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Tooth-Colored Fillings: Proper Aftercare and Average Lifespan

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. May 26, 2015

A woman smiling at the cameraPatients of Family Dental Care have place their trust in Dr. Danny O'Keefe for years. This is because he is a trusted and respected dental care provider in the Jackson area, offering excellent cosmetic dentistry services to enhance the look of smiles as well as advanced restorative dentistry to improve dental wellness.

One kind of dental treatment actually combines the cosmetic and restorative aspects of care: tooth-colored dental fillings. Let's take a moment to consider these right now.

About Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings

Tooth-colored dental fillings are similar to metal fillings but are composed of a special ceramic bonding material instead of a metal amalgam. They are generally sturdy given their composition, and they offer an aesthetically pleasing way to address tooth decay and minor tooth damage, blending in quite well with your natural tooth structure.

Tooth-colored dental fillings are common for the most prominent teeth of your smile, though they can be used for the pre-molars and molars as well.

How long do tooth-colored dental fillings last?

In general, tooth-colored dental fillings last up to 10 years. (Metal dental fillings can last up to 15 years.) The overall lifespan can vary from patient to patient for a variety of reasons. The location of the filling has a particularly important bearing on the lifespan of a dental filling.

Reasons for Tooth-Colored Dental Filling Replacement

Some common reasons for tooth-colored dental filling replacement include:

  • General wear and tear
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Injury to the tooth
  • Tooth decay around the filling
  • Infection of a tooth

In these cases, the old tooth-colored filling will need to be removed and replaced with another dental restoration.

What is the filling replacement process like?

The replacement process for a dental filling is similar to the initial placement of the filling. A dentist works carefully to remove the filling and/or the damaged tooth structure around it. Additional prepping of the tooth will be done to ensure there is a smooth surface for a new restoration to be placed.

If a new filling is all that is required, the composite material will be created, color-matched to the tooth, and placed. For more substantial restorations such as an inlay, onlay, or crown, an impression will be required so that this dental restoration can be custom crafted and properly fitted for the needs of the patient.

During a consultation at the practice, we will determine the ideal replacement solution and provide you with all the information you need to make a confident choice about these matters.

Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings

In order to prolong the life of you tooth-colored dental fillings, the following tips should be considered:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night
  • Drink water to remove food particles between teeth and stay hydrated
  • Avoid chewing on inedible and/or hard objects (e.g., fingernails, ice cubes)
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups

Visit Family Dental Care Today

For more information about how you can have a healthy and beautiful smile for years and years to come, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team here at Family Dental Care looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve a beautiful smile.

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