Posts for: August, 2017
Find out how dental crowns can provide the superior protection your damaged tooth needs.
Our Highland Park, IL, dentist Dr. Carol Lockwood places a lot of dental crowns each year. This is because this tooth-shaped restoration can really improve the health and appearance of your smile in so many ways. If you have always wondered why dental crowns are used and how they benefit smiles then it’s time you found out!
What is a dental crown?
A crown is a custom-made tooth-shaped covering that goes completely over the crown of a natural tooth. Crowns are made from different materials ranging from porcelain to porcelain-fused-to-metal. Each type of crown has its pros and cons. Many patients choose porcelain or ceramic crowns because they most resemble natural teeth.
When are dental crowns used?
There are many reasons our Highland Park, IL, general dentist may recommend getting a dental crown. While most people associate a dental crown with a damaged tooth, this isn’t always the case. Perhaps you don’t even realize there is an issue that requires a crown. Here are some situations in which you may actually benefit from this restoration:
- To preserve a tooth if a filling isn’t enough to fully protect and support the tooth
- To stabilize and support a dental bridge
- To protect a tooth after root canal treatment
- To cover a dental implant
Of course, a dental crown is also used when a tooth has been cracked, chipped, broken or fractured to prevent the damage from getting worse and to preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible.
If you have a tooth that is fully functional but you find discolorations or other aesthetic problems unsightly, then you may be able to turn to a dental crown to improve your tooth’s appearance. While crowns are often restorative in nature, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be used for cosmetic purposes.
If you have questions about getting dental crowns in Highland Park, IL, or want to find out if this is the right restorative dentistry option for you, then what are you waiting for? Call Dr. Lockwood today to find out how we can enhance your smile.
Most of us wouldn't think of buying a new car without a “test drive.” It's a serious investment, so you want to make sure you're comfortable with your new ride.
Like an auto purchase, the plan you and your dentist agree on to cosmetically enhance your teeth and gums — a “smile makeover” — is a significant investment. Wouldn't it be nice to “test drive” your future smile before you undergo any procedures?
Actually, you can — two ways, in fact. For one, your dentist could use computer imaging software that alters a photo of your face to show how your smile will appear after dental work. These computer enhancements are a great planning tool for making decisions on the look you want to achieve.
But even the best computer images only provide a static, two-dimensional representation of your new smile. It can't capture all the angles and movement dynamics of any proposed changes. That's where the other way, a trial smile, is a true test drive — you can see your future smile in action.
With a trial smile, your dentist temporarily places tooth-colored material called composite resin on your teeth to simulate the proposed changes. The resin can be shaped and sculpted to create a life-like replica that you'll be able to view in all three spatial dimensions. What's more it will give you a chance not only to see what your new smile will look like, but to actually experience how it feels in your mouth.
Creating a trial smile is an added expense and it's only available during your consultation visit — the dentist will need to remove the resin before you leave. But you'll still be able to get a good impression of what your final smile will be like. You'll also be able to take photos you can show to family and friends to get their impressions of your proposed new look.
A trial smile allows you to know beforehand what your dental work investment will provide you, and even fine-tune your makeover plan before work begins. With this particular kind of “test drive” you'll have greater assurance that you'll be happy and satisfied with the end results.
If you would like more information on trial smiles, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Testing Your Smile Makeover.”
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…