Can Composite Fillings Last a Lifetime?

What are dental fillings?

For people who get dental cavities, dentists often recommend dental fillings as soon as possible. If not, they run a high risk of getting infected or suffering from gum diseases. Several materials are used for fillings, but the most common are amalgam and composite resin. 

  • Amalgam fillings – Dental amalgam is a combination of metals made up of powdered silver, tin, and copper alloy and liquid (elemental) mercury. Elements of mercury make up around half (50%) of dental amalgam by weight.
  • Composite fillings – An organic resin polymer matrix, inorganic filler particles, a silane coupling agent, initiators/accelerators, and colors make up a resin composite.

While amalgam has been in use for a long period of time, composite fillings have been rapidly gaining popularity as well. Their better aesthetics and durability have contributed majorly to their rising popularity.

What are composite fillings?

Composite fillings near you are a common choice for restoring teeth that have been cracked, chipped, or decayed. These fillings are constructed of resin that is tooth-coloured and bonded to the tooth to produce a restoration that looks natural. So, what is this tooth-coloured substance? It actually consists of a plastic (acrylic) resin mixture that has been strengthened with glass filler powder.

Alongside fillings, this material can be used for a variety of purposes, namely in the fabrication of other dental prosthetics including, but not limited to, dental inlays, crowns, veneers, and bridges. 

Why should I get composite fillings?

There are several reasons why your dentist may urge you to opt for composite resin fillings rather than amalgam fillings. Some of them are:

  • Composite fillings are known for being durable.
  • They are tooth-coloured and hence, virtually invisible.
  • Can be installed in a single visit to a dentist near you.
  • They resist fractures.
  • Can be used to repair minor defects and major damage.
  • Only short-term sensitivity to temperature after the procedure.

How are composite fillings installed?

At the outset of your appointment, your dentist in Carrollwood could choose the shade of composite to use for your filling. According to some studies, it’s best to establish this match as soon as possible, before your mouth and teeth start to dry up, which could reduce the brilliance of your teeth.

To numb the tooth and surrounding area, a numbing chemical will be administered. This will also help keep you calm. Once you’re settled, your dentist will proceed to drilling into your tooth to both access and address the rotten portion of your tooth. 

The composite material will be layered into the gap in your tooth. The composite filling will be cured and allowed to be set using a light by the dentist. The light will be utilized to cure each layer of the composite because it is applied in layers, before moving on to the next.

Lastly, the tooth will be carefully polished after the dentist makes sure it looks good; they may need to make additional adjustments to its shape so that it looks completely natural. They will also ensure that the restoration is comfortable and hasn’t negatively impacted your bite.

How long will my composite fillings last?

Factors affecting the longevity of composite fillings are as follows: 

  • Size and location of the filling

The size of a composite filling can have an impact on how long it lasts. More wear and strain over time may cause larger fillings to become more prone to fracturing or cracking. Similar to this, fillings in mouth regions that endure more pressure from biting and chewing may deteriorate more quickly.

  • Patient’s oral hygiene habits

The longevity of a composite filling might also be impacted by the patient’s oral hygiene practices. The bond between the filling and the tooth can be weakened by decay forming around the filling, which can be avoided by routine cleaning and flossing. A patient’s composite fillings may also last less time if they grind their teeth or have a history of gum disease.

  • The material used by the dentist

The durability of a composite filling may also depend on the materials the dentist uses. Although they could be more expensive, high-quality materials are frequently more robust and long-lasting. Composite fillings and cosmetic dental specialists may also have more experience and expertise in putting in and caring for these kinds of fillings.

  • Food habits

The longevity of a composite filling may also be impacted by your food and lifestyle habits. A balanced diet and avoiding sugary and acidic foods and drinks can help prevent tooth decay and filling damage.

Also, you can assist prevent chips and cracks in the filling by abstaining from behaviours like nail biting and using your teeth as tools.

The benefit of composite fillings is that they can be readily added to and corrected, though. This implies that rather than having to replace the entire device if a piece breaks, we can just add it back in.

Going for regular dental checkups is essential. Even after you get your fillings, you should make it a habit to visit a dentist near you twice a year.

Your composite fillings can last anytime from 5 to 7 to even 10 years. Generally, they are not designed to last a lifetime.

Regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene habits can help prolong the lifespan of a composite filling, but eventually, it will need to be replaced.

How can I maximize the durability of my composite fillings?

Here are some oral hygiene hints to help you maintain your composite filling for a longer period of time.

  • Each day after a meal, brush and floss your teeth.
  • Avoid meals like tea, coffee, and wine that could discolor your filling.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods to lower your risk of tooth decay.
  • Use any non-abrasive toothpaste and a gentle toothbrush.
  • Fluoride gels are advised for people with several fillings to help strengthen their enamel and prolong the life of their fillings.
  • Do not clench your teeth.

Get composite fillings at a dentist near you in Carrollwood, Tampa

At Playa Family Dentistry in Carrollwood, our family-friendly staff and environment immediately put you in your comfort zone. Our patient-focused treatments and dentists give their best efforts to make getting composite fillings easier for you. If you’re confused or just need a consultation, come see your family dentist in Carrollwood today!

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