Posts for: January, 2015
Today’s crowns, the visible part of a tooth replacement system, can effectively mimic the shape and color of natural teeth. But not all crowns are equal — so it’s best to be well-informed before you undergo a restoration on your natural teeth such as a single crown or bridgework — or if you need a crown on a dental implant that replaces a missing tooth.
To give you a starting point, here are 3 things to keep in mind about crowns as you consider a dental restoration.
Material composition. Most crowns in years past were made of a precious metal, most notably gold. What it lacked in appearance, it made up for in performance and durability. In recent years, dental porcelain has become the popular choice because of its ability to mimic the appearance and translucent color of natural teeth. Today’s porcelains are much stronger and are used more frequently for back teeth than in years past. A common recommendation for back teeth is a hybrid crown using metal and porcelain. Metal is incorporated beneath the porcelain in this type of crown to create a strong foundation and is also used along biting surfaces for strength. Porcelain is used in the more visible areas for esthetics.
The dental technician’s level of artistry. Most dentists sub-contract crown fabrication to dental laboratory technicians who may have varying levels of experience and artistic ability. A highly skilled technician can produce a crown that blends seamlessly with the patient’s remaining natural teeth.
Take a “test drive” of your future smile. Although we as dentists adhere to certain aesthetic principles, beauty is ultimately subjective — “in the eye of the beholder.” The final product must meet your expectations and level of comfort. If available, then, consider wearing temporary “trial smile” crowns as a preview of your new smile while your permanent set is under construction. This allows you to “try out” your future smile ahead of time, so you can make recommendations and sign off on the final set before it’s finished.
Undertaking any dental restoration is an important life step, both for your health and appearance. Being well-informed — especially about the crowns that you and others will see — will help you make wise choices that lead to a satisfying outcome.
Learn all about the inner workings of a dental implant.
If you are dealing with one or several missing teeth, then chances are you have been conducting a lot of personal research and talking to your Stamford, CT dentist about treatment options. It’s vitally important to act fast and to treat your tooth loss so you don’t have to deal with further problems as a result. If you’ve been scrolling the Internet for treatment advice then you’ve probably heard about dental implants. However, how much do you really know about this tooth replacement treatment and how it works?
About Dental Implants
The dental implant replaces a missing tooth and consists of three different parts:
- The implant: The implant is a tiny titanium post that is surgically implanted into the bone of the missing tooth’s socket. The main purpose of the implant is to act as a tooth’s root.
- An abutment: This metal piece is placed over the implant and serves as a connector between the implant and the artificial tooth.
- A dental crown: This crown is securely held in place by the abutment. Dental crowns are also used to preserve a damaged tooth, particularly after root canal treatment.
Dental Implant Treatment
After the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone, we allow the implant to remain there for several weeks. During these weeks of healing the surrounding gums and bone start to grow around the metal, making it a permanent foundation which will hold the crown. Once this process is complete, we will place the abutment on the implant. The last step is to then securely attach the dental crown to the abutment to give you a complete smile.
This treatment process can take anywhere from six to eight months to complete and two separate procedures are required.
Dental Implant Care
Dental implants can be treated just like regular teeth, which also means that you need to continue to brush and floss normally. Even if the crown can’t develop decay the surrounding natural teeth are still susceptible to cavities and gum disease, which can cause an implant to fail. That’s why anyone who wants to get implants should be ready to keep up with their oral hygiene.
If you are interested in finding out if you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants then call our office today. Your Stamford, CT dentist would be happy to sit down for a consultation and determine how to best restore your smile.
Imagine how different things would have been for movie star James Dean, had he not managed to replace the front teeth he lost as a youngster. According to one biography of the 1950s heartthrob, Dean's teeth were knocked out while he was swinging around on a homemade trapeze. Because his smile was restored, Dean was able to land the plumb movie roles that catapulted him to stardom.
This is perhaps the ultimate example of how a smile makeover can create new opportunities for a person. But opinion polls confirm that nearly 90% of adults feel an attractive smile is an important social and career asset. And, an almost equal percentage of adults feel that their smile could use some improvement.
Are you unhappy with your smile? Is a smile makeover something you've ever thought about? Dear Doctor magazine has come up with a great list of questions you can ask yourself to figure out if you would benefit from this life-changing experience:
- Do you avoid smiling in photos?
- Are you conscious about spaces and gaps in your teeth?
- Are your teeth making you look older than you feel?
- Have you held back a smile?
- Do you feel that your teeth are stained or too yellow?
- Do you hold your hand up in front of your mouth when speaking or laughing?
- Do you notice areas of excessive tooth wear that make your smile look older?
- Do you have little teeth and a gummy smile?
- Are your teeth crooked, chipped or crowded?
- Do you wish you had someone else's smile?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please come in and see us. We have an amazing array of cosmetic procedures available to us — far more than what was available to James Dean in the 1950s. These options range from relatively inexpensive teeth whitening treatments to more permanent cosmetic solutions such as porcelain crowns and veneers. Together we can come up with a plan to give you the smile you've always dreamed about.
If you would like more information about what a smile makeover could mean for you, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more about smile makeovers by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Beautiful Smiles by Design.” Dear Doctor also has more on “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”