A majority of people will develop at least one cavity in their lifetimes and will therefore experience a treatment of this early form of tooth decay with a dental filling. You might have received a filling in your childhood. But you may not know what this filling does for your smile.
A dental filling, usually made from composite resin, fills a hole in your tooth after a dentist drills away the decayed part of your tooth. You can feel confident that tooth decay is gone for good and that the filling will keep this vulnerable area of your smile protected in the aftermath. Read on to learn more about dental fillings and what can you expect after this treatment from your dentist.
How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?
Dental fillings will effectively restore the shape and function of your teeth after getting rid of a cavity. But though durable, these fixtures do not last in your smile forever. It can stay in the tooth for ten years with proper care and maintenance.
The malleable resin molds to the appropriate shape of your tooth before the dentist cures it, solidifying it into place as a filling. It acts as a cement to stay firmly in the tooth. So you can eat and perform other oral functions as you normally would. But you will need to take proper care of your smile and dental work to avoid issues with the filling.
Can a Dental Filling Fall Out of a Tooth?
If exposed to high or abnormal pressures, a dental filling could become loose, wear down, or fall out of the tooth. If this happens, the protective seal created by the cured resin breaks. Then the tooth will be in danger of plaque, bacteria, and other harmful particles.
You should consider this dental damage to be an emergency and call your dentist as soon as you can. They will likely ask you to come to their office for an urgent dental evaluation, repair, and replacement of the filling.
Biting down on a hard item or at an awkward angle could generate pressure that would cause this type of harm to your dental work. Constant grating from teeth grinding could also lead to this damage. So pay attention to your oral habits after receiving a filling.
How Do I Care for Dental Fillings?
You can take care of your dental fillings by maintaining good overall oral health habits. This will mean practicing good oral hygiene. Otherwise, plaque will linger on your smile and cause damage that could impact the fit of your filling.
You should also avoid the behaviors that create pressures that might hurt your dental filling. If you have trouble avoiding these actions, ask your dentist for preventative dental care advice.
Directly after receiving a dental filling, adhere to your dentist’s aftercare instructions. This will ensure that the filling settles into place properly. If you notice any issues or abnormal side effects, call your dentist right away.