While there are several dental myths we strive to debunk everyday by educating our patients, there’s one that’s particularly concerning for all of us at my Chapel Hill dental office. A common misconception is that once you get a cavity filled, you’re good to go for life. Never worry about it again. One and done. We never like to be the bearer of unfortunate news, but that’s just not the case.
The lifespan of dental fillings depends on what type of material is used to fill the cavity. Some last longer than others. Some have other advantages to them besides lasting a long time. It depends on which type of filling is used, where it’s used, and how well you care for your teeth that can all impact the life expectancy of a dental filling.
There are some pros to getting silver fillings, but also some negatives. Silver fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, are strong, durable, and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. They typically last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, and are a great option to fill in any decayed areas of your teeth. However, some patients dislike the fact that these restorations are pretty visible and can even cause some discoloration in your smile. There’s also been an increase in concern regarding the level of mercury in the material used. If this is something that worries you, we encourage you to talk with a dentist.
The most popular type of fillings are white, tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite fillings. Designed to match your teeth and blend seamlessly into your smile, they’re basically invisible. These restorations also usually require less drilling, which means more of your healthy tooth can be kept in tact. However, while they’re definitely more aesthetically pleasing, they may not always be an option. White fillings don’t last as long as silver fillings, and on average sustain for about 7-10 years. Nonetheless, they’re still an incredibly strong, successful treatment for most cavities.
Which is Right for You?
Your dentist in Chapel Hill will talk to you about which restoration option is most appropriate for you. They’ll look at the level of decay, where in your mouth the cavity is, and talk with you about your preferences.
Think you may have a cavity? Call my Chapel Hill dental office to schedule a visit today. We’ll check out what’s going on, discuss your treatment options, and get you back on track towards optimal oral health.
Always accepting patients from Chapel Hill, Durham, Pittsboro.