How Long Do Fillings Last
One of the most frequent questions we receive from patients is: how long will my filling last?
It’s no surprise we get asked this question most days; getting a filling can seem like a daunting task – especially when you want to get the most out of your treatment.
The biggest myth about fillings is that they offer a permanent solution; in fact, while fillings may last many, many years they can be worn down and damaged.
With so many factors to consider, we’ve pulled together a quick filling FAQ – so read on to find out more!
What is the difference between the types of fillings on the market?
There are two main types of fillings available for tooth restoration and protection: silver fillings and white fillings.
Silver fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, are strong and durable with most patients reporting a product lifespan of 10-15 years. Silver fillings can be used to restore large portions of decayed or damaged teeth, however, the main issue patients find with this type is that they are highly visible and can cause some discolouration to your smile.
White fillings, also known as composite fillings, are the most popular type on the market. This product is colour-matched to your existing tooth to create a seamless, yet strong, restoration. Unlike silver fillings, with good oral health white fillings generally last between 7-10 years.
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What can limit the lifespan of a filling?
There are many factors that can affect the lifespan of your fillings:
- Type of procedure
The complexity of your treatment – like if it included extensive drilling and restoration – can affect the lifespan of your filling.
- Size of treated area
A smaller filling may be less likely stressed or negatively impacted by mismanagement, damage or even further decay.
- Lifestyle factors
Grinding your teeth, biting hard objects, accidental damage and being rough with your teeth and mouth can factor into premature filling wear.
- Oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene can lead to additional decay around the existing dental filling – which requires expert care to drill, remove, cleanse and seal.
- Additional dental work
Generally, the effectiveness and longevity of a new filling is diminished if the area needs additional dental work. In this case, your dentist might propose installing a whole new crown or cap to preserve the living tooth.
What filling is best for me?
Your dentist will be best equipped to assess and suggest which filling is best for you and your goals.
In some cases, your dentist may recommend going straight to a crown or cap option to remove decay and preserve the living tooth. Occasionally, a dead or dying tooth may have to be extracted and replaced with an implant.
If you would like more information on restorative treatments for your smile, please contact our dental clinic in Maroubra on 02 9344 8822.