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What To Do When Restorations Fail

The point of restorative dentistry treatments (fillings, crowns, dentures, and more) is to restore the look and function of your teeth to a healthy state. If you have a cavity, you get a filling to repair the damage so you can eat normally again, and if you have an infection inside a tooth, you get root canal therapy to remove the infection and get back to a life without a horrible toothache. Yet nothing lasts forever, and these restorations can fail. Here are some of the common restorations we offer at our Paradise, CA family dental office and what can be done when they fail.

A filling falls out

  • What happens? Fillings use a special material that bonds with your tooth while it seals up and fills in the damage caused by tooth decay. But because chewing can put a lot of pressure on your teeth over and over again, sometimes a filling can lose its grip on the tooth and fall out.
  • What to do? If the pain is severe, call us immediately at 530-413-7002 for an emergency appointment. Otherwise, you will have to make a choice as to whether you want the filling redone, or if you want to use a different restorative treatment such as an inlay, onlay, or crown. Not all such treatments work with every patient, so Dr. Moores will explain which he recommends for your tooth.

An inlay or onlay comes off

  • What happens? Inlays and onlays are restorations similar to a filling, but instead of filling in the damaged area, they cover and seal it. As with fillings, inlays and onlays won’t last forever and can fall off.
  • What to do? Again, call us immediately if you are in severe pain. The inlay and onlay were placed for a good reason, so it’s probably best to just get it replaced with a new one. That said, Dr. Moores will have to examine the tooth and see why the restoration failed. For example, it may not make sense to use another inlay if one already failed very quickly.

A crown comes off

  • What happens? Crowns are supposed to last a long time, so if one starts to come loose or even comes off, it will need to be replaced fast. Otherwise, you run the risk of experiencing a lot of pain from exposed nerves or even losing the tooth entirely.
  • What to do? Replacing the crown with a new one is often the best decision. Crowns are great restorative treatments that protect and beautify your teeth. As an alternative, if the tooth that had the crown is severely damaged, removing the tooth and replacing it with a dental bridge or implant might be the way to go.

Root canal re-infection

  • What happens? Root canal therapy is designed to remove a bacterial infection from the inside of a tooth. This is done by removing the infected pulp and replacing it with a safe, non-toxic material. However, every root canal carries a very small chance of missing some of the bacteria, which means the toothache and infection can return.
  • What to do? If this is the first time you’ve experienced this problem, having a new root canal is often the best plan. Again, almost all root canal therapies work to prevent re-infection, and this is probably just bad luck. However, if your tooth is chronically getting infected, you might be better off getting that tooth extracted.

Implant comes loose

  • What happens? Dental implants use a titanium root implanted in the jawbone to give the replacement tooth the same strength as any of your regular teeth. Over time, the artificial tooth can get damaged or loose just like any tooth. In severe cases, the root itself can get loose due to an injury or deteriorated jawbone.
  • What to do? If the replacement tooth is the problem, we can normally just take it off the abutment connecting it to the root and put a new replacement there. If the root is loose, however, you may need a bone graft or different restoration (such as a dental bridge) to fill the space. Dr. Moores will examine your loose dental implant and recommend as needed.

If a dental restoration isn’t restoring your teeth to a healthy, usable state, then they are not doing their job. At our Paradise, CA dental office, we can repair such treatments even if you had them done with another dentist. In the end, you will finish with a healthy mouth, pain-free and able to eat normally again. Call us today at 530-413-7002 to schedule your next appointment.



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