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How Long Do Tooth Fillings last?

Jul 1, 2024Dental Restoration

How Long Do Tooth Fillings last?

On average, a filling procedure takes less than an hour to complete. For a basic filling, it might only take around 20 minutes. Some modern dental clinics offer the convenience of creating onlays and inlays in a single session, but for larger fillings or multiple cavities, the process may require more time.

Depending on the materials used in the filling, the dental procedure may take longer or require a follow-up appointment. For example:

  • Composite resin fillings may take longer to place because of the layering technique involved, but they can still be completed in a single appointment.
  • Porcelain or gold fillings can be completed in one visit at a dental office with the necessary tools. It may require several visits. At the first appointment, the dentist will extract the cavity and make a mold of your tooth. The impression is sent to a lab to create the filling. During the follow-up visit, the filling will be attached to your tooth.

When replacing an old filling, the process usually takes the same amount of time as the initial filling. There may be a delay in the schedule if the previous filling requires drilling. The dentist will remove the decay and old filling material before replacing it with new filling material.

In addition to the materials chosen, there are several other factors that can affect the lifespan of a traditional filling include:

  • your eating habits
  • dental hygiene
  • trauma to your tooth
  • decay around the filling
  • grinding your teeth while you sleep

Several factors can affect the durability of dental fillings, with the type of materials used being a significant factor in determining their lifespan.

The average duration of different types of dental fillings is as follows: amalgam lasts around 15 years, composite lasts around 7 years, ceramic lasts around 15 years, and glass ionomer lasts around 5 years.

 

Can my diet affect how long fillings last?

Consuming sugary foods may affect the lifespan of dental fillings. Sugar can enhance the growth of biofilms on fillings, which may result in the development of cavities under existing fillings and on other healthy teeth.

Consuming hard substances like candy, nuts, ice, and similar foods can cause damage to your fillings and teeth.

Avoid consuming sticky foods like gum, beef jerky, gummy candy, vitamins, and other items that may harm your dental fillings.

Composite fillings may stain from beverages like tea and coffee, much like natural teeth.

 

When should fillings be replaced?

There is a chance of not needing a replacement filling if luck is on your side.

As individuals age, there is a possibility that a filling may deteriorate or become damaged, leading to inadequate protection for the tooth. In certain situations, fillings may become loose and need to be replaced.

It may be difficult to initially identify issues with a filling, but a dentist can typically detect any problems early on during a routine checkup.

The explorer tool is used by dentists to check the filling’s condition, ensuring it is sealed securely to the tooth and identifying any potential areas for bacteria to enter and cause decay.

Decay can be detected beneath dental fillings or in the surrounding areas using X-rays. If there are signs that the filling is no longer effective in preventing bacteria and maintaining the tooth’s structure, it may be necessary to replace it.

If you notice a sore or sensitive teeth, it might be a sign that a filling needs to be replaced. However, it’s important to have your fillings checked regularly instead of waiting for symptoms to appear.

Contact Our Redlands Dental Office!!

We invite you to visit our Redlands dental clinic. Our skilled professionals provide high-quality care and services. We are excited to meet you and help with all of your dental needs!

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