Does a Dental Filling Last Forever?

Many of us have dental fillings in our mouths as part of treatment for cavities. Dentists treat this form of tooth decay by removing the damaged part of the tooth and restoring its structure with a composite resin-based dental filling.

The filling will enhance the tooth’s ability to perform oral functions, like biting and chewing. It also creates a seal to protect this vulnerable section of your tooth from further damage.

Though durable, fillings will wear down over time, so this treatment does not last forever. If your filling sustains damage, you will need a new one to replace the worn filling and continue protecting your dental health. Find responses from your dentist to frequently asked questions about replacing dental fillings when you read on.

Does a Dental Filling Last Forever

How Long Does a Dental Filling Stay in My Tooth?

On average, a dental filling will stay in place in your tooth for about ten years. Then, natural wear and tear may make the filling loose or damaged. This can expose the vulnerable part of your tooth after cavity treatment, putting you in danger of new decay or infections.

A few factors might influence the lifespan of your filling. For instance, a metal-based filling might last a few years longer than a composite one. And your oral habits can influence the well-being of your filling.

A highly acidic diet, like when people drink citrus juices or consume added sugar, may contribute to enamel erosion. When your dental structure sustains damage, it will affect your filling as well. Then you may need a replacement filling at a faster rate.

Make sure you practice good oral hygiene in order to preserve the strength of your teeth. A healthy smile can ensure your dental work lasts for as long as possible.

How Can I Tell If I Need a New Filling?

Your dentist can evaluate the state of your dental filling when you attend a dental check-up. But you might also notice some signs of a damaged or worn filling that requires replacement on your own.

For instance, an old filling might not fill the entire space from the cavity anymore. This can expose the inner layers of the tooth, including the nerves, giving you tooth sensitivity pain. The filling might feel loose on the tooth, or you can notice odd pressure when you bite down on it.

You might also see visible signs of a worn filling. If you can see a hole in your tooth, or if the filling seems discolored, then it may be time to replace your filling.

How Will a Dentist Treat a Worn Filling?

Your dentist can usually replace an old filling within one dental appointment. They will first give you a local anesthetic to numb the affected area so that you do not feel anything during the procedure. Then, the dentist will remove the old filling from the tooth easily.

They can apply composite resin to the tooth and mold it to your unique standards. The dentist then cures the resin to harden and seal this new filling into place. If your underlying tooth suffers further damage, you may require a dental crown rather than a new filling to cover more of the surface of your tooth.