What are Dental Crowns and Tooth Bridges?
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.
How do Crowns Work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function.
Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, which is why Dr. Jaleel, prefers them. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist, may recommend a crown to:
- Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
How do Bridges Work?
A bridge may be recommended if you’re missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Dr. Jaleel can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
How are Crowns and Bridges Made?
Before either a crown or a bridge can be made, the tooth (or teeth) must be reduced in size so that the crown or bridge will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth/teeth, Dr. Jaleel will take an impression to provide an exact mold for the crown or bridge. If porcelain is to be used, we will determine the correct shade for the crown or bridge to match the color of your existing teeth.
Using this impression, a dental lab then makes your crown or bridge, in the material Dr. Jaleel specifies. A temporary crown or bridge will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown or bridge is being made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, the temporary crown or bridge is removed, and the new crown or bridge is cemented over your prepared tooth or teeth.
How Long do Crowns and Bridges Last?
While crowns and bridges can last a lifetime, they do sometimes come loose or fall out. The most important step you can take to ensure the longevity of your crown or bridge is to practice good oral hygiene. A bridge can lose its support if the teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. Keep your gums and teeth healthy by Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily. Also see us regularly at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic in Nepean for checkups and professional cleanings.
To prevent damage to your new crown or bridge, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects
The symptoms of an illness may not always be what you expect. A few oral conditions can actually cause what feels like a toothache, when in fact it’s something a bit more complicated. If you feel sick, teeth hurt and you want answers, it’s worth it to make an appointment with Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist, for deeper insight into the issue. Tooth pain can be connected to a variety of issues, from sinusitis to chest pain. Here are three causes of toothaches you might not know about.
Angina is a form of chest pain that occurs when not enough blood is able to reach the heart. It’s usually not considered a condition in and of itself, but rather a symptom of coronary artery disease – a much more systemic issue. Interestingly enough, angina doesn’t just cause pain in the chest, it can also cause irritation around the teeth and jaw.
If you have a toothache or jaw pain or even sharp feelings of stabbing pain, nausea or fatigue, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. Angina is treatable through lifestyle changes, medications and, in some cases, surgery. Managing it will not only minimize your symptoms, but ultimately help save your life; angina can lead to a heart attack if left untreated.
2. Sinus Infections
If you’ve been sick, teeth hurt and your nose feels clogged or congested, you might be dealing with a sinus infection. Sinusitis, or inflammation in the sinuses (the hollow cavities in your face), usually occurs after you’ve been sick with a cold. The buildup of mucus that occurs with a cold creates a great environment for bacteria or viruses to grow.
The sinuses, particularly the maxillary sinus, are located near the upper back teeth. Their proximity to these molars can make it feel as though your teeth hurt when your sinuses are inflamed, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although saline sprays or nasal decongestants can help clear the nose, minimizing any pain, swollen sinuses need to shrink in size for you to feel lasting relief. Use over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatories or similar pain relievers to ease the pain in your teeth and any pressure you might feel in the sinuses.
3. Ear Infections
Just as the location of the sinuses around the tooth can make you feel pain in the teeth when you have a sinus infection, the closeness of the ear to the jaw can cause you to feel pain in your teeth when you have an ear infection. Keep in mind you may develop a toothache on the same side as your ear infection. As with sinusitis, however, an ear infection can clear up on its own with time. Feel free to use OTC pain relievers to minimize your discomfort, though.
Whether you have chest pain, ear pain or sinus trouble along with a toothache, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor – particularly if the pain persists. Getting an official diagnosis for the illness you have allows your doctor to recommend the best course of treatment for it. He or she can also rule on any actual problems with the tooth itself, such as an abscess or infection, and determine if the pain you feel is connected to your illness.
Taking care of your teeth at home is an important part of staying healthy, whether or not you’re dealing with pain that is dental in nature. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Of course, semi-annual visits to Dr. Jaleel at the Fairlawn Dental Clinic mean you’ll catch cavities or other tooth issues before they become a bigger cause for concern. You can book an appointment online, or call 613-829-6868. We are located at 2194 Carling Avenue, Unit 1, Ottawa, ON K2A 1H3.
Today, many elderly adults can proudly say that they have all of their natural teeth. How did they do it? More often than not, just a lifetime of good dental hygiene and routine dental visits. But as you get older, maintaining your oral health becomes more challenging, and you may have to step up your game.
Certain conditions of aging increase your risk of dental problems. Dr. Jaleel is has over 20-years of dental experience in Nepean Ottawa and has seen patients of all ages. This blog post will hopefully inform you of how aging can affect your dental health. By knowing those risks and putting your dental hygiene into high gear, you can prevent these complications.
Did you know, 25 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease? Because periodontal (gum) disease damages the bone and tissue surrounding your teeth, tooth loss can result if left untreated. Diabetes, osteoporosis and smoking can also further existing gum disease.
Be aware, however, that bacteria in your mouth are the culprits. With a consistent homecare routine and regular cleanings at your Ottawa dentist, Dr. Jaleel’s office, you can fight this bacteria and prevent gum infection.
Dry mouth is a common complaint as well among older individuals. A decrease in saliva can come as a side effect of medications, cancer and radiation treatments or some other underlying disease. Saliva neutralizes the bacterial toxins in your mouth, and without it, these germs can build up on your teeth or any exposed root surfaces. Just when you thought the cavity-prone years were over!
Limiting sugary foods and regular brushing and flossing are vital. Moisturize by drinking plenty of water, chewing sugarless gum, sucking on lozenges and even making sure your nasal passages are clear so your mouth doesn’t do all of the breathing.
Worn-Out Dental Work
Like it or not, if you’re getting older, so is your existing dental work. Old fillings that were installed years ago can start to leak or break down, causing decay underneath. At the first sign of sensitivity or pain, see Dr. Jaleel. Extensive treatment, like root canals and crowns, can be prevented if leaky or broken fillings are restored early enough.
Your risk of oral cancer increases as you age. In fact, it occurs more commonly in patients over the age of 40. However, your biggest risk factor is smoking and drinking alcohol; remember that it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes. Dr. Jaleel can screen for oral cancer at regular dental checkups, and when caught early, it can be successfully treated.
Overcoming Obstacles to Good Dental Hygiene
If painful arthritis or another physical limitation makes brushing and flossing more difficult for you, Dr. Jaleel can suggest dental products to simplify homecare while still cleaning your teeth effectively. Electric toothbrushes, special bristle patterns, floss holders and interdental cleaners are a few alternatives that can make a big difference to your oral hygiene.
Mouth health isn’t always a top priority for a busy hospital staff. So during a hospital stay, it may be necessary for you or your family to request special assistance with your oral hygiene needs. If you’ve chosen to enter a nursing home, make sure you inquire about the quality and consistency of the dental care provided at the facility.
No-Fail Formula for Keeping Your Teeth
Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily is as essential now as it was when you were younger, and you never outgrow your need for regular dental checkups and cleanings. At theses routine visits, Dr. Jaleel will check for decay, broken or leaky fillings, monitor the health of your gums, conduct an oral cancer screening and advise you on how to handle any challenges you might have at home.
If you’re a senior who prefers to feel and act younger than you are, you can ensure your oral health keeps up.
What is X-Ray?
Dental X-rays, also known as dental radiographs, are images of the internal structure of our teeth and bones. X-rays are a form of energy that travels in waves; when these waves travel through solid objects, the object either absorbs the waves or they pass through the object. Our teeth and bones are dense, so they absorb X-rays. Our gums are less dense, so X-rays pass through them. As a result, X-ray images allow dentists to spot problems below the surface of
the teeth and gums such as the location of impacted wisdom teeth, cavities, abscesses and tumours.
Visual exams give us an overview of the mouth’s surface. Dr. Jaleel, your Ottawa dentist can assess the colour, texture and form of the soft tissues, as well as the surface integrity of the tooth structure visible to the eye, but this is only a fraction of what we may need to know. A wonderful analogy is that visually, Dr. Jaleel can see the tip of the iceberg, and the radiographs help dentists like Dr. Jaleel assess what lies beneath the waterline.
Are X-rays harmful?
To put it simply, dental X-rays are safe. However, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. Dental X-ray equipment and techniques are designed to limit the body’s exposure to radiation, and every precaution is taken to ensure that radiation exposure is as low as possible. To protect patients, a leaded apron is placed on the abdomen during an X-ray, and a leaded thyroid collar is recommended for women of child-bearing age, pregnant women and children. The technology of radiographs has changed markedly over the past decades, resulting in significantly lower exposure levels.
How often does my dentist need to take X-rays?
It depends on a patient’s present oral health, age, risk for disease and any signs or symptoms of oral disease. Dr. Jaleel will review your history, examine your mouth and then discuss with you her recommendations for X-rays.
A History of the X-Ray
In 1905, Dr. Wilhelm Reöntgen discovered the X-ray in Württemburg, Germany. Months later, Dr. C. Edmund Kells of New Orleans installed the first X-ray apparatus in his office, where he exposed the first dental radiograph in the Western Hemisphere. Dr. Frank D. Price, who worked in Toronto from 1892 to 1935, built the first dental X-ray machine in Canada within a year of Dr. Reöntgen’s discovery. By this time, dentists had become aware of the dangers of radiation; Dr. Price and his brother developed a process of adding lead salts to rubber to make protective aprons and gloves. By the late 1930s, dental X-ray equipment was becoming essential to dental practices. The technology appeared around the time when it was recognized that diseases of the mouth might have an effect on general health.