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How Long Do Composite Fillings Last? 4 Prevention Tips

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last? 4 Prevention Tips

Dental fillings are a common treatment for cavities and tooth decay. 

They restore the structure and function of a tooth, preventing further damage and discomfort. However, the lifespan of a filling depends on various factors, including the type of filling material used, oral hygiene practices, and dietary habits. Understanding these factors can help you maintain your fillings and prevent future dental problems.

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles that match the colour of your teeth. They are ideal for filling small to medium-sized cavities and can be used in both front and back teeth. Composite fillings typically last between 7 to 10 years, depending on how well you care for your teeth. However, they are less durable than amalgam fillings and may need replacement every 5 to 10 years.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Composite Fillings

1. Oral Hygiene: 

Proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits help maintain fillings and prevent decay around them.

2. Diet: 

Avoid sugary foods and acidic drinks that can contribute to decay and weaken fillings over time.

3. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding): 

Grinding or clenching teeth can put excessive pressure on fillings, leading to their wear and eventual failure.

4. Location and Size of the Filling: 

Fillings in areas that experience heavy chewing or are larger in size may wear out faster.

4 Prevention Tips for Long-Lasting Composite Fillings

✓ Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: 

Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent decay.

✓ Monitor Your Diet: 

Limit sugary snacks and acidic beverages, and choose tooth-friendly foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

✓ Use a Mouthguard: 

If you grind your teeth at night, wearing a mouthguard can protect your fillings from excessive wear.

✓ Regular Dental Check-ups: 

Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings to detect any issues with your fillings early.

When to Replace Composite Fillings

Even with proper care, fillings may need to be replaced over time due to wear, decay around the filling, or changes in the tooth structure. Signs that your filling may need attention include:

✓ Pain or Sensitivity: 

Pain when biting down or sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods.

✓ Visible Damage: 

Cracks, chips, or wear on the filling itself.

✓ Recurrent Decay: 

Decay forming around the edges of the filling.


The lifespan of composite fillings varies depending on how well you care for your oral health. By practising good oral hygiene, and taking preventive measures, you can extend the longevity of your fillings and maintain a healthy smile. Regular visits to your dentist ensure that any issues with fillings are detected early, allowing for prompt treatment and preservation of your dental health.

Remember, your dentist is your partner in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, so don’t hesitate to seek advice or schedule an appointment. Talk with our expert dentist in Endeavour Hills if you have any concerns about your fillings or oral health. Our professionals offer comprehensive dental fillings service in Endeavour Hills.

FAQs about Dental Fillings

Are Teeth Fillings Permanent?

No, dental fillings are not permanent. The lifespan of a filling depends on several factors, including the type of filling material used, oral hygiene practices, and the location of the filling in the mouth. Typically, fillings may last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or longer with proper care. Over time, fillings can wear down, crack, or become loose, which may necessitate replacement to prevent further decay or damage to the tooth.

Does Replacing Fillings Damage Teeth?

In most cases, replacing fillings does not damage teeth as long as the procedure is performed by a qualified dentist. The old filling material is carefully removed, and any decay or damaged tooth structure is addressed before placing a new filling. Modern dental techniques and materials minimise the impact on healthy tooth structure during the replacement process. It’s essential to follow your dentist’s recommendations for replacing fillings to maintain the integrity and health of your teeth.

Do Teeth Fillings Hurt?

During the filling procedure, local anaesthesia is typically used to numb the area around the tooth being treated. This ensures that you do not feel pain during the filling placement. After the anaesthesia wears off, it’s normal to experience some sensitivity or mild discomfort for a few days. This discomfort should subside as the tooth adjusts to the new filling. If you experience severe pain, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, or persistent discomfort, it could indicate an issue with the filling that may require further evaluation by your dentist.

Will Teeth Whitening Work on Fillings?

Teeth whitening treatments primarily target natural tooth enamel to remove stains and discoloration. Most dental fillings, such as amalgam (silver) and composite (tooth-coloured) fillings, do not change colour with teeth whitening treatments. If you have visible fillings and are considering teeth whitening, it’s essential to discuss your options with your dentist. They can assess the type of filling you have and recommend appropriate whitening treatments or alternatives to achieve a uniform smile appearance.

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