Contrary to belief, dental fillings will not last forever. They are strong and relatively durable, but all fillings will eventually need replacing. The lifespan of a filling is often dependant on the restorative material used to repair it. Other factors that affect its lifespan include your oral hygiene routine at home and ongoing professional dental care. Even which teeth are filled affects the life expectancy of fillings, as, for example, fillings in your back teeth come under far greater stress than a filling in a front tooth.
Which Fillings Last the Longest?
Fillings are made from gold, porcelain, composite resin or from glass ionomer. Gold fillings are more expensive but are extremely durable, lasting for ten to fifteen years or longer. Composite resin fillings match your natural tooth colour and typically last five years. With care, they can last longer but might begin to discolour and stain. Porcelain fillings are extremely strong and match your natural tooth colour, lasting fifteen years or more. The cost of porcelain fillings is similar to gold fillings. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride and usually repair cavities below the gum line. They last five years or less and are often used in children.
We check the condition of any fillings regularly during your dental exams because it is crucial that any failing dental restorations are replaced and can continue to protect your teeth.