We have an entire section on our website devoted to frequently asked questions, but today I want to focus on restorative treatments. On any given week, I answer a variety of questions about restorative treatments. While dental prevention is our main goal, patients need reliable ways to restore their smile.
Dentistry has evolved so much in the past few decades. The restoration options are getting more lifelike and lasting longer, and we can restore your mouth faster than ever. Check out some of the frequently questions and answers below to learn about modern ways to restore teeth and improve your oral health.
Q. Are metal fillings dangerous to my health?
A. Yes and no. This is a tricky one. Metal fillings, often called amalgam fillings, are made of a variety of metals including mercury, which is toxic to people. The American Dental Association has found that the mercury levels in metal fillings is not dangerous to people. But there is a different issue with metal fillings that most dentists take issue with. Metal fillings are durable and strong, but they are not bonded to the tooth. When the filling is not bonded to the tooth, a space can develop between the filling and tooth over time. This can pave the way for future decay.
Our office uses tooth-colored fillings. These fillings match the natural color of your smile and are bonded to the tooth.
Q. How long does it take to get a dental crown?
A. One day. Most dental offices schedule two or three visits to place dental crowns. This process requires you to wait weeks or even months for your permanent crown. During that time, you’ll wear a temporary crown. My office takes a different approach to this. Several years ago, we implemented a CEREC machine that allows us to provide permanent crowns in one day. There’s no multiple visits. There’s no need to wear a temporary crown. In less than two hours at our office, you’ll have a permanent restoration that will last years.
Our CEREC machine uses digital impressions — there are no goopy impressions — which are transferred to a special milling machine. Based on the impression, we can craft a crown from a solid chunk of ceramic material. Our digital impressions allow us to achieve a great fit, which increases the lifespan and function of the crown.
Q. How are my dentures different from dental implants?
A. The difference between dentures and dental implants is vast. For one, traditional dentures are not fixed in the mouth. This is the basic difference between dentures and dental implants. People who wear dentures do not have the right stability to eat the food they want. In fact, studies show that dentures wearers, or people living without teeth, have a shorter life expectancy because they cannot get the nutrition they need to live a healthy life.
Dental implants nearly mimic the function and power of your natural teeth and can be restored with crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants also prevent the jawbone from receding. Jawbone recession occurs once the teeth are lost. People with jawbone recession lose the vertical dimension between their chin and nose. This physical transformation causes patients to look much older than they really are. Dental implants can secure your teeth and give you a more youthful appearance.
These are just a few of the questions we get on a weekly basis. I love educating my patients about the best options available to them. Don’t hesitate to contact our office by calling 248-972-8720 if you have dental issues and need to speak with a professional.