Although dental fillings can last for years if well-cared for, they are not indestructible and may need replacing on occasion. When they need replacing depends on the type of filling you have. Some of the reasons for replacing a filling is that it falls out, there may be additional decay, or it simply wears out.
Many people choose to have a cavity filled with a composite material because it blends with the color of their teeth. However, they can discolor, and our dentists at Mass Bay Dental in Salem, MA will need to replace it. The material can also stain by drinking coffee, tea, dark colas, or from some of the foods you eat, such as tomato-based sauces.
Fillings can wear out, especially on teeth where you chew food. The forces of chewing are tremendous, causing your fillings to fail and require replacements to continue protecting your teeth. You may notice the deterioration of the cavity as it may leak or fall out.
If you notice a cracked or worn out filling, you should schedule an appointment to replace the cavity. If you don’t, food particles can get under the remaining filling, break down, and cause further decay. However, if one of our dentists near you replaces the filling immediately, then the tooth can remain in great shape.
The length of time that fillings last will depend on what materials the dentist uses for them. Amalgam fillings, which are a mixture of metals, including liquid mercury, can last up to 15 years with care, and gold can last longer than amalgam. However, there may be some fillings that only last about five years before they need replacing.
To make your fillings last longer, you should start taking good care of them from the time you get them. To prolong the fillings:
Most importantly, see our dentists at Mass Bay Dental in Salem, MA twice a year for routine check-ups and cleanings.