Weakened Teeth – What Are Your Options?
Procedures that restore weakened teeth to a more functional state
With good home and professional oral health care, most of our Surbiton patients will hopefully have healthy and strong teeth throughout their lives. Where teeth are not looked after so well though, the structure of the teeth may weaken, and even those that are treated, say with larger dental fillings, may not be as strong as they once were.
Healthy and strong teeth are important and can help us to live a more fulfilling life. Too many people have teeth that have weakened over time and this may lead to them being careful about what they eat.
If we have teeth that have become damaged, even if no decay etc has occurred, we run the risk of further harm if we continue to eat harder foods. Teeth that have weakened enamel may well crack or even break. For this reason, many people opt to avoid harder foods and instead, choose softer ones in order to protect their teeth.
This may not be a problem for some but we are sure that many people will have given up on their favourite foods, and mealtimes can then become something that we do simply to obtain the necessary nutrition but which lack the enjoyment factor. As anyone can see by the number of cookery programmes on TV, eating is one of the great pleasures in life and most would agree that denying ourselves that makes for a less fulfilling life.
So what can patients do if they don’t have confidence in their teeth because they are weak? There are a number of treatments that we have available at the Confidental Clinic which can help to restore some of the original strength and can help you to eat a normal diet once more.
Naturally, every case is different and patients will need to have a thorough examination to determine the best course of action to take. Below, we take a look at some of the possible options.
Teeth that wobble
If your teeth wobble and feel loose, this may have been caused by periodontitis and you may need to have an x-ray to determine the extent of this. Mild gum disease can often be managed with a scale and polish carried out by the hygienist, but if your teeth are loose, it is more likely that periodontitis has damaged the bone that supports the tooth root. This could lead to tooth loss but sometimes a deep cleaning or root planing can help to manage the damage. This is an invasive treatment that will need to be carried out, usually by a specialist dentist known as a periodontist.
If your teeth are cracked, even if it has not yet exposed the dentin layer beneath it, the tooth will almost certainly have been weakened and be more susceptible to further damage. This could be further cracking or parts of the tooth could break away. An examination would be needed to determine the treatment but some possibilities could be either porcelain veneers, bonding or a dental crown. Your dentist will be able to advise the best course of action for your particular circumstance.
Teeth with fillings
Many of us will have had teeth that are filled using an amalgam material. This is commonly used and most patients will recognise it from the dark fillings in their teeth. As it is made from a combination of metal compounds it is very strong. However, over time, it can shrink and cause the filling to become loose and the tooth less strong.
Increasingly, dental cavities are now being filled with white fillings. These are now almost equal in strength to amalgam and have the benefit of not shrinking. They also adhere well to the natural tooth and are therefore less likely to become loose. Where additional strength is needed, say for a large cavity on a rear tooth, an inlay or onlay may be a more effective option.
Root canal infections
If the ‘weakness’ of a tooth comes from discomfort when any pressure is applied to it, it may be that the root canals have become infected. Where this is the case, you will need to receive a root canal procedure to restore it. If you don’t, the infection will become worse and almost certainly very painful.
At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we will do everything that we can to save a natural tooth. Sometimes this is not possible, or we may suggest that the prognosis of the tooth is very poor and rather than tolerate a barely functioning tooth, recommend that we extract it and replace it by artificial means.
The most common of these is to use dentures. However, these don’t offer the benefits that dental implants do. Because implants replace both the root and the crown, unlike dentures, they offer patients the option of a strong and long lasting tooth replacement, almost like for like with a natural tooth.
Weakened teeth can be a hindrance to enjoying a normal life and patients should not have to live this way. We are always happy to examine your teeth and discuss the options available if you are in this situation. You can make an appointment by calling the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291 and we look forward to assisting you.