Learn about crowns and bridges from your Elkhart dentist.
A Gallup poll found that up to a third of Americans didn’t visit the dentist’s office in the course of a year. Unfortunately, the longer you avoid going to the dentist’s office, the higher the chance of dental problems that may require restorative work. If you’ve been looking for a restorative solution for your smile, crowns or bridges may be your best option. Learn more about these common dental treatments by exploring a few frequently asked questions.
What Is the Difference Between Crowns and Bridges?
A crown is a whole covering, commonly made of porcelain, metal or ceramic material, that replaces the enamel layer of the tooth. It is bonded on top of a healthy rooted tooth that needs strengthening and protection. A bridge is a device that uses two crowns to fill in a gap in the smile from a missing tooth. The crowns cover the two adjacent teeth, called abutments. The center of the bridge called a pontic, is a false tooth that is designed to fit in with the rest of your smile.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Crowns?
Since a crown is only a superficial covering, the inner parts of the tooth have to be healthy to support it. A dentist must examine the inside of the tooth using X-rays to confirm that the tooth is healthy enough for a crown. Patients who have root canal therapy are also candidates for crowns.
Who Needs Bridges?
Someone who has one or two missing teeth and wants a reasonably secure and semi-permanent solution may benefit from bridges. The bridge is needed to help make it easier to process food, maintain the structure of the jawline and give the patient a smile to be proud of. The abutment teeth have to be healthy enough to support a crown. Generally, a good candidate for a crown will likely also be a good candidate for bridgework.
How Long Will These Dental Solutions Last?
A crown or bridge can last for between five to 15 years or even longer if you take care of your teeth. But no worries, because when the time comes your dentist can redo the crown or bridge and give you another 15 or more years to enjoy your new smile.
Contact your Elkhart Dentist
Call your Elkhart dentist to find out if a crown or bridge can help give you a better smile. These two restorative treatments can help fix a number of common dental problems.
Welcome to the Blog of S Nappanee St Elkhart, IN
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Elkhart, IN area, we’re excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatments, practical oral health advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.
As always, feel free to contact our S Nappanee St Elkhart, IN office with any dental questions or concerns.
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Family dentistry means more than you might expect. When a family dentist takes your loved ones into their care, they're vowing to provide them the help they need to build healthy teeth and gums in the long-term, and gain the knowledge and tools that help them get there. You need different types of care at every age, and it's crucial to stay in touch with what's right for your mouth. By approaching your health alongside your children, you not only form a stronger bond with your family members, but keep everyone in healthy shape.
Keep reading to learn more about how you can help everyone in your home feel good about their dental care, and get in touch to schedule your family's next exams! Visiting the office together will help your kids feel less anxious about treatment, and give you more information about where your family's taking the right steps toward disease-free teeth.
Family Engagement with Oral Health
- Try some oral health activities - If your kids aren't interested in brushing their teeth, they might need to learn a little more about how cavities form, and how oral hygiene keeps them at bay. Try an experiment that will illustrate the effects of acids and bacteria on tooth enamel, and talk about how the results apply to real life.
- Clean your teeth together - Family brushing time is never a bad thing! You can keep an eye on your kids' habits, make sure they actually brush (and brush for long enough), and have some fun at the same time. Try finding a 2-minute song to time their brushing and make the practice more exciting.
- Shop smart - Your groceries should give your kids the tooth-friendly foods, snacks, and drinks that their growing bodies need. Try to limit sugary or starchy packaged foods, and prioritize fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, and nuts.
- Find tooth-healthy alternatives - This doesn't just mean swapping out certain items on your grocery list. Try approaching holidays that are usually candy-filled in a slightly different way - donate leftover Halloween candy in the few weeks after trick-or-treating, and use non-sugary things as rewards for good grades or behavior. Sugar doesn't have to control your kids' lives, and you'll be helping them get used to (and appreciate) the taste of healthier foods.
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You do everything possible to provide for your kids. But what about when there isn't an option that will work with both their desires and with their health? Kids can be persistent when they light upon something they want - especially if they’re denied it outright. When your kids are craving a sweet treat, what’s a parent to do? You know that soda is a bad idea, both for teeth and for overall health, but when alternatives like smoothies are just as sugary, it can feel like you’re backed into a corner.
Fortunately, not all sugary snacks are created equal. There are always options that will fulfill your children's cravings but still leave them with bright, healthy smiles. Here’s how to find out what you should be putting in your grocery list and what you should be leaving behind at the store. If you ever have questions about how to feed your family, just get in touch with our office to learn more about tooth- and body-healthy foods.
Tooth Friendly Snacks for Kids and Adults
Children aren't the only ones who crave unhealthy treats now and then. If you've been struggling to eat better in the office or at home planning ahead will help you avoid a sudden crash and grabbing fast food or other momentarily satisfying snacks.
In our time as dental professionals we've seen a lot of food and drink options and seen their ultimate results on oral health. Remember that sugar isn't the only enemy - foods and drinks high in acidity are just as bad (if not worse). This is why soda is a nemesis for healthy enamel: because it's both sweet and acidic. In addition to soft drinks, here are the top bad guys.
Smoothies - Although fruit is great for your body in whole form, when it's blended into a drink, it's typically sweeter and affects the body differently. Studies have shown that smoothies contain over 2.5 tsps of free sugars, which are dangerous for teeth.
Citrus fruit juice - Oranges, lemons, and limes are acidic and their juices have added sugars, making them a double threat to your enamel.
Dried fruit - While dried fruit might seem healthier than candy, it can have a sugar content that's just as high. Anything that sticks to your teeth is espeically harmful for your enamel, since it remains pressed against the teeth.
Potato chips - If you're snacking on chips during the day, it might be time to find a new appetite suppressant. The starches in chips give rise to harmful acids in the mouth, and also tend to get trapped against your teeth.
Anything too crunchy for teeth - If you have a habit of chewing on ice or other items not meant for teeth, you should try to keep that in check - this can lead to chips, cracks, or breaks.
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Our gums often go overlooked. They don't play as prominent a role in our smiles as our pearly whites, and are usually hidden behind our lips. But when you take a second to consider all that your gums accomplish, their true importance becomes clear. The fact of the matter is, without healthy gums, there's no chance of healthy teeth. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and avoiding it is the surest way to build a long-lasting smile.
Current research is showing a surprising trend, building the case for a mouth-body connection that scientists have suspected for years. Studies show that periodontal health may actually be linked to systemic health. What does this mean for us as dental patients? It's more important than ever to keep an eye on our gums, and take fast action if we notice inflammation. Pick up a few tips so that you can stay informed and know when to visit our Elkhart dentist for help.
Signs of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and refers to the inflammation of the gums. When the soft tissues in your mouth become inflamed, they're at a heightened risk of infection and damage. Gingivitis takes hold when your oral hygiene isn't removing plaque the way it should. Bacteria then builds up at the gum line, irritating your surrounding teeth and gums.
You may be approaching gum disease if you notice the following symptoms:
- Reddened gums
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums or teeth
- Receding gum line
- Puffiness at the gum line
- Bad breath that won't go away
- Gums that bleed when touched or during oral hygiene
If you notice that your gums are changing, it's always a good idea to schedule a dental exam. But before you visit our office, get started on your own gum disease crusade by kicking your brushing and flossin gup a notch. Not usually a flosser? Now is the time to start - it will help reduce inflammation andn lower your chances of developing full-blown gum disease.
Get in touch if you'd like to schedule an exam, or get answers to any of your gum-related questions!
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