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Wichita, KS dentist shares tips for prolonging the life of dental crowns and bridges

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Dr. David Koepsel and his team at East Wichita Dentist work hard to make outstanding dental care fit into virtually every budget
Dr. David Koepsel and his team at East Wichita Dentist work hard to make outstanding dental care fit into virtually every budget, regardless of insurance status. He also helps patients throughout the Wichita, KS area get lasting value from their dental work with quality materials, skilled technique, and home care advice like the following tips for crowns and bridges.

Restorations built to last


Statistically, a dental crown or bridge should last at least five years. In fact, many insurance providers base their coverage for replacement on that premise. However, 10 to 15 years is common, with some patients getting twice that much use. What determines how long a crown or bridge lasts? It is a combination of factors unique to the patient, but it begins before the restoration is even placed.

Because a crown or bridge is made of rigid material cemented into place, fit is unforgiving. Optimal fit hinges on preparation and design.
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The tooth must be shaped to support a stand-alone crown or crowns that anchor a bridge. This first entails removing decayed or otherwise damaged tooth structure and old fillings. If the tooth has had root canal therapy, a post and core procedure may be needed for better crown retention. A metal or fiber reinforced resin post is cemented into one of the canals and the core is built up with bonding material. Then, the tooth or artificial core is reduced (carved down) to form a stable foundation for the crown. As an overarching philosophy, Dr. Koepsel strives to preserve as much natural dentition as possible. In the case of a crown, though, proper shaping is crucial for stability and long life. Without it, the restoration is prone to failure.

The design process involves much more than creating a cap or bridge that looks attractive. It must foster a balanced bite, distributing chewing forces across the arch. Otherwise, the restoration is likely to fracture or wear prematurely . . . and you may develop TMJ problems.

Dr. Koepsel uses CEREC technology to create crown restorations in a single visit. This computer-guided technique is exceptionally precise, for an excellent fit. Plus, the metal-free zirconia material is extremely strong, appropriate even for molars, and looks very natural.

Without this level of attention to detail, dental work is not likely to provide years of carefree use, regardless of how you look after it.

Extending the longevity of dental crowns and bridges


Image of a dentist studing a Dental Crown & Bridge
In Wichita, KS you can count on sensible guidance to help your crown or bridge last a long time.

Based on Dr. Koepsel’s extensive academic background and clinical experience:
  • Conscientious home care – Most dental restorations that fail prematurely do so because decay develops underneath, or periodontal disease compromises connective ligaments and bone that stabilize teeth. Avoid this by brushing at least twice a day (after every meal and snack is better). Take a little extra time at the margin. This area, where the crown meets gum tissue, can trap harmful bacteria. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive paste so your crown or bridge does not develop stain-trapping scratches.
  • Floss like a boss – Use dental floss at bedtime, and more frequently through the day is fine. If floss “hangs up” on tight contacts or at the top of a crown, please do not yank it out. Slide floss gently toward the gum and pull it through. A bridge is a single unit consisting of one artificial tooth or several, between two crowns. Since it sits on top of gum tissue, you need to learn a special flossing technique to keep the underside of the unit clean and gums healthy. Don’t worry, the hygiene team at East Wichita Dentist will show you how.
  • Teeth are for food – Keep pens, fingernails, and other hard objects out of your mouth. Chewing ice and biting directly into very hard foods can also chip, break, or dislodge restorations. If you indulge in caramel or other sticky sweets, suck on them, as chewing may pull a restoration lose.
  • Guard your investment – If you tend to clench or grind your teeth, Dr. Koepsel will recommend a night guard. Slip this comfortable appliance into place before you go to sleep, to protect restorations (and your own teeth). Wear a custom-fitted mouth guard for contact sports, mountain biking, or any physical activity that could cause facial trauma or make your jaws snap together.
East Wichita Dentist provides care that fits you – your smile, bite, and budget. For dental crowns and bridges that will have you smiling for years to come, call (316) 686-7395 in Wichita, KS.

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    Dr. David Koepsel
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