Do Dental Fillings Last Forever?

Dental fillings are part of cavity treatment that restores a tooth’s structure after suffering from decay. To get rid of this early form of tooth decay, a dentist must remove the damaged part of the tooth. Then the dentist gives the patient a composite resin filling to fill the resulting hole in the tooth.

It not only makes the tooth and look and feel whole once again. The filling will also create a seal over this newly vulnerable part of the tooth to protect and shield it from further damage. While durable and able to withstand everyday wear and tear, dental fillings will not last forever.

Over time, a filling will wear down and no longer be able to fit in the tooth to provide proper protection. If this occurs, a dentist will need to replace the old filling with a new one.

The process of replacing an old dental filling is fairly straightforward. But you can feel more at ease undergoing this treatment when you know more about it. Read on to learn details about the longevity of dental filling treatment and what its replacement process entails.

Do Dental Fillings Last Forever

Signs You Need a New Dental Filling

Your dentist will check your bite before you leave their office after receiving a dental filling to ensure that your filling fits your smile smoothly. But if your filling sustains damage or wears down enough to require replacement, you can notice some changes in the filling.

The filling might feel loose in the tooth or rough in texture if it has eroded. You might see some discoloration in or around the filling as well if you are due for a new one. Some people may feel some tooth sensitivity too if the filling no longer shields the nerves within the tooth adequately.

If these symptoms sound familiar, you should contact your dentist for an evaluation. A dentist can also identify a damaged dental filling during a routine exam, so do not skip your dental check-ups.

Dental Filling Replacement Expectations

The procedure to replace an old dental filling is similar to receiving an initial filling during cavity treatment. First, the dentist must remove the original filling. They have the tools on hand to do this easily. But they can provide you with a local anesthetic to numb the area and ensure you feel no discomfort.

The dentist can give you another filling to restore the tooth’s structure once more. This will involve applying composite resin to the tooth and molding it as needed. Then the dentist cures and hardens the filling so that it stays in place. They finish the process with a final polish.

If the tooth suffered additional damage and requires more extensive restoration, then the dentist may give the patient a dental crown instead. This fixture can shield the entire surface of the tooth.

How to Maximize the Lifespan of Dental Fillings

While dental fillings will inevitably deteriorate and need replacement every ten years or so, you can make an effort to maximize the benefits you receive from this fixture in your smile. Practice proper oral hygiene to ensure the natural dental structure remains healthy and does not affect the fit of your filling.

Avoid poor oral habits like nail biting and teeth grinding to prevent excess pressure from hurting a filling. Find more preventive oral healthcare and advice when you give your dentist a call.