, so they are not recommended for molars. In addition, they stain pretty easily, so you may need to have them replaced sooner than other types of fillings.
Porcelain is a ceramic material used for dental fillings and crowns. Porcelain has a very natural appearance and is durable and long-lasting. However, porcelain fillings are costly, and they require multiple dental visits to place them correctly.
How To Care For Your Dental Filling
A dental filling is a standard treatment for cavities. Using filling to repair cavities and teeth helps prevent further damage and keep your smile looking its best. While they are durable and long-lasting, it is essential to care for them properly to ensure their longevity. You can do a few things to care for your composite filling and extend its lifespan.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily
- Avoid extreme foods, very hot or cold
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Avoid foods that can damage your teeth and filling
Contact Us For A Composite Filling
If you have more questions about how long composite fillings last or if you think it is time to replace your filling, contact our office today at (206)-824-4700. Our experienced team of dentists is ready to help your get your smile back on the right track. Please do not delay your dental treatment, and see us today!