Dental restorations can be very long-lasting. However, nothing lasts forever, and after many years, even decades, you might need to replace your old restorations. How do you know when it’s time to get new dental restorations?
Here are some common situations where you should replace or upgrade your old cosmetic dentistry restorations.
In the past, metal restorations were common. From metal amalgam fillings to gold or other noble metal crowns, these restorations were used for their functional properties. Often they perform well: they can be very long-lasting. However, the benefits of these old dental materials come at a cost.
One of the costs is cosmetic, of course. Metal crowns are very obvious in your smile. A metal crown is immediately noticeable when you smile, talk, or laugh, and it can make you very self-conscious about your appearance. Metal amalgam fillings can be even worse. They may start silver, but they become black when they rust, making them look as bad or worse than the cavity they are filling. Black fillings can discolor your entire tooth.
In addition to the unattractive appearance, metal restorations may not feel right in your mouth. They can induce galvanic currents, which can be annoying and uncomfortable. In addition, they might cause a metallic taste in your mouth. Plus, metal restorations can lead to temperature sensitivity since they don’t insulate your teeth as well as other materials. A large metal filling can conduct a painful cold right into your tooth’s center!
Many people also have concerns about the health effects of metal restorations. There is significant evidence that the mercury from metal amalgam fillings leaves the fillings and accumulates in your body, with some of it changing to highly toxic methylmercury.