The Lifespan Of Fillings, Restorations, And Other Dental Work

Posted In: Blog


HAVE YOU EVER HEARD someone say that after you cut your finger, and it heals, that the scar tissue is stronger than normal tissue? Some opinions vary, but it appears that this notion is more myth than truth. But what about your teeth and your restorative dental work? Can a filling or a crown get a cavity?

It’s Important To Keep A Watchful Eye On Fillings And Other Dental Restorations

Regardless of where (or how long ago) dental procedures were performed, it’s really important to keep an eye on them. That’s a big part of your regular checkups. Here’s why:

  1. Decay can sneak in around fillings, crowns, and other restorative dental work.
  2. Sometimes, restorative work gives plaque additional nooks and crannies to hide in.
  3. Typically, the lifespan of fillings is shorter than the lifespan of your tooth.
  4. Checking for unusual wear, cracks, and chips can save much bigger problems later including more serious problems like gum disease and tooth loss.

How Long Should A Filling Last? 

The results from research and studies into this question vary greatly. One of the reasons it’s difficult to predict the lifespan of a filling is because the conditions surrounding that filling are different in every case. It can depend on one or several of the following factors:

  • The material used to create the filling. Amalgam, composite, gold?
  • Where the filling is situated in the mouth. Under frequent pressure? Rarely used for chewing?
  • How the filling is cared for. Consistent, thorough brushing and flossing?
  • Is the patient a “grinder”? People who grind their teeth are harder on their dental work.
  • Nature of the host tooth. Is the filling a small portion of the tooth? A larger portion?
  • Does the patient frequently eat hard, sticky foods and/or candies?

“An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure”

Your mom was right—an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. That’s why regular checkups are SO important. When fillings and other dental work get older and worn, they can be more prone to cracks (or even falling out). Regular appointments allow these things to be monitored and checked to catch problems before they become emergencies.

Next time you visit, ask us about possible options for replacing old fillings, and how long you can expect yours to last. For some people, this is also a cosmetic decision because today’s tooth-colored fillings and restorations can look a lot nicer when you smile. If you have concerns or questions BEFORE your next appointment, please comment below or on our Facebook page and we will get right back to you.

We hope this information has been helpful to you.

We can’t express it often enough… Thank you for being our valued patients and friends! We appreciate you.