The fillings you get when you have a toothache not only protect you from pain, they also help prevent tooth decay from progressing. They’re a very effective restorative procedure, which is why most people want their fillings to last as long as possible. Of course, how long you can keep your fillings is affected by several factors. Here’s a little bit of information about a dental filling’s expected lifespan.
How Long Do Fillings Tend to Last?
The average filling can be expected to last around ten years. However, fillings have an incredible variety in their expected longevity, with some lasting as little as five years and others as long as forty. There are several factors that can either add or detract from a filling’s lifespan. The two most important ones are the material the filling is made from and the quality of their upkeep.
How Long Do Filling Materials Last?
There are several materials that a filling can be made of, each with a different price and ease of application. They also vary widely in their lifespan. Here are some of the most common:
These fillings are some of the oldest kinds, and they’re still often used. They’re usually made of silver powder mixed with various other metals. A 2016 study published in Clinical and Experimental Dental Research found that amalgam fillings tended to last around fifteen years on average.
A mixture of acrylic and ceramic resin is used to fill caries, with the color made to match the natural tooth. Studies have found composite fillings to last anywhere from 7-10 years.
Gold fillings are some of the most expensive, but are also the longest lasting. An ADA report found that gold fillings last an average of 20 years or more.
How Do I Care for My Fillings?
Other than material, maintenance is the lead determinant of a filling’s success. There are a few things you can do to make your fillings last:
- Adopt a tooth-healthy diet.
- Cut back on hard foods, like nuts, ice, and hard candy. Biting down on these can potentially loosen your filling.
- Take it easy on chewy foods like beef jerky and gummy candy.
- Brush twice daily, floss each day, and use antibiotic mouthwash after every time you brush.
- Use a mouthguard for contact sports, and a nightguard if you grind your teeth in your sleep.
No matter which variety of filling you choose, you can expect it to last over a decade with proper maintenance. So long as you take care of them, your restorations will protect your teeth for years to come.
About Our Practice
At Sommers Family Dentistry, we strive to perfect every aspect of providing oral healthcare. That means pairing state-of-the-art technology with an impeccable chairside manner. The result is a dental experience that can’t be beaten. Our sibling dentists, Drs. Adam and Norman Sommers, make use of the latest techniques in oral medicine to create nearly invisible tooth-colored fillings. If you have any questions about the lifespan of dental fillings, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (419) 668-3606.