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HAMPSTEAD FAMILY DENTAL PC
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U PHILLIP IGBINAD
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JOHN S STRICKLAND D.D.S. PLLC
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HENDERSONVILLE, NC, 28739
People often assume that once they have a crown placed on a tooth, it will last the rest of their lives. Although dental crowns may last for a very long time, it is not correct to say that they will last forever.
This is one of the most difficult questions asked of a dentist because, in essence, no one can be sure. However, there are a few resources available that can give us an idea of how long your dental crowns may last.
One resource is insurance companies. Even though the dental insurance company should not dictate the type of treatment that should be done, they give some insight into the matter. Insurance companies will pay for a new crown on the same tooth after five years. So, in essence, they believe that dental crowns will last at least five years. Another resource available is the dental literature. The dental research has some extreme variability in this area. It provides information that ranges from a 20% failure rate in 3 years all the way to a 3% failure rate in 23 years. So, which is correct? The answer actually has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. To do this, we need to look at why dental crowns have to be replaced.
There are many reasons why dental crowns need to be redone. Fracture is one example. The fracture incidence of dental crowns can be related to either the type of restoration (gold, metal ceramic, all-ceramic) or where the tooth restoration is placed in the mouth (anterior vs. posterior). Another risk factor is if a person has a grinding habit at night. A crown will have a higher risk of fracture in a mouth that applies more forces to the teeth by grinding than in one that does not have any incidence of grinding.
Decay can be another reason why dental crowns need to be replaced. Just because a tooth receives a crown does not mean it is less prone to decay. In fact, because it has more areas that may trap plaque, it needs to be cleaned as well, if not more meticulously, during home care.
Esthetics can be another reason why dental crowns are replaced. Esthetics is one of the main reasons people choose to have a new crown made in the anterior part of the mouth. This occurs because as we get older, our teeth will change color and progressively get darker while the tooth with the crown will stay the same color as the day it was placed. A discrepancy between the color of the teeth will become more evident over time. In addition to color, esthetic changes in the position of the gum tissue over time can also affect the look of the crown.
Which one of these areas may be a factor in a patient's mouth is uncertain. An idea can be obtained by evaluating the reason a crown was needed in the first place (such as a fractured tooth, decay, etc.). In conclusion, it is unclear how long dental crowns will last. Their life span may be anywhere from a few years all the way to 20 years and beyond. A lot of it will depend on the need for the crown in the first place and how well the mouth is taken care of after the crown is placed.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD
Dental inlays and dental onlays are valuable for restoring teeth that are severely decayed or worn. Typically, they are applied to the chewing surfaces on the back teeth.
What Is the Difference Between a Dental Inlay and a Dental Onlay?
In restorative dentistry, an inlay is used more like a filling for restoring normal tooth structure. It is best if the surface is small and only involves the chewing surface and surfaces between the teeth.
An onlay is similar to an inlay but treats larger areas, covering the entire chewing surface of a tooth. Dental onlays are recommended for larger tooth restorations and when chewing surfaces require long-term protection.
What Are Dental Inlays and Dental Onlays Made of?
Since both are used in areas of heavy chewing and grinding, they must be made from durable materials. They can be made from porcelain or composite resin chosen to match the color of your teeth or they can be made of a mixture of metals called an alloy. Alloys can be a mixture of metals like gold and palladium or nickel and chromium.
What Are the Restorative Dentistry Procedures for Dental Inlays and Dental Onlays?
The tooth is first prepared by removing portions of decay or damage. The remaining tooth structure is shaped in preparation for the dental inlay or dental onlay. An impression of the tooth is made along with opposing teeth and the bite. From this, a plaster model is formed that is used for a custom fit matching the contours of the tooth.
Since both dental inlays and dental onlays are custom-made, a second appointment is needed for checking the fit and cementing the inlay or onlay permanently. At that appointment, any adjustments to the bite will be made. A final polishing adds the final touch to this restorative dentistry treatment.
By Danine M. Fresch, DDS