Your healthy smile relies on the health of your teeth and gums, both in how they function and in appearance. Dental fillings play an important role in helping you keep your natural teeth a long time.
There are made to withstand the forces of everyday chewing, and depending on the material used, can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Composite resin fillings last up to five years whereas cast gold fillings can last longer than 15 years. Naturally, both have their advantages, and where the filling needs to be placed can help you determine what kind is best for you, in addition to affordability. Fillings can be made from porcelain, composite resin, silver amalgam, cast gold and even glass ionomer.
Chips, Cracks, and Lost Fillings
With time, dental fillings can wear down, chip or crack, and even fall out completely. They can be repaired if the damage is not serious enough to require replacement. You may have a filling leak or crack, allowing food particles and bacteria to enter the area under the filling. You can’t clean under a filling, so bacteria will create acid which in turn can lead to tooth decay if it isn’t fixed. If you are experiencing no pain, you may not know this is happening and it can go on for a long time, unless you are keeping up with regular dental checkups. We can spot the problem even before you notice it is happening and fix it before it gets too destructive.
A filling can actually fall out from an injury, such as biting down too hard on something, or if the filling wasn’t strong enough for the tooth, particularly if it was a large filling area. In addition, a filling can fall out if it didn’t bond right to the tooth because saliva leaked into the cavity during the procedure. If the filling was put on the tooth higher than the surface, it can also develop cracks. Cracks sometimes develop around the edges of the filling which may, and these can be repaired rather than replaced. One other common cause of worn down fillings arises from bruxism–constant grinding of your teeth while you sleep.
Regular dental checkups help spot problems while they are in the early stages requiring minimal repair. Don’t let worn out dental fillings dampen your smile, if you are having problems with a filling, please feel free to come in for treatment by our dedicated dentist, Dr. Nicholas P. Kondon. You can reach our dental team in Concord, Massachusetts at 978.369.9090 today.