How Long Should a Composite Filling Last?

Composite fillings are what most dental offices around the country use at this point. They are strong, plus they are also visually much more appealing than older forms of fillings. They are so visually appealing that at the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry we call these fillings restorations. A restoration is making something like new again and a well done composite filling will do just that. It will make your tooth look like it’s brand new!  When properly taken care of a composite fillings can last for many years.

However, there is no way to determine exactly how long one filling will last. There are several factors that can determine its longevity. Here are a few of them.

Composite Fillings are Bonding

Patients are often confused by dental terminology. Composite fillings are bonded (fused) to tooth structure using a bonding liquid and a curing light. They set instantly under this light to give durable restoration that can actually improve the strength of the remaining tooth structure. Composite fillings are essentially the bonding everybody talks about.

What Determines How Long Composite Fillings Can Last?

Silver Fillings Before Removal

Failing silver fillings

One of the biggest factors in how long a composite filling will last is the skill of the dentist who places it. Good techniques combined with quality materials can assure a long lasting restoration. a well placed composite should be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the tooth.

The second biggest factor in how long a composite filling should last is your overall oral care. If you take really good care of your teeth, brush twice daily, floss once, and see us every six months, your filling should last a lot longer than those who do not.

Another important factor is the tooth that the filling was put in. A tooth that has greater stress

New Composite Fillings

After restoration with composite fillings

will result in a composite filling that break down more quickly.  Where on that tooth, how much that tooth is used with a lot of pressure, and how large the filling was in comparison to that tooth, all determine how much pressure is put on that tooth each time you bite or chew. The lower the pressure, the longer your filling should last

If you want to learn more about cosmetic fillings, come in and see us. We can explain to you how they are different, give you tips on helping them last as long as possible, and why we choose to use them as opposed to other types of fillings. Call us today and schedule a time to talk with us.


  1. Flemming Schwartz says:

    Dentist tell me I need to have two fillings replaced. One is a 30 years old silver filling and the other a 6 years old white filling. Both are medium sized / half of the biting surface of molars. I am surprised that the white filling needs to be replaced already after 6 years compared to the much older silver. Is that a normal lifetime for a white filling?

    • Mitchell Shapiro, DDS says:

      The white fillings usually last longer. A 30 year old silver filling may have lasted but is the tooth still OK? I would give the white fillings another try. I believe they are a better, less toxic material.

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