How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last? from Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry in Middletown, NYIf you experienced a cavity as a child, you almost certainly had it repaired with a dental filling. One type of dental filling is composite fillings. These fillings contain resin and glass instead of metal. Pediatric dentists often use these fillings to treat children who have cavities. Before treatment, it is important to understand how to care for and maintain the fillings to ensure they last as long as possible.

What is a composite filling?

Composite fillings, like other varieties of fillings, are often recommended by pediatric dentists after they discover that a child has a cavity. As the name suggests, these fillings fill the space caused by the cavity. A composite filling is a type of filling that has the advantage of looking virtually identical to real teeth. Other types of fillings, such as gold and amalgam, do not share this benefit. A plastic resin is reinforced with powdered glass to make a composite filling. The precise shade of the filling can be customized to match the exact color of the surrounding teeth.

Due to the higher cost and limited durability of composite fillings, they are common for front teeth for cosmetic reasons. Back teeth, which undergo the most stress with everyday use, may be better suited for metal fillings with less noticeable coloring. However, composite fillings can also be used for back teeth if the parent wants their child to have a uniform color for their teeth.

All fillings have limited lifespans and will need to be replaced eventually. Secondary tooth decay, chewing, and clenching can all cause a filling to deteriorate over time. If left unchecked, the filling can crack or chip, which traps bacteria between the filling and the tooth. Unfortunately, regular brushing and flossing are not enough to manage this bacteria. If the bacteria get out of control, the young patient may experience pain when chewing or extreme sensitivity to hot and cold.

Just like regular teeth, composite fillings require regular brushing and flossing in addition to regular dental checkups for them to last. The pediatric dentist will check for problems with the filling each time the child visits for routine checkups and cleanings. In addition to checking for physical damage, the dentist will use X-rays to see if there is any decay under the filling.

How long do composite fillings last?

The general lifespan for a composite filling is around seven years. If the filling is well taken care of and the individual with the filling is not prone to cavities, it can sometimes last up to ten years. Compared to amalgam and gold fillings, which last about 20 years, composite fillings are not as durable and do not last as long. The pediatric dentist will alert the patient — and their parents if they are still a minor — when they notice that the filling needs to be replaced. To prevent symptoms of a decayed filling from happening, the dentist can replace it before the damaged filling causes pain or increased sensitivity.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Composite Fillings in Middletown, NY

Conclusion

After a cavity, the child’s patient and the pediatric dentist will discuss what type of filling is recommended to repair the cavity. Composite fillings, while not as long-lasting as metal fillings, are still an effective option, especially for front teeth. If you have questions about how composite fillings can benefit your child, call our office. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Request an appointment or call Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry at 845-363-4177 for an appointment in our Middletown office.

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