301 Alamo Drive, Ste. A1
Vacaville, CA 95688
Long H Le Endodontics
1595 Grand Ave # 105
San Marcos, CA, 92078-2450
Chan, Susan D.D.S.
106 La Casa Via # 230
Walnut Creek, CA, 94598-3012
Sung, Jay D.D.S.
174 W College St
Covina, CA, 91723-2007
Sturm, A Jack D.D.S.
1515 State St # 7
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101-2536
Throughout history, dentists have tried to recreate the function and beauty of natural teeth when tooth structure has been lost. Restoring function used to be the main goal of a dentist because prior to the 1970's, dentistry lacked the proper technology to achieve fine esthetics as well as function. Dentists could only predictably offer patients a restoration that would simply "fill" the empty space. Today, dentistry has more advanced dental materials and newly developed techniques that allow dentists to offer artistically-recreated, natural-looking crowns and modern tooth bonding that would fool even the most critical eye.
Before you can understand how crowns and tooth bonding can mimic teeth you must understand why natural teeth appear as they do.
It is a common mistake for patients to think that their teeth are all one color. Your teeth are never just one color. They are a series of superimposed translucent layers of varying shades. Teeth also have different surface textures that reflect light in ways that affect the color of your teeth.
Your teeth are made up of three layers: pulp, dentin, and enamel. Each layer has a specific thickness, composition and structure. Additionally, the way light reflects off of or transluces through the layers gives you the color of your teeth. Using knowledge about the three layers of teeth allow dentists and dental technicians to recreate natural-looking dental crowns and tooth bonding.
Dental crown technicians are the true artisans in dentistry. Dentists begin the crown-making process by reducing the size of the tooth, making an impression of the reduced tooth, and selecting the proper shades of the tooth. This information is then transferred to the dental technician so a crown can be made.
Dental technicians blend science with artistic knowledge to recreate natural-looking teeth. Artistically, they use frame and reference, proportion and idealism, perspective and illusion as well as symmetry to mimic nature. Understanding the language of colors and using new dental materials and techniques has allowed the dentist to not only "fill" missing spaces but create cosmetic dentistry artwork from crowns and tooth bonding as well.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS
Dental crowns (also known as "caps") are needed on teeth for various reasons. Two of the reasons crowns are needed is to restore broken and unaesthetic - ugly - teeth.
When crowns are well made, research shows that the average length of time before they wear out is approximately ten years. Because each person is unique, no one can tell you how long a dental crown will last. Even though cosmetic dentistry uses advanced materials, the most durable dental crown material is gold. Dental porcelain fused to gold is the next most durable; an all-porcelain dental crown is the least durable.
As stated earlier, each person is unique, but there are some situations that will cause a dental crown to fail sooner rather than later.
When replacement crowns are prescribed, there are certain steps that the dentist must complete. First, the dental crown must be removed. This can be accomplished by either wiggling the crown free or cutting the crown off the tooth. Underlying decay should be removed and fillings should be placed as needed. These fillings are referred to as "build-ups" or "foundations" for the new crown. The tooth should then be refined and a new dental crown can then be placed.
No one can tell you how long a dental crown will last. The length of time that they can last is different for each person. Therefore, maintaining regular six-month visits to your dentist is extremely important if you want to maintain a healthy mouth.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS