Why You Need to Replace Dental Crowns and Fillings
Modern dental restoration can address problems like decay to help prevent tooth loss and the spread of infection. While restoration techniques, such as fillings and crowns, are an effective way to restore the tooth, they do eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Fairbanks dentists recommend replacing crowns and fillings for a number of reasons, so here's what you need to know about why this needs to happen.
While it's true that fillings and crowns provide a good seal against food and bacteria, they're not as impervious to penetration as the natural tooth would be. Even with good dental hygiene, there's a chance that the border around a crown or filling will harbor bacteria and eventually result in cavities. This is one reason it's important not only to brush and floss your teeth vigilantly but to visit your dentist twice a year will ensure the filling is monitored for any signs of additional decay. Not only will the dentist check visually for signs of decay, but the X-rays will provide valuable information about any decay that's occurred under the restoration. In some cases, the decay is difficult to see even with X-rays, which means you'll need to pay attention to any changes in how your teeth feel so that the dentist can determine if an older restoration needs to be replaced before decay progresses significantly.
Teeth can be damaged by grinding or clenching the teeth, so imagine what this type of force can do to crowns or fillings after time. If you suspect you grind your teeth during the night because you often have headaches of a sore jaw, be sure to consult your dentist. The dentist can provide a guard to cut down on the wear and tear from these habits. Other forces can also cause fillings and crowns to wear down more quickly. Changes in temperature can affect both the teeth and the filling material, which causes tiny cracks to form around the restoration and allows decay to develop. Dental crowns can be damaged from eating crunchy foods, which is more common as the crown ages. In general, fillings and crowns age like anything else, making them susceptible to failure after time.
If you've ever had to have a filling replaced, there's a good chance that the dentist mentioned the word "leakage." Leakage occurs when a filling leaves a gap inside the tooth. This space develops from regular use, but it can cause issues because saliva and bacteria will gather in this leakage area and potentially cause decay. The dentist will look for leaking crowns or fillings to ensure they're replaced quickly before serious damage occurs.
In recent years, most dentists use composite fillings, which closely match the color of the teeth and are difficult to see. However, in past years, silver amalgam fillings were used, and although they're effective, they can sometimes be unsightly. This is especially true when silver was used for a very large filling. Both types of fillings can begin to separate from the teeth as they age, but most silver fillings last many years. Some people may choose to replace silver fillings for cosmetic reasons. Replacing a silver filling with a composite filling or getting a crown instead can improve the appearance of the teeth drastically. More than anything, it's important that you regularly visit your AK dentist so that any compromised fillings or crowns can be replaced before they cause additional problems. Contact North Pole Dental Workshop to schedule your appointment today.