How to Treat Failed Dental Restorations
Most of us will require various types of dental restoration during our lifetime. As their name suggests, these are treatments designed primarily to restore the shape, size, and/or function of our teeth so that we can bite, chew, and speak normally. Nevertheless, many dental restorations also end up being cosmetic in nature, improving the appearance of our teeth and smile too.
Unfortunately, while they are designed to be permanent, dental restorations rarely last forever and chances are that at some point, your restoration will fail and will require either repair or replacement.
Types of dental restorations
There are many different types of dental restoration, and which you need will depend on the nature of the dental problem you are experiencing and the condition of your teeth. Some of the most common varieties of dental restoration include:
- Cavity fillings. These can be made from silver amalgam, gold or tooth-colored composite resin and are used to fill small areas of damage caused by decay.
- Dental crowns. Crowns are used to sit over the top of a tooth that is badly decayed or damaged. They can hold broken teeth together, or restore the shape, size, and strength of the tooth.
- Dental bridge. This is used to replace a tooth that has been lost or extracted due to trauma, decay, or damage. It works by filling the gap with a prosthetic tooth that has been attached to metal framework. This is then secured to adjacent teeth using dental crowns.
- Porcelain veneers. Veneers can be used to strengthen weak tooth enamel and add durability to your teeth. They are also a popular cosmetic solution since they can cover chips, cracks, and discoloration on the outer face of your teeth.
- Dental implants. These are also a solution to replace missing teeth and are one of the most revolutionary treatments of the last few decades. They have a metal implant post that is placed into the jaw bone. The bone then fuses around it, securing it firmly in place. A prosthetic tooth is then attached to the implant post, restoring the patient’s dental function as well as appearance.
What has caused my restoration to fail?
Provided that your restoration has been carried out by a competent and experienced dentist, there are really only two main reasons why your restoration might fail. These are age and lack of care.
Most dental restorations are only last for a certain amount of time, and this can vary depending on what your restoration is made from. For example, composite resin cavity fillings can last at least five years, while amalgam fillings normally have a lifespan of between ten and fifteen years before a repair or replacement is needed.
Equally, how you care for your restoration will have either a positive or negative effect on how long it lasts. We will give you specific guidelines to follow on how to keep your restoration in the best condition for as long as possible. Failing to adhere to these instructions could cause your restoration to need attention much sooner than usual.
Failed dental implants
The success of dental implants relies on having enough healthy jaw bone to support the implant posts and subsequent prosthetic tooth. This is something that is usually analyzed at your consultation while determining if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
If your jaw bone is too weak for dental implants you may be refused candidacy or referred for a procedure known as bone grafting which builds up the strength and density of the bone.
If you choose an experienced dental implant specialist, then failed dental implants shouldn’t be a concern. Nevertheless, there are still many patients who opt for a sub-standard dental implant dentist who does not correctly identify problems with the jaw. These patients are much more likely to suffer from a failed dental implant process. If this happens to you, you should speak to Dr. Ajmo at PGA Dentistry about the possibility of bone grafting to support dental implants.
Should I have my restoration repaired or replaced?
How to treat a failed dental restoration will depend on your individual circumstances. Every patient is unique, and as such there is no single answer to this question and instead, whether to have your restoration repaired or replaced will depend on a variety of factors.
These will include exactly what has caused your restoration to fail, the age of your restoration, and the cost-effectiveness of fixing it versus giving you a brand-new restoration.
In some cases, it may also be necessary for you to have additional dental work performed. For example, a cavity filling that has failed may have enabled further decay to occur. This will then need to be removed, and the tooth effectively treated before a replacement filling can be placed.
With years of experience and implant training, Dr. Ajmo at PGA Dentistry has the experience and skill to be able to make an accurate recommendation for treating your failed dental restoration. If you would like to know more about what your options are should your dental restoration fail, call our office today to arrange a consultation at 561-627-8666.