The Hills Dental Spa

The life of fillings and crowns

How long does a filling last?  What about a crown?  These are great questions our patients often ask, but they can be difficult to answer.  There are various factors that affect the lifespan of dental restorations.

We have to start by asking the patient what they want.  Do you want a short term fix?  Is it important to you that you avoid dental emergencies?  How important is quality? Do you prefer treatment that is long-term, and more permanent?

You may be concerned only with relieving pain or repairing dysfunction.  Or, you may prefer to look into the future and seek comprehensive treatment to prevent dental emergencies and tooth loss down the road.

How well you care for your teeth has a major impact on the life of each dental restoration you have.  If you brush two to three times a day, floss daily, and keep up your regular professional dental cleanings at least twice a year, you can expect a much longer life from your filling and crowns than another patient who does less to care for their smile.

Other factors, or habits, that can harm and break down perfectly good restorations would be chewing ice, eating foods and drinking beverages that have high acid content – such as lemons, limes, energy drinks, coffee and teas.  Eating foods that contain abrasive fibers cause rapid wear of teeth and restorations.  Other habits or concerns that may be beyond your control, but still can be destructive to your fillings and crowns, are things such as acid reflux disease, dry mouth, or bruxism (which is clenching and grinding your teeth as a way to deal with stress or poor bite alignment).

It’s our job to help you chose the most appropriate restoration to fit your needs.  We use the most reliable, modern materials and techniques available, and procedures are completed with detailed accuracy and the utmost quality control.  This contributes to a longer life for your dental restorations.

The long and short of it is this:  crowns last longer than fillings.  While we can’t guarantee the life of a restoration, because so much of your personal habits and health contribute to the aging factors, a good expectation for a new crown is 20 years, or more, and a composite resin filling will likely last 7 to 10 years.  So, if you need to treat a tooth, you should consider your ultimate goals for your smile.  What are your habits?  How long do you want the restoration to last?  Do you want a quick fix, that may cost less?  Or are you more interested in spending a bit more for a porcelain onlay or crown that could last you 20 to 25 years?  Of course, communication is key.  Let us know what you want and we’ll help you get there.

As always, more details are available on our website at

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Posted in: Dental, General Dental Information

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