Once you get a cavity filled, does it last the rest of your life? Our Sacramento dental restoration professionals wish that was the case. Unfortunately, on average, dental fillings last about ten years. The simple facts are, just because you have a filling or other appliance, it doesn’t mean that bacteria will never again attack that tooth. So it is appropriate to ask just what influences how long a dental restoration or filling lasts.
What Affects Dental Restorations?
- How long your dental restoration lasts depends on the following factors:
- Type of material used in the filling;
- How well you take care of your mouth;
- Where the filling is in your mouth.
The materials used in fillings are discussed in greater detail on other pages and articles. Silver or amalgam fillings were the material of choice for dentists decades ago, and still are with some dentists (according to a 2007 report by the IAOMT, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Technology). Advances in dental science, a greater concern about cosmetics, and more knowledge about how amalgam may impact the health of patients and the environment, leads the Sacramento Dentistry Group to avoid its use when possible. The IAOMT reports: “There is a significant difference between general dentists and specialists on the issue of mercury amalgam. Though about one out of two general dentists still uses dental amalgam, fully four out of five specialists are using amalgam. In support of amalgam, specialists cited the lack of scientific evidence proving its toxicity and its superiority in certain situations.”
The Sacramento Dentistry Group does not rule out amalgam usage, but our dentists prefer to use composites whenever possible because they are sufficiently strong, durable and far less noticeable in all teeth. Another advantage of composite fillings is that this material usually requires less drilling, a plus for those who want to spend less time in the dental chair. Therefore, both materials have advantages and disadvantages, a characteristic of most choices in medicine.
Which is Right for You?
If you require dental restoration work, our Sacramento dentists discuss all treatment options with you. Contact the Sacramento Dental Group today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.