Do fillings destroy teeth?

This blog post will address the topic, “do fillings destroy teeth” and cover topics like can fillings destroy neighbouring teeth, discomforts after getting a dental filling, what can you not do after a filling, precautions while eating after filling, dental filling process, if cavity fillings last forever, about white fillings such as composite, ceramics and glass ionomers and proper oral hygiene practices to prevent fillings from destroying teeth and lasting longer.

Do Fillings Destroy Teeth?

No, fillings are a way of removing the decayed part of the tooth and sealing it with a preferred filling material, preventing the further attack of bacteria and tooth infection.

However, removing the decayed part of the tooth may also weaken the tooth but still prevent it from further weakening and destroying.

Can Fillings Destroy The Neighbouring Teeth?

Fillings when done correctly actually heal cavities and prevents the destruction of the tooth and the neighbouring teeth is prevented from any tooth infection that might have spread.

Some studies report poor oral hygiene after filling and improper filling to be possible causes of cavity formation and destruction of the neighbouring teeth.

Discomforts After Getting A Dental Filling


Just after the filling is complete, you may feel numb till the effect of local anaesthesia wears off.

Tooth Sensitivity, Pain And Pressure On Biting

Tooth sensitivity after getting a filling done is not uncommon and it may fade away in 1-2 weeks.

Sometimes, the trimming and polishing part is not done accurately, which leaves the filling too high, causing pain and pressure on biting.

This can be corrected by the dentist in no time and will help you to quickly come out of discomfort.

Galvanic Shock

Mostly seen with amalgam fillings, galvanic shock is a type of electric shock in the mouth, produced when two metal fillings touch each other.

All pain and sensitivity might take 2 weeks to subside. If it does not disappear even after 2 weeks, it is recommended to consult your dentist.

What Can You Not Do After A Filling?

After a filling, you must not eat hard and sticky foods, sugary foods and any food and drink that is too cold or too hot.

You should also wait for at least two hours before eating and drinking anything as till then your mouth might be numb due to local anaesthesia used during the filling process.

5 Precautions While Eating After A Filling

After a filling, you might feel some discomfort and need to follow the following to get some relief:

  1. Chew on the opposite side of the new filling with minimum pressure
  1. Eat Soft Foods as hard food puts a lot of pressure on the teeth surface causing discomfort to increase.
  1. Do not eat foods that are sticky in nature as it may stick to your new filling and dislodge it. This mostly happens with amalgam fillings.
  1. Eat slowly as this will put less pressure on the tooth and relieve the discomfort.
  1. Do not eat or drink anything that might trigger tooth sensitivity. Too hot, too cold or sugar rich foods and drinks must be kept away from your palate.

All the above tips might relieve the discomfort caused after filling.

However, your dentist is the best person to give you suggestions based on the type of your filling material and your overall oral hygiene.

How Is A Dental Filling Done?

Dental filling, as the name suggests, is the use of various materials to fill the hole in the teeth called cavities

Materials used to fill the cavities are referred to as filling materials and the process is known as dental filling.

The dental filling process is safe and painless and involves the following steps:

  1. A local anesthetic is used in the first step to numb the soft tissues around the tooth that needs filling. This is essential to give painless dental care.
  1. Removal of the decayed area of the tooth that needs filling using rotary instruments, or a laser.
  1. Probing to confirm removal of all decayed parts of the tooth that needs filling.
  1. After complete removal of the decayed part, cavity preparation is done by cleaning the bacteria and other debris produced during decay removal.
  1. Liners are applied for nerve protection if the decay has advanced to the root and might irritate the nerve endings.
  1. If you have opted for a tooth colored composite material for filling, then your dentist will apply the composite in layers and use a special blue light called “curing” to harden the composite material applied.
  1. Finally, trimming and polishing is done and the filling process is complete.

Do Cavity Fillings Last Forever?

No, unfortunately cavity fillings do not last forever. Even if you take all necessary precautions, you might end up ruining your filling because they are not durable for more than 10-15 years in case of silver fillings and 5 years in case of composite fillings.

Shelf-life of cavity fillings depend on several factors like type of filling material, oral hygiene, eating habits, habits like teeth grinding and health of surrounding teeth.

White Fillings: Composites, Ceramics And Glass Ionomers



  1. Aesthetics — Composite fillings closely match the tooth color and therefore are most commonly used for anterior(front) teeth.
  1. Micro-mechanical bonding with tooth structure for support.
  1. Additional uses of composite fillings — Composite fillings have additional use in repairing chipped or broken teeth.
  1. Cavity preparation involves removal of less tooth structure as compared to amalgam fillings.


  1. Lasts for at most 5 years, is less durable and also bears less strength compared to amalgam fillings which last for more than 10-15 years.
  1. Filling process takes 20 minutes longer than amalgam fillings as curing is involved.
  1. Multi-visits are possible when composites are used as inlays or onlays.
  1. Composite fillings being tooth colored are two times more expensive than metal colored amalgam fillings.


  • Porcelain is most commonly used in preparing ceramics.
  • Stain resistance is more when compared to composites.
  • Lasts three times more than the composites, for at least 15 years.
  • Being tooth colored and also more durable makes it as expensive as gold.

Glass Ionomers

  • Prepared from acrylic and glass material of specific type
  • Very weak filling material
  • Being weak, it is avoided from use on biting surfaces and common for filling tooth of young children
  • Chemically bonds to the tooth
  • Fluoride release is common and therefore protects the tooth from developing cavities and undergoing decay.
  • Old generation glass ionomer fillings lasted for less than 5 years but new generation of these fillings last more
  • Cost is comparable to composites

Proper Oral Hygiene To Prevent Fillings From Destroying Your Teeth And Last Longer


It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to  brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a toothpaste containing fluoride. 

It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning, just after waking up and once at night, just before going to bed.

You must also clean your teeth and gums, each time after you have food but not with a toothbrush. Simple rinse with water is considered good for overall oral health and hygiene.

Following this tooth brushing habit will help you prevent cavity formation in the first place and also help your cavity fillings last longer.


Yes, you can floss after a filling, but you have to be cautious of not doing it forcefully and extra cautious when the filling is on tooth edge.

Flossing after a filling must be done gently using an extra-thin floss. It is essential to curb bad bacteria and prevent interproximal caries.

It is recommended to brush twice a day for two minutes each everyday and floss twice daily even after a filling.


Therapeutic mouthwashes, as the name suggests have therapeutic action and control dental conditions like gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. They also help remove halitosis.

Occasional use of mouthwash along with daily brushing and flossing helps keep bad oral bacteria away and thus prevents formation of cavities and allows cavity fillings to last longer.


This blog post addressed the topic, “do fillings destroy teeth”. We understood if fillings can destroy neighbouring teeth, discomforts you may experience after getting a dental filling, what can you not do after a filling, precautions while eating after filling, dental filling process and if cavity fillings last forever.

The article outlined white fillings such as composite, ceramics and glass ionomers and also about proper oral hygiene practices to prevent fillings from destroying teeth and lasting longer.


Do Fillings Weaken Your Teeth?

No, not all fillings weaken your teeth but only some large fillings do. To fill large cavities, a large portion of your natural tooth is removed resulting in weakening of the tooth.

Compared to other filling materials, amalgam filling requires a significantly larger portion of your tooth structure to be removed involving even some healthy part, resulting in weakening of your teeth.

Do Teeth Rot After Filling?

Yes, if the seal is inappropriate, or if the seal breakdown due to excessive contraction and expansion of the filling material, the cavity causing bacteria may invade, resulting in cavity reformation and rotting of your teeth.

In order to prevent cavities from reappearing even after filling, daily brushing your teeth twice is essential along with daily flossing and occasional mouthwash.

Is Having A Lot Of Fillings Bad?

Having a lot of fillings is surely bad and indicates poor oral hygiene or may be poor body defense.

Cavity formation must be prevented in the first place by following proper oral hygiene, eating foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D and abstaining from bad habits like smoking or use of smokeless tobacco.

If you have a lot of fillings and your teeth structure is less, your teeth might be weakened and may also loosen eventually.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Tooth Filling?

Tooth filling may have a few disadvantages like discoloration of tooth and even blackening of tooth in case of amalgam fillings. Other than this, amalgam filling requires removal of a large portion of your tooth structure and therefore may weaken your tooth.

Improper filling and failed fillings are more disadvantageous as it may cause reappearance of cavities, destruction and tooth loss and may even cause galvanic shock and more pain and discomfort.


Do fillings need to be replaced?

Yes, fillings need to be replaced once it falls out or wears out leaving the cavity exposed to bacterial infiltration.

Tooth cavity filling materials are constantly subjected to biting force, or may be stress from teeth clenching, wearing them out slowly and slowly, ultimately leading to their fall out, cracking or chipping off.

Once fillings are worn out, replacement is needed to prevent bacterial invasion and cavity reappearance.

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

Can I Eat After A White Filling

What Can I Eat After Tooth Filling

How Long After A Filling Can You Drink Tea


Problems With Dental Fillings

Can Fillings Harm Neighboring Teeth? – WebMD

Do Fillings Hurt? Types of Fillings, Numbing, Prevention & More

Chewing Tips After A Filling. Colgate

What Is a Filling? Colgate

Dental Health and Tooth Fillings. (2019)

Dental Fillings Are Durable But Don’t Last Forever – Colgate

How Long Do Fillings Last? Types, Prevention & More

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