Dental fillings are sometimes necessary for people who have cracked or hurt their teeth in any way. Because dental care can begin to get pricey, it leaves many people wondering if it is worth it. They often ask “how long do white fillings last?” and this article will answer that question for you.
What is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling is just one of many things that you can do for your teeth in the event of harm. These fillings are specifically used for those who have lost some of their tooth structure due to decay. Dental fillings are often called dental restoration as that is what it does. These fillings can last for years but eventually all of your white dental fillings will need to be replaced.
Eventually, eating and drinking will cause the dental filling to wear away, causing the need for replacement. Fillings that have been chipped away, worn away, cracked or fallen out may leave uncomfortable gaps. These gaps between the filling and the tooth offer a place where bacteria can collect and cause decay if regular brushing and flossing are not not.
These bacteria are difficult to remove with a toothbrush and decay may get into the filling or go underneath it. Decay that goes undiagnosed and does not ever get treated can cause an infection in the dental pulp. This will often mean that the patient needs to undergo a root canal or may lose their teeth.
How a Dentist Determines the Need for a Replacement Filling
Going to the dentist regularly can help your dentist determine if there are problems with the existing filling or if there is a need for the dental filling to be added in the first place. These needs can usually be determined in the first phase of an issue with the teeth. While you might not be able to notice that you need a filling or that your filling has worn down, your dentist will be able to see it during a normal checkup.
During the checkup exam, the dentist will figure out if your fillings are still in place. They will also be able to see if these fillings have been worn in any manner or are cracked. The dentist will use what the dental field calls an explorer instrument to look gently for worn spots around the edge of the filling. This instrument can see if the dental filling has been properly adhered to the tooth. They can also tell if it has been worn to the point of needing a replacement.
Dental x-rays, which are often called radiographs, are usually taken in order to help find any sort of decay beneath any previous dental fillings. It is hard to see either of these things by gazing at the tooth with the naked eye. If your dentist finds out that one of your fillings has failed you, or if they find that there is decay, the filling will need to be replaced right away.
How Long Do White Fillings Last?
When it comes to fillings, the most popular kind of fillings are called composite fillings. These fillings are known as white fillings and they are sought after because they are the same color as your natural teeth. These have been designed to match the color and shape of the teeth perfectly so that they do not change how your smile looks.
They are virtually invisible which is something that many people like. Using these for dental restoration of the tooth usually requires less drilling as well. This means that your healthy teeth can be kept right where they are without too much damage to them or the surrounding teeth.
That said, while they are more beautiful and aesthetically good looking than some of the other kinds of fillings, these fillings aren’t as long lasting. That is to say that they are not always as long lasting as the most common alternative, which are silver fillings. They can stay in for around seven to 10 years with the proper care and maintenance. They are still tremendously strong, so they are a good option for those who have cavities or other breakage and want to have a nice looking smile at the end of the day.
More Information on White Fillings
Composite resin is a tooth colored plastic mixed with glass. These are used to restore a decayed tooth or teeth. These are also used to help improve the cosmetic nature of a smile by helping regain the color of the teeth. They can also help reshape the disfigured teeth.
After preparing the tooth, the dentist will put the composite material on the tooth in layers. They will use a special tool that helps to harden each layer. After the process is finished, the dentist will shape this composite in order to ensure that it can fit the tooth perfectly. The dentist will polish the composite to ensure that it will not stain in the initial stages of wear.
Prices on these can vary, but there are composites that can cost more than three times the cost of a silver filling. A lot of dental insurance plans can cover the price of the composite, though. While these composites continually improve, the insurance companies are more likely to alter the coverage for the better.
Aesthetics are the biggest reason that someone opts for a composite. A dentist can mix a number of shades together to create a color that looks almost identical to the color of the natural tooth. These composites can stick to the tooth to support the rest of the structure. This helps to stop any sort of breakage in the tooth and protects it from sensitivity to cold and heat.
There are a few disadvantages to composites, though. There may be a bit of sensitivity experienced after the composite has been placed. The shade of the material can also change just a bit after wear. This is especially true if you are someone that drinks a lot of coffee, tea or other drinks that can stain the teeth.
Dental fillings are an important part of your dental health when they are necessary. in this article, we have answered the question, “how long do white fillings last?”, while also providing you with some important information. Do you have any dental fillings? Tell us about them in the comments section below.