Since fillings are so common, chances are that you’ve had, or will have, a dental filling done at some point. It may feel like once the filling is in place you can simply forget about it, but this isn’t the case. Dental fillings require careful upkeep and will eventually need to be replaced. There are, however, certain measures you can take to keep your fillings healthy and long lasting. Depending on the size of the filling, you may also want to consider getting a crown as a better, long-lasting alternative.
WHAT ARE DENTAL FILLINGS?
The main purpose of a dental filling is to restore your tooth to its natural shape and function. If you’re experiencing tooth decay or have cracked or chipped one of your teeth, your dentist may recommend treating it with a dental filling. This treatment begins with the dentist removing the damaged tooth material and then proceeding to clean the cavity. The cavity is then filled with amalgam, a metal filling or resin, a tooth-coloured filling.
LIFESPAN OF A DENTAL FILLING
Whether it’s made of resin or amalgam, a dental filling will typically last for approximately ten years. Your daily habits will greatly impact the state of your fillings and determine how soon they’ll need to be replaced. For example, eating a healthy diet, visiting your dentist regularly, and brushing and flossing twice a day will increase their lifespan, while smoking and consuming food or drink that stain will cause them to deteriorate more quickly.
During one of your routine visits, your dentist may notice tooth decay and suggest that you have a dental filling done. However, in some instances you might find yourself in need of an emergency filling. This may be the case if you suddenly find yourself experiencing major tooth pain, or if you’ve cracked or chipped one of your teeth. If a situation like this arises, contact your emergency dentist immediately. Having the problem dealt with quickly will not only save you a lot of pain but will also prevent it from developing into something more serious, such as an infection.
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