A dental filling is a way to restore a tooth that has suffered damage from decay back to its proper function and shape. There are several different options for fillings, but the most aesthetically pleasing is the tooth-colored kind. You’re wondering, though, “How long will it last?” Your dentist in Milpitas weighs in to answer that question as you read on.
The Steps for Getting a Tooth-Colored Filling
Before we discuss the lifespan of a tooth-colored filling, let’s take a look at how it’s placed:
- Local Anesthesia – Before the procedure starts, your dentist will apply a local anesthesia to numb the area.
- Tooth Decay Removal – After accessing the decayed area, the professional will remove the infected tissue and thoroughly clean the area.
- Etching – Next, the tooth is prepared for the filling through a process called etching. It involves applying a small amount of acid that allows the bonding agent to adhere properly.
- Resin Application – The tooth-colored resin compound is then added to build up the tooth’s structure and restore its function.
- Polishing – The final step is to polish the tooth.
The procedure leaves you with a beautifully, restored tooth, but its longevity depends greatly on your care.
How Long Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Last?
Typically, tooth-colored fillings last a minimum of five years but can extend past 10 years with the proper care. The following variables play a big role in how long your restoration lasts:
- Oral Hygiene – It’s imperative that you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to maintain your oral health and extend the life of your restoration.
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) – A sure way to compromise your tooth-colored filling is to grind your teeth. The added pressure that is applied can cause your filling to fail early and can lead to a dental emergency.
- Food and Drink Consumption – The types of foods and beverages you consume play big parts in how long your restoration lasts as well. For example, high sugar consumption attracts bacteria, which then go on to cling to your teeth and around the gumline releasing corrosive acids. Limiting the consumption of such items will help to extend the life of your filling.
Why Timing is Important
It’s important to have a cavity filled before it becomes a bigger issue. That’s because bacteria don’t ever stop moving. Thus, what may be a more superficial cavity today will eventually lead to a gum or tooth infection if not treated early enough.
The best way to stay abreast of what’s going on with your mouth and to prevent issues like the above-mentioned is to reach out to your family dentist in Milpitas to schedule a preventive care visit today.
About the Author
Dr. Sumity Sharma earned her dental degree from the Government College of Dentistry in Indore, India. She would later become licensed by the California Dental Board and has been serving Bay Area patients since. Dr. Sharma takes a personalized approach to delivering care so that every patient leaves her office healthier and feeling special. She restores smiles to normal with tooth-colored fillings at California Happy Teeth Family Dentistry and can be reached for more information through her website.