When discussing treatment options with patient a question that often comes up is “How long will my filling last?”
While I have seen some fillings in service for 40 years I have seen others which have lasted less than a year; the answer does depend on a number of factors. Factors which can contribute the longevity of a restoration include:
- the type of restorative material used (composite vs amalgam vs gold vs porcelain)
- diet and oral hygiene
- the size of the filling
- the condition of your oral environment
- your bite and how your teeth come together
- other habits including grinding and clenching
- the technique used in placing the restoration
What do the studies and statistic say?
Listed below are the average lifespans of the major classes of filling materials according to various studies. Please be aware these are averages and that the longevity of a filling will vary for the reasons above; sometimes longer and sometimes shorter. Just because a filling falls short of these averages does not mean it is due to “poor dentistry” or “my previous dentist did a bad job”.
On average white fillings last for 5-7 years
On average silver amalgam fillings last 10-12 years
On average porcelain fillings last 10-15 years
On average gold fillings last 15-30 years