Can composite fillings last 20 years?

This blogpost will answer the question Can composite fillings last 20 years?

And will include the following topics: What are composite fillings?

Other filling materials

How long do composite fillings last? What Factors Affect the Longevity of a Composite Filling?

Are composite fillings safe?

Composite fillings procedure

How do you know when a filling needs replacing?

Why Composite Fillings Fail

How to make your fillings last?

What kind of fillings last the longest?

Can composite fillings last 20 years?

No, composite fillings don’t last for 20 years. A composite filling can last upto 7-10 years, when taken care properly.

What are composite fillings?

In comparison to other alternatives, composite fillings offer a more natural look. The composite material may be tinted to match the colour of your teeth, making them nearly undetectable to anybody looking at your mouth.

It’s a mixture of plastic (acrylic) resin that’s reinforced with a powdered glass filler. It’s useful for a variety of dental restorations, including:





Dentists also sometimes use this composite resin material to repair or restore parts of broken or chipped teeth.

Other filling materials

Your dentist may offer several choices when it comes to materials for a filling.

Amalgam (silver) fillings

For many years, this was the most extensively used kind of filling, and it is still extensively used in many parts of the country around the world. They’re extremely long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 15 years..

Furthermore, because the dentist does not have to stress about keeping the tooth clean and dry throughout the placement, the procedure is rather uncomplicated. They’re also less pricey than other types of dental restorations.

However, in recent years, their demand has diminished because they’re not tooth-colored, hence don’t look natural.

Gold fillings

The most costly fillings are those made of gold. Gold fillings are available from a small number of dentists. Although they are durable, non-corrosive, and may persist for 20 years or even more, gold transfers heat and cold, which might cause discomfort to certain people. A two-visit procedure is typically required.


Ceramic fillings typically contain a form of porcelain, and are also fairly long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 15 years projected. However, they aren’t widely used, are generally quite pricey, and need two visits.

Glass ionomer

A glass filler is used to make glass ionomer fillings. Glass ionomer fillings, like composite resin fillings, are tooth-colored and may be tinted to match a person’s teeth. As a result, they’ll be less noticeable than amalgam fillings.

They additionally release fluoride, which reduces the likelihood of a new cavity developing. They are, however, less durable than amalgam fillings that do not last as long. They may also not be suitable for huge cavities.

How long do composite fillings last?

Composite fillings have a lower life expectancy than amalgam fillings, notwithstanding their durability. According to a 2010 research, a composite resin filling should last roughly 7 years.

Some research studies suggest that you might get 10 years out of a composite filling if the fillings are well taken care of. 

What Factors Affect the Longevity of a Composite Filling?

There are many different factors that can impact the longevity of a composite filling. Factors include:


The location on which the filling is placed is important. The back side of your mouth has higher biting and chewing stress and pressure. Composite fillings are quite sturdy, but if put in your molars, they may wear out more quickly.

Size of the filling

The size of the filling matters a lot. Generally , smaller fillings are likely to last longer because fewer issues tend to occur.


If you suffer from bruxism, it can affect the longevity of your filling. Bruxism is a medical problem in which you clench or grind your teeth. Excessive pressure is exerted to the teeth as a result of these movements. Hence, a filling may deteriorate more quickly.


What you eat and drink plays an important role for the longevity of the filling.Enamel erosion can sometimes be aggravated by sugary or acidic foods and beverages. This might put your composite fillings at risk of developing complications.

Oral hygiene

Your oral hygiene habits also matter a lot. MMaintaining proper oral hygiene habits is necessary for maintaining your oral health and the longevity of your fillings. If you don’t take care of your teeth, further decay can build around your filling, putting it at risk. Furthermore, poor dental hygiene elevates your likelihood of getting cavities in other teeth.

Method of placement

The dental techniques used while placing the composite fillings is also a factor. How your composite fillings are placed is essential for making sure they last. To avoid moisture and germs from contaminating the treatment area, it is necessary that the affected tooth be thoroughly cleaned and dried.

Are composite fillings safe?

Many patients are concerned about the safety of composite fillings, particularly the risk that the composite material is cytotoxic, or hazardous to cells in the tissues surrounding the tooth with the filling.

Composite fillings benefits


natural appearance (tooth-colored)

usually can be completed in one visit

resists fracture

can be used to fix minor flaws and larger damage

only short-lived temperature sensitivity after procedure

Composite fillings drawbacks

shorter lifespan than amalgam fillings

generally more expensive than amalgam fillings

teeth need to be very dry during the placement 

Composite fillings procedure

The process of getting a composite filling is fairly straightforward and can be finished in one visit.

At the beginning of your appointment, your dentist may choose the colour of composite to use in your filling.

Then local anaesthesia will be injected to numb the tooth and surrounding area.

The dentist will then drill into your tooth enamel to remove the decayed part of your tooth.

The area around the tooth would be cleaned and dried to prepare it. 

The dentist will do acid- etching and bond the tooth.

They’ll begin layering the composite material into the hole in your tooth. The dentist will use a UV light to cure the composite filling and get it to set. Since the composite is applied in layers, the light will be used to cure each layer before going on to the next.

The dentist will shape and contour the tooth, then polish it.

He will then check your bite to make sure you’re comfortable with the restoration.

Afterward, you might have a little short-lived sensitivity to heat and cold, but it should go away pretty quickly.

How do you know when a filling needs replacing?

Signs Your Filling May Need to Be Replaced

The filling is fractured . Stress and strain can eventually cause fillings to fracture..

The tooth hurts.

You feel sensitivity while drinking or eating cold and hot foods and beverages.

The colour of the filling has changed

Your filling has been displaced

The filling is old.

Why Composite Fillings Fail

According to one study, composite fillings fail at a rate of roughly 13%.

According to the study, the majority of composite fillings failed due to three primary reasons:

The restoration was broken (39 percent )

Secondary deterioration (cavities around the repair) (26 percent )

a tooth fracture including a restorative (24 percent )

Surprisingly, only 1% of failures were due to persistent filling pain.

The one area where composite fillings fall short of metal amalgam fillings is durability.

How to make your fillings last

Of course, you are aware that brushing twice a day and flossing everyday are necessary in order to maintain the health of your teeth, particularly those with fillings. Frequent checkups with the dentist and thorough cleanings twice a year are also necessary so that your current fillings can be evaluated for any early issues. Your dentist can also inspect the material for flaws and use dental X-rays to search for any  deterioration under the filling.

Avoid unhealthy dental habits like clenching or grinding your teeth. Your dentist may advise you to wear a mouthguard to preserve your fillings as well as your healthy teeth and jaw.

Don’t put off taking care of a filling until it starts hurting. While fillings do not last forever, appropriate maintenance can help them last as long as possible.

Here are some tips for making your fillings last:

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle brush and use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.

Floss regularly to prevent plaque build-up.

Do not put undue pressure on your teeth by biting down on hard objects or using your teeth to tear tape or packages.

Visit your dentist for follow-ups and cleaning sessions every six months.

Avoid sugary drinks. These increase the risk of biofilm formation and subsequent infection.

Avoid staining foods, like artificially colored drinks or desserts.

Limit eating hard foods like nuts, hard candy, etc.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol.

What kind of fillings last the longest?

Ceramic fillings are composed of porcelain and can last for 15 years or more. They are, however, more costly than gold restorations and are one of the least common types of fillings available. Ceramic fillings must be fabricated in a dental lab or milling machine before being cemented into the tooth.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can composite fillings last a lifetime?

No, composite fillings don’t last a lifetime. Composite fillings have an average lifespan of 7-10 years.

Can a filling last 30 years?

Yes, some fillings such as gold fillings can last upto 30 years if you take care of it properly.

When should a composite filling be replaced?

A composite filling should be replaced if you are experiencing one or more of these signs:

pain or sensitivity, swelling around the filled tooth, visible cracks in the filling, change in the color of the filling.

Do tooth fillings last a lifetime?

No, fillings do not last for a lifetime. Different types of fillings have different life expectancy, for example gold fillings can last upto 20 years or more while amalgam fillings can last upto 15 years. 

Can a filling last 30 years?

Yes, certain fillings can last upto 30 years such as gold fillings. The lifespan of a filings majorly depends upon how properly you take care of it.

Other FAQs about Teeth Filling that you may be interested in.

Can I eat after a white filling?

How long after a filling can you drink tea?

Can I drink coffee after a filling?


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