How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
A dental filling is a way to fix a damaged tooth and restore its normal function and shape. Usually, this damage results from tooth decay. When you visit our dental clinic in Scarborough, we will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the area and cavity, and then insert the filling of your choice.
Talk to our friendly and knowledgeable team about the best tooth decay treatment for you and your family. Contact our dental clinic in Scarborough for dental care tips and to book regular checkups.
When Do You Need Dental Fillings?
Fillings close off spaces where bacteria can enter, therefore preventing further decay.
Different materials are used for dental fillings.
You need a filling when:
- A fracture or decay has damaged a big part of the tooth. A cap or crown may also be recommended.
- If decay has reached the nerve, you would need pulp capping or a root canal. The former involves efforts to keep the nerve and pulp alive, whereas the latter involves removing the infected or inflamed pulp. The affected tooth will continue to function well without pulp because of the other nourishing tissue surrounding it.
Only a proper dental examination at your Scarborough Dental Clinic can determine if you need a filling or not. Our team will use a small mirror to look at the surface of your teeth and then special instruments for a detailed checkup. You might also need an X-ray done for part or your whole mouth depending on the extent of the damage.
Gum disease is another factor causing decay and leading to dental fillings. Your dentist can establish whether you are affected or not and advise you on the best gum disease treatment.
What Are the Various Types of Dental Fillings Available?
What kind of fillings are there and which ones are the best? Again, this depends on the extent of damage, whether you are allergic to certain materials, the location of the tooth, and whether you are bound by budget limitations.
- Amalgam (silver) fillings are quite affordable and durable. On the downside, you cannot use them in visible areas due to their dark color.
- Plastic resins are used if you want a more natural look. They are designed to be the same color as your teeth. The composite ingredients are mixed and harden once inserted into the cavity. This type of filling is not as resistant to wear as other types, which makes it unsuitable for large fillings as it tends to chip and break. It can also become stained from red wine, coffee or tobacco.
- Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays, are produced in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They do not stain and match the color of your teeth. Usually, porcelain fillings can be used to cover most of the tooth.
- Gold fillings are custom-made, produced in a lab and cemented into place. Gum tissue reacts very well to gold fillings. Most dentists agree that gold is the best filling material. On the downside, it often means making more trips to the dentist and is the most expensive filling type.
How Long Does a Dental Filling Last Before You Need to get it Redone?
The least durable filling, plastic resin, tends to last from 3 to 10 years, generally around 5. On average, amalgam fillings last about 12 years, but there have been cases of amalgam lasting up to 30 years. Rare cases, of course, but it does happen. Gold fillings last around 20 years.
What are some reasons for needing a dental filling redone? Sometimes the filling itself breaks, the tooth continues to decay under the filling or the filled tooth breaks due to weakening.
If you are looking for trusted dental care in Scarborough, give us a call. We would be happy to treat you and your family for ongoing dental problems and regular dental hygiene treatments.
Contact your family dentists in Scarborough to learn more about dental fillings.
Book your appointment with Sheridan Cyrus Dentistry today by calling 416-287-2426.
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