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Dr. Na Xu
Healthy Smiles Family Dental

2601 25th St., Suite 400
Salem, OR 97302

P: (503) 385-1185
F: (503) 339-1981

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Posted on 2/25/2016 by Na Xu
A diagram of a dental filling inside a patients tooth.White, composite fillings are becoming increasingly popular in the field of dentistry. In the past, if you needed a filling you were restricted to having silver, metal fillings put in, and this could seriously alter the way that your teeth looked. When you would smile or laugh, everyone would be able to see that you had a cavity, as that silver material was difficult to miss.

While white fillings aren't as durable as the metal options, cosmetically they are far superior. They are extremely useful when you have a cavity in the front of your mouth. Now, through the use of composite fillings, you don't have to broadcast to the world that your teeth are decayed, but how long can you expect them to last?

Unfortunately, it has been found that composite fillings don't have the longevity of traditional, metal varieties. The average white filling is only thought to last 5 -7 years, and research has supported this theory. One study examining over 650 dentists in Finland who had placed a total of around 5,000 composite fillings found that they lasted a little less than five years.

A later study followed a dentist in Belgium who placed 115 white fillings over a 17-year period. This study showed better results, as the composite fillings that he placed lasted an average of about eight years. Hopefully, as time goes on and technology improves, the life of composite fillings will continue to extend, perhaps even to the level of amalgam fillings.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if the benefits of white fillings - especially the improved appearance they provide when cavities are found in the front teeth - outweigh their need to be replaced more frequently. Contact our office to find out what type of filling will work best for you.

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