How Long Will That Filling Last?

Did you know that over 90 percent of adults in America will have a cavity at some point in their lives? That’s A LOT of people, and a lot of fillings! With the amount of fillings that go into each person’s mouth you can imagine that different varieties have become used around the world.

At Marineland Dental Care we’ve made it our mission to seek out old fillings and unreliable restorations. You might not realize that fillings age and lose effectiveness but it’s true! Before long a filling can and up being just as dangerous to your tooth as it used to be beneficial!

Old Fillings: How They Used To Be

Metal fillings have been around for a very long time. The two most common metals used are gold and a composite of several different metals called amalgam. Metal amalgam has become one of the more commonly used metals today with gold becoming less and less common.

Both metals were originally chosen for their strength, moldability, and the lack of problems they caused to oral health. It’s true, gold and amalgam fillings can last a very long time but they do have a number of drawbacks!

In order to place a gold or amalgam filling it’s necessary to drill out more of the tooth’s structure! Metal doesn’t bond to your teeth very well, so keeping it in place requires giving it a bit of a lip to hold on to! This means more of your healthy tooth is lost, something we never want to do at our Kennewick office!

The biggest for metal fillings over time is twofold: their inflexibility can cause microfractures in your teeth and the cement used to secure them can wear away, leaving you vulnerable to decay from inside the tooth!

The worst part about this kind of wear is that you’ll never notice it until it’s too late!

Filling Replacement

If you have a filling that is over ten years old you should definitely consider coming to see us so we can take a look at it. Fillings can generally last around a decade, give or take a couple years, and at that point it’s important to catch it early so that secondary decay doesn’t begin.

We are able to remove old gold and amalgam fillings at Marineland Dental Care, a practice that has saved many a tooth! Using a procedure which slowly cuts your filling into chunks before removing the whole thing. We then clean out any remaining cement and decay that may have snuck in.

Depending on the size of the original filling and the extent of any secondary decay we can decide which option will work best for a replacement filling.

One of the most popular ways to replace a lost filling is with an inlay or onlay. These are slightly larger than traditional fillings because we want to protect the area underneath without causing the loss of much more tooth!

Inlays are restorations that are meant to be placed into the cusp of a tooth. They are similar to fillings but are fabricated before being placed. These are best for replacing fillings that covered the top of the tooth or went deeper from the surface.

Onlays are sort of like half crowns. They cover the cusp of your tooth like an inlay but also extend down the side as well. When decay from a bad filling spreads deeper into the tooth an onlay is a great option!

Our inlays and onlays are made from porcelain that is color-matched to your teeth and beautifully restores them safely and effectively. You won’t ever have to worry about someone spotting your metal restoration with a porcelain one from our Kennewick dentist office!

Of course, if you would prefer to replace a gold or amalgam restoration with another of the same type we’re happy to do so! When it comes to your mouth we work together with you to get you the results YOU want!

Don’t Let That Old Filling Get You In Trouble!

If you have a filling that’s approaching or over the ten year mark call Marineland dental care today! You can reach us at 509-591-0515 or you can request an appointment right here online by filling out our online request form! We look forward to seeing you soon!

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