Composite fillings are a type of filling designed to resemble your natural tooth. Because they are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth they're repairing, composite fillings have become more popular than older metal fillings in recent years when fillings are required.
While there are many advantages to composite fillings over older metal fillings, one disadvantage is that composite fillings do not last as long as metal fillings. While composite fillings are built tough and can last a long time, they can break for several different reasons.
Here are the most common reasons for why your composite dental fillings might break, and how you can help them last longer:
Degradation Over Time:
Composite fillings protect your teeth and restore proper functionality to them with proper treatment. Teeth with composite fillings should be just as suitable for eating, drinking, and speaking as your natural teeth. However, we do many things with our mouth everyday, which does cause composite fillings to break down and wear out over time.
Composite dental fillings do not have a set timespan for how long they last. Depending on how you take care of your teeth, your composite filling may last as short as 5 years to as long as 15 years. Generally, 10 years is the traditional lifespan for the average composite filling.
Make sure you perform semi-annual dental check ups and cleanings to maximize the lifespan of your composite dental fillings. These appointments are also the perfect time to discuss if you should get some new fillings for your teeth.
Harmful Activities to Your Teeth:
Activities that damage your teeth generally harm your dental fillings as well. Make sure you avoid the following as much as you can to avoid breaking your composite dental fillings:
- Grinding your teeth: Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is terrible for your teeth. It is often caused by stress and anxiety, and occurs most often during sleep. Teeth grinding will cause your composite fillings to degrade faster if left untreated.
- Chewing on hard and crunchy foods: Repeatedly chewing on hard and crunchy foods will wear down your teeth and fillings. It is especially important to avoid chewing on ice if you want to preserve your teeth and fillings.
- Biting and chewing too hard: Putting too much pressure on your filling, especially for teeth with larger fillings, can cause them to break. For very sensitive or recently treated teeth, trying not to put the brunt of your chewing on teeth with composite fillings.
- Sugary and acidic foods: Sugary and acidic foods interact with bacteria in your mouth, causing it to wear down and dissolve the enamel protecting your teeth. Composite fillings are affected by such degradation, causing them to wear down faster.
- Smoking: Smoking, including cigarettes and vaping, is one of the leading causes of oral disease. It causes gum decay and tooth decay, both of which will impact your composite fillings. Reduce or give up smoking entirely to maximize your oral hygiene.
Request an Appointment with Integrated Dentistry in Bentonville, Arkansas:
Composite fillings can extend the life of a chipped or otherwise infected tooth. They typically last for 10 years, and with some proper oral hygiene you won’t have to worry about them breaking before the end of their functional lifespan.
But what do you do once your composite filling does break or fall out? If you live around the Bentonville area, be sure to contact us to schedule an appointment with Integrated Dentistry. We offer comprehensive dental care to all of our Arkansas community members, offering not just fillings but other restorative and cosmetic dental services.
Schedule an appointment today with Integrated Dentistry if you’re looking for a brighter and healthier smile.