Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

must-knows about dental crowns

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

You may have undergone root canal therapy recently, or you may have teeth that are severely worn down. These and other conditions may have led your dentist in St. Petersburg FL to recommend you get a dental crown. However, you are hesitant because you have limited information about these restorations. Here is a brief guide on everything you need to know about dental crowns so that you can make an informed decision about the suitability of these restorations for your needs.

Dental Crowns Defined

A tooth can be divided into two main parts. The first part that is visible below the gum line in upper teeth and above the gum line in lower teeth is called the crown. The second part, hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root of the tooth.

A dental crown is a restoration that covers most or all of the visible parts of your tooth. Dr. Brian Leeson, who performs cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL, points out that dental crowns may also be called dental caps.

Terms Associated with Crowns

The Margin. A margin refers to the edge of a dental crown that comes in contact with a tooth that has been prepared for this restoration. Dentists in St. Petersburg FL say that margins have to be smooth and devoid of ledges so they can sit firmly on the tooth.

Cusps. These are the pointed segments on the teeth that tear and chew food. A dental crown is necessary to repair a tooth whose cusps have been damaged due to root canal therapy or a fracture.

Crown Preparation. This refers to the design made of a tooth once that tooth has been shaved to create room for a dental crown. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, asserts that the extent to which a tooth is prepared depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the extent to which the tooth is damaged and the material the dental crown will be fabricated with.

Temporary or Provisional Crown. As the name suggests, this is a crown that is designed to be used for a short time. This is during the time when the permanent crown is being made by a dental lab. However, practitioners of cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL may deliberately leave a temporary crown in place for an extended duration. This would be the case if you have tooth pain and the dentist wants to leave that provisional crown until the pain subsides.

When Would You Need a Dental Crown?

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry point out that many situations warrant the use of a crown to restore a tooth. The examples below show some of those situations.

When You Get a Large Filling. St. Pete dentists normally recommend a crown if you require a filling that covers at least half of the width of your tooth. A crown is necessary in this case because what is left of your natural tooth is normally so weak that it is likely to fracture. A crown restores strength to such a tooth.

Root Canal Therapy. After a root canal treatment, what is left of your tooth is likely to become brittle and fracture after the infected or dead tissue inside the tooth is cleaned out. To maintain the structural integrity of your tooth, Dr. Leeson will recommend a dental crown to be placed immediately after the root canal procedure.

Excessive Tooth Wear. Many factors, such as bruxism and GERD (gastrointestinal acid reflux), can cause teeth to be worn down excessively. As the teeth wear down, they become shorter and the best way to get them back to their normal size is by visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry to have crowns placed on those teeth.

Undesirable Appearance. If you are unhappy about the appearance of your teeth (due to discoloration, shape or gaps, for example), you may need dental crowns to fix those imperfections. Alternatively, the St. Pete dentist may opt for veneers as a better way to fix the cosmetic dental problems you face.

Steps to Getting Dental Crowns

First, the team at 4th Street Family Dentistry will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. When the anesthesia kicks in, Dr. Brian Leeson will shave down the tooth in order to make space for the crown.

Thereafter, the 4th Street Family Dentistry team will take an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a putty-like mold. This mold, together with the shade picked from a color guide, will be sent to a lab so that your customized crown can be fabricated.

Before you leave the dental office, the dental care team will place temporary crowns on the prepared teeth. This is so the prepared surfaces can be preserved and your teeth can be safeguarded from damage while you wait for the permanent crowns.

About two weeks later, you will be contacted by 4th Street Family Dentistry to return for your second visit. This is when the permanent crowns will be placed. During this visit, Dr. Leeson will remove the temporary crowns and replace them with permanent ones. Next, Dr. Leeson will inspect these crowns to confirm they fit well, have smooth margins, and don’t cause any bite problems. A special light is then used to cure the permanent cement used to attach the crown to your tooth.

Is the Procedure Painful?

The local anesthetic used as a crown is placed on your tooth ensures that the process is pain-free. When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some discomfort. However, that can be alleviated with the pain medication prescribed by your dentist in St. Petersburg FL. You can then start enjoying the benefits of your brand new crown.

Still Have Questions?

Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today and get answers to all your questions. Our experienced staff will go through all your options and recommend the best way to treat any dental issues you may have to achieve the smile of your dreams.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

how to prevent tooth decay

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is also referred to as caries or dental cavities. It describes permanent damage to the hard outer surface of your teeth that results in holes or tiny openings. Research shows that nine in ten adults in the U.S. have ever had cavities, so this makes tooth decay one of the most common health problems people of all ages face. Should you, therefore, resign to having this problem as part of your reality? Our dental care experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL don’t think so and urge you to implement the following recommendations to keep tooth decay at bay.

Brush Properly, Regularly and Using the Right Toothbrush

The simplest things, like brushing correctly and frequently, can have the most profound positive effect on your dental and overall health.

Dr. Brian Leeson, a dentist in St. Petersburg FL, explains that there are millions of microbes in your mouth. These microbes feed on the remains of what you eat or drink. As the bacteria feeds, it creates an acidic biofilm (plaque) that sticks on your teeth. If you don’t brush regularly (at least two times every day), dental plaque will allow bacteria to remain in contact with your teeth for longer and tooth decay will progress rapidly.

It is therefore important for you to brush correctly using the right toothbrush (a soft-bristled one) using fluoride toothpaste for a minimum of two times each day. This way the plaque-formation process can be halted.

Floss Every Day

Brushing is often inadequate in cleaning the spaces between your teeth. An interdental cleaner, such as dental floss, is necessary to get rid of the food debris trapped in these tiny spaces between your teeth. When done correctly, flossing can prevent cavities since bacteria will not have any food to feed on and grow.

Cut Back on Acidic and Sugary Drinks

We have already mentioned that bacteria feeds on the residues of what you put in your mouth. Acidic and sugary drinks are the worst culprits in terms of allowing bacteria colonies to multiply rapidly.

For this reason, St. Pete dentists recommend that you reduce the amount of sugary or acidic drinks you consume. These substances include soda, citrus juice, and alcohol. Such a step will save your teeth from being attacked by the acids in those drinks or the acidic residues left behind.

Eat Healthy

Proper nutrition is important in keeping tooth decay and other dental health problems at bay. For example, the vitamins and minerals that are contained in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and other food groups will provide the nutrients needed to mineralize your teeth. This means your teeth are more likely to fight off any infections that develop.

In the same vein, emergency dentists in St. Petersburg advise that you refrain from snacking frequently between meals. This is especially true if you like sugary snacks. Those snacks keep sugar on your teeth and that results in acidic damage to the surface of those teeth.

Visit Your Dentist

It is very important for you to visit your dentist in St. Petersburg FL regularly for dental cleanings and checkups.

A comprehensive exam by a St. Pete dentist will rate your tooth decay risk. That assessment will determine how frequently you need to visit 4th Street Family Dentistry. For example, if an existing medical condition increases your risk for tooth decay, Dr. Brian Leeson may recommend you come in every three or four months. If, however, your risk for cavities is low, then the frequency of visiting a general dentist in St. Petersburg FL will be lower.

The other advantage of visiting the dentist regularly is that the hygienist will have an opportunity to advise you on how to tweak your brushing and flossing techniques. This would be in light of any potential problem areas that are observed during the professional dental cleanings. Acting on the advice given will result in a reduced risk for tooth decay.

Get Dental Sealants

Another key way to reduce the chance of developing tooth decay is by getting dental sealants placed on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. The sealant forms a protective shield that prevents acids and bacteria from damaging the teeth. Dr. Beth Herko, a dentist in New Providence NJ, says that while dental sealants are very common among kids, people of all ages, including adults, can benefit from them.

Use Mouthwash

If you are particularly prone to tooth decay, the St. Pete dentist may recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash. You can use this on a daily basis to keep bacterial activity minimal in your mouth. Even without a specific recommendation, you can buy an antibacterial over-the-counter mouthwash. Use this to rinse your mouth at home after brushing and flossing.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum is helpful in fighting to keep cavities at bay. This gum helps increase the production of saliva in your mouth, thereby neutralizing any acids quickly. Saliva also regulates the pH levels in your mouth. This means that it gets harder for bacteria to thrive there. Buy sugarless gum that has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. 

You don’t have to fight tooth decay on your own. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact 4th Street Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation. Your healthy smile is just a call away!

Improve Your Smile With Dental Veneers!

improving your smile through cosmetic dentistry with Dr Brian Leeson St Pete Dentist

Improve Your Smile with Dental Veneers!

Your smile plays a huge role in your life! Everyone deserves to feel confident in their smile. If you’re not feeling the best about your smile, cosmetic dentistry can give your smile a makeover that will boost your self-esteem in a big way. Consult with your dentist in St. Petersburg, FL and see what your options are. In this article, we share how dental veneers can transform your smile for the better.

Whitening Your Teeth

Dental veneers are a perfect choice if your teeth are stained yellow. A veneer will be placed over your existing teeth, hiding any imperfections. Ultimately, giving you a new, bright smile. Dental veneers are made out of a special material that resists stains better than your enamel does. Veneers can last a long time as long as you take good care of them. So, come to 4th Street Family Dentistry for regular dental cleanings to keep your smile looking its best.

Hide Imperfections

Our friend, Dr. Kristina Neda, a Georgetown, KY dentist, explains that dental veneers are perfect treatment option for those who want to hide imperfection. Minor imperfections, such as misshapen teeth or gaps, can stand in the way of your movie-star smile. If you’re feeling down about your smile, the best approach is to see a St. Pete dentist for an evaluation. During your evaluation, Dr. Brian Leeson will discuss the different treatment options that will improve your smile.

Cover Chips and Cracks

Another great way Dr. Brian Leeson can improve your smile is by using dental veneers to cover chips and cracks in your teeth. While your intent in getting the veneers may have been for purely cosmetic reasons, the restorations will also boost the strength and resilience of those teeth by making the teeth less prone to chipping and cracking further.

Dentists in St. Petersburg FL caution that while veneers can cover chips and cracks, you may need to undergo an alternative cosmetic or restorative procedure if the damage is extensive. For example, the St. Pete cosmetic dentist may recommend a dental crown if the crack in your tooth is severe. Cracks in your teeth can go unnoticed, which is why many dentists use a LuM transillumination device.

Straighten Your Teeth Without the Use of Orthodontic Devices

Dental veneers can straighten your smile without having to subject you to the pain and hassles associated with traditional braces. The veneers are designed to make your teeth look perfectly even and straight.

Orthodontist from Lyons Orthodontics, Dr. Tim Lyons, cautions that dental veneers can only straighten teeth that are minimally misaligned, so if yours are severely misaligned then this procedure may not be the right one for you. Set up a dental veneer consultation with your St. Pete dentist to see if dental veneers will work well for your smile.

Say Bye to Your Gummy Smile

You may not be as confident in your smile if your smile shows more gum than the average person. You can always pay 4th Street Family Dentistry a visit, we’re happy to help in any way we can!

Dr. Brian Leeson will make custom veneers that will bring more symmetry to your smile. Our team at 4th Street Family Dentistry is committed to providing the best care possible. You can trust us to take care of all your cosmetic, restorative and general dentistry needs. Contact us today for an evaluation to determine if dental veneers or any other dental cosmetic procedure can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.