How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

March 5, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drruiz @ 7:02 am

If you have a dental filling, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the CDC, about 90% of American adults have at least one dental filling. And while the majority of people have dental fillings, many people don’t realize that dental fillings actually have an expiration date (which is why proper oral care is so important!). 

But, how long do they actually last, how can you make them last as long as possible, and how can you avoid them all together? Well, these are all important questions that we’ll cover in this guide. 

Keep reading!

How long do dental fillings last?

The lifespan of a dental filling depends on a variety of factors. This includes your oral hygiene and your habits. For example, clenching or grinding your teeth can cause your filling to break. Generally though, fillings may wear down or develop cracks, necessitating replacement.

One of the biggest factors that determine how long your dental filling will last, is what type of material it is made from. Here are some of the most common materials used for dental fillings and how long they typically last.

  • Amalgam fillings — Amalgam fillings, or silver fillings, are made from a combination of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They usually last around 5 to 25 years. They are known for being very strong, although a less aesthetic choice than materials like composite or porcelain since they don’t match the color of your teeth.
  • Composite fillings — Composite fillings are made from a mix of glass or quartz particles and acrylic resin and are tooth-colored fillings that typically last about 5 to 15 years.
  • Gold fillings — Gold fillings are made from a mix of gold, copper, and other metals. They typically last around 15 to 20 years.
  • Porcelain fillings — Porcelain fillings typically last around 15 years and also have the added benefit of being natural-looking.
  • Glass ionomer fillings — Glass ionomer fillings are made from acrylic and glass material. They are commonly used for young children and typically last around five years or less, although newer ones can last longer.

Do dental fillings need to be replaced?

Dental fillings don’t last forever. And when they chips, cracks, or separates from the tooth, bacteria can be trapped between the filling and tooth. Because of this, a damaged filling should be treated right away to avoid further damage. A damaged filling can also cause sharp pain when chewing and sensitivity to heat or cold. So, yes, dental fillings need to be replaced!

How can you avoid getting a dental filling?

The best way to help avoid getting a dental filling is to take care of your oral health. Some of the most important ways to do this are to :

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss once a day
  • Get regular teeth cleanings
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet and keep sugar to a minimum
  • Use fluoride toothpaste

How can you make your dental fillings last longer?

If your tooth is already at the point where it needs a filling, there are still things you can do to help them last longer. Most of this is going to be the same care you give your oral health to avoid getting a filling. Follow the same steps above to help your fillings last longer. Additionally, if you have bad dental habits like clenching and grinding your teeth, your dentist might recommend a mouth guard to help prevent damage.

Visit Dr. Ruiz & Associates, Inc for a dentist in Burbank, CA

The reality is that your dentist can have a big impact on the length of time your dental filling lasts. So, it’s important to visit one with experience and significant expertise.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Burbank that delivers exceptional care, come visit Dr. Ruiz & Associates. Dr. Ruiz is a renowned dentist, educator, and researcher who is known as a pioneer in supra-gingival minimally invasive dentistry, or “above the gums dentistry.” This is a healthier form of dentistry that protects soft oral tissues and produces long-lasting, beautiful results. And all of our staff are trained in these techniques.

Check out our Google reviews and schedule an appointment with us today!

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