How long can I expect a dental filling to last?

How long can I expect a dental filling to last?

November 2, 2023

Dental fillings near you are a common restorative dental procedure, and if you’ve recently had one or are considering getting one, you might wonder how long you can expect it to last. The longevity of a dental filling depends on several factors, including the filling material used, your oral hygiene practices, and your overall dental health. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that influence the lifespan of dental fillings and provide guidance on how to ensure they endure for as long as possible.

Types of Dental Fillings 

The type of dental filling material used significantly determines how long a filling will last. There are several common types of dental fillings:

  • Amalgam Fillings 

Amalgam fillings, also called silver fillings, are made from a mixture of mercury, tin, and copper. These fillings are known for their durability and longevity. On average, amalgam fillings can last 10 to 15 years or more.

  • Composite Resin Fillings 

Composite resin fillings are teeth-colored and blend in naturally with your teeth. They are a popular choice for their aesthetic appeal. While composite fillings are less durable than amalgam, they can still last significantly, typically 5 to 10 years or more.

  • Ceramic Fillings 

Ceramic fillings, also called porcelain fillings, are highly durable and resistant to staining. They are often used for front teeth due to their natural appearance. With proper care, ceramic fillings can last 15 years or longer.

  • Glass Ionomer Fillings 

Glass ionomer fillings are often used for children and as a temporary solution. They are less durable than other filling materials and may need replacement every 5 years.

Oral Hygiene 

Proper oral hygiene practices significantly impact the lifespan of dental fillings. Good oral hygiene includes:

  • Regular Brushing

Ensure to brush your teeth a minimum of two times daily using fluoride toothpaste. This practice aids in eliminating plaque and leftover food bits that could cause decay near the filling.

  • Flossing

Floss daily to clean between your tooth and around the filling. It helps prevent decay in areas that brushing alone may not reach.

  • Routine Dental Check-ups 

Visit our dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. Your dentist office in Sumter, SC can detect any issues with your fillings early on and recommend necessary repairs or replacements.

Dietary Habits 

Your dental fillings’ longevity can be affected by your dietary habits. To maintain the filling’s longevity, limit your consumption of sugary and acidic food and beverages that can promote tooth decay.

Teeth Grinding 

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can put significant pressure on dental fillings and may cause them to wear down or crack prematurely. If you grind your tooth, consult your dentist about a custom mouthguard to protect your fillings.

Location of the Filling 

The location of the filling within your mouth can affect its lifespan. Fillings in areas with high chewing forces, such as molars, may experience more wear and tear and may need replacement sooner than those in less-stressed areas.

Overall Dental Health 

Your overall dental health plays a vital role in the longevity of your fillings. If you have underlying dental problems like gum disease or untreated cavities, they can impact the integrity of the filling and potentially result in its failure.

Regular Dental Maintenance 

Maintaining regular dental check-ups with your dentist is essential to ensuring the longevity of your dental fillings. Using this method, your dentist can monitor your fillings’ condition and recommend replacements if necessary.

Your Partner in Dental Health in Sumter, SC

Restorative Arts Dental, P. A. is dedicated to providing high-quality dental care, including dental fillings and therapeutic treatments. Our skilled dental team is dedicated to assisting you in attaining and preserving your best possible oral health.


The lifespan of a dental filling varies based on multiple factors, including the type of filling, your oral hygiene, and your overall dental health. While no filling lasts forever, proper care and maintenance can extend their longevity. Regular dental check-ups and a commitment to good oral hygiene practices are key to ensuring your dental fillings serve you well for many years.

  1. How long do composite resin fillings typically last?

Composite resin fillings can last 5 to 10 years or more with proper care. Their longevity depends on factors such as oral hygiene and the location of the filling.

  1. Are there any signs that indicate a dental filling needs replacement?

Signs that a dental filling may need replacement include pain or sensitivity around the filling, visible cracks or damage, and a change in the fit or feel.

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