My Dentistry Blog
Posts for: May, 2017
Learn more about these common dental restorations and how they could preserve your beautiful smile.
While we all want to maintain healthy smiles, there are certain oral problems that can befall anyone. If you are dealing with a damaged tooth or tooth loss, our Glenview, IL, dentists - Dr. David Dooley, Dr. David Lewis, Jr., and Dr. Alexander Quezada - are here to help you decide whether a dental crown or bridge is right for you.
When are Dental Crowns Used?
If you are faced with a broken, weak, damaged, infected or severely decaying tooth, then a dental crown may be the restoration that will turn your smile around. This specially made restoration is designed to look just like a real tooth and is made to fit over and cover the entire visible portion of a tooth to protect it and restore strength.
While dental crowns typically are used to restore function and resilience back into an unstable tooth, they can also be used to improve and enhance a tooth’s appearance. If you are dealing with a misshapen or severely stained tooth, you may choose to get a dental crown to hide these imperfections and instantly improve the look of your smile.
If you are dealing with tooth loss, a dental crown may also be used to support a dental bridge or to cover a dental implant.
When are Dental Bridges Used?
Are you dealing with a gap in your smile from a missing tooth? Do you have a couple teeth missing in a row? Are the rest of your teeth healthy and strong? If so, then you could be an ideal candidate for dental bridges. A dental bridge fills that gap with one or more artificial teeth.
However, before these artificial teeth can be placed, two dental crowns must be secured over the two teeth that are situated on both sides of the gap. Once these natural teeth are prepared and the crowns are cemented into place, only then can the pontic (or false tooth) be secured to the crowns.
Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, IL, prides itself on providing the very best dental care possible. Whether you need to get a dental crown or you want to chat about professional teeth whitening, we are here for you!
Primary (baby) teeth might not last long, but their impact can last a lifetime. Their first set of teeth not only allows young children to eat solid foods, but also guide permanent teeth to form and erupt in the proper position.
Unfortunately, primary teeth aren't immune to tooth decay. If the decay is extensive, the tooth may not last as long as it should. Its absence will increase the chances the permanent teeth won't come in correctly, which could create a poor bite (malocclusion) that's costly to correct.
If a primary tooth is already missing, we can try to prevent a malocclusion by installing a “space appliance.” This keeps nearby teeth from drifting into the empty space intended for the permanent tooth. The best approach, though, is to try to save a primary tooth from premature loss.
We can often do this in much the same way as we would with a permanent tooth — by removing decayed material and filling the prepared space. We can also perform preventive applications like topical fluoride or sealants that strengthen or protect the tooth.
It becomes more complicated, though, if the pulp, the interior of the tooth, becomes decayed. The preferred treatment for this in a permanent adult tooth is a root canal treatment. But with a primary tooth we must also consider the permanent tooth forming below it in the jaw and its proximity to the primary tooth. We need to adapt our treatment for the least likely damage to the permanent tooth.
For example, it may be best to remove as much decayed structure as possible without entering the pulp and then apply an antibacterial agent to the area, a procedure known as an indirect pulp treatment. We might also remove only parts of the pulp, if we determine the rest of the pulp tissue appears healthy. We would then dress the wound and seal the tooth from further infection.
Whatever procedure we use will depend on the extent of decay. As we said before, our number one concern is the permanent tooth beneath the primary. By focusing on the health of both we can help make sure the permanent one comes in the right way.
If you would like more information on caring for children's primary teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Treatment for Children's Teeth.”
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…