4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
Angela Fennell D.D.S. DMD P.C
4000 Balmoral Dr SW #102
Huntsville, AL, 35801
Looney, William B D.D.S.
4700 Misty Ridge Cir
Birmingham, AL, 35235-8665
Dothan Endodontic Assoc
220 Healthwest Dr # 1
Dothan, AL, 36303-2047
Edward Walker D.D.S. DMD P.C
303 Williams Ave SW
Huntsville, AL, 35801
People of a certain age sometimes find themselves in need of dental care involving dental crowns instead of a filling, or dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Understandably, in light of the present economy, many patients think first of the expense. But the fact remains that postponed care costs more in the long run, both financially and physically.
In the case of broken teeth, extensive decay or an old filling, a crown is intended to hold the remaining tooth structure together. After a root canal, enamel becomes especially brittle - another candidate for a crown.
A badly damaged tooth, left untreated, causes changes in the mouth that disrupt how the teeth work, chewing patterns, and jaw function. Normal eating habits may be inhibited. Tenderness forces the bite away from one side of the mouth and exerts undue pressure elsewhere. Why not just extract this troublesome tooth?
A missing tooth eventually spells oral disaster, meaning permanent changes to your bite. Because the mouth is dynamic, teeth on either side of an empty space will shift. The teeth next to them move, too. With all this movement, periodontal disease could invade soft tissues. Jaw misalignment, and the pain that goes with it, is likely. So tooth restoration to bolster neighboring teeth and keep the "architecture" of the mouth in good shape is the best course of treatment.
After fillings, crown and bridge work is our first line of defense against oral deterioration. This kind of dentistry brings a lot of satisfaction to both patient and dentist. A transformation happens. With the mouth functioning again, people feel better about themselves.
So call your cosmetic dentist today to find out how you can restore your mouth to total dental health. You'll look and feel better.
Everyone, even your dentist, knows that when we age, we see certain changes in our face (for example, wrinkled skin, less skin tone, shrunken appearance). The soft tissue in the lower one-third of the face is supported by the teeth and jawbone, and gives support to your smile. As we age, we lose support to our smile and we begin to appear older.
Anatomically, the face is divided into thirds: the upper, middle and lower one-third. The space between your nose and your chin is referred to as the lower one-third. The teeth support the vertical height of your lower face, and more specifically the back teeth support your lower face.
Most dentists agree that minimal and gradual wearing away of the top enamel of the teeth is considered normal during the lifespan of a patient. However, excessive wear on the top surfaces of the teeth can result in abscessed teeth, an irregular bite, decreased chewing capacity and esthetic disharmony. Patients with these types of problems often require extensive restorative cosmetic dentistry treatment.
Although the prevalence of tooth wear, or attrition, is not known, it is thought to be very common in adults over the age of 40. The wearing of the top surfaces of the teeth is most often attributed to attrition, which is the wearing away of one tooth surface by another tooth surface. Attrition is the result of bruxism, or the involuntary grinding of the teeth against each other.
Attrition can be the result of one or a combination of problems such as:
Depending on the severity of the tooth wear, teeth may be broken, shortened and unattractive. Having worn teeth can result in jaw joint pain (TMJ), a decreased ability to chew and a sunken appearance to the lower face. All of these results can make a person appear more wrinkled and older.
Generally, the worn teeth will have to have new fillings placed or redone. When severe wear occurs in the mouth, a dental crown or multiple crowns may be the only solution.
Yes, tooth wear can be prevented, but only if you make regular visits to the dentist. If detected early enough, your dentist may prescribe a plastic night guard to protect your teeth, much like an athletic mouth guard.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS