Braces as an adult? No way. At least, that was what I thought when my dentist told me that I was going to have to see an orthodontist about my crooked teeth. But my teeth were so misaligned that they were causing me pain when I chewed, so I decided to at least look into it. Turns out braces today are nothing like the ones my friends had when I was a kid. Mine were practically invisible, and I didn't need to wear them that long. I started this blog to encourage other people like me who are nervous about the prospect of wearing braces as an adult. My straight smile is so worth the trips to the orthodontist, and wearing braces was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Read on to find out more about how you can straighten your smile.
If you've had a crown for a few years and haven't had it replaced, you may wonder if it needs replacing if it's not cracked or broken. One review says crowns can last about 7 years, but some people may have crowns that last as long as 15 to 20 years. Although a cracked restoration obviously needs to be replaced, there can be other factors that could indicate the need for crown replacement, such as discoloration, soreness around the gumline, and increased mobility.
As a crown ages, materials like ceramic will lose their natural aesthetics. Acidic foods and drinks and habits like smoking can wear down the restoration and cause staining. However, a crown that's still in good condition can be cleaned with regular brushing/flossing and dental check-ups. When a crown's cosmetic appearance cannot be improved by professional cleaning, then it may be time to consider a replacement. Keep in mind that if you want to whiten your teeth, a crown replacement would also be beneficial since whitening products can only change enamel and not restorative materials.
Soreness Around the Gumline
The goal of a dental crown is to protect weak, broken, and/or decayed teeth. Crowns are manufactured to fit snugly around your remaining enamel and seal out bacteria. However, when a crown starts to wear down, the margin line—or edge of the crown that transitions to the gumline — can develop a loose seal and bacteria can seep beneath the crown. If you have developed soreness around the gumline, your dentist might need to replace the crown or reseat it to reseal the underlying tooth.
Sometimes a crown may still be intact, but it needs to be replaced because the underlying dental cement has worn down or because the underlying enamel has changed. These underlying changes can cause a crown to feel slightly loose. Sometimes there is not enough structure to support a crown (such as when a tooth is endodontically treated) so a dentist may use composite and pins to rebuild the tooth back up — known as the core build-up — before placing a crown over it. The structure of the core buildup may have worn down, so a new crown should be manufactured to fit snugly around a new core buildup.
Ultimately, you should visit a cosmetic dentist if you are worried about the condition of your dental crown. If the underlying structure hasn't changed, a crown replacement is easy since your dentist will just need to reseat a new crown with fresh dental cement. If the underlying structure has changed or decayed, then the procedure will be similar to your first appointment, as your dentist will use drills to reshape the underlying enamel. He or she will then place a temporary crown while the permanent one is manufactured. If you need a new crown or another cosmetic dental treatment, reach out to a dentist for more information.Share