Dental Appliances and their longevity
Many people do not realize that your mouth ages along with the rest of your body, just maybe not as visibly. One of the first things people notice about you when they meet you is your smile.
Your hair may be streaked with gray and thinning, your vision isn’t what it used to be, you no longer have the body you used to, and your skin is not as firm anywhere.
Walk over to your mirror, get up close and personal, and smile wide. What do you see?
- Do your teeth show wear and tear?
- Do you think anyone has noticed your chipped tooth?
- Are your gums a nice healthy pink?
- Do you notice a change in how your crown or bridges fit or look?
Maybe it is time to have your “infrastructure” checked? You want your smile to look natural, and part of that is having your replacement teeth looking and functioning as close to the real thing as possible.
Dental technology has changed drastically over the years. Not that long ago, crowns and caps done by many dentists were reminiscent of chicklets gum. Today’s dental restorations are undetectable when done by a skilled dentist using a top-notch dental lab. The best restorations are time dependent on how much time the lab technicians spend on doing the physical work, and how much time the dentist spends in the final fitting.
How long do dental appliances typically last and when is it time to say goodbye to it?
Fillings- Obvious signs that a filling needs replacing are if there is a noticeable crack, if it moves or gives when touched, if it feels sensitive, or shows visible signs of wear and tear, or if it falls out.
- Gold fillings can last between 15 and 30 years or a lifetime—the longest of all restoration types.
- Silver amalgam (contains mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper) lasts on average for 10 to 15 years.
- Composite fillings are made of color matched resin, which is a hard polymer, mixed with glass or quartz particles that can last about 5 to 7 years.
- Porcelain or ceramic fillings have a lifespan up to 15 years but can be as pricey as gold.
Crowns (Caps) – The lifespan is about 10 years, but with proper care can last decades. If you experience pain in the tooth, movement, or the tooth no longer looks natural, you may want to investigate replacement.
- Zirconia or Ceramic Crown- the strongest non-metallic material for crowns can easily last 10-15 years.
- Porcelain fused to metal-the most popular type of crown and very natural looking, can last a long time 10-15 years, but sometimes the metal margin can be visible with receding gums.
- Di-lithium silicate-can be made in office, and will last 5-15 years with good care.
- Gold- is very strong, doesn’t chip or break and can last a very long time.
Dental Bridge – is a fixed appliance that fills the space in your mouth where one or more teeth are missing, restoring your bite and your smile. When maintained with good dental care, they can last for decades.
Neglecting broken dental appliances or those that no longer fit well can lead to costly dental work and big problems.
The main reason that dental bridges fail is a lack of oral care. With a lack of proper oral care, bacteria can enter under the bridge through the crowns, producing decay in your natural (or abutment) teeth, or periodontal disease. If there are changes to supporting teeth, that can reduce the stability of a dental bridge. If you are a clencher or a grinder, that will shorten your bridge’s life too.
Bridges can be repaired to some degree, depending on the cause and damage. They can be restored if the finish is altered. If you’re having any sensitivity around your teeth or notice any chips or cracks, check-in with your dentist.
When you are with Dr. Lee Lichtenstein, you can be assured of the finest training. Dr. Lichtenstein is a Board-Certified Dental Anesthesiologist, an active member of 11 Dental Societies, holds 6 Fellowships, and is a consultant to the State Board of Dentistry. This is definitely a dental health provider that loves what he does. His extraordinary education, expertise and experience sets Dr. Lichtenstein above and beyond the other dentists in a very wide radius around Monmouth County.
Give us a call, come on in for a consultation and learn how you can lay back and enjoy a visit to the dentist. Dr. Lee Lichtenstein and his highly trained staff offer general dentistry services as well as dental treatments that can be performed using sedation dentistry and general anesthesia techniques to make patients’ experiences more pleasant and comfortable.