New technology has made it possible for tooth-colored crowns to be all porcelain crowns. Previously, porcelain crowns had to be built around a metal core. This was the only way to make the crown strong enough to withstand biting and chewing forces. The problem with this was that the metal core created a dark blue line at the edge of many crowns.
This has all changed, thanks to breakthroughs in adhesives and the development of stronger porcelain materials that allow us to make crowns completely out of porcelain. This new material is completely translucent and almost impossible to distinguish from natural teeth.
All porcelain crowns eliminate the problem of the dark line at the edge of the gum. This allows us to place the edge of the crown above the gum line, which in turn is much better for your teeth and gums.
An all porcelain crown is usually the best corrective, cosmetic treatment option for you if any of the following is the case:
· Your tooth has experienced significant decay. There simply is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a cosmetic dental filling.
· A large part of the tooth has fractured and cannot be rebuilt using traditional composite resins.
· You have a large cavity and decide to go for the additional protection of a crown to prevent further tooth decay.
· You have had a dental implant, and an all porcelain crown provides you with a natural-looking tooth replacement.
· After a root canal, we may recommend a crown to strengthen your tooth.
· If you suffer from bruxism and have a poor diet, the acid erosion may have eroded your teeth to the point that all porcelain crowns are the only way to restore them.
· If any of the above conditions have made you self-conscious when you smile, all porcelain crowns can improve your appearance and restore your self confidence.
These cosmetic tooth restorations have to be custom made in a dental laboratory. That is why it takes more than one trip to our office to get them.
During the first consultation, we remove any decay and reshape the tooth surface. This is done with a special drill under the influence of local anesthesia that will make the procedure painless. Once we have reshaped the tooth to accommodate a dental crown, we then take impressions of your teeth using special dental putty. We send this mold of your mouth over to a dental lab, when then uses it as a guide to make your new all porcelain crowns. In the meantime, we fit your tooth or teeth with a temporary crown to protect them while we wait on the lab to finish its work.
When your crown is ready, we call you back to the office and remove the temporaries. We use a special etching solution to roughen the outer enamel of your teeth. This helps the crown better bond to its surface with dental cement. After trial fitting the crown to make sure all is in order, we permanently cement it in place.
All porcelain crowns should last at least 10 years if you take care of them properly.
Labels: all porcelain crowns, all-porcelain crowns, cosmetic dental crowns
When you have a damaged tooth, you have two problems. One is a medical problem, and one is a personal problem. The medical problem is the possibility of severe tooth decay and subsequent tooth destruction. The personal problem is a tooth that looks bad when you smile. A porcelain crown can be a solution to both problems at once.
A porcelain crown is a precision-crafted cosmetic tooth enhancement that is made in a dental laboratory. It is custom made to fit the tooth in your mouth that needs repair work. Because it has to be made in this special laboratory, it will take at least two visits to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center to get you fitted with a porcelain crown.
The first visit to our office will involve checking out your damaged tooth and preparing it for a porcelain crown. Because we believe in making this process as painless as humanly possible, we begin by numbing the area around your tooth to make you feel comfortable.
We also put a rubber dam in the back of your mouth to protect your throat from dental debris that may fall backward into your mouth while we are working in it. This will protect your air passageway and esophagus.
We then remove all decayed matter from your tooth using a dental handpiece. At the same time, we will be shaping this tooth so it can securely hold your new dental crown. In order to enable the lab workers to make a porcelain crown that will match your tooth, we take an impression of your teeth that we then use to make a model of your mouth.
When we send this to the lab, the technicians there will have an exact replica of your mouth with which to work and be able to make a tooth enhancement that will match your bite and tooth size exactly.
This takes a week or two, and your tooth will need protection in the meantime. We provide this protection in the form of a temporary crown. Although it is only temporary, it is extremely important that you respect the crown and treat it with the utmost of care. Doing so will ensure the future success of your permanent crown.
When your porcelain crown comes back from the lab, we call you back for your second appointment. We will remove the temporary crown at this time and trial fit the permanent dental crown without cementing it in place. We do this to make certain that its top surface is flush with those of other teeth and that it lines up correctly with other teeth.
Once it checks out we either bond or cement it in place.
You can expect many benefits from a porcelain crown that include the following:
Strength and durability
Beauty and life-like imitation of real teeth
Better for gums because natural looking porcelain does not have to be hidden beneath the gumline
Labels: all porcelain crowns, cosmetic dental crowns, dental porcelain crowns
A dark tooth is a tooth that turns almost black because of a blood flow problem. This can happen to a baby tooth or an adult tooth. People always get very upset when they see a dark tooth-especially in the mouth of their child. Actually, it is less of a problem for children than adults.
With children, a dark tooth is almost always caused by some kind of injury that slightly loosens the tooth. Most of these injuries are minor, but they are normally forceful enough to displace a tooth just enough to interrupt its blood supply.
In most instances, however, the tooth eventually tightens back in its socket and normal blood flow returns. The tooth whitens again. Little intervention is needed in these cases. However, we do not encourage parents to assume that it is all right to do nothing if they see a dark tooth in a child’s mouth.
Bring your son or daughter to the dentist for a full dental checkup. The severity of the injury must be assessed in order to determine if observation is the best course of action, or if some type of intervention is required.
Now with adults, the problem is usually a lot more severe.
A dark tooth in the mouth of an adult indicates that the nerve of the tooth has already become infected and the root is on its way to dying. In almost all instances, a root canal is required to save the tooth itself. There are a few exceptions to this where very resilient tooth roots remain alive in spite of the fact that the adjoining nerves that connect to them wither and die.
In any respect, it is necessary to restore the whiteness a tooth once it has been properly treated and salvaged. There are four ways that cosmetic dentists can do this.
One method is to simply whiten a dark tooth with cosmetic dental whitening. This procedure uses a series of special bleaching agents that are applied both in the dentist office and at home.
If the tooth only has a part of its surface that has become dark, cosmetic dental bonding resin can be spread over the area and used to restore normal tooth color.
Another treatment method we use is the application of cosmetic dental veneers. These thin, porcelain sheets are custom made to mimic the natural color of surrounding teeth and lay right over the surface of the tooth.
A fourth treatment option is to cap the tooth with a cosmetic porcelain crown. Porcelain is an exceptionally hard substance and allows the patient to eat a normal diet. It prevents everyone from ever knowing that the person had a root canal..
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic tooth whitening, dark tooth
Dental makeovers give you an entirely new smile there are a number of things you can count on receiving when you come to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center for advanced dental services.
Cosmetic Tooth Whitening
Teeth get darker as we age. They also get stained from things we eat and drink. A lot of people smoke too, which definitely creates a yellowing effect on the teeth.
One of the things a person gets from a dental makeover is cosmetic tooth whitening services. The dentist applies a special bleaching gel to your teeth to remove stains. He or she then sends you home with a special ray to apply home bleaching agent for the next two weeks. After that, you return for a second office visit and a final bleaching session.
Another great aspect of a dental makeover is the use of all-porcelain bridges. In past years, bridges were made from a blend of porcelain and metal. However, the presence of the metal would eventually show up as a blue line near the gums, which made it obvious that the patient was wearing a bridge.
The bridges used today are far more sophisticated. They are made completely out of porcelain and can handle normal biting and chewing just like natural teeth. They also look like natural teeth!.
Sometimes we only need to reshape a tooth, and the method we use to do this is with the application of porcelain veneers. Veneers are made from thin shells of porcelain and are bonded to the teeth by the dentist. They also help close gaps between teeth, help lengthen small or misshapen teeth, and even help whiten teeth with stains on them. Porcelain veneers will also last for many years.
In the old days, dentists often had to pull teeth that had decayed or fractured past a certain point. With the invention of dental crowns, however, dentists could then save many of these teeth by first performing a root canal, then capping it with a crown. Crowns had to be cast out of a blend of metal and porcelain in order to give them a somewhat natural look but also the needed strength to handle biting and chewing.
Today’s all-porcelain crowns are light years past those used in the past. They have a strength that is unsurpassed by their predecessors, and they look identical to natural teeth. They even have a translucence that mimics the color and texture of natural tooth enamel.
A dental makeover can actually replace missing teeth as well through implant dentistry. Titanium implants, which are bio-friendly, can be inserted into the jawbone, where they take the place of tooth roots that have been lost. After the bone accepts the implant, the implant is then capped with a porcelain crown.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, dental makeover
Cosmetic Dentists are general dentistry experts who extend that expertise into aesthetics. Cosmetic dentistry is not a separate from general dentistry, but is a grouping of sub-sciences within it. Our dental professionals have years of experience and continuing education in both health and wellness services and full mouth restorative services.
Implants rank among the most important forms of general dentistry. Implants involve the use of crowns, but they are much more than crowns. An implant is an artificial titanium tooth root implanted in the jawbone itself. A porcelain crown placed over the tooth appears identical to surrounding natural teeth and provides a stable, hard, reliable chewing surface that will not chip or break while you are eating normal food.
Laser Periodontal Treatment (LANAP)
LANAP is periodontal surgery (surgery on the gums) that uses a special laser to replace the metal cutting tools traditionally used in general dentistry. You will experience the same benefits as the standard surgical methods, but with much bleeding pain. Recovery time from LANAP is also much quicker.
Sleep Apnea Management
Obstructive sleep apnea is very serious and can cause anything from restlessness to chronic fatigue the following day. Sleep apnea is normally treated with CPAP therapy, which uses a machine to keep air passages open while the patient sleeps. Many people try CPAP and give it up on the basis that it causes them too much discomfort or awareness. This is where general dentistry, surprisingly, can actually step in and provide alternatives.
The FDA has approved a number of sleep apnea oral appliances. These devices are like mouth guards, only much more sophisticated. The dentist has to select the type that is best for your mouth, and in most cases, further customize the model to your particular teeth and bite.
When correctly manufactured and fitted, dental appliances have proven to be equally effective to CPAP in treating all but the most severe forms of sleep apnea.
Using fillings to repair cavities in teeth is common in both general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. The difference lies in the nature of the fillings themselves. In general practices, amalgam fillings have historically been used that are made by mixing silver and mercury. They are not the healthiest things to have in your mouth, and they will often fall out after several years and require replacement.
We prefer to use composite dental resin instead of silver-mercury fillings. Composite resin is customized to look like the color of your natural teeth and is made from bio-friendly resin. It is healthier and last longer than other types of fillings, and it creates a much better cosmetic appearance.
We use porcelain inlays and onlays to fill teeth when the area that needs to be covered is more than 40%-50% of the biting area.
Before the development of titanium dental implants, crowns were used to cover teeth that could not be repaired by fillings. Crowns were made of gold and were often known as “caps.” Crowns are now mostly made from porcelain, which is used equally in both general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry to cover teeth that have been severely cracked, chipped, or fractured.
General dentistry practices might involve working on the teeth in a way that the patient finds uncomfortable. IV sedation delivers anesthetics to the body so the patient will feel no pain during the procedure. Lucidity is maintained in a very relaxed state, but is monitored by an anesthesiologist.
We would like to point out that in many cases the general and the cosmetic can go hand in hand to create a win-win situation for both health and physical appearance.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, houston dental office, houston general dentistry
Better adhesives and superior methods of manufacture now make it possible to create all porcelain crowns. Until recently, crowns were made of a combination of porcelain and metal. It was necessary to make them this way in order to allow them to withstand the force of biting and chewing. Crowns were built around a metal core that would unfortunately be visible as a thin blue line at the base of the crown.
In the beginning, most people accepted this. They were happy to have a crown that looked like a natural tooth—even though the obtrusive presence of the metal was visible anytime they smiled. In time, however, society developed higher expectations for beauty and cosmetics, and people became unsatisfied with the blue lines in their crowns. What bothered many people even more was the tendency over time for the gums to turn black at the bases of tooth crowns.
New technology evolved that makes all porcelain crowns a much better choice. They have a naturally translucent quality that makes them almost impossible to distinguish from natural teeth. Without metal, there is no thin blue line, and there is no black line at the base of the gums. Even better, all porcelain crowns are healthier for your gums, because they are actually set above the gum line.
Two types of all porcelain crowns are used by dentist: bonded and extra strength.
Dentists use bonded all porcelain crowns on the front teeth because they are thinner. While they are not as strong as extra strength crowns, they work very well on the front teeth which experience less pressure during chewing than the back teeth. Furthermore, the way the porcelain is bonded to teeth adds strength to its form and substance. If this sounds like something you might want to consider, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. This is because most schools of general dentistry do not normally train their graduates in the special techniques needed to place these crowns.
The back teeth require extra strength porcelain crown that can withstand the full impact of chewing. These are made from new types of advanced ceramics that do not require a bonding agent to adhere them to tooth surfaces. While there is no metal core to these tooth replacements, they are a bit whiter in color than natural teeth. This is another reason cosmetic dentists prefer to use them in the back of the mouth rather than the front, to prevent the slight variation in color from being noticeable when the person smiles.
Labels: all porcelain crowns, cosmetic dental crowns, dental crowns, porcelain crowns
Placing a Porcelain Inlay
A porcelain inlay is an indirect filling that is used to repair a decayed portion of a tooth or the hole left in a tooth after a silver-mercury amalgam filling has failed. In some respects, it works much like a tooth filling because it fits within the cusp of a tooth to replace either a lost filling or fill a cavity caused by decay. However, a porcelain inlay is very different from a standard filling. Not only is it made from an entirely different material, but the process used to make it similar to the process of making a dental crown. Porcelain inlays are made in a laboratory to match the shape and size of the tooth. They restore the cosmetic appearance of teeth, and they strengthen teeth by restoring the original surface area that was lost to damage or decay.
We at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston do not recommend the use of silver-mercury amalgam fillings. However, we do often fill teeth with composite resin through a process known as dental bonding. Dental bonding, however, requires a certain minimal tooth mass in order to be performed. When decay or tooth fracture has destroyed the majority of the tooth surface, placing a porcelain inlay can restore the appearance and function of the tooth so it does not have to be extracted. For people who cannot afford dental implants at this time, placing porcelain inlays provides a viable alternative to tooth replacement.
Manufacturing porcelain inlays is very similar to manufacturing dental crowns. It will take two appointments to make the inlays and place them. During the first visit, the dentist begins by cleaning up the affected tooth or teeth to prepare them for the placement of inlays. The dentist first numbs the area around the teeth to make the procedure painless. If the problem is old fillings, he or she will first extract what remains of the filling from the interior of the tooth. A rubber dam may be used to prevent debris from falling into your mouth. Any decayed areas are also removed, and the remaining healthy portion of the tooth is reshaped.
The dentist will then make impressions of your teeth in order to create a working model of your natural bite. These impressions are very important and must be meticulously taken in order to create an accurate model. A dentist may place a small string between your teeth and gums in order to push the gums gently away from tooth surfaces. Once the impressions are made, the dentist will place temporary inlays in your mouth while the porcelain inlays are being made. It will take approximately one to two weeks for the laboratory to manufacture your new inlays. When they are ready, the dentist will call you back, remove the temporaries, and place the permanent inlays in your teeth. The dentist will check the bite with colored tape to see where your teeth are coming together, and he or she will also floss between the teeth to make certain there are no tight spots.
If your teeth pass inspection, the dentist will permanently place your porcelain inlays by cementing them in place. Inlays can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years and have proven themselves to be one of the most effective cosmetic tooth restoration procedures we can economically provide to our patients.
Labels: composite bonding resin, cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic tooth procedures
Crown lengthening is used to correct a condition called a gummy smile which occurs when teeth appear to be too small or too short. This condition can be the result of several things. Periodontal disease can cause excess gum tissue to overlap teeth and make them look much smaller than they are. If a tooth was previously filled with primitive amalgam fillings or capped with a gold crown, it can decay and lose significant surface area without the person even knowing this. When the cap or filling falls out, what remains of the tooth appears to retreat into the gum line. Also, teeth can break off right at the gums and appear to be completely missing.
Most dentists in past decades would have pulled these teeth. This is not so today. Crown lengthening enables dentists today to save and completely restore these teeth with a simple surgical procedure. The surgery can be performed with traditional instruments, or with the PerioLase® MVP-7 laser used in LANAP. The choice of surgical tools depends on factors that from the patient’s medical history, the presence of gum disease, and whether or not the tooth itself has been subject to decay or severe impact. The dentist will make this decision, take x-rays of the mouth, and then commence with the surgery.The surgery itself is a simple procedure performed under local anesthetic to kill the pain. The dentist makes small incisions in the gums and pulls them back. Excess gum and bone tissue is then reshaped until the desired amount of tooth surface is exposed. The dentist then replaces and stitches the gums with tiny sutures. After a prescribed healing time, the stitches are removed and the tooth is covered with a porcelain crown. This cosmetic dental crown will provide a hard chewing surface that will allow the person to eat a normal diet, and it will prevent further tooth decay from occurring underneath its surface. Crown lengthening offers a good many benefits that make it a very popular treatment here at the Medical Center Dental Group. It can improve periodontal health by being one of several steps taken in the treatment of gum disease. Porcelain dental crowns serve as a buffer against excessive and unhealthy gum growth by providing a solid, uniform surface gums can attach themselves too. This procedure has proven highly effective in saving teeth that would have otherwise had to have been pulled. On a purely subjective level, crown lengthening also lays the foundation for advanced cosmetic dental work that allows the patient to also eat a normal diet without fear of damaging their teeth.
For more information on related topics, visit the following links on our main website:
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, crown lengthening, gummy smile, periodontal surgery, periodontal treatment, porcelain crowns
Titanium implants have proven themselves to be the best replacement tooth option every developed. While dental implants in one form or fashion have been used since ancient times, it was not until Titanium dental implants were invented in the 1970s that implant dentistry gained a success rate of over 90 percent. Titanium implants look very much like screws that are twisted into the bone. Through a process called osseointegration, the bone adapts to the implant and grows around it
When this process is complete, the mouth essentially has a new tooth root to work with. If a temporary crown was placed over the Titanium alloy at the time of implantation, the dentist will remove it at the beginning of the restorative phase. He or she will then secure the titanium implant with a smaller screw known as an abutment. Then, the entire structure is capped with a porcelain crown that looks and works just like a natural tooth.
Phase I and Phase II of the process are frequently performed by separate dentists. There are some, however, that prefer to handle both phases of the treatment. Dr. Charles Campbell at the Houston Medical Center Dental Group is one of the few Houston dentists who perform both the surgical phase and the restorative phase of cosmetic implant dentistry. He has specialized in this discipline for the majority of his career, and he has studied under some of the best experts in the world since the mid 1980s.
Titanium dental implants do more than restore the aesthetics of a smile. They also fill out the natural curvature of facial muscles and structures that would otherwise begin to droop and wrinkle. They also halt bone degradation that inevitably sets in when a tooth is extracted or lost in an accident. Osseointegration is actually a healthy thing for bones because it provides a motivation and pathway for new growth to occur.
Titanium dental implants are also much better for the mouth than traditional bridges and crowns that have to be anchored to natural teeth in order to hold in place. The problem with this type of bridgework lies in the fact that it wears down tooth enamel and makes otherwise healthy teeth more vulnerable to damage and decay. Implants, on the other hand, are supported by the jaw and not by other teeth.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental Tooth Implants
Dentures Dental Implants
Dental Implant Procedures
Postoperative Instructions for Dental Implants
While the cost of titanium dental implants may appear daunting to some, the benefits are well worth it. Many insurance plans will cover a portion of the costs. However, if insurance not cover dental implants, however, the average person can still often afford them if they arrange for special financing through our billing office, or apply for financing options one of our partner finance services. Details on making such arrangements can be obtained by clicking here, or simply by calling our office.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures, titanium dental implants
Cosmetic dentists are committed to two things: the preservation of the beauty of the human smile and the health of the patient. These experts in dental care must first obtain a medical degree in general dentistry prior to becoming specialists in cosmetic dentistry. Because of this, they can perform all the services traditionally administered by family dentists as well as treat complex issues with advanced cosmetic dental procedures.
Cosmetic dentists are often multi-specialists. They often pursue continuing education throughout their careers. Common areas of study include such cosmetic dental work as Comprehensive Aesthetic Reconstruction, Practical Occlusion in the Progressive Practice, Neuromuscular Dentistry, and Advanced Posterior. Still other practitioners, having mastered a number of special procedures, choose to zero on in a specific discipline, such as LANAP or dental implants.
Because these procedures are often very complex treatments that must be individualized to the patient and done in multiple stages, it is necessary for the cosmetic dentist to use only the very best supplies and the latest technology. Such tools as the PerioLase® MVP-7 allow specialists to treat periodontal disease with a laser instead of a knife. An intraoral camera allows dentists to closely examine teeth and gums without the discomfort of a mirror being twisted in all directions within the mouth. A high resolution monitor can provide live video feed in full color of each individual tooth and surrounding gum tissue, making diagnosis more precise and a treatment plan easier to devise.
Dental supplies used by cosmetic dentists are also much more advanced than those used in traditional general dentistry. Instead of filling teeth with metal fillings that do not belong inside a human tooth, cosmetic dentists will use a composite dental bonding agent to fill cavities, repair small fractures in teeth, fill pits in the enamel, and smooth the outer surfaces of teeth. Cosmetic dental braces made from plastic are virtually invisible. They are much more comfortable than metal braces and virtually undetectable as well. Porcelain crowns mimic both the structure and translucent color of natural teeth in a much more aesthetic fashion than gold crowns used in past decades.
Finally, you simply will not find better bedside manner in the world of dentistry than you will in the office of a Medical Center Dentistry Center practitioner. These professionals are just as committed to preserving the emotions of their patients as they are to their medical needs. They want them to feel just as good about the process as they do about the outcome, as they work to minimize pain, maximize outcome, and exceed expectations for each individual patient that walks through their door.For more information, read the following articles on our website:Cosmetic DentistryTechnology in Cosmetic DentistryGingivectomy and Gingivoplasty (Gum Removal)Cosmetic Dental implantsCosmetic Teeth ProceduresCosmetic Dental ProceduresCosmetic Dental CareCosmetic Dental TreatmentsCosmetic Dental Work
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic dentists Houston, cosmetic teeth whitening
Cosmetic Dental Implants Used in Full Mouth Reconstruction for Patient with 50 Percent Missing Teeth
A patient by the name of Kim came to us, quite distraught about her severe case of missing teeth. She was 47 when we met her, and she had suffered tremendous dental problems since she was 12 years old. She had crashed her bicycle one day, and had broken off her front teeth. Since that time, she reported, she not only experienced missing teeth, but suffered from constant infections in her mouth.
She had been through many episodes in her mouth where a variety of dental ailments afflicted her. Severe swelling would arise in her mouth, accompanied by intense pain. She would develop toothaches that were so sudden, and so severe; she would have to be rushed to the emergency room at midnight. Dental emergency treatment almost always ended with teeth being pulled because of the degree of pain and infection in her teeth and gums. This only resulted in more tooth loss, and seemed to never resolve the root cause of the infections which appeared mysteriously linked to her childhood accident.
By the time more than half of her teeth were gone; Kim had all but given up on dentistry. The heartache of being young and attractive, but having so many missing teeth, made her shy about smiling, or even opening her mouth at all in front of people. Years went by, and she never went to a dentist, believing nothing at all could be done to restore so many missing teeth or cure the infections that kept developing in her mouth.
Then, by some strange twist of serendipity, Kim learned of the Medical Center Dental Group through a newspaper ad we ran in the Houston Chronicle. She read about our commitment to patient care and comfort, and how we have helped so many people with complex and challenging problems, including severe cases of missing teeth. This gave her enough hope and courage to schedule an appointment with us.
We used a combination of treatments to restore Kim’s lost teeth and remedy the constant bouts with infection. Our intraoral camera revealed advanced periodontal disease, which appeared to have been the cause of so many teeth becoming infected to the point they had to be pulled. Whether or not this periodontal disease resulted from her bicycle accident as a child remained a mystery. Nevertheless, were able to successfully treat her periodontal disease with LANAP. We also performed a series of root canals to ensure that all diseased and dying nerve and tooth root tissue were completely removed from Kim’s mouth.
Once her mouth had completely recovered, and there were no remaining symptoms of toothaches or periodontal disease, we then began the cosmetic phase of dental treatment. We used a total of 5 cosmetic dental implants to replace missing teeth in key areas of her jaws that needed strength and support. (Sometimes, advanced periodontal disease and deterioration of the bone limits the number of implants we can use.) The remainder of her full mouth reconstruction was done with fixed porcelain bridges and crowns, creating a new, healthy, natural looking smile she had not enjoyed since childhood.
Besides the obvious cosmetic improvements, Kim can now eat more comfortable, speak with more confidence, and be proud of her smile instead of holding her hand over her mouth all the time.
Labels: alternative to dental surgery, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental procedures, full mouth reconstruction, LANAP, missing teeth, root canal
People often ask their dentists if dentures will work just as well as dental implants. The truth is, dentures are better than nothing at all, but they can offer only limited benefit to a person. Dental implants, on the other hand, offer full tooth replacements that can potentially last a lifetime. Whereas dentures will help maintain the muscle tone of the face, dental implants provide both facial structure and a reliable chewing surface.
Dentures have a number of disadvantages that limit their usefulness as well as their appeal. For one thing, they have to be removed and cleaned on a regular basis. Consider how this can scare small children when they discover the teeth of a parent or grandparent soaking in a glass in the kitchen. Dental implants do not have to be taken out and cleaned in this fashion because they are fixed in the bone and work just like natural teeth. They can even be brushed and flossed.
Dentures can also make embarrass people during meals by making clicking sounds that people can hear across the table. Dental implants make no such noises because they are anchored within the bone. Dental implants do not fall out either because they are screwed to the jawbone and stay in the mouth just like natural teeth.
Dental implants also allow a person to eat any foods that natural teeth can normally chew. Dentures are much more limited because they do not provide enough of a hard chewing surface. Porcelain, the substance used to make implants, is one of the hardest substances known to medical science, and is also stain resistant and impervious to chipping and cracking.
Virtually any cosmetic dentist will tell you that the biggest advantage of dental implants over dentures is their ability to reverse bone degradation. You see, when teeth fall out, the bone has nothing to grow around, and it begins to recess and deteriorate. This causes it to lose surface area, flatten, and become increasingly fragile. Bones, as living tissue, must have something to connect to in order to maintain surface mass and growth. Dentures do not connect with the bone and therefore cannot provide this. However, dental implants work just like natural tooth roots, growing into the bone and giving it a mass to grow around. This not only stops bone degradation, it most often reverses it.For more information on the benefits of cosmetic dental implants, read the following:Dental ImplantsTitanium Dental ImplantsDental Implant SurgeryDental Tooth ImplantsDental Implant ProceduresPostoperative Instructions for Dental Implants
Dentures are much cheaper than dental implants, but dental implants give people much more value for their money. Most cosmetic dentists also offer payment plans to help people cover the costs of implants, and many insurance companies will cover a portion of the costs as well.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, dental implant procedures, dental tooth implants, implant dentistry, retained dentures
Thanks to new advances in dental technology, a wide range of cosmetic teeth procedures are now available to the general population. Some of these are very simple procedures that can be performed in one or two office visits. Others are more complex and require the use of very sophisticated instruments and very special dental training.
One of the more basic and common cosmetic teeth procedures is tooth whitening. It takes only two office visits spaced two weeks apart to perform. During the visit, the dentist bleaches the teeth with a special gel. Each night at home, the patient also applies special bleach for about 20 minutes, and may also be instructed by the dentist to use Sensodyne toothpaste. When the procedure is complete, the dentist will seal the bleach with a special light that hardens it and helps coat and protect the teeth.
When tooth enamel is too deeply stained for standard teeth whitening to correct, another very popular cosmetic tooth procedure is the application of dental veneers. Veneers are made from porcelain and are extremely hard and stain resistant. Not only can they make teeth look whiter, but they can also be used to correct very minor tooth alignment problems.
Dental bonding is yet another cosmetic procedure that not only improves the color of teeth, but also helps repair teeth surfaces. When teeth become cracked or develop pits, the composite resin used in dental bonding can restore a smooth surface. Also, this procedure has become the preferred method of filling cavities over that past few years. Amalgam fillings do not match the color of teeth, and they also can cause problems when they expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Cosmetic dental bonding resin is mixed to complement the existing color of teeth (or improve it) and integrates with tooth enamel much more safely and efficiently.
The more advanced cosmetic teeth procedures—dental crowns and dental implants—involve replacing a significant portion of tooth surface or creating an entirely new tooth altogether. Porcelain crowns are made to match the size of the original tooth so they can repair major fractures or missing pieces in its surface. If a tooth has to be extracted, or has already been lost, cosmetic dental implants are used as a superior, and more permanent alternative to dentures. A titanium implant in the jaw bone creates a new tooth root, and a porcelain crown is placed over it to create a new chewing surface.
Houston Cosmetic Dentists
Cosmetic Dental Work
Cosmetic Dental Treatments
Cosmetic Dental Care
Cosmetic teeth procedures like the ones discussed in this essay can only be performed effectively by trained professionals who have studied advanced cosmetic dentistry techniques in addition to their general dentistry training. If you need any improvement whatsoever in the color and quality of your teeth, our team can help restore a better quality of life and a more confident face to the world the minute you pick up the phone and schedule an appointment.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental braces, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic teeth whitening
1. After you receive a dental implant, the dentist may apply surgical dressing to the area around the incision and give you instructions to keep it in place for as long as possible during the initial postoperative period. Use a cotton swab, never a toothbrush, to clean this area.
2. Starting the first 24 hours after you have had dental implant surgery, standard postoperative instructions include regular rinsing with warm salt water. Do this very gently without shaking your head or swishing around the salt water.
3. If your dentist instructs you to take antibiotics as part of your post operative care, you must take them as prescribed, and you must take all of them. Call us immediately if you have an adverse reaction to the medication.
4. You should use an icepack on the side of your face and jaws for the first 48 hours after surgery.
5. High protein foods are recommended for postoperative care. Eggs, cottage cheese, milk products, soup, and ground beef are excellent. It is better to liquefy these foods in a blender than to try to chew them.
6. Avoid using a Water Pik and do not use your tongue to play with your implant. This only traumatizes the implant area. Avoid any food that is hard or crusty.
7. Vitamin supplements are also recommended for postoperative dental implant care. Any good multi-vitamin with a minimum of 1000 mg of Vitamin C will work.
8. If the dentist placed upper posterior implants, avoid blowing your nose for the first two weeks, as this can cause infection.
9. If you think you are getting an infection, contact the dental office immediately.
10. Even if you experience no signs of infection, you should still return to the office two weeks into the postoperative period. The dentist will perform a checkup and remove your sutures.
11. The postoperative phase of recovery can last up to 6 months from the time the dental implant is placed. You may need to wear a temporary prosthesis during this time. Follow all the instructions your dentist gives you for this time period.
12. When the permanent crown is placed, the dentist will provide additional instructions for cleaning the implant and keeping it in optimal health with periodic visits to the dental office.
Dental Tooth Implants
Dentures Dental Implants
Dental Implant Procedures
If you have any problesm or feel suddenly sick, call our office. If you are unclear about any of these (or other) postoperative instructions, do not hesitate to ask us for clarification.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants
As each year rolls around, cosmetic dental treatments become more advanced, and more available to the average person. What was once a highly specialized science available only in Elite circles is now becoming the new mainstream for dentistry itself. Cosmetic dentistry treats the whole person, not just the teeth, with the beauty of a reconstructed smile that boosts confidence and improves the quality of life. Cosmetic dental treatment options also offer a greater peace of mind than traditional, more primitive forms of dentistry. Many of the newer procedures today are virtually painless—even comfortable in their own way—for the typical person to experience.
Everyone knows about the aesthetic value of cosmetic dental treatments. What many people do not know, however, is that these treatments offer equivalent medical value to the patient as well. The forces that shape the way a tooth works also shape the way it works, and how long it lasts. A good example of this is tooth enamel. This outer, protective layer of the tooth is the part you see in the mirror every morning. In its ideal condition, it should be a pearly white with a slightly translucent surface. However, after many years of eating processed food, drinking coffee, and smoking cigarettes, the teeth turn yellow or even brown from the stains they pick up. Left untreated, the stained enamel loses its strength and resiliency. The tooth is then more vulnerable to decay or cracking as a result.
A simple, painless cosmetic dental treatment like teeth whitening can reverse this. By bleaching the teeth and removing these stains, it can restore the enamel of your teeth to optimum condition. This restores strength and longevity to the life of your teeth and proactively helps prevent more serious problems like gum disease from developing.
Other cosmetic dental treatments can be used to repair teeth that have already been damaged. A tooth with a cavity, for example, can be repaired with cosmetic dental bonding. This procedure uses a composite resin that look like tooth enamel. It is much friendlier than are metal fillings to the surfaces of teeth and the human mouth in general. Teeth that have pits and hair line cracks can be restored with porcelain veneers, and broken teeth can be capped with porcelain crowns that create an entirely new chewing surface that is both hard and virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth enamel.
There is even a cosmetic dental treatment for people who have lost some, or even all, of their teeth—dental implants. Unlike crude and embarrassing dentures, dental implants are actually attached to the bone of the jaw. These implants look and work just like natural teeth, even to the point that many patients at times forget they have implants.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center in the Houston Medical District has an entire repertoire of treatment options and payment plans available for the patient who needs top-quality dental care. Serving all Houston neighborhoods including River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Upper Kirby, and Rice Village, The Medical Center Dental Group is here to answer your questions and exceed your expectations.
For more information read our articles on the following topics:
Cosmetic Dental Implants
Cosmetic Dental Braces. Cosmetic
Cosmetic Dental Veneers.
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
If you are overdue for a checkup or need dental care of any kind, call us now toll free at 1-888-790-0309 to schedule an appointment.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic teeth whitening
I thought cosmetic dental care was only for the rich and famous.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Most insurance plans cover cosmetic dental care, and even if yours does not, the Medical Center Dental Group has a number of financial payment options that can make even the most advance treatments we offer affordable. New technologies have made these treatments virtually painless, and in many cases, convenient for the work schedules of most professionals. Cosmetic dental care specialists here at our center dedicate themselves to improving the quality of the human smile in every respect. We have procedures for restoring the color of teeth, transforming them from yellow, or even brown, to a white that was even brighter than before. We have solutions for chipped and cracked teeth that look good, and feel good, to the mouth. We even have dental implants for missing teeth that can completely rebuild a smile that was previously lost to tooth decay.
Is cosmetic dental care as good as general dental care when it comes to medical benefit?
Yes. In fact, cosmetic dentists must first graduate from dental school before pursuing specialty training in cosmetic dental care. Standard treatments like root canals and fillings can be obtained at our center, along with more advanced treatments like laser periodontal therapy. The advantage of coming to our center is twofold. For one thing, our techniques for filling teeth are much more sophisticated than the silver amalgam fillings used by other dentists. Secondly, many procedures such as LANAP are much more comfortable—or even completely painless altogether—compared to the drilling and surgery of general dentistry.
Of course, all procedures maintain the aesthetic purpose of our discipline at the same time. While looking after the health of the patient, we also improve his or her appearance to create lasting results, a winning smile, and improved self-confidence. In this sense, cosmetic dental care treats the whole person, not just the teeth.
For how long do the results of cosmetic dental care last?
That depends on the treatment involved, and on the behavior of the patient. We hesitate to say that any procedure produces permanent results because permanence is something that no doctor likes to make a claim to. We will say that many of our dental implants and crowns have lasted for the life of the patient, and that dental bonding has a much greater longevity than amalgam fillings. In the case of tooth whitening, much depends on the behavior of the patient afterwards. Continued use of caffeine and tobacco will stain the teeth all over again, and probably send the patient back to our office in six months. A change in diet and habits, on the other hand, can prolong the results of teeth whitening for many years.
As new technology continues to emerge, new cosmetic dental care techniques and procedures are developed that continue to offer each patient a winning smile and a bright future. For more information on the many procedures currently available, visit the following links on our main website:
Cosmetic DentistsCosmetic Dental ProceduresCosmetic Dental implantsLANAP
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center, located in the Medical Center in Houston, Texas, serves all of Houston and many surrounding areas including Sugar Land, Rosenberg, Richmond, Katy, Waller, and Spring. Call us toll free at 1-888-790-0309 to set up an appointment today.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental braces, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic dental veneers
Cosmetic dental work is both a highly specialized form of dentistry and a form of art. Its goal is to make teeth more attractive, stronger, and healthier. Often, the end result is a smile that looks even better than the original, and indistinguishable from what Nature initially gave the patient.
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
When people require cosmetic dental work on the color of teeth themselves, cosmetic teeth whitening is the most routine treatment performed. Normal eating and drinking habits can discolor teeth over time. Unhealthy use of coffee and cigarettes can further yellow, or even brown, the color of teeth. Cosmetic tooth whitening is a simple bleaching procedure that corrects this. It takes only two office visits, scheduled two weeks apart. During the interim time, the patient performs a 20-minute at-home bleaching treatment applied through a special tray the dentist makes for him or her.
General dentistry has relied on silver amalgam fillings for years. These fillings are crude and eventually wear out. More sophisticated and effective results can be achieved with cosmetic dental bonding. This form of cosmetic dental work uses a composite resin that is specially mixed to compliment the color of teeth. It normally takes only one session to apply the bonding agent, unless other conditions like periodontal disease exist and have to be treated first.
Metal braces are unattractive and at times very painful to the patient. New advances in dentistry have led to the development of Invisalign braces, so called because they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. These medical grade plastic aligners move teeth a little at a time every week. Invisalign cosmetic dental work is individualized to each particular patient in a step by step procedure that uses a new set of aligners made for each phase of the treatment. The length of the treatment depends on the degree of correction required, and is normally planned through a virtual computer program that details the entire process from start to finish.
LANAP Laser assisted new attachment procedure is a revolutionary new form of cosmetic dental work that holds the promise of replacing surgical treatment of advanced periodontal disease. Virtually pain free, it is performed without anesthetic and uses such precision technology that only diseased tissue is removed from the gum, leaving the healthy tissue surrounding it intact.
Dental Veneers A highly aesthetic form of cosmetic dental work, porcelain veneers cover the damage portions of teeth, covering tiny pits, chips, and holes in the surface of the enamel. Each veneer is shaped to fit the surface of the individual tooth, providing both a pleasant appearance and a reliable chewing surface. Sometimes, they are also used to treat major cases of tooth staining as well as minor alignment problems.
Cosmetic dental crowns cover the entire surface of a damaged tooth, and work to create an entirely new surface that looks identical to natural teeth and provide a reliable chewing surface. Porcelain is both hard and natural looking, having the same translucent quality seen in tooth enamel.
Implant dentistry is a highly specialized form of cosmetic dental work used to replace missing teeth. A Tivolloy (titanium-based alloy) base is implanted into the bone of the jaw, acting as an artificial tooth root. The base is then covered with a porcelain crown, which creates a permanent artificial tooth anchored to the jaw.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center operates out of the Medical Center in Houston, Texas as serves the surrounding communities of Pasadena, TX, Laporte, Texas, Crosby, TX, and Humble, Texas. If you need any type of dental work, cosmetic or general, call us today and schedule an appointment.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic dentistry
Thanks to new treatments and technology, there are now more cosmetic dental procedures available to patients than ever before. The good news is that regardless of how long a particular procedure may take, or how complex the process may actually be, cosmetic dentistry has evolved to such a level of precision that there is little, if any, discomfort involved in any of these treatments. That means you should call and schedule an appointment if you have been putting off going to the dentist out of fear of pain. Skillful hands can ensure a winning—and pain free smile—here at the Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, TX.
Some of these procedures are elementary and simple, while others require more precision, time, and complexity.
Cosmetic dental bonding, for example, is a very simple process used repair chipped or discolored teeth with a special composite resin that has been custom-mixed to produce the desired color correction in the smile of the patient. Small cracks and pocks often develop in teeth over many years of chewing. The dentist applies an extremely mild acidic solution to the teeth enamel, which etches tiny, microscopic lines in tooth surfaces. The bonding agent is then applied, which instantly adheres to the etched tooth enamel, fusing to its surface. A special light is then used to harden and set the bonding, creating a smooth, restored surface. Patients often remark that this is the most painless experience they could ever hope to have in a dental chair.
Teeth not only become pocked and cracked, but they also become severely discolored for any number of reasons. Drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes never helps tooth color. Certain prescription medications as well can turn teeth a yellowish color. There are two cosmetic dental procedures used to reverse discoloration and restore a white, healthy smile. One is cosmetic tooth whitening, and the other is cosmetic dental veneers.
Tooth whitening is performed using cosmetic dental bleach that is applied in two office visits normally spaced two weeks apart. In the interim time between visits, the patient uses a special tray to apply similar bleach at home. Sensodyne toothpaste is also recommended as an adjunct to this procedure. The longevity of results varies from patient to patient, depending on what lifestyle choices the patient makes to alter detrimental eating and drinking behaviors.
Another popular cosmetic dental procedure for tooth whitening is the use of porcelain veneers. Veneers overlay the tooth enamel and are very strong and stain resistant. Even if a person continues to drink coffee or smoke, veneers tend to maintain their color. Usually veneers are not applied, however, merely for correcting coloration problems. Like dental bonding, one of their main benefits is to correct pitting and chipping of teeth, and in some cases, minor alignment problems that are noticeable, but not severe enough to justify orthodontic treatments.
But what if a tooth suffers more damage than simple chipping? What if a piece of the tooth breaks off, or if the tooth cracks severely? The most common cosmetic dental procedure is the use of a dental crown. A crown, like a veneer, is made from porcelain, and custom-molded to mimic the original tooth. It fits over the damaged tooth like a cap, which is why crowns in general dentistry are often referred to as caps.
For teeth that have been knocked out, or that have decayed to the point that they have to be extracted for the health of the patient, dental implants offer a much more attractive alternative to dentures. Dental implantation is the most complex of all cosmetic dental procedures and is generally used only as a last resort. However, when done by a trained specialist who knows what he or she is doing, the new implant will look, feel, and function as an indistinguishable replacement for the original. Dental implants consist of a titanium alloy base that acts like a tooth root embedded in the bone, an abutment that supports a crown, and a porcelain crown that provides an attractive appearance and reliable chewing surface. Some of our patients often comment that they sometimes forget they have implants because these artificial teeth work often feel just like the ones they were born with.
Cosmetic dental procedures like the ones we have looked at today require years of special training. Be sure to read the biographies of our resident dentists, Dr. Dale Brandt, Dr. Charles Campbell, and Dr. Elizabeth O’Sullivan-Winslow. There, you will find all the assurance you need to see how the staff at the Medical Center Dental Group has everything you need to give you a beautiful, confident, healthy, and truly winning smile.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic tooth whitening
Cosmetic dental implants are made from a special Titanium alloy known as Tivolloy, which is a safe and non-corrosive metal ideal for implantation in the human jawbone. These implants anchor to the bone, which in turn adapts and grows around them. This adaptive growth essential turns them into artificial tooth roots, which after 3-6 months of healing, form the base for a porcelain cosmetic dental crown. The finished product looks and functions identically to a natural tooth.
Cosmetic dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for any person in good health that has lost one or more teeth. They are much friendlier to healthy teeth and surrounding gum tissue than bridgework because they do not touch surrounding teeth. They also look much more natural than dentures and eliminate all the embarrassing and inconvenient maintenance associated with removable artificial teeth. Cosmetic dental implants have a 98 percent success rate for lower teeth, and are 91 percent successful in upper teeth. After implantation and healing, patients commonly report they feel as though they never lost a tooth.
In fact, there are some benefits that cosmetic dental implants provide that dentures and bridges simply cannot offer. For example, they simply look more natural than dentures and bridges. Because the Tivolloy root and the porcelain crown surrounding it so closely mimic natural tooth structure and function, no one looking at your smile is going to know the difference. Cosmetic dental implants are also a lot easier on your mouth than bridgework. They do not touch or alter adjacent healthy teeth, but rather blend right into the upper or lower tooth line as if they belonged there to begin with. Finally, on a purely subjective level, having a cosmetic tooth implant that looks just like the original tooth you were born with gives you a great deal more self confidence that dentures that make clicking sounds during talking and eating.
There is a surgical procedure involved in cosmetic implant dentistry, but it is taken in steps to minimize discomfort and to make the adaptive, healing process as natural and lifestyle friendly as you need it to be. The process begins with the dentist actually implanting the Tivolloy root into the jaw itself. It takes about 3 to 6 months for the bone to grow around the implant and treat it like a natural tooth root. After the implant is firmly integrated into the bone, the dentist then caps it with a top piece called an abutment that acts as a base for the porcelain crown. The porcelain crown then provides the cosmetic outer replacement for the original tooth enamel, making the implant ultimately indistinguishable from surrounding teeth.
As we have noted, almost anyone in good health can be a candidate for cosmetic dental implants. Specifically, this generally means that a person must be free from periodontal disease, and that there must be sufficient bone structure in the jaw to accept the implant(s) to begin with. Certain conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes and alcoholism are poor risks for implant success. Certain types of drug treatments as well such as immunosuppressive therapy or corticosteroids can also decrease the chance of implant success.
If you are not sure if you qualify for cosmetic dental implants, just ask one of our dentists here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. He or she can quickly any medical condition or treatment will affect the outcome of the procedure, and then recommend the best course of action from there.
Labels: cosmetic dental bridges, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures
A man named Ron, who had a number of missing teeth, came to us when he realized that tooth decay in his remaining teeth would probably cause him further tooth loss. He had no idea why so many of his teeth had failed, and he did not want to lose any more of them. He asked about a procedure he had heard about called a full mouth reconstruction. He wanted to know if it could offer a medical solution to his failing teeth as well as a cosmetic solution to his missing teeth. He also wanted to know if it would be a painful procedure. He told us that by the sound of the term, full mouth reconstruction, he could only imagine the amount of surgery and pain such a process might involve.
We quickly put his fears of pain and surgery to rest. We explained that a full mouth reconstruction was not the same as reconstructive surgery. Rebuilding bone, tissue, or muscle after a major accident is not the same as rebuilding a smile. Rather, a full mouth reconstruction involves strategic use of dental inlays, bonding, or crowns to replace missing teeth and to prevent teeth that are in the process of decaying from failing completely. In cosmetic dentistry, this procedure does not involve drilling or filling teeth with silver-mercury amalgams. All reconstructive work is done with materials that can be sculpted or molded to the existing teeth so that the original color, or whiter appearance if so desired, can result.
Cosmetic dental implants, for example, can be used to teeth that are missing from the upper and lower jaws. Cosmetic dental implants are made from a titanium base that acts like a tooth root. Once the bone adapts around the tooth, a porcelain crown is placed over it, providing an excellent mimic for the translucent whiteness of natural tooth enamel.
But what caused Ron to have such massive tooth loss in the first place? The answer lay in a seemingly unrelated medical problem. Ron had suffered for 10 years from a condition known as sleep apnea. For those same ten years, he had ground his teeth unconsciously in his sleep, and never noticed that cavities were forming in the cracks that resulted. The decay seemed to hit him all at once, and many teeth were lost in a short amount of time. While this was a very sad and severe case, the good news for Ron was that a full mouth reconstruction could still be performed that would restore his smile with an even better look than he had had before. After all, improvement of this sort is what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about.
To systematically accomplish this for Ron, we placed arches in the upper and lower arches of his mouth. We then used these implants, along with healthy natural teeth that remained, as anchor points for fixed porcelain bridges and crowns. Although the procedure took almost 7 months to complete, the Ron says it was well worth the time and money, because he looks and feels almost 20 years younger as a result of his full mouth reconstruction.
Labels: Bruxism, cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental bridges, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dentistry, Dental Implants, full mouth reconstruction
Six months ago we were contacted by a patient named Sandra, who told us that one of her teeth intermittently hurt when she ate. The pain seemed to be in a certain molar toward the bottom front of her mouth. When she felt it, it was very sharp. However, it lacked the constant aching feeling most people associate with toothaches. She had looked at the tooth in the mirror several times, but found nothing wrong with it.
When Sandra came in for her appointment, we pull up her medical history on our computer. It revealed that she had been suffering from anxiety for the past few years. This caused her to grind her teeth at night without even knowing she was doing it. (In dental terminology, this grinding of teeth is known as Bruxism. We investigated further, taking a good, close look at the tooth in question by means of our intraoral camera. We found there was a very fine, but severely deep crack on the inside surface of the molar. In fact, this crack was so deep it was dangerously close to breaking into the nerve chamber. If were to happen, the way to avoid tooth extraction would have been to perform a root canal.
Cracked tooth syndrome is not the same thing as a fractured tooth. Fractures are more severe, and often clearly visible in the mirror even without dental instruments. Cracked tooth syndrome is much more subtle. It often takes very sophisticated dental instruments to detect the cracks in teeth, and since the syndrome causes such intermittent symptoms at times, many people assume that the problem is not that severe. This is not the case. If the crack in the tooth works its way all the way to the nerve cavity, then a root canal or tooth extraction becomes imminent. An early diagnosis, as we were able to provide for Sandra, can often prevent such drastic measures.
A number of things can cause cracked tooth syndrome. Repetitive chewing itself can cause very fine cracks, known as stress fractures that can develop into the syndrome. Bruxism is another cause that can crack the teeth. Trauma to the mouth often causes cracked tooth syndrome as well. Chewing on ice and hard candy is another cause for this condition.
Sandra was very fortunate. We had caught the condition quickly enough to avoid a root canal. We were able to cap the tooth with a cosmetic dental crown made to mimic her original tooth. The procedure was painless, and the resulting smile looked as good as the one she brought in. She has also reported since that day that all pain has left her mouth.
It is essential that anyone who thinks they have a cracked tooth call the Cosmetic Dentistry Center and schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Just because the symptoms are intermittent does not mean the condition should be ignored.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cracked tooth syndrom, intermittent toothache, root canal, tooth fracture