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What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns, more commonly referred to as dental caps, are a type of dental restoration involving placing a cap that covers the tooth or a dental implant to change its size and shape back to its original anatomy. Dental crowns help strengthen the tooth. A crown will be permanently cemented after it is placed on the tooth and fully covers the tooth above the gum line. Dental crowns can last 10-30 years, depending on the wear and tear, dental hygiene habits, and certain habits like clenching or grinding your teeth or biting your nails. 

When do you need a dental crown?

Dental crowns are usually used to restore the appearance and function of teeth that have been fractured, worn out or broken unless more straightforward methods of dental restorations have proven more effective.

Dental crowns also serve aesthetic purposes for patients who are dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth and can’t rely on simpler restorative or cosmetic procedures for their teeth or dental implants.

Lastly, patients who underwent endodontic treatment may benefit from crowns, which have been found to be very effective in stabilizing teeth and preventing the fracturing of fragile teeth. Since the cap encases the whole tooth, it will prevent it from further decay. Relying on crowns has also proven to be an excellent way to promote the normal development of the jawbone and jaw muscles. 

Which crown is the best for you?

Crowns are available in various materials, such as gold, stainless steel, all resin, and all ceramic or porcelain fused to metal (also known as PFM crowns or veneered steel crowns).

The most commonly used crowns, especially for children, are stainless steel crowns, which are easily customized metal shells that can encase any tooth. Given their strength, durability and resistance to moisture, they are the crowns of choice for molars. Stainless crowns are the least expensive type of caps on the market.

A wide array of alloys can also be used for crowns, including silver, nickel and even titanium. But they are more challenging to adjust, may cause opposing teeth to wear and may not be suitable for patients with specific allergies.

Strip crowns are commonly used for front teeth and are more expensive than stainless steel crowns. Strip crowns made of resin or composite are transparent shells filled with tooth-coloured filling and then fitted over the tooth. Once the filling is set, the case is removed, leaving behind a material that looks exactly like a natural tooth. 

How many visits to the dental clinic are required?

If you require a crown, you should expect two trips to your dental clinic. During the first visit, the dentist will examine and prepare your tooth for the procedure and will likely take a few x-rays to get a better view of the roots of your tooth and the bone around it. If significant decay or risk of infection is identified, the dentist may want to recommend a root canal treatment before placing a dental crown.

During the first visit, the tooth and its surrounding gum tissue will be numbed before the tooth can be reshaped to make enough room for the crown. The dentist will then make impressions of the tooth that will receive the crown and the teeth above and below that tooth to ensure that the procedure does not impact your bite. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab for production, and the crown will typically be ready within two to three weeks. The dentist may need to apply filling material if there is too much decay or damage in the area that requires dental restoration.

During your second visit, you will receive a local anesthetic before the crown can be placed over your tooth and cemented in place.

We would be happy to see you if you have any questions about dental crowns. Please call us today to schedule an appointment

 

Tips For Dental Anxiety

Tips For Dental Anxiety

You’re not alone if you experience anxiety when you think about going to the dentist. It is reported that 22% of patients experience some form of dental anxiety, whether fear of procedures, fear of the unknown, fear of dental sounds, etc.

People may have many different aversions when it comes to the dentist. In addition, your mouth is a personal area, and it may make some patients uncomfortable to have it checked and cleaned. Some people may be so panicked by the thought of a trip to the dentist that they avoid going for long periods, which may worsen things, allowing small problems to become severe. If this happens, more significant problems may arise that require more invasive treatment, such as infections, tooth extractions, and root canal treatments. Avoiding the dentist can also lead to self-esteem issues.

Oral health has been shown to have a link with overall health. It is connected to heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and premature babies. A person could be more at risk of these health concerns if skipping the dentist. 

Symptoms of Dental Anxiety 

The main symptoms of dental anxiety are: hot flashes, palpitations, feeling of uneasiness, sweating, faint, upset stomach, withdrawal, shaking, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation, difficulty sleeping the night before and crying.

When you come for your dental appointment, your dentist monitors you for these symptoms. Let your dentist know if you have dental anxiety so they can take it slow and help you through the appointment. 

Causes of Dental Anxiety 

Anxiety is a very personal experience, and the cause may differ from person to person. At the dentist, we don’t judge the reason behind your anxiety. The most common causes of dental anxiety are past negative experiences, feelings of loss of control, fear of needles, trust issues, pain, dental office noises, and fear of the unknown. If you know what triggers your dental anxiety, share it with your dentist, so they are better equipped to help you through it. 

Tips for Your Dental Anxiety 

  1. Be sure to take proper care of your oral health. If you let your oral health slip, chances are minimal work will be required when you make it in to see your dentist. Be sure to brush twice a day and floss daily using a toothpaste containing fluoride. 
  2. Talk to, and learn to trust your dentist. They are there to help you, and if they are aware of your dental anxiety, they can make the appointment that much easier for you. 
  3. Ask about in-office tools to help you relax. Your dental office may have blankets, noise cancelling headphones, music or aromatherapy to help relieve your dental anxiety in the chair. 
  4. Anti-anxiety medications are available if needed that your dentist can prescribe before you come in for your dental appointment. 

The most important thing is getting in for the dental appointment and ensuring that your dentist is aware of any anxiety you may be experiencing. If you have any questions about tips for your dental anxiety, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a visit

How Can You Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

How Can You Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

​The alternative name for baby bottle tooth decay is “early childhood caries,” which means cavities that form on baby teeth at a young age.

We know that healthy baby teeth lead to healthy adult teeth. They are space holders for the adult teeth and provide a healthy environment for the future adult teeth. Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to pain, infections, missing teeth, difficulty chewing and speech and unnecessary stress.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay? 

This condition occurs when your child’s baby teeth are exposed to sugars, usually in the form of milk from a bottle or sweet drinks, and start to decay. The decay will typically present on the upper front teeth but can extend to any tooth in the mouth. This condition is most common when a bottle is used as a pacifier or when a baby is left with a bottle of milk overnight.

This is because their teeth will be bathed in sugary liquid for an extended time, increasing the risk for decay. Pediatricians recommend that the only liquid given at night in a bottle is water. Inadequate intake of fluoride can also lead to baby bottle tooth decay. Fluoride helps protect the baby teeth from decay and should be ingested by drinking tap water and using a small amount of toothpaste containing fluoride by the age of 3.

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria and, therefore, can also be passed from mother/father to baby by passing bacteria contacting saliva. This means that sharing a spoon or utensil should be avoided.

Signs & Symptoms of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 

Tooth decay may occur in its early stages without presenting any signs or symptoms. Small cavities between teeth may not show at all. They may show minor white or brown-stained patches between teeth as they progress and get larger. More advanced decay will look like chips or fractures between teeth and may be yellow, brown or black.

Your baby may also be experiencing pain or discomfort due to the decay. They may show this by being fussy, crying, or presenting with swelling and a fever. Taking your toddler to the dentist at an early age is vital at the onset of the first teeth. Your dentist can check areas of your toddlers’ teeth that you can’t access. If baby bottle tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to pain, infection, loss of teeth, problems with the adult teeth and very costly dental treatment.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 

Reducing the amount of sugar your baby consumes plays a vital role in reducing their risk. Try not to give your baby anything else to drink but water or milk. Make sure you do not leave them to sleep at night with a milk bottle, and do not use a bottle of milk as a pacifier.

Be sure to avoid sharing your own saliva with your baby. After feeding, clean your baby’s teeth and gums with a gauze and a small toothbrush. When your baby sleeps, their mouth must be clear from any sugars. Also, be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of baby bottle tooth decay.

Treatment of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay 

If the decay is still tiny and in the early stages, your dentist can use fluoride treatment to remineralize the areas and prevent the decay from growing. Stronger fluoride such as silver diamine fluoride may be applied to areas of decay. Filling and dental crowns are possible solutions if the decay is more extensive and cannot be treated with fluoride. The decay will be removed and filled, and a crown will protect the tooth until it is ready to fall out.

The last resort is to have a severely decayed tooth extracted when there is no other option. In this case, a space maintainer may be used to hold the proper space for the future adult tooth. Treatment of decay on baby teeth, as mentioned earlier, is vital to the health of the future adult teeth and your child’s overall wellbeing.

Please contact us if you have any questions about baby bottle tooth decay. 

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush for You

How to Pick the Right Toothbrush for You

There are many factors involved in choosing the right toothbrush for your needs, and the toothbrush aisle can sometimes be overwhelming with all the options. Let us break down all the functions of a toothbrush to help you choose the one that will work best for you. 

Electric 

If used correctly, electric toothbrushes generally do a superior job over manual toothbrushes. Electric toothbrushes do the work for you by either an oscillating or using a sweeping motion back and forth. Electric toothbrushes come in either circular or oval heads and can be adult or kids-sized. 

  • If you have gum recession, try an electric toothbrush with a pressure indicator to let you know when you’re brushing too hard. 
  • For children, you can buy an electric toothbrush with a timer to let them know when they’ve reached two minutes
  • For adults and children, you can buy an electric toothbrush with a beep indicator that indicates when to move on to the next quadrant. 

Manual 

Manual toothbrushes can work well if used correctly with a proper brushing technique. There are several brushing techniques, and the technique should be selected based on needs. Manual toothbrushes come in super-soft, soft, medium and hard. A super-soft toothbrush should be chosen when there is a history of aggressive tooth brushing and recession. Medium and hard toothbrushes should never be used, as they are too abrasive for the gum tissue. 

  • To clean your tongue, select a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner on the backside 
  • If you have recession, select a super soft or soft toothbrush with just bristles and no rubber 
  • If you have problems with hand dexterity, select a toothbrush with a more oversized handle 
  • Toothbrushes made from bamboo are better for the environment 
  • Make sure to change your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles begin to wear and the colour changes 
  • If your bristles are splaying, it is an indication you are brushing too aggressively 

If you have any questions about toothbrushes and which toothbrushes will work best for you, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment

Can Sparkling Water Harm Your Teeth?

Can Sparkling Water Harm Your Teeth?

​Let’s face it, drinking water can get boring from time to time, and we all have a more exciting beverage on hand when a craving strikes. That may be soda, juice, coffee, tea, wine, or sparkling water for some people. But, can these beverages cause damage to our teeth? Rest assured, out of the list you just read, sparkling water is the least likely to cause short or long-term issues with your teeth. Any beverage that contains sugars or acids can cause damage to tooth structure in the form of cavities and erosion. In particular, from that list, soda, wine, and juice are prominent culprits for cavities, tooth wear, and even stains. On the other hand, tea (when not mixed with sugar or milk) and sparkling water are less harsh on your teeth and will not cause cavities or tooth erosion.

A study using cadaver teeth was conducted to test the effects of sparkling water on the health of tooth structure over time. For comparison’s sake, when teeth are placed in soda, they begin to show signs of decay and rot away within days. Remember, soda contains both sugars AND acids. Alternatively, when teeth are placed in sparkling water, they don’t show any signs of change over many days, similar to teeth placed in natural spring water. It was thought that because sparkling water is slightly higher in acidity than spring water, erosion of tooth surfaces may occur, but this is not the case. Sparkling water is slightly more acidic but not enough to show changes to tooth surfaces.

So, when grabbing a beverage that is not spring water, carbonated water is one of the following best alternatives. Remember, any additives in the water may make the drink worse for your teeth, such as added flavours or sugars. Even citrus can make a beverage more acidic and erosive. Remember to also drink a healthy amount of natural spring water with added fluoride to help keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

If you have any questions about sparkling water, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.