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How Long Does Tooth Restoration Last?

dentist treating female patient

The term ‘restorative dentistry’ refers to procedures that help to restore the function and esthetic state of teeth, after they are decayed, damaged or missing. Fillings, veneers, crowns, bridges and dentures are all covered under restorative dentistry. The goal is to preserve the natural function and state of your teeth by filling in cavities or replacing the missing teeth. At Sherwood Family Dental, we offer a variety of restorative dental treatments.


Dental restoration can be of two types:

  • Direct – Direct tooth restoration refers to placing a filling into a prepared tooth cavity. You can choose from a variety of fillings like gold, porcelain, silver amalgam or tooth-coloured composite resin fillings.

  • Indirect – Indirect tooth restoration involves replacing the tooth in the forms of crowns, onlays or inlays.

In order to determine the best type of filling, your dentist may consider factors like the cost of the filling material, your insurance coverage, along with the location and extent of decay. Restorative dentistry purposes can be achieved through a number of filling materials and processes with their advantages and disadvantages such as:

  • The gold filling doesn’t corrode and can last for 15 years or longer. It can withstand chewing forces easily and some find it more pleasing than silver amalgam ones. The major drawback is that it is costly and coloured, not matching the colour of teeth.

  • Silver fillings last for at least 10 to 15 years, which is more than composite tooth-coloured fillings. It is less expensive than composite fillings. The disadvantage is that the colour doesn’t match the colour of natural teeth and compared to other fillings, a large portion of the affected tooth must be removed for silver amalgam to hold its place. Silver experiences a wide degree of expansion and contraction in the presence of hot or cold liquids than other fillings, increasing chances of cracks and fractures.

  • Tooth coloured composites can be closely matched to your existing shade of teeth and are very popular. They bond to tooth structure micro mechanically, providing strength and support. They are versatile, as you can use them for repairing chipped, broken or worn-out teeth. Less tooth structure needs to be removed for the filling to hold its place. It can last for a minimum of five years or more depending on how you care for it.

  • Ceramic or porcelain is also available for filling and bridges. These are more resistant to staining than composite resin material and it last for more than 15 years, costing as much as gold fillings.

  • Root canal treatment is the process of removing the infected, injured or dead pulp from the tooth. This is followed by the dentist cleaning and sealing the canal. With proper care, root canal treatment can last for a lifetime although lack of hygiene or careless treatment may hamper the healing process, requiring additional procedures to be done.

  • Dental implants offer a permanent solution to missing teeth. It consists of three components. First, a titanium post is attached to the jawbone. Then, an abutment is attached to the implant to hold the tooth in place. The third and final element is the crown, which represents the actual tooth. Implants can withstand chewing without slippage and can last for a lifetime. It preserves the structure of the face by providing support and allowing the jaw bone to grow at the site of the missing teeth. Since the crown receives all the force, it can last between 10 to 15 years. The failure of implants can be mainly due to peri-implantitis, a gum disease that damages the bone around the tooth with an infection. Any other condition leading to bone loss may also cause implant failure. Some people experience too much bone growth around the implant, making it too secure while other causes of failure could be poor lifestyle and oral hygiene practices.

You can avoid common dental emergencies through regular visits to your dentist and oral care. Contact us anytime for our wide range of general dentistry services, cosmetic dentistry or pediatric dentistry.



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