What Causes Damage to Dental Fillings and Crowns?

A man with a toothacheCrowns and fillings are both very durable dental restorations, able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear over time. Regular biting and chewing will have limited affects on the strength and structure of a dental restoration. In fact, people at our Wilmington practice should be able to bite and chew without any significant worries. This is a testament to advances in restorative dentistry.

That said, dental restorations are not indestructible. In fact, they can chip, crack, or break for a variety of reasons. When they do break, it's often the result of the same sorts of force that can damage a regular tooth.

How Long Will a Filling or Crown Last?

Even with just regular wear and tear, restorations will have a certain lifespan. In most cases, a restoration will last roughly 10 years. Fillings and crowns can last up to 15 years with good oral hygiene. Eventually, issues affecting a tooth or the restoration will require the filling or crown to be replaced.

Tooth-Colored vs. Metal Restorations

Before looking at the causes of restoration damage, let's note that both metal and tooth-colored restorations are quite durable. Metal restorations tend to be a little stronger, which is why they are more commonly used on the molars, but tooth-colored restorations are also quite strong, all things considered. Regardless whether you have tooth-colored or metal fillings/crowns, rest assured that they are durable.

Common Causes of Damaged Restorations

Some common causes of damaged fillings and crowns include the following:

  • Accidents While Chewing – Sometimes an unpopped kernel of popcorn or a small bit of bone can lead to a serious chip or crack of a restoration.

  • Slips and Falls – Falling face first can cause serious injuries to the face and mouth.

  • Sports Injuries – If you participate in contact sports or combat sports, injuries to the mouth are a real concern and a potential cause of damaged restorations.

  • Vehicle Accidents – Whether in a car, on a motorcycle, or riding a bike, vehicle accidents can result in serious dental injuries.

  • Physical Altercations – People who get into a fight or are assaulted may experience damaged restorations as a result of the altercation.

  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) – The gnashing, shifting, and grinding of the teeth can result in major damage to dental restorations over time.

Ways to Avoid Damaged Restorations

In the above cases, damage to dental restorations can be avoided by wearing mouth guards, wearing helmets, eating slowly and carefully, and visiting your dentist regularly for proper dental care. Common sense and prevention are key.

Treatments for Damaged Restorations

When a filling or crown is damaged, your best option for treatment is to have the restoration replaced. A dentist can do this with relative ease, and will preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible.

Learn More About Dental Care Options

For more information about dental fillings, crowns, and other kinds of restorations, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates is here to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile.