Female having her teeth examined by a dentist

How Long Does a Dental Filling Last?

Dental fillings are an excellent way to replace the tooth structure that you once lost because of decay. Although this dental restoration material can last for several years, it doesn’t mean it’s irreplaceable.

To treat your cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion and fill it with a substitute. Your dentist can also use it to repair cracked or broken teeth. But constant damage from eating and drinking, or even the stress from clenching, can cause your dental filling to fail.

How dental fillings can fail

Any unnecessary pressure can cause the fillings to get worn away or chipped easily. Once this happens, it can leave gaps between the tooth filling and the tooth, which can get food particles trapped inside. It will eventually attract bacteria that can cause decay and plaque buildup.

It’s difficult to remove these bacteria with just a toothbrush. So, there’s a chance that the decay can progress even further along the edge of the filling. If it remains untreated, it will soon infect the dental pulp, which could eventually cause you to lose your tooth.

How to manage teeth with fillings

Maintaining your dental filling is similar to maintaining your oral health. You need to adhere to good oral hygiene so that it can last. It includes regular dental visits and brushing your teeth. You should also practice flossing and using antibacterial mouthwash once a day.

Experts say that regular dental examinations are crucial in managing your teeth. That’s because cosmetic dentistry clinics in Meridian, Idaho and other states can immediately see potential problems in any of your existing fillings. Although damages to filings aren’t noticeable, dentists can quickly identify weaknesses once you attend your regular dental checkup.

Potential issues with dental fillings

Two dentists and patient

Most people who had their tooth filling done experience tooth sensitivity for a short period. They sometimes had to endure sensitivity to air, pressure, temperature, and even sweet foods. Although it only lasts within a few weeks, it’s still best to avoid the things that cause sensitivity.

There are also times when the fillings deteriorate over time. Chewing, clenching, or grinding your teeth can cause pressure to your dental fillings; therefore, causing it to wear away, crack, or chip. Although you won’t be able to tell if a filling is already wearing down, your dentist can see these weaknesses during your regular dental checkup.

Although it is rare, there are a few people who can have allergic reactions to silver fillings. In these unique scenarios, mercury or other types of metal used in the dental filling could trigger an allergic response to a person. Some of the symptoms of dental amalgam allergy involve skin rashes and itching. Once the doctor confirms an allergy, he’ll use another restorative material to fill up the gap.

Same with everything else, tooth fillings can wear out in time. So, don’t wait until your tooth hurts before you talk to your dentist. Detecting it can help you get the right treatment to reduce the need for costly procedures.

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