Unfortunately, fillings don’t always last a lifetime. While many fillings typically last many years, some will likely need to be replaced. A composite resin filling, for example, will normally last between 7 to 10 years if the patient has a good history of oral health care and regularly maintains their teeth.
At East River Dental, we use the most advanced dental processes and technologies to ensure your fillings last as long as possible (up to 10 years). Dental fillings are your first line of defence to restore part of a tooth that’s softened due to a cavity or may have broken off.
They’re effective in protecting a damaged tooth against further decay, which without proper dental treatment may eventually require most drastic (and costly) treatments, including surgical removal or a root canal.
Why Your Fillings Could Need to be Replaced
Time is not friendly to most dental work. Given the stress we place on our teeth and dental work, it makes sense that any fillings can deteriorate over time. Dental material wears down through the natural use of your teeth. As secondary tooth decay materializes around a filling on the surface area around the filling, you’ll need to have more work done. As more restoration is performed, the longevity of the original filling decreases.
Tooth injuries can also limit dental work effectiveness, such as those sustained in sports accidents and issues including teeth grinding, and can necessitate the eventual replacement of a filling. Those with existing oral health issues will likely find they’re fillings might not last as long as they should.
Selecting The Right Filling
The material a dental filling is made from may also have something to do with how long it will remain intact. However, many dental patients aren’t as concerned with the amount of time a dental filling will last, but more so about how it looks inside their mouth.
Tooth-Colored Resin fillings are designed to match the natural colour of your teeth. Composite material is made from a mixture of plastic and glass, which is effective for restoring decayed teeth. They generally need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years. Tooth-coloured resin fillings are used in many cosmetic dentistry treatment plans because they don’t only improve a patient’s oral health, but also improve appearance.
Silver/Amalgam fillings typically last about 15 years. The filling is made from a combination of tin, mercury, silver and copper, with mercury accounting for about 50% of the solution and works as a bonding agent that brings the other materials together.
The presence of Mercury in a silver filling makes it hard and durable to protect a tooth effectively. Silver/Amalgam fillings have been replaced by white composite fillings because they’re not as cosmetically appealing, but they’re effective in cases that need a sturdy and reliable solution.
Gold fillings are more luxurious and are the best in terms of durability, but they cost quite a bit more than other materials. Gold fillings, which can last up to 30 years, cause less wear on the teeth, but they can be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. The fillings are made from 14 and 18 karat gold.
What You Can Expect at Your Filling Appointment
During a filling procedure at East River Dental, the dentist provides you with a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth that requires attention to eliminate any pain during the drilling out of the decayed tooth.
The chosen filling material will then be bonded onto the affected tooth. These straightforward and routine procedures can take as few as 20 minutes for a small filling or up to an hour for larger ones. Patients who experience anxiety at the dentist’s office will be treated to a relaxing dose of Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas to relax any nerves.
In most cases, you’ll be able to drive home safely after your appointment. You may experience cold sensitivity temporarily following your procedure, as well as sensitivity in around the gums.
We advise patient’s to eat only room temperature foods following the procedure. There may be sensitivity to cold foods and numbness from the anesthetic can make eating hot foods dangerous and even cause burns because you can’t feel anything in and around the affected tooth. To increase the likelihood of the success of your procedure, avoid chewing on hard foods for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
If sensitivity in the area continues persists after eight weeks or if the sensation becomes unbearable, reach out to your dental professional immediately.
Protecting Your Teeth from Further Decay
You can prolong the life of your filling procedure by adopting a daily dental routine that includes twice-a-day tooth brushing, regular flossing and rinsing with mouthwash in the morning and at bedtime. We also suggest you visit your dentists every 6 months for a regular cleaning and examination to identify any potential issues.
Maintaining your oral health is an ongoing process. If you need a filling performed, you can rest assured that East River Dental has extensive experience in these routine procedures that produce the best results.
We pride ourselves on providing over 30 years of quality dental care with a commitment to using the highest quality technologies to perform and compliment our dental procedures. If you need a hassle-free dental filling procedure performed, or think you might, don’t hesitate to reach out today.