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How Long Do Metal-Free Fillings Last?
If you want to preserve your smile after getting a cavity, you might be interested in metal-free fillings. These fillings are made of composite resin materials that match your natural teeth. As with all filling materials, composite resin fillings do not last forever, but you can increase their longevity by following some guidelines. Get the details on the length of time these fillings last and what you can do to make them last even longer.
The life span of metal-free fillings
Composite resin fillings typically last for 5-10 years. Some people manage to keep the fillings longer, though. In fact, some patients have these fillings for 12 or more years. There are some factors that contribute to the length of time a filling will last. Some of the factors are out of people’s control, but other factors are based on people’s actions.
Factors that impact a filling’s longevity
Several factors contribute to how long a filling will last. The filling’s location is first on the list. Fillings on the front teeth tend to last longer because they do not experience as much pressure from chewing and biting. Size also plays a role in how long metal-free fillings last. Large fillings tend to break sooner than small fillings. Patients who require large fillings might want to choose another option, such as an onlay or inlay.
Personal habits can also affect the length of time the filling lasts. Consuming sugary foods and drinks can cause issues with the dental filling. People should also avoid biting down on ice and other hard objects.
Proper oral hygiene can also help a filling last for years. People should brush their teeth for two minutes at a time twice a day and floss daily. While some people have trouble flossing with metal fillings, flossing is simple with composite resin fillings. The filling blends in with the tooth, so people should floss like normal.
Conditions such as bruxism can also cause the filling to break or crack. Patients who suffer from bruxism should consult a dentist about the condition. The dentist might recommend a mouthguard to protect the teeth and the filling.
How to know when a filling needs to be replaced
It is not always obvious that a filling needs to be replaced. Instead, patients need to look for signs that the filling is no longer providing the protection they need. Some people experience a sharp pain when chewing. Others simply notice sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods or beverages. In some cases, the filling actually breaks off and ends up in the patient’s mouth. People with these symptoms should see a dentist immediately because it can become painful if the filling is not replaced soon.
Getting metal-free fillings
Composite metal fillings can last for 10 years or longer if you take care of them. Watch what you eat and drink and maintain proper oral hygiene. Also, if you have bruxism or another condition that can hurt your fillings, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can help you protect your fillings, so the restorations last longer.
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