Lifespan of Dental Fillings: How to Care for Your Restored Teeth

Dental fillings are one of the most common dental treatments, and they are used to restore damaged teeth and prevent further decay. Fillings can last several years, but how long they last depends on several factors. In this article, we will discuss how long dental fillings can last and what factors can affect their longevity.

What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are used to repair teeth damaged by decay, cracks, or fractures. The dentist removes the damaged part of the tooth and replaces it with a filling material, which can be made of several materials such as amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, or gold. The type of filling material used depends on the location and extent of the damage, as well as the patient’s preference.

How Long Can Dental Fillings Last?

The lifespan of dental fillings varies depending on several factors, including the type of filling material used, the size and location of the filling, the patient’s oral hygiene, and their eating and drinking habits. Here are the average lifespan of the most common filling materials:

  • Amalgam Fillings: These are made of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. They are durable, long-lasting, and can withstand the pressure of chewing. Amalgam fillings can last ten to 15 years or longer if they are well-maintained and the patient practices good oral hygiene.
  • Composite Resin Fillings: These are made of a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture. They are less durable than amalgam fillings but are more aesthetically pleasing. Composite fillings can last up to seven to ten years with proper care.
  • Porcelain Fillings: These are also known as inlays or onlays, made of durable, tooth-colored material. Porcelain fillings can last up to 15 years or longer if well-maintained.
  • Gold Fillings: These are made of gold, copper, and other metals. They are durable and long-lasting, lasting up to 20 years or longer.

What Factors Can Affect the Lifespan of Dental Fillings?

Several factors can affect the lifespan of dental fillings, including:

  • Oral Hygiene: Good oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash can help prevent decay and prolong the lifespan of dental fillings.
  • Diet: Eating sugary and acidic foods and drinks can increase the risk of decay and damage to dental fillings. Patients should avoid eating hard and chewy foods that can potentially damage their fillings.
  • Teeth Grinding: Patients who grind their teeth (bruxism) can wear down their fillings faster than those who don’t. Wearing a nightguard can help protect the fillings from damage.
  • Location and Size of the Filling: Fillings in the back teeth (molars) tend to wear down faster than those in the front teeth (incisors). Larger fillings are also more prone to damage than smaller ones.
  • Age of the Filling: Over time, fillings can wear down, chip, or crack, affecting their longevity. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help detect any issues with fillings before they become more serious.


Dental fillings are a common treatment for damaged teeth, and their lifespan depends on several factors, including the type of filling material used, the patient’s oral hygiene, and their eating and drinking habits. Patients should practice good oral hygiene and visit their dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings to ensure their fillings are in good condition.

Holden Dental Arts provides comprehensive care in order to maintain your overall dental health. Dr. Sarah Alaaraji and Dr. John P. Gusha, together with our highly professional and friendly staff are committed to promoting healthy smiles. We also provide consultations for more complex treatments, such as dental implants and veneers. If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Holden that offers dental veneer treatments, look no further! Let’s enhance your smile and improve your oral health!