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Restoring Smiles

Questions about how to restore your smile- click on a question to expand. If you have a question that has not been answered here, call us at (704) 225-8555 during normal business hours, or email us at anytime!

Crown and Bridges

I’ve heard of a cap or a crown, what is that?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth- covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. A crown is often needed when a simple filling will not restore the tooth properly.

Are all crowns the same? What are they made out of and which one would be best for me?

The longevity and durability of your crown is directly related to the materials selected to make the crown.  So let’s take a look at different options.


Metal Crowns

The more precious metal or gold content in the metal the better the fit and better for the health of gums around the crown. Keep in mind fit is an important factor in sealing out the bacteria that tries to get between the crown and the tooth, possibly causing decay and premature failure of the crown.


Porcelain Crowns

All porcelain crowns are generally considered the most aesthetic choice since they closely resemble the color and appearance of your teeth. Porcelain continues to improve and in fact there are newly developed porcelain materials, such as zirconium and empress 2 that can better withstand the forces of chewing. Porcelain crowns can give you the Hollywood smile that you are looking for.


Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns

The third kind of crown has a porcelain exterior with a metal framework supporting it underneath. The porcelain gives you the desired aesthetic, and the metal framework provides better structural support making the porcelain much stronger. This type of porcelain-metal hybrid crown can be used to replace missing teeth in any area of the mouth, front or back. Again, as a rule, the more precious metal or gold content in the metal, the better the fit and better for the health of gums around the crown.  An example of this great type of crown would be the “captek” crown.

My last dentist wanted me to get a gold crown- why would he say that? Aren't the tooth colored ones better?

The gold alloy used in dental crowns is the most  biocompatible of all avaialble dental materials: it fits better, it requires the removal of less tooth structure in the preparation phase; and, because it has relatively the same hardness as natural teeth, it is causes considerably less wear on the opposing teeth like a ceramic materials would. All things being equal- a gold crown is the best clinical choice. But the problem, of course, is the color- and most patients  would prefer to have a crown that blends in esthetically.



When esthetics is not a concern- for example with molar teeth that are not visible during normal function-- we will suggest gold crowns due to the superior functionallity. However, the patient always has the final say when it comes to esthetics!


What are Partials?

Partial dentures or "Partials" are replacement teeth for people who have lost one or more of their teeth. They are different from Complete Dentures which replace all of the teeth in an arch. 


Partial dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth and consist of a denture base, which closely resembles the color of your gums and denture teeth, which are attached to a supporting framework. The partial denture then attaches to the existing teeth via a clasp or some other retentive device.

I only have a few teeth missing and my Dentist recommended that I get a denture. I'm only in my thirties! Aren't dentures for older people?

Whenever a tooth is extracted, it throws off the equilibrium of the whole mouth. Top teeth need bottom teeth to bite down on, otherwise the opposing tooth will begin to shift and may begin to literally grow out of your head!


Front teeth need back teeth for self-preservation: back teeth can handle the pressure from chewing and biting much better than front teeth can. Chewing on your front teeth can cause them to shift and spread, or even to chip and break. When your dentist suggested dentures, he was probably concerned about the overall stability of your teeth.


And while dentures are the most cost-effective method of replacing missing teeth, other methods such as bridges or implants are more stable methods to accomplish the same end. Plus, you won't have to feel 'old'!

What are immediate dentures? I need to have front teeth taken out, and I don't want to go without teeth!

An immediate denture, as its name implies, is a denture that is placed in your mouth immediately after your teeth are removed.  It makes the transition to dentures less noticeable and also helps keep you performing everyday functions, like chewing and speaking.

Extractions / Oral Surgery

What is Dry Socket? My husband had his tooth pulled and two days later he was in a lot of pain- the Dentist told me he had it.

One of the side effects of an extraction is a condition known as Alveolar Osteitis or 'Dry Socket'. It is not an infection that can be cured by antibiotics but rather, an inflammation of the bone that used to surround the now missing tooth. The pain can range from a localized ache to a radiating pain that feels even worse than a toothache and it can begin up to three days after a tooth is extracted. Though in some aspects Dry Socket pain is inconsistent in its manifestation, its occurrence reduces significantly if a blood clot is maintained in the socket for as long as possible. Your Dentist will give you a list of instructions to explain what you can and cannot do following your extraction visit to help avoid this very painful condition.

My tooth is killing me! I want to come in and have it pulled the same day- can you help!

Few things are worse than acute tooth pain, however many of the horror stories of painful extractions arise when a patient insist on having a “hot tooth” worked on. It is almost impossible to numb a hot tooth completely-which is one thing you absolutely need during a tooth extraction- and often ends up an excruciating experience.


Typically who present with acute dental pain associated with a dental infection or abscess will be prescribed a course of antibiotics (and pain medication, as indicated) both  to relieve the pain and more importantly, to clear up the infection enough for any subsequent anesthesia attempt to be successful. After a course of antibiotics, the patient is then ready for whatever treatment is decided upon.

I'm sick of dealing with my teeth, they're too far gone. I just want to have them all pulled and get dentures!

We're truly sorry to hear that! While in some cases, having all your teeth extracted and 

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