How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

A dental filling is indeed an effective restorative procedure. It is a hard substance used to fill the holes left by tooth decay. However, “How long do dental fillings last?” is concerning. Their lifetime completely depends on their material, which can range from 5 to 15 years.

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    Types of Dental Fillings & Their Lifespan

    Since the lifespan of dental fillings depends on the material used. They are classified as follows:

    • Amalgam Fillings
      Also known as silver fillings, these contain a mix of silver, copper, tin alloy particles, and mercury. Dentists have used them for over 150 years, and they are the least expensive and possibly the most durable type of filling.
      A study found that amalgam fillings last about 15 years on average. Other research shows that they can last between 7.1 and 44.7 years. However, mercury in these fillings can be toxic, so you should avoid them if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, under 6 years old, have a neurological condition or kidney problems, or are allergic to mercury.
    • Composite Fillings
      These fillings are popular because their color can match the surrounding teeth. Made from a mix of acrylic and ceramic resins, they chemically bond to the tooth with an adhesive. They typically last about 7 years.
      A study suggests that they can last 10 years or more if they are small and the patient has good oral health. Composite materials are also used to repair chipped teeth and fill small gaps between teeth.
    • Gold Fillings
      Gold fillings are much more expensive than amalgam or composite fillings but are more durable. They can last an average of 20 years or more, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
    • Ceramic and Glass Ionomer Fillings
      Ceramic fillings, made from a type of porcelain, can last 15 years or longer. They are even more expensive than gold fillings and are less common. They need to be made in a dental lab or with a milling machine and glued into the tooth.
      Glass ionomer fillings are made from glass and acrylic and can be placed directly in the tooth. They are weaker than other fillings and usually used for small cavities near the gumline, not on chewing surfaces, and last about 5 years.

    Extending the Lifetime of Your Dental Fillings

    Most white fillings are made to last about ten years if you take good care of them. This means brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding bad habits like chewing ice or hard foods that can crack your teeth.

    It also means cutting back on sugary foods that can cause decay. Without good oral care, germs can get around the edges of old fillings and cause decay underneath. This makes them loose, break, or fall out.

    Besides oral hygiene, other factors can make fillings wear out faster. If you grind or clench your teeth, the extra force can wear down your teeth and fillings. In some cases, this pressure can cause a filling to crack or break.

    Questions About How Long Do Dental Fillings Last??

    What Our Patients Say

    Heart for the Dental Specialists of Pearland

    Love the staff and dentists at this office. Incredibly kind! Always willing to work with you trying to figure out the best option. They are so knowledgeable and thorough. Dr Cabrera is patient and professional and has treated me on time every time. I wish more doctors’ office were run like this.
    Maggie Lentz
    Maggie Lentz
    Wonderful staff and Dr. Cabrera is great! Allowed my wife back for the consultation so i didn’t have to remember anything. Not a fan of doctor's in general, but Dr. Cabrera put me st ease. Highly recomend if you need extensive work.
    Donald Hofstetter
    Donald Hofstetter
    Dr. Sauceda did an excellent job, talked me through the procedure and followed up with very useful information and suggestions. I highly recommend him for his expertise and professionalism.
    Rochella Cooper
    Rochella Cooper
    The clinic staff is very friendly and respectful. Dr. Sauceda is a brilliant and meticulous professional with his work. I feel like my dental health is in good hands. Thank you for your extraordinary service!
    Eduardo Garcia
    Eduardo Garcia
    Great service and friendly staff. Dr. Sauceda and his team is the best! They welcome you like family and take care of all your dental needs with the highest degree of professionalism and empathy. I recommend Dental Specialists Of Pearland to all of my friends and family. Please give them a try, you won’t regret it.
    Roberto Soluren
    Roberto Soluren
    Dr Sauceda is very patient and always makes a big effort to assist his patients no matter the circumstance. If anyone is in need of an implant specialist or denture specialist (dual board certified) in Pearland, he is your go to doctor!!
    Simon Wong
    Simon Wong

    Concluding Thoughts

    All restorative dental procedures are quite long-lasting. Therefore, one should not worry about “How long do dental fillings last?” but about protecting them. It might last a lifetime or only a few years, depending on your lifestyle habits.

    Visit Dental Specialists of Pearland. Our seasoned dentists have more than a decade of experience providing dental services to countless patients. Call us at (713) 436-7697 for an appointment.


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