How Long Should You Expect Your Fillings to Last?

Posted on 5/13/2018 by Jeremy Burke
Dental Fillings Jeremy J Burke, DDS, PA TX 79761-4232How long should you expect your fillings to last is a question not often asked by patients that require the procedure due to a cavity or a filling that has fallen out. The length of time a filling lasts is hard to determine, and it depends on several issues.

Type of Procedure

If you have waited a long time to get a cavity treated, chances are it will be a more involved process. In dentistry, time is not our friend and in general, the longer you wait, the worse the problem gets. If you think you have a cavity, please call us and we will schedule a full examination.

Materials Used

It used to be that fillings were fixed with that silver, metallic looking product, called dental amalgam. Now dentists mostly use the white plastic compound, dental composite for aesthetic and safety reasons.

It comes in a variety of shades that can be matched to your teeth color, better than the silver filling. Many patients prefer the white fillings because they are afraid of having mercury in their mouths. The risk in amalgam has been disputed and there is no proof that its components can cause a problem.

Size of the Area Treated

A cavity in a molar can be very different than one in a front tooth and this will impact how long you should expect the filling to last.

The materials used in dental fillings are extremely durable, but they require proper care if they are to last for years and in many cases, they will need to be replaced. As always, brushing twice daily, flossing and taking care of your oral health will help a filling last for many years. A visit to our office also allows the dentist to examine the filling.
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