Your Fillings – Expected Outcomes and Extended Care
Recently, a client asked Warner Lakes Dental how long a filling could reasonably be expected to last?
Many patients mistakenly assume that once a tooth is done being filled the filling is there for the rest of their life, or at least, a very long time. The fact is, dental fillings most likely will not last forever.
And there is no exact answer to the question of how long they will last. Just like products you might purchase at the store, fillings have a lifespan. How long that lifespan is, is related to a number of things including, the size of the problem being treated or replaced, the type and complication of the procedure, materials used, and the care and maintenance you provide your fillings.
Composite Fillings at Warner Lakes Dental
Warner Lakes Dental uses only composite fillings. We use them to restore damaged teeth and to replace old silver amalgam fillings to ensure that your fillings blend well into your natural teeth. Composite fillings are not only practical; they are also aesthetically pleasing and natural.
- Require minimal tooth preparation
- A conservative and non-invasive restorative dental procedure
- Offer quick and long lasting results
- Help prevents breakage and damage
- Bond and support the remaining structure of the tooth
- Natural tooth appearance
- Insulate the tooth from extreme temperature changes
So, What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Composite Filling?
Even though composite dental fillings are tough and can last for many years, perhaps decades, they likely will not last forever. For a small cavity, treated with a composite resin filling, you could reasonably expect the filling to last anywhere up to 10 years or more, provided you’re taking good care of your teeth.
So, one important aspect of how long your dental fillings last is how well you take care of them.
Ensuring Your Fillings Last
While many things affect the longevity of fillings, remember that in most cases fillings last longer if you take care of your oral hygiene with daily brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups.
The many factors for composite filling longevity can include:
- Filling Size
- Filling Location (On The Tooth Surface)
- Filling Location (In The Mouth)
- Effective Dental Techniques
- Existing Dental Damage Or Issues
- Clenching & Grinding
- Diet & Drinks
- Good “Chewing” Habits
- Regular Dental Visits
- Oral Hygiene
You can’t really affect filling location, size, or other existing damage, but you can ensure that top-notch dental technique is used for your filling by receiving your dental treatment from Warner Lakes Dental.
You can also influence some of the other factors.
Clenching and Grinding. The additional forces placed on your teeth from grinding or clenching can cause your fillings to crack or develop tiny vertical cracks in your teeth. If you suffer from this, a mouthguard may be your answer.
Diet & Drinks. A healthy diet is associated with healthy teeth, and keeping additional decay out of your filled teeth is a key part of keeping them in shape. Carbonated or highly sugared drinks should be avoided or the frequency you drink them cut back. This is also true of highly acidic liquids like grapefruit juice or apple cider vinegars.
Good Chewing. There are oral habits that may result to the damage of your composite fillings, even before they damage healthy teeth. Examples of these bad habits are nail biting, biting on pens, clenching, using your teeth as cutting or grinding tools, and chewing ice. These habits can cause not only the filling but also the teeth to fracture, so stop this habit.
Dental Visits. Regular dental examinations are important because problems with existing fillings can generally be detected in early stages. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is worn or cracked, your Warner dentist can identify weaknesses in it during regular checkups.
Oral Hygiene. Your filled tooth is still alive and can be attacked, again, by decay. To protect your teeth and fillings, you have to make sure to clean your mouth with regular brushing, rinsing, and flossing.
Fist Aid for Lost Filling
If a filling does crack or fall out, causing pain, drip some clove oil onto a cotton swab and apply it to the sensitive area. Clove oil can relieve pain and you can buy it at most chemists. Then, call us immediately at Warner Lakes Dental. Same day dental emergency appointment available!
The Warner Lakes Dental Experience
Warner Lakes Dental wants your visit to be the quickest and most convenient dental experience possible! From parking to treatment, we try to make the entire process as simple and painless as possible! From routine check-ups and cleans to root canals, extractions, and cosmetic treatments, Warner Lakes Dental is your partner in dental health.