Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Is A Dental Crown?

There are so many restorative or cosmetic procedures in the dental world today that allow you to fix problem areas with relative ease.  The Academy of General Dentistry shares the following information on crowns in their "Know Your Teeth Series"

A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crowns are also used to restore a tooth when there isn't enough of the tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.

How is a crown placed?

To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.

Will it look natural?

Yes. The dentist's main goal is to create a crown that looks like a natural tooth. That is why your dentist takes an impression. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered, such as the color, bite, shape and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance.

If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown, discuss it with your dentist at your initial visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but they may be more attractive.

Why crowns and not veneers?

Crowns require more tooth structure removal, hence they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure or to replace missing teeth. Crowns may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.

What is the difference between a cap and a crown?

There is no difference between a cap and a crown.

How long do crowns last?

Crowns should last approximately five to eight years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision, most crowns will last for a much longer period of time. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.

How should I take care of my crown?

To prevent damaging or fracturing the crown, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Besides visiting your dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.

If you find yourself struggling with dental problems such as missing or decayed teeth, please know that we can work with you to solve these problems.  The longer you delay taking care of dental problems the harder they become to repair.  The ultimate damage caused by such delays could cost much more money than it would have had you come in sooner.  

We want to sit down with you to discuss your options so that you can be comfortable with your mouth and it can stay healthy for many years to come.

Please call us today to schedule a
 FREE Consultation!
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bridge Over Troubled Waters?

What is a Dental Bridge?  
A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining an artificial tooth permanently to the adjacent teeth.  We can also affix it to a dental implant.

Why Is a Bridge Needed?
There are many painful consequences that can happen due to missing teeth.  All of these consequences can be avoided with a bridge placement.

Watch a short video for an in-depth explanation of what a bridge is and how it's placed by clicking here.

Call us today to schedule your FREE consultation 
about bridge work you might need.
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To Extract Or Not To Extract - That is THE Question!

Tooth extractions are done for many reasons.  Probably the most common ones are very badly broken down from tooth decay, too loose from gum disease to salvage it, impacted or problem causing wisdom teeth, or for making room for orthodontic care.

No one likes having a tooth pulled.  While this procedure can cause temporary discomfort, ignoring the pain can cause extensive damage to your tissues and jawbones.

In your dental exam Dr. Clark will do everything he can to preserve your tooth.  However, repairing it may not be a practical solution.  This is due to the condition of the tooth.  Sometimes repairing the tooth is not a practical solution due to the decay being too large and deep, if it's cracked or broken and won't support the repairs needed.  

If periodontal disease has progressed to an advanced stage removing the tooth is the only option because the bone that supports the tooth is so damaged that it cannot do its job effectively.  Your gums cannot hold a tooth in place.  You must have healthy strong bones that anchor the tooth in place.

Some patients experience crowding, or too many teeth to effectively straighten or move teeth through braces or Invisalign.  Aligning your teeth so they function properly is critical for long term oral health.  Wisdom teeth can cause problems if there is not sufficient room for them.
Regardless of the reason why you may need an extraction you can be assured that Dr. Clark will help you understand and feel comfortable with the procedure.  Your comfort and confidence in our team is of paramount importance.  Never be afraid to ask questions or express your concerns.  We are here to make your visit with us a great one!

If you are suffering from any pain today please do not hesitate to call.  Dr. Clark can quickly assess your condition and help you find the solution to your pain and discomfort.  You do not need to suffer needlessly!

Call us today to schedule an appointment.
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are You Smarter Than...A Cavity?

Cavity - it can be a dreaded word for many people.  No one likes to hear that they have a cavity but did you know that tooth decay is a common disorder second only to the common cold?

Are you at risk for cavities?  The answer is yes! Everyone is at risk but some people are at a higher risk than others and if you know the risk factors you can improve your oral health and avoid extensive restorative work by catching decay early on.

If you have already had cavities then you know that you are more likely to develop them in the future.   Adults get more cavities than children.  In fact there has been a surge in cavities among seniors citizens.  This can be due to some medications drying the mouth and decreasing saliva which is a natural barrier for your teeth.  Saliva helps to neutralize acids and wash away bacteria as well as it helps food from sticking to your teeth.  If a dry mouth is a concern for you we can help.  There are great products that can help with dry mouth.

The tricky aspect of cavities is that mild tooth decay has no symptoms.  Pain will only exist in more advanced cavities and so it is critical to stay up on your bi-annual dental cleanings and exams.  It is always easier to diagnose and repair the damage caused in the early stages of tooth decay, saving yourself a lot of pain and expense in the future.

Cracks and chips in your teeth or poorly done fillings and crowns in the past can be the perfect breeding ground for tooth decay.  It is hard to clean properly deep down into hidden pockets or crevices, thus decay can grow rapidly without you even knowing it.  

A more obvious cause of tooth decay can be due to poor oral hygiene.  We introduce or expose our teeth to many substances throughout the day.  Sugary or acidic foods can do a lot of damage if not cleaned off the tooth surface frequently.  Not brushing or flossing properly lets bacteria multiply, which in turn allows cavities to form.

Your family history as well as medical history can be contributing factors as well.  Poor oral hygiene habits passed down or genetics that make teeth more susceptible can both cause tooth decay to be more prevalent in your family.  As we discussed last week, eating disorders can also do great damage to tooth enamel.

The greatest defense you have in the war against tooth decay is to get regular dental exams and cleanings.  This will allow you to be aware of what is going on in your mouth and to take preventative measures to protect your teeth.  With the use of digital x-Rays and Laser Cavity Detection Dr. Clark can see even the smallest amount of decay and help stop it from progressing. 

It is ALWAYS easier to treat tooth decay in the early stages.  We can't emphasize that enough.  It is even better to PREVENT tooth decay.  We also offer medical management of tooth decay which can really make a difference in preventing a life long cavity problem.  It is best to never have a cavity again!  We can help you accomplish that.

If it has been awhile since you've had your teeth looked at, please call our office today!  We are still running our FREE Exam Special as well as offering 10% off any additional services that you might require.  Save yourself time, pain and money today!

Call to schedule your FREE exam today!
(541) 451-1440

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dr. Clark cares deeply about all of his patients.  A great concern that he has is about the patients or their loved ones that struggle with eating disorders.

While all people struggle with different problems each day, it is often the dentist that will discover an eating disorder first. Eating disorders tend to be secretive but they can be deadly.

Delta Dental shares some powerful insight about eating disorders in an article entitled Dentists Often First to Discover Eating Disorders.  

As many as 35 million men, women and children suffer from eating disorders in the United States. Dentists are becoming the first line of defense when it comes to spotting eating disorders in patients, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.

An eating disorder is a complex compulsion to eat in a way which disturbs physical, mental, and psychological health. The three most common eating disorders are anorexianervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. The eating may be excessive (compulsive over eating); restrictive; or may include normal eating punctuated with episodes of purging(1) (such as self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, fasting, diuretics or diet pills(2)). The eating may include cycles of binging and purging; or may encompass the ingesting of non-foods(1) (such as dirt, clay or chalk).(3)

"A parent may not recognize a child is anorexic or bulimic, however, through a routine dental checkup, a dentist may spot the oral signs of the disease," said Dr. Katina Morelli, D.D.S., dental director for Delta Dental of Illinois. "Eating disorders have serious implications for oral health and overall health so when dentists see the symptoms of eating disorders we encourage our patients to seek help."

Bad breath, sensitive teeth and eroded tooth enamel are just a few of the signs that dentists use to determine whether a patient suffers from an eating disorder. Other signs include teeth that are worn and appear almost translucent, mouth sores, dry mouth, cracked lips, bleeding gums, and tender mouth, throat and salivary glands.(4) Any of these symptoms can alert a dentist to a potential eating disorder.

Eating disorders rob the body of minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients needed for good health and may cause injury to teeth, muscles and major organs.(1) Stomach acids can damage teeth with repeated exposures during purging for those individuals with bulimia nervosa. For those individuals with anorexia nervosa, which is characterized by self-induced starvation, poor nutrition can affect oral health by increasing the risk for periodontal [gum] diseases.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, studies have found up to 89 percent of bulimic patients have signs of tooth erosion, due to the effects of stomach acid.(5) Over time, this loss of tooth enamel can be considerable, and the teeth change color, shape and length.

If you or a loved one battles an eating disorder please don't hesitate to call us.  There are things we can do to help diagnose and support you and your family.  Thankfully there are many things that you can do to prevent permanent tooth decay.  Don't be afraid to reach out for help or to offer help to someone you love.  We are all in this together!

To schedule a FREE exam, 
please call us today.
(541) 451-1440