Most people will have at least one filling at some point during their lives. As long as your filling is in good shape, it will allow you to continue using your tooth normally without worrying about infection or worsening the damage that has already been done. But fillings don’t last forever, and at some point, you’ll need to get a replacement. How long do fillings last, and how will you know that it’s time to get a new one? Here’s what you need to know.
How Long Do Fillings Normally Last?
The average filling can be expected to last around 10 years or so, although it’s not unheard of for them to stay in the mouth much longer before they need to be replaced. It’s hard to give a precise estimate because there are so many factors that can shorten or extend the life span of a filling, such as:
- Your Eating Habits: Hard or sticky foods could damage a filling if you’re not careful. Be very aware of what you’re chewing and how it can affect your restoration.
- Dental Hygiene: Poor dental hygiene can easily lead to oral health issues that compromise your filling.
- Physical Trauma: A blow to the mouth could end up damaging the filling to the point where it no longer functions properly.
- Grinding of the Teeth: You might unconsciously grind your teeth while you’re asleep, and that could end up wearing down the filling along with the tooth it’s protecting.
How Do You Know If a Filling Needs to Be Replaced?
If your filling is visibly cracked or damaged, it’s a sign that it needs to be replaced right away. Dental pain and sensitivity when drinking cold beverages can also let you know that there is a problem with your restoration. Even if your filling appears to be in good condition, it may still be showing signs of wear and tear that you might not catch on your own; it’s a good idea to have your dentist examine any filling that has been in your mouth for 7 to 15 years.
How Can You Make Your Fillings Last?
Your filling will last longer if you take good care of it. Remember to brush and floss at least twice a day to protect your restoration and the tooth it’s attached to. Visit your dentist at least twice a year so they can check the filling for problems and take X-rays to look for any hidden decay. If you think you’re grinding your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to protect your fillings.
Fillings may not last forever, but you can make sure that you get your money’s worth with proper regular maintenance. And when the time does come that a filling needs to be replaced, you can trust your dentist to replace it with another durable and lifelike restoration that keep tooth safe for years to come.
About the Practice
At Bethel Dental Clinic, we’re focused on giving our patients comprehensive, personalized dental care. In other words, we take care of all your dental needs in one location, and all of the treatments you receive will be designed specifically for you. For example, the fillings we provide are shaded so that they match your natural teeth as closely as possible. If you think you need a filling replaced, contact us immediately through our website.