Dental Tips Blog

Dec
5

How Long Will a Cap on My Front Tooth Last?

Posted in Crowns

You can expect a cap on a front tooth to last as long as any other. Dental crowns have an average life expectancy of ten years. Some hold out for fifteen years or even longer.

Reasons for a crown to fail include:

  • Teeth-grinding habit
  • Decay
  • Trauma
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Wear-and-tear

How To Make A Dental Cap Last

Dental crowns, like any other teeth, require regular cleaning to stay strong and beautiful. It may be a “permanent” cap and your tooth may feel nice and safe, but there is still a tiny margin where bacteria can sneak in. Don’t overlook your crown when it comes to brushing and flossing. Good hygiene can help your crown last at least a decade.

Disclaimers About Front Tooth Crowns

Crowning a tooth that shows when you smile typically takes more time than other crowns. This is because more detail and effort go into making it look nice. After all, it’s right there in the smile-zone where everyone will be looking!

That being the case, you’re going to want to be extra careful with your cap so that you don’t have to go through the process again. Every time you redo a crown, not only does it cost money, but it weakens your tooth.

It’s tempting to use teeth to open things like bags and packages and to tear off tags from clothing. Fight the inclination to use your teeth as tools! A crown could be damaged even more easily than a natural tooth.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Nov
30

I Just Got a Crown. How Should I Care for It?

Posted in Crowns

Keeping your new dental crown clean is the best way to get the most out of it. In addition to having your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office, you also need to clean it carefully at home.

Brushing and flossing are crucial to maintaining your crown long-term. Crowns tend to trap more plaque and calculus at their margins than natural teeth. It’s completely safe and highly recommended to brush thoroughly. You can’t scratch them with soft bristles.

If sugars and bacteria are left uncleaned and leak under the crown edges, the tooth will likely end up with a cavity – which is no easy fix. The dentist either has to “patch” the tooth with a filling or replace the crown all together (which we all know is expensive).

Don’t Be Afraid of it Falling Off

That simply won’t happen. It’s been attached with permanent cement that has bonded with the tubules within your natural tooth. It’s not going anywhere!

It’s understandable that you’re nervous. After all, you saw the dentist prep your tooth for a crown, and you know that the natural tooth underneath is a little smaller than those surrounding. It would be embarrassing if anyone could ever see that.

Just know how unlikely that is to ever happen. Dental cement does not have an easy bond to break. Crowns have an extremely tight fit to keep materials from leaking underneath and causing decay.

Long Term Maintenance

Keep your crown clean. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups at least every six months. Treat your crowns like you would your natural teeth or maybe even a little bit better. It was, after all, an investment. Invest a little time for excellent homecare, and you’re likely to be pleased with your purchase for years to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Oct
9

What Is the Core Buildup of a Dental Crown?

Posted in Crowns

A dental crown is a hollow cap that’s shaped like a tooth. Inside, it’s got an empty space that fits right over the top of a tooth. So in order to support a crown, teeth have to be trimmed to the right shape. Otherwise, the crown would be too bulky.

When You Need More Than A Crown

On occasion, a tooth might be too damaged by decay or fracture to support a crown. It might have lost a lot of structure to large old fillings. In order to keep the tooth strong, your dentist may do what’s called a “core buildup.”

As it sounds, a core buildup reinforces that center foundation of the tooth which seats the finished crown. Your dentist will use restorative materials to mold this new core which will be the same size and shape that your tooth would be naturally.

What If A Core Buildup Isn’t Enough?

Your dentist might then take things a step further and use a post to help secure the material to the tooth. This ensures a stable foundation to support your dental crown.

A core and post won’t necessarily guarantee a stronger tooth, however. All the extra material placed in your tooth can weaken it. But the post and core may buy you a little more time with your tooth before it is ultimately extracted.

Do You Need A Post And Core?

If it seems too risky to attempt a core buildup, extraction may be your only option. It all depends on the quality of the tooth structure you have left. Professional dental x-rays are the best way to determine this. Talk with your dentist about your restoration options.

Posted on behalf of:
Columbia Dental Center
915 N Main St #2
Columbia, IL 62236
(618) 281-6161

Oct
8

Should You Get a Crown or a Filling?

Posted in Crowns

You’ve noticed a suspicious dark spot on your tooth and now you’re wondering what you should do about it. If that’s actually a cavity, then it will need some kind of treatment.

Two of the most common methods for repairing tooth decay are fillings and dental crowns. Which will you need?

How Traditional Fillings Work

A filling is a flowable material placed inside a hollowed out space in the tooth. It’s usually light-cured and sets up in a matter of minutes. Fillings are your first line of defense in repairing cavities.

What Makes A Crown Different?

A crown, or cap, is a solid piece of material like porcelain that covers your entire tooth. If a lot of your tooth is damaged from decay, a crown can restore its shape.

Deciding Which Restoration You Need

Which restoration you need depends mainly on how much of your tooth is affected. If the cavity isn’t too deep, a filling is usually enough. But if the decay has reached deeper layers of your tooth or has caused large pieces to chip away, then you’ll need the extra protection of a crown.

What if the damage to your tooth falls somewhere in-between?

Your dentist may recommend a hybrid restoration called an indirect filling (inlay/onlay.) It’s like a filling-crown combo created outside the mouth and then cemented into the tooth like a piece in a puzzle.

It’s impossible to figure out exactly what your tooth needs without having a professional examine it. Call your dentist today to schedule an exam. He or she will help you decide on the restoration that matches your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7117

Aug
29

How Acidic Is Your Mouth?

Most of us aren’t too concerned with measuring the pH of our mouths on a regular basis. Your dentist probably won’t tell you to do that every day, anyway.

Even so, it’s good to educate yourself on a few basic facts of how acidity affects your smile.

What Is pH?

The pH scale goes from 1 to 14 with lower numbers being the acidic ones (like lemon juice and vinegar) and the higher numbers being basic (think baking soda and soap).

On the pH scale, 5.5 is a golden number: below this, tooth enamel starts to wear down. That’s right, under acidic conditions your teeth get weaker and more prone to cavities.

Another fun fact about high acidity: cavity-causing bacteria love acid and produce lots of it themselves. So an oral environment with a low pH, even by just a margin, is ripe for tooth decay.

Fighting Acid In The Mouth

Healthy human saliva clocks in at close to 7 on the pH scale. That’s a nice neutral number. In fact, it’s Nature’s way of cleaning your teeth and neutralizing any acid that is there. When people suffer dry mouth, they miss out on these great benefits.

On top of using saliva substitutes, you can also bring your pH levels up to par by:

  • Avoiding acidic drinks (juice, soda, sports drinks)
  • Cutting back on sugary carbs which metabolize into acids in the mouth
  • Snack on dairy items which neutralize pH
  • Up your fluoride intake and oral hygiene game to keep your enamel strong

See your dentist for more tips and product recommendations to fight the effects of acidity on enamel and reduce the need for dental fillings, crowns, and other tooth restorations.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Jul
18

When Your Child Needs a Dental Crown

No parent likes to hear that their baby has a cavity. Whether that “baby” is 3 years old or 13, cavities can spell trouble for a smile.

A dental crown is often the restorative option of choice for repairing large cavities in small mouths. Saving the tooth can help your child avoid orthodontic complications caused by early tooth loss.

Why Your Child Needs A Crown

Baby teeth are much smaller and more delicate than adult teeth. They don’t have a very thick layer of tooth between the nerve chamber and the oral environment.

So when a cavity forms, it doesn’t take long before it reaches the nerve where it can cause an abscess.

There isn’t always enough time or tooth structure to just fill a baby tooth. A dental crown will provide more protection and is far less risky.

The Best Kind Of Crown For Kids

Stainless steel crowns are the material of choice because they are:

  • Long lasting
  • Cost-effective
  • Not sensitive

A steel crown doesn’t look as pretty as a white one, but that’s okay since the tooth will fall out when the adult one arrives.

What Can You Expect At The Crown Procedure?

Your dentist will make sure your son or daughter’s tooth is completely numb. For very young or nervous children, there are a number of anesthesia options that can help them relax.

The dentist next carefully cleans out the decay. He or she may also have to treat the pulp if the cavity was deep enough. A pre-fabricated steel crown is then securely cemented to the tooth. Your child won’t feel a thing during the process.

Talk with your dentist if you have any concerns about your child’s smile and dental crowns.

Posted on behalf of:
Sweetpea Smiles
15850 Southwest Fwy #400
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 566-6100

Jun
20

Why You Should Get a Crown: 4 Reasons

Posted in Crowns

No one really ever wants to get another dental crown. But there are some good reasons why you should seriously consider your dentist’s recommendation.

  1. Give Your Tooth A Few More Years

Crowning a tooth buys you more time than a filling would. This is especially true if you have a deep cavity. Getting a filling could be a real gamble – you don’t know for sure if it will keep the decay out. A dental crown, on the other hand, is a much neater and more complete solution. It could even allow you to put off the need for a root canal.

  1. Change Your Smile’s Entire Look

Sometimes, a crown is simply a good way to change the look of a front tooth that is:

  • Deeply stained
  • Misshapen
  • Chipped
  • Rough-textured

It’s usually a great idea to just crown a tooth with extensive cosmetic damage.

  1. Prevent Wear From Grinding And Clenching

A habit of grinding and clenching your teeth at night is a sure way to wear down tooth enamel. Crowning a tooth or two might be the best way you can prevent severe fractures.

It’s also a good idea to look into devices (such as splints or night guards) that will prevent your grinding tendency from damaging teeth and restorations.

  1. Fill In An Empty Space

How does a crown do that?

Crowning a couple otherwise healthy teeth could allow you to connect the gap between them with a dental bridge. That’s because these dental crowns play a key role in supporting fixed each end of a bridge.

How else can a crown benefit your smile and dental health in general? Ask your dentist by scheduling a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Meadowbrook Family Dental
8848 Calvine Rd #120
Elk Grove, CA 95828
(916) 912-4126

Apr
15

Will a Filling Be Enough?

Posted in Fillings

Whether you have a cavity or somehow chipped your tooth, you know full well that it’s time to have it fixed.

When you visit your dentist, you may be told that you need more than just a standard filling. Why?

What Happened to Your Tooth?

After suffering damage like a fracture or decay, your tooth is now exposed to the environment. This can lead to more decay or a deeper fracture. Your tooth may be very sensitive and perhaps so sharp that it hurts your tongue.

A small hole from a shallow cavity is easy to fix with a filling. But those times when the damage is much larger means that you need more support than a traditional restoration.

Filling Alternative Options

Teeth don’t hold usually hold up well after losing a big chunk of their outer layer. This means they are structurally-compromised. Patching up the hole with a moldable material just won’t cut it. Your tooth will likely stay sensitive or even break down faster than usual.

To help your tooth last as long as possible, your dentist may recommend another kind of restoration such as a crown or onlay.

Dental crowns replace your tooth’s entire outer layer. This gives your tooth strength and protects it from all angles. Dental crowns are often the last resort before your tooth needs a root canal.

Onlays (or inlays) are solid restorations designed outside the mouth and then cemented into place like a piece in a puzzle. This technique gives them more strength, giving your tooth more support than a regular filling would.

Your dentist has other methods for reinforcing fillings and saving your tooth. Ask him or her for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Feb
14

4 Questions to Ask Your Dentist About Your New Dental Crown

Posted in Crowns

Evidence of the earliest dental crowns dates back to around 700 B.C. in Europe. In the past century, the art of crafting caps that fit comfortably has improved considerably.

If you need a crown today, you can be sure that you’re getting a sanitary and safe restoration. Before having treatment done, however, make sure that you and your dentist are on the same page by getting answers to these questions.

  1. How Much Will My Crown Cost?

A crown can cost anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars. What you pay is determined by things like:

  • Materials used
  • Location of the office
  • How much your insurance covers
  1. Is Anything Covered By Insurance?

Your insurance benefits are determined by you or your employer. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the benefits you have available. Many insurances today will cover a single crown procedure for a tooth once every five years. Most dental crowns last far longer than that. Your dental office will help you understand your dental insurance policy.

  1. Are There Any Alternatives to a Crown?

If your tooth can support a more conservative restoration, then an onlay may be a good option. In some cases, it may be too risky to attempt a crown and the better route is to extract the tooth. Ask your dentist why he or she recommends a crown above other treatment alternatives.

  1. Which Type of Crown is Best for Me?

Crowns come in different materials such as:

  • Gold
  • Porcelain
  • Porcelain/metal combinations

Which one you should have depends on how much bite force the crowned tooth will experience and how well you want it to blend in with your smile.

Also ask your dentist about how to make your crown last.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Jan
10

Why a Dental Crown is NOT the End of the Road!

Posted in Crowns

Once a tooth is crowned, it might feel invincible. When the entire visible part of the tooth is covered up with a porcelain or metal cap, it’s easy to think it’s safe from the threat of decay.

In actuality, your tooth may be more at risk than before.

The Truth About Crowns

Even though a dental crown is one of the best things you can give your teeth, it’s no secret that it won’t last forever. No restoration can do that. All it can do is extend the life of your tooth. With time and wear, even a crown will need to be updated.

The crown appears to cover tooth, but it only does so until slightly below the gum line. If bacteria set up camp near the edge of the crown, a cavity can start at that piece of exposed root.

What makes this worse is the fact that you won’t know what’s going on. the cavity will spread unseen, hidden under the crown. Next thing you know, it’s time for a new crown, or even a root canal.

Make Your Crown Last

Who knows? Perhaps one day we will have restorations that last forever. In the meantime, you can do your part in making your crown last for 10, 15 years or more.

Dental caps will serve you well as long as you treat them right. Keep them clean with regular brushing and flossing. You still have to pay close attention to what you eat. Eating sugary and acidic foods frequently will take a toll even on teeth that are already crowned.

Schedule regular dental visits (and x-rays) to make sure that your crowns stay in great shape.

Posted on behalf of:
Meadowbrook Family Dental
8848 Calvine Rd #120
Elk Grove, CA 95828
(916) 912-4126

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