What are some tips for preserving bonded restorations?
Bonded restorations are the most common type of dental fillings done in most dental practices. The material tends to blend with the color of adjacent teeth and looks very natural. However, the composite material can be prone to chipping and breaking. Also sometimes composites can pick up the stain. That being the case how should a patient take care of these restorations.
Firstly is to keep the restorations clean. Composite likes to be kept clean. Restorations that are not maintained with appropriate oral hygiene tend to become porous with numerous slight craters developing, sort of like a little moonscape. Their surface remains relatively smooth if kept clean by regular brushing and flossing.
Secondly is to stay away from food and habits that introduce stains onto your teeth (smoking, drinking dark red acidic juices, and constant black tea drinking. These, when combined with less than stellar oral hygiene, tend to make bonded restorations look bad and may necessitate more frequent replacement.
Thirdly, wear a night guard. Bonded restorations, especially those with contact from opposing teeth, tend to be more prone to chipping, especially when patients do not wear a night guard. The longer I have been in practice, the more convinced that all patients should consider wearing night guards, not only to protect their jaw muscles and temporomandibular joint but to protect their teeth from chipping, wear, and breakage.
The fourth is to keep to your dentists recommended a schedule for checkups and cleanings. Let the hygienist polish your bonded filling at the same time she cleans your teeth. The dental practitioner will use a sandpaper disk on a rotary handpiece to finish of stain that can lodge on the fine margins of bonded restorations. If the repairs are properly designed (with a bevel), often superficial stain can be polished off by reducing some of the bonding at the margin of the restoration.
Next, stay away from overly abrasive toothpaste, especially those advertising whitening properties. These can shorten the life expectancies of bonded restorations. This is one pro tip that can assist with preserving those bonded restorations.
Do note to be careful not to over-whiten your teeth, since the bonding doesn't change color when teeth are bleached. This can make the bonding look relatively darker and yellower than your teeth. And make these filling look less aesthetic. Try not to bite into things that require too much force to cut or break. Chewing on hard candies, ice cubes, fingernails, and pencils can be dangerous for composite restorations.
Overall, it is important to remember that although composite restorations will not last forever, with appropriate care they can be extremely durable.
If you need a dental appointment in Warrenton, VA please call our office today at 540-347-2777. Our Warrenton dental office is available with extended and convenient hours to fit your schedule.