When you lose a tooth due to disease or trauma, the dentist might suggest reconstruction as a way to restore your smile. In the dental industry, reconstruction of the teeth is called fixed prosthodontics. The goal is to restore anything from a single tooth to the entire dental architecture. Fixed prosthodontics produces a natural and aesthetic looking tooth, but doesn’t come without some chance of failure. What can you do to help reduce the risks?
Types of Dental Reconstruction
The dentist has a number of options at his disposal to reconstruct your smile. Dental veneers, for example, fit over a tooth to correct the appearance. Crowns are similar to veneers, but work to strengthen natural teeth, as well as approve the appearance. Implants are prosthetic teeth that fit onto posts surgically implanted into the jaw. A dental bridge, on the other hand, is a fixed prosthesis device that replaces missing teeth by anchoring onto to either natural teeth or implants to “bridge” a gap.
How Reconstructions Fail
Risk of reconstruction failure depends greatly on the type of dental work done. Dental implants, for example, rarely fail. The Mayo Clinic reports about 95 percent of implants stay in place. Of the ones that do fail, the causes vary, but rejection by the bone is a possibility.
The truth is the success rate of dental reconstruction is impressive overall, whether you get implants, a crown, a bridge or veneers.
Ways to Improve the Life Span of Dental Reconstruction
Many of the things you do to reduce the risk of dental reconstruction failure are the same things you do to keep your natural teeth healthy. That means you need to practice effective oral hygiene.
Brush at least twice day – The dentist may suggest a specially designed brush like an interdental product to improve the cleaning process. Interdental brushes are designed to go further than a normal toothbrush by cleaning out all the nooks between teeth and gums. He may also suggest a specific toothpaste or oral rinse to protect the reconstruction.
Floss daily – Gum health is a big part of keeping the reconstruction safe. If gums recede, the reconstruction material can break.
See the dentist for a checkup every six months – This is especially important after reconstruction. The dentist will make sure the material is stable and functioning correctly. Regular professional cleaning helps maintain the prosthetic teeth and keeps your natural ones pearly white.
Dental reconstruction might be the wake up call you need to change some bad lifestyle habits, as well. Porcelain is prone to impact fractures, according to the American Dental Association, and that means how you treat your new teeth matters.
Now is a good time to stop smoking. This one bad habit has severe dental consequences. Nicotine stains and an increase in plaque formation is part of the problem, but the biggest risk comes with gum recession. Smoking is linked to an increase of gum disease.
Don’t chew on the hard stuff. Ice is a common culprit. You should avoid biting down on hard candies, too.
Find ways to avoid grinding your teeth. Grinding is especially hard on the materials used for reconstruction such as porcelain. If the dentist sees grinding at night as a potential risk factor, he will prescribe a mouth guard to protect the dental work.
Dental reconstruction is a smile-saving procedure, but only if it works. Sometimes failure has nothing to do with you or how you treat your new teeth. It is dependant the stability of the material, but with a high rate of success, reconstruction offers you a chance to get back that winning smile.