The Lifespan of Tooth-Colored Fillings and Aftercare Tips
By on June 08, 2015
Patients of Dr. Richard C. Ribeiro can count on him and his team to provide some of the finest dental care in the greater Clarksville area. This includes advanced cosmetic dentistry services to improve smile aesthetics as well as restorative procedures to rebuild tooth structure and gum tissue.
Tooth-colored dental fillings bring the cosmetic and restorative aspects of dental care together, though it should be noted that these restorations will eventually need to be replaced. Let's cover these matters right now.
About Tooth-Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored dental fillings are fillings that are white in color. They are made from composite materials rather than metals or metal amalgams, meaning that they blend in seamlessly with your natural tooth structure. Even up close, practically no one will notice that you have a tooth-colored filling in place.
What is the average lifespan of tooth-colored fillings?
On average, a tooth-colored dental filling will last between 5 years to 10 years. Around that time, the tooth-colored dental filling will need to be removed and replaced with a stronger and more stable restoration.
How does the lifespan of tooth-colored fillings compare to metal ones?
Tooth-colored dental fillings do not last as long as metal dental fillings. Metal fillings will typically last for about 10 to 15 years.
That said, tooth-colored dental fillings are still very durable and able to effectively address tooth decay and regular cavities.
Causes of Damage to Tooth-Colored Fillings
The most common causes of damage to tooth-colored dental fillings generally involve regular wear and tear that your natural teeth are subject to. Biting and chewing will take their toll on the teeth over time, so over a few years, the dental filling that was placed will experience some structural damage.
In addition to regular wear and tear, biting on hard/inedible items and or experiencing physical injury to the head or mouth can also lead to damage to a tooth-colored dental filling. If there is tooth decay around the filling, that is also a reason to remove and replace the old filling.
Proper Aftercare of Tooth-Colored Fillings
In order to prolong the life of your tooth-colored dental fillings, the following tips should be kept in mind:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth at least once at night
- Do not bite or chew on hard/inedible items (e.g., ice cubes, fingernails, drinking straws)
- Wear mouth protecting during contact and combat sports
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups
What to Expect When Getting Fillings Replaced
When having a dental filling replaced, the process is similar to getting the initial filling placed. Your dentist works carefully to remove the worn-down filling, maintaining as much of your tooth's natural and healthy structure as possible. A new tooth-colored filling is laid down in its place.
If you require a more substantial dental restoration of some kind, an inlay, onlay, or crown may be placed as needed. The best dental restoration for you and your needs can be discussed during the consultation process.
Schedule a Consultation for General Dental Care
Tooth-colored fillings might be right for you. In order to find out more about white fillings as well as other dental restoration options, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here at Clarksville Smiles looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best dental health and wellness possible.
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“Dr. Ribeiro has been my dentist for many years, and he has always provided exceptional service. His staff is very professional and courteous. They always go out of their way to ensure I have a pleasant experience.” Tina Reed