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Common Causes of Damaged Crowns and Fillings

Dr. Hellwig Dec 23, 2016

Dental crownDental decay and oral damage are common problems. Fortunately, these oral health problems can usually be repaired with the appropriate restorative dentistry treatment. Restorative dentistry treatments rebuild tooth structure and provide a protective barrier that prevents more serious dental complications from developing. These restorations are strong, durable, and attractive. However, dental restorations are vulnerable to damage, and they are not meant to last a lifetime. Here, Dr. Peter Hellwig discusses some of the most common causes of damaged dental crowns and fillings for our San Diego, CA patients, as well as what steps can be taken to maximize the lifespan of these restorations.

Causes of Damaged Dental Work

Dental restorations such as crowns and fillings are fabricated using tooth-colored composite material. Dr. Hellwig uses the strongest materials available to ensure the durability of his dental restorations. Despite the high quality of dental crowns and fillings, they can become damaged. Below are some of the most common causes of damaged dental crowns and fillings:

  • Oral injuries: Oral injuries are a common cause of prematurely damaged crowns and fillings. These types of injuries often occur during contact sports, such as football, hockey, or boxing. However, any type of accident can lead to an oral injury. The teeth are often damaged in a fall or car accident. Any type of blow to the face can cause damage to the natural teeth, as well as any dental restorations that are present.
  • Biting on hard objects: Dental crowns and fillings are built to withstand normal wear and tear. Hard, sticky foods can damage the teeth and dental work. Other common causes of this damage include biting down on non-food objects (like fingernails) or using the teeth as tools to open bottles or tear off clothing tags.
  • Bruxism: Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding and clenching. This oral habit places the teeth under excessive force and pressure. With repeated grinding and clenching, the teeth will begin to wear down. Similarly, any dental crowns or fillings on the teeth will also become broken down and damaged.
  • Aging: The most natural cause of damaged crowns and fillings is simple wear and tear from aging. As they are repeatedly exposed to chewing and biting, it is normal for them to gradually weaken. Although these restorations are strong, they will need to be replaced eventually.

No matter the cause, it is important to repair or replace damaged restorations as soon as possible. Damaged crowns and fillings can expose sensitive tooth tissues and increase the risk of a number of dental complications, including infection.

Extending the Lifespan of Crowns and Fillings

Dental crowns and fillings may not last a lifetime, but with proper care, they can last for several years. Below are some helpful tips for preserving the lifespan of dental restorations:

  • Brush at least twice a day, and preferably after each meal
  • Floss regularly
  • Schedule biannual dental exams and cleanings
  • Limit consumption of hard foods
  • Do not use the teeth as tools
  • Refrain from clenching and grinding the teeth
  • Wear a protective mouth guard when playing sports

Schedule an Appointment

Dental crowns and fillings rebuild tooth structure and protect the mouth from serious dental complications. If these restorations become damaged, it is important to repair or replace them as soon as possible. If you have questions about damaged crowns or fillings, Dr. Peter Hellwig can help. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn more.

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