How Long Do Fillings Last? — Are They Permanent?

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 1 in every 4 adults is known to have at least one cavity. This means that almost 90% of the US population suffers from some kind of tooth decay. And the only effective way to get rid of a deeply-rooted cavity is by burying it under dental filling. However, when it comes to fillings, one of the questions we get asked the most is, ‘How long do fillings last?’ The answer to that, though, depends entirely on the type of filling you get.

How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

Whether you’ve just recently been told you have a cavity or had it filled a long time ago, the one thing you should know is that dental fillings don’t last for long. They’re not a permanent fix. But don’t worry! This doesn’t mean they’re going to fall right off. It’s just that depending on the filling’s quality or material, the lifespan might differ.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all. That means each and every type of filling is different. From features to longevity to color, it all varies.

Nevertheless, here are the most common types of dental fillings and how long they last:

  1. Composite Resin Filling
    Composite resin fillings are also known as tooth-colored fillings. This is due to the translucent quality of the resin, which turns opaque and milky when cured. On average, a composite filling can last for as long as 7 to 10 years.
  2. Silver Amalgam Filling
    As per the name, silver amalgam fillings are pure silver. Dentists typically opt for this filling for your molars or for cavities on the back teeth. Not to mention, these fillings are known for their long-lasting stay, which can extend to around 10 to 15 years.
  3. Gold Filling
    Although this isn’t usually selected, gold fillings are mainly used for aesthetic purposes. Nonetheless, since gold is a metal, they’re extremely strong and can hold a cavity for up to 30 whole years.
  4. Porcelain or Ceramic Filling
    Porcelain and ceramic fillings are, by far, one of the most expensive types of fillings out there, but they’re worth the price. Well-known for their durability, color match, and longevity, porcelain fillings tend to last for more than 15 years if properly cared for.
  5. Glass Ionomer Filling
    The best part about glass ionomer fillings is that they’re not just used to treat a cavity. Due to the fluoride present in them, glass ionomer fillings help to strengthen the teeth and gums in the surrounding area. Plus, it’s the one type of filling that is placed under the gum line. Although if you choose a glass ionomer filling, you’ll have to get it replaced after every five years or so.

How to Make Your Fillings Last For a Long Time?

If you don’t want to spend money replacing your dental filling, then you should definitely try to make sure it stays on for a long time. The easiest way you can do this is by maintaining your oral hygiene. Take care of your dental health by paying extra attention to your teeth and gums. Nevertheless, mentioned below are some additional tips you can follow to extend the lifespan of your dental filling:

  1. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  2. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
  3. Opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash.
  4. Try not to bite down too hard, especially with the side of the filling.
  5. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  6. Floss and brush your teeth daily.
  7. Choose a fluoride toothpaste.
  8. Visit your dentist two times every year for an in-depth evaluation.

Closing Word

To summarize, fillings can typically last for as long as 15 years or more. It just depends on the severity of your condition and the type of dental filling you’ve got.

Nonetheless, for more information, reach out to Nimmi Shine Dental by calling us or dropping by for an appointment at either one of our following locations:

Location: 9888 Carroll Centre Rd Suite #112, San Diego, CA 92126, United States.
Contact Number: (858) 999-8550

Dr. Joseph Mara

Dr. Joseph Mara

For more than 19 years, Dr. Joseph Mara has been a leading dentist in San Diego, providing affordable, gentle, and honest dental care. Driven by a commitment to patient’s trust and satisfaction, he undergoes continuous education and specialized training in oral implantology and endodontics. At his practice – Nimmi Shine Dental, convenience and comfort are paramount. Utilizing advanced technology such as the Vatech PaX-i3D Scanner and Computer Guided Implant Surgery, the clinic emphasizes efficiency and overall patient well-being. Call us today at (858) 999-8550 to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist.


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