What happens when your dental treatments begin wearing out? How do you know if it’s time to replace them or hope that they last a little bit longer? Retreatments are a common procedure in dental offices – after all, at some point in time all good restorations will begin to wear out (although hopefully not for several years.)
Spotting the Signs that Your Restoration Needs Replacement
Knowing what to watch for can alert you when dental fillings, crowns, or other types of restorations need to be changed out. For instance, you might begin noticing discoloration around a filling, sensitivity when you bite down, or food packing in areas that it didn’t before. These small signs are an indication that you need to see your dentist for a check-up.
Regular Check-Ups Keep Your Treatment Needs Minimal
The earlier your dentist spots restorations that need to be changed out, the less invasive your replacement treatment can be. For instance, replacing an old filling with a new one only requires slight tooth alteration. However, if you wait too long to retreat the area, more leakage will occur which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Putting treatment off too long will require more invasive and expensive treatments that could have been avoided if it was addressed when symptoms first started.
Do you suspect that any of your dental restorations are beginning to wear out or require replacement? Contact your dentist for an exam and X-rays to find out! Regular check-ups twice each year are the best way to keep your smile healthy and minimize the amount of dental treatment later on. If you’re behind on your dental care, there’s never been a better time to catch up than today.
Posted on behalf of Toothmasters
The next time you visit your dentist for a filling, root canal, gum surgery, or some other dental procedure, you may be surprised to find your dentist using a laser instead of a drill or other traditional tool. American dentistry has been slow to adopt lasers for use in dentistry, but lasers are widely used for dental procedures in Europe.
Lasers have been approved for use in dentistry by the FDA since the 1990s, but due to the high cost of the equipment and the learning curve involved in switching to this high-tech dental equipment only about ten to fifteen percent of dentists use lasers in their practice. Lasers are slowly becoming more common in the dentist’s office because they offer many advantages for some types of dental treatments.
Many dentists use lasers to detect tiny cavities so they can be treated before grow larger. Finding and filling a cavity while it is very small means that the filling can be smaller, little tooth structure has to be removed, and the procedure is easier and much less uncomfortable for the patient.
Lasers can also help with placement of fillings. Instead of drilling, the laser can be used to remove the tooth decay and sterilize the cavity. In particular, many dentists use lasers to place composite fillings because they help the composite resin cure and bond to the tooth. There is none of the noise, heat, or vibration associated with the dental drill and many patients do not need any anesthetic.
Lasers can also be used for gum surgery and teeth whitening. When used in surgical procedures, there is less bleeding, faster recovery, and less discomfort for the patient.
Lasers have some limitations and cannot totally replace the dental drill. For example, they cannot be used to remove old fillings or to place larger fillings. For now, your dentist will need to rely on the dental drill for these procedures.
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