When it comes to dental care, one of the most common questions is, “How long do fillings last?”
Fillings are a common dental procedure used to repair cavities and other minor damage to the teeth. The longevity of a filling depends on the type of filling, the location of the filling, and the patient’s oral hygiene. Generally, fillings can last anywhere from three to fifteen years, and in some cases even longer.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of fillings and how long they last, as well as the factors that affect the longevity of a filling.
What Are Dental Fillings?
A dental filling is a restoration used to repair tooth decay or damage caused by trauma. Fillings are typically made of composite resin, porcelain, or metal, and are placed directly into the affected tooth.
Fillings are used to restore the function and aesthetics of the tooth, as well as to protect the tooth from further damage. Fillings can also be used to replace missing teeth, but this is not as common.
Types of Dental Fillings
There are several types of dental fillings, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of fillings are composite resin, porcelain, and metal.
Composite Resin Fillings
Composite resin fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass particles and are designed to match the color of your teeth. Composite resin fillings are extremely durable and can last up to 10 years. They are also less expensive than other types of fillings.
Porcelain fillings are made of a ceramic material and are designed to match the color of your teeth. Porcelain fillings are very strong and can last up to 15 years. They are more expensive than composite resin fillings, but they can provide a more natural-looking result.
Metal fillings are made of gold, silver, or amalgam and are designed to be extremely durable. Metal fillings can last up to 15 years, but they are more noticeable than composite resin or porcelain fillings.
Factors That Affect the Longevity of a Filling
The longevity of a filling is affected by several factors, including the type of filling, the location of the filling, and the patient’s oral hygiene.
Type of Filling
The type of filling used will affect the longevity of the filling. Composite resin fillings are typically the least durable and can last up to 10 years. Porcelain fillings are more durable and can last up to 15 years. Metal fillings are the most durable and can last up to 15 years.
Location of the Filling
The location of the filling can also affect the longevity of the filling. Fillings in the back of the mouth are more likely to last longer than fillings in the front of the mouth, as they are less likely to be exposed to wear and tear.
Patient’s Oral Hygiene
The patient’s oral hygiene is also a factor in the longevity of a filling. Poor oral hygiene can lead to increased decay and wear and tear on the filling, which can shorten its lifespan.
How to Prolong the Life of a Filling
There are several steps you can take to prolong the life of a filling.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging the life of a filling. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles that can cause decay.
Avoid Hard Foods
Avoid hard foods, such as candy and nuts, as they can put extra strain on the filling and cause it to wear out prematurely.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Regularly visiting the dentist for check-ups and cleanings can help prolong the life of a filling. The dentist can check for decay and make sure the filling is still intact.
Fillings are a common dental procedure used to repair cavities and other minor damage to the teeth. The longevity of a filling depends on the type of filling, the location of the filling, and the patient’s oral hygiene. Generally, fillings can last anywhere from three to fifteen years, and in some cases even longer. To prolong the life of a filling, it is important to practice good oral hygiene, avoid hard foods, and visit the dentist regularly.
If you have any questions about how long do fillings last, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact Dental Fillings today. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.