Recurrent Tooth Decay – How long should my fillings last?

September 28, 2018

Nothing lasts forever – but somethings last better than others right?  Various studies put the average life expectancy for a tooth coloured filling between 10 and 15 years.  You can expect variability according to how big the filling is, how strong the tooth is, how heavy you chew and what you eat, how acidic or decay forming your diet and saliva is, and how well the filling was placed.  The reason indirect fillings like gold or ceramic last better is because they are a better fit and are polished smooth so bacteria have a harder time sticking to them.

Here is a routine day for me with some failed old fillings.  Sure there are lots of reasons for the failure – but the lack of contact between the teeth means that more food can pack in the space and stay there.  This then breaks down with bacteria feeding off it and increases the chance of new decay between the teeth around the margin of the existing fillings.

 

You can see the sticky film of plaque (bacteria) sticking to the fillings where the 2 teeth are not touching.  Next you see the damage to the tooth underneath the fillings when I started to remove them.  If you have poorly placed fillings or don’t look after your teeth you have to replace fillings more often.  You may then run out of tooth as you get older – and then need more complex options and more expense to keep things going, or less complex options (like dentures) which means less comfort (i.e. can’t chew and painful ulcers where the denture rubs.

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The new fillings placed have the proper contact between the teeth restored!

Keeping teeth for life is hard, but it is so worth it!


Cerec crown – biocopy

September 27, 2018

This tooth was cracking and had been repaired with resin fillings for 15 years.  Eventually there was no option but to try and support the tooth with a full crown as it was cracking and about to split in half.

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I was worried about the colour and also the shape.  The CEREC allowed me to scan the original tooth and make the exact same shape in ceramic.  the colour came down to some tinting and artwork!

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Overall I was extremely pleased with the result, and the patient had a new strong tooth within one appointment!

 

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Dental Implant Upper Molar

September 15, 2018

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This patient of mine lost the upper molar a few months ago and the area was filled with a bone graft at the same time the tooth was removed.

 

A titanium implant was placed and then a healing cap screwed over the top.  This is then given a few months to allow the bone to grow and lock in the implant.  The wire was placed to prevent the teeth from moving and tipping during this period.

3 monthIO This is how things look after healing when the cap is removed.

 

Finally a crown can be attached to the implant and our patient has a new tooth to chew on!


Cerec same day crowns

September 9, 2018

We added Cerec to our practice in 2017 and I couldn’t be happier.  Crowns are a stronger more permanent way to restore badly damaged teeth.  Traditionally a crown is made over 2 visits by initially preparing the tooth, taking messy impressions of the tooth, and fabricating a temporary crown while the impression is used in the laboratory to make the new crown.  Cerec eliminates this – a digital scan is taken of the tooth, and while the patient sits in the waiting room the scan is used to design a perfectly fitting restoration.  The design is milled out of a solid block of ceramic, fired in a furnace to make it strong, and then it is cemented on the tooth – same day, one injection, no mess!

 

While it is not for every case and there are still requirements for other materials like gold crowns, and the specialised aesthetic work that my laboratory technician does so well, I am loving the opportunity to provide quality restorations with the convenience that Cerec provides.