Do You Trust Your Teeth?

Mike Allen looks at the problem of weakened teeth.

As we get older, it is highly likely that we will have had some dental treatment and many cases, it might be quite a significant amount. The most common treatment is the tooth filling, which usually offer a long lasting restoration where cavities have formed.

Although some people have no problems with their restored teeth, others may start to lose confidence in them, not trusting them when eating harder types of food. This might lead us to eat a more restricted diet largely made up of softer foods. It doesn’t have to be this way though, and regular supervision and possibly alternative solutions can help.

Fillings

Dental fillings are strong and many of us will have older amalgam type fillings that were placed many years ago. There may be a lot of truth in the old adage that ‘if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing’ but while strong, amalgam fillings don’t last forever, over time they can become loose, weaken or crack and may even lead to further decay of the tooth as they age.

The main reason for the additional decay is that amalgam shrinks slightly over time. As it does this, it sometimes leaves a tiny gap between the filling and the rest of the tooth. Bacteria will collect here and decay is very possible.

Providing that you see one of our Burton dentists for a regular examination every six months or so, we will be able to monitor any deterioration of your fillings. If you have been experiencing any sensitivity or discomfort in a filled tooth, please do let us know.  When an amalgam filling does need replacing, you may wish to consider our white dental fillings. These offer not only a better appearance but are strong and adhere better to the tooth than amalgam.

Crowns

Dental crowns offer a great solution when a cavity is large or a tooth has broken away. It is one of the more common treatments (behind fillings) that we offer at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice.

Once a crown is placed, it will offer a new strength for the affected tooth and can’t, in itself, decay as it is made from an artificial material. Some patients though do seem to forget that the tooth it is attached to can still decay. If this happens, the crown may become detached and a new crown needed once the decay has been treated as the shape of the prepared tooth will have changed and the crown will no longer fit securely.

If you have a dental crown, do make sure to still brush that tooth and floss around it. Decay, also known as caries, is not inevitable and can be avoided if you look after the tooth correctly.

Loose or wobbly teeth

One of the most common reasons leading to a wobbly tooth in adults is jaw bone deterioration caused by periodontitis. Once the bone has been affected in this way, the dentist may need to perform a deep clean or ‘root scaling’. This is an invasive procedure that cleans around the root of the tooth and the surrounding bone material. In some cases, this will enable the tooth to improve, but in other cases, it may be too late for this treatment to be effective.

It is possible that, in this situation, the affected teeth will eventually fall out, but this may be some time before it happens, leaving you with wobbly and inefficient teeth that you don’t feel confident eating with. Although we may feel that it is something that we have to put up with, this is not the case.

If your teeth are loose to the point of not fulfilling their function, there are a number of options available, other than just putting up with them.

You would need to have your teeth examined in order to find a solution that works best for you, and it may be that a root planing would work. Where this isn’t likely though, it may be better to have the teeth extracted and the gums and bone cleaned in order to replace your missing teeth with an alternative. The options available include a bridge, dentures or dental implants. A bridge may only work where there are teeth that it can be attached to. Dentures are a simple solution but some people find that they lack stability and also often avoid harder foods because of the difficulty of eating them.

For a long lasting and strong replacement, many consider dental implants to be the best solution. We have written about these in a number of previous blogs so we won’t repeat ourselves other than to say that they offer a strong and realistic tooth replacement method that will allow you to eat even the hardest of foods with confidence.

If you have been putting up with teeth that you are not entirely happy with, why not contact us to see how we can help you to improve the situation? A no obligation consultation can be arranged at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice in Burton by calling us on 01283 845345.