Dentistry has come pretty far in the past fifty years – with new composite materials to help dental work match to teeth, implants to replace teeth completely, and even the possibility of real, lab-grown replacement teeth in the future. But because of all these changes, if you've had dental work done over the course of your life, you may have old work that doesn't match with the rest of your teeth. This article will discuss older dental work that may stand out, as well as how it can be corrected.
Mismatched Dental Work
There are two reasons why dental work might not match with your teeth. The first is the most obvious – some dental materials aren't made to match teeth at all. If your fillings were made from silver amalgam (or rarer and more expensive cast gold), they will be very visible in your mouth; gold crowns are another common and obvious kind of dental work. Bridgework made of metal is perhaps the most noticeable work of all.
The second reason comes from using older composite materials. Composite resin, often used in fillings, veneers, and crowns today, uses a mixture of plastic and glass, and the work is color-matched to your teeth. However, today's resin does a much better job of this than resin from a few decades ago. If you have older composite work, it may have yellowed or discolored over time, no longer matching properly with your natural teeth.
Replacing The Work
The simplest solution to improving the look of obvious dental work is to have it redone in newer, more natural-looking materials. An older filling can be removed and replaced with a new composite resin filling, for instance, or a gold crown can be replaced with a porcelain one. Particularly large or damaged fillings may need to be replaced with crowns; your dentist can look at your work and tell you whether it can easily be replaced and how.
Covering Up The Work
If the discolored composite is from fillings on your front teeth, another option is to trim back that composite and put veneers on your front teeth. Veneers can be made from composite or porcelain (which is more expensive but more durable), and proper veneers will make your front teeth look completely healthy and natural again. They are, in fact, a favorite smile-enhancing tool for actors and actresses.
Even if the look of your old dental work is not bothering you, make sure to have it periodically checked by a dentist. Older work can wear down over time, so you want to ensure that everything is both looking good and functioning properly. For more information, contact a specialist like Dynamic Dental Care Bryan Friedland, DMD.