How Long Do Metal-Free Restorations Last?

White teeth

If you have a cavity or a damaged tooth, you don’t need to worry about a dark restoration causing an eyesore when you smile. Instead, metal-free fillings and crowns are the go-to solutions to rehabilitate a compromised tooth. They are customized to match the color of your enamel to blend in with your natural teeth. Since they aren’t made of metal, it’s normal to be concerned about their strength and durability. Rest assured, tooth-colored fillings and crowns are designed to last for many years with the right aftercare.


Traditional amalgam fillings have been used for generations to treat tooth decay. They are comprised of a mixture of metals, including mercury. The American Dental Association supports its use; however, many people are embarrassed about their dark appearance. Not to mention, there’s also the concern of long-term mercury exposure.

As an alternative, many patients are turning to composite resin fillings. They don’t contain any metals, including mercury. Instead, they are made of fine glass and plastic particles, giving you a biocompatible solution. The material can also be customized to match your enamel to enhance the appearance of your smile.

For larger areas of decay or damage, you can choose an all-ceramic crown instead of a metal restoration. It will be made to look and function like your natural tooth.


Whether you choose a metal-free filling or crown, they are built to last with the proper care. Although they aren’t made of metal, they can last for a decade or longer. To protect your investment, it’s best to follow a few simple tips:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive dental products to clean your teeth twice a day.
  • Use high-quality floss to clean between each tooth daily.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools.
  • Don’t chew on inedible objects.
  • Don’t chew overly hard or sticky foods with your restoration.
  • Wear an athletic mouthguard if you play sports.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Composite resin fillings can discolor over time if you consume darkly pigmented foods and drinks regularly. Smoking can also cause them to darken. If your filling discolors over the years, your dentist can replace it to match your enamel.


You can choose a restoration that looks natural without compromising its longevity. Metal-free fillings and crowns can serve you for several years with the right care. You can invest in your confidence and your oral health using a treatment that blends in with your teeth.

About Dr. Hector Carlos Tijerina

Dr. Hector Carlos Tijerina earned his doctorate at Baylor College of Dentistry. He regularly continues his training to remain well-versed in the latest treatments and techniques. As a result, he offers his patients complete services to create healthy smiles that last. If you need a bilingual dentist who speaks English and Spanish, Dr. Tijerina is here for you. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.