East Building 3 Oracle Boulevarde,
Broadbeach, Gold Coast 4218
If the crown fits, wear it.
You have broken a tooth, a tooth is sore to bite on or maybe you don’t like the look of that dark or misshapen tooth, so you make an appointment with the dentist to have it fixed. The dentists recommend a crown is best for you. (And no it’s not one you wear on the top of your head even though you are pretty special).
So what is a crown? A crown is a fixed prosthetic device that is cemented over the prepared tooth. It is not removable & it covers the entire tooth. A crown is often the best way to save a tooth & strengthen it. It can be constructed out of gold, porcelain or a mixture of non – precious metals & porcelain.
Now, why did the dentist tell you that you need a crown, why can’t your tooth just be filled, it’s been filled before? Crowns are commonly used for replacing large fillings where there is not enough tooth remaining for a filling to work effectively. They are also used to protect a weak tooth from potential fracture. Every time you fill a tooth that has broken, fractured or decayed, you have to remove a little more tooth structure. This makes the tooth more vulnerable & the filling material that is used to fill your tooth is nowhere near as strong as your natural tooth structure or a crown.
In the image below you can see a big amalgam filling that has a fracture in it. (See the red arrow is). To repair this you would have to remove the existing filling & crack & then replace it with a composite resin material. You can see how big the old filling is, so once you have prepared the tooth it may be even bigger & there may not be enough tooth structure remaining. The composite resin (white filling material) that is used is nowhere near as strong as your own tooth, so with natural wear & tear & chewing this filling has the possibility of fracturing again. This is one of the reasons a crown may be recommended. The crown will cover the whole tooth, protecting it.
Another reason a crown may be suggested is for cosmetic reasons. It can cover discoloured or poorly shaped teeth & make them so much more aesthetically pleasing. See below a wonderful before & after of a patient of ours. Having this done has made a huge difference to her confidence.
Lastly, crowns are used to cover & strengthen a tooth that has had a Root canal treatment. You may have had a Root Canal. This happens when the nerve in the tooth dies. This treatment can take quite a few appointments & is not cheap but necessary if you want to save your tooth, otherwise the tooth will need extracting.
Once a root canal has been completed, a crown is then usually recommended to restore the tooth. This is important in order to long-term seal the root canal off from the mouth to prevent re-infection & potential failure. A crown put over the root-treated tooth will also protect it from breaking apart & let’s face it; if you have gone to all that trouble to have a root canal then it is best to protect it.
So then, what is involved in getting a crown? Having a crown is not a painful treatment. The tooth to be crowned is drilled down, or a core built up. An impression is taken & sent off to a dental lab where the crown is constructed. During this time a temporary crown will be worn. The dentist will then cement the permanent crown at your next visit.
A crown should last for many years. As with natural teeth, it depends on good oral hygiene & regular check- ups & the forces you apply to your teeth.
Now you know all about dental crowns, if the crown fits…….. Wear it.
Watch our video as Dr Mel demonstrates some great tips on how to floss correctly & explains why we should all get into the habit of flossing daily. Flossing is a very important part of your dental routine, it reaches in between your teeth where a toothbrush cannot. So why not start today & help keep those pearly whites & gums healthy & happy.
To Root canal or not root canal that is the question………………
The aim of Root canal or Endodontic treatment, as it is known, is to save a badly decayed or infected tooth from needing to be extracted. This is done by cleaning out the inflamed & infected pulp, (the pulp is the soft tissue deep inside the tooth that contains nerves & blood vessels) using special instruments called files. Each root canal is cleaned out & enlarged. Medicaments are also placed inside the root canal to stop the pain & infection. You may need to come back a few times to complete the treatment. A filling or crown is then constructed to protect the treated tooth.
An infected pulp may be the result of:
• Extensive dental work to the tooth.
• Breakdown of a filling or crown.
• Deep decay
• Gum disease
• A crack in the tooth.
• Extreme wear.
Once the pulp of the tooth is infected, there are only two options; remove the infected tooth or a Root Canal treatment. This is one very good reason to get regular check – ups, make an appointment straight away if you break or chip a tooth, even if it doesn’t hurt & get any dental pain checked if it lingers for more than a couple of days. Problems if caught early can be more easily treated without affecting the pulp, preventing the need for a Root Canal………….
So should you have a Root Canal?
Many people choose to not have a Root Canal & have their tooth extracted instead; this can be due to cost, fear or lack of time. If you decide to replace a missing tooth, the best option these days is an implant (artificial tooth roots inserted into the jaw to replace the missing tooth). These are a fantastic alternative to Root Canal in many cases.
If you find yourself with a tooth that cannot be repaired by a simple filling, have a good discussion with your dentist which is the right course of treatment for you personally & if you decide to have a Root Canal make sure you have all the information you need so you are happy in your decision.
One of the most common phone calls we receive is, “I’ve got a toothache, what can I do”?
Tooth pain can happen for a variety of reasons & it is very easy to think; “Oh it will go away on its own”. This may be true in some minor or mild cases but for the majority it actually escalates!
Pain is the body’s way of alerting us that something is not right & if we don’t listen it gets louder & more painful. It is important to listen to the little signs before the big ones take off.
So why do we get toothache? There are many reasons, below are some of the most common:
Ok, now we know some of the causes of toothache, what can we do to prevent them & what signs do we look out for………..
The best way to prevent getting tooth pain is to visit the dentist regularly. We can hear you say I can’t afford it or I haven’t got the time. Well let us tell you a 6 monthly check up & clean is cheaper & much less painful than having to have an extraction or root canal treatment! The dentist can pick up any problems when they are very small & easily fixed. Your gums will always be clean & free from calculus & best of all you get to see us twice a year!
Now for the symptoms & what to look out for………………………………..
Hopefully this guide will help you to understand your tooth pain & how to act. It is very helpful to the dentist if you can give them as much information as you can. They may ask you questions like;
So the bottom line is don’t leave tooth pain hoping it will go away, it can end up causing you a great deal of unnecessary pain & expense!
Many parents have a daily fight on their hands when it comes to getting their toddlers to brush their teeth. It is extremely important for children to get into great oral hygiene habits from an early age. It is a worrying statistic that over 50% of Australian children over the age of 6 have tooth decay. So we have put together a list of ideas that may help brushing become a happy part of your toddlers daily routine.
1. Pick a favorite song and make it a game to brush your toddler’s teeth for the duration of the song. Ideally, for a small child, a thorough clean would take approximately 1 minute.
2. Give your child a sense of involvement and responsibility by taking them shopping and letting them choose the toothbrush and toothpaste they will use. This will make it special for them. Remember to only give them the choice of brushes and toothpaste that are age appropriate for your child.
3. Rewards systems work for many children. As an example, most children love a bedtime story. So why not make the bedtime story a reward for when the toddler brushes teeth before bed. Or incorporate brushing into a rewards chart, if at the end of the week they have achieved a set goal, they get the reward.
4. Make brushing a parent and toddler activity to do together. As many parents know, toddlers are often much happier to do a task when they are doing it together with mummy or daddy. It sets a good example and shows them that as grown-ups we have to do this as well. Plus, if they insist on doing it themselves, they can copy what you do. Or alternatively, let your child practice brushing your teeth with water and then its mummy or daddy’s turn to brush their teeth.
5. Use a gimmick toothbrush. You can purchase toothbrushes that flash for 1 minute, play music, a character brush or a battery-operated oscillating brush. These things add to the fun factor of brushing.
6. Introduce an appropriate brush to a child as soon as they start teething. The chewing motion can be soothing on gums and a lot of cleaning can be achieved without any effort from mum or dad. This may also prepare and desensitise them to the more formal brushing that comes later on.
7. If your toddler loves your ipad, download a free brushing app or browse youtube for brushing videos. These make brushing educational and fun for all age groups.
Keep coming up with new creative ways or use a combination of our ideas to keep things interesting! Being persistent is well worth it in the long run. We also recommend parents start bringing children for a visit to the dentist from about the age of two.