How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

How Long Do Composite Fillings Last?

Team Fillings

Composite fillings are attractive, tooth-colored dental restorations that dentists use to restore your tooth after removing decay or after an injury to the tooth structure.

On average, composite fillings last about five to 10 years. If you care for them properly, they could last over 12 years.

The Structure of Composite Fillings

Today’s composite fillings are a mixture of dental resin and powdered glass for maximum durability. They form a chemical bond with the teeth, creating a durable restoration that works as well as a traditional metal filling.

How Composite Fillings Work

Placing a composite filling takes slightly longer than a metal amalgam filling. To place the filling, the dentist first numbs the area with a local anesthetic. You will not feel any discomfort during the procedure.

The dentist may protect the area around the tooth with a thin plastic sheet or rolls of cotton to keep it dry.

They will drill the decayed area to remove damaged tooth material. Next, the dentist layers the composite material in the open area. After filling the cavity, the dentist uses a handheld ultraviolet light to cure it.

When the filling is complete, you should wait until the anesthetic has worn off before eating or drinking a hot beverage.

Your filling may be sensitive to hot or cold for a few days after treatment. If sensitivity lasts longer than a week, call your dentist for assistance.

Advantages of Composite Fillings

More Attractive than Metal Fillings

Many people do not like the look of metal fillings, especially in their front teeth. Composites provide a seamless look.

Strengthen Teeth

The unique composition of composite filling material strengthens teeth. Metal fillings do not have this effect.


Composite fillings can last for years with proper care.


Composites resist normal chewing pressure very well.

Caring for Composite Fillings

Composite fillings may stain when drinking coffee, tea, or other darkly pigmented beverages. The dentist can gently polish the stain away or replace the filling if it becomes severe.

To keep your composite fillings bright, make sure that you follow an excellent oral care routine. Brushing and flossing as your dentist directs and making twice-annual office visits for professional cleaning can help your fillings last longer.

Replacing Metal with Composite Fillings

As your metal amalgam fillings reach the end of their lifespans, you can ask your dentist which ones they can replace with a composite material. Some patients prefer to replace visible metal fillings with composites. Some fillings are too large to be replaced with a composite and must have a new metal filling.

Call Sunshine Dentistry

If you want to receive composite fillings for a new or existing restoration, please call our Cape May Court House, NJ office at 609-465-5415. We can explain your options and help you learn which filling is best for your tooth.