Did you know that over 90 percent of adults will have a cavity at some point in their lives? That makes the odds almost just as good that you probably have a cavity, a crown, or some other kind of restoration. A lot of people assume that their dental restorations set them up for life, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Almost every dental restoration and tooth replacement has a lifespan – ignoring it can be dangerous!
At Edgewood Dental Care we specialize in the restoration and repair of teeth, and in many cases we can simply replace an old restoration with a new one as it ages. In order to prevent an escalation of restoration needs it’s important for you to know how long your different tooth repair and replacement pieces last!
What Kind Of Restoration Do You Have?
The lifespan of different restorations varies by type, materials, quality, and the care you give them. These numbers are all estimates, so if you’re approaching these times it’s a good indicator that your restoration should be thoroughly examined.
Metal fillings are meant to last about a decade, as are fillings of other types too. If you have a metal filling that is approaching the 10-year mark it’s essential to have it checked. Without treatment a filling can quickly become a tooth in need of a crown or other restoration.
Old fillings can damage your teeth when cement washes away, leaving invisible channels between your tooth and the filling itself. Bacteria gets into those spaces and causes decay, which often goes unnoticed until it has eaten through the whole tooth.
Fillings can also crack teeth, which causes the same kinds of problems. The frightening thing about these microfractures is that they can be anywhere on the tooth, making it hard to find and treat them until decay sets in.
Crowns And Bridges
The average crown or bridge can last about 15 years, though it isn’t uncommon for them to be around long after that. Crowns are caps placed over single teeth in order to protect them. They are used when a tooth is damaged or too far decayed to be restored with a filling. The tooth is resized in order to fit, and then the crown is permanently attached.
Bridges are designed to restore missing teeth, and consist of a false tooth attached to two dental crowns. They can sometimes have a shorter lifespan due to shrinking gums and bone beneath the false tooth. This causes the bottom of the bridge to become exposed, leaving a gap between your gums and the false tooth.
Old crowns and bridges both have similar problems: they suffer from wear and tear, they can come loose, and you can end up with decay underneath them. As your crowns and bridges age the cement holding them in place weakens as well. It needs to be replaced, and often it may be better to simply replace the whole thing!
An implant is a titanium screw that is placed directly into your jaw. It bonds to the bone like a natural tooth root, forming a strong link that can easily last for life. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to watch out for with dental implants!
The crowns or bridges that are used to restore your implants still age in the same way as traditional ones, so they need to be monitored and replaced as they get close to the ten or 15 year marks. You also have to be extra careful to care for your implants themselves. They don’t bind to your gums quite the same way, leaving them a bit more sensitive to damage or loss from oral bacteria.
With proper care an implant will be permanent, but that proper care portion is essential!
How Are Your Restorations Doing?
These average lifespans for common dental restorations are just that: averages. If you’re coming up on the ten year mark with any dental restoration it should definitely be checked for wear, tear, and damage. You don’t want to risk serious damage to your teeth and gums by letting a restoration age past its prime!
If you want to find out more about your dental restorations feel free to call us at 859-474-7830 – we’re always here for you! If you would prefer, you can schedule an appointment for an exam today by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you!