A dental filling is a dental restoration for tooth decay that has reached the dentin. Your dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth and fills the damaged part to protect the tooth pulp. As with any dental appliance, it is only natural to be curious about how long dental fillings last.
Q: What is the lifespan of dental fillings?
A: The lifespan of dental fillings depends on the type of filling material used and the condition of your natural tooth. Just like other dental restorations, it doesn’t last forever and requires post-treatment care.
Amalgam and gold fillings are among the long-lasting filling materials that can last for 15 to 20 years. On the other hand, composite resin can last for 5 to 7 years. In some cases, even if the dental filling used is durable, it will still be up for replacement if you experience secondary tooth decay.
Secondary tooth decay happens when the bacteria get into the microcavities around or below the treated area and start another attack on your tooth. It usually occurs when a patient has poor oral hygiene after having their fillings placed.
Different types of dental fillings
Every type of dental filling is suitable for different areas of your teeth. The durable fillings are used for restoring molars, while the aesthetically pleasing ones are used for the front teeth. If your dentist recommends you get a filling, here are your options:
- Composite resin is a tooth-colored composite material made of glass or quartz. It is suitable for both front and molar teeth. It is the initial filling material used for treating early-stage or small to mid-sized cavities. It is the preferred option for restoring tooth surfaces that do not withstand as much pressure from chewing.
- Ceramic is another tooth-colored filling made of porcelain. It is commonly used for filling damaged front teeth. One of the advantages of a ceramic filling is that it is stain-resistant and aesthetically looks like your natural tooth. However, it can be expensive, like gold fillings.
- Amalgam or silver fillings are among the most durable types of fillings. They are made of different kinds of metal, such as copper, silver, and mercury. Amalgam is the ideal filling for molars since it can withstand the pressure needed for chewing and grinding.
- Gold fillings, also called inlays or onlays, are another metal filling made of copper, an alloy of gold, and other metals. It is the most expensive type of filling but also the most durable of them all. It will take two visits to your dentist to apply your gold filling.
Though dental fillings help prolong the life of your natural teeth, it is still and always better to avoid getting tooth decay. Getting a dental filling will require you to double up your oral hygiene and avoid secondary tooth decay.
If you are looking for the most affordable dental fillings in Florissant, MO, schedule an appointment with us at Soft Touch Dental. Our dental team will help you restore your natural teeth and keep them safe from cavity-causing bacteria.