How Long Do Dental Fillers Last?

How Long Do Dental Fillers Last?

Oct 15, 2022

Different materials help make dental fillers, and the variety of filling you receive determines how long the restoration lasts. Unfortunately, dental fillings do not last for life, making it essential to get regular dental checkups to determine whether a filling needs replacement.

Whether you need new fillings for holes in your teeth or replacements, you must evaluate all your options when selecting the materials or alternatives for them and learn how to identify symptoms of tooth decay indicating fillings might be necessary.

Please continue reading to learn how long fillings usually last based on the materials chosen, when they need replacements and the steps you can take to help make fillers last longer.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are restorative solutions to seal permanent damage in your tooth and help prevent further decay from your mouth bacteria. When you develop cavities in your tooth, a dental filler is an optimal choice to restore your tooth if the dentist near me detects the hole early when the extent of the damage is minimal. Unfortunately, if you ignore the dentist’s advice and delay getting the restoration, you might require intensive treatments and restorations like inlays, Onlays, or dental crowns.

What Is the Process of Dental Fillings?

The dental filling process is relatively straightforward and completed within 30 minutes by the dentist in Southwest, Houston, TX. When you visit the dental practice to have your tooth restored, the dentist applies a numbing gel to your gums to anesthetize the surface. After the numbing gel has taken effect, the dentist injects local anesthesia into the gums. Thereafter using a dental drill or other specialized instruments, the decayed area of the tooth is removed by the dentist, who proceeds to disinfect it. Finally, the tooth is filled with the material you have chosen, adjusted, and polished to ensure your bite feels normal. If you have selected composite filling material, the dentist cures the filler with ultraviolet light.

How Long Do Dental Fillers Last?

Dental Fillings in Braes Timbers Houston, TX, last approximately a decade. Some restorations last even longer. Besides the materials used for filling the tooth, factors like your eating habits, dental hygiene, trauma to the tooth, decay around the filling, and teeth grinding when sleeping can affect the lifespan of your dental filler.

Although different factors affect the lifespan of fillings, the materials chosen can give you a fair idea of how long a specific filling material lasts. For example, silver amalgam and ceramic fillings last approximately 15 years, while composite resin and glass ionomer last between 5 to 7 years. However, you might need fillings earlier if you don’t maintain them as instructed by your dentist and take proper care of your dental hygiene.

Types of Dental Fillers

You can find four types of dental fillers. However, silver amalgam and composite resin fillers are the most common among them and are recommended by dentists for most people.

Silver amalgam fillings, also called silver fillings contain metals like silver, copper, tin alloy, and elemental mercury. These fillers have been popular for over 150 years and are the least expensive but durable.

Silver fillings last for around 15 years but might need replacements in as little as six years. Unfortunately, the mercury content in silver fillings makes the filler toxic. It is not recommended for women planning pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding, children under six, people with neurological conditions and kidney problems, or allergic to mercury.

On the other hand, composite resin fillings are incredibly popular because they are tooth colored and often matched to the shade of the surrounding teeth. A combination of acrylic and ceramic resins helped make composite fillings.

Composite fillers bond chemically with the surrounding tooth with adhesives. However, they last for approximately seven years on average, but their longevity and be prolonged if the restorations are minor and patients maintain good oral health. In addition, composite resin fillers also help restore chipped and broken teeth besides hiding minor gaps between teeth.

You can also consider gold fillings more expensive than amalgam or composite if you are prepared to spend more time with dentists because gold fillers require customization from dental labs and multiple appointments with dentists. However, there are also the most durable and last for two decades, according to the American Dental Association.

When Do Fillings Need Replacements?

If you are fortunate, you might never need replacements for the fillings in your tooth. However, fillings can crack or wear down over your lifetime to no longer protect the tooth from additional decay. In addition, sometimes fillings can fall out to need replacements.

While you might find it challenging to determine when the filler in your tooth has a problem, the dentists near you can detect issues with the fillings during routine dental appointments. Dentists have instruments to probe around the edges of the fillings to determine whether the tooth remains sealed or has developed spots where mouth bacteria can enter to cause further decay. Dental X-rays also help reveal decay under the filling. If it is evident that the filler is no longer preventing bacteria from entering the tooth or supporting it, the dentist recommends a replacement as soon as possible. Sore and sensitive teeth also indicate the need for getting replacement fillings. However, you mustn’t wait until your routine appointment to have your fillings examined but visit Mi Casa Dental – Houston, TX, immediately to replace the fillers.