A Center For Family Dentistry

Dental Fillings Lifespan: What Patients Should Know

February 17, 2015 — by Keith Kelley, DDS
Tags: Dental Fillings Restorative Dentistry

A young woman laughing outsideDr. Keith Kelley has helped numerous patients in and around Troy achieve excellent dental health that lasts. He does this by offering the latest in advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry as well as routine dental care services such as dental fillings for cavities and tooth decay.

As common as dental fillings are, many patients have questions about how long fillings last and whether or not they will need to be replaced. We'd like to go over these concerns right now so you understand your dental health needs in the future.

Can dental fillings last a lifetime?

While dental fillings are quite strong and sturdy, it's very unlikely that they will last a lifetime. In fact, most dentists agree that there is a set lifespan for dental fillings simply given the nature of natural wear and tear on the teeth over time (e.g., regular biting and chewing). Issues such advanced tooth decay and tooth erosion can also affect the strength and sturdiness of dental fillings and other kinds of restorations.

Keep in mind that metal fillings and composite fillings have different lifespans because of the materials used. Let's consider both in brief right now.

Average Lifespan of Metal Fillings

In general, silver fillings will last around 10 years to 15 years. With good dental care, silver fillings may last longer, but they will need to be replaced eventually.

Average Lifespan of Composite Fillings

In many cases, the minimum lifespan of composite fillings is around 5 years, though patients who take good care of their teeth have been able to keep their white fillings healthy and strong for up to 10 years.

What to Expect from the Filling Replacement Process

During the dental filling replacement process, your dentist will carefully remove the old dental filling. This will involve a removal of some of the surrounding tooth structure to ensure a strong foundation for the new dental restoration. The new filling will be carefully set in place to ensure a strong hold and good dental health for the years ahead.

In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the original dental filling with a new and more substantial restoration, such as an inlay, an onlay, or a crown. This can be discussed during your consultation with your dentist.

Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Dental Fillings

In order to prolong the life of your current dental fillings, keep the following oral hygiene and dental care tips in mind:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth every night
  • Avoid chewing on inedible or hard objects
  • Wear mouth protection during contact sports
  • Avoid snacking on candy and junk food
  • Reduce your consumption of soft drinks
  • Visit your dentist regularly for routine checkups

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Keith Kelley

For more information about the lifespan of dental restorations and what you can do to ensure that your fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns remain strong for years to come, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Kelley and the entire team here will work with you to make sure that your smile looks great and that your teeth and gums are in the best health possible.

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