Dental Fillings: Do you Know Their Lifespan?
- Posted on: Feb 28 2018
Tooth repair has evolved significantly in just the past few hundred years. Before that time, there was no formal practice of dentistry. As newer techniques did emerge, it would not be uncommon for a person to get their teeth fixed by the very same person who also cut their hair. What an interesting dental fact! What we want to discuss here is the use of dental fillings as conservative restorative fixtures, and how we recognize when it is time for a replacement.
Dental Fillings Don’t Last Forever
Our natural teeth can last forever, which is why we at Ridgeview Family Dental value prevention. When teeth sustain damage of any sort, repair is necessary. We choose specific materials to repair teeth based on their strength and overall durability. Doctors belive that dental amalgam, for instance, can last decades. Newer ceramics and composite materials are also long-lasting and are also preferable due to their resemblance to natural teeth. However capable these materials are of fortifying teeth after the damage has occurred, they do not last forever.
Just about every dental restoration that is dentists install today will need replacing in the future. Here’s how we know when that time has come:
- Cracks around the margin. We call the edges of a filling its margins. The margin extends all the way around the filling and is the line where the filling meets the tooth. This line must be tight for the tooth to gain full protection. If we notice cracks at the margin or in enamel near the margin, patients will need subsequent treatment to replace the old filling with a new restoration.
- It is possible for a cavity to develop near an existing filling when cracks or separation has occurred. This can happen when the margins of a filling are so subtle that the naked eye cannot observe them, and when bacteria collect in hidden spaces. Depending on the size of the original filing and the extent of decay, the replacement restoration may need to be a dental crown or only.
- Over time, the daily force of biting and chewing wears down our teeth. In the same way, it is possible for restorations to also erode to such an extent that their value is greatly diminished.
Replacing dental fillings may not be avoidable. Our experienced team works hard to make all of your dental care comfortable and pleasant. For more information on restorative treatment options, schedule a visit to an office near you.