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All Posts in Category: Restorative Dentistry

Dental Caps or Crowns: An Overview

A dental cap — sometimes also referred to as a dental crown — is a fixed prosthetic device that completely encircles or caps a tooth or a dental implant. Unlike removable dentures, a dental cap is designed to be a permanent solution to a dental issue. It is cemented into place by your dentist and can only be removed by your dentist as well.

Benefits of Using a Dental Cap

A dental cap can be used to improve both the way a tooth looks and its functionality. It can also help protect a tooth from further decay. A tooth that has become misshapen or discolored can be covered up with a dental crown so that it matches the teeth surrounding it. Even broken or chipped teeth can sometimes be treated by using a dental cap. Doing so helps strengthen the tooth in addition to giving it a more uniform appearance.

Another benefit of using a dental crown is that its placement requires fewer appointments — and therefore less time — for you to be at your dentist’s office when compared to removable dentures, prostheses supported by implants and dental bridges. Though it depends on the type of crown and your individual situation, in most cases, the procedure takes between two and four visits.

A third benefit that patients have expressed about dental caps is that they take less time to get used to than other dental devices such as dental bridges and removable dentures. Their small size and placement contribute to the feeling that patients experience with most getting used to a dental crown in about one to four weeks.

Are You a Candidate for a Dental Cap?

While your dentist is the best one to make the choice regarding your need for a dental cap, the following conditions are often present when people have dental crowns:

  • A large filling that needs replacement often weakens the tooth further once it is removed. A dental cap not only makes the tooth more aesthetically pleasing, it also increases its strength.
  • A tooth that has been broken or fractured to the point where it can no longer be fixed using a filling is often a good candidate for a dental cap. Trauma to the area or progressive dental decay are two common ways that a tooth becomes fractured or broken.
  • If your tooth has experienced advanced tooth destruction in the form of a large cavity that threatens the integrity of the tooth itself, a dental crown can provide the added strength that the tooth needs. In these cases, the tooth is first filled before being fitted with a dental cap.

How Long Can Dental Caps Last?

As with other types of dental devices, the key to longevity is good oral care and regular visits to the dentist. Taken care of properly, you can expect a dental crown to last for about 15 years or even longer.

At Dupont Dental, we carefully assess your needs to determine the best strategy for your dental issues. Schedule an appointment with us today by giving us a call!

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Conditions That Require Oral Surgery

There are multiple conditions that can require treatment with oral surgery, but with today’s innovative dental practices, a patient can feel safe and comfortable undergoing such a common practice. Sometimes oral surgery is avoidable with good oral hygiene and sometimes it’s necessary to treat any oral issues that could become worse without attention. Tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgeries, but there are also jaw problems that may require surgery.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

The third molars or wisdom teeth develop last and most of the time there isn’t room for them in the mouth, which prevents them from emerging and leads to impacted teeth. The impacted teeth become trapped between the gum tissue and jawbone, and this can cause pain, swelling, and infection in the gum tissues. Impacted wisdom teeth may damage nearby teeth, bone, and gums permanently and cause tumors or cysts that can destroy jaw sections. For these reasons, dentists perform oral surgery to remove the impacted wisdom teeth. Sometimes other teeth such as bicuspids become impacted too and require removal.

Tooth Replacement

Someone who has suffered tooth loss and seeks tooth replacement with dental implants will have to undergo oral surgery to place the implants. Dental implants replace the tooth root with a titanium rod anchored in the jawbone and the dentist then places an artificial tooth that functions like the remaining natural teeth.

Jaw Problems

For some people, their jaw doesn’t develop properly and this unequal jaw growth can lead to difficulties with eating, speaking, breathing, and swallowing. While issues such as misaligned teeth are correctable with orthodontics, more serious jaw problems need oral surgery to reposition the jaw for proper function. Sometimes severe cases of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) require oral surgery on the joints to correct problems in the temporomandibular joint.

Proper Fit for Dentures

First-time denture wearers may need oral surgery to correct jaw irregularities before the dentists makes the dentures. These corrections help the dentures fit better. Long-term denture wearers may also benefit from oral surgery if the jawbone deteriorates and the dentures don’t fit properly anymore. The oral surgeon may perform a bone graft to strengthen areas of bone loss.

Repair After Facial Injury

Someone who has suffered a facial injury, such as broken facial bones or fractured jaws, may require oral surgery to restore the structure and health of the teeth, gums, and jaw.

Treat Facial Infections

Infections in the neck, jaws or face can become life threatening without proper treatment. Oral surgery such as tooth extraction or making an incision to drain the infections may be necessary.

Oral surgery has many beneficial issues to oral and overall health and today’s dental professionals work to make it as stress-free an experience as possible. Learn about your oral treatment options by contacting Dupont Dental.


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Dental Composite Fillings

Invisible Fillings: Why Composite Fillings are Awesome

In the past, dentists used various materials to fill cavities such as amalgam (metal), silver and even gold. Today, most dentists use composite resin fillings because of their natural tooth color and lack of discoloration that amalgam fillings can cause. Composite fillings are both cosmetically pleasing and durable and the most popular, safe choice for treating tooth decay.

Composite filling materials

Composite fillings consist of a tooth-colored glass and plastic mixture that matches the natural colors and texture of the existing tooth. Along with repairing decay, dentists place composite fillings for cosmetic improvements such as reshaping teeth or changing the color of teeth to match surrounding teeth.

Placing composite fillings

The procedure for placing a composite filling is relatively simple and usually performed in a single dental visit. After preparing the affected tooth by removing decay, the dentist begins placing the composite material in layers. The dentist hardens each layer with a specialized light, and when he or she completes the process, they shape the composite material to fit the tooth and look and feel natural. Polishing the composite filling prevents staining and improves its durability.

Worth the investment

Composite fillings may cost more than older, amalgam fillings, but they’re worth the investment for their improved appearance and ability to withstand temperature fluctuations better than silver fillings. Dental insurance should cover most of the filling procedure and as composite filling use improves and increases, it’s likely insurance will cover the full cost. Dentists work with their patients to make dental treatments affordable and protect the health of their teeth and gums.

Benefits of composite fillings

The main benefit of composite fillings is that they’re more aesthetically pleasing than amalgam fillings. The dentist can blend the shade of the composite material to match the natural tooth nearly identically. Composite fillings bond to the tooth and provide support to the tooth structure that remains. This bonding prevents breaking while insulating the tooth from sensitivity to temperature fluctuations.

Drawbacks of composite fillings

Composite fillings continue to improve in appearance and longevity, but there are some disadvantages. Composite fillings may become stained by coffee, tea and other foods that cause discoloration and this can change the shade of the filling. Dentists can help prevent this by placing a clear plastic coating over the composite. Composites hold up well in smaller cavities, but they may wear out sooner than amalgam fillings in larger cavities.

Dupont Dental proudly offers composite, tooth-colored fillings for our patients in need of restorations or cosmetic treatments.

Polymerisationslampe an 20090930 03” by PolitikanerOwn work (own picture). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

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