Posts for: August, 2014
It never fails. You're enjoying yourself on that well deserved vacation in the sun, sipping on your favorite tropical drink and eating those salty nuts that you like so much and your hear that crack noise! "What was that?", you ask yourself. You take something out of your mouth and behold, it's part of your tooth. You then have a flashback of the last dental visit. You know, the one where you were told that you needed a crown on the last tooth in your mouth because of the old filling that's the size of Texas. Now you're left with a dilemma. Do you go and try to find a dentist in a town where not everyone speaks Engish or do you try to make due. Well the only other fix is to try to find a drug store and buy a product called "Dental Temporary". Its a clay like substance that you put into the hole. It gets hard when exposed to moisture. It will at least buy you some time until you get back.
The best suggestion is try to finish your dental work before you travel. It will save you a lot of grief and buy you piece of mind!
So many times patients come to our office with crowns on their front teeth that do not look real. How can we improve that? The answer is two fold:
First, we need to use the right materials. We really don't want to use a crown that has metal in it, as light does not penetrate it like a natural tooth.
Second, we need to get the color right. I am blessed with having access to a laboratory technician that will come to the office to physically look at the patients teeth color so we can make the best match possible. In most offices, the dentist has to communicate the color through either notes or a picture that is not accurate. This means many trips back to the office by the patient.
Should you know of anyone who has this situation, please feel free to have them come to our office for a complimentary consultation.
Many times we get questions from patients regarding crowns and what they are made of. The answer is that with modern technology, there are many options available to use depending on what we are trying to achieve. SO.....in a nutshell, here is what we now use:
1. PFM (Porcelain fused to metal)- the workhorse of all crowns. Most crowns placed are made of porcelain fused to metal. The advantages are that they are durable and have a reasonable cosmetic appearence for most uses in the back of your mouth. The major disadvantage is that if you get recession, you may see a gray line around the crown later
2. PFZ- (Porcelain fused to Zirconia)- when cosmetics are a concern and when strength is less important, we use this crown. The advantage is that there is no metal in the crown, so we can avoid that dark line as mentioned in the PFM. Zirconia is a tooth colored material that is very tough with porcelain baked over it. The disadvantes are that they are not quite as strong as the PFM and about 20 % more in cost. A great choice for most patients, but not for ice chewers!
3. BruxZir- A solid block of Zirconia that is milled by a computer. The best choice for situations where strenght is critical. Not as cosmetic as other crown choices but great if it's is going to be out of site (ie way in the back of your mouth).
4 Empress (All ceramic)- The most cosmetic crown of all. When properly made you would be hard pressed to tell us that it is even a crown. The advantage is cosmetics, although strength is less. We almost always use these crowns on front teeth. But beware, they are not not great to use as tools, like opening that pretzel bag!
Next, blog- How to make our crowns look as real as they do....