Is a dental filling or a crown done by one dentist the same as the next? Ask any experienced dental assistant and you’ll get a resounding no. Like most things in life there are varying degrees of quality.
So what makes a quality restoration and why is it important to your oral health? A quality restoration is one that mimics the shape of the natural tooth structure as much as possible. Keeping this natural shape is important because it allows the area to be kept clean and free from irritation. With that said let’s take a look at some of the most common problems we see.
An open contact is a term used in dentistry to describe the space between adjacent teeth when the teeth are neither touching nor a sufficient distance from each other to potentially allow the space to naturally remain free of debris.
Open contacts can exist naturally, however they are also frequently produced as a result of inadequately contoured dental restorations which may lead to a phenomenon called a food impaction, which can be a source of discomfort.
An open margin occurs when there is a significant space between the crown and the remaining tooth and often occurs as a result of improper tooth preparation or the improper placement of a crown. Anytime that a crown is done there is always a margin however it is referred to as an “open margin” when it is large enough to let in significant amounts of food and bacteria. An open margin is often extremely difficult to keep clean and over time can lead to recurrent decay under the crown leading to a root canal, sensitive gums and teeth, and bad breath.
Overhanging Dental Restoration
An overhang occurs when a dental restoration is built too large or the margins overhang the edge of the natural tooth structure causing food and bacterial plaque to accumulate. This accumulation of food and plaque leads to inflammation of the gum tissue which can progress to periodontal disease. Additionally an overhang can cause a food impaction which can cause discomfort, bad breath, and tooth decay.
So what should you do if you suspect you have one of these conditions?
Talk to your dentist. Most dentists want to do the very best job that they can for their patients so if you notice an area of irritation let your dental team know.
It is important here at Cornerstone Dental that our patients receive the very best care we can offer and we strive to take the time to restore your tooth to its natural shape to help ensure your teeth last you a lifetime.