Immortality is a concept that remains true only in fantasy-based stories. In the real world, almost everything has a limited lifespan. This includes all living beings and even inanimate objects. Even plastic, which is considered to take a very long time to recycle, reaches its end within 1000 years. Then it is only natural that your dental fillings will also have an end date to their lifespan.
Cavities lead to tooth decay, leaving hollow space in your teeth. A filling is used to close the space in your teeth to prevent bacteria from causing further decay. However, these dental fillings have a limited lifespan and require replacement after a certain period.
Factors affecting the life of dental fillings
- Type of material used: certain dental filling materials tend to have a longer lifespan compared to others. Dental fillings made of composite material can last for a minimum of 5 years, and with proper dental care, can go beyond ten years. Silver amalgam fillings last for about 10-15 years, and gold fillings last for 15-30 years.
- Size of the dental filling: The size of the dental filling has a direct bearing on how long dental fillings last. Based on the size of the cavity, your dentist will decide on the type of the filling material.
- Lifestyle habits: Stress, constant clenching and grinding of teeth, smoking and food items that can exert pressure on the filling can reduce the lifespan of your dental filling.
Types of dental filling
There are three main types of dental fillings – gold, silver, and composite. Gold fillings are costlier than other types of fillings, but it does not corrode easily and has a longer lifespan. Silver fillings are relatively less expensive. They are made of silver, mercury, and tin. Composite fillings are made from plastic and glass. They are cosmetic in nature as they resemble the natural color of your teeth.
What can make your fillings last longer?
- Keeping your teeth healthy: Good oral hygiene habits go a long way in ensuring the longevity of your dental fillings. By good habits, we mean brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash every day.
- Regular dental visits: It is important that you go for periodic dental checkups after getting dental fillings. Dentists can detect problems with your filling early on and help you from suffering further damage.
- Maintaining good diet: Think before you eat. Opt for foods that won’t cause your filling to chip off.
- Avoiding clenching and grinding: Clenching and grinding are the number 1 enemies of your teeth. Find out the root cause of your teeth clenching and grinding to nip the problem in the bud.
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