Posts for: February, 2020
You know that back molar cannot be filled again. Frankly, it's mostly filling, and you're concerned it will break. At Crescent Lake Dental in Waterford, MI, your dentist may recommend a tooth-colored porcelain crown. Dr. Glen Marsack has placed many of these realistic and durable caps. They strengthen weak teeth and help patients have beautiful, long-lasting smiles.
Normal size and shape
That's what a crown can give you. Made of high-quality porcelain, modern crowns faithfully mimic natural teeth, replacing enamel damaged by:
- Oral trauma (cracks, chips, fractures)
- Excessive wear and tear
- Numerous fillings
- Deep decay
- Odd contours, size or color
- Dental abscess (infection)
Also, crowns support fixed bridgework, a prosthetic which replaces two or more missing teeth. Obviously, then, a dental crown is very versatile, improving smile aesthetics, function, health and longevity.
Your dentist does the whole procedure right in his Waterford, MI, office. First, he examines and X-rays the tooth to see if a crown is the right restoration. If it is, he numbs the tooth and removes the damaged portions. Oral impressions detail how the dental lab should craft the crown.
When you're waiting for your new crown (typically a week or so), you may wear a temporary cap or filling. Dr. Marsack will remove it when he bonds the permanent restoration in place. Upon completion, you'll see a tooth which looks great, blends in with its neighbors and bites and chews efficiently.
Caring for your dental crown
The American Dental Association (ADA) says care is easy:
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss in between teeth to remove plaque and avoid tartar.
- Get six-month cleanings and check-ups with your dentist in Crescent Lake Dental in Waterford, MI.
- Refrain from chewing on hard foods, such as ice and peanut brittle, and of course, your fingernails or pencil top.
Modern crowns are durable, lasting up to 10 years or beyond.
It's what we do at Crescent Lake Dental in Waterford, MI. To learn more about dental crowns and the other preventive, restorative and cosmetic services Dr. Marsack offers, please contact the office team for an appointment. We want you to have a wonderful, healthy smile for life. Phone (248) 682-9331.
People often put a premium on appearance when deciding whether or not to replace a missing tooth. There's more motivation to replace one in the “smile zone,” where the teeth are more visible, than one that's not.
But even if your missing tooth is in the back out of sight, there are still good reasons to replace it. That's because even one lost tooth can have a cascading ill effect on other teeth, the underlying bone or eventually your entire facial structure.
The chief problems caused by a missing tooth occur first with the bone. The act of chewing generates pressure around the teeth. The teeth transmit this pressure through the roots to the bone, which stimulates the bone to grow and remain strong in support of the teeth. When you lose a tooth, the bone no longer receives this growth stimulation.
In time, the replacement rate for older bone cells will slow down and cause the bone volume to decrease. It's possible to detect a change just months after losing a tooth: you can lose an estimated 25% of bone width in the first year.
As the bone diminishes, the jaw loses height and then more width. The gum tissues will also gradually decrease. As a result you may not be able to chew or even speak as well as you once could. Depending on the number of teeth you've lost, the foundational portion of the jawbone — the basal bone — may also decline. The distance between nose and chin may decrease and the cheeks sink in. Without bone support in the rear, the bite can collapse and push the teeth forward out of their normal position.
The best way to avoid this debilitating spiral is to replace a tooth as soon as practical. There are many options, but perhaps the best choice is a dental implant: not only will it provide a life-like appearance, but its affinity with bone will stop bone loss and even encourage new growth.
So, don't neglect replacing that “invisible” tooth if it's lost. Your mouth and ultimately your appearance will be better for it.
If you would like more information on tooth loss and restoration options, 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 “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”
Holistic medicine aims to provide healthcare for the “whole” person. While it's a worthy approach, the term has also been used to advance ideas, including in dentistry, at odds with solid scientific evidence.
Here are 4 “holistic” oral health claims and why you should be wary of them.
Root canals are dangerous. It might be shocking to learn that some claim this routine tooth-saving procedure increases the risk of disease. The claim comes from an early 20th Century belief that leaving a “dead” organ like a root-canaled tooth in the body damages the immune system. The idea, though, has been thoroughly disproved, most recently by a 2013 oral cancer study that found not only no evidence of increased cancer, but an actual decrease in cancer risk following root canal treatment.
X-rays are hazardous. X-rays have improved tooth decay treatment by allowing dentists to detect it at earlier stages. Even so, many advise avoiding X-rays because, as a form of radiation, high levels could damage health. But dentists take great care when x-raying patients, performing them only as needed and at the lowest possible exposure. In fact, people receive less radiation through dental X-rays than from their normal background environment.
Silver fillings are toxic. Known for their strength and stability, dentists have used silver fillings for generations. But now many people are leery of them because it includes mercury, which has been linked to several health problems. Research concludes that there's no cause for alarm, or any need to remove existing fillings: The type of mercury used in amalgam is different from the toxic kind and doesn't pose a health danger.
Fluoride contributes to disease. Nothing has been more beneficial in dental care or more controversial than fluoride. A proven weapon against tooth decay, fluoride has nonetheless been associated with ailments like cancer or Alzheimer's disease. But numerous studies have failed to find any substantial disease link with fluoride except fluorosis, heavy tooth staining due to excess fluoride. Fluorosis, though, doesn't harm the teeth otherwise and is easily prevented by keeping fluoride consumption within acceptable limits.
Each of these supposed “dangers” plays a prominent role in preventing or minimizing dental disease. If you have a concern, please talk with your dentist to get the true facts about them.
If you would like more information on best dental practices, 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 “Holistic Dentistry: Fads vs. Evidence-Based Practices.”