Tooth fillings do the important job of restoring teeth where they have been damaged or decayed. The longevity of a filling depends on how it is cared for, where it is located in the mouth and the type of filling material used. Let’s explore dental fillings and try to answer ‘how long do tooth fillings last’.
What Is A Filling?
A filling is a procedure that is performed to fill a hole or cavity in your tooth.
What Types Of Fillings Can Be Done?
The types of fillings your dentist offers will depend on his or her preference and previous experience. The most commonly encountered materials for fillings include
Amalgam fillings are a combination of different metals including copper, silver, mercury, zinc and tin. Even though amalgam fillings contain mercury the Australian Dental Association has indicated that they are safe for use by the general population. They are not recommended for pregnant women.
They are considered to be robust and long-lasting.
Gold and porcelain fillings
Gold and porcelain are high-quality materials for dental fillings. They are strong and long-lasting however these materials are among the most expensive options available.
Composite resin fillings can be completed in your dentist’s chair. They are relatively affordable and can be matched to the other teeth in your mouth.
How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last?
The length of time dental fillings last depends on a few variables, namely: how well they are looked after, where they are positioned in your mouth (for example, the back teeth take more force) and the type of material used.
How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last On Average?
You can expect a lifespan of between five and 20 years from a filling, depending on how well you take care of it and the type of material used.
- Amalgam fillings may last for 15 years with good oral hygiene
- Gold and porcelain fillings can last for longer than 20 years with good care
- Composite resin fillings may last for at least five years before they need to be replaced.
Do Tooth Fillings Last?
We know that fillings do not last forever. This is another reason you need to ensure you visit your dentist regularly. Any loose fillings can be addressed before bacteria has a chance to penetrate your tooth.
Do Dental Fillings Hurt?
It’s possible that deep-seated decay has caused pain and discomfort, but remember that fear of pain should not cause you to delay treatment. Dental decay does not self resolve, and decayed teeth are weaker than restored teeth. Any infection may spread and could infect the other teeth in your mouth.
The procedure will be performed under anaesthetic so any tooth sensitivity you may currently feel will not be an issue during the procedure. Most patients find the dental filling procedure to be mildly uncomfortable but manageable and can go back to their usual activities afterwards.
For a more personalised answer to the question of ‘how long do tooth fillings last’ please contact us for an appointment: (02) 8806 0578