Posts for: April, 2015
When choosing among different ways to solve a problem, knowledge is power. In the case of selecting the best repair for a dental problem, count on your team of dental professionals to advise you. But you as the patient make the final decision, and it helps to thoroughly understand the different options, their advantages and disadvantages. If you have a chipped or broken front tooth, your likely repair options are composite resin or porcelain veneer.
Composite resins are synthetic materials that can be colored to match your natural teeth. The material is bonded to the tooth surface using adhesives that become part of the tooth structure, strengthening the original tooth. The repair looks as good as, or even better than, your original tooth. Such repairs can be used to restore small to large chips and other damage caused by decay or trauma.
Since the composite resin repair is applied directly to the tooth in the dental office, the repair can be made in a single appointment. You do not need to use a temporary repair while waiting for the final replacement to be made at a dental laboratory. This also means that the repair will cost less.
Another advantage of composite resin is that less of the healthy tooth needs to be removed to prepare the tooth to receive the replacement, since it bonds directly to the original tooth structure.
Porcelain veneers are very thin layers of tooth-colored porcelain that are also bonded to the tooth. They are usually recommended in situations with more serious injury or risk to the tooth, such as teeth that have been fractured, treated for root canal, or injured in contact sports.
Application of porcelain veneers may require more tooth preparation (in which more of the original tooth material must be removed) before the restoration can be bonded in position. Bonded porcelain veneers are likely to be longer-lasting than composite resins. They must be fabricated in a laboratory, so they require more than one visit and cost more.
All of the above are factors to consider in choosing composite resin or porcelain veneer to restore your chipped or damaged tooth. As usual in making such decisions, the final choice will depend on your individual situation.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about bonding to repair chipped teeth. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”
Discover how your Anchorage dentist can easily replace a missing tooth.
About Dental Crowns
A dental crown looks just like a tooth-shaped cap that covers over the entire tooth to protect it from damage. Dental crowns are often recommended when a tooth is damaged or weakened by decay, infection or trauma. The purpose of a dental crown is to restore function back into the tooth and to prevent further damage.
About Dental Bridges
Your Anchorage, AK dentist will often recommend getting a dental bridge to replace a missing tooth. The main purpose of a dental bridge is to also “bridge” the gap left by your missing tooth and to help you achieve that complete smile. A dental bridge consists of two dental crowns and a pontic, or artificial tooth, which is cemented to the dental crowns to restore your smile.
Getting Crowns and Bridges
The first step your Anchorage dentist will take is to shave down the two natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth. These teeth will serve to anchor the dental bridge in place. Then impressions will be taken of your teeth and sent to a lab, where they will custom-make your dental crowns and bridge.
Once your bridge is complete, we will secure the crowns to the nearby teeth and then cement the bridge to the crowns to give you a new tooth that looks just like a real tooth.
Caring for Your Crowns and Bridges
What makes crowns and bridges ideal is that you don’t have to change your oral care regime to properly care for your new dental work. Just treat them just like natural teeth and be sure to brush them at least twice a day and floss one a day. Furthermore, you need to keep up with your dental visits and see your Anchorage dentist every six months for maintenance and routine care to make sure everything is working as it should. With the proper care, bridges can last up to 10 years or more.
If you want to say goodbye to tooth loss then it’s time to see your Anchorage, AK dentist for help. Schedule an appointment today with Anchorage Dental Arts and get closer to attaining that full smile again.
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”