How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

May 1, 2022

Several different materials help make dental fillings, and the type of filler you have in your tooth determines how long it will last. Unfortunately, dental fillings do not last for a lifetime making regular dental checkups essential to decide whether you must have replacements for the restorations.

It is essential to consider all your options whether you need a new filling or a replacement. The materials and alternatives to fillings also need consideration besides identifying tooth decay symptoms indicating the need for a filling.

Kindly continue reading to learn how long fillings last based on the material and when to know you need replacements, and the steps you can take to make the restorations last longer.

How Long Do Dental Fillers Last?

Generally, dental fillings last for approximately a decade. However, many restorations last much longer. Factors that affect the lifespan of dental fillings besides the material used include:

  • Your eating habits.
  • Dental hygiene.
  • Trauma to the tooth.
  • Decay around the filling.
  • Teeth grinding when sleeping.

Although many factors affect the durability of fillings, the materials in your tooth indicate how long a particular filler lasts. Silver amalgam and ceramic fillings last approximately 15 years. Composite and glass ionomer fillings last for around five to seven years.

Types of Dental Fillings

There are four types of dental fillings. However, the most common silver amalgam and composite are used extensively if you need restorations in your teeth.

Silver Amalgam Fillings

Silver amalgam fillings contain more metals than merely silver. They are a mixture of silver, copper, and tin alloy particles and Mercury. Silver amalgam fillings have been in use for over a century and are the most affordable type of filling you can have besides being incredibly durable. Although you can expect silver amalgam fillings to last for 15 years or more, they eventually need replacements at some stage.

However, if you receive amalgam fillings from the dentist in 96001, a private dental practice, you can expect the fillers to last between 7.1 and 44.7 years, making them a durable option for restoring your tooth.

Composite Fillings

A composite filling is a popular option among people because its color is often matched to the color of the surrounding teeth. A combination of acrylic and ceramic resins helps make composite fillings.

Composite fillings bond chemically with the surrounding tooth with help from an adhesive. However, they last for around seven years, but their lifespan can extend to a decade if you receive them from the dentist in Redding, CA. The materials used in composite fillings also help repair chipped teeth and fill minor gaps between the teeth.

Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are the most expensive than amalgam or composite fillings. However, they are incredibly durable and last for an average of 20 years or more states the American Dental Association.

Glass Ionomer or Ceramic Fillings

A type of porcelain helps make ceramic fillings lasting for 15 years or longer. Unfortunately, they are even more expensive than gold. Ceramic fillings need fabrication from a dental laboratory before placement.

Glass and acrylic help make glass ionomer fillings placed directly in the tooth. They are weaker than other filling materials and are generally used for minor cavities near the gum line. Their lifespan is around five years.

Do dental fillings need replacements?

Whether you get dental fillings from a dental school or dental fillings in Redding, CA, you can consider yourself fortunate if you never need replacements. Fillings are prone to cracking and wearing down to no longer protect the tooth from further decay. Sometimes the restoration falls off and needs replacements.

You may find it challenging to determine whether a filling has problems, but your dentist can identify the trouble early during routine checkups. For example, your dentist x-rays the tooth besides using dental tools to determine whether the filling seals the tooth appropriately. In addition, dentists can identify spots where bacteria can enter the tooth to cause further decay. Sore or sensitive teeth also indicate it is time to replace a filling. Therefore you must have your dental fillings examined frequently during routine dental visits to ensure you are not dealing with a surprise.

How Frequently Should You See Dentists?

If you are in good dental health, seeing your dentist once or twice a year may suffice. However, if you have dental problems like gum disease, you may require frequent cleanings every three months. Therefore you must schedule six monthly appointments with your dentist to prevent unnecessary complications from developing in your mouth unknowingly.

If you need replacements for dental fillings in your tooth, kindly contact Riverbend Family Dental for the restorations to safeguard your tooth.