How Long Do Fillings Last?


A common question we hear is, “how long do fillings last?”

So what does a newly paved road have to do with how long Fillings last? Believe it or not, the two subjects have something in common, which is that their lifespan is dictated by their environment.

There’s something to be said about how nice it is when you drive over a newly paved road.  The same goes for new fillings – they look good and feel smooth when they’re new. Although they can last for many years, they will eventually wear out and need replacement because they are used in a dynamic environment – that is, an environment that is in a state of constant activity.

The asphalt laid on our roads will naturally flex from regular use by vehicles.  Other factors such as the weather (changes in temperatures cause roads to expand, contract and eventually crack), and materials used to treat road surfaces (such as salt and sand) can all compromise the integrity of the road over time.

Teeth also flex from regular use. Changes in temperatures as we eat or drink result in the expansion and contraction of fillings and our teeth.  This holds especially true for those who chew ice, which we strongly discourage!  Your diet, oral hygiene, clenching and/or grinding (bruxism), and habits such as chewing ice, fingernail-biting, smoking and/or vaping all play a role in how long dental restorations last.

How Long Do Crowns Last?

Unlike a filling, which fills a specific space in your tooth, a crown (or cap) covers the entire tooth.  With proper care, crowns can last many years.  That being said, they are still subjected to wear and tear from normal, everyday function, and that wear may be accelerated by additional conditions, such as the ones listed above.

Use the right tool for the job…not your teeth!

Using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example) will shorten the lifespan of your teeth and restorations.

Questions about your fillings or crowns?  Please give us a call at (818)846-6464.

To your health,

James Segulyev, DDS