Do You Have a Broken Tooth?
Dental crowns are one of the best resources dentists have when it comes to repairing teeth including:
- Cracked teeth
- Fractured teeth
- A tooth that has a root canal
- A tooth with excessive decay
- Teeth that are chipping or breaking down because of a misaligned bite or large silver fillings
- Strengthening and giving structure to a tooth
A crown fits over the tooth to basically hold it together so that a crack can’t advance. If a crown wasn’t placed, the crack would grow due to bite pressure and thermodynamic changes in the mouth.
Similarly, a tooth that is chipping, breaking down, or that has already fractured can continue to do so if left untreated..
Dental Crowns – What You Can Expect During Your Repair Appointments
Do you think you might need a crown? Here’s what to expect at your dental appointments.
1. Initial Assessment
First, we need to evaluate whether you’re a candidate for a crown.
Sometimes, decay or a fracture is so advanced that there’s not enough natural tooth structure remaining to support a crown.
In some cases, the tooth needs a root canal and build-up procedure before it can support a crown. In others, the only option is an extraction.
2. The Crown Preparation Appointment
The 1st treatment appointment involves preparing (shaping) the tooth. All crowns have a certain minimal thickness to insure enough bulk to have adequate strength. For most crowns, the minimal thickness is about 2mm on ALL sides of the tooth. At this stage of preparing the tooth, any decay that is present will be removed as well as tooth or filling structure that is loose or unsound. Due to these requirements, there may be some portions of the tooth that are reduced more than 2mm. This just means the crown will be thicker in those areas. In some cases, there is so much of the tooth broken off or decayed that it must first have a build up with filling material to make it larger giving more surface for the crown to stay in place. This is called a core buildup
An impression of the prepared tooth as well as the opposing teeth are taken. These are sent to the dental lab where the crown is fabricated that will be the size and shape of an actual tooth. The time needed by the lab is typically 2 weeks.
A temporary crown is cemented at this first treatment appointment so that you won’t be without a tooth for the 2 week period.
3. Crown Delivery
During this appointment, your temporary crown is removed and we place in the lab fabricated crown which is checked for fit, bite and appearance.
The permanent crown is cemented and all excess cement is cleaned off around and between the crown.
The bite is checked and adjustments made if necessary so the crown should not feel foreign to your mouth or when you chew.
4. After Care
The great thing about a crown is that it’s just like a real tooth so you can brush, floss and eat normally. We do however, recommend that you avoid very sticky foods like caramel candy.
Since there is still natural tooth structure at the margin where the crown meets tooth, it’s very important to brush and floss around your new crown just as you would a tooth. While the crown can’t decay, the natural tooth may.
Getting a Broken Tooth Repaired – Don’t Put It Off
A lot of patients put off getting dental crowns due to time, money, or a lack of dental pain.
The issue with putting off dental repairs is that the situation will often get worse.
Patients who put treatment off can end up experiencing pain, infection, the loss of even more tooth structure, or the loss of the tooth altogether. In other words – they can end up in a worse situation that costs more time and more money.
If you have a broken tooth or experience dental discomfort – your tooth needs attention. Don’t put off getting the dental work you need!
Schedule an appointment online here or call us at (403) 948-3342
If you’re like most people, the thought of losing one of your adult teeth is a scary one. It’s not something that’s supposed to happen – they’re called permanent teeth for a reason, right?
But sometimes – due to decay, gum disease, or trauma – people lose an adult tooth.
Once this happens, the question often arises: Should I get the missing tooth replaced?
As a practice, we advocate for tooth replacement.
Today, we’ll explain why it’s important to replace missing teeth. And then, we’ll review the three options you have for replacement: dental implants, bridges, and dentures.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Losing a tooth can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. People just don’t feel as youthful or attractive as they did with a full set of teeth.
And even more importantly, losing a tooth impacts your dental health too.
If a tooth isn’t replaced, the surrounding tissues will start to shift. The gum and bone will recede because there’s no root to hold it in place. The adjacent teeth will shift to fill the space.
These shifts can cause the following issues:
- Jaw Pain and Broken Teeth: There’s a reason our teeth align the way they do – it creates a balanced bite. When you remove a key piece, it throws everything off. This can put strain on head and neck muscles, as well as the jaw joint. The extra pressure on the remaining teeth can also result in cracked or broken teeth.
- Decay and Gum Disease: As the teeth shift to fill in the open space, they can become difficult to clean. Some dental tools aren’t designed to adequately clean the angles created by the shifting teeth. This can result in decay as well as gum disease.
What Are Your Options?
To regain the balance a patient had before they lost a tooth, I recommend one of the following replacement options.
1. Dental Implants
An implant is made up of three parts: an implant (titanium screw into the bone), abutment (part of the implant that extends into the mouth), and crown or denture (restoration that has a natural tooth appearance).
A bridge is a permanently cemented appliance. At least two abutments and a pontic make up the bridge. The abutments are crowns that fit onto the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. The pontic is a fake tooth that fills in the space.
3. Removable Partial or Full Dentures
Dentures are a removable appliance that can replace a couple of teeth or all of them. Most patients find this the least desirable option when dealing with one or only a few missing teeth.
Why You Might Choose Dental Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Options
Why do we recommend dental implants?
One reason is because a dental implant is like a real tooth. You can floss, brush, and eat normally.
Another reason is because the implant stabilizes the bone. And the crown that fits onto the implant abutment doesn’t allow the surrounding teeth to shift.
Another perk of dental implants is that they’re a great option regardless of how many teeth you’re missing.
What can you expect from the implant process?
We start off by removing the tooth or what remains of it, if it’s not already missing. Then, we evaluate if you need a bone graft or not. If some of the bone has resorbed, there might not be enough bone to support an implant, so a bone graft is necessary.
The next step is the implant surgery, where we place the implant screw into the jaw bone. It takes a couple of months for the implant to integrate into the bone. But eventually, the bone will start growing around the implant, making it very stable.
After this process has taken place, we’ll place the abutment onto the implant which allows us to take an impression. A lab tech uses this impression to fabricate a well-fitting crown, or a bridge or dentures if we need to replace multiple teeth.
Finally, when we get the crown, bridge, or denture back from the lab, we try it in and make adjustments if necessary. Then, we finish up by cementing the crown or bridge in place. Dentures simply snap into place – no cement is necessary.
Do You Have Dental Phobias? We Can Help!
If you need to have an extraction or already have a missing tooth, we urge you to consider replacing it with a dental implant. Doing so will help you avoid bone resorption and preserve the adjacent teeth.
We understand, if you’re hesitant to proceed with something like dental implants. This type of procedure can sound really intimidating to someone who has even the smallest amount of dental fear.
Please come in for a free consultation and to explore if you would be an ideal candidate for an implant. We would also like to hear about any fears or concerns you might have, so we can discuss options to help you feel as comfortable and calm as possible!
Schedule an appointment online here or call us at (403) 948-3342.