You know the saying if it doesn’t hurt, don’t fix it … right? Well not so much! Even if you aren’t experiencing any pains or problems, your fillings and crowns will eventually need to be replaced. When you think about the amount of work your teeth do daily, it’s likely that your fillings will eventually wear out and sometimes need to be replaced. Just like natural teeth, your restorations need regular preventative care to avoid dental problems that can lead to expensive treatments or tooth loss.
There are many different reasons that can affect the life span of your fillings. The average silver/ amalgam filling, crown or bridge can last anywhere from ten to twenty years, while composite/ white fillings may only last half as long before they need to be replaced.
Old fillings may start to leak around the edges from regular wear and tear. When a filling starts to leak it could allow harmful bacteria to get into the tooth or crown where it can cause decay. This type of decay often goes undetected until it has reached the nerve of the tooth.
Cracks can also be a problem. The average human bites with several hundred pounds of pressure per square inch, which can lead to tiny cracks in the restored tooth. If cracks aren’t repaired in time, they can lead to fractures that may spread below the gum-line or into the nerve. That might mean you’ll need a new crown.
Routine check-ups will help prevent these dental dangers, gum disease, and loss of a tooth. If you have any questions about your fillings, please feel free to contact our office. It’s important you understand what to expect from your fillings and crowns and what kind of care they need.