Modern dental restorations are highly durable, and they can last a long time. Many are expected to last decades. However, few of them can last forever. Dental implants, of course, are the exception, and even then restorations on top of implants like bridges and crowns may need to be replaced.

But how do you know that it’s time to replace your old dental restorations? Here are a few signs to watch out for.Man shutting his mouth

Restorations Chipped or Cracked

Modern dental restorations are made from very strong materials, but in the past porcelain veneers were really made of porcelain. When properly placed by a skilled cosmetic dentist they were still very resistant to chipping and cracking.

But over time these restorations can get chipped because of accidents or just accumulated stress. When this occurs, you might consider replacing just the chipped restoration, although it might also be time for a new set.

Receding Gums Reveal Metal Edges

In the past, many people got porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. These can look very attractive as long as the margin is concealed by your gum tissue. But if gum disease related receding gums reveals the edges of the crown, the metal can look very unattractive.

If this happens, you have two options to restore the appearance of crowns: gum rejuvenation or replacing the crowns. We’ll evaluate your case and help you decide which is best for you.

Decay at the Edges of Restorations

In truth, it’s not usually the restorations themselves that fail: it’s the tooth underneath. With properly placed restorations that are properly cared for, there’s no increased risk of developing cavities at the edge of restorations. But there is always a risk of developing a cavity in any tooth, including one where a restoration has been placed. And when cavities develop around restorations, it’s time to get new ones.

Restorations Are Discolored

Over time, restorations can become discolored. Quality porcelain restorations are highly resistant to staining, but if they get scratched, they can get stained. Other types of restorations may get stained more easily, especially those with a high plastic component. And some older restoration materials actually undergo intrinsic chemical changes that can cause them to change color on their own, not because of staining.

But no matter the cause–if your restorations aren’t as white as you want them to be, it’s time to replace them with new ones.

Teeth Are Discolored

Other times, it’s not the restorations that are discolored. They may be just as white as ever, but your natural teeth have changed color. Now, your restorations no longer match your natural teeth. Teeth can be whitened to try to keep the match as long as possible, but at a certain point, your natural teeth may not respond to teeth whitening anymore.

Then you have a couple of options. You can get restorations on the more visible natural teeth so that your smile looks just as bright as ever. Or you can get new restorations that aren’t as bright and match your discolored teeth.

Is It Time to Replace Your Old Restorations?

If you recognize any of the above reasons for replacing your old restorations, we can help. Our talented Orange County cosmetic dentists are highly skilled at replacing old restorations, matching new and old restorations, and even rejuvenating the appearance of your teeth and gums.

If you want to learn what’s the best option for restoring the beauty of your smile again, please call  today for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.