Monthly Archives: January 2016

Understanding Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges

dental-crowns-bridges

Dental crowns and tooth bridges are what’s known as fixed prosthetic devices. They are, unlike dentures, cemented onto existing teeth or other implants and can only be placed, as well as removed by a licensed dental practitioner.

How Dental Crowns Work

Crowns are used to cover damaged teeth to help strengthen it, as well as to improve its shape, appearance and alignment. Crowns can also be used and place on top of implants to make them look like normal teeth and to help them function as so.

Typically, crowns are made out of gold and metal alloys. But, porcelain and ceramic crowns also exist and can be used to match the color of the rest of your natural teeth.

Of the said materials, alloys are much stronger, as well as much more durable and are recommended to be used for back teeth. Porcelain may also be bonded to a metal shell for durable, yet attractive finish.

Generally, crowns are recommended for cases such as:

  • Replacing fillings so large that there just isn’t enough tooth remaining.
  • Protecting a weak tooth from further damage or fractures.
  • Restoration of a fractured tooth.
  • Attaching a dental bridge.
  • Covering a dental implant.
  • Covering a misshapen or discolored tooth.
  • Covering a tooth that had just recently undergone root canal treatment.

How Tooth Bridges Work

Missing teeth can cause an imbalance which may lead to a variety of dental problems, such as a bad bite, gum disease and even TMJ disorders. As such, those missing one or a couple of teeth may opt to get a dental bridge.

Dental bridges work by spanning the space left over by the missing teeth. They are cemented either to the natural teeth or to the implants, which are referred to as abutments now that they serve as anchors for the ridge.

Like with crowns, there are plenty of materials to choose from when it comes to dental bridges. Though, it is best that you let your dentist decide and discuss with you which material is best for your particular case.

Manufacturing and Fitting

Before a crown or bridge is manufactured or made, your tooth or teeth have to be prepared first. This is usually done by reducing it in size to make sure that the crown or bridge is a perfect fit. Once prepared, an impression will be taken that will be used as molding for the crown or bridge.

The said impression is then sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge is made. Meanwhile, a temporary crown or bridge is placed to cover the prepared area. Once the permanent crown or bridge is ready, the temporary ones are then removed and the new, permanent ones are cemented in place.

Proper Care and Maintenance

Crowns and bridges are built to last for decades, but that does not mean that they’re not prone to breaking, becoming loose or even falling out.

The best way to make sure that your crown or bridge lasts long is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, learning how to use a dental floss and even rinsing with mouthwash. Of course, you shouldn’t forget to visit your dentist regularly as well, for regular checkups and cleaning.

The Main Benefits of Laser Dentistry

laser dentistry

The use of the traditional drill is often cited as one of the reasons why plenty of patients tend to skip out on going to the dentist. The sound that the drill makes and the fact that you have to be strapped onto the dentist’s chair throughout much of the procedure simply makes some people feel uncomfortable.

Fortunately, we no longer live in a time and age where dentists have to rely on their drills and other conventional tools to perform most, if not all, of their procedures.

All thanks to laser dentistry, patients can now choose to go for virtually pain-free dental procedures.

That aside, there are plenty of other benefits of laser dentistry, including:

  • Better accuracy and precision. Using lasers, dentists can easily remove tooth enamel decay, which can prove to be quite difficult to do through conventional means. Procedures done on the bone and gum tissues are also more precise using lasers, which leaves the surrounding areas unaffected and helping you maintain your natural set of teeth for a longer time.
  • Greatly reduced trauma. Physically, the use of high speed drills can, in many cases, cause fractures in the teeth. Such fractures, although reversible, will eventually lead to further dental problems that will incur even more costs down the line. With lasers, trauma is significantly minimized.
  • Faster and more efficient procedures. Since dentists don’t have to rely on shots or anesthesia, the use of lasers can make it easier for them to perform certain procedures that would usually require multiple trips in one visit. Also, certain procedures that often required the referral to specialists can now be performed by a single dentist, saving you and your family much needed time, money and hassle as you no longer have to make multiple trips.
  • Less bleeding and swelling. For many years, bleeding and post-op swelling were common in dental procedures. Patients simply had no choice but to deal with them, especially since no other options existed. Well, not yet, anyway. With lasers, dentists can perform procedures such as soft tissue with little to no bleeding and post-op swelling involved!
  • Versatility. Lasers can be used on a wide range of both hard and soft tissue procedures. Those that required the extensive use of drills and scalpels, such as decay removal, cavity preparation, root canals, and many others will be far easier to do all thanks to lasers.

Look for a Certified Dentist Near You!

Not all dentists are trained and certified to perform laser procedures as a substitute to conventional measures.

It is important that you do your research and if possible, set up a meeting with the dentist to ask him or her questions about the extent of education and training they’ve received in regards to laser dentistry.

Also, you should know that even though lasers are a very useful and powerful dental instrument, they’re not always the most appropriate option.

Hopefully, now that there’s the option of there being less pain involved in dental procedures, you’ll no longer dread each visit like before and maybe even make it a habit to visit the dentist much more often.

For more information on laser dentistry call the office of Larry Lieberman DDS at 727-785-8017. His helpful staff will answer your questions and help you get an appointment scheduled. Also, visit the website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.