Do I Need to Replace My Dental Filling?

October 23, 2017

dental chairNothing lasts forever, and the same holds true for your dental fillings. A common misconception is that once a tooth is filled, it’s in there for good. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
While your filling will eventually need to be replaced no matter what, it could last years with proper care.

What is a Filling?

When your tooth has been damaged by decay, a dental filling helps restore it back to its original condition.

To repair your tooth, your dentist first removes decayed tooth material. Then, the dentist places a durable, tooth-like substance into the opening.

Fillings can be made of gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), or an amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).  These days, the most popular fillings are composite fillings. Many patients prefer these as they have a more natural appearance than metal fillings, and don’t sacrifice much durability.

How Long Will My Filling Last?

Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer. If you take excellent care of your teeth, your filling could last anywhere from 7-20 years. However, it could last for more or less time depending on factors like the size,  location, and how well you care for your teeth.

We ask a lot of our fillings. They end up undergoing constant stress since we’re always putting pressure on them when we eat. This can cause the filling to eventually loosen, creating a pocket where food particles can collect, promoting decay.

This is another of the many reasons why it’s crucial to see your dentist twice a year for a checkup. Using an X-ray, a dental professional can see what’s brewing under the surface of your teeth.

Early detection of a compromised filling is crucial because the earlier the issue is resolved, the less chance there is that you’ll need a more serious procedure, like a root canal or extraction.

Is There a Warranty on Fillings?

Dental X-RayAt Castle Pines Dental Group, we understand that your teeth are an investment. That’s why we guarantee our dental fillings for 5 years. If your composite filling fails due to decay, breakage, or misfit, you will refund the cost of your procedure at no cost to you.

The guarantee is conditional based on whether you visit the office for your cleanings and checkups every 6 months. The “drill, fill, and bill” approach to oral health is costly, and can lead to poor dental health, so we like to encourage our patients to brush and floss every day and to visit our office for a cleaning every 6 months.

The Best Kind of Filling is No Filling!

The best way to prevent your fillings from falling out or getting damaged is to avoid needing fillings to begin with!

Thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and seeing a dentist twice a year will go a long way toward keeping your teeth healthy and intact.