If you’ve ever had a cavity, you may be familiar with dental fillings. They’re what your dentist uses to seal up the damaged tooth after they remove the decayed portion of it. With 90% of adults over the age of 20 having at least one cavity in their lifetime, fillings are an incredibly common dental treatment. Though a dental filling can protect the tooth from further damage, how long will it be before it needs to be replaced? Read on to learn about the different kinds of dental fillings and how long they usually last.
Amalgam or Silver Fillings
These kinds of fillings contain a combination of copper, tin alloy particles, silver, and elemental mercury. They are durable, reliable, and can last up to 20 years. Amalgam fillings were once the most common cavity treatment, but the potential oral and overall health risks that they pose have caused them to decline in popularity.
These tooth-colored fillings are made from a blend of acrylic and ceramic resins. They are chemically bonded to the surrounding tooth using adhesive and can last around 10 years.
Though they are much more expensive than composite or amalgam, gold fillings are also highly durable. They can last up to 20 years with proper care.
A dental lab or milling machine makes these fillings out of dental-grade porcelain. They cost even more than gold fillings and are glued in the tooth. With proper care, ceramic fillings can last 15 years.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
Made from glass and acrylic, these fillings can be placed directly into the tooth. Glass ionomer fillings are generally only used for small cavities near the gum line. They’re not as strong as other fillings and only last around five years.
How To Make Your Fillings Last
Now that you know how long different fillings usually last, what can you do to extend their lifespan? A few things that should help include:
- Eat less sugar – Foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar should be avoided or consumed in moderation since they make it easier for plaque to form on your fillings and cause new cavities.
- Be careful what you chew on – Avoid chomping on hard candy, ice, and other hard foods and things. These aren’t meant to be chewed up and can make both your natural teeth and fillings wear down faster.
- Avoid sticky foods – Gummy candies or vitamins, gum, jerky, and other sticky foods may pull on your fillings and cause them to loosen.
- Resist stains – Drinks like tea, red wine, dark sodas, and coffee can stain composite fillings, so cut back on them when possible.
How long your fillings last will vary depending on the type, location, and lifestyle. With the above information, you should be able to get the most out of your investment and enjoy a healthy, confident smile!
About the Practice
Chisholm Trail Dental Health aims to help patients achieve the smiles of their dreams. They offer a range of preventive treatments to help you maintain healthy teeth like checkups and cleaning. If an oral health issue does arise, they can use tooth-colored fillings to seal off cavities and protect the tooth from further harm. Call Chisholm Trail Dental Health at (512) 244-2796 or visit their website for more information on the types of dental fillings and how long they last or to schedule an appointment.