How Long Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Last?

How Long Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Last?

May 01, 2022

Dental fillings are among the most commonly performed procedures in a dental office. Fillings repair cavities and restore a tooth’s strength and appearance. Usually, dental fillings come in different materials, including gold, metal, ceramic, composite resin, and porcelain.

If you’re looking to repair a front tooth, your dentist will recommend getting a tooth-colored filling to match the shade of your natural teeth. Colored fillings such as gold and silver amalgam will stand out, affecting your smile. Contact our dentist for tooth-colored fillings in Quincy, MA.

Another key aspect to consider when getting a filling is longevity. Fillings wear out with time and may require replacement. Knowing how long a filling will last can help you stay prepared for your next restoration. Let’s look at the key factors that can affect the lifespan of your filling.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Dental Fillings

  • The material of the filling

The dental filling material is the most crucial factor that will affect its lifespan. As far as tooth-colored fillings are concerned, you have composite resin, porcelain or ceramic, and glass ionomer options.

Comparing the three, porcelain or ceramic fillings are the most long-lasting options. With proper care, porcelain or ceramic fillings last for about 10-15 years. Composite fillings last about 5-7 years, while glass ionomers last for about five years.

  • The location of the filled tooth

Usually, the molars, premolars, and back teeth are for chewing and grinding foods. It means that they are constantly under great forces than the front teeth. For this reason, a dental filling on the back teeth is likely to wear out much faster than the one placed on the front teeth.

  • Eating habits

Chewing hard items such as hard candy or ice or using your teeth to bite your nails can cause significant damage to your filling and teeth. Sticky items such as gums and gummy candies can also pull out your filling.

Similarly, a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates can encourage bacteria growth in the mouth, increasing your risk of developing decay under the filling. It’s also worth noting that composite fillings are vulnerable to stains, and you should therefore avoid highly pigmented items such as coffee and food colors.

  • Size of the filling

A small filling can last for 20 years or more with proper care. Sometimes the cavities can deepen or develop decay, requiring more advanced treatment. If you have a large filling, the risk of re-infection is higher. Your dentist may recommend placing a dental crown to protect the tooth from further damage.

  • Filling procedure

Usually, different dental filling requires different application procedures. If misapplied, the filling may not last as long as it should. Similarly, if bacteria or plaque traps under the filling, it can cause the infection to spread, eating up a large part of the tooth and reducing the lifespan of your filling.

  • Teeth grinding and clenching

Dental patients who have bruxism place great forces on their teeth, which can significantly cause wear and damage to their teeth and filling. Your dentist can recommend wearing a nightguard to protect your teeth and filling.

  • Oral hygiene

Good at-home dental hygiene is one of the key aftercare instructions your dentist will insist on after placing a dental filling. If you don’t brush and floss daily and properly, decay will likely develop and affect your filling and other healthy teeth.

When to Replace Your Filling

Over time, your filling can crack, wear down, or fall out, increasing your risk of developing further decay. While you may not notice it, your dentist will likely do it during your routine dental checkups and cleanings. It’s important to replace such a filling as soon as possible. Notify your dentist if your filling is damaged or you experience sensitivity or pain in the filled tooth.

How to Care for Dental Fillings

Fortunately, caring for dental fillings requires the same effort to maintain your normal oral hygiene. Use these tips to care for your filling and mouth:

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice daily.
  • Floss daily.
  • Limit sugary and acidic items.
  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Avoid hard and sticky items.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well.
  • Wear a nightguard for bruxism.
  • Wear a sports guard during contact sports.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Are you looking for dental fillings in Quincy, MA? Contact Quincy Dental Associates to book your appointment today.

Our dental practice welcomes new patients of all ages from Quincy, MA, and the surrounding areas of:

  • Braintree |
  • Milton |
  • Wollaston |
  • Weymouth

Our family dentistry in Quincy, MA also welcome patients from the below given nearby areas:-

617-773-2490 Schedule Now
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