Dental Crowns: A Royal Repair for Your Smile

Atlanta GA General DentistA dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its size, shape, strength, and appearance. Dental crowns have been used as cosmetic dental procedures for centuries, and luckily they have improved a great deal. Dental crowns can be dated as far back as the Egyptians, who used are known to have used wooden crowns for those of lower class and pure gold for pharaohs. Today, dental crowns are typically constructed out of durable resin so that they look like natural teeth within the mouth.

Dental crowns can be used both restoratively and cosmetically. When used as a restorative procedure, dental crowns have the purpose of restoring the strength of a tooth so that it can successfully remain inside the mouth. A weak, cracked, or broken tooth can be restored by placing a crown over the tooth. Oftentimes, a tooth that is severely broken is not strong enough for a dental filling, or because there is not enough tooth surface left for a filling to be placed. In this instance, a dental crown can be created to make up for the missing structure while also giving the mouth a complete tooth from the surface.

Any time it can be avoided, a tooth is not extracted from the mouth. The jaw bone is dependent upon the teeth providing structure and stability. When a tooth is lost or pulled out, there is a gap in the smile as well as a gap in the jaw bone’s support system. The roots of the teeth are deeply implanted in the jaw bone. When a tooth root is missing, the jaw bone will begin to weaken and deteriorate around the gap. Dental crowns typically cover the tooth root (or a tooth that has been restored by a root canal) to allow the jaw bone to stay completely supported. Dental crowns are also used in dental implants. A crown is the visible tooth that covers the implanted post within the jaw. This restorative use of dental crowns provides stabilization that not only supports the jaw bone, but also supports neighboring teeth and prevents further, more extensive dental work from becoming necessary.

Dental crowns are also used as a cosmetic dental procedure to restore the appearance of a person’s smile. Chipped, cracked, broken teeth, misshapen, and severely discolored teeth can all be enhanced by dental crowns. Having a beautiful, complete smile is important to the majority of people throughout the United States. Dental crowns allow for a person’s smile to have a uniformed appearance by creating a crown that matches a person’s natural teeth. The most common uses for cosmetic dental crowns are:

  • Repairing a damaged or broken tooth
  • Hiding the loss of tooth enamel due to grinding of the teeth
  • Hiding severe discoloration that cannot be lifted by whitening procedures
  • Strengthening the tooth after root canal surgery
  • Providing extra protection for a tooth that has received a large filling
  • Preventing the further spread of decay in a weakened tooth
  • Repairing a tooth that cannot support direct composite bonding

Dental crowns involve two stages, both of which can be performed right in our office. Stage one involves the dentist preparing the tooth to receive the crown. The tooth will be cleaned and then reshaped. This reshaping is done under local anesthesia to prevent pain or discomfort during the procedure. Once the tooth is reshaped, the CEREC imagery equipment creates a 3-D image of the tooth. This image is sent to the milling unit of the CEREC machine, where the ceramic dental crown is created. Once the crown is milled, it will be fitted into place, bonded, and polished.

At Pure Dental Health, you do not have to be of royal descent to receive a crown. Using CEREC technology, we create durable, beautiful crowns in a single visit to restore the appearance, strength, stability, and health of your smile. Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We accept most forms of dental insurance and offer CEREC one-day crowns at competitive prices.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Can Dental Implants Help Improve Your BMI?

Another new year is just around the corner. Before you know it, you will be toasting with friends and singing Auld Lang Syne once again. Is losing weight on your list of resolutions once again this year? If you resolved to lose weight last year and did not quite achieve your goal, or achieved it only to quickly regain the weight, you are not alone. Every year, thousands of Americans resolve to lose weight and improve their Body Mass Index (BMI) only to find that the end of the year has come and they are still struggling with extra pounds. In fact, overweight and obesity has become a health crisis in the United States. This is especially concerning because being overweight or obese increases your risks for a number of serious diseases and medical conditions including heart disease, Diabetes, breast cancer and more.

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill available to help you lose weight. This is despite an abundance of research on this very subject. So, what is the best way to achieve your weight loss goals? The simple answer is to eat healthier and to exercise more. To reach these goals, it may be helpful to enlist the services of an exercise coach (trainer) and a certified nutritionist. However, if you are currently wearing dentures, the solution may not be quite as simple. That is because wearing dentures can make it hard to eat and properly digest certain foods. Unfortunately, the foods that are rich in fiber and other important nutrients yet lower in calories are often hard to eat for individuals with dentures. This includes foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Many times, denture wearers are forced to replace these foods with softer, more processed foods that are easier to chew and digest. These foods are often higher in calories and lack the fiber and nutrients that are needed to maintain good overall health.

The good news is that dental implants provide a great alternative to dentures that allows you to eat the foods that you want to eat. Dental implants can be used to provide additional support for dentures or to support crowns and bridges. You can use dental implants to replace one, several or all of your teeth. With dental implants, you do not have to eliminate any foods from your diet. You can eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that will help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy body weight.

If dentures are holding you back from meeting your weight loss goals, talk to a qualified dental implant dentist today to see if you are a candidate for this revolutionary tooth replacement system. We wish you the best of health in the new year!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Enjoying Your Thanksgiving Feast With Dental Implants

For most Americans, Thanksgiving represents a special time to gather with friends and family and to express thanks for our many blessings.  A huge Thanksgiving feast of turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole is also part of the Thanksgiving tradition for many families.  This is the time when we set our tables with our best linens and china, turn off our cell phones and other electronics, and enjoy a long, relaxing meal around the table.  However, if you are dealing with ill-fitting, loose or uncomfortable dentures, Thanksgiving dinner may not be all that enjoyable to you.

Dentures that slip or fall out easily can make it very difficult to enjoy a meal, especially when the meal involves a group.  Even if it is with your family members, the last thing you want is for your dentures to fall into your dinner plate!  In addition, loose or uncomfortable dentures can make it difficult to chew and properly digest certain foods.

If you notice that your dentures have recently become loose, ill-fitting or uncomfortable, it could be due to changes with the bone in your jaw.  When pressure is not exerted on the jawbone on a regular basis, it can cause bone loss.  This in turn can make dentures that at one time fit well, not fit well anymore.  It is a vicious cycle.

You can break the cycle of ill-fitting dentures with dental implants.  Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement  solution that provide for replacement teeth that look, function and feel like natural teeth.  There a a variety of tooth replacement options that can be used with dental implants including dental-implant-supported crowns, bridges and dentures.

If you are tired of worrying about your dentures slipping or falling out or if your dentures have become uncomfortable, talk to your dentist today about dental implants.  After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for this life-changing dental procedure.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health




EPA Wants New Standards to Reduce Dental Mercury Entering the Environment

Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that can be mixed with other metals to make amalgam:  a popular compound used to make dental fillings.  However, Mercury is a know neurotoxin and exposure to Mercury at certain levels has been linked to a number of health problems.  As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned about the amount of Mercury entering the environment.

Mercury is introduced into the environment when dentists remove old amalgam fillings or remove excess amalgam when placing new fillings. As a result, about half of the Mercury that enters water treatment systems comes from dental offices.  The EPA is proposing new standards to reduce the amount of Mercury released from dental offices.  These changes would fall under the Clean Water Act and would reduce metal discharge to water systems by almost 9 tons a year.

Currently, there are standards set by the American Dental Association (ADA) that give guidelines for the safe removal and disposal of amalgam materials.  Many state and local governments currently require amalgam separators and other practices in dentists’ offices in order to reduce the release of mercury. The American Dental Association strongly recommends such measures. These standards are already in place in approximately 40% of dental offices across the country.  This new rule would serve to strengthen the human health protection that is already in place.

Due to health concerns regarding exposure to Mercury vapors from amalgam fillings, many individuals are electing to have their amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite resin or porcelain fillings.  Others make this decision purely for cosmetic reasons.  If you have amalgam fillings in your mouth and would like to have them removed, talk to your dentist about the safe removal of these fillings today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Caring For Your Dentures

Dentures are an investment and have a large bearing on your ability to eat, speak and chew with confidence. And, just like regular teeth, dentures require proper care and attention to keep them functioning at a high level and to make them last a long as possible. So, how should you properly care for your dentures? Read on to find out.

Keeping your dentures clean is one of the most important aspects of regular denture care and should be done on a daily basis. This includes cleaning them daily with a denture brush and soaking them in a cleanser solution. Cleaning your dentures daily will help to keep them white and bright and will prevent plaque buildup. Daily cleanings can also help to prevent denture odor. However, it is important not to brush too hard when you are cleaning your dentures as this can cause damage. Moistening the dentures prior to cleaning them can help you avoid scratching or damaging the delicate metal and plastic parts.

Before putting your dentures back into your mouth, you should brush your gums, tongue and any natural teeth (in the case of partial dentures) with a fluoride toothpaste. You can also rinse with a mouthwash to help get rid of bacteria in your mouth and give you a clean, refreshed feeling.

When you are not wearing your dentures, you should keep them moist to keep them from drying out and losing their shape. You can store them a container that is specially made for this purpose with either water or soaking solution.

If your dentures become loose or uncomfortable, you should notify your dentist as soon as possible. He or she may need to make certain adjustments to improve their fit and comfortability.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Have You Ever Dreamed That Your Teeth Are Falling Out?

You wake up in a sweat and your heart is racing.  You run to the mirror and check to make sure you have all of your teeth.  Does this sound familiar?  If you have ever dreamed that your teeth are falling out, you are not alone.  Missing teeth or teeth that are falling out  is one of the most common types of recurring dreams.  Psychologists suggest a number of theories behind this dream.  Some say that it means you are worried about money.  Others suggest a feeling of vulnerability or a lack of control over your circumstances.  Whatever the cause, this dream can be terrifying!

Unfortunately, for many American adults, failing and missing teeth are a reality.  Tooth failure and tooth loss can be caused by a variety of factors including lack of proper dental hygiene/dental care, periodontal disease, trauma, untreated tooth decay and more.  In the past, options for replacing missing teeth were limited to dentures (partial and full) and dental bridges.  These tooth replacement options are still popular procedures for replacing missing teeth.  However, neither of these solutions provide a permanent, fixed solution to tooth loss.  Now with the advent of dental implants, individuals with tooth loss have a fixed solution that can last a lifetime, with proper care.  This is good news for the many American adults who are missing one, several or all of their teeth.

Dental implants look like natural teeth and because they are fused to the jawbone, they feel and function like natural teeth.  These factors represent significant advantages over traditional dentures and dental bridges.  Most individuals are candidates for dental implants, and the success rate is very high.  However, if you are a smoker or have other conditions such as Diabetes, your chances for a successful outcome may be reduced.  Additionally, if you do not have a sufficient quantity of bone in your jaw, you may require bone grafting before dental implants can be successfully placed.

If you are living with the reality of tooth loss, talk to a dentist in your local area today.  After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for this revolutionary tooth replacement system.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Acute Tooth Pain: Is it an Abscessed Tooth?

If you have excruciating pain in one of your teeth, you could be dealing with an abscessed tooth.  An abscessed tooth is a painful condition that is caused by an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth.  The most common cause of an abscessed tooth is severe decay.  However, an abscessed tooth can also result from trauma to a tooth or gum disease.  Severe decay and tooth trauma such as a chipped or broken tooth can cause openings in a tooth’s enamel which allows bacteria to infect the center of a tooth (pulp).  This infection can also spread from the pulp to the root of the tooth and/or the surrounding bones and structure.

Symptoms of an abscessed tooth include severe, throbbing, and/or shooting pain in the area of the mouth where the abscess is located.  Other symptoms include fever, pain when chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, bad breath, swollen neck glands, redness and swelling of the gums, an open, draining sore on the side of the gum and more.

If you think you may have an abscessed tooth, you should notify your dentist immediately, even if it is after traditional dentist office hours.  Many dental practices have a dentist that is on call to handle dental emergencies such as abscessed teeth.  To eliminate the infection, the abscess may need to be drained.  This can be achieved with a procedure called a root canal.  After a root canal procedure, the center of the tooth is this cleaned and sealed to prevent further infection.  In some cases of an abscessed tooth, the tooth is extracted, allowing drainage through the socket.  A third way to drain an abscess is to make an incision into the swollen gum tissue.

In most cases, antibiotics are prescribed to help fight off the infection.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin and Alleve may be used to alleviate the pain.  Your dentist may also recommend that you rinse your mouth with warm salty water.

Failing to seek treatment for an abscessed tooth will only lead to more serious and more painful complications including tooth loss.  If you have severe tooth pain and think it may be due to an abscessed tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health





Restoring a Cracked Tooth

Teeth can crack for a variety of reasons.  Dental trauma, tooth decay, and biting down on something hard can all cause a tooth to crack.  So what happens if you crack one of your teeth?  What are the dental treatments that can be used to restore a cracked tooth?  There are many.

There are several different restorative dental treatments that can be used to address a cracked tooth.  The type that is used will depend on the location of the tooth in your mouth, the severity of the crack and other factors.  Dental bonding is one restorative treatment that can be used to address a cracked tooth.  This is typically indicated when the crack is not overly severe.  The process involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin to the tooth to fill in the space left due to the crack.  The material is then cured with a special light to permanently bond it to the tooth.  If the crack or damage to the tooth is too severe to be treated with dental bonding or a composite resin filling, a crown may be placed over the tooth.  A crown will provide addition strength to the tooth and prevent further cracking.

If a cracked tooth is not restored promptly, it can leave that tooth susceptible to infection.  Once the tooth becomes infected, a root canal procedure may be needed to remove the infected material in the center of the tooth and then seal it to prevent further infection.  If a root canal is not performed on an infected tooth, it can lead to serious dental health problems including abscessed teeth.  In this case, the tooth may need to be extracted.

If you have a cracked tooth in your mouth, don’t risk your long-term dental health by waiting to have it fixed.  Talk to your dentist today about the restorative dental treatments available to suit your particular situation.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

Am I a Candidate for Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a cosmetic dental procedure that can be used to restore or improve the appearance of a tooth. The procedure involves applying a tooth-colored resin material (made of durable plastic) and then hardening it with a special light to bond the material to the tooth.

Dental bonding can be used for a variety of cosmetic and restorative dental applications including the following:

• to repair a decayed tooth (composite resins)
• to improve the appearance of discolored teeth
• to close a gap or space between teeth
• to make a tooth appear longer
• to alter the shape of a tooth
• to fill a space where gums have receded, exposing the root of a tooth

Unlike some other cosmetic and restorative dental treatments, dental bonding requires very little advance preparation. Typically, this treatment does not require the use of anesthesia. An exception to this is when dental bonding is being used to fill a cavity in a tooth. First, your dentist will select a composite resin color that will most closely match the color of your natural teeth. Next, he or she will roughen the surface of the tooth and then apply a conditioning liquid. This will help the material to bond to the tooth. Next, the putty-like material is applied to the tooth and molded to the desired shape and then smoothed over. Last, an ultraviolet light or laser is used to harden the material. After it has hardened, your dentist may further trim, shape and polish the material, as needed.

If you want to improve the appearance of a tooth that is discolored, gapped, misshaped or otherwise unattractive, talk to your dentist about dental bonding. After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine if this advanced restorative and cosmetic dental treatment is right for you.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Replacing Missing Teeth

Are you feeling self conscious about your smile due to missing teeth? Have missing teeth taken the joy out of mealtime for you?  Missing teeth can cause you to feel self conscious about your smile and can also make it difficult to chew and speak correctly.  But did you know that a missing tooth or several missing teeth in your mouth can compromise the health of your remaining teeth?  This is because spaces left by missing teeth leave a place where bacteria can become trapped and this can lead to periodontal disease.  Also, when a tooth is missing, the teeth in the mouth will shift to fill the space and this can lead to bite problems.  Lastly, missing teeth can lead to irreversible bone loss in the jaw.

For all of the reasons listed above, it is very important to replace missing teeth.  There are a variety of different methods that can be used to replace missing teeth including dentures, a partial denture, a bridge and dental implant supported crowns, bridges or dentures.  Your dentist can recommend the best method for you, taking into consideration your lifestyle, your medical history and your budget.

There is no question that dental implants are the gold standard when it comes to replacing missing teeth.  However, this option is also the most expensive option of all tooth replacement solutions.  Dental implants provide a fixed, long-term solution to missing teeth that provide for replacement teeth that look and feel like natural teeth.  They also allow for replacement teeth that function like natural teeth.  For this reason, many patients choose to invest in this more expensive treatment.

Dental implants can be used to replace one, several or all of your teeth, or to add stability to your dentures.   The process involves attaching titanium screws permanently to the jawbone and then topping them with a crown or attachment.  Most patients with missing teeth are candidates for this advanced and highly effective tooth replacement system.

If missing teeth are destroying your confidence and negatively affecting you quality of life, talk to your dentist about dental implants today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health