4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
Price, Stephen R D.D.S.
1320 Stratford Rd Se # A
Decatur, AL, 35601-6028
Lewis, Michael K D.D.S.
2113 Data Park Cir
Birmingham, AL, 35244-1252
4518 Valleydale Rd # 103
Birmingham, AL, 35242-4632
2113 Data Park Cir
Birmingham, AL, 35244-1252
People often assume that once they have a crown placed on a tooth, it will last the rest of their lives. Although dental crowns may last for a very long time, it is not correct to say that they will last forever.
This is one of the most difficult questions asked of a dentist because, in essence, no one can be sure. However, there are a few resources available that can give us an idea of how long your dental crowns may last.
One resource is insurance companies. Even though the dental insurance company should not dictate the type of treatment that should be done, they give some insight into the matter. Insurance companies will pay for a new crown on the same tooth after five years. So, in essence, they believe that dental crowns will last at least five years. Another resource available is the dental literature. The dental research has some extreme variability in this area. It provides information that ranges from a 20% failure rate in 3 years all the way to a 3% failure rate in 23 years. So, which is correct? The answer actually has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. To do this, we need to look at why dental crowns have to be replaced.
There are many reasons why dental crowns need to be redone. Fracture is one example. The fracture incidence of dental crowns can be related to either the type of restoration (gold, metal ceramic, all-ceramic) or where the tooth restoration is placed in the mouth (anterior vs. posterior). Another risk factor is if a person has a grinding habit at night. A crown will have a higher risk of fracture in a mouth that applies more forces to the teeth by grinding than in one that does not have any incidence of grinding.
Decay can be another reason why dental crowns need to be replaced. Just because a tooth receives a crown does not mean it is less prone to decay. In fact, because it has more areas that may trap plaque, it needs to be cleaned as well, if not more meticulously, during home care.
Esthetics can be another reason why dental crowns are replaced. Esthetics is one of the main reasons people choose to have a new crown made in the anterior part of the mouth. This occurs because as we get older, our teeth will change color and progressively get darker while the tooth with the crown will stay the same color as the day it was placed. A discrepancy between the color of the teeth will become more evident over time. In addition to color, esthetic changes in the position of the gum tissue over time can also affect the look of the crown.
Which one of these areas may be a factor in a patient's mouth is uncertain. An idea can be obtained by evaluating the reason a crown was needed in the first place (such as a fractured tooth, decay, etc.). In conclusion, it is unclear how long dental crowns will last. Their life span may be anywhere from a few years all the way to 20 years and beyond. A lot of it will depend on the need for the crown in the first place and how well the mouth is taken care of after the crown is placed.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD
Cosmetic dentistry and plastic surgery both blend health care with artistry and beautification. However, before we can beautify a person's smile, we must have a complete understanding of your dental makeover, not just an appreciation of, beauty.
Some of the first people to understand beauty were not health care specialists, but rather, artists. Great painters and sculptors studied anatomy, perspective, illusion, proportion, idealism and symmetry in order to recreate the beauty they saw.
Esthetic surgeons and cosmetic dentists create better-looking smiles. A cosmetic dentist creates pleasing-looking teeth, while the surgeon helps you feel more like smiling.
If cosmetic dentists and esthetic surgeons want to create beautiful smiles, they must begin to think like the great dental makeover artists. Michelangelo would never have considered one of his masterpieces complete until it was framed properly. The same goes for cosmetic dentistry. If we think of the teeth as the masterpiece, the frame is the surrounding soft tissue (such as the gums, jawbones, facial muscles, lips, and skin). We cannot consider one without the other.
Let's look at the areas of the face that contribute to the smile.
The support of the lips is very important. If the teeth are properly contoured and there is a normal bite, the lip support is nearly always adequate. When it is inadequate, it is correctable.
Aside from the teeth, the chin also plays a role in the shape of the lips. A weak chin can give lips a protruded appearance. The solution is to increase the fullness of the chin through cosmetic plastic surgery.
The next area of cosmetic dentistry focus in your dental makeover is the shape of the mouth. The lips and the teeth are of primary importance to the support of the lips; however, the facial muscles of expression are what control the smile.
When the corners of the mouth are either turned up or down, they convey the feeling of happiness or sadness. Soft tissue corrections around the mouth should be corrected after the teeth and jawbones are corrected.
Other facial features that can be surgically altered to contribute to a terrific smile are:
For further information on your dental makeover, consult with a cosmetic dentist, dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Each of these specialists works in close relationship with each other and can further counsel you on the best cosmetic dentistry treatment to improve your smile.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS