Cavities are small areas of decay that often form as the result of poor oral hygiene or a diet that’s too high in sugar, carbs, and acidic foods and drinks. A dental filling is commonly used to fix small cavities after the decay has been removed. Though you can expect your dental filling to give you long-lasting relief from decay discomfort and an improved appearance, how long will it last? Continue reading to learn about three factors that affect how long your dental fillings last.
#1: The Size of the Cavity
One of the things that affects how long fillings last is how big the cavity is. You can expect small fillings to last 20 to 40 years on average. Larger areas of decay require more work to be done, so the filling may not last as long. Additionally, larger areas of decay may require a dental crown in the future to keep issues from developing any further.
#2: The Type of Material Used
Another factor that impacts how long fillings last is the kind of material that they’re made from, such as:
- Composite fillings – These are commonly used to repair cavities since they are the same color as your tooth and will blend in seamlessly. They are made from a mixture of ceramic resin and acrylic. You can expect them to last seven to 10 years.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings – These are made from a mixture of copper, silver, and tin alloy particles. Additionally, they may contain elemental mercury. These kinds of fillings tend to last six to 15 years.
- Gold fillings – These cost more than composite and amalgam and usually last 20-plus years.
- Ceramic fillings – These are made from porcelain and cost even more than gold. They can last upward of 15 years.
- Glass ionomer fillings – These are made from acrylic and glass. They’re weaker than other fillings and only last about five years.
#3: Oral Health Factors
There are a few oral health factors that may impact the longevity of your fillings, including:
- Poor oral hygiene – Not brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing every nightmay allow tooth decay to spread to other areas and warrant the need for a new filling or a dental crown.
- Teeth grinding – Also called bruxism, this condition can cause your dental fillings to wear faster. This will shorten their lifespan.
About the Practice
Dr. Chris J. Devlin is a skilled oral health professional who offers patients living in State College as well as the surrounding areas the treatments they need to keep their smiles healthy and bright. They also offer treatments to heal damaged smiles, such as dental fillings. Additionally, they can give you information on how long you can expect your fillings to last and tips on how to extend their lifespan. If you want to make an appointment with Dr. Devlin or to learn more about dental fillings, visit his website or call his office at (814) 238-3553.