Dental Tips Blog


Crown Placement Part 1

Posted in Crowns

If you are considering having a dental crown placed, you may wonder what the actual process is in having this done. These two articles will help describe the process involved in crown placement and what you can do to help prepare.

Upon arriving at your dentist office, you will be sent back to the treatment area. At this time, the assistant may take an impression of your tooth and mouth, and may take some additional x-rays.  The assistant then may apply some local numbing agent to your gum line if work will be done on the tooth.  When the dentist arrives, if it is needed, anesthetic agents will be given to help deaden your mouth and tooth area.  If the thought of local anesthetics concern you, talk to your dentist about the use of some conscious sedation or relaxing medications to help you through this step.

There are other things you can do to help relax, if you are concerned or anxious about the process.  Some people enjoy listening to music on headphones or an MP3 player.  Some dental offices have televisions above the dental chair you can watch.  You can also try visualization to help take your mind ‘away’ from the event.  However, if these tricks do not work, and you are anxious, please do talk to your dentist.  They are there to help you prepare and have a comfortable experience with your crown placement.

After the initial work by the assistant, the dentist will come in.  Our next article will discuss what the dentist will do, and what to expect at that point during your visit.


Dental Inlays and Onlays

Posted in Crowns

Dental inlays and onlays are useful in areas that are too large to be restored with a filling, but a crown isn’t necessary. Similar to a dental crown, inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental laboratory to fit an individually treated tooth. The porcelain restoration covers just a portion of the tooth, rather than the entire crown. Inlays and onlays are useful in replacing large fillings, or in areas where a tooth colored filling will not be adequate. The material is custom matched to blend in naturally with the surrounding tooth enamel.

Inlays and onlays can also be made of cast gold, which is very durable to wear over time. When placed in areas such as the upper back molars, the gold restorations are not even visible during talking, laughing or smiling. However, due to aesthetic reasons many people prefer porcelain restorations opposed to their gold counterparts.

Many people choose to have their old silver fillings removed, for more cosmetic, mercury free options. Because silver fillings are larger and require more tooth preparation, they are sometimes difficult to replace with a tooth colored filling. Porcelain inlays and onlays are one of the standards of care in replacing large fillings, because they are structurally sound and only take up one third to two thirds of the tooth structure.

If you are considering having your old fillings replaced, or have fillings that are sensitive and need to be re-treated, dental inlays or onlays may be a treatment option available to you. By using this method of therapy, more natural tooth structure is maintained and less tooth preparation is needed than with treatments such as dental crowns.

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