How Long Do Fillings Last?

Chances are, you have at least one tooth with a filling, but have you ever wondered how long it will last? Here at K Street Dental & Orthodontic Group, we can answer that question. Our dental team has been repairing and restoring our patients’ teeth with fillings for many years.

Here’s what we would like you to know.

Factors that affect a filling’s longevity

To understand the lifespan of dental fillings, you need to know about the factors that can affect their durability. These factors include: 

In addition, any type of injury to your oral health can affect how long your fillings last.

The different types of fillings

At our practice in Washington, DC, the most common filling materials we use are gold, amalgam (silver), porcelain, and composite resin (tooth-colored).

Gold fillings cost more, but their durability stands above the others.

Amalgam fillings have been known for their durability and longevity, with an average lifespan of 10-15 years or even longer in some cases. But they’re not as aesthetically pleasing as tooth-colored options.

Porcelain fillings are a bit more costly than most composite resin fillings and can last for at least 15 years. They also resist staining.

Composite resin fillings, while more aesthetically pleasing, may have a shorter lifespan of around 5-7 years, although advancements in materials continue to improve their durability.

The location of fillings

Fillings in areas subjected to significant pressure from chewing or grinding may wear down faster than those in less stressed areas. Also, if you have fillings at the edges of a tooth or near your gumline, you might be more prone to leakage and recurrent decay, which affects durability.

The importance of good oral hygiene and a healthy diet

Oral hygiene practices greatly influence the lifespan of fillings. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental checkups help maintain the integrity of your fillings by preventing new decay and ensuring early detection of any issues. 

In addition, a balanced diet low in sugary and acidic foods can help your fillings last longer by reducing the risk of further decay.

The effects of poor habits

Habits like teeth grinding (bruxism), nail-biting, or using your teeth to open packages can significantly affect the lifespan of fillings. Bruxism, in particular, can exert excessive pressure on your fillings, causing them to weaken or crack over time.

The average lifespans associated with filling materials are estimates and not definitive timelines. Your experience with fillings can vary based on your specific circumstances and maintenance habits.

Routine visits to our practice allow us to monitor the integrity of your fillings, identify signs of wear or deterioration, and recommend necessary interventions or replacements to help maintain your oral health.

To schedule an oral health evaluation with our team at our Washington, DC, office, call us at 202-315-0856 today.

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