Dental fillings, also called dental restorations, are typically classified as a general dentistry service that all Reno dental offices should provide. Fillings are done in order to restore the function of teeth that are affected by tooth decay. Once your Reno dentist notices a cavity in your tooth, they’ll perform a dental filling to fill the cavity and prevent harmful bacteria from attacking the rest of the tooth. Most Americans are required at some point in their life to have a dental filling. Typically, you’ll go to your Reno dentist and have them fill the cavity and then you forget all about it. It’s important to know that those fillings won’t last forever, and you’ll need to have them redone after some time. So, how long do dental fillings last?
Different Types of Fillings
The length of time a dental filling will last depends on the type of filling you have. Another factor that can affect the longevity of your filling is the size of your cavity. Here are the different types of fillings your dentist may use to fill a cavity:
Gold fillings are known for their durability and hard enamel-like wear. They are made from mostly gold, but also contain other metals such as copper. While gold fillings aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing, they are very strong and do last longer than other types of dental fillings. Gold fillings typically last from 15-30 years.
Silver amalgam fillings are more modern than the gold fillings, and they are less expensive. This type of filling is composed of silver, mercury, copper, and tin. Because of the mercury in silver amalgam fillings, people have become warier of using this type of filling, however. They look like silver and are also very tough. Silver amalgam fillings last between 10-15 years.
Composite resin fillings are made from a combination of ceramic, plastic, and glass. These are known for being a similar color to teeth, making them blend to look more natural. They’re typically used for small to medium-sized cavities and last anywhere between 7-10 years on average.
Signs That You Need To Have Your Fillings Replaced
As stated earlier, your fillings aren’t going to last forever. Even if you have a gold filling, whose life expectancy is between 15-30 years, you’re still going to have to have it replaced due to constant wear and tear. Fillings can get worn away, chipped, cracked, and even fall out which leaves you at great risk for harmful bacteria to invade the remaining part of the tooth.
It’s also good to know that the smaller the filling, the longer it will last. Smaller fillings mean that there’s more healthy tooth left than if you were to have a big filling done. This helps the chances of the filling to last longer, and this is good news for your tooth. Here are the signs to look for in case it’s time for your dental filling to be replaced:
Your Filling Falls Out
This is a fairly obvious tell that you need to have your filling replaced. You may not initially notice this happen, however. Some people swallow the filling on accident or may not realize what it is at first. The exposed nerve will let you know that something is wrong though, and you should see a dentist right away if this occurs.
Your Filling Gets Worn Down
This indicator that you need to have your dental filling replaced can be hard to notice. You may actually never notice this happening, which is why it’s so important to make regular visits to see your Reno dentist. They can check on the progression of your filling and let you know when it will need to be replaced based on its physical condition.
Your Filling Cracks or Chips
All fillings, except gold fillings, are capable of being cracked or chipped. Because the filling is still mostly in place, cracking or chipping may go unnoticed. If you start to feel sensitivity to temperature, this may be a sign that there’s a problem with your filling. You should contact your Reno dentist right away so they can repair it.
Connect With Well Beyond Dental
While fillings inevitably will need to be replaced at some point in time, it’s important to know that maintaining good oral health will increase the life of your dental filling. Properly caring for your teeth and gums and never missing an appointment at your Reno general dentistry office will help your fillings last longer. This will be good for your overall health as well. Connect with your local Reno dentist at Well Beyond Dental to schedule an appointment today! Our amazing dentistry team will work to get your fillings back to protecting your teeth and help you maintain your oral hygiene. We also provide other dentistry services in the Reno NV area.