Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Need to Be Replaced with Veneers?

February 1, 2024

If you have old tooth-colored fillings that are stained, cracked, or otherwise failing, you may wonder if it’s time to replace them with dental veneers in Oswego, IL. While veneers can provide a beautiful, natural-looking smile, they aren’t always necessary. Here’s what to consider when deciding between composite resin fillings vs. veneers.

How long do tooth-colored composite fillings typically last?

The average composite resin filling can last 5-7 years with good oral hygiene and avoiding biting hard objects. However, some may last much longer, 10 years or more. Factors like the size and location of the filling, your biting habits, and exposure to staining foods/drinks impact longevity. Smaller fillings on back teeth tend to outlast larger ones on front teeth.

When do composite fillings begin to stain, discolor, or fail?

Over time, the material used for tooth-colored fillings can absorb stains from coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco. This leads to unsightly discoloration, especially around the edges. Gaps can form as the bond between the filling and tooth weakens, allowing decay underneath. Clenching or grinding can crack fillings, requiring repair or replacement.

Are veneers stronger and longer-lasting than composite resin fillings?

Dental veneers are thin shells custom-made from ceramic or composite materials. They must be bonded to teeth with a strong adhesive. When properly cared for, veneers typically last 7-15 years before needing replacement. Their durability comes from the materials used. Ceramic veneers resist stains better than composite options.

What are the pros and cons of replacing old fillings with veneers?

Key benefits of veneers over aged composite fillings:

  • More resistance to staining and discoloration
  • Longer average lifespan
  • Ability to improve smile aesthetics like color, shape, size

Potential veneer disadvantages:

  • More tooth reduction is needed for placement
  • Higher upfront cost than fillings
  • Can chip or fracture if bitten into hard foods

What’s the process like to remove fillings and prep teeth for veneers?

First, the dentist in Oswego will numb the area before drilling out old fillings. A small amount of tooth structure is removed with a burr to create space for veneer shells. A mold of the teeth is created and dispatched to a dental laboratory for the crafting of the veneers. During a subsequent appointment, these veneers are tested for fit and then securely adhered to the teeth.

Could veneers be an unnecessary upgrade over usable fillings?

In some cases, replacing intact, functional composite resin fillings with veneers may not make sense. Veneers offer a more flawless appearance but require permanently altering natural tooth structure. It’s also much more costly. Teeth whitening or bonding may suffice for minor flaws, discoloration, or small gaps. Evaluate the condition of current fillings and smile goals with your dentist near me.

In summary, while veneers can provide beautiful, transformative results, they may not be warranted if your current tooth-colored fillings still function well. Schedule a smile assessment to determine if the replacement is right for you. With regular dental visits and excellent home care, you can maximize the longevity of your fillings. For natural-looking, stain-resistant veneers in Oswego, contact Distinctive Dental Care today!

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