I often get asked by my patients how they can fix a broken or damaged tooth and have it look like a real tooth? Many people have had an experience where they have seen a family member or friend with a tooth that was fixed by a dentist using a “cap” or “crown”, and the tooth did not look very realistic after it was finished. That leaves many people fearful of getting crowns on their front teeth.
There are a number of different materials that are used in crowns that are placed on front teeth, and depending on which material is used you can dramatically affect the Lifelike quality of the final crown.
The difference comes from how light interacts with natural teeth and how light will interact differently with crowns. When natural light interacts with a natural tooth some of the light enters the tooth and some of the light reflects off of the tooth. When light interacts with crowns made with metal inside of them, all of the light will reflect off of the crown, creating a much brighter and non natural looking tooth.
We have material that we can use for crowns that do not have metal inside of them, allowing light to more naturally interact with the crown. This material is made of porcelain and is referred to as all ceramic crowns. They are cost effective and usually only take 2 appointments to complete. They create beautiful smiles and they last for many years due to being made of the strongest porcelain available. Another benefit of using all ceramic crowns is that often we do not need to grind the natural tooth as much as we would for a metal type crown. Saving more of your natural teeth and getting a beautiful result and a dazzling smile is a winning solution. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are happy to answer your calls and questions. We can schedule no cost consultations at convenient time as well.
My dentist told me my 13 year old son has a small cavity….
What should I do?
This is a typical situation with kids these days. Between the daily exposure to sweets, candies and soda, along with too few hours in the day to always brush and floss as well as we would like our kids to do, small cavities can form. When cavities are in the early stages they usually affect the outer hard coating of the teeth called enamel. Cavities usually progress slowly when only the enamel is affected. When the cavity grows deeper and extends into the inner layers, called dentin, the cavity progresses much faster. It is at this point that cavities can cause a lot of damage to the tooth if it is not treated in a timely manner.
Cavities that are still in enamel do not always need to be treated by being drilled and filled. Although in some cases that maybe the best choice, there are circumstances where an alternative approach maybe better.
Remineralization is a process that allows the cavity damaged enamel to repair itself, thereby avoiding the damage to the tooth that would occur if the cavity progresses, or if the tooth is drilled and filled. This process involves using special prescription medication toothpaste, coupled with special home care instructions and follow up. The patient needs to watch future sugar intake during this tooth repair time period, and be very dedicated to excellent home brushing and flossing. The progress of the remineralization must be monitored very carefully with frequent follow up appointment and X-rays when appropriate.
In the situation described for this typical 13 year old child, you should ask your dentist how deep is the cavity. If the cavity is still contained within the hard out coating of the tooth, then ask your dentist if remineralization is a good option.
At San Pablo Dental Care our doctors are highly trained in this procedure, and it is often used as a conservative approach that not only avoids the unpleasantness of having a filling procedure completed (shots, numb lip, etc.), but it saves the tooth from further damage. We would be happy to discuss this subject in more detail if you would like. Just give us a call and one of our knowledgeable staff persons will be happy to assist you.
What should you expect from your dentist?
The twentieth century has brought many changes to most businesses. Consumers expect ever more convenience and higher levels of customers service than ever before. Dental offices used to be immune from having to deliver convenient service, but now that is changing, and changing rapidly. Just as you expect your supermarket, your bank or your hairdresser to offer convenient services, consumers are now expecting to be able to access medical and dental care with the same level of convenience.
Modern dental offices that are properly structured to deliver convenient care in the twentieth century should be open 6 days a week and offer convenient hours to accommodate their patients and their busy schedules. Dental office hours should be all about the convenience of the patients, not the Doctor!
If you go back 10 or more years you would find most dental offices would expect to be paid in full at the time of your visit. That is very difficult today with the economy in tatters and unemployment at nearly 10%. Most progressive dental offices will offer many different affordable options for payment. There are 3rd party payment plans, in office debit plans, dental service plans that reduce the overall cost of treatment and a number of other innovative programs to help make dental care more accessible and more affordable for the public.
Modern technology has come a long way, so you should be able to expect that your dentist is equipped with the newest technologies for your convenience and health benefits. These should include digital radiography (X-rays) that reduce the overall level of radiation needed for completing your examination. This is much healthier for you than old fashion film X-rays. There are many other new and helpful technologies that a progressive dental office should offer for your benefit, such as intra oral cameras to help communicate more effectively what is going on with your dental condition.
Does your dentist offer convenient hours and are they open 6 days a week? Do they offer a wide range of financial plans to accommodate your budget and needs? Do they offer the latest technology to improve your health?
If so, then you probably have a dentist who understands the needs of the dental consumer in 2012. If not, then you should give San Pablo Dental Care a try. We have put a major emphasis on bringing dental care to the public in a highly convenient, affordable and technologically advanced office. A dental office should be all about you and your needs, not about the dentist. We have done exactly that, and if you give us a try I am sure you will agree that San Pablo Dental Care is the place for all your dental needs.