Dr. Rowan expects all dental restorations to last long into the future, but the answer to this question depends on two factors. First, how strong is the foundation of healthy, natural tooth structure? Second, how well do you take care of the restoration?
For tooth-colored fillings, the smaller the filling, the longer it will last. Huge fillings don’t have as much support from the surrounding natural tooth structure and may actually lead to the tooth chipping or breaking at some point in the future. The expected longevity of crowns depends on how much healthy tooth structure remains underneath the crown. If nearly all of the tooth has been destroyed by decay or a fracture, then the crown's foundation isn’t as strong.
Equally important is how well you take care of the restoration. If you maintain a clean and healthy mouth, restorations will last a very long time. Although the filling material and the crown material cannot get cavities, if you don’t keep the area clean, the surrounding tooth structure can still decay. Some people are also harder on their teeth than others. If you chew on ice or grind your teeth, your restorations will wear out more quickly.