How long your dental fillings last depends on a variety of factors, but it’s important to know that no
dental filling will last forever. Many people assume that once their tooth is filled, it’ll last for life, but this
simply isn’t true. Your filling will need to be replaced at some point in your life.
Here’s how long you can expect your dental filling to last based on the material, how well you take care
of your teeth, and more!
Expected Life Based on Material
Silver amalgam fillings were most commonly used in dentistry for over 150 years, but now, composite
resin fillings are making a fast replacement. These fillings are not only considered safer alternatives to
silver amalgam, but the color also matches your natural teeth. Many people prefer this type of material
to shiny silver fillings.
But how long do these fillings last, exactly? The exact length of time is impossible to predict, but here’s
what you can expect based on your filling’s material:
Silver amalgam filling. These can last for up to 15 years, although they should be regularly
checked by your dentist during your bi-annual appointment for cracks or damage. This is
because a damaged silver filling can expose you to mercury and should be repaired or replaced
as soon as possible.
Composite resin filling. Although these fillings will match your natural teeth, they don’t last as
long. They may last for up to 10 years, although some people will need them replaced in as little
as 5. It all depends on your oral health.
Gold filling. Less common than silver amalgam or composite resin, gold fillings are your costlier
option and won’t match your natural teeth, but their life expectancy is up to 30 years!
Regardless of which dental filling you have, it’s important to remember that it will need to be replaced
at some point. It’s also crucial that you take care of your dental filling to not only extend its life, but to
protect your smile from further damage.
How to take Care of Your Dental Fillings
Taking care of your dental fillings isn’t that much different from taking care of your teeth. Brushing and
flossing are important as well as visiting your dentist. It’s important to not engage in harmful practices
such as biting your nails, grinding your teeth, and chewing ice. All of these habits can harm your fillings!
Getting dental checkups is also essential. Your dentist can let you know how well your filling is holding
up. If there are any problems, your dentist will be the first to spot them and you can work to repair your
filling to fully protect your teeth.
If you have dental fillings, it’s easy to think that your teeth are set for life. However, keep in mind that
your filling will need to be replaced at some point. By keeping up with your dentist visits, you can know
exactly when to replace your fillings to keep your smile protected and prevent the need for future