The Lifespan of Dental Fillings and Proper Aftercare

By Steven Kail on March 30, 2015

A woman undergoing a dental examThe team at Premier Dental Center is proud to provide patients in and around the greater Jackson, Bells, and Brownsville are with exceptional dental care. We offer comprehensive general dentistry treatments that improve overall dental health and wellness, from routine checkups to advanced restoration work.

Dental fillings are a common part of dental care that many people take for granted. Let's take a moment to consider the lifespan and proper care of dental fillings.

The General Lifespan of Dental Fillings

The lifespan of dental fillings can vary a fair amount based on their composition and their location in a person's mouth.

In general, the following lifespans for dental fillings are common:

  • Metal Dental Fillings - The lifespan of metal dental fillings tends to be roughly 10 to 15 years.
  • Composite/Tooth-colored Dental Fillings - The lifespan of composite dental fillings tends to be roughly 5 to 10 years.

During your regular checkups, your dentist will be able to determine when fillings need to be replaced.

Common Causes of Dental Filling Wear and Tear

Some of the most common causes of dental filling wear and tear include:

  • Biting and Chewing - Regular actions like biting and chewing can have a negative affect on the condition of your dental fillings. Over time, major wear and tear to the dental filling can occur, requiring replacement.
  • Injury to the Teeth - When the teeth are injured (e.g., chipped or cracked), it's possible for a dental filling to be damaged in some way. Replacement will be necessary.
  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) - Teeth grinding is the gnashing, clenching, and shifting of the teeth during sleep. It can do a number on your teeth and jaw joint, and it can also have a negative effect on your fillings.

Other Reasons to Remove a Dental Filling

In addition to damage to the dental fillings, there are other reasons why a filling may need to be removed:

  • Issues with Tooth Decay Around the Restoration - Tooth decay may form around the dental fillings that you have in place, necessitating removal of the filling in order to address the issue affecting your tooth.
  • Problems with Tooth Structure Caused by Acidic Erosion - Dental erosion occurs when the pH of the mouth is too acidic. In these cases, tooth structure wears down and needs to be restored, which will sometimes require the removal of the filling to properly address.
  • The Need for a More Substantial Dental Restoration - When tooth decay progresses or damage is done to tooth structure, the dental filling in place simply won't cut it. Using a more substantial dental restoration (e.g., inlay, onlay, crown) will be necessary for proper care.

Aftercare Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Dental Fillings

In order to make your dental fillings last as long as possible, it's important that you consider the following tips:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night
  • Wear mouth protection when playing contact sports or combat sports
  • Do not chew on hard or inedible objects
  • Visit your dentist regularly for routine checkups

Contact Premier Dental Center

For more information about dental fillings and how you can have a smile that's healthy and beautiful, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team here at Premier Dental Center looks forward to seeing you.

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