How Many Times Can a Filling Be Replaced?

How Many Times Can a Filling Be Replaced?

November 1, 2022

Restoring decayed teeth needs you to receive dental fillings in them to prevent the decay from spreading to create additional damage.

When you visit the dentist’s office in Poway, you might assume the filling material placed in your tooth lasts forever.

Sadly your assumption proves wrong because dental fillers aren’t created to remain in the tooth for life.

Depending on the filling material in your tooth, replacements might become necessary between 5 to 15 years unless you receive gold fillings that have incredible durability and last nearly 30 years.

Unfortunately, even with gold fillings, replacements eventually become necessary.

While there are no set guidelines for replacing dental fillings, the fillers generally last for ten years or more, except for gold fillers which last longer.

Besides the material that helped fill your tooth, factors affecting the lifespan of dental fillings include your eating habits, trauma to the tooth, decay around the filling, teeth grinding when sleeping, and dental hygiene practices.

Although different factors determine the durability of dental fillings, the material used can give you a fair idea of how long a specific filling will last.

For example, silver amalgam and ceramic fillings last for around 15 years, while composite and glass ionomer fillings have a lifespan of approximately five to seven years.

However, as recommended by your dentist, you can extend their longevity by caring for them and your teeth.

Why Might You Need Dental Fillings Replacements?

The lifespan of the dental filling itself doesn’t determine whether or not you need replacements for the filler in your tooth.

Dentists only replace dental fillings if they fall out, the filling material cracks, the dental filling leaks, or the filling wears out.

All four can occur due to various reasons that require replacements earlier than expected.

Can You Eat After a Filling?

The intention of providing dental fillings after removing tooth decay is to restore the functionality of your tooth to enable you to eat and smile without showing off dental flaws.

However, eating after getting dental fillings remains challenging because you must consider the filling material in your tooth and refrain from eating until the anesthesia you receive wears off.

Eating while your mouth is numb can make you prone to oral injuries that might need additional treatments from dentists.

If you receive a composite dental filling in Poway, CA, to restore a front tooth cavity, you can start eating soon after your mouth feels normal.

Unfortunately, if you received a silver amalgam filling on a molar, you must wait for 24 hours to enable the filling to set before eating with the treated tooth.

Composite fillings dry instantly and are hardened by the dentist providing the fillers, while silver amalgam fillers are placed in your tooth and left to dry by themselves.

Therefore besides exercising caution and waiting until the anesthesia wears off, you must also exercise care not to eat with the treated tooth for 24 hours after receiving silver amalgam fillings.

Do fillings Hurt without Injections?

The dental filling procedure is unlike managing bruises after falling by applying a topical ointment for relief. When tooth decay occurs, the dentist must eliminate the portion and disinfect your tooth before placing your chosen dental filler.

Removing tooth decay is painful and unbearable without local anesthesia injections.

Yes, the filling procedure hurts without injections, but dentists ensure you don’t experience the sensation of the injection by numbing your gums with a topical anesthetic before giving you local anesthesia.

After receiving the injection, you will likely feel some pressure as the dentist works on the tooth to remove decay by drilling the tooth and removing debris and excess material before disinfecting the tooth to prepare it for the filling.

Your tooth receives the filling material you chose at the end of the tooth-filling procedure to restore it to its former functionality.

If you lose the filling material for the reasons described earlier, you must have the tooth filled as soon as possible without assuming that your tooth might have recovered from the tooth decay because it doesn’t have a mechanism to restore itself.

You can replace dental fillings as sparsely as required by caring for them appropriately or as frequently as they are damaged or fallout to leave your tooth without protection.

Keeping your tooth in optimal shape should be your concern if you wish to prevent needing intensive treatments that might develop in the affected tooth if left unprotected.

North County Dental Group recommends replacing dental fillings whenever you notice any of the conditions described earlier.

If you have damaged, cracked, lost, or leaking fillings, consider restoring your tooth from this practice immediately if you want to avoid intensive treatments.

In-House Pediatric Specialist

Dr. Jackie Calcagno is our in-house pediatric dentist at North County Dental Group in Poway. She completed a residency in pediatric dentistry after graduating from dental school. Because of her experience and training, Dr. Jackie has a special touch with children, and understands how best to cater to their specific needs.

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