What Are Overhangs?

What Are Overhangs?

One of the keys to the long-term success of your restoration and the health of your gums is the accuracy of the fit. This is especially true where the restoration meets the tooth.

When everything is ideal, there is a seamless transition where the tooth and the filling or crown meet. When a restoration is too bulky where it meets your tooth, we call it an overhang. Overhangs can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time because they:

  • Trap food and bacteria
  • Make it difficult or impossible to floss
  • Can contribute to periodontal disease and cavities
  • Can cause long-term bone loss

What causes overhangs?

Over time, silver amalgam or composite white fillings can absorb moisture and change from their original shape. Challenges and technique problems at the time of placement may also be the cause of overhangs. Whatever their origin, overhangs must be corrected. In most cases, this requires removal of the old filling or crown and replacement with a new one that fits properly.

Overhangs are a serious problem and a threat to the health of your teeth and gums. Let us know if you ever have difficulty flossing, or if your floss catches or tears. We can avoid many serious problems by finding and replacing any restorations that have overhangs.