Dental Fillings 101: What Are Dental Fillings and How Long Do They Last?

Without question, dental fillings in Glendale, AZ, are one of the most common general dentistry procedures performed. If you suspect you have a tooth that needs a filling, you may have a few questions. Find out more about dental fillings below.

What are dental fillings made of exactly?

Dental fillings come in several materials, with the most common being:

  • Amalgam: Comprising a mixture of metals, typically silver, tin, copper, and mercury, amalgam fillings are known for their durability and affordability.
  • Composite Resin: These tooth-colored fillings are made of a blend of plastic and fine glass particles. They are popular for their aesthetic appeal, as they can be closely matched to the natural tooth color.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic fillings, often made of porcelain, offer a tooth-colored option that is highly resistant to staining.
  • Gold: Gold fillings are extremely durable, and they are well-tolerated by gum tissues. However, their high cost makes them less common.

The choice of filling material depends on factors like the tooth’s location, the extent of the decay, and your budget.

How long does a dental filling last?

The longevity of a dental filling depends on a number of unique factors, including the type of material used to create the filling and your general at-home oral hygiene practices. Amalgam fillings can last for 10 to 15 years, while composite resin and ceramic fillings typically have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. Fillings made of gold tend to also have a long life span of 10 years or more.

How do you know you need a dental filling?

Signs that you may need a dental filling include tooth sensitivity, pain when biting down, visible pits or holes in your teeth, or dark spots. However, only a thorough examination by a dentist can confirm the need for a filling. X-rays and clinical assessment help in diagnosing cavities and determining the most suitable treatment.

Discuss Your Oral Health Concerns with a Dentist in Glendale, AZ

If you experience any symptoms of oral decay or damage or have concerns about dental fillings, don’t hesitate to discuss the issue with a dentist in Glendale, AZ. Contact us at Simply Smiles to request an appointment.