August 17, 2022
How long do dental fillings last? This is a common question many patients ask when learning they require a customized restoration to treat a cavity-stricken tooth. Fortunately, the materials used today are highly durable and capable of withstanding daily wear and tear. But if you want to learn what you can do to extend the lifespan of your filling, read on to learn four unique ways to keep it in place and enjoy a healthier smile.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Dental Filling?
In the past, traditional amalgam was the material of choice when providing dental fillings; however, times have changed, and patients now prefer a more natural solution. Although metal fillings were proven effective at holding up for extended periods, tooth-colored fillings are known to be strong and durable against normal wear and tear. However, the reality is that they are not meant to last forever and will need to be replaced – eventually.
So how long will they last? The average lifespan of a composite filling is between 7-10 years. This is dependent on many factors, some of which include:
- Your oral hygiene habits
- The foods you eat
- Whether you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Dental trauma
How to Extend the Life of Your Filling
While you may not be able to keep your existing composite filling forever, there are things you can do to extend its lifespan and get the most out of your investment, such as:
- Adopting good oral habits – This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and rinsing regularly. By eliminating bad oral bacteria from inside your mouth, you decrease the risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other harmful infections that can affect your natural teeth and dental filling.
- Wearing a mouthguard – If you are prone to bruxism and grind your teeth at night, it’s in your best interest to speak with your dentist in Richardson about receiving a customized nightguard. Wearing this oral device at night will help to keep your upper and lower arches from touching, causing wear and tear to your tooth enamel as well as chronic jaw pain and damage to your filling.
- Eating healthy foods – Leafy greens, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy are all healthy food options that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best. Consuming too much sugar and starch will only increase your risk of decay – a problem that will not only result in additional fillings but also negatively impact your current restoration and require replacement.
- Maintaining regular checkups with your dentist – Seeing your dentist every six months will allow them to examine the existing filling to ensure it is continuing to effectively seal the tooth and offer maximum protection.
Your dental filling may not last forever, but it can certainly stay firmly in place for nearly a decade as long as you commit to taking proper care of it. Consider these tips and ask your dentist what else you can do to maintain better oral health year after year.
About the Practice
At McDougal and Richards Dentistry, we want you to enjoy a happier, healthier smile. To do this, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure any existing restorations remain firmly in place. Although many are not designed to last for a lifetime, our team is here to deliver helpful tips that will prolong their lifespan. Contact us at (972) 231-5376 to find out how we can help.
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