Posts for: December, 2020
What a difference forty years can make: Dental bridges once occupied the top spot for choices to replace missing teeth until the arrival of dental implants in the 1980s. Today, dental implants are the gold standard for dental restoration.
But although bridgework may have lost “first chair” in the orchestra of restorations, it's still a viable option. In fact, it can be the best option in certain situations.
Bridges consist of a series of porcelain crowns fused together like fence pickets. The center crowns, known as the pontics, “bridge” the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. The crowns on each end, the abutment teeth, crown the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge.
Bridges are effective and durable, but with a major downside: To accommodate the abutment crowns, we must reduce the size of the natural teeth to which they'll be attached. This alteration can weaken those teeth's structure and require them from then on to have some form of restoration. They're also at higher risk for tooth decay.
Implants, on the other hand, don't require this alteration, and may also be more durable than bridges. Why then consider a bridge?
Price can be a factor: Implants may be more expensive, especially involving multiple teeth. Keep in mind, though, that this only compares the initial cost: Because implants have a 95% or more ten-year success rate, with further evidence they could potentially last for decades, they may actually cost less in the long-run than bridge restorations that have a higher chance of being replaced sooner.
But the prime reason is that some dental situations aren't suitable for dental implants. For instance, implants require a certain amount of bone for proper placement, so people with extensive bone loss may not be able to acquire them. Health conditions like uncontrolled diabetes or a compromised immune system can also complicate implant installation. A bridge in these cases may represent a better alternative.
With the help of your dentist, you'll need to consider your individual situation, dental and financial, in deciding between an implant or a bridge. And, if a dental bridge is your best option, it will be a solid choice for restoring your missing teeth and your smile.
If you would like more information on various dental restoration methods, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”
They're faster and better. That's how we describe same-day dental crowns. Created and placed in a single visit by your dentist in his Marietta, GA, office, CEREC crowns restore teeth beautifully. Dr. Casey Hart is proud to offer them to qualified patients. Here's more.
Do you need a dental crown?
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap made of quality, dental-grade porcelain. It fits over your tooth, restoring its color, shape, size and strength. Porcelain crowns finish dental implants and teeth healed by root canal therapy, too. Most often, they protect cracked, chipped or heavily decayed or restored teeth.
At his Marietta, GA, office, Dr. D. Casey Hart examines teeth to determine their suitability for crown restoration. If your tooth is a candidate, you should receive a same-day crown, coming into the office and leaving with your restoration in place in just about two hours or less.
The treatment involves a local anesthetic to make you completely comfortable. Then, Dr. Hart removes the damaged areas and prepares the tooth so it can receive its crown. Next, the CEREC magic begins.
CEREC is the abbreviation for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. In short, your dentist uses computerized design and manufacturing processes to create your crown.
Even oral impressions are digital. That means no messy impression putty or awkward trays. Plus, your dentist prefers the precision of three-dimensional images.
The CEREC machine mills the crown in about 20 minutes. When Dr. Hart removes it, he may add some coloration as needed. Then, he bonds the crown over your tooth. You're done.
Other reasons to prefer same-day crowns
1. Your new crown looks realistic, and it's durable. Modern dental ceramics flex as you eat, and they're plaque-resistant.
2. Your CEREC crown should last for many years. As with any dental restoration, longevity depends on your diligent hygiene practices and the stresses you expose your crown to.
3. Same-day processes avoid extra trips to the dental office, saving you gas money and time off from work. Plus, you don't have to wear a temporary crown.
Find out more
Dr. D. Casey Hart and his helpful team enjoy preserving teeth with same-day crowns. Call for a consultation today. Our number in Marietta, GA, is (770) 926-8371.
Fans everywhere were recently saddened by the news of musical legend Eddie Van Halen's death. Co-founder and lead guitarist for the iconic rock group Van Halen, the 65-year-old superstar passed away from oral cancer.
Van Halen's rise to worldwide fame began in the 1970s with his unique guitar style and energetic performances, but behind the scenes, he struggled with his health. In 2000, he was successfully treated for tongue cancer. He remained cancer-free until 2018 when he was diagnosed with throat cancer to which he succumbed this past October.
Van Halen claimed the metal guitar picks he habitually held in his mouth caused his tongue cancer. It's more likely, though, that his heavy cigarette smoking and alcohol use had more to do with his cancers.
According to the American Cancer Society, most oral cancer patients are smokers and, as in Van Halen's case, are more likely to beat one form of oral cancer only to have another form arise in another part of the mouth. Add in heavy alcohol consumption, and the combined habits can increase the risk of oral cancer a hundredfold.
But there are ways to reduce that risk by making some important lifestyle changes. Here's how:
Quit tobacco. Giving up tobacco, whether smoked or smokeless, vastly lowers your oral cancer risk. It's not easy to kick the habit solo, but a medically supervised cessation program or support group can help.
Limit alcohol. If you drink heavily, consider giving up alcohol or limiting yourself to just one or two drinks a day. As with tobacco, it can be difficult doing it alone, so speak with a health professional for assistance.
Eat healthy. You can reduce your cancer risk by avoiding processed foods with nitrites or other known carcinogens. Instead, eat fresh fruits and vegetables with antioxidants that fight cancer. A healthy diet also boosts your overall dental and bodily health.
Practice hygiene. Keeping teeth and gums healthy also lowers oral cancer risk. Brush and floss daily to remove dental plaque, the bacterial film on teeth most responsible for dental disease. You should also visit us every six months for more thorough dental cleanings and checkups.
One last thing: Because oral cancer is often diagnosed in its advanced stages, be sure you see us if you notice any persistent sores or other abnormalities on your tongue or the inside of your mouth. An earlier diagnosis of oral cancer can vastly improve the long-term prognosis.
Although not as prevalent as other forms of cancer, oral cancer is among the deadliest with only a 60% five-year survival rate. Making these changes toward a healthier lifestyle can help you avoid this serious disease.
If you would like more information about preventing oral cancer, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How a Routine Dental Visit Saved My Life” and “Strategies to Stop Smoking.”