If you know someone who’s had a filling, it’s likely they probably have one of the traditional restorative solutions that are made of amalgam. Easy to spot because of their gold or silver appearance, they’re becoming less frequently used by dentists nowadays. The reason is that more dental professionals are turning to tooth-colored composite resin fillings that are metal-free and blend in with the rest of your smile. As nice as they look, you might be asking, “do fillings need to be replaced?” Let’s find out.
Why Do I Need a Filling?
When a tooth is damaged or decayed, and it is not only hindering the look of your smile but its health, too, it is necessary for you to seek treatment by your dentist as soon as possible. The most common recommended treatment is a filling, which is used to fill a tooth and keep reinfection from occurring. Fillings are designed to help your tooth regain its strength and bring it back to its original state.
Although they can be made from a variety of materials (i.e. gold, porcelain, silver), the most popular is composite resin. More and more dentists are turning to a natural-looking filling that gives patients a restoration that blends in seamlessly with their smile.
Do Fillings Ever Need to Be Replaced?
The truth is, yes, fillings do need to be replaced. With traditional amalgam fillings, you might be so lucky to get 10-15 years, but with composite fillings, they might last between 7 and 10 years. The stress placed on teeth day-in and day-out can cause fillings to wear down over time. In other instances, fillings can become chipped, cracked, or even fall out. When this happens, it will be necessary for you to have them replaced. Fortunately, the process to replace them is quite simple, leaving you a beautiful, completely restored smile.
What is the Process for a Filling?
In one appointment, your dentist will restore your tooth and have you on your way. To start, he will check for cavities and identify any areas that require a filling. Numbing the area thoroughly, he will enter through the top of the tooth to reach the decayed or damaged area. Once it is cleaned and shaped appropriately, he will fill it with the composite resin, which will be matched to your natural tooth color prior to placement. Bonding the resin into the prepared cavity, this will restore the structure and appearance of your tooth.
One of the great aspects of these tooth-colored fillings is that they will not change shape or become decayed over time, and although they might not last as long as an amalgam filling, you can feel better knowing your restoration is metal-free and hidden from the view of others.
About the Author
Dr. Johnny Cheng graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry before joining Hulen Dental in 1999. Creating beautiful smiles for his many patients, Dr. Cheng uses modern technology and materials when placing crowns, bridges, and even fillings. Instead of using traditional amalgam, Dr. Cheng embraces tooth-colored composite resin fillings to provide his patients with complete, blended smiles. To learn more, contact us at (817) 292-5957.