One of the most remarkable things about dental implants is how long they last. We often describe them as lifetime restorations because they really can last a lifetime. The first man to get dental implants had them for over 40 years before he passed away, and the second man to get dental implants has had them for more than 50 years. In all, over 90% of dental implants last for 20 years or more.
But, for as long-lasting as the implants themselves are, we can’t always say the same about the dental crown. Dental crowns can last a long time, typically a decade or more, but often not as long as dental implants. So it’s likely that you’ll have to replace the crowns or bridges on dental implants. But how do you know when it’s time to do the replacement? Here are some reasons why you might want to change them.
In general, modern ceramic dental crowns are resistant to stains. But some older crowns are susceptible to staining. If your crowns become discolored, you may find that you’re no longer happy with their appearance.
Another possible problem is that you might have brushed them using a highly abrasive toothpaste. Some toothpastes on the market can damage dental restorations–and your natural teeth. If you use this type of toothpaste, the crowns may lose their protective glazing, making the restorations vulnerable to staining.
Or maybe you have the opposite problem: your dental restorations aren’t staining, but your teeth are. If your teeth won’t respond to teeth whitening, we can either replace your restorations, or put cosmetic veneers or crowns on your natural teeth.
Chipping is becoming less common with modern dental restorations. New restorations are made of very strong materials that make them unlikely to chip, unless you have bite imbalances or bruxism (clenching and grinding) that may be related to TMJ.
But if you have older, less sturdy restorations (or just very bad luck), then we can replace restorations that have been chipped.
Just like chipping, modern dental ceramics are strong enough to resist wear usually. But, again, this isn’t always true of older materials, or of restorations that are made using less than the best materials.
In particular, some partial or full implant dentures are made using acrylic, a plastic. This is durable for a plastic, but it is susceptible to wear over time.
If your restorations are wearing down, we can replace them with sturdier restorations, as well as check to make sure that your bite isn’t putting undue stress on your restorations.
Opposing Tooth Damage
If you do have very strong modern restorations, they may not be the ones suffering wear. Instead, it might be the natural teeth that oppose your restorations that are taking the damage.
If this is the case, we can evaluate your bite and determine if your restorations need to be adjusted to avoid wear in the future. We can also restore damaged teeth with crowns or veneers if necessary.
Looking for New Restorations
Although dental implants can last a lifetime, the restorations on top of them usually don’t. If your dental restorations need replacing or adjusting in the Houston area, we can help. Please call (281) 367-5559 today for an appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Scott Young, Purveyor of Fine Dentistry in The Woodlands.