One thing that surprises patients is that a crown, filling or bridge can fail over time. It’s understandable that patients would believe that their dentist’s work would last a lifetime, but that’s not always the case.
When a repair is completed on a tooth, some patients tend to believe that should be the end of the story. Well, there are severa; factors that can come into play:
- Without care, even a healthy tooth can fail and any restorations in your mouth can and do need maintenance. Care can be defined as twice-daily brushing, daily flossing and exams twice each year with your dentist.
- Even with care, a person’s chewing habits (night grinding or chewing on ice or hard candies in just two examples) puts stress on a crown, filling or bridge and then cause it to break.
- Time … is wear on anything!
So, when you go for a check-up with your dentist, you may be presented with the news that a crown, filling or other such restoration in your mouth may be coming to an end of its service life.
So, yes, please remember that dental restorations do have a service life and it is very important to stay ahead of the game and not wait until a very serious complication arises.
A few preventative dollars today can save a much larger expense in the future.
It’s easy to spot a problem with one of the so-called “failing restorations.” The filling of a cavity might be loose or part of it missing and, of course the big one, pain. However, even if an older filling isn’t chipped or suffering other obvious damage, your dentist can tell if it is at the point where it will allow food to be trapped despite diligent brushing and therefore can lead to gum disease. Much worse in the long run is that decay can begin beneath the restoration and lead to much more invasive restoration work.
So, the lesson here is to listen to the expert – if your dentist says it’s time to replace something, then you should take heed. Worse news will be on the horizon than a dental visit and a few dollars today.