How Crowns and Bridges Work

False Teeth (Denture, Crown, Bridge)Injury, disease and decay are all significant factors that may eventually lead to tooth loss. However, with proper treatment, such as by getting a dental crown or bridge, your smile won’t suffer as much. In fact, your smile may even look better than before as a result.

What Are Dental Crowns and Bridges?

Bridges and crowns are considered as ‘fixed’ dental prosthetic devices or appliances. Dental professionals, preferably prosthodontists, place them by cementing them right onto the affected tooth, or sometimes, to an implant.

Crowns are usually used to cover and strengthen a severely damaged tooth or ‘cap’ an implant. Meanwhile, bridges cover the gaps where a tooth or two once stood by cementing them to the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth.

Getting a bridge or a crown usually requires only two visits, but sometimes more may be necessary. During the first visit, the dentist simply prepares your teeth and gums for the bridge or crown and then takes an impression of the affected teeth or tooth. Then, the impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown or bridge is made by a dental technician.

After a few days or weeks, you’ll then be called in for the second appointment where the dentist will now place the crown or bridge on your teeth.

Benefits of Crowns and Bridges

Apart from strengthening damaged teeth and replacing missing ones, bridges and crowns can also help improve the appearance of teeth, by fixing its shape, alignment and bite.

For example, both bridges and crowns can help prevent the gaps left by missing teeth from causing the remaining teeth to shift and causing a bad bite.

How Long Do They Last?

Restorative work such as dental crowns and bridges can last for as long as 15 years with proper care. If you practice proper oral hygiene at home and visit the dentist regularly, your dental crown or bridge should last well into your twilight years.

In case the crown or bridge fails, like the crown falls out, make sure that you place it in a secure, zip-top plastic bag and schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. In such cases, the crown or bridge may have to be replaced with a new, although the old crown can still be placed and used temporarily until the new one is available.

Note: NEVER EVER try to put a dental crown or bridge back in place yourself.

How To Take Proper Care Of Them

Taking care of dental bridges and crowns is no different from taking care of your natural teeth. Although, you may want to cut back on chewing on hard foods, such as ice and biting your nails, as both can cause damage to the crown or bridge.  Also, for added protection for your dental crown and/or bridge, be sure to ask your dentist for a night guard if you grind your teeth at night when you’re asleep.

Brushing twice a day, visiting your dentist regularly and following a proper oral hygiene will ensure that your crown or bridge will last you for a very long time – even until your death!

If you’re considering restoring your smile with the help of a dental crown and bridge, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 or visit www.davidluntdds.com for additional information regarding crowns and brides.

How To Avoid Tooth Decay in Babies

89683018Even though the baby teeth will eventually fall out on their own, they’re very important. If they’re lost too early, the remaining may shift and move to their places. This may not leave any room for the adult teeth once they come in. Also, if the baby teeth end up having tooth decay, it may not be just painful, but also be hard to treat and at the same time, increases the chances of it recurring later on.

To prevent tooth decay in children, it is important to start taking preventative measures as soon as the first tooth comes in.

Preventing Tooth Decay in Babies

  • For pregnant women, take good care of your teeth and gums. Not that they weren’t as important before, but pregnant women need to make it a point to still visit their dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleaning.
  • Take care of your baby’s teeth by doing the following:
  • Newborn to 12-months: Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or a clean soft-bristled toothbrush. Once the first tooth erupts, brush it using a soft-baby toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste.
  • 12-months to 13-months: Brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day, preferably after eating breakfast and before going to bed. Use a non-fluoride toothpaste until your child learns how to spit the toothpaste out on his own.
  • Avoid letting your child sleep with a bottle of milk or food. Doing so exposes your child’s teeth to sugar, as well as puts your child at risk for choking, gum disease, ant bites and even ear infections.
  • Do not substitute pacifiers with bottles or sippy You can use bottles or sippy cups, but you should never let your child drink from them for a long time. If your child insists on drinking from the bottle or sippy cup, fill it with water instead of juice or milk.
  • Ask if your child can benefit from a fluoride supplement. Additional fluoride supplement can help protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay. You can also ask the dentist to apply fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth for added protection.
  • Have your child drink from a regular glass or cup as soon as possible. As soon as your child is able to, have them drink from a regular cup or glass. These cups are less likely to cause liquid to collect around the teeth, making them healthier to use.
  • Don’t spoil your child with sweet or sticky foods. Candies, cookies, gummies and so on are nice, but only when given as treats. Do not let your child snack on them every day, especially outside of mealtime. Also, teach your child to use his or her tongue to clean food particles off the teeth after eating.
  • Try not to let your child drink juice as much as possible. For babies, the amount of juice should not exceed more than 4 ounces a day. For toddlers aged 1 to 6 years, consumption shouldn’t be over 6 ounces a day. Although, none would be preferable.
  • Take your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts. Or a few months after your child’s first birthday. Either way, the sooner your dentist checks your child’s mouth, the better. The first meeting isn’t even for checking, but for helping children familiarize themselves with the place.

Signs of tooth decay aren’t so easy to spot in baby teeth. In fact, even pediatric dentists have a hard time doing so. However, if you take proper care of your child’s teeth, you wouldn’t really have to worry about that much. Besides, starting early helps make sure that your child grows up enjoying a healthy set of teeth for as long as they live.

To help prevent tooth decay in your baby, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.davidluntdds.com for additional information regarding tooth decay.

Your Overall Health Affects Your Oral Health

Oral HealthWhile you probably already know how the state of your teeth affects your overall health, you probably don’t know that the same is true the other way around.

For example, certain conditions and diseases may negatively affect your oral health.

This includes, but are not limited, to the following:

  • HIV/AIDS – White mucosal lesions that appear in the mouth and are also often painful are common in those who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis –There are studies that show a link between osteoporosis and tooth loss, as well as periodontal bone loss. Also, certain medications used to treat osteoporosis can potentially cause damage to the bones of the jaw.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease – As the condition of an Alzheimer’s patient worsens, so do their oral health.
  • Diabetes – Diabetes makes your body’s immune system weaker and lowers its resistance against infection. This puts diabetics at a higher risk for gum disease than those without diabetes. It’s also worth noting that gum disease can make it hard to control blood sugar levels.
  • Eating Disorders – Examples of eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. They can occur in both men and women and are best described the result of one’s extreme fear of gaining weight. This fear can lead to excessive dieting to the point of starving one’s self, sometimes to death. Because both bulimics and anorexics do not eat properly, their body does not get the right amount of nutrition it needs to function very well. This can adversely affect their oral health, as well as their overall health in general. Also, a bulimic may resort to binge eating and then vomit right after, causing the acid from the vomit to slowly eat away at the tooth enamel and causing severe dental damage.
  • Stress – While stress is ever-present and can do you good, finding yourself in constant stress may cause you to develop health complications, oral health problems included. Those who’re constantly stressed may clench or grind their teeth constantly, causing bruxism and eventually causing dental problems. Not only that, but you should also remember that stress can affect the human body as a whole.

A Window To Your Overall Health

It’s generally a good idea to keep your dentist up-to-date with your current health status, as well as any medication you are taking.

For example, you may be taking medications such as aspirin and blood thinners, or you may be suffering from gum disease. In either case, the ability of your ability to clot normally is adversely affected, so it’s best to let your dentist know so they can find a way to best tackle your situation to minimize any possible complications.

During regular checkups, your dentist too can spot signs of possible medical conditions. Like, if your dentist suddenly notices the development of gum disease in your otherwise healthy gums, which may be a sign of adult-onset diabetes.

Keep in mind the following tips to help keep your mouth and overall health in good shape:

  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss at least once.
  • Eat balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Check your mouth frequently so you become familiar with what’s normal and what’s not. This will make it easier for you to spot any abnormalities in your mouth.
  • Stay away from activities that might increase your risk for oral health complications, such as alcohol abuse, smoking, taking recreational drugs and oral piercings.
  • Try to live as stress-free of a life as possible.
  • Wear a mouth guard if you regularly participate in contact sports.

Take care of your body and you’ll find that every part of it will work as well as you’d want to, just like a well-oiled machine.

If you would like to make sure that you have good oral health, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 to schedule an appointment for a routine checkup today. Or visit www.davidluntdds.com for more information regarding oral health.