A dental restoration replaces tooth structure eroded by mild to moderate decay. The benefit is that you do not need the entire tooth pulled to have a strong, healthy smile again. How long your filling lasts depends upon the type of material used and how well you take care of your teeth.
Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we use top-of-the-line materials combined with patient education to ensure the longest lasting fillings possible.
Some fillings last longer than others, depending on the material. Keep in mind, smaller fillings generally last longer than larger fillings; but over time, even the best laid dental fillings can fail due to constant clenching, grinding, eating, and drinking.
Here’s what you can generally expect:
We can expect even more durable materials in the future. This year, a team of researchers at the OHSU School of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon developed a filling material two times more resistant to breakage than standard fillings by using the additive thiourethane, which is used in protective coatings for decks and automobiles. The adhesive they’ve developed is 30 percent stronger after six months than anything currently used, according to a study published in the journal Dental Materials.
Of course, longevity is just one consideration for tooth fillings. Aesthetics, location of the decay, age, insurance coverage, cost, and accessibility are other factors to mull over before you and your dentist decide upon the right material for your situation.
Fillings that wear away, chip, crack, or fall out pose a risk to the patient, as it leaves a gap where food particles and bacteria can enter the body. It is therefore essential that you see a dentist right away if you suspect your filling has failed.
Signs your dental filling may need replacement include:
You can apply dental cement, found in drug stores, to temporarily treat an area where a filling has failed, exposing the tooth to the elements. Next, contact a dentist for further testing or immediate treatment.
Most patients visiting our Suffolk County office inquire about tooth-colored fillings, as they are affordable and look indiscernible from real teeth. The process is quite simple. The decay or old filling material is removed under local anesthesia. We isolate the tooth to keep moisture out and apply a special type of “hardening” light to the bonding material. A basic filling can be done in just one office visit. More complex cases could require two or three visits.
If you’re looking for the best dental restoration Suffolk County has to offer, contact Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry.
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