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White Fillings – How Long Do They Last?

Types of Fillings

There are two categories that fillings fall into, metal fillings and white fillings.

Metal Fillings

Metal fillings are often made from gold or mercury amalgams which are inserted into the cavity to fill it. Metal fillings are durable and help to prevent further cracking and cavities. However, the dark colouring of metal fillings makes them noticeable. They are often black or grey and may not look great.

White Fillings

White fillings match the texture and colour of teeth and are therefore not noticeable. There are several types of white fillings. These are:

Composite Fillings – Made from durable plastic resin moulded to match the shape, size and colour of the tooth it will fill. This is great for fillings that are in the front teeth and therefore visible. Composite fillings can fit into tiny cavities, so less of the tooth will need to be hollowed out. These are a quick and cost-effective way to fill a cavity. Composite fillings last 12-15 years.

Porcelain/Ceramic fillings – Porcelain chips custom made to fit the patient. These are glued in place and will match the texture and size of the tooth. Porcelain fillings are almost entirely invisible, and they feel the same, too, so you may not even remember which tooth has the filling! They are a slightly more expensive option compared to composite fillings and last between 10-20 years.

Glass Ionomer Fillings – Made using acrylic and glass and used to fill smaller cavities. These fillings are weaker than the others and tend to be used on teeth that are not used for chewing. They can last 5-7 years.

Looking After White Fillings

It is crucial to look after your white fillings correctly to ensure they last as long as possible and remain clean, presentable and fully functioning. Dental specialists recommend the following to care for your white fillings:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily and use a brush with soft bristles.
  • Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth
  • Floss daily
  • Regularly see your dentist and hygienist
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Avoid foods that stain or have artificial colouring
  • Limit hard foods such as nuts, toffee and candy.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid smoking

Speak to a dental specialist, such as Shine Dental Care, to discuss the best filling and dental treatment plan for you.

Contact Shine Dental Care for dental treatment advice on 01623 629391.

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