Dental fillings are among the most commonly performed restorative procedures worldwide. And, thanks to modern dentistry, there are various options available to restore damaged teeth while restoring their optimal function and aesthetics. So, if your dentist has informed you that you need a filling in one of your teeth, you might be wondering about how long they last. But, if you still need help finding an answer to this question, you have come to the right place. Continue reading to learn everything you need about the service life of various dental filling materials.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
The service life of dental fillings depends on various factors:
- The Type of Filling – various materials are available for restoring damaged teeth, such as silver amalgam, tooth-coloured composite, and glass ionomers. The service life of each of these materials is different. However, silver amalgam and composite fillings can last more than 10 years if looked after properly.
- The Extent of Tooth Damage – the more extensive the tooth damage, the larger will be the size of the filling, and the greater its risk of fracturing under pressure. So, smaller fillings tend to last longer.
- The Dentist’s Skill – the more experienced and qualified a dentist is, the better their restorative procedure is, and the longer-lasting their fillings will be.
- Oral Hygiene Status – the service life of dental fillings is enhanced considerably if one looks after their oral health through toothbrushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.
How Long Do White Fillings Last?
Like other dental fillings, the service life of tooth-coloured bonded dental restorations also depends on various factors, the most important among them being one’s oral health status and diet. However, according to the Cleveland Clinic, white fillings typically last around 10 years. Still, their service life can be further enhanced with optimal oral hygiene care, diet management, and regular dental checkup visits.
Which One Lasts Longer, Silver Fillings Or White Fillings?
Silver fillings are restorations made of liquid mercury and metal alloys. Although these restorations were used very commonly a few decades ago, their use has declined over the years, mainly due to their health-related concerns. If we compare the service life longevity of silver and white fillings, the winner is amalgam fillings. Silver amalgam fillings typically last for 10-20 years, even longer. However, this does not mean that bonded fillings are not durable. The fact is that contemporary bonded restorations are much more durable these days and can last more than a decade if looked after carefully.
How Long Does It Take A Dental Filling To Harden?
The time required for a dental filling to harden depends on its material. For example, a silver amalgam filling takes about 24 hours to harden completely. This is because the chemical reaction between silver and the metal alloy continues for a prolonged duration, resulting in the hardening of the restoration. On the other hand, bonded restorations harden as soon as they are exposed to a suitable light source.
Are Composite Resin Fillings Better Than Amalgam Fillings?
Both composite and amalgam fillings have their own merits and demerits. For example, amalgam fillings are cost-effective and last longer. On the other hand, composite fillings are aesthetically more pleasing and do not carry any health hazards. So, if aesthetics and safety are your concerns, then composite restorations are better the silver amalgam fillings.
What Is A Composite Filling In Dentistry?
A composite filling is a tooth-coloured restoration made of a polymer resin and a fiiller material. The filling comes in the form of a paste with different shades. Your dentist will select the precise shade of the restoration that matches your teeth and then apply it to the affected tooth. After the filling has been shaped appropriately, your dentist will expose it to a special light, which initiates a polymerisation reaction and hardens the restoration.
Are Fillings Stronger Than Teeth?
No filling material is stronger than one’s teeth. This is because the outer coating of the teeth, the enamel, comprises mainly minerals that make it the hardest part of the body. That is why dentists always ask their patients to take care of their natural teeth and prevent tooth decay, since there is nothing better than them. Dental fillings are just an option to restore the aesthetics and function of damaged teeth. But, these restored teeth can never be as strong as natural ones.
Are Composite Dental Fillings Harmful Or Safe For Humans?
Previously, there had been concerns regarding the safety of resin-based composite fillings, owing to the presence of Bisphenol-A in them. This compound is known to cause adverse health effects in the body. However, research has shown that the amount of Bisphenol-A in composite restorations is insufficient to cause untoward health effects. Furthermore, most contemporary composite restorations are Biphenol-A-free. Hence, composite restorations are safe for dental restorations, and don’t cause any health effects.
One of the most crucial factors that determines the aesthetics, quality, and longevity of dental restorations is the skill of the dentist. So, it is advisable to always visit an experienced and qualified dentist whenever dental fillings are needed. So, if you reside in West Midlands and you’re looking for a good dentist in your area, Streetly Smiles is the best option. We provide all dental services under one roof at affordable rates. So, for more information, contact us today and let us give you a smile that you genuinely deserve.