Cavities are no fun. You’ll do anything to stop the pain and save your tooth. And while getting a tooth filling isn’t exactly fun, it does bring relief.
After a filling, your Comfort Dental Centre Buderim dentist has removed the decayed part of your tooth and filled the cavity to protect the rest of your healthy tooth. It’s a great feeling.
But once your cavity is replaced with a filling, you may well wonder how long your new filling will last?
At Comfort Dental Centre Buderim we wish we could give a precise answer to this question, but we just can’t. Like anything else in life, your dental fillings have a shelf-life. How long that shelf-life depends on several things including, the type of procedure, the size of the cavity/filling being treated or replaced, materials used, and the aftercare of the filling.
How Long Will My Fillings Last?
The estimated lifespan of composite/white filling reaches up to about 10 years, a bit less than other options. This leads to the additional questions of why choose composite fillings and how can they be protected?
Why Composite Fillings?
Your highly-skilled Comfort Dental Centre Buderim dentist wants to preserve the health and appearance of your teeth by only using composite fillings. Composite fillings are tooth-coloured fillings used widely in modern dentistry. Since they are tooth-coloured, they can be closely matched to the colour of existing teeth and are more aesthetically suitable for use in front teeth or other teeth that are easily visible. Bonding to tooth structure — composite fillings actually chemically bond to the tooth structure, providing further support.
Composite fillings are versatile, they can also be used to repair chipped, broken, or worn teeth.
They also protect other teeth – in some cases, less tooth structure needs to be removed compared to other types of fillings.
While there is no set expiration date for composite fillings, fillings can deteriorate and wear down just like normal teeth. To maximize the lifespan of a tooth filling it is important to understand what can damage them and how to protect them.
What Causes the Need for a Filling Replacement?
A common answer is a time. Dental material simply wears down as time goes by. This makes the restoration less effective compared to when it was first in place, and it can even crack or completely fall out.
Decay is the second major culprit. As secondary tooth decay takes place around the dental filling or on the surface area surrounding the filling, additional dental work becomes necessary. If more restoration is done the longevity of the original filling can also decrease.
Another reason, dental work doesn’t last forever is tooth injuries (including those sustained during sports and accidents) and dental problems including teeth grinding. These types of injuries can cause wear or damage to a dental filling, making eventual replacement a necessity.
How You Can Help Maintain Your Fillings
You should adopt the following approaches to ensure the maximum lifespan for your fillings:
- As with natural teeth, avoid chewing excessively hard foods (hard candy, ice, etc.) because both the resin material and the remaining tooth structure can break under extreme forces.
- Remember why you needed a filling, to begin with. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular 6-month (minimal) cleanings are essential to the long-term survival and appearance of fillings. In many cases, problems that develop with the fillings can be discovered early and repaired easily, while waiting for a longer time may require more extensive treatment.
- Pay careful attention also to a healthy teeth diet.
- Do not use your teeth for cutting, opening, or anything other than their intended purposes.
- Wear a mouthguard during sports, or sleep if you suffer from tooth grinding.
Any tooth with a filling is a weakened version of its former self. Fillings fill the void where the decay was, but they do not add strength. The weakened tooth structure is subject to the same amount of force as an unfilled tooth and over time that force can cause fractures in the tooth structure, or cause the tooth to pull away from the filling creating an area bacteria and food debris can reach, but your brush cannot. These potential issues are why you should also have regular checkups at Comfort Dental Centre Buderim, so we can help you keep an eye out for any developing problems.
Comfort Dental Centre Cares
Comfort Dental Centre Buderim provides expert care for healthy, beautiful smiles, including beautiful and effective white/composite fillings. We serve patients from Buderim and surrounding areas with top-notch dentistry. Our dental practice in Buderim provides the highest quality of dental care, in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, with a commitment to excellent customer service.