A dental filling plays a key role in dental restoration by restoring the part of a tooth that became damaged due to decay. Filling material can have a specific life span depending on the material that is used, and there can be problems with a filling that require having additional work done to the tooth. Here are three things you should know about your dental fillings, and the potential problems that can happen.
Fillings Don't Last Forever
You should think twice if you thought your dental fillings would last forever. A typical dental filling made with silver amalgam will last about 11-12 years, and a filling made with resin composite will last about 5-6 years.
Keep in mind that a filling's lifespan is not concrete, since multiple factors determine how long a filling will last. This includes practicing good oral hygiene, the tooth's location, your overall sugar intake, the filling material, and the skill level of the dentist putting in the filling.
Why Fillings Fail
Your teeth withstand years of clenching, chewing, and grinding that can put a lot of pressure on your filling. It will cause craze lines, chips, and cracks to develop over time. Food particles and bacteria that cause decay eventually seep through the damage, creating a cavity underneath your filling.
A composite filling may develop a discoloration over the years, which will cause your filling to become yellow due to the foods that you eat. Whitening products, even professional bleaching, will not lighten a filling.
An old filling can partially lose its bond with the tooth, and cause a gap to form that allows decay to happen in a spot that is hard to brush. This happens when saliva accidentally gets into the area when the filling is bonding with the tooth. A composite and amalgam filling may even lose its bond completely, causing it to fall out and expose the tooth underneath.
Having Fillings Checked
Part of having a routine cleaning and checkup performed is to inspect the existing fillings that you have. Your dentist will thoroughly probe your fillings to look for signs of decay, or take an X-ray to look for hidden decay underneath the fillings. If no decay is found, fluoride varnish can be applied to the filling's edges to help strengthen your tooth.
If you are having a hard time remembering how long it has been since you received your fillings, it's time that you have them looked at by a dentist, like Dr. Robert Petrtyl.Share
20 January 2016
I have always brushed and flossed my teeth daily, but I still had the occasional cavity when I visited the dentist for a check-up. He told me it was normal to have a cavity on occasion and that I shouldn't let it stress me out too much. Well, I am not one to just accept any problem I am having, so I started looking into how to improve my oral hygiene even more. I had always thought mouthwash was just to improve your breath, but I found some that said they helped keep cavities away. I started using one every day before bed. I haven't had a cavity in two years now, and I think the mouth rinse is the reason! I created this blog to remind other people that even if they brush and floss regularly, they can always find ways to take even better care of their teeth.