When your dentist finds a cavity, the most common treatment option is to get a filling, which will prevent the cavity from growing and reduce any associated pain. But fillings aren’t indestructible and won’t last forever. So how long can you expect your fillings to last? That’s our topic for today’s dental education article.
Types of Fillings
There are two basic types of fillings – white (composite) fillings and silver (amalgam) fillings. How long a filling lasts depends heavily on the patient in question. For some, a filling may last for many years, while others may have a filling fall out within 2 years. It all depends on the patient, the dentist, and various other factors.
Daily activities like eating, drinking, and teeth grinding can cause wear-and-tear on your fillings that builds over time. Eventually, fillings may crack or fall out.
At Smiles for Life, we don’t use amalgam fillings because we don’t like the potential for cracking of teeth with those types of fillings. We only do composite fillings and only if less than 40-50% of the tooth is involved. We may recommend a crown on ceramic onlay to give the tooth more strength long term for larger areas of damage.
Replacing Old Fillings
If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your fillings (cracks, pain in the tooth, or a filling that falls out), it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist to get the cavity re-filled. During your regular dental cleanings, your dentist will check all of your existing fillings for wear-and-tear. If there are any present issues, they may recommend fixing the fillings before they degrade further. Just another reason why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months!
Contact a Minnesota Dentist
Dr. Tim Brooks has many years of experience providing dental care to patients throughout the Twin Cities area. At Smiles for Life, we provide family and cosmetic dentistry services, working one-on-one with each of our patients to ensure compassionate, quality care. Whether you need to schedule a routine dental cleaning, or you’d like to investigate your options for invisible braces, we’ve got you covered! Contact Smiles for Life today to set up your appointment with Dr. Brooks at our Bloomington or Farmington clinics.