Invisalign® clear braces are a discreet way to straighten teeth that many people use nowadays. These oral appliances are rigid plastic trays that gradually push the wearer's teeth towards a better alignment. At the start of the treatment, the patient gets a number of aligner trays. Each tray is worn for two weeks before being…
Replacing Dental Fillings With Dental Crowns
A dentist may recommend that you replace your old dental fillings with dental crowns. If you have had a cavity at some point in your life, there is a chance the dentist used grey metal amalgam. These are the silver fillings you can see in your smile when you speak or laugh. These were once the most common option for fixing cavities. However, you now have the choice for dental crowns.
Why does a filling need replacement?
There are many reasons that old fillings need to be replaced, whether it is with a composite filling or a dental crown. Many dentists will recommend this option at some point if a patient has had a cavity that was once covered with an amalgam filling.
Silver fillings do not last forever
Unlike a crown, which will cover and protect a patient’s tooth, an amalgam filling packs into the area of a tooth. It is similar to how one might fill a pothole. The life span of a filling is about 10 years. Over time, a filling will begin to wear away. This will expose the area and allow bacteria in. This can cause tooth decay that a patient cannot see.
If a cavity does wear out and the tooth does begin to decay again, the dentist may recommend that the patient gets a crown instead of another filling. Patients should have regular checkups to see if a filling needs to be replaced or if it is leaking.
Amalgam fillings will react to temperature
Metal will contract and expand when exposed to different temperatures. An amalgam filling is made almost 50 percent with mercury, the metal used in thermometers. This means when a patient drinks something hot, the filling will expand and put extra strain on the tooth. This can cause cracks and fractures.
When a patient eats something cold, such as a popsicle or ice cream, the filling will contract. This creates a gap around the filling of the tooth, which can let bacteria in. The constant expansions and contractions can weaken the patient’s tooth. Porcelain crowns do not react to temperature changes.
Silver fillings are noticeable
When a patient is laughing or smiling, the amalgam filling is noticeable. This can lead to embarrassment for the patient if they do not want people to be aware of their dental work. In comparison, a crown is crafted from porcelain and color-matched to a person’s other teeth. This means that a patient can keep dental work to themselves and nobody will notice that the crown is in place.
Fillings do not strengthen the teeth
A filling does not usually increase the overall strength of a patient’s tooth. A crown, though, will reinforce and strengthen a tooth as it encases the entire tooth. The crown will act as a splint that holds the tooth together. The patient can usually chew in a normal fashion without worrying about damaging the crown.
Switch to using dental crowns
If you have an old dental filling, you should consider replacing it with a dental crown. Dental crowns will strengthen your teeth, is less noticeable and will not react to temperature. If you want a more natural-looking smile, you should consider talking to a dentist about replacing your fillings with crowns.
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