How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

Dec 01, 2023

Dental fillings are a common dental procedure designed to fix teeth affected by decay or damage. They are crucial for maintaining oral health and preventing further deterioration of teeth. However, a common question arises: “How long do dental fillings last?”

The longevity of a dental filling in Oakland largely depends on various factors, including the filling used, the location of the filling in the mouth, oral hygiene practices, diet, and overall oral health. Let’s delve into the details to understand how you can ensure the lifespan of your dental fillings.

Types of Dental Fillings

Several types of dental fillings are available, each with advantages and durability. Here are the most common types of dental fillings:

  • Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, also called silver fillings, contain a blend of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They have been used for decades and are known for their durability and strength. Amalgam fillings can endure 10 – 15 years or more with proper care.

  • Composite Fillings

Composite fillings contain a mixture of resin and fine glass particles. They are tooth-colored and blend seamlessly with natural teeth, making them popular for visible areas. Composite fillings generally last 5 – 10 years.

  • Ceramic Fillings

Ceramic fillings, often made of porcelain, provide excellent aesthetics as they match the color of natural teeth. They are exceedingly durable and resistant to staining, lasting ten years or more.

  • Gold Fillings

Gold fillings are a mix of gold and other metals. They are durable and can last for more than 15 years. However, they are more expensive and less common due to the cost and aesthetics.

  • Glass Ionomer Fillings

Glass ionomer fillings blend acrylic and a specific type of glass material. They are often used for children or in non-load-bearing areas. They have a shorter lifespan than other types, typically lasting five years.

When Should Fillings Be Replaced?

Understanding when to replace a dental filling is crucial for maintaining oral health. Here are some signs that indicate it might be time to replace a filling:

  • Pain or Sensitivity: If you experience persistent pain or sensitivity around the filled tooth, it may be a sign of a deteriorating filling that needs replacement.
  • Visible Wear and Tear: Inspect your fillings regularly. If you notice any cracks, chips, or worn edges on the filling, it’s advisable to consult your dentist for a potential replacement.
  • Recurrent Decay: If decay develops around the filling, it may compromise its effectiveness. Your dentist will recommend replacing the filling and addressing the decayed area.
  • Change in Bite: A change in your bite or how your teeth fit together could indicate that the filling has worn down and a replacement is needed to restore the proper alignment and function.

Maintaining Dental Fillings for Longevity

To extend the life of your dental fillings, follow these essential tips:

  • Regular Dental Check-ups:

Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist in Oakland to monitor the condition of your fillings and address any concerns promptly.

  • Oral Hygiene:

Maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine, including brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash to prevent decay and gum disease.

  • Balanced Diet:

Consume a varied diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote oral health and strengthen teeth and fillings.

  • Avoid Excessive Pressure:

Be cautious when biting or chewing hard objects, as excessive pressure can damage the fillings. Avoid habits like nail-biting or chewing on ice.

  • Quit Smoking:

If you smoke, consider quitting, as smoking can stain and weaken your fillings, reducing longevity.

How often should I have a dental check-up?

Consistent dental check-ups are recommended every six months. However, your dentist may recommend more recurrent visits based on your oral health needs.

Is it normal to experience sensitivity after a filling?

Mild sensitivity after a filling is normal and usually subsides within a few days. If the sensitivity persists or worsens, consult your dentist.

Are there any home care tips for maintaining dental fillings?

Yes, maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can help prolong the life of your dental fillings.


Franklin Dental Care in Oakland is committed to providing top-notch dental care, including expert advice on dental fillings. Our experienced dentists ensure that you receive the best recommendations and treatments for your oral health needs. Trust us for a healthy and radiant smile.

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