YOU MAY BE SURPRISED TO LEARN that dental fillings don’t last forever! While they are extremely durable and can last years, there will come a time when they will have to be replaced.
You may be wondering, “If fillings don’t last a lifetime, then how long DO they last?” That depends on a number of factors, such as the type of procedure performed, the size or area being treated or replaced, the kind of materials used for the filling and the patient’s level of oral hygiene and care.
At your six-month appointment, we will check your fillings and make sure they are still intact. We will look for early signs of wear and tear so we can replace a dental restoration before it breaks, loses its effectiveness or falls out on its own. We also take x-rays to make sure there is no decay under or around a filling, which can cause it to come loose.
Despite your best efforts, a filling may crack or fall out unexpectedly. This is unlikely to occur if you visit your dentist regularly, however accidents can happen. Over time, dental fillings can be weakened by:
Although the following video discusses tooth loss, the same principals apply for a lost filling!
If you ever have a filling fall out just remember, don’t panic and don’t wait. Even if it falls out after hours, call us immediately–we’re here for you in an emergency! We will get you in as quickly as we can. In the meantime, keep your filling if you can but don’t try to push it back into place. Make sure to keep the affected area clean and debris-free.
If you don’t experience any pain after losing a filling, it’s still important to come in as soon as possible to have it treated. Not seeking immediate care could result in pain, discomfort and even tooth loss.
Regular dental visits are imperative to maintaining a healthy smile. With that being said, we know not every dental emergency happens during normal business hours. That’s why we strive to make ourselves available to our patients as often as possible. If you need us, call us! Your health and comfort is our number one priority.