Keeping Your Fillings
Although some fillings can last for many years, the average life of an amalgam filling is five to seven years. Some can last 15 years. Composite fillings may not last this long.
Your dentist will examine your fillings at your checkup visits. You may need X-rays if your dentist thinks a filling might be cracked or leaking, or if decay is occurring under the filling. Make an appointment with your dentist:
- If a tooth is sensitive
- If you see a crack
- If part of a filling appears to be missing
To help your fillings last, you should visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, brush with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day. If you have many fillings or very large fillings, your dentist may prescribe a fluoride gel you can use at home. The fluoride will help strengthen your teeth and prevent future cavities. Your dentist or hygienist also can apply a fluoride varnish around the edges of these teeth at your checkup visits.