Four Benefits of Dental Crowns

Four Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are common tooth restorations that provide full coverage and strength to a vulnerable tooth to prevent cracking, breaking and decay. Dental crowns are made in a dental lab specifically for your teeth and mouth to restore function and aesthetics to your bite.

Dental crowns can be used on their own for a single tooth or in conjunction with other teeth, called dental bridges. Your dentist may have recommended a crown for you, and you may be hesitant because you don’t know why or don’t quite understand the benefit. Below we have summarized the four main benefits of dental crowns and why you might need one. 

Improved Tooth Appearance

A dental crown covers all surfaces of a tooth so it can completely change the appearance of that tooth. Dental crowns are customizable and created specifically for your mouth, so the shade, shape and size are all up to you and your dentist based on what will look best. Dental crowns can be used to fix peg-shaped teeth, internal staining or discolouration and teeth with mild-moderate wear. For a complete smile makeover, your dentist may suggest several crowns to create a commeasurable appearance. 

Provides Stability & Strength

Teeth with large existing dental fillings that are breaking down and even teeth with chips and fractures can benefit from a dental crown. Because a crown covers and protects the entire tooth structure, it acts as a shield for the tooth and offers structural support. When a tooth is prepared for the crown, all existing filling material and decayed tooth structure are removed, leaving only a healthy tooth structure for the dental crown to bond to. 

Dental Crowns Are Long-lasting 

Dental crowns are one of the longest-lasting tooth restoration types. Your dentist will never call a dental crown “permanent,” but if properly cared for and kept clean, it can last ten years or more easily. Still, dental crowns have the possibility of developing cavities around the margins at the gum line, so be sure to take excellent care of your oral health with routine brushing and flossing. Also, make sure to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. 

Prevents The Need For A Tooth Extraction

A dental crown provides another option to save a tooth if a cavity is large or if a filling is failing before there is no option but to extract. This is particularly important for teeth that have received a root canal treatment. These teeth are fragile and prone to breaking, so a dental crown is essential in saving the tooth. Also, metal crowns are often used for baby teeth when there are large fillings to prevent the premature loss of the baby teeth before the adult teeth erupt. 

If you have any questions about dental crowns, please contact us today to schedule a visit.

Can Dental Sealants Benefit Your Smile?

Can Dental Sealants Benefit Your Smile?

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are thin layers that are applied to teeth that have grooves, pits or fissures to prevent cavities from forming. Dental sealants work by filling in crevices where harmful bacteria like to hide. The sealant material is similar to filling material that is used for cavities, but it is placed on the surface of the teeth with minimal tooth structure being removed.

The material gets applied as a liquid, so is able to seep in to grooves and difficult to reach areas, and is then hardened into place with the use of a light curing machine. Dental sealants can be used for any tooth that has a difficult to reach area and may be more susceptible to cavities. The most common teeth to be sealed are the biting surfaces of the back molars, as well as the pit that is common on the cheek side of the back lower molars. 

Who can benefit from dental sealants? 

People of all ages can benefit from dental sealants, including children and adults. Any tooth that has grooves or pits and may be susceptible to a cavity can benefit from having a dental sealant placed. Dental sealants are less expensive and less invasive than a dental filling. The best time to place dental sealants is for children when molars are just erupting, to prevent the teeth from getting cavities. 

Dental sealant procedure 

The teeth are first cleaned and polished to prepare for the procedure. Then, the teeth will be dried and an acid etch material will be placed on the surfaces receiving the sealants. The purpose of the acid etch is to create tiny notches in the tooth surface so the material will stick. The acid etch is left for 15-30 seconds and then rinsed away. The teeth are again dried, and the sealant material is placed. A light cure machine will be used to harden the sealants into place. Lastly, the bite will be checked and any rough or high spots will be adjusted. The procedure is extremely quick and painless, and is less expensive and intrusive than dental fillings. The best part is that they prevent cavities for you and your children! 

If you have any questions about dental sealants, or believe you or your children are good candidates for dental sealants, please contact the office today to book an appointment. 


Can You Prevent Gum Recession?

Can You Prevent Gum Recession?

Gum recession is, unfortunately, a prevalent condition. Although gum recession is common, it shouldn’t be confused with being normal or unpreventable, as, at this time, there is no hereditary link to gum recession. Even so, there are many causes of gum recession, which is why it can be challenging to prevent as we age. 

Gum Recession Appearance

Gum recession appears as missing gum tissue from the front or back of your teeth. It is most common on the front side and can be difficult to see on the backside. If you have recession, you may notice the gum line drops down slightly more than the surrounding teeth, the appearance of the tooth at the gum is more of a yellow or darker colour, and there may be a notch or indentation in the tooth at the gum line. Recession is measured in millimetre increments, so it can be challenging to detect in its initial stages when it measures 1mm or less. 

Gum Recession Symptoms

The most common symptom of gum recession is tooth sensitivity. This is due to the gum no longer covering the delicate surface of the root, which is softer and more porous than the crown of the tooth. Alternatively, you may also not experience any sensitivity associated with gum recession. 

What Causes Gum Recession? 

As stated above, there are many known causes of gum recession. Most common is brushing too aggressively or using a toothbrush with hard bristles. Gums are soft and vulnerable tissue and are at risk of wearing away with repeated abrasion. In addition to toothbrush abrasion, some other common causes of recession are: 

  • Trauma, such as from nail-biting, injury or oral piercings 
  • Clenching or grinding 
  • Faulty or old restorative work, such as the margins of crowns 
  • Dental braces that move teeth too quickly or from the bands around molars
  • Gum disease 

Preventing Gum Recession

To prevent gum recession, you have to pinpoint and eliminate the cause. The best ways to prevent gum recession are:

  • Using a soft-bristled manual toothbrush, or an electric toothbrush 
  • Using a gentle brushing technique and not pushing too hard with the brush 
  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day to prevent gum disease 
  • Wearing a night guard if you are prone to clenching or grinding your teeth 
  • Removing any oral piercings, especially if they are metal 
  • Preventing any oral habits such as nail biting or biting on foreign objects
  • Seeing your dentist and dental hygienist routinely for check-ups and cleanings 

If you have any questions about gum recession or ways to prevent it, call or email us today to book an appointment and dental cleaning.

What is a Food Trap?

What is a Food Trap?

A food trap is an area in your mouth, usually between two teeth, that traps food and is difficult to clean. Food traps can also occur on the biting surfaces of teeth, underneath bridges and restorative work, and underneath dentures. We will discuss the most common kind of food trap, which is between two teeth. 

What Causes a Food Trap? 

Food traps occur for various reasons, the most common being a slightly loose or open space between two teeth. The best way to check if you have an open space is to try flossing it. If the floss doesn’t “snap” down but easily slides into the space or opening, you probably have a potential food trap area. Food traps may also be caused by restorative work, such as large fillings or crowns changing the shape of a contact or by crowded or misaligned teeth. 


Effects of Food Traps 

Because food traps accumulate- well- food, they are more prone to bacteria buildup and, therefore, gum inflammation and infection. You may notice a food trap is sore, puffy and bleeds easier when brushing and flossing. With time, you may have irreversible damage to the gum and bone support in the area and even be at risk for a cavity. While it is vital to floss every tooth every day, it is essential to clean out a food trap properly, so it doesn’t cause gum disease and cavities. In addition to floss, there are certain oral hygiene aids you may find helpful to help dislodge food and plaque, such as dental picks and end tuft brushes. 

Treatment for Food Traps 

You may discuss with your dentist that treatment is the best option for your food trap. The most common way to eliminate a food trap is to place a filling on one side of the contact to tighten it up. This will hopefully prevent food and bacteria from accumulating in the contact. Your dentist will check with floss to ensure tight contact between teeth. In addition, braces or aligners are a great option to prevent food traps between teeth by aligning teeth and reducing the space where food gets trapped. 

If you have a food trap and are interested in options to fix it, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Keep Baby Teeth Healthy

How to Keep Baby Teeth Healthy

Although it can be difficult when your baby starts to teethe, it is exceptional and memorable as they get their first teeth. Teething will begin with the lower front teeth around 5-10 months old. After the lower front teeth erupt, you can expect to see the upper front teeth, the canines, and the molars. On average, lower teeth will come in a little before upper teeth, and girls may get their teeth before boys. You should expect your toddler to have a complete set of baby teeth by 2.5 years old, give or take a few months.

Why are baby teeth important? 

“They’re just going to fall out!” We’ve all heard this saying before, but baby teeth play a significant role in the formation and development of adult teeth and in keeping your child healthy and happy throughout their toddler years. Healthy baby teeth help your child bite, chew, speak and smile and ultimately lead a more comfortable life free of pain. Baby teeth act as the space holders for adult teeth, meaning that if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the future adult tooth has a higher chance of erupting in the wrong position, causing crowding and misaligned teeth. Cavities on baby teeth can also lead to infection, which can transfer to adult teeth.  

How to keep your child’s teeth healthy 

  1. Begin brushing your child’s teeth at the first sign of erupting using an infant toothbrush with soft bristles and water 
  2. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, only water. 
  3. Brush your child’s teeth after nursing snack and before bed 
  4. Try to eliminate the soother and thumb-sucking habit around the age of 2.5 to prevent problems with their jaw and bite formation. 
  5. Begin with fluoride toothpaste around the age of 3 with just a small size, about a grain of rice, and try to make sure they spit the toothpaste out 
  6. Reduce your child’s sugar consumption. Try to rarely give them sweet drinks, candies, cookies and even crackers – any sticky, sugary foods will get stuck in their molars and cause cavities. 
  7. Take your child to the dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings. 

 If you have any questions about keeping your child’s teeth healthy, we encourage you to book an appointment; we’d love to meet your little one!