Did your dentist recommend a crown at your last visit? If you’re like a lot of people, you probably don’t want to just jump right back into the dental chair to have it completed. A lot of people find that they want to wait until the tooth actually starts bothering them before they proceed with dental crown restoration treatment. Unfortunately, there is some very good reasoning why you should have your treatment completed as soon as possible.
Weaker Tooth Structure Will Become Compromised
Damaged tooth enamel does not repair itself on it’s own. If you’ve developed new decay around a filling, old crown, or have a filling that is breaking down…then bacteria is seeping deeper into your tooth. That means the damaged area will extend deeper into the tooth. At a certain point, even if the damaged enamel is removed, there may not be enough structure to support a crown when you’re ready to finally have it done.
Treatment Can Easily Become More Extensive (and Expensive)
If the decay or damaged area extends very far into the tooth, it may cause the nerve to become infected. In these cases, before a crown can be placed on the tooth, a root canal must be completed. Or if there is not enough structure to support a crown, pins may need to be used. Both of these procedures will lengthen the treatment time it takes to save your tooth, and increase your cost of care.
The Tooth May Become Untreatable
If there isn’t enough structure left to place a crown on, or you’ve put treatment off until infection has become severe, then you will lose your tooth completely. There’s no way to restore a tooth that no longer has healthy crown structure to support a restoration. The only other option is to extract the infected root and consider replacement options like implants, or partials.
Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, and clenching the teeth can occur during the day or night, and causes our teeth to wear down prematurely. Tooth enamel is one of the strongest substances in the body, but when teeth are overexerted they cannot withstand the abnormal wear. The results include flat, worn teeth with chipped or broken enamel. Prolonged clenching and grinding can also cause dental treatment such as fillings and crowns to break of fail long before their normal life expectancy.
When someone grinds their teeth, the wear patterns typically appear as flat edges along the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Sometimes the back teeth will develop a wedge in the enamel along the gumline, similar in appearance to toothbrush abrasion. This is due to flexing of the tooth from severe pressure over time. As the teeth wear away, they can also become sharp against delicate oral tissues, and weaker over time.
Causes of tooth wear can be to stress or anxiety, but it is also very common in younger children to grind in their sleep. Sometimes this is a normal part of the tooth exfoliation process and is nothing to become alarmed about. Typically children who grind their teeth seem to do so for only a couple of years before their baby teeth fall out. Adults that have a nicotine dependency may be prone to develop bruxism habits. Other research shows that grinding often accompanies symptoms that are associated with sleep disorders. Malpositioned teeth may also wear prematurely due to improper alignment. When left untreated, TMJ pain or disorder may also develop.
If you wake up with sore jaws, or catch yourself clenching often through the day, discuss therapeutic bruxism treatments with your dentist. When it comes to teeth grinding, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure!
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