A majority of people will experience at least one cavity in their lives. A dentist can treat this early form of tooth decay by drilling away the damaged part of the tooth and filling the resulting hole with composite resin. This dental filling will restore the structure of the tooth as well as prevent further harm from affecting this vulnerable spot in the tooth.
You might already have a filling in your smile, and you may wonder whether this fixture can help you maintain good oral health for the rest of your life. A filling will not last forever, but proper oral health care can help you maximize its benefits. Read on to learn details about what to expect from cavity treatment with a dental filling.
How Long Will a Dental Filling Last?
Dental fillings are made with durable resin that cures and hardens in a way similar to cement to stay in place in the tooth. But they cannot last forever. Eventually, the fixtures will wear down over time. However, with proper care and maintenance, a filling can remain in your tooth for about ten years.
You can eat and perform other functions with your filling in place without issue usually. But you should follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions after your cavity treatment to ensure the dental work settles properly.
Can a Dental Filling Fall Out of a Tooth?
Under high or irregular pressures, a dental filling could erode, loosen, or fall out of a tooth before its usual time. If this occurs, the protective seal from the resin breaks. Then the underlying tooth will be in danger from plaque and bacteria. You could easily form another cavity in this spot of the tooth.
Damage to your filling will need urgent evaluation, repair, and replacement before the tooth suffers further harm. So call your dentist for an emergency dental appointment if you notice any issues.
Biting on a hard item or at an awkward angle could generate pressure that might hurt your dental filling. Constant grating from clenching or grinding teeth can lead to this type of dental damage as well. Pay attention to your oral habits that could potentially harm your dental work.
How Can I Get the Most out of a Filling?
Take care of your dental filling by keeping good oral health habits. This includes practicing proper oral hygiene at home. Otherwise, plaque will eat away at your dental structure which could impact the fit of your filling.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and attend routine teeth cleanings at your dentist’s office to maximize your preventative dental care. Do not delay treatment for any dental problems as this could threaten your prior dental work too. Regular oral exams from your dentist will allow the opportunity to check that your filling still fits and functions as it should, so do not skip these appointments.