Usually, when patients finish a session with their dentists, they just want to get as far away as possible from them, no questions asked. And that is understandable, who would want to stay and chat after their teeth were being drilled and tampered with? Still, there are many questions that need to be answered before the escape, otherwise you will probably come back for another visit much sooner than expected. One such question is how long do dental fillings last?
Believe it or not, but this question doesn’t get asked as much as it should because once the tooth is done being treated, people mistakenly assume it will last a lifetime. Although this assumption sounds perfect, the reality is far from it. Just like any other product on the supermarket shelf, dental works have a limited lifetime warranty.
There are many factors which need to be taken into consideration in order to estimate how long dental fillings will fulfill their purpose:
- Type of procedure and dental techniques used
- Size or area being treated
- Materials used
- Provided care and maintenance
- Oral hygiene
- Diet and drinks
The average lifespan
Even though they do not last forever, dental restoration procedures are quite durable. You can reasonably expect a small composite resin filling to last between 7 to 10 years, provided you are doing an excellent job taking care of your teeth. Also, the choice of material used to fill the cavity is a great contributing factor. Whether it’s white or silver, porcelain or gold – that choice will surely affect the life expectancy of your dental fillings.
Why do fillings require replacement?
Given the stress our teeth and dental work have to endure on an everyday basis, it is only logical that both natural and synthetic materials will gradually wear down over time. The more restoration is done, the more the longevity of the original filling is decreased, so placing a crown or cap on the tooth will surely maximize the lifespan of that particular restoration.
Gradual wear and secondary tooth decay will already have a lot of work cut out for you and your dentist, but there are also other conditions and circumstances which can speed up the process even more. For instance, injuries sustained during sport as well as teeth grinding (bruxism) can necessitate immediate damage control and eventual replacement.
Keeping your teeth healthy
Yes, keeping your teeth healthy is constant work, but it is certainly far better than to leave things unattended and prone to complication. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and mouth-washing is all that it takes to take most of the matters into your own hands. Just by dedicating a total of ten minutes per day for your teeth will do you wonders. Support such diligence with regular trips to your dentist or hygienist and you will keep your teeth fit and functional for a lifetime!