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Why Some Dental Fillings Procedures Fail

Apr 01, 2021

A dental filling is a type of restoration meant to replace tooth structure lost to decay. Dental fillings can last for many years, but all of them will eventually be replaced. A dental filling may fail due to consistent chewing and grinding or assault from eating and drinking.

Bacteria is the leading cause of teeth decay. A filling that is either chipped, cracked, worn out, or fallen may leave spaces between the tooth and filling, creating bacteria’s entry points.

If the seal between the filling and tooth is broken, bacteria causing decay or food material may find its way to the worn filling. This bacteria cannot be easily removed using a toothbrush and may progress to be decay. If not quickly diagnosed or treated, it may progress to your pulp which often results in tooth loss or tooth canal.

Regular dental checkups at our general dentist near you are therefore important because your dentist can detect any problems with your filling at an early stage. During the oral examination, your dentist uses a dental appliance called an explorer to check if there are worn-out spots around your filling.  Dental x-rays may also be to check if there is any existing decay underneath the fillings. If your dentist finds that your filling is worn out or there is a decay in your teeth, you will have to replace your filling. It is a quick process, and the cavity filling is not painful.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are different types of dental fillings, which include:

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is made up of mercury, silver, copper, and tin, all combined to form a stable, strong filling.  It is easy to use, durable, not easily worn out, and quite expensive than the other types.

Composite Fillings

They are a mixture of finely grounded glass materials and acrylic resin that forms a tooth-colored restoration. It provides durability and resistance to fracture, and the only advantage is that it only handles moderate chewing.

Glass ionomers

They are composed of fine fluoride, which has organic acid and glass powder that forms a solid restoration that releases fluoride to strengthen your enamel.

What Causes Fillings to fail

The following factors affect the lifespan of fillings

  • Size of filling: Larger tooth decay will require a large filling, and these fillings are susceptible to bacteria in your mouth because they have a large surface and a large perimeter. Teeth with large decays are also not very strong, so they will not support the filling for an extended time.
  • Age of the filling: If you wear a filling for a long time, they will eventually wear out, chirp or crack.
  • Dental hygiene: Poor oral hygiene practices can cause your filling to wear out. If you do not brush or floss daily, the bacteria can get to your gumline or tooth, loosening the filling.
  • Clenching and grinding: While your natural teeth can sustain the pressure from chewing or grinding, fillings are not that strong. They will chip, crack or wear out with much pressure
  • The type of filling: As mentioned above, fillings come in different kinds. An amalgam filling is less popular because it does not match the color of your teeth, but they are very durable than the other prettier types like composite. Tooth-colored fillings are less durable.

How to Take Care of Your Dental Fillings

Your dentist in Roswell, GA, will advise you to practice the following, to make your dental fillings last longer

  • Brush and floss twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Drink water instead of acidic drinks like sodas and juices
  • Avoid using tobacco or beverages that stain your teeth, such as tea, coffee, or alcohol. If you use them, make sure to rinse your mouth.
  • Limit the intake of sugary or sticky foods or snacks, switch to healthy ones instead
  • Do not chew ice or bite down on hard foods.
  • Visit your dentist at Shenk Dental Care on days of appointment. Avoid postponing your dental checkups
  • Avoid the use of toothpaste or mouthwashes that contain alcohol
  • Avoid grinding your teeth; if you have a grinding and clenching problem, ask your dentist for a mouthguard to wear at night.
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