What happens to my dental restorations as I age?

Dental restorations can wear, change, fracture, discolor and even be affected by recurrent decay of the tooth structure. With the environment that they function in, this is certainly not surprising. Restorations are in a moist and/or wet environment, under constant biting forces and subject to trauma from hard foods and sometimes foreign matter, not to mention the effect of traumatic injury to teeth and changes in the restorative material itself over time.

The longevity of a restoration can be affected by the conditions under which it is placed. In an ideal world the area of treatment would be perfectly dry, the tongue would not get in the way, access would be perfect, and the patient would not bite down too heavily when the bite is being checked. As you may be aware from personal experience, this is not always the case.

Just as most things change with age, often so do restorations. It is not always affected by your age, rather it is the fact that the restorations have aged with you. Also, some restorative materials will stand the test of time better than others...with gold crowns, inlays and onlays often said to be the "gold standard."

Dental restorations, just like all parts of your body, age with use. You can anticipate that filling materials will slowly wear and chip around the edges of the filling. That leads to leakage and can ultimately lead to a cavity developing around the edge of the existing filling. Regular dental examinations by your dentist will reveal these areas early so that a filling can be replaced at an appropriate time and as conservatively as possible. 

Dental crowns and fillings can need replacing as you age. Watch as Dr. Maria Lopez Howell explains the importance of regular dental checkups to keep your mouth healthy.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.