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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By MEHR TUCKER, DDS, LLC
April 01, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   dental bridges  

Crowns and bridges can do much for you and your smile. When used in conjunction with one another, crowns and dental crownsbridges can do more than just restore your smile by replacing missing teeth. When teeth are missing, several side effects can occur, such as loss of support for facial muscles. By filling in the gaps from missing teeth, crowns and bridges can address many of the concerns associated with having teeth missing, such as providing support for sagging facial muscles. Dr. Mehr Tucker is your dentist for crowns and bridges in Rockville, MD.

How Crowns and Bridges Work

Dental crowns are caps placed over weak or damaged teeth to strengthen and protect them, as well as to restore normal tooth functioning. Dental bridges contain artificial teeth, called pontics, that fill in the gaps where natural teeth are missing. Dental bridges essentially “bridge” the gaps between the remaining natural teeth.

Crowns can be used in conjunction with a dental bridge to hold it securely in place. In such cases, there is a crown on each end of the bridge with pontics in between the two crowns. The crowns fit over the natural teeth on either side of the gap to anchor the bridge in place. Once the crowns have been placed over the corresponding teeth and the bridge is in place, the pontics fill in the gap and your smile is restored.

Benefits of Crowns and Bridges

There are many benefits to filling in the gaps where teeth are missing with crowns and bridges. As mentioned, missing teeth mean there is less support for facial muscles, which can result in drooping and sagging. Using a bridge with crowns to fill in the gaps and replace missing teeth helps support the facial muscles and restore the natural shape of the face. Filling in the gaps where teeth are missing can also improve speech by correcting the placement of the tongue, which can be altered by the gaps.

Additional benefits of crowns and bridges include restoration of biting and chewing functions, as well as reducing wear and tear on the natural teeth. Without a full set of teeth, the remaining teeth must compensate for those that are missing and take on the extra work of biting and chewing food, which can result in additional strain and wear and tear on those remaining teeth. Replacing missing teeth with crowns and bridges can address these concerns. Your dentist for crowns and bridges in Rockville can determine if a bridge with crowns would work for you.

Crowns and bridges can do many things for you, not the least of which is restoring your smile. For crowns and bridges in Rockville, MD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tucker by calling the dental office at (301) 963-8900 or email at office@sfaa.dentist.

By MEHR TUCKER, DDS, LLC
March 26, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Same-Day Crowns  

Find out everything you need to know about getting your dental crown on the same day.

Need to get a dental crown? If so, Dr. Mehr Tucker of our Rockville, MD, dental practice could give you a new restoration dental crownsin just one appointment thanks to CEREC crowns. Read on to get all of your questions answered regarding same-day crowns and to find out if they are right for you.

 

What are same-day crowns?

Same-day crowns look identical to regular crowns (i.e. the tooth-shaped cap that is designed to cover a damaged or weakened tooth). In fact, same-day crowns are the same as traditional crowns, the only difference is that this crown can be designed, made, and placed by our Rockville, MD, dentist in just one visit instead of 2-to-3 different appointments.

 

What are the steps involved in getting a CEREC crown?

If you’re interested in getting same-day crowns, you probably want to know what’s involved in getting them. Here are the steps,

  1. Tooth preparation: Before you can get a crown, we will need to file down part of the tooth in order to make room for the restoration. The area around the tooth will be numbed beforehand.
  2. Measurements: Once the tooth has been prepped, we will take digital impressions of your mouth. These will provide precise measurements of your tooth from which we can create a perfectly fitted crown.
  3. Design: Next, we will use special CAD software to design your crown based on measurements provided by the digital images.
  4. Fabrication: We will then choose the ceramic or porcelain block that most closely matches the color of your tooth. We place this block in the milling station, which will chisel out your new restoration while you wait.
  5. Bonding: Now the crown is ready to be fitted to the tooth. We will check to make sure that the crown fits just right before finally cementing it permanently into place.

 

How long does it take to get a same-day crown?

It can take about two hours from tooth preparation to placing the crown, however, the crown only needs about 15 minutes to be made. With traditional crowns, you’d have to wait about two weeks.

 

How long will the crown last?

Same-day crowns can last up to five years or more, provided that you properly care for your new restoration. In addition to keeping your crown clean and avoiding bad habits that could fracture or crack the restoration, make sure that you are also visiting your dentist every six months for routine cleanings and exams.

 

Give us a call!

Are you interested in getting CEREC crowns in Rockville, MD? If so, call our office today at (301) 963-8900 to find out if this is the best approach for improving your smile.

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
October 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smile makeover  
3StepstoaBetterBiteandaMoreAttractiveSmile

Before you consider cosmetic changes to your smile, ask yourself one question: how's your bite? How your teeth are positioned and aligned doesn't just affect their function — it also affects your appearance. A proper bite is foundational to a beautiful smile — and it deserves your attention first.

Here are 3 important steps for addressing your bite problem on your way to a more attractive smile.

Get an orthodontic evaluation. Only a dentist or orthodontist can determine if your teeth are properly aligned and working well with each other — and if not, why. With their knowledge and expertise they'll be able to tell you what specific bite problem (malocclusion) you have and the best treatment to correct it to support any future cosmetic enhancement.

Consider your tooth-movement options carefully. If you have a malocclusion, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend correction before undertaking other cosmetic work. In most cases, you'll have two choices. The first is traditional metal braces, which uses wires held in place and anchored by brackets cemented to the teeth. They're effective, but must be fixed in place and aren't considered attractive. The other choice is clear aligners, which use custom removable plastic trays worn in sequence to gradually move teeth. They're easier for oral hygiene and are hardly noticeable to others, but may not work in every bite situation.

Don't slack on the retainer phase of treatment. The day will come when the braces or aligners come out of your mouth for good. But your realignment project isn't over — you'll need to wear a retainer appliance for a while. Re-aligned teeth can relapse to their former positions, so it's essential you wear a retainer to keep them where they've been moved. Without a retainer, all the time and effort invested in your bite will have been to no avail.

In a nutshell: get the big picture about your bite, choose the treatment best for you and follow through on every phase. The end result will be a solid platform for the smile you've always dreamed about.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics: The Original Smile Makeover.”

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
October 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
September 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   retainers  
RetainersHelpyouProtectYourNewlyAlignedTeeth

Orthodontics can produce an amazing smile transformation. With today’s advanced appliances and techniques even the most difficult malocclusions (bad bites) can be overcome. All of this innovation, however, depends on one basic anatomical fact: though firmly set in the mouth, our teeth can still move.

Teeth are actually held in place by the periodontal ligament, a strong, elastic tissue that attaches to them through tiny collagen fibers on one side of the ligament and to the jawbone with similar fibers on the other side. When pressure is placed against a tooth, the bone on the opposite side of the force begins to dissolve (resorb), allowing the tooth to move. As it moves, new bone is built up behind the tooth, to stabilize it. Orthodontists take advantage of this natural mechanism through orthodontic hardware like braces that applies pressure in the desired direction of movement, while the ligament and bone do the rest.

There is, though, a downside to this process. The teeth, bone and gum tissues can contain a kind of “memory” for the former natural position of the teeth. Over time, the lower front teeth tend to take a gradual migratory movement back towards their original position. Also, as we age the lower front teeth may crowd each other as there is a genetic influence for teeth to move to the midline of the face, causing a pressure that allows the skinny lower front teeth to slip behind each other. As a result of both of these tendencies, corrected teeth may retreat from their new positions.

To stop these tendencies, we use an appliance known as a retainer after braces or other hardware is removed. As the name implies, this appliance “retains” the teeth in their new position. For structural “memory,” the retainer will keep the teeth in their new position until the impulse to return to the old one has faded, about eighteen months. Retainers can also slow or stop the natural genetic influence of movement, but it may mean wearing a retainer for an indefinite period, especially individuals who’ve undergone orthodontic treatment later in life.

The length of time you’ll need to wear a retainer after braces — and what type, whether a removable appliance or one permanently attached — will depend on a number of factors including the type of malocclusion, your individual mouth structure and age. We’ll recommend the best option that ensures the best chance of keeping your teeth in their new position.

If you would like more information on retainers after orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Why Orthodontic Retainers?