You’ve probably heard of the body rejecting organs or other things the immune system considers foreign or invasive. What you might not know is that your immune system can also eventually flag root canals or dental crowns. Beyond that, dental technologies simply don’t last forever. So how long can you expect your filling, crown, or root canal to last?
Well, it depends.
There are several ways your fillings may fail, and which way and how soon is going to depend on what the filling is made out of and how skilled your Calgary dentist was. In general, fillings are (or were) made of gold, silver amalgam, or composite resins. Gold is the sturdiest and last between 15-30 years. Silver fillings usually last between 10-15 years, and composite has the shortest life span at 5-7. Any of these fillings can, with time, wear out or fall out. Silver and composite fillings (but not gold), can also crack or leak. Remember that excellent oral hygiene and regular visits to your Calgary dentist will help your filling to last longer. In general, we recommend composite resin fillings for front teeth as they’ll create a more aesthetic smile.
Regardless of your lifestyle and oral hygiene, a crown should last at least five years, and your dental insurance will likely pay for a replacement if it doesn’t. However, with daily brushing, occasional flossing, and very average oral health overall, we usually see crowns lasting 10-15 years. For patients with exceptional brushing, impeccable flossing, and semiannual visits to their Calgary dentist, 25-30 years isn’t unheard of. Whether the crown is attached to a titanium implant or your natural root will play a role in whether (and how fast) the crown is rejected by your body. Avoiding bad habits like chewing your nails or opening plastic packages with your teeth will also help your crown to last longer.
A root canal is often the last option for saving a tooth that is terrible infected. Your Calgary dentist will make a small hole in your tooth, remove the pulp (nerve and living tissue), and then fill up the hole. Given that the tooth is often quite sick before the procedure, it’s fair to say these teeth are weaker than most of your other natural teeth. After a root canal, it may only last another 10-15 years. However, there are ways to help your tooth last for the rest of your life. You can have it crowned, which will add extra strength and durability to the tooth. You can also carefully schedule and keep your semi annual appointments with your dentist and make sure to keep up your oral hygiene. It’s especially important to keep this tooth safe from further infection and injury, so don’t chew ice, avoid the habits previous mentioned, and make sure to brush and floss!
How long a particular dental technology will last in a particular person’s mouth is always going to be a bit up in the air. There’s a range of likely lifespans for any given technology, and the better care you take of your mouth, the longer things will last. If you want to learn more about how fillings, crowns, and root canals work to keep your smile healthy, contact the experts at Metro Dental today!