Dentists in Boca Raton, FL Discuss Dental Fillings
Many people assume that filings are meant to last you the rest of your lifetime. However, while fillings do last for years, and even decades, their lifespan will depend entirely on the material that they are made of, as well as how vigilant you are about taking proper care of your teeth. Most dentists will either use metal fillings known as amalgam, or composite fillings, which are meant to match the natural color of your teeth.
Metal Amalgam Fillings
People who are older than 30 might already have one or two amalgam fillings in their mouths. For decades, amalgam fillings were the go-to for dentists as they are cheaper and can better withstand the forces exerted on them whilst chewing food. Amalgam fillings are great for people who are concerned about costs, however, they aren’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as composite fillings. This type of filling only tends to last about 15 years before needing to be replaced.
Most people will only opt to have amalgam fillings on their back teeth since the metallic coloring is rather easy to see when you smile or open your mouth. Also, amalgam fillings can cause the color of your tooth to change to a grayish-blue tint which may be undesirable if you need a cavity filled on one of your front teeth. Furthermore, some people are not even able to consider getting an amalgam filling since about 1% of the population is allergic to the type of metal that is used.
Composite fillings are a newer type of filling and have become much more popular with dental patients since they match the natural color of your teeth. Also, they are nowhere near as noticeable as amalgam fillings.
Furthermore, your dentist will try to match the composite to the same shade as your teeth so that the filling will blend in seamlessly with your natural tooth enamel. Also, composite fillings do not removing as much of your tooth since they easily bond to the surface of your tooth.
One downside to composite fillings is that, as our teeth naturally darken over the years, the composite filling will not. This means that composite fillings require slightly more maintenance than traditional amalgam fillings and need to be replaced more often.
Taking Care of Your Fillings
For your dental fillings to last as long as possible, it’s important that you take proper care of your teeth and overall oral health. This includes every day things such as brushing and flossing, as well as visiting your dentists in Boca Raton, FL at least once per year to make sure there are no serious problems present in your mouth. During your routine exam, your dentist will examine your fillings and make sure that there are no problems with them.
If there is anything wrong with your fillings, he or she will let you know and will schedule you for a follow-up appointment where they will drill out the old filling and replace it with a new one.