A: Fillings can last your entire life if everything goes great. So, these days it’s now more about home care, regular visits, and keeping up more than anything else. If we have a great patient with great home care and regular visits, the fillings we placed ten years ago can still be in there. There’s never really a time where we have to replace a filling simply because it’s time. The reason we replace a filling is that new decay has occurred, or something worse has happened to the patient.
It’s safe to say that for most people, getting fillings in Corpus is not something they look forward to. In fact, some are downright terrified of it—the intimidating sound of the drill alone can be a deal-breaker. It’s estimated that over 75% of adults have a serious fear of visiting the dentist for a variety of reasons.
Another thing that adults don’t look forward to?
Having their teeth pulled due to decay from cavities.
The fear of the consequences of cavities and the pain associated, end up forcing people to face their fear. They make an appointment to either escape the pain of cavities, or from fear of having teeth pulled because of an untreated cavity.
The problem with this approach is—you could be causing more damage and more pain if you wait till there’s no choice. You see, cavities are a part of life—some are more susceptible than others due to genes or habits. However, once you discover a cavity you should have it filled immediately. Oh, there’s one other problem—discovering cavities requires regular visits to the dentist.
Fillings In Corpus Are A Long Term Fix
For most people, the reason they don’t visit the dentist regularly is due to fear of finding cavities. The irony is, the earlier they find cavities the easier and less painful the treatment is. Pulling a tooth that has decayed too far is far more painful than a filling. In fact, once you get past the shot of novocaine in a filling procedure—you don’t feel a thing.
After all the anxiety and fear is passed, the procedure is completed without incident. Your dentist has removed the decay, filled in the tooth, and polished it down. That’s it, simple as that no lingering pain, no swelling—no fuss. Hopefully, the easy, painless visit will encourage you to get checkups more often, in order to maintain a healthy smile.
Getting fillings in Corpus is probably one of the least painful and invasive procedures in dentistry. You can eat and live your life as normal right when you leave. There’s no recovery, no residual pain—you just need to take care of your filling and your teeth.
You see, a filling is a long-term fix, they don’t have an expiration date. However, without proper dental care and due to circumstances—they may not last forever. Essentially, there is no definitive lifespan of fillings in Corpus as it depends on several factors. What you need to do to get a general idea of how long they will last—is to learn a bit about fillings.
Types Of Fillings
A filling is exactly what it sounds like—a filler for a cavity to prevent further damage to your tooth. A cavity, as you know, is a hole in a tooth where tooth matter has rotted away. A cavity slowly and gradually gets deeper, so early detection is best. The deeper the cavity, the more difficult and painful it is to correct. Even though most fillings in Corpus that are offered are made of composite, there are several other materials available. Whichever one you and your dentist choose depends on cavity size, location of the tooth, and your budget.
Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of different metals usually silver and some other affordable metal. Resistant to wear, these fillings can take the force from chewing constantly, so they’re a good solution for molar cavities. Dentists also use amalgam for cavities that are hard to keep dry such as ones below the gum line. While amalgam fillings are the least expensive option, it should be noted they don’t blend in well and don’t appeal to most patients. Also, there is a very small percentage of people that are allergic to the metals used so that is something to consider.
Gold fillings, also called inlays, are made in a lab using a mold of your tooth taken in the dentist’s office. Once they are completed, they are affixed to your tooth using dental cement adhesive. Gold is preferred by many patients due to its durability and strength. At the same time, due to its remarkable durability—gold is also the most costly option.
Porcelain fillings are also lab-created and while not as durable as gold, they are quite strong and can last a long time too. Porcelain is often chosen because the color matches your tooth perfectly and is stain resistant. That being said, they are not stain-proof and they are the second most expensive option but not by much.
Composites are a nice balance of value and aesthetics, like porcelain the color can be matched to your tooth. However, they aren’t as durable as metallic or porcelain but they are far less expensive. Composites will stain from certain foods, so proper dental care as with all fillings, is especially important to avoid discoloration. Composites are suited best for fillings of high visibility and low friction from chewing. However, many patients opt for composite fillings no matter which tooth it is. This is because they can still last a long time despite being less durable than other options. It all depends on how you care for them.
When To Replace Fillings In Corpus
Fillings are not a wear and tear part so to speak. When they need to be replaced all depends on home care and your individual situation. For example, a patient that brushes and flosses three times daily and has no underlying issues—long filling life. A patient that brushes once daily, rarely flosses, and has recurring gum disease—much shorter filling life.
Also, the size of the filling used has a sizeable impact on how long your filling might last. A smaller cavity means you have most of your tooth intact and healthy. A larger cavity means most of your tooth has decayed and there is more filling than tooth. So, no matter the type of material used, a small filing will generally last longer than a larger one.
Potential Problems With Big Fillings
When you have a large filling compared to the less healthy tooth matter that is left, this can lead to future problems such as:
- Filling Separation: While this can happen for a multitude of reasons, you will know when it does. Unless you accidentally swallow the filling or it falls out, you will feel the filling in your mouth when it separates from the tooth. And if anything, the pain alone will be a sure sign that it has indeed separated. When this happens, get to your dentist ASAP to have it repaired.
- Filling Cracks: For any other material other than gold, cracking is a potential problem. It’s not as obvious as separation but you may notice a sensitivity to temperature. Even if you don’t get the sensitivity, a regular checkup will reveal any filling cracks. Luckily, cracked fillings are an easy fix.
- Filling Leaks: Sounds weird, but a filling can actually leak unless it’s a gold filling. If your filling leaks, it will typically occur right after being set in place. Again, sensitivity to temperature will be your sign and you should follow-up with your dentist ASAP
- Wear And Tear: Regardless of what material your filling is made out of, eventually it will wear out. Aside from the above situations, you won’t typically notice anything odd, it will normally be discovered on a checkup visit.
How Long Will Your Fillings Last?
As we’ve covered, all fillings wear out eventually, determining how long they will last is not an exact science. However, under normal circumstances, good oral hygiene and regular exams will ensure you get the most from your fillings. Assuming you have no underlying complications, your fillings could last up to a decade or more.
Start With The Best Fillings In Corpus
While the best way to get the longest life out of your fillings is to take care of your teeth, starting treatment right is critical. Choosing the best dentist in Corpus will ensure your filling is done properly—the first time. At Vela Dental Center we pay attention to every detail when repairing cavities. Contact us today to get your cavities fixed—there’s nothing to fear!