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Your dental restorations, or dental fillings, are made to withstand the force of chewing and can last anywhere from 5-15 years, depending on what kind they are. Composite resin fillings can last five years, whereas cast gold fillings can last more than 15 years. With time, all fillings eventually wear down, chip or crack, or fall out and need replacement. Filling types include porcelain, composite resin, silver amalgam, cast gold and glass ionomer and will determine the life of your filling.

Sometimes a filling can leak or become cracked, and when this happens oral debris–such as bacteria and food particles can enter the area underneath the filling. Since you can’t clean under the filling, any bacteria will cause tooth decay from acid formation from feeding on food particles.  This can go on for a while before you notice it, which is why regular dental checkups are important, as your dentist can spot what is happening even before you have any pain or notice the problem.

A filling can also sometimes fall out, from biting down too hard on something, the filling wasn’t strong enough for the tooth, or it may not have bonded properly to the tooth when it was done because saliva may have seeped into the cavity during the restoration.

Fillings may crack over time from biting, especially if the filling is higher than the tooth’s surface. Your filling can also develop cracks around the edges of the filling which can sometimes be repaired instead of replacing entirely. In fact, bruxism, the constant tooth grinding during sleep, can also wear down your fillings over time.

If you are experiencing problems with a dental filling, it may be time for a dental restoration. To schedule your next dental visit with one of our dedicated dentists, Dr. Jonathan Hwang and Dr. Jae Ham, you can reach our Ideal Smile Dentistry team in Columbus, Georgia at 706.257.7374 today.