Did you know that about 90% of people over 20 have had at least one cavity in their teeth? Most of the time, cavities need to be filled so that the more sensitive tissues inside the teeth are protected. If you’re one of the 90% of people who have ever had a cavity, this may sound familiar.
But how long do fillings last, and should you be worried if you’ve had them for a long time? Can you do something to make your fillings last longer? Some fillings seem to taste better than others.
If you’re wondering about these things, this article will tell you what to do. Let’s begin by looking at what dental fillings are. We’ll also look at the different kinds of dental fillings to see if some last longer than others.
What Are Fillings in Teeth?
Fillings for teeth can be made of almost any material you can think of, from metal to plastic. Fillings can be used to fix more than just cavities. Your dentist can also use them to fix cracked or otherwise damaged teeth. By doing this, the inner part of the damaged tooth will be protected from bacteria, which will lower the chances of getting an infection and doing more damage.
The process of getting a filling is very easy. In the case of a cavity filling, your dentist will use numbing cream and then a local anesthetic to make your gums feel better. Once the area is numbed, the dentist will usually use a drill to take out the cavity.
After that, the hole is filled with the filling of your choice. The filling is moved around and smoothed so it doesn’t get in the way of chewing or talking. Before some fillings are completely hard, they may need to be exposed to a special light as part of a process called “curing.”
You might feel some pain or sensitivity in the area after the filling, but this should go away in a few days. If you take good care of your teeth after getting fillings, you shouldn’t have to worry about them too much. But what kinds of fillings are there, and which one should you choose?
Gold Fillings: Pros and Cons
Gold fillings have been one of the most common kinds of fillings for a long time, and there’s a good reason for that. Gold fillings are some of the most long-lasting fillings you can find. Before they start to show signs of wear, they usually last between 10 and 15 years.
Gold gets a bad rap for being a soft and fragile metal, but the gold used for fillings is very strong and can hold up to even the hardest chewers. Besides that, many people like the way their teeth look when they have gold in them instead of dark gray materials like silver.
There are, however, some problems with gold fillings, some of which have nothing to do with your oral health and everything to do with your wallet. For instance, gold fillings cost about 10 times as much as silver fillings.
Gold fillings usually require two trips to the dentist instead of just one, like some other fillings. This can be a pain if you have a lot going on.
Silver Fillings: Pros and Cons
Silver fillings are also very popular because, like gold fillings, they are strong and last a long time. They are also less expensive. They usually last between 10 and 15 years.
But a lot of people don’t like the way silver fillings look. More than that, when you have silver fillings for a long time, the gray color of the silver tends to seep into the teeth around it. Some people may also be allergic to silver, so if you want silver fillings, you should find out if you are.
Tooth-Colored Composites: Pros and Cons
Composite fillings are a great alternative to metal fillings if you don’t like the idea of having metal in your mouth. They are also a good choice if you want your fillings to match the color of your teeth. Most people will never know you had fillings in the first place if you have composite fillings.
Composite fillings are also very long-lasting because the best dentist in your area will bond them to your teeth. Composite fillings are also very useful because they can be used to fix teeth that have been chipped or otherwise damaged. But composite fillings have a lot of downsides that are important to note.
Composite fillings don’t last as long as other fillings, usually no more than five years. This is the biggest problem with them. As you can imagine, if you need new fillings every few years, this can get expensive over time. Composite fillings also take a long time compared to other types of fillings.
How Glass Ionomer Fillings Help and Hurt
You might not have heard of glass ionomer fillings because they are mostly used for kids. But they can sometimes be used for adults as well. They are different from other fillings because they are used to fix holes below the gum line.
They are also one-of-a-kind because they are made of acrylic and glass and work in a special way. Fluoride leaks out of these fillings over time. This is great for people who have trouble taking care of their teeth because fluoride will strengthen the teeth and keep them from getting worse.
Sadly, they don’t usually last longer than five years, just like composite fillings. But some of the newer glass ionomer fillings are better, so they might last a little bit longer. This is especially true if the fillings are not in the back teeth, which get a lot of wear and tear.
Your Guide to Dental Fillings
By the end of this article, you should know everything there is to know about dental fillings and how long they last. With this information, you can be sure that when you choose dental fillings, you’ll always make the right choice.
If you need dental fillings, you can make an appointment with us now.
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