Study Examines Reasons Dental Fillings Might Fail

3 reasons fillings fail

A paper published in Frontiers in Medicine looked into composite and amalgam fillings along with a few of the factors which could lead them to fail.

Among the factors examined were sex, age, smoking, drinking alcohol, diabetes, periodontal health, and genes. The records of 4,856 patients from 5 years were included for the research project.

Below are a few of their findings.

Both filling types performed similarly, with composite fillings showing slightly more durability

Amalgam fillings are the traditional silver tooth fillings that have been used for more than one hundred and fifty years, while composite fillings are the modern, tooth-colored fillings. In the duration of their look into dental fillings, the researchers found that the rate of failure for composite and amalgam filings were about the same, with composite fillings performing just a little better. 

Fillings have a greater chance of failing for people who drink alcohol and men who smoke 

Drinking and smoking showed the most prominent link with the failing of dental fillings of the lifestyle choices looked at. After having dental fillings for 2 years, the failure rate was greatest in patients who were regular drinkers and in men who were smokers.

A person’s genetics may play a role in failed fillings

The study examined a gene for an enzyme that is found in teeth named MMP2 (matrix metalloproteinase). Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2) can impair the bond between a filling and tooth, according to them. An individual’s genetic makeup may, in the future, play a larger role in dentistry, they suggested. One of the researchers, Alexandre Vieira, said: “…genetic information may be used to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes.”

The outcome of the study further enforces the idea that composite fillings should be seen as a good change from the older amalgam fillings. Dental patients might like to consider the correlation between lifestyle and dental filling failure, too.

If you haven’t had your dental fillings looked at recently, consider booking your next appointment with Dr. Aerni now.

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