Failed Dental Restorations: Are dentists solely to be blamed?

By Dr Sumaiya Hasan

Dental problems can be bothering. In some cases, dental
fillings can be the solution. However, just as relieved a patient feels after
having the dental restoration, the relief can turn into a nightmare if the
filling dislodges. While Dentistry is growing based on research and recent
innovations facilitating clinical practice, dislodged dental restorations
remain a headache both for the patient and the practitioner.

Comprehending the reasons for dislodged dental
restorations can be difficult for common men. This often results in patients
blaming the dentist for this problem. However, multiple factors play a role in
causing this problem. Dentist’s skills while placing a restoration are
imperative. Nevertheless, several patient-related factors have an impact on the
long term prognosis of the dental filling. Few such factors are,

  1. Oral hygiene and habits of the patient:

 Regardless of how strictly the practitioner
followed the protocols of treatment during the placement of a dental filling,
if the patient ignores his or her oral hygiene after the procedure, not even
the best filling material will last in his mouth. An unhealthy diet such as
consumption of carbonated drinks and sweets frequently, harmful habits such as
betel nut or betel quid, or ignoring teeth cleaning are three of the most
common examples of neglected oral hygiene. This negligence has many
consequences, one of which is the formation of caries around the dental filling.
This ultimately leads to cavity formation and failure of dental filling.

Although the new dental materials have been developed
with good strength and wear resistance, frequent consumption of betel nut or
nut-cracking with fillings can lead to fracture.

  1. Preventive measures: 

Some dental restorative materials gain strength and
hardness with time after they have been placed. During this time, certain
precautions are necessary to allow the content to set and achieve the desired
strength fully. These precautions may include avoiding chewing from dental
filling for some hours or protecting them from moisture for a short while. If
the patient does not follow the cares, the filling material may fail to achieve
its desired properties.

  1. Bruxism: 

Some patients are diagnosed by the dentists to have
bruxism, which involves unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth. It has
detrimental effects on both natural and artificial teeth and also dental
fillings. However, dental fillings in such patients are not as simple as they
appear to the patients. Few such patients may need a comprehensive treatment
plan rather than merely placing fillings where required. In the absence of such
a comprehensive treatment plan, fillings may fracture or dislodge due to the
high clenching forces. Often, patients are reluctant to this comprehensive
treatment plan as it may require extra time and compliance at their end.
However, it must be understood by them that without it, the filling may not
last long.

  1. Oral Environment: 

A favourable environment is essential for the longevity
of dental fillings. Certain conditions may make it unsuitable such as the
medical condition named GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), a digestive
order which results in stomach acid moving up to the oesophagus and also to the
mouth. The acidic environment in the mouth is neither suitable for the natural
teeth nor the dental fillings. If dental fillings are required in such a
patient, treatment of GERD should also be carried out for the overall wellbeing
and even longevity of the stuffing.

  1. Patient’s cooperation during the procedure: 

Gone are the old times when dental fillings meant merely
drill and fill. Today the procedure is performed with protocols and precision.
Patient’s cooperation to achieve excellent results are of prime importance.

The longevity of dental restorations depends on multiple
factors related to both the dentist and the patient. Every case is different
because the factors influencing dental procedures are different for everyone.
Moreover, case complexity is not similar for all patients. Dentists can play a
pivotal role in explaining these factors to the patient apart from recording
and conducting a thorough history and examination for composing suitable
treatment plan. This can save both the patient from post-treatment
disappointment and the dentist from extra efforts.

-The author is a contributing writer for Dental
News Pakistan and can be reached at

The post Failed Dental Restorations: Are dentists solely to be blamed? appeared first on Dental News Pakistan.

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