If you need a dental filling, you might be wondering how long it’s going to last. While dental fillings do carry their own expiry date, with the right care they’ll last a long time. There are many factors that influence the longevity of dental fillings, and some simple things you can do to prolong their life – read on to learn more!
How Long Will My Filling Last?
Dental fillings usually average 10 years before they need to be replaced. They can be made of many materials, including gold, ceramic and amalgam. Gold fillings tend to last the longest but they are rarely used nowadays.
Amalgam or silver fillings are comprised of silver, mercury, tin and copper. This filling is more affordable and outstandingly durable but not cosmetically appealing. It might last for fifteen years of even more, depending on the oral health and lifestyle of the patient. Amalgam fillings aren’t suitable for people with neurological issues, or an allergy to mercury.
Another popular choice, composite fillings are made of acrylic resins and ceramic and can be easily matched to your existing teeth. They’re bonded to the surface of your teeth with an adhesive and tend to last for seven years on average.
Porcelain fillings are a great choice if you’re looking for something that looks great and works well. They’re made from a durable material that can be easily matched to the colour of your teeth and they bond to teeth with an strong adhesive. Porcelain fillings can be as expensive as gold fillings.
Looking After Your Fillings
If you take care of your fillings, they should last a long time. Your filling might fall out or deteriorate over time, and you may need a replacement. If a filling falls out or becomes cracked, your tooth will become vulnerable to decay or infection. Visiting your dentist regularly, ideally twice a year, will help you stay on top of replacements. Your dentist will examine the area around your filling to make sure it’s still in place and will check for any signs of decay.
There are things you can do to keep your fillings lasting as long as possible:
- Cut down on sugar: The more sugar you eat, the more chance there is of your filling deteriorating. Sugar tends to adhere to your teeth, causing a filmy plaque to develop and bacteria to grow and lead to cavities.
- Avoid hard foods: Chewing on something hard can increase the chances of disintegration of a filling.
- Avoid staining drinks: Red wine, tea and coffee can stain your fillings.
- Avoid grinding: If you grind your teeth in your sleep, your filling might be dislodged.
- Practice good oral hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing will keep decay and infection at bay.
When you need quality dental care in the Southern Highlands, choose Pain Free Dental Clinic. With our expert team, a wide range of services, and friendly, welcoming practice, you’ll feel as comforted, supported and pain-free as possible as we help you achieve the perfect smile. Contact us today to learn more or to book an appointment.