Tooth decay (no matter how minor) is a dental problem that requires swift attention. By treating tooth decay early on, the dentists at Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care can restore tooth structure and help patients to prevent more extensive damage. While there are several restorative dentistry treatment options, dental fillings are the most common solution for mild to moderate cases of tooth decay. These direct restorations can restore lost tooth enamel and protect the inner layer of the tooth from becoming infected by harmful bacteria. We prefer to offer our patients tooth-colored fillings, which can repair teeth without compromising the appearance of the smile. We are happy to teach our Shreveport patients tooth-colored fillings aftercare tips that will extend their lifespan and ensure that the smile remains healthy and beautiful for years to come.
Caring for Tooth-colored Fillings
Immediately after receiving a tooth-colored filling, we do ask that patients avoid eating or chewing until any numbness of the mouth has worn off. This helps patients avoid biting down on the cheeks or tongue, which can cause injury. Once numbness has worn off, patients are free to use and care for the treated tooth just as their natural teeth. One of the many benefits of tooth-colored composite fillings is that they not only look like the natural teeth, but also function just like natural tooth enamel. Patients do not need to worry about the filling expanding or contracting when exposed to hot or cold temperatures (as may be the case with metal fillings), and there are no special restrictions as far as diet is concerned. Tooth-colored fillings are made of a strong dental composite that is meant to withstand the normal wear and tear of the teeth. To extend the lifespan of a composite filling, extensive pressure (such as that from teeth grinding, nail biting, etc.) should be avoided.
To ensure that the teeth and gums remain healthy, it is important to continue with a good oral hygiene routine. Teeth that have been treated with a tooth-colored filling should be brushed at least twice a day and flossed at least once a day. The same oral hygiene habits that are beneficial to the natural teeth will also be beneficial to those treated with a tooth-colored filling. It is important to continue to see a dentist at least twice annually and to report any pain or unusual symptoms to a dentist immediately.
How Long will Tooth-colored Fillings Last?
There are many factors that affect the lifespan of a tooth-colored filling. If the filling is applied with proper technique, is cared for properly with good oral hygiene habits, excessive wear and tear is avoided, and the filling is small in size, it is possible that the filling will last a decade or more. In the case of larger fillings, or if proper aftercare is not provided, it is likely that the filling will need to be replaced sooner, with either a new filling or a dental crown. Taking all factors and situations into consideration, the average lifespan of a tooth-colored filling is 10 to 15 years.
Schedule an Appointment
At Shreveport Bossier Family Dental Care, we provide a full range of dental services to meet the oral health needs of your entire family. To learn more about our dental services and to experience our friendly and professional care, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting you!