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Posts for tag: crowns

By Peter Elton DMD, PLLC
January 15, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Peter Elton DMD, PLLC
November 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By Peter Elton DMD, PLLC
June 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   bridges  

As your body ages, your teeth age as well. This could happen in the form of teeth lost from previous dental procedures or simple wear crowns and bridgesand tear or discolorations. However, you can revive your damaged or missing teeth using crowns and bridges. Learn how crowns and bridges can help your smile with Dr. Peter Elton and Dr. Douglas Clarke at Cedarbrook Dental in Gig Harbor, WA.

What can a crown do for me? 
Dental crowns are a versatile dental restoration with many uses. Your dentist can use dental crowns to:

  • restore the biting surface of a worn down tooth
  • support a tooth with a large filling
  • cover a dental implant to replace a missing tooth
  • secure a dental bridge in place
  • improve the appearance of a misshapen or discolored tooth
  • stabilize a broken or cracked tooth
  • protect a weakened tooth

What can a bridge do for me? 
A dental bridge fills in the gap left behind by a missing tooth. Unlike a dental implant, bridges require no oral surgery and their procedure is generally an easy one. Usually made up of three prosthetic teeth in a row, a bridge has a dental crown on either end. The crown attaches to the teeth surrounding the gap to anchor the bridge into place. Bridges are important not just to complete your smile but also to keep the teeth surrounding your gap from moving or shifting.

Crowns and Bridges in Gig Harbor, WA
Whether you require a crown, a bridge, or both, Dr. Elton and Dr. Clarke have you covered. The procedures for crowns and bridges involve preparing the anchor teeth to receive the crown or crowns. Your dentist will remove parts of the tooth’s enamel on the sides and top then shape the tooth into the correct form to fit snugly inside of the dental crown. This makes enough room for the crown and ensures a proper bond between your tooth and the crown. A dental laboratory creates the restorations themselves based on a mold of your mouth. Finally, usually at a second appointment, your dentist permanently bonds the bridge or crown to your teeth.

For more information on crowns and bridges, please contact Dr. Peter Elton, and Dr. Douglas Clarke at Cedarbrook Dental in Gig Harbor, WA. Call (253) 851-1190 to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!

By Peter Elton DMD, PLLC
May 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?

Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?

Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.

Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.

But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?

In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.

Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.

What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.

If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”

By Peter Elton DMD, PLLC
December 18, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants   crowns   bridges  

A 2012 study by the American Association of Orthodontists revealed that one-third of Americans are unhappy with their smile. Dr. Peter Elton is a dentist in Gig Harbor, WA who helps his patients improve their smiles so that they can feel more confident and comfortable bridges andcrownswhen smiling, eating and speaking. Three possible solutions for missing, broken or damaged teeth are crowns, bridges and dental implants. Learn the difference between these three treatments so that you and your dentist can make an informed decision together.

Dental Crowns
A crown is a dental device that is installed when a healthy tooth is damaged or to fix a cosmetic imperfection. It is commonly made of a hard porcelain material that will stay strong for decades. The natural, rooted tooth is modified and reduced to what is called an abutment so that a crown can be added to the top. It covers the entire surface of the tooth from front to back.

Dental Bridges
When there’s a missing tooth between two healthy teeth, a bridge can help fill that gap. A standard bridge is made up of two crowns on the healthy teeth with a replacement tooth at the center. When the adjacent crowns are bonded, the bridge can last as long as 15 years as long as you prioritize at-home care and regular dental visits.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are whole-tooth replacements, meaning that the entire tooth from the root on up is supplanted with a brand new dental device. Your Gig Harbor, WA dentist surgically embeds the implant into healthy bone tissue and allows time to for it to heal (usually two or more months). Implants can also be used to support full or partial denture devices.

Which Is Best for You?
Your dentist will help you determine which of these solutions is best for your particular case after looking at your X-rays and discussing your dental goals. A better smile is possible in just a few appointments with Dr. Peter Elton. Call his Gig Harbor, WA office at (360) 362-1512 to discuss dental implants and other restorative work.