North Scottsdale Dental Studio


How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Porcelain dental crowns are used to restore the form and function of a tooth that has been damaged, decayed, or weakened in some other way. As such a common tooth restoration, many patients wonder how long they can expect their porcelain crown to last. In most cases, crowns can last for a decade or longer when cared for properly. However, it is not uncommon for the restoration to need to be replaced or recemented after several years of wear and tear.

To help preserve your porcelain crowns for as long as possible, our dentists recommend practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Additionally, they advise against chewing especially hard foods, like ice cubes, to prevent premature damage from occurring. If you frequently clench or grind your teeth at night, this can also cause your crown to break or come loose, which is why our dentists recommend wearing a night guard to help limit potential damage.

More details about how long you can expect your porcelain crown to last will be discussed with you during your appointment. If you have any questions about your restoration, or would like further advice on how to ensure your crowns last for several years, please feel free to contact us.

When Are Porcelain Crowns a Better Option Than Veneers?

Porcelain crowns and veneers are commonly used dental restorations that can improve the appearance of a tooth. Although they both can address concerns like chipped or cracked teeth, each restoration has a distinct purpose. A porcelain crown, for instance, covers the entire affected tooth, restoring its form and function while protecting it from further damage. A porcelain veneer, on the other hand, is a thin shell placed over the front of a tooth, designed to conceal cosmetic imperfections like stains and cracks.

In general, a porcelain crown is considered more appropriate when a patient needs to repair a damaged or weakened tooth. For this reason, crowns are often placed following root canal therapy to strengthen the compromised tooth. They are also useful for dental implant patients, acting as the replacement tooth that is attached to the artificial tooth root. If you have concerns about your teeth that are more cosmetic in nature, porcelain veneers are most likely the more appropriate option for your needs.

When you come in for your appointment with Dr. Todd Mabry or Dr. Anna Vaysman, they will evaluate your teeth and discuss your goals. This allows them to determine the most beneficial restoration option—whether it is a crown, veneer, or other option.

What Are My Options If I Have Missing Teeth?

A missing tooth certainly impacts the appearance of a person’s smile, but many patients are unaware of the oral health problems a missing tooth can cause. When left unaddressed, the space left behind by a missing tooth can cause the adjacent teeth to shift position, create poor occlusion, and weaken the strength of the bite. Over time, the facial bones may even begin to shift, particularly when there are several missing teeth.

Innovations in restorative dentistry have yielded more tooth replacement options than ever before, including:

Dental implants are considered the premium tooth replacement procedure due to providing superior stability, increased comfort, low maintenance, and exceptionally natural-looking results. While traditional bridges and dentures remain an effective method of tooth replacement, these restorations are often associated with a number of inconveniences. With the help of implants, however, there are alternatives like fixed dental bridges and implant-supported dentures that can allow patients to chew and speak more confidently without having to worry about slippage or messy adhesives.

During the consultation process, our dentists will perform an oral exam, discuss your cosmetic goals, and thoroughly review which tooth replacement options can best restore the function and aesthetics of your smile. To learn more about dental implants and other missing tooth solutions, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Todd Mabry or Dr. Anna Vaysman, please contact our office today.

Are Porcelain Veneers Right For Me?

Porcelain veneers are a popular cosmetic dentistry option because they can address several tooth imperfections simultaneously. By applying a thin shell of porcelain to the affected tooth or teeth, many common smile concerns can be easily concealed. In addition, dental veneers typically require minimal tooth preparation and can preserve the natural tooth structure.

Candidates for porcelain veneers typically have one or more of the following tooth imperfections:

  • Cracks or chips
  • Stains or discoloration
  • Gaps or spaces
  • Worn or “short” teeth
  • Mildly misaligned teeth

Ideal candidates for this procedure will have good overall oral health as well as the necessary tooth structure to support the porcelain veneer. Patients who are prone to clenching or grinding their teeth may not be good candidates for porcelain veneers, as these habits can compromise the results. The best way to determine your candidacy for porcelain veneers is to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists, allowing them to perform an oral exam and help you decide if veneers are suited for your individual needs.

For more information about porcelain veneers, or to make an appointment with Dr. Todd Mabry or Dr. Anna Vaysman, please contact our office today.

Top 5 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Most people associate a white smile with health, youth, and vitality. Unfortunately, maintaining a bright smile can often be a challenge, depending upon your diet. For example, acidic foods can soften enamel and create a rougher surface that attracts stains, and tannins in food can cause stains to stick to the teeth. Additionally, chromogens—which are heavily-pigmented compounds found in some foods and beverages—can easily stain tooth enamel.

If you are trying to maintain a bright smile, try to consume these five common foods in moderation:

  • Berries: Dark berries contain high levels of chromogens, which is why they are notorious for staining clothing. The same principle applies to the teeth.
  • Tomato sauce: Like berries, pasta sauce contains chromogens that can easily stain teeth. In addition, the acidity in tomato sauce also leaves the teeth vulnerable to further discoloration.
  • Curry: The dark yellow pigments of curry can stain teeth due to the density chromogens, particularly when consumed frequently over a long period of time.
  • Tea: Even more so than the chromogens found in coffee, the acidic content of tea as well as its tannins can lead to some serious discoloration.
  • Wine: Red wine is a more obvious staining beverage, with its visible chromogens and reputation for tannins. However, white wine also contains tannins, and the acidity makes the teeth more vulnerable to staining from other foods.

Teeth are naturally prone to stains and discoloration, but avoiding foods that are high in acids, tannins, and chromogens may help. For those who are still unhappy with the color of their teeth despite conscious diet efforts, professional teeth whitening treatments can significantly reduce surface-level stains as well as deep-set discoloration, helping to restore a beautiful, white smile.

To learn how teeth whitening can brighten your smile, please contact our office today for a consultation.

How to Prepare for Teeth Whitening If You Have Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth do not need to prevent you from achieving a whiter, brighter smile. If you are experiencing increased tooth sensitivity when using over-the-counter whitening products or undergoing professional bleaching treatments, our dentists at North Scottsdale Dental Studio have a number of tips that can help minimize this issue and improve your comfort.

Prior to beginning any teeth whitening treatment, patients can use toothpastes and mouthwashes that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These products can significantly reduce tooth sensitivity, especially when used with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Patients who choose at-home professional-grade whitening kits and continue to experience sensitivity may find that using the trays every other day is more comfortable than daily use. For in-office procedures, look for a practice that offers techniques designed to whiten teeth while simultaneously limiting irritation. For example, our dentists offer Venus White® Max, which contains advanced ingredients that help to greatly reduce any potential sensitivities during and after treatment.

Ultimately, teeth whitening under the guidance of a dental care professional is generally recommended for patients with sensitive teeth. Our dentists can help ensure you are not over-bleaching your teeth, and if the source of your oral sensitivity is caused by something other than the whitening product (such as a cavity), they will be able to make sure you receive the proper care.

For more information about teeth whitening, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Todd Mabry or Dr. Anna Vaysman, please contact our office today.