When your dentist placed your metal-free fillings in your mouth, the composite resin matched your teeth. Now, though, the filling does not match your teeth. The filling itself might have become stained and yellow, or your natural teeth may have lost their luster. Either way, you are considering a whitening treatment. It is important to…
When Should Dental Fillings Be Replaced?
Did you know that you can make your dental fillings last longer by providing them with proper care? You can. Whether your fillings are made of silver, gold or composite material, you have some viable options. A few simple guidelines provided by a dentist will prevent them from failing prematurely.
Replacing dental fillings
There are some guidelines as to when an individual should have dental fillings replaced. However, many factors come into play. It comes down to the type of filling and how well a person cares for them, for example. Even so, it is important to have them checked and replaced as needed.
When someone has a cavity filled, they expect it to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, most dental fillings wear down or fall out. At that time, it is essential to see a dentist. The reason is that the initial hole remains. If not protected, bacteria and plaque could get inside. That could lead to further decay or infection.
Choosing a different material
One reason for having dental fillings replaced is to choose a different material. For people with silver fillings or amalgams, many of them prefer to update to a composite material. A dentist matches those to the patient’s actual tooth color. As a result, they are virtually invisible. That makes composite fillings more aesthetically pleasing.
For composite dental fillings, most people need them replaced after 10 years. Sometimes, the life span is slightly shorter or longer. If an individual chooses fillings made of porcelain, the replacement would likely come in about seven years. Although these look great, porcelain is not as strong as composite.
Sometimes, a dentist needs to replace dental fillings due to some kind of damage. Since most fillings go on the molars used for chewing, they take a lot of abuse. Over time, chewing and biting down can cause a small piece to break off. If that happens, again, bacteria and plaque could get inside of any opening. Therefore, the patient needs the filling replaced.
It does not take much of an opening for food particles and bacteria to get inside a tooth. Not only would that compromise the rest of the filling but also start the process of decay. When a person notices any crack or chip, no matter how small, it is important to see a dental professional. That way, that salvages a permanent tooth.
The life span of dental fillings
Because there are many factors involved, it is hard to tell just how long dental fillings will last. As mentioned, porcelain usually lasts about seven years. Fillings made from composite material can last up to 10 years. As for silver and gold, these often stay firmly in place for about 15 years. The key is to acknowledge any change, followed by taking the appropriate action.
Let a dentist decide
During regular checkups, your dentist looks at all your dental fillings to see if any need replacing. If so, the two of you can decide the type you prefer. You can make them last a long time with proper oral hygiene as well. That means brushing and flossing after every meal. Also, be sure to rinse using a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
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