The Lifespan Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings and Tips for Aftercare
By J. Brent Gorrell on June 04, 2015
When patients visit the practice of Dr. J. Brent Gorrell, they can expect to receive excellent dental care that emphasizes both aesthetics and good overall health. This is what makes his practice one of the leading general dentistry practices in the Mountain View area.
On the note of aesthetics and overall wellness, let's take a look at tooth-colored dental fillings and how they can be of benefit to you.
About Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
Tooth-colored dental fillings refer to fillings that are white and resemble the shade of your natural tooth structure. These kinds of dental fillings have been increasing in popularity in dental offices over the last decade or so given the many aesthetic benefits of having a white filling in place.
The Average Lifespan of Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
While tooth-colored dental fillings are quite strong and do a great job and restoring the tooth structure that a person has lost, they cannot resist all potential damage over time. That's why the total lifespan of a tooth-colored dental filling is typically 5 years to 10 years. This can vary from patient to patient, so keep that in mind.
Tooth-Colored Dental Filling Lifespan vs. Metal Dental Filling Lifespan
In general, tooth-colored dental fillings are less durable than metal dental fillings, which can generally last up to 15 years with proper dental care.
Even with these matters in mind, it's important to note that tooth-colored dental fillings are still quite durable, all things considered.
Common Causes of Tooth-Colored Dental Filling Damage
The most common causes of damage to tooth-colored dental fillings is natural wear and tear on the teeth. This is simply the usual biting and chewing a person would do throughout the day.
In addition to natural wear and tear, patients who grind their teeth (a condition known as bruxism) can also do damage to their tooth-colored dental fillings in the process. Injuries sustained during accidents and contact sports can similar cause damage to white fillings, and so can biting or chewing on hard and/or inedible objects (e.g., ice cubes, pen caps, straws).
Though not a cause of filling damage per se, it's important for fillings to be replaced if there is tooth decay that forms around or beneath it. Removal of the filling is necessary to restore the entire tooth and avoid serious health issues.
Getting Your Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings Replaced
The process of getting your tooth-colored dental fillings replaced is similar to the process of getting the filling initially placed. Your dentist will first use a drill to help remove the filling and any damaged tooth structure. Once the tooth is prepped, a new tooth-colored filling can be layered into place. The process is simple and straightforward, and dentists take great care in maintaining as much of a patient's natural tooth structure as possible.
Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings
In order to prolong the life of your tooth-colored dental fillings, be sure to follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss your teeth every night
- Wear mouth protection during contact sports
- Wear face and head protection on bikes and in hazardous occupations
- Drink water to remove food particles on teeth and remain hydrated
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups
Learn More About Dental Fillings and Tooth-Colored Restorations
To learn more about tooth-colored dental fillings and your many other options for having a beautiful smile, we encourage you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Gorrell and the team at the practice look forward to your visit.
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“I moved out of the area 20 years ago and happily drive 40 miles to still see Dr. Gorrell. Best dentist ever.” Kevin B.