How do I know if I have a problem with my crown?

Have you ever thought “I have a crown, now I’m not going to have to deal with this issue again”? This is very common for all of us, until we learn there is more to the ‘care and feeding’ of your dental restorations beyond flossing and brushing.

How do I know if I have a problem with my crown? One issue may be that your floss is shredding or catching in the area of your crown. This could mean the crown cement that was used to hold it in place on the tooth has begun to wash out. This happens over time and is quite common. It’s easy to think that once a crown is placed to repair a tooth that it is there for the rest of your life. Actually, crowns have a ‘life’ or duration that depends on how well the crown was originally fabricated, how strong the cement is, how well the ‘crown owner’ cares for it (flossing and brushing), and medical factors that can affect the general conditions within the mouth.

Take a look at this video below where Dr Mastrovich shows magnified photos of actual crowns to give the viewer first hand visual experience as he shows what it means to have leaking crown margins due to failing dental cement and how that leads to the need for replacement of a crown.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrx3vjvFBMY]

It is important to have your crown margins checked at your annual dental exam and if you are unsure if your dentist performs this check, don’t hesitate to ask them. At our office, this is one of many areas Dr Mastrovich checks at least annually, so that we can find any problem areas as soon as possible. If you are wondering about your crowns, give us a call to schedule an initial exam.

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Get major restorative under control, then dental maintenance can be easy

Dental exam and treatment options

Restorative dentistry is our specialty and people often wonder what their experience might be with dental implants and reconstruction.  Every case is different, and we strive to give every client an experience in our office that is personally tailored to their specific dental needs.

During the examination process, we go through a very detailed dental history with our patients, explain all their options and provide our recommendations regarding the most effective restorative solution. We want our patients to be involved in their treatment process and we give a variety of solutions within the range of excellent treatment options.

We use the dental acronym of BARC to help patients evaluate each option based on their individual values and needs.  For each treatment option, each of the following are discussed:

  • B – Benefits to the patient of the treatment being considered
  • A – Alternatives to the treatment, which always includes the option of not progressing with treatment
  • R – Risks involved with the treatment being considered
  • C – Complications that could be possible for the treatment being considered

After helping patients regain dental health by treating their restorative needs, patients are typically able to maintain their dental health more easily with their regular dental hygiene and dental check up appointments.

Our patients say they are very happy with their experiences and highly recommend Dr. Mastrovich for others considering this type of dental treatment because of his expertise in both the Escondido area and the dental community in San Diego.  Patients repeatedly thank Dr Mastrovich and his entire team for taking the time to help them understand their options and the pros and cons of each, while recognizing each patient’s uniqueness and specific needs.  Again and again, patients talk of how they feel like they’ve found their dental home and can feel comfortable and confident coming to Dr Mastrovich’s dental office.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taNTCI_8I40]

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Dental Implant: an alternative to a dental bridge

Dental implants can be a solution for a number of problems surrounding loss of a tooth or teeth, such as fractured teeth, extensive decay, accident trauma, or genetically missing teeth. Dental implants are an especially attractive single tooth loss solution, in terms of esthetics, function and finances. In these cases, the dental implant option can remove the need to restore two or more neighboring teeth to support a bridge across the site of the lost tooth. This can be more cost effective because one crown restoration is needed instead of three to create the bridge. In terms of function, a single tooth implant is cared for similarly to a single tooth, which alleviates the extra effort/floss care around a bridge.

When the lost tooth is in the ‘esthetic zone’ (the teeth that show when a person smiles), often the papilla has a chance to grow back and allow for more natural appearance. An additional consideration is the lifespan of a bridge (until it will need repair or replacement) versus that of an implant. This is individualized based on what types of stressors a person puts on their teeth when chewing, grinding, biting, etc. There are many considerations for each individual case and the best options for each one are best explored and discussed in a comprehensive exam and follow up consultation.

One example is Diane’s situation. She had a difficult experience following an extraction with her previous dentist and really wasn’t sure of her options or possible restorations. When Dr. Mastrovich and Diane had completed her initial examination appointment they scheduled for a follow up consultation for a more in depth discussion of her options, as it was clear to Dr. Mastrovich that a team approach would be needed with several additional specialists brought in to restore the area to full function. Dr. Mastrovich and his team thoroughly laid out the advantages and challenges of each of her options:

  1. Creating a bridge between the two teeth on either side of the extraction site
  2. Placing an implant in the site and fabricating a single restoration on it, thus leaving the two teeth on either side untouched
  3. Or do nothing (which is always an option to consider)

After careful consideration of her options, and having the dental education support, she chose to schedule with the periodontist (the specialist in implants) to surgically place the implant and then returned to Dr. Mastrovich for the final restorative crown fabrication, which is Dr. Mastrovich’s area of expertise. Dr. Mastrovich ‘quarterbacked’ her case through each of the phases and referrals to specialists, in order to optimize her final restorative and esthetic results.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y2TfWJZWtw]

If you, or someone you know, is considering implants and needs to know more, or has an implant that needs to be restored and is looking for an expert who can see the ‘big picture’, we are here to help.

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Crown and Bridge: Post Operative Instructions and Home Care

gum bad for crown and bridgeHave you ever tried to find your page of crown and bridge post operative instructions and wondered where you put it? We strive to give you the resources and support you need before, during and after your appointments. Home care after a procedure is as important as how to prepare for an appointment.

A temporary crown /bridge is made to protect the prepared tooth (teeth) while your crown / bridge is being fabricated and also to hold the required space for the new crown / bridge. The temporary is cemented with soft cement so that it can be easily removed when needed. Home Care is extremely important while your temporary is in place. The health of your gum tissue and the success of your final treatment restoration depend on your follow through with home care.

PLEASE FOLLOW THESE PRECAUTIONS

  • Be careful not to bite your lip or tongue while numb.
  • Avoid hot drinks so you don’t burn yourself and eat only soft foods while numb.
  • Avoid chewing for at least 30 minutes after placement of temporary to make sure the cement has “set”.
  • To reduce any swelling or discomfort from the tissue in the area, try rinsing with warm salt water 3 times per day. (1 tbsp per 8 oz of warm water) Please be sure not to swallow the solution.
  • Keep the area clean to maintain tissue health. Brush after every meal with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to brush carefully around the temporary and take extra care to thoroughly clean this area.
  • Flossing: Start from the top of the tooth floss toward the gum tissue and then pull the floss out the side to prevent floss from pulling out the temporary.
  • We encourage you avoid anything chewy (examples: caramels, chewing gum…) or anything that is hard (examples: nuts, cereal (crunchy), toasted bagels…) as these things can either pull off or fracture/break a temporary.

If your temporary crown becomes loose or comes out, place it back on your tooth and call us immediately. Replacing your temporary crown is very important. It only takes a short time for teeth to move. This could affect the fit of the final restoration significantly, causing it not to fit or may necessitate new impressions and more time.

PLEASE CALL US FOR QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.

 

Photo credit zigzagmags.wordpress.com

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