How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings are the modern way to fill cavities. When tooth decay leads to a hole in the enamel of a tooth, the cavity needs to be filled to preserve the health of the tooth. When left untreated, a cavity will only worsen, getting deeper and deeper until the tooth needs more complex treatment or is untreatable. 

If your dentist has informed you that you have a cavity that needs to be filled, you may be wondering how long composite fillings last? Here’s what you can expect. 

What is a Composite Filling? 

Composite resin is a tooth colored material that resembles natural tooth enamel in form and function. When a tooth has a cavity, the decayed portion of the enamel must be removed. Then the cavity is filled with composite material that is thick like glue, then hardened using a special light that holds the tooth together. The composite material can be made to match the color of your existing tooth enamel so that it looks natural. 

Average Lifespan of a Composite Filling

The average lifespan of a composite filling is reported to be between 7 and 12 years. However, you may find that your filling lasts longer than average and some patients have composite fillings that last a lifetime. What makes them last or not last? There are a variety of factors that affect the lifespan of composite fillings. 

Factors That Affect the Longevity of Fillings

The following factors may affect the lifespan of composite fillings: 

Are Composite Fillings Better Than Metal? 

Yes, composite fillings act like a glue and hold the tooth together. We are able to make more conservative cavity preparations with composite thus keeping more natural tooth structure in the tooth which equals strength.  

Metal fillings can last as long as composite fillings but they tend to be less conservative. This is because it is retained in the tooth through mechanical retention.  Metal fillings also contain small amounts of mercury, which is known to be harmful to the body in large quantities and can stain the tooth after several years. Metal fillings also expand and contract with changes in temperature at different rates than natural tooth structure.  This can cause gaps between the filling and the tooth and potentially cause the tooth to crack at the end of the filling's lifespan. 

In the end composite fillings look more natural, have the same if not better lifespan than metal fillings, and are less likely to damage the tooth because it acts like a glue holding the tooth internally together. 

Queens Crown Dental Provides Composite Fillings 

Having a cavity filled is a quick and simple procedure. Queens Crown Dental takes a modern approach to dental care, providing composite fillings for effective cavity treatment. 
Call 808-526-2800 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

A Step by Step Guide to Dental Implants

Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement and is the best single tooth replacement therapy we can recommend.  This is because they function and look just like a real tooth. They also maintain the highest level of patient satisfaction once complete.

To gain a better understanding of what they are and to determine whether or not they may be a good option for you, let’s take a look at this step-by-step guide to dental implants. 

What are Dental Implants? 

Dental implants are separated into three components. Thai implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant or post is anchored into the bone and is commonly made of special titanium. Consider this as an artificial root that will fuse with the jaw bone for strength and stability. This fusion process is called osseointegration and can take a couple of months, varying person to person. Your dentist will need to make sure that the post and the bone are completely fused together before the patient can chew on the implant.  

The next step is to add an abutment to the implant to secure the new tooth in place. This artificial tooth is a dental crown completely customized to match the color and contouring of the other teeth so that it blends in beautifully. 

This crown is attached to the abutment that is held securely by the implant. And that is the general overview of how the dental implant process works. 

Additional Steps for Dental Implants

Sometimes there are additional steps that need to take place before the dental implant process can get started. This can add additional time to the already lengthy implant process. The good news is that even though it may take a little bit, the final product will still be well worth the wait. 

So, what are these additional procedures? 

Bone density is crucial in securing dental implants. Your dentist will determine whether or not you have sufficient bone density - or if bone grafting needs to take place. Remember, the implant must have enough bone to latch onto for a secure finish. If there is not enough, bone grafting will be done to boost the density. This procedure will take a few months to fully heal and be ready to handle the implantation. 

Another potential procedure that may need to be done prior to getting dental implants is a tooth extraction. In instances where you have a broken tooth or a decayed tooth that cannot be saved, the course of treatment you have decided on may be to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant. 

Once the tooth is extracted, you will need to allow time for the area to heal before proceeding with the dental implant. 

It is important to be patient with dental implants. They are a wonderful boost to your oral health, but they do take time - especially if any of these extra procedures are necessary. 

Dental Implants at Queen’s Crown Dental

If you are looking for a more permanent solution to replace missing teeth, then Queen’s Crown Dental has the best option for you - dental implants. 
To learn more or find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact us today at 808-526-2800. Or, book an appointment online.