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.
Dental restorations will eventually fail. Ten, fifteen, even twenty years later, you may find that one of your dental crowns, veneers, or bridges needs to be replaced because it’s come off, is broken, or has decay developing underneath it. When this happens, we need to replace the restoration to give you back your healthy, attractive, functional smile.
Although you only need to replace the damaged or unusable restoration, it’s not a bad idea to consider replacing other restorations that match this one. That can help you postpone your next restoration replacement.
Over the years, you might have had restorations placed several times. Perhaps you used dental veneers to close a gap in your smile, got dental bonding for a chipped tooth, then a crown when you had root canal therapy. These might have looked the same when placed, but they might have aged differently over the years. The result is a mismatched smile where every tooth is a different color. Replacing all your restorations at once can help you get an attractive smile where all your teeth match and have a beautifully natural appearance.
Other times, the ability of restorations to resist staining can be a problem. Your restorations used to match your natural teeth. However, over the years, your teeth have discolored. Your teeth are no longer as white as your restorations, even after teeth whitening. When this makes you unhappy with the appearance of your smile, you can either replace your restorations with new ones that match your existing teeth or put restorations on more teeth that match your old restorations.
Sometimes people change their opinion about what an attractive smile looks like. Initially, you might have wanted very bright teeth that were quite large. As you’ve gotten older, you might think that smaller teeth that are not quite as bright might be a better choice. It might be: smaller teeth that aren’t quite as bright can help your restorations look more natural with age.
In addition to color and size, you can change the shape of your restorations, making your teeth more rounded or square and increasing or decreasing your canines’ prominence.
Gum recession might signify severe gum disease, but it might also be related to normal aging. We’ll want to make sure your gums are healthy. Whatever the cause, gum recession can be a problem for your restorations. Typically, restorations end at or just below the gum line. When your gums recede, it can reveal parts of your natural teeth that are less attractive and may be especially vulnerable to decay. Receding gums can be especially problematic for dental bridges, as it reveals the space under the replacement tooth, showing it’s not a natural tooth.
Replacing your restorations lets us match them up to your new gum line. You’ll have a beautiful, healthy-looking smile again.
Get Your Beautiful Smile Back in Naples, FL
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your dental restorations, you don’t have to live with them. One of the cosmetic dentists at the Massa Dental Center can replace them with new restorations that make your teeth more beautiful, more functional, and healthier. Please call (239) 597-7333 or use our online contact form today to request an appointment at our dental office in Naples, FL.