How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

October 22, 2018

Dental fillings checkupEven good things don’t last forever. Over time, new things break down and need a bit of sprucing up. Yes, even when it comes to your dental fillings.

However, if you take good care of your teeth and follow the dentist’s orders, your fillings could last for up to 20 years! Not too bad if we do say so ourselves.

What Exactly Are Fillings?

Dental fillings are basically preventative blockers put in place when your teeth start to decay. They halt the spread of the decay and fill in the rest of your tooth with a substance meant to last. Your dentist will drill away the damaged parts and bond the new filling to the healthy part of your tooth.

Your fillings may be made of:

  • Amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc)
  • Composite resin (tooth-colored fillings made of a mixture of plastic and glass)
  • Gold
  • Porcelain

The most popular substance used is composite resin since it’s tooth-colored and blends in nicely. These fillings also don’t need as much drilling and can bond directly to your tooth, providing added strength.

When Will I Need to Get a New Filling?

Generally, fillings can last as little as 7 years or as many as 20. There are many factors that can influence this including the size, location and how well you take care of it.

Considering all the eating and drinking we do, fillings are forced to withstand a lot of stress. Although they are designed to last, eventually the pressure of everyday chewing will cause your filling to loosen. The result is a small pocket underneath where food can collect and start the decay process all over again.

This is why your dentist urges you to get regular checkups and x-rays. They can spot issues before they become more serious and you end up needing an extraction or root canal instead of just a simple replacement filling.

Is There a Warranty for Fillings?

Central Park Modern Dentistry guarantees all composite dental fillings for 5 years. We will refund you the cost of the procedure if your filling fails due to breakage, misfitting, or decay within those 5 years.

However, the warranty becomes null and void if you don’t continue to see us every 6 months for routine cleanings and checkups, as we can’t monitor your filling’s progress accurately. All the more reason to keep making those appointments!

Stop Decay in Its Tracks

The best way to prolong the life of your fillings, and all your teeth, is to stop decay before it starts. And you already know how: just brush twice and floss once a day, then visit your dentist twice a year. You’ll thank us when you leave another checkup healthy and cavity-free!