Looking After Your Dental Restorations
Taking good care of repaired teeth
A healthy set of white teeth that never needed treatment would be ideal, but unfortunately for most of us, it is also a fantasy. Whether it is through neglect during an earlier stage of our life or because of an accident or similar circumstances out of our control, most of us will eventually have a tooth, or teeth, restored through one means or another.
The most common of these restorations is the dental filling, but there are also more advanced methods such as dental implants. From the most straightforward to the more complex, all of these need taking care of once completed. At Alexandra Dental Care, we use high quality restorations and these and the surrounding areas of natural tooth and gum tissue need to be looked after ongoing.
Dental fillings offer a long life if looked after correctly. As some of our Burton and Ashby patients who have had amalgam fillings may be aware though, this particular type can shrink a little over time and leave small gaps around the edges which allow bacteria to enter, potentially leading to further decay. Regular monitoring by one of our dentists should prevent this from becoming a problem and occasionally, fillings may need to be replaced. For those preferring white tooth fillings, this is less of an issue as they bond very well with the natural tooth and very seldom come away.
You should always remember that whilst a filling can’t decay, the rest of the natural tooth can, so it is important that you brush and floss well to prevent decay from occurring on the natural part of the tooth.
Crowns and veneers
Crowns offer a good level of strength and are attached to a prepared tooth using a very strong dental adhesive. This adhesive should bond the crown to the tooth for a good many years but this can vary depending on circumstances. As with a filling, you need to brush the natural part of the tooth as decay there could cause the crown to become detached. In the rare event that this should happen, whether through decay or gradual deterioration of the adhesive, it is very important that you do not attempt to repair it yourself using regular glue. Instead, please contact us so that we can do it correctly.
The same advice applies to dental veneers, including having them refitted by our team in the unlikley event that they become detached.
As regular readers of our blogs will know, we are firm advocates of the use of dental implants to replace missing teeth. Implants can last for 20 years or more providing that you look after them. Although this is not difficult to do, some patients may fall into the trap of thinking that because they are entirely artificial, nothing needs to be done to look after them.
Although it is true that the implants and the crown attachment can’t decay, issues can arise in the tissues surrounding the implant. Gum disease poses a risk to your replacement tooth, especially once it becomes advanced and starts to affect the bone holding the implant in place. If this deteriorates, it may no longer have the integrity to hold the implant which could become loose and eventually fall out. Peri-implantitis is another threat and is similar to gum disease, causing inflammation that can also affect the underlying jawbone structure.
Although this sounds very damaging, and it is; keeping your dental implant clean really isn’t hard. You should brush it as you would your regular teeth and also make sure to use dental floss around the replacement tooth. We also advise that our patients see the hygienist for professional cleaning and checks at least every 6 months.
For advice on tooth restoration options, to book an appointment to see one of our dentists for a check up; or if you have concerns about your teeth or mouth health in general, please call Alexandra Dental Care on 01283 216347.Google+