Dentist and patient

There is No 100% Guarantee in Dentistry

Companies have different ways of drawing customers in.

Lifetime guarantee!
Money back guarantee!
Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!

All of these lines have been used to entice you with the promise of getting your money back if you don’t like a certain product. That line of advertising works for many industries, but dentistry is not one of them.

Your dentist and their team will do everything in their power to treat your problems using all of the tools at their disposal, but there is not a 100% guarantee that it will fix your problem forever.

Why doesn’t dentistry have a money back guarantee?

Think about surgeons for a second.

They’re not held to a 100% guarantee even though they perform, in some cases, life-saving surgeries. While the patient, their family, and the surgeon hope for a successful surgery, sometimes that isn’t possible.


People understand that medical treatments aren’t risk-free. Diseases may be caused by everything from genetics to lifestyle and their treatability can depend on everything from how early symptoms are caught to how other underlying health issues may affect you. It’s the same concept for dentistry

Why don’t fillings have a 100% success rate?

To answer this question, it’s important to understand how cavities are formed.

Your mouth is home to a large amount of bacteria which is the strongest and most destructive when fed a steady diet of carbohydrates, especially in the form of simple sugars. These bacteria eat away at your teeth, even more so if:

  • Your teeth are crooked and jammed into place
  • You don’t brush/floss regularly and properly
  • Your diet consists of a lot of sugars, including fruit sugar

Your dentist is able to repair the damaged tooth using durable materials. With that being said, it doesn’t mean that this is the end of the story for that tooth. The weakest point on a tooth for a cavity is where the new filling material and the tooth meet. The second weakest point is likely the root surface when gums recede.

So even when a cavity is corrected with the utmost care, there are still things that could go wrong. Your oral care habits and diet play a huge role in the filling’s success. If your diet consists of lots of sugars and you don’t floss regularly and properly, a cavity will likely grow again and require a new filling in the future.

Like most things, the materials used in fillings don’t last forever. Some materials like ceramic, porcelain, and gold are stronger and more durable than others, but they don’t have a lifetime guarantee. Your dentist may be able to estimate the filling will last anywhere from 5-25+ years, they can’t know for sure. But there are certain things that can cause them to deteriorate faster:

  • Chewing ice
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Drinking pop or coffee/tea all day
  • Drinking tons of dried fruit
  • Having acid reflux or another stomach disorder causing burping

Are root canals a perfect solution?

When the nerve of your tooth is dying or dead, your dentist will usually recommend a root canal. There are many reasons that can cause a nerve to die, including trauma and clenching or grinding your teeth.

Trauma doesn’t only mean damaging your teeth in an accident. Every time your dentist fixes a tooth, it is as though microsurgery has been performed, which is a form of trauma. Repeated trauma can lead to the need for a root canal, which has shown great results.

In fact, when performed properly, root canals typically have a success rate of 95%. But this is not a 100% guarantee. Like most dental procedures, root canals can wear down over time, even if properly cared for. The best way to make the most out of a root canal or any treatment is to monitor your oral hygiene and eating habits.

Why can’t my dentist promise that the treatment will be 100% effective?

Every person in the medical and dental industries are trained to use their best skills, materials, and experience to adjust something in your body that isn’t working properly. However, in many cases the problem that caused you to get checked out is a result of a larger issue. Your dentist can do their part by cleaning out a cavity, giving you a snoring appliance, or rebuilding a broken tooth.

If you really want to solve your problem, the best thing that you can do is have an honest conversation with your dentist about the solution in relation to the rest of your dental and overall health. This allows your dentist to give you advice that will contribute to the best long-lasting results.

If you want a dentist who will do everything in their power to deliver results that last, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens.

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