A dental filling can help to restore the form and function of a damaged or decayed tooth. When you get a tooth filled, you need to take good care of it. This will help to ensure it continues to work effectively. Any dentist will tell you that by properly caring for your oral health, you can minimize the risk of further cavities. It will also help prevent damage to your fillings.
The lifetime of a dental filling
Fillings are made of different types of materials including porcelain or gold. Although some of the materials are strong and durable, none are considered permanent. This means that fillings do not last forever. One of the main factors that determine how long a filling lasts is the material used to fill the tooth.
Gold and amalgam often last the longest. Composite and porcelain fillings are usually more fragile. But many patients opt for these options because they are more cosmetically appealing. The amount of wear and tear and the size of the cavity can also contribute to how long a filling will last.
Problems with dental fillings
Several things can damage a dental filling, including the constant stress from chewing, grinding, or clenching, or secondary tooth decay. If a dental filling cracks, chips, or begins to separate from the tooth, decay-causing bacteria can get trapped between the tooth and the filling. This kind of bacteria cannot be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Getting a damaged filling treated right away is always advisable. This will help prevent bacteria from doing additional damage like affecting the nerve. Some symptoms of a damaged dental filling include intense sensitivity to heat or cold or sharp pain when chewing.
Caring for a dental filling
Brushing and flossing daily and after meals can maintain the health of teeth, dental fillings, and gums. Regular checkups and cleanings are a vital part of maintaining oral health. Visiting the dental office regularly will allow the dentist to inspect fillings and to identify any early problems. The dentist may also check for weaknesses in the material and look for decay under the dental filling.
Bad dental habits like clenching or grinding teeth at night can damage the fillings as well as the teeth. The dentist might recommend using a mouthguard to avoid damaging the fillings and to protect the jaw and healthy teeth. Nail-biting or holding objects or opening bottles with the teeth are also bad habits. People should try to avoid them so that they do not end up damaging their teeth or fillings.
Keeping fillings in good shape
The different types of dental fillings differ when it comes to looks, durability, and price point. You should consider all of these factors as well as how long each type of dental filling lasts before having your cavity filled. With proper care, fillings can last for a very long time. It is vital to brush and floss regularly and to see your dentist frequently. You should also avoid bad dental habits that may damage your fillings.
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