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How Long Do Fillings Last? Here’s How to Tell if You Need Yours Replaced

Dental fillings are becoming more advanced every year, and improvements in lifespan are quite common. But despite the advancements made, fillings still have a finite period of use after which they start to fail. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you know the signs of filling failure. Once your filling starts to fail, you’ll want to promptly make an appointment with your Tucson dentist. So how can you tell if your fillings are failing? Here’s what you need to know.

Silver Fillings Will Last for Over a Decade

The older style of silver fillings, while less popular nowadays due to their aesthetics, are still incredibly strong and durable. Silver amalgam fillings have been in use in North America for over 150 years, and are highly resistant to the wear and tear that comes from chewing – making them ideal for molars. However, even the strongest materials degrade over time – and that means you can expect your silver fillings to last for about 10 to 15 years.

At your routine dental check-ups, your Tucson dentist will be able to tell you if your silver fillings need to be replaced by probing your teeth with a tool called a dental explorer.

White Composite Fillings are Good for 7-10 Years

White composite fillings don’t have as long a history of use as silver amalgam, and that means the data on their longevity is limited. The scientific literature shows that most white composite fillings will last about 7-10 years in healthy patients – but this estimate is based on older kinds of composite fillings, and significant advancements in filling manufacturing have been made since that time (and continue to be made).

Newer studies are finding that white composite fillings are starting to reach par with amalgam, with some studies finding composite fillings that can last for up to 12 years if taken care of properly. However, further research will need to be done before dentists can claim that composite fillings last for over 10 years on average.

Is it Time to Replace Your Fillings?

Silver fillings start to create telltale symptoms when they start to fail. If you notice that your teeth are darkening, it may be the result of the metal leaking out of the filling and into your tooth. You may also feel soreness, or notice that your filling can “give” under pressure. Both are symptoms of a failing amalgam filling.

White composite fillings typically start to cause pain when they fail. Sudden sensitivity around a filled tooth in response to temperature or pressure may be a symptom of a decayed filling. You may also feel pressure when you bite down or have a throbbing or sharp pain that comes and goes. If the decayed filling has caused pulp inflammation, you may experience a constant toothache. Dark spots, teeth that feel rough to the touch, and cracks in your teeth can also be indicative of a failing composite filling.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your Tucson dentist at your earliest convenience in order to determine if your fillings are starting to fail. In some cases your dentist may recommend further testing, while in other cases you may need to have your fillings repaired or replaced. A dentist will be able to advise the best course of treatment after examination. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a failing filling, contact Badie Dental at (520) 325-3022 to schedule an examination.

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A gifted and compassionate dentist providing a comprehensive range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments.

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Dr. Badie was born and raised abroad but moved to the United States when he was just 19 years old to attend college and earn his dental degree. Dr. Badie completed his undergraduate degree in biology at a California State University before receiving his doctor of dental surgery (DDS) degree at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Sharp Barnes
5/5
1 year ago
Well trained staff! It’s always a warm welcome when visiting Dr. Badie. The patients satisfaction is truly a priority here. 10/10 I would recommend.
Shelly Jones
5/5
2 years ago
I am extremely petrified of dentists. Dr Badie was so patient with me, even when I was being a very hard patient. He gave me something to help with my anxiety. I had 8 teeth pulled at once. No pain whatsoever. Even the next day. No swelling, no pain. Even though I will still be scared every appointment, I know he can be trusted to be patient and gentle every step of the way.
Kelly Ann
5/5
2 years ago
I am so so excited to get my teeth fixed this is the best dentist office in Tucson hands down there so nice, not judgemental, And do spectacular work. Rachel is so amazing and so awesome she has been nothing but helpful and a delight to deal with. Everything about this experience getting my teeth fixed so far has been perfect now that I found this dentist office. While Most of the other places I had gone were unwilling to actually help me and were very judge mental of me because of my situation and needing to get my entire mouth restored after using drugs for 20 years, even after getting clean and saving up money I was still treated with such disrespect it was like disgusting and I am so grateful for Rachel and Dr. Badie & their team For being so compassionate and professional and fur doing all that they can to help me thank you guys so much you’re so amazing I hope that other people find & choose you so that you can help them too! I will forever be grateful to you guys And I’m so blessed to have found you thank you
Jennifer Perkins
5/5
2 years ago
I have been going to Dr Badie for about 3+ years for my cleaning. All his staff are AWESOME! Everyone is so nice and professional. I had my cleaning and filling done, and it was painless. Thank you all for making my teeth beautiful as always!
Richard Nordenberg
5/5
2 years ago
I’ve had a few good Dentists over many years but Dr. Badie’s office is by far the best and most pleasant to visit. Hard decisions are easier to make with their advice and council that can be trusted. He and his entire staff could not be better trained and professional in their work and office manner. It may sound a bit much but this is true, both my wife and I look forward to our appointments as the pleasant experiences they are. There should be 6 stars….Make that 7!
larissa bos
5/5
2 years ago
I received excellent dental care from Dr. Badie and his very friendly and efficient assistant Diane. Dr. Badie is very competent, detailed, compassionate, and thoroughly explains recommended treatment. His staff made me feel comfortable and welcome. Wonderful experience, highly recommended!
Irene Meza
5/5
2 years ago
I can’t say enough about Dr. Badie and his team. Samantha is the first person to see when you walk in the door, she’s warm and very comforting. She explains everything you need to know regarding your insurance and also the procedures. Angelica is the lead assistant she’s kept me informed as to what will be done as far as the procedure during my dental appointment. She was also very comforting and knowledgeable. Dr. Badie made me feel extremely at ease. I’ve never been to a dentist office where everyone made me feel so welcome and comfortable. Going to the dentist is definitely not somewhere you want to go but with Dr Badie he made all my worries go away. My teeth need a lot of work and he assured me he can make my teeth look amazing again. There’s no words to describe how blessed I am to be seen by Dr. Badie. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! I would definitely recommend this place!! 💓
Sabastian Rodriguez
5/5
3 years ago
Today I went in for my first check up.The whole staff was amazing. Dentist Badie really does care. He took his time with me to develop a plan with my teeth. I felt such a relief when he said that my teeth can be saved. Now myself I do not have insurance but the way they broke everything down made it super affordable for me. This place Is definitely worth it.

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