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Dental fillings are a common dental tool used to protect your tooth after the removal of tooth decay. While dental fillings are quite sturdy, they will likely have to be replaced at least once during your lifetime.

Do Fillings Need to Be Replaced?

You can reduce the need for replacement dental fillings by practicing proper oral hygiene and going to your dentist regularly. On average, dental fillings that have received proper care last between 10 and 15 years, but some may last longer.

If you have fillings that are beginning to show signs of wear and tear, then it may be time to discuss replacing them with your dentist in Burbank. This precautionary measure can help you to avoid an emergency visit to your dentist in the future.

What Is the Purpose of a Dental Filling?

A dental filling is used to fill the space left by the removal of tooth decay. This replacement serves two distinct purposes.

First, the filling creates a flat surface that is easy for you to clean. This prevents bacteria from growing in the open space where your toothbrush may have difficulty cleaning the crevices.

Second, the filling helps to support the structural integrity of the tooth. Without a filling, the excavated region of the tooth would be significantly weaker and prone to breakage during everyday activities.

Of course, dental fillings are limited in their role. If your tooth decay is too advanced and your dentist has to remove a significant portion of the tooth, then you may require a crown to provide the same stability and safety.

What Are the Different Kinds of Fillings?

There are several kinds of materials that are used to create dental fillings. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so you will need to discuss your decision with your dentist to find the right fit for your situation.

These are some of the most common materials used to make dental fillings.

Gold fillings:

Gold fillings are some of the most costly but they do offer increased durability. The average lifespan of a gold filling ranges from 15 to 30 years. However, that longevity does come at the cost of aesthetics. Many people dislike the appearance of a gold filling, but that is down to personal choice.

Silver amalgam fillings:

Silver amalgam fillings are some of the most affordable, and they offer reasonable durability considering the cost. The downside of silver amalgam is that they may require your dentist to remove more of your natural tooth to create a solid hold. Silver amalgam fillings are also prone to causing cracks, fractures, and discoloration.

In recent years, there has also been some concern about the minute level of mercury contained in the material. If this causes you concern but you prefer the cost and strength of silver amalgam, discuss it with your dentist to learn more about recent research and what it means for you.

Composite fillings:

Composite fillings mimic the look of real teeth and they’re relatively affordable. The only downside is that they aren’t particularly sturdy, as the average composite filling only lasts about five years.

With that said, you may choose composite fillings in Burbank as an option that will meet your immediate needs. You can always upgrade to a ceramic filling when you’re ready for a more upscale option that offers the same natural aesthetic.

Ceramic fillings:

Ceramic fillings offer the same aesthetic advantages as composite fillings with better durability and longevity. This option can be more costly than composite and silver amalgam, but it is a good choice for many people.

Getting Fillings Replaced

If your filling shows signs of discoloration, damage, or you feel discomfort in the tooth with the filling, then it is important to check in with your Burbank dentist. They will be able to evaluate your current condition to see if the filling needs to be replaced or if there is another issue that requires treatment.