Dental care has advanced greatly in the last 20 or so years. One of the great advances has been in the invention of “tooth-colored” dental fillings. These fillings offer all the benefits of traditional “fillings” with the added advantage of looking natural in your teeth. In fact, most people will never know you’ve had a filling unless you tell them. That wasn’t the case with metal or gold dental fillings of the past.
The better you understand dental fillings and seek out answers to your many questions, including “how long do dental fillings last?” the more comfortable you will feel with the idea of dental fillings to preserve and protect your oral health. Here’s what you need to know.
Benefits of Dental Fillings
Many people blindly accept the fact that dental fillings are good ideas if you have cavities without giving a second thought to the question of “why?” More importantly, very few people take the time to fully understand the benefits these fillings deliver when it comes to long-term oral health. These are a few vital benefits dental fillings offer the average person.
- They fill cavities in a manner that helps prevent further tooth decay.
- Preserve the health of the tooth for years to come.
- Repairs damage (such as breakage) to teeth from injuries, aging, and poor eating habits.
- Prevents the spread of decay within a single tooth.
- Strengthens the structure of your tooth helping to prevent tooth loss.
In some cases, short-term or temporary fillings are used to protect your teeth during dental emergencies, after the loss of a crown, or while waiting for a crown to be placed following a root canal. For many people, though, the most important benefit of a dental filling is that it helps to relieve the pain you experience when biting into food, drinking something cold, and in other situations.
The bottom line is that dental fillings do so much more than simply treat cavities. If your dentist recommends dental fillings for your teeth, it can be for one of many reasons. Plus, the potential benefits dental fillings offer are well worth the investment for the average person.
While there is no simple answer that works for everyone, modern dental fillings can last quite a few years. In fact, the average expectation is that these fillings will continue to strengthen your teeth for 15 years or more provided you take proper care of your teeth during this time and continue with routine professional dental care during this time.
However, there are certain activities that may impact the longevity of your dental fillings in a negative way. The following are chief among them.
- Participation in physical sports and activities that could result in injury to your teeth.
- Chewing ice.
- Eating hard candy.
- Grinding your teeth.
- Biting your nails.
- Using your teeth to open things.
Taking good care of your teeth is the number one path to ensuring that your dental fillings last even longer. Some people have had fillings in good shape for 20 or more years.
Are Dental Fillings the Right Choice for You?
Dental fillings are commonly prescribed by dentists to treat cavities as well as for various other reasons. While there are many people, especially those who managed to avoid the need for dental fillings throughout childhood, who may be nervous about the prospect of dental fillings, most people find them to be a practically painless solution for preserving good overall oral health.
People who experience the following symptoms may benefit greatly from dental fillings.
- Persistent toothaches.
- Pain when biting down…
- Cold sensitivity.
- A visible hole in your tooth.
If you’re unsure about the prospect of dental fillings or feel nervous about your dentist’s recommendation that you receive a filling, the best thing you can do is discuss your concerns with your dentist and work together to come up with a solution that works best for you in the short and long-term.
Remember that cavities aren’t the only reason your dentist may recommend a filling. In fact, some dentists recommend them to prevent infections of “at-risk” teeth and to help preserve dental work they’ve done until a permanent solution can be administered. The better you understand the reasons behind your dentist’s recommendations for a filling, the more peace of mind you might find in the decision.
Why Choose Kawveh Nofallah DMD for Your Family Dental Care Needs?
If you’re in need of excellent family dental care in or around Lakeland, FL, you’ll find much to love about Dr. Nofallah. Not only does Dr. Nofallah use composite (tooth-colored) dental fillings, but he will give you the tools you need to make your dental fillings last longer by educating you about how to protect them and helping you maintain better overall oral health. Dr. Nofallah can even help you replace aging amalgam fillings with composite fillings because amalgam fillings expand over long periods of time which usually causes cracks throughout the tooth’s enamel and sometimes into the dentin. Composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing and offer greater general oral health benefits than older metal fillings.
Dr. Nofallah has been serving the oral health needs of Lakeland, FL families with his own dental practice since 2006. He specializes in family and cosmetic dentistry and believes in offering compassionate dental care to all the patients he serves while using advanced technology to make the process as comfortable as possible.
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