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What is the Lifespan of Dental Fillings?

January 4, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgupta @ 3:53 pm
A woman receiving dental fillings

You likely feel happy if you’ve just gotten dental fillings. After all, your former cavities or tooth decay aren’t a problem anymore! That said, keep in mind that fillings don’t last forever; their lifespan is limited. When the time comes, then, you’ll need to know the signs they need replacement. Fortunately, your Lancaster dentist can give you some helpful pointers. Here’s a summary of how long fillings should last, how to tell when to replace them, and how best to care for them.

How Long Should Fillings Last?

The average lifespan of dental fillings is around ten years. Still, how long your own last will depend on various factors.

One such element is the fillings’ material. For example, gold and amalgam fillings can last up to 20 years due to their durability. Meanwhile, composite ones can be more fragile but also more cosmetically appealing.

Diet also plays a role in a filling’s lifespan. You see, sugary foods may cause cavities beneath existing fillings and cause them to fail. On the other hand, biting down on hard items can increase wear and tear on treated teeth.

How Do You Know When to Replace Them?

A filling usually needs replacement when it cracks or wears down. At that point, it’s no longer protecting the underlying tooth from decay. Fillings sometimes fall out, too, thus requiring you to get a new one.

Of course, you may not notice when a filling has such problems. For that reason, attend routine checkups so your dentist can spot trouble early. They can use an explorer tool to see whether the filling is still sealed. A dentist could also take X-rays to see if there’s decay under the filling or anywhere nearby.

How Do You Care for Fillings?

To ensure your fillings last a long time, you’ll need to care for them. The best ways to do so include the following:

  • Follow a Good Oral Care Routine: Brushing twice daily and flossing once daily will keep your fillings free of harmful plaque and bacteria.
  • Get Regular Checkups: Six-month checkups let dentists inspect your fillings to detect early problems. From there, they can treat such issues before things get dicey.
  • Avoid Bad Dental Habits: Grinding or clenching your teeth can damage fillings, so try to refrain from these habits. If necessary, you could opt for a mouth guard to protect your smile.

As you can see, dental fillings can last a while with proper care. Therefore, practice the tips above to get the most from your treatment!

About the Practice

Lancaster Family Smiles is based in the heart of Lancaster, TX. As led by Dr. Mahima Gupta, our practice offers high-quality dentistry for patients of all ages. In particular, we perform preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments, as well as emergency dental care. Our office is even a certified provider of dental sedation services! For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (469)-729-7707.

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