Q. How long will a composite filling last?

Answered by
Dr. Disha Kandi Jain
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 12, 2020

Hello doctor,

I had some composite fillings placed on the front surfaces of several teeth last year, at the top of the tooth near the gum line where dentine had been exposed due to wearing away of the enamel. Several of the fillings have fallen out. They were not worn down by brushing, but actually they are detached as a whole from the tooth. I was shocked that they had lasted less than a year because online searches indicate they should last for five to seven years. Under normal circumstances, how long should composite fillings last?

Dr. Disha Kandi Jain

Dentistry Naturopathy Orthodontist


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your images. (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

Usually, composite restoration lasts for four to five years. Composite filling is not as strong as amalgam fillings. Moreover it has to be taken care of more than amalgam fillings.

Precautions to be taken for successful composite filling should be followed to last it longer. Most of it are the job of the dentist who is performing procedure, but there are few things that should be followed by patients also.

1. Avoid taking or biting hard food or candies with those teeth.

2. If there is any microfracture line of the tooth because of any hard substance bitting or trauma then it is harmful to the composite filling.

3. If any trauma or impact to filling then composite filling will not last long.

4. If you having any habit of nail biting then it is not good for filling.

5. If you have a habit of bruxism or night grinding then it is agrravating factor for fracture of restoration.

6. You should avoid tea, coffee or hard drinks consumption too frequently because it will lose its property and color. Apart from these things, there is natural shedding or wearing of composite layer like natural teeth wears as the time passes. Yes, your dentist is right if there is a fault in preparation of restoration or while doing composite feeling then it would have gone within few weeks.

So, for permanent solution, you can go for root canal with zirconia crown. If zirconia is costly then you can ask for other options for crown to your dentist which are available to them.

I hope this helps.

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