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How long do fillings last?



Junior member
Apr 19, 2018
I have 8 fillings after years of neglect due to anxiety and domestic abuse, and I am on the downward side of stabilizing my life again.

One thing that I want to know is what having so many fillings realistically means for me. I want to know, with proper care, COULD that mean the end of this ordeal for me, that is to say, that with proper brushing flossing, dieting, mouth wash and so on, could that be the end of my dental troubles? Does having a filling necessarily mean I will lose a tooth down the road?
Not sure if I'm answering your question properly, I've got fillings that are over 45 years old in some of my teeth. I've also had a LOT more than 8 fillings. Thanks to growing up in Glasgow in the 60s :)

So yes, if you change your diet, stick the bristly end of a toothbrush in there a couple of times a day then your fillings will last for ages.
Thank you so much, Gordon. That was exactly what I was asking and wanted to know and I appreciate your response so much. Was having extreme fear that my fillings meant I would need more work done on them in the future, and wanted to know that with proper care if they could/would last. I feel like 8 fillings is a lot, to me, it is a nightmarishly high number, but I guess the worries about doom and gloom are overdone, as you explained per your own experience.
I have lots of fillings but recently I got a new one on my incisive center tooth. I am so scared because fillings must be replaced and each time dentist always damage a little bit of the natural tooth. My problem is: someday they gonna reach the pulp and I will need a rct.

I am young and I do everything I can to delay the replacement of the fillings (Im brushing for 2 to 3 minutes, flossing and mouthwashing 3x a day), I'm not eating sugar or acids anymore and I'm getting crazy about it. I only drink water and eat soft foods.

Have you guys had any similar experience?
What else should I do to keep them longer?
Is there any way I can avoid a root canal in the future?

Thank u so much and wish you all the best
fillings must be replaced??? I have never had a filling replaced
I've got 8 fillings in my front 4 teeth. They were done when I was 17 and had a heavy Coca Cola habit. I've had them for going on 43 years now and they're still fine.
The filling materials are even better now than 40 years ago, so there's no reason why yours will need done again for a very long time...
Are root canals inevitable with fillings? I had a substitute dentist that randomly mentioned I had a lot of fillings close to the nerve and to come see him when I need root canals and I'm stressing out about the implications of it.

I know I have composite fillings and I already tended to worry about what will happen when they eventually wear out. Is he saying that that's what's going to eventually happen when they fail? Am I reading too much into it?
You're reading too much into it. Assuming your diet is reasonable and your home care is OK there is no reason to suppose your fillings will fail at all.
First of all: Thanks for responding to me so quickly.

Wow! Really? I read they last 10-20 years at most and worry a lot since mine are 10-15 yrs old already. I think my home care is pretty good. Brush 2x+ floss 1x and multiple water pic's a day.

Is it also safe to say root canals aren't inevitable in the event they do fail?
Truth is we don't really know how long they last. The trouble is that composites are being improved continuously, so although we do have long term data, we simply don't have 30-40 year data on the newer materials since they haven't been using them long enough. We can assume that they are mechanically better than the previous generations but we just can't be certain yet.

I've got amalgams in my mouth that are 50 years old and composites which were placed in the early 80s which are still fine...

Yes, root canals are not inevitable if they fail. Usually, composites can be repaired in many cases rather than needing completely replaced, which is good news too.