Broadway Family Dental Broadway Family Dental

372 Stockton St, Brooklyn, NY 11206

(718) 455-4400 BOOK ONLINE

How Long Should a Dental Filling Last?

Family and Cosmetic Dentist Located in Brooklyn, NY

Fillings are often recommended by dentists when a cavity forms on your tooth. Made from several different kinds of materials, these fillings can last 5 to 15 years, depending on how well you care for them. If you need a filling for treating tooth decay, schedule an appointment with our board-certified dentist at Broadway Family Dental. Dr. Ella Dekhtyar discusses the benefits of fillings, how long they last, and explains how they treat cavities and stabilize the tooth to restore its normal strength and function. She guides you to the right treatment based on your tooth condition and choice.

Dental fillings are hard filling substances that repair decayed or damaged teeth. If left untreated, cavities or holes caused by tooth damage expand until they destroy the tooth or lead to infection. While dental fillings cannot completely repair the damage, they fill these holes and cavities and repair the damaged tooth structure, saving your tooth and preventing further dental problems.

Whether you need a new or replacement filling, it is essential to consider all your options when it comes to materials, as well as alternatives to fillings. Your dentist can also help identify symptoms of tooth decay to determine if a filling is necessary.

Read on to know everything about dental fillings, how long they usually last based on material type, and what you can do to ensure fillings last longer and work better.

How Long Do Dental Fillings Last?

The durability and lifetime of dental fillings depend on the type of filling you choose. There are many types of fillings, made of different materials, with varying price points and cosmetic considerations. While some materials are more durable than others, none of them is considered permanent. Your dentist can help you choose the most suitable filling for your dental needs.

Depending on the material and how well it is treated, dental fillings can last anywhere from 5 to 30 years, and the style of filling used largely determines it. While most fillings usually last about 10 to 15 years with good care, some fillings may not last that long.

Types of Dental Fillings

Selecting a filling material that works best for you is not easy and requires some consideration. It will play a crucial role in determining how long your dental filling will last.

Some factors you should keep in mind when deciding on the filling you should choose are:

  • The appearance of the material and if you will be able to see the filling visually
  • The durability of the material
  • Its longevity
  • The cost of that particular solution

Your dentist will explain the pros and cons of each type of filing material and help you understand which one would work best for you.

Types of Dental Fillings

Here are the most commonly used materials for dental restorations:


This type of filling is the most expensive, but it is one of the longest-lasting options. The fillings can last the longest, from 20 to 30 years in some cases, before needing to be replaced. The soft metal stays tightly conformed to the shape of your tooth, reducing the chances of further decay and sudden loss as they don’t erode and withstand hard chewing.

The dentist starts with a shot of an anesthetic and removes decayed tooth material from the damaged tooth. The hole in the tooth is then filled with the right filling.

Silver Amalgam

The average silver filling lasts around 15 years, or even longer in some cases, before needing replacement. While classic silver amalgam fillings do not blend in, they conform well in unusual spots and bond tightly to the tooth. They are durable and withstand strong forces. They are also less expensive than gold and composite fillings, but they are more likely to stand out in the mouth as the silver color looks nothing like natural tooth enamel.

Ceramic Fillings

Made of porcelain or ceramic, these fillings can last for a long time and offer a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. Depending on the complexity of the filling, it may last even longer with proper care. Ceramic is a popular choice among patients as it blends in with smile’s natural color. Ceramic is a durable material, more resistant to wear and tear, and can last as long as a more visible metal filling. Ceramic fillings may be as expensive as gold fillings.

Composite Resin

These fillings usually last for around 5 years or even more if fillings are smaller and patients have good oral health. Composite resin fillings are very popular due to their affordability and the great aesthetics they offer. The color of composite resin can be matched to the color of the surrounding teeth, and they bond to the teeth with an adhesive. They are ideal for repairing the front or visible parts of the teeth and help to create great smiles.

Composite filling materials are also used for repairing chipped teeth and filling in small gaps between teeth.

Glass Ionomer Fillings

These fillings last around 5 years. They are made with a kind of glass and acrylic material and can be placed directly in the tooth. As they are weaker than other fillings, they are not best for chewing surfaces but mostly used for filling near the gum line, especially where other fillings would not work as well.

Glass ionomers release fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay. Glass ionomer fillings are a good choice for deep and complicated fillings, but as the material is somewhat fragile, they may need replacement every 5 to 7 years.

While several factors can affect the durability of fillings, the materials used can give you a good idea of how long a particular filling should last. Both gold and amalgam fillings can last up to 20 years in the right circumstances. Porcelain and composite fillings can be more fragile, but they are more cosmetically appealing and hence, a preferred choice of most patients.

How to Make Your Fillings Last Long?

How long dental fillings last relies heavily on the patient’s oral hygiene routine and their health. People who practice brushing and flossing daily are less likely to need their fillings replaced early on.

Brushing twice a day and flossing daily can help keep your filled teeth healthy. Regular dental visits give the dentist a chance to keep an eye on your existing fillings and detect any problems early.

You can make your dental fillings last long by following these tips:

  • Avoid bad dental habits such as clenching or grinding your teeth. You can ask your dentist about it and get a mouth guard if needed to prevent damage to your fillings as well as to protect your healthy teeth and jaw.
  • Don’t wait till a filling is hurt to start caring for it. Fillings do not last forever, but you can increase their lifespan with proper care.
  • Get your fillings checked at least once a year to ensure they are in good shape.

The dentist can also check for weakness in the material and do dental X-rays to look for rarely visible cracks or decay under the filling and save you from further dental damage.

Why Fillings Are Replaced?

Secondary tooth decay as well as constant pressure from chewing and clenching can damage your filling or the tooth around the filling. If a filling cracks, chips, or begins to move from the tooth, decay-causing bacteria can get trapped between the filling and the tooth. This type of bacteria cannot be cleaned with regular brushing and flossing.

Getting a damaged filling treated immediately and preventing dental decay and cavities is essential, and it is only possible with filling replacement. Removing the damaged and cracked fillings can keep the bacteria from doing additional damage, such as affecting the nerve.

Damaged filling can result in sharp pain when chewing or intense sensitivity to heat or cold. Call your dentist if your fillings seem loose or you feel any pain in your filled tooth to avoid dental complications.

Fillings protect your teeth and restore their dental function and appearance. They can last anywhere from 7 to 20 years, depending on the material used, the size of the fillings, and the location of the tooth, as well as how well you care for your mouth. Dr. Ella Dekhtyar recommends the best filling material for your teeth to replace the tooth structure that has been damaged due to tooth decay and prevent it from worsening. Call Broadway Family Dental and schedule an appointment today to meet our expert dentist and get the best solution for saving your teeth from damage.

Page Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dr. Dekhtyar (Dentist) of Broadway Family Dental

Broadway Family Dental
1152 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11221
(Bushwick, Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant)
(718) 455-4400

© 2024 Broadway Family Dental, Website & SEO by NYMM