It may have been more than 20 years since you’ve gotten dental work. You’ve gotten the work done such a long time ago that you may have forgotten that you have them. Suddenly, you experience sensitivity in one of your teeth. Tooth sensitivity or roughness is a likely indicator that your filling or crown has worn off and needs to be redone. Maybe you haven’t been to the dentist in a while and the dentist sees staining or tooth decay under a bridge or a crown or around a filling.
The indicators alerting that your old dental work may need to be redone are often noticeable. If your old dental work has failed or is failing, what should you do? The first thing you should do is to contact your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible. He or she will be able to diagnose the problem and repair or replace the old dental work.
Fillings are often on the grinding surface of molars which experience much wear and tear as well as pressure. Over time fillings can become loose. The edges can chip providing ideal spaces for staining and possible plaque growth. Sometimes the whole filling will come out. When this occurs, the newly exposed tooth pulp and nerves will make the tooth sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
The repair of fillings is quick, simple and routine. The dentist will simply remove the remainder of the old filling, clean the tooth surface, make it rough and insert the new filling.
Crowns can be placed on any tooth. These are thin, tooth-like shells of porcelain or resin composite that is placed over a tooth that has had extensive cavity damage, yet is not damaged enough to be extracted.
Crowns are designed to fit snuggly over a tooth so that it looks and feels like a natural tooth. Over time, crowns can get loose over even fall off. Crowns that have gotten loose provide a great surface on which plaque, germs and tartar can thrive. The space between the crown and the tooth can lead to the formation of cavities if it goes a long time without being fixed.
Similar to repairing an old filling, the dentist will remove the old crown, clean the tooth and insert a new crown. The only difference is that the patient may need to wait for their crown to be made and return to the dentist to have the new crown inserted.
Dental offices that have an in-house dental lab may be able to get the patient fitted with a new crown that same day.
Bridges are a small string of attached crowns that replace multiple cavity damaged teeth. As with crowns, cavities can form on the tooth underneath the crown as the crown loosens over time. The anchor teeth (the ones on either side of the bridge) are of particular concern when there is sign of possible tooth decay underneath the crown. These teeth need to be strong to keep the bridge stable.
Typically, if one part of the bridge needs replacing, the entire bridge gets taken off and replaced with a new one.
Dental work won’t last forever and will fail, making replacement necessary. Failure to replace old dental work can result in pain and discomfort, not to mention an increased chance of developing cavities and gum disease. Fillings, crowns and bridges are the most commonly repaired dental work.
Whether your old dental work has failed because of wear and tear or whether they have been damaged from trauma, it is important to contact us at LeDowns Dentistry right away to schedule an appointment to have it repaired.