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Tooth fillings are your first line of defence against tooth decay. They can restore a tooth to full function and address any accompanying pain or discomfort. Having dental fillings done early means a smaller and more affordable procedure, and more of your natural tooth can be preserved. If you’re trying to find out more about different types of fillings, let’s see how long do tooth fillings last.


What Are Dental Fillings?

Dental fillings are restorations that are used to fill up the holes in teeth that are caused by decay. They stop a cavity from getting bigger and can restore a weakened tooth to its full function and form.


What Types Of Fillings Are Available?

Today there are lots of different tooth filling types that can be used to plug a hole in a tooth damaged by decay. The type of material used will depend on where in your mouth you have the cavity, your lifestyle factors and your budget.


Amalgam fillings

Silver or amalgam dental fillings have been used for decades. They are strong and long-lasting, making them durable against wear and tear. Because of their obvious appearance, amalgam fillings are best suited for teeth at the back of the mouth.

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Gold inlays and gold onlays

Gold is considered the ‘gold standard’ of restorative dentistry. Gold is well tolerated and may last for up to 20 years with good dental care.


Composite dental fillings

Composite resin offers an affordable and efficient way to fill a tooth. They can be blended to match your natural tooth colour but may not last for as long as other filling materials.


Porcelain dental fillings

Porcelain is a popular choice as a filling material because it is strong and can be colour matched to your teeth. Gold and porcelain restorations do take longer to manufacture and are more expensive than other materials.


Glass ionomer

Glass ionomer tooth fillings are natural-looking and well tolerated by gum tissue. They release fluoride to stop decay from occurring around the filling.


How Long Do Tooth Fillings Last?

Looking after your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day can preserve your oral health. You also need to visit your dentist on a regular basis to check for signs of tooth decay. Your dentist will also check your dental fillings to ensure they are still in good condition or if they need to be replaced.

  • Amalgam fillings can last for up to 15 years
  • Gold onlays and inlays can last for longer than 20 years
  • Composite resin fillings may not last longer than five years before they need to be replaced.


How Long Does A Filling Take?

A simple single filling may only take 15 minutes to complete. A procedure requiring more fillings, or a more complex procedure will take longer.

If your cavity is very large or a substantial portion of your tooth is missing and weakened as a result, your dentist may recommend a dental crown instead of a filling. 


To ask a professional how long do tooth fillings last, please contact us for an appointment at (07) 3185 2387.

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