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How long do fillings last?

Whether you have had fillings before or you are about to receive your first filling, an understandable thought is “How long does a filling last?”

Fillings last for years, but not for forever

The goal of a dental filling is to remove decay, repair the tooth, and last for several years. Depending on what it’s made from, most fillings last anywhere from 5-15 years, depending on several different factors. The most common factor is the type of material used.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll have a filling that lasts 15 years, but with proper care, maintenance, and lifestyle choices you can hope to get the most time out of it as possible.

What causes a filling to fail?

What can cause a filling to fail early on and need replacement? Here are a few things you might be doing, that could be a risk to your new restoration:

Failure to brush and floss

Your filling has a tight seal with the tooth around it. Still, if new bacteria, sugars, or acids have time to collect around it on a routine basis, a new cavity can form under your new restoration.

Grinding and clenching your teeth

A filling doesn’t respond to pressure the same way as your teeth do. Even teeth can chip and wear down if you clench too much. If bruxism (grinding) is a known habit, invest in a protective splint (nightguard) to prevent your new restoration from breaking also.

Wear and tear from time

Gradually, all fillings wear out. It’s best to monitor your restorations closely so that they can be changed out before leakage allows new decay to develop around them. We recommend that our patients have frequent hygiene appointments with X-rays taken regularly. Depending on clinical need, this can range from 6 months to 2 years to monitor their oral health.

Call us today to make a hygiene appointment for answers to your other questions about dental fillings