How long should dentistry last?
We know that high quality dentistry, using superior materials, results in long-lived dental restorations. Here’s why it’s successful.
In Part 1 we gave an overview about the different kinds of restorative materials used in dentistry and when one type should be used rather than another. Now we go into more detail for the technically-minded.
As mentioned before, all treatment areas must be dry and free of any infection, prior to restoration. The key is to prepare for the restoration work in careful stages, not rushing any one of them. Note that if composite material is not hardened in layers, it will remain soft on the inside and degrade prematurely.
Modern tooth-coloured quartz composite materials are very tough. Even though the old-style silver amalgam might be stronger, there are strong aesthetic reasons for not using it any more. After around six to eight years, such fillings need to be replaced.
Depending on how much decay has to be removed from an effected tooth, a decision will be made whether to fill it with quartz composite or fit a stronger solution. The remaining structure of the tooth may be too weak to support a simple repair. In this case, gold is combined with a porcelain ceramic cover as a crown over the tooth.
Gold is harmless to the body and is the most accurate and longest-lasting material. Sometimes gold can also be used as a filling instead of composite. Porcelain restorations can last 12 years or more.
In cases where a tooth implant is the best solution for missing teeth, great care must be taken to follow correct surgical protocol. If the bone is not cooled sufficiently during implant insertion, there’s a risk that the bone may not integrate properly with the implant material.
Note that for smokers, implants are more problematic, because nicotine causes reduced blood supply to the bone area. Assuming that the materials are high quality titanium, manufactured to regulated standards, such implants can last over 30 years.
High quality dentistry is quite expensive because of the care and materials that have to be invested. However such investments are justified. The mouth is one of our hardest-working tools and is under constant stress and pressure.
When we restore teeth in the best way, we simply restore the strength and resilience that we enjoyed with our natural teeth.