Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dental Crowns vs Veneers

In today's world, there are a lot of people out there that are looking to become more attractive in one way or another. One popular way to enhance a person's looks comes in the form of enhancing the look of their teeth.

The simplest form of tooth enhancement is by bleaching the teeth. This is the cheapest and easiest thing to do. If someone is looking for more then a mere color change however, simple tooth whitening may not be enough.

If someone does no like the way their teeth are turned, angled, aligned, or shaped in any way then crowns or veneers may be what is needed. As a side note, to use the word "porcelain" when referring to a veneer may no longer be correct. There are many materials that veneers can be made out of now a days. Porcelain is simply one of many. So by asking for porcelain veneers, you may be asking for something that is not best suited to your individual case. To say, veneers are sufficient. The same can also be said when referring to a crown.

So what is a crown and what is a veneer? Simply put a crown covers the entirety of the tooth. From biting surface all the way down (or up) to the gum line. A crown will, typically cover it all. A veneer will only cover the surface that is visible to an outside observer. A dentist with the ability to turn you upside down and use mirrors at just the right angle could see the exposed tooth, but no one else would ever be able to tell.

So what is right for you? This is a question that is dependent upon a lot of variables. How much change is shape, position, and angulation is the person attempting to achieve? Severe cases would tend to be more of a crown case. How much of your natural tooth structure do you want to maintain? If you want as little of your natural tooth taken away as possible then veneers are your route.  Are you a grinder? If so then veneers may reduce the wear on your natural teeth to a minimum. The list could go on and on. You really need to see a dentist to determine which is right for you.
The tipping factor may be longevity. A recent study by the JADA (Journal of the American Dental Association) shows that full coverage crowns do have a better longevity then the veneers.They are fairly comparable,and veneers are still a durable option, but in the end, full coverage crowns get the nod as far as a longer lasting restoration.;139/suppl_4/8S

There are also possible side effects that can occur from any kind of procedure that you may choose to go through in the dental office. You need to make sure that you are also aware of these. Nothing is ever without risks. Simply make sure that you go into your new smile with your eyes wide open as to things that may happen.

Barring any side effects the person who gets the new crowns, or the new veneers, will be unbelievably happy with the way they look. The technology of today's lab work is simply amazing.  Brighter, whiter, straighter teeth may only be a few appointments away.

Front View of Crown & Veneer
Side view of Crown & Veneer

Side View of Crown & Veneer
Side view of Crown & Veneer

Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS
1220 33rd Street Suite C
Ogden, UT 84403
(801) 783-3490


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ogden Dentist: What is Periodontitis?

Today, we are going to talk about Periodontitis. Most people are unfamiliar with that term. And it's not surprising since its rather technical in nature. Thus, we will back up a little but and discuss some simpler terms that will help us better understand the more difficult condition of periodontitis.

When you floss you have noticed that the floss will disappear underneath the gums slightly as you near the base of the teeth. That is a very good thing. There is supposed to be a 1-3 mm pocket that surround each and every tooth in your mouth. At that depth, the pocket is very cleanable with your toothbrush, mouth wash, and floss. Maintaining this pocket at this healthy depth will ensure that your gums will stay healthy. Trouble is that many people do not brush, rinse, or floss as often as they should. Thus food gets packed into this pocket, does not get removed in a timely manner, and begins to be a breading ground for bacteria.

Once the bacteria begin to reproduce, the gums start to show the effects. Swelling, redness and bleeding are all common signs of gingivitis. Most people have gingivitis to one extent or another. And as long as the bacteria gets cleaned from the pockets within a few weeks nothing much should happen. It is when weeks, months, and even in some cases, years go by without a person seeing the dentist that the real problems begin to manifest themselves.

As the bacteria builds and the gingivitis gets severe enough the jaw bone, that resides just under the gum tissue, begins to also have difficulties. The bone will start to feel the effects of the bacteria overload and begin to dissolve from around the tooth. This unhealthy, and deteriorating bone condition is what is known as Periodontitis. This condition becomes ever more dangerous as the bone moves further away from the chewing surface of the tooth and closer to the end of the root. As the tooth loses bone support, it begins to be more mobile. Thus every time you chew, the tooth begins to move ever so slightly in the bone.

If the periodontal condition is not corrected the bone continues to erode and the tooth gets looser and looser. Eventually, it becomes so loose that it must be extracted from the mouth. Teeth with absolutely no cavities, crowns, root canals, etc. can be deemed unsalvageable and will be lost. That is the saddest moment of a patient with severe periodontitis.

A patient who has done their very best to brush as often as they could but has been unable, or unwilling, to add flossing and regular dental visits to their brushing regime. Moral of the story is that brushing is only one variable in a far more complex equation of overall oral health care. Taking care of the teeth is one thing. But taking care of the gums and bone structure is another entirely. Please floss appropriately and see your dentist on a regular basis.

Below photos are before and after of a person who had not been to the dentist in 5 years. The crap behind their teeth is calculus build up that helped this patient attain sever periodontitis. The other picture is an after picture of when the teeth were cleaned off.

Dr. Jim Ellis, DDS
1220 33rd Street Suite C
Ogden, UT 84403
(801) 783-3490


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Crowns

Here is Jeff.
Jeff didn't like the way his bottom front teeth looked. 
The first picture is of the teeth during the prep stage.

This next picture is a picture of the final crown in place.
The alignment, color, shape and feel of the teeth are
now all much improved over what he had. 
Happy patient.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Peg Lateral.

This was an interesting case.
This patient's lateral incisors were what we call, pegged. 
When you have a Peg Lateral your lateral incisor 
is much small then it should be. 
We also had additional spacing issues with the canine. 

So we went ahead and did some bonding. 
This allowed us to close the space with minimal financial burden
and still left open the possibility of crowning the tooth later
on if the patient decided that bonding wasn't enough.

This procedure can be done with most any gap in the mouth
and is not simply limited to the fixing of peg laterals.