Monday, February 2, 2015

How Do I Know When to Replace My Dental Work?

When you get new dental work done, you probably won't be thinking much about when you'll need to get it replaced. Veneers, crowns, and other dental hardware, however, will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced.

How long do these kinds of work last? As a general rule of thumb, most veneers and crowns can last for seven years. Some last even longer, depending upon various factors.

Factors That Cause Wear and Tear on Tooth Work

The factors that cause some veneers and crowns to wear out after only seven years, and others to last for a decade or two are varied. Here are some of the issues that impact the life of your veneers and crowns:

  • Construction: The materials used in the construction of your veneers can impact the useful life or your dental work. As a rule, resin veneers do not last as long as those constructed out of porcelain. Porcelain veneers can last from 10 to 15 years.
  • Dental Hygiene and Personal Habits: If you have issues with tooth grinding (bruxism), your crowns and veneers may not last as long as in people who do not have that habit. Poor dental hygiene, too, takes its toll even on crowns and veneers. Although the artificial part of the crown cannot decay as do normal teeth, remember that the crown is attached to a real tooth. That tooth can, and often does, become decayed if you have poor dental hygiene.
  • Your Mouth's Chemical Balance: Certain medical conditions or eating habits can cause your mouth to become too acidic. That, in turn, can cause your veneers and crowns to break down more quickly. As a part of routine dental checkups, some dentists check the acidity of their patients' saliva using pH strips. Depending upon the result, those dentists may work with their patients to help them choose a diet that will give their dental work a longer lifespan.

When Does My Dental Work Need to Be Replaced?

Although most veneers and crowns last for anywhere between 7 and 12 years, there will come a time that you will need to replace yours. Here are some things you can look for to help you decide when it is time to have them replaced.

  • Negative Changes in Appearance: Over time, your dental work may shift relative to their position in your mouth. These shifts can affect your appearance. If your gum line recedes, the place where your crown ends may become visible. The color of your dental work may change over the years, causing a mismatch with the rest of your teeth.
  • Worn or Damaged Dental Work: Obviously, if your old dental work gets broken or chipped, it's time for a change. Yet some damage from wear is more subtle. If you grind your teeth, your crowns may develop small holes. Even though you may not be able to see this damage, your dentist will see it during your routine checkup and alert you to the need to replace it.
  • Dislodged Veneers: Your veneers can become dislodged or even pop off. Generally, they can be replaced, providing that the tooth underneath is healthy.

You may ask, "Is there anything I can do to extend the life of my dental work?" Yes, there is. If you maintain a daily routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing them once a day, and using a fluoride mouthwash, you can keep them in better shape. Also, a regular dental cleaning and checkup is an important part of giving your dental work a longer, more useful life. To discover more information about extending the life of your dental work, contact your dentist today.

Cosmetic dentist Dr. Caven and his experienced team help you find your best smile. Offering advanced technology in Jacksonville, Florida for a variety of cosmetic dental services, Dr. Caven offers a versatile range of solutions for healthy smiles.
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