Being able to complete a crown procedure all the way to permanent cementation is the greatest addition to dentistry in my career. I am very excited to be able to offer this to my patients. Let me briefly walk you through how getting a crown USED to go and then I am going to show you how technology expedites and vastly improves both the process AND the outcome!
Let’s say you broke your molar and you now need a crown… you’d make an appointment and I would numb your tooth and prepare the tooth for a crown. Then I’d need an impression of your tooth to send to the lab so they could make the crown. I would have to express this goopy stuff that had to sit in your mouth for 5 minutes until it got hard. Frequently this goo made patients gag and it took several attempts to get a good enough impression. Then I’d make a temporary crown and off you’d go for 2 weeks while I shipped the impression to the lab and waited for them to return it. During this time frequently the temporary crown would fall off causing discomfort and cause an extra trip for me to put it back on. (Not good for either of us!) Sometimes, when the crown returned from the lab it didn’t fit properly and we had to start the whole process again. Ugh!
Now for the same cost, we can eliminate the second appointment and the goopy impression part of the appointment! We still numb the tooth and prepare it for the crown, but next we digitally scan your mouth and design the crown right there in the room with you!
If there are any questions we are able to refer back to the actual tooth instead of a model that may have been distorted in the shipping process. After the crown is designed, we mill it out of a solid block. There are several different choices of materials to use based on esthetics and strength requirements of the tooth that is being crowned.
Once we have the crown milled in this purple/softer state, we try it in. This is the time we can make adjustments before glazing it. If it doesn’t fit or look right, we can just make a new one in 10 minutes! Once we have it looking perfect in the mouth we put it in the glazing machine.
When it comes out it is ready for cementation and away you go! This is the same cost and material as when I used to order it from a lab with no extra appointments!!
I get asked this question daily….maybe even hourly. The truth is, there is no one answer that is right for everyone! Different toothpastes are good at different things, but no matter what they claim there is no perfect toothpaste that does it all. The toothpaste aisle at Target is enough to blow my mind and I am a dentist! I am going to try to give a few pointers to help you pick out the best kind for you. My suggestion would be find a category or priority for you and then play around a little bit between brands (Colgate vs. crest for example) until you find your favorite.
Stain removal/ Whitening: If you want some help out in this department the best toothpaste for you is Tarter Control toothpaste. This toothpaste is slightly abrasive. That is how it makes the teeth whiter and removes the stain. It allows you to scrub it off. It is effective (not dramatically so, but certainly helps.) It isn’t harmful to the enamel. The downside of this is that it can make the teeth sensitive. The sensitivity is reversible with time, but I would not recommend this type of toothpaste to anyone who has sensitive teeth to begin with.
Sensitivity: As I mentioned before, you can’t have a toothpaste that does a good job at whitening AND decreasing sensitivity in teeth. So, if you have sensitive teeth your toothpaste needs to be exclusive to sensitivity. Don’t buy anything that boasts aiding in both. This is kind of hard to find these days!
Organic: They make several brands of organic toothpaste if this is something that is important to you. When shopping the organic aisle, just make sure the toothpaste is ADA (American Dental Association) approved and that it has fluoride in it. If it doesn’t have fluoride in it you might as well just brush with straight water and skip the paste altogether.
Cavity Prevention: All toothpastes with fluoride aid in cavity prevention, but if you get a lot of cavities there are toothpastes that come in prescription strength varieties. Ask your dentist about it at your next cleaning and they can hook you up if they think that would be a good option. I have to put the plug in here for flossing though; if you floss routinely OTC toothpaste should do the trick.
Squeaky Clean: If you like your teeth to feel slippery/ squeaky clean after brushing try baking soda toothpaste. It doesn’t actually make them cleaner than any other toothpaste, but makes them feel that way because it is slightly basic. This gives the teeth a slightly different feel when done (it doesn’t last long) but some people really like that. It isn’t hurting anything and as long as it has fluoride in it it is doing its’ job.
Hopefully this helps guide you in the right direction. As a default, my recommendation would be to use sensitive toothpaste. So many people suffer from temperature sensitivity and toothpaste genuinely makes a difference!