Porcelain Veneers Require Sound Teeth
Porcelain veneers are a great solution for chipped teeth. They are beautiful, conservative, and long-lasting. But if you wait too long, you might not be able to use them to restore your smile. If you wait too long, the same forces that initially chipped your teeth can result in more serious cracking. If that cracking weakens the tooth, a porcelain veneer won’t be able to help–a dental crown will be necessary to protect and support the tooth. Note: If you are constantly experiencing tooth wear and chipping, the problem might be TMJ or other bite problems that will have to be corrected to preserve your teeth and restorations.
And if you wait too long to get porcelain veneers, you might get tooth decay that could undermine the porcelain veneer. We don’t want to put veneers on teeth if they are going to be undermined and lost.
The Right Time to Build Bridges
Dental bridges are a good solution for a lost tooth. They are fully fixed restorations–not removable. That means they will stay in place, and they let you eat all your favorite foods. But there’s a limited window for getting dental bridges.
A dental bridge is an artificial tooth supported by natural teeth on either side. It requires sound teeth to support it, and once a tooth is lost the neighboring teeth can be more vulnerable to wear, trauma, and decay. If we don’t act soon, those teeth might be in no condition to support your bridge.
And whether you will ultimately want a dental bridge or dental implant, the teeth on either side of a missing tooth can begin to drift. That means that if we don’t act quickly, we may need to use orthodontics to create space for your replacement tooth.
Act Now to Avoid Root Canal Therapy
If you have a cavity, it can grow quickly. When cavities are very small, they tend to grow slow, but once they become large enough that they can begin trapping food and oral bacteria, they can grow quickly.
At this stage, treatment of your cavity can be done with a tooth-colored filling, but if you wait too long, you may be looking at root canal therapy. That’s because the cavity can grow to the point where it reaches or threatens the chamber in the center of the tooth where the living pulp of the tooth is located. Once that is infected, the tooth has to be cleaned out with root canal therapy–or replaced with a dental implant.
When Even Root Canal Therapy Won’t Save Your Tooth
Root canal therapy can be used to restore most infected teeth. It can make your mouth healthy again, with a tooth that will function for ten years, twenty years, or more. But if you wait too long, even a root canal might not save your tooth.
An infected tooth can be dramatically weakened from within. This makes it more likely that the tooth will crack, and if that crack extends to the root of the tooth, then a root canal cannot save the tooth.
The same is true when decay has damaged the root. If you wait too long to get a root canal treatment, the oral bacteria can weaken the tooth root. Or they can spread from the tooth into the bone around the tooth, which weakens the ability of the tooth to stay in place, so it will have to be removed. And at that point, even a dental implant is a dubious treatment–it may take extra time and treatments to make it work properly.
Act Now to Keep Your Options Open and Your Costs Down
When you have a dental problem come up, you might put it off because you’re afraid of the treatment or their cost. But trust us, if you wait, you will lose many of the more desirable options, and your treatment will undoubtedly be more expensive.