All about Dental Crowns

All about Dental Crowns – Dental Crowns Used to Fix Teeth!

a tooth before and after with a new dental crownDental crowns are just like they sound – a porcelain or other material formed to look like your natural teeth and permanently adhered to existing teeth. These crowns are used to cover missing gaps (as in bridges), or otherwise repair teeth for a multiple of reasons.

How do Crowns Work?

Crowns are simply a ‘cover’ or a ‘cap’ for a damaged tooth providing extra strength, or to improve appearance, alignment or the shape of the tooth.

Since crowns are most often porcelain or ceramic, they can closely match color of your natural teeth, and be nearly indistinguishable. Other materials are used, including gold and metal alloys, ceramic and acrylic as these alloys are generally stronger than porcelain. For strength (especially on back teeth), sometimes porcelain is bonded to a metal shell.

Some of the reasons your dentist might recommend a crown:

• To protect a tooth that is already weak or to restore a tooth that has fractured or is already damaged.
• To attach a bridge in order to close a missing tooth.
• In order to put an attractive tooth on a dental implant.
• To cover a tooth damaged by a root canal.
• Aesthetically enhance a discolored or poorly shaped tooth.

What is the crown process?

To fabricate a crown, the tooth must first be ‘reduced’ to allow the dentist to measure for a proper fit. Once the tooth is at the size required for a crown, an impression will be made to provide an exact mold for the lab to build the crown. With porcelain, the next step is for you and your dentist to determine the correct shade for the crown to match the color of your existing teeth.

Your dentist twill then install a temporary crown while the lab makes your permanent one. A quick trip back to the dentist allows the removal of the temporary and installation of the permanent crown.

Crowns last a lifetime!

Like the rest of your teeth, crowns can last a lifetime given proper care. Twice daily brushing and flossing, plus regular checkups at the dentist will help keep the gum and teeth holding the crown healthy and securely holding your new crown.

Just to make sure, avoid chewing any hard objects like ice!

Dr. Abeyta and her team are experts at all areas of cosmetic dentistry and have performed thousands of successful crown installations. Contact us today!

Exercises for TMJ Relief

Use Some Simple Exercises for TMJ Relief

woman doing TMJ exercises for a sore jaw.

Do you have facial pains that might be associated with TMJ (jaw pain, headaches or earaches)? Reports says more than 15% of the population of the US says they have suffer from these and similar issues.

TMJ temporomandibular joints) are the two hinged joints that attach your lower jaw to the rest of your body – and allow the amazing movement required for chewing, talking, facial expressions and so much more.  To be more correct, the proper terminology for TMJ issues is TMD (temporomandibular disorders).

It only makes common sense that TMD could account for only a portion of these described issues, but pain in the jaw, chronic headaches or earaches can be a serious problem.

Our goal is to look at exercises you can do that might alleviate some of these issues before contacting a medical professional. Please be clear that these exercises might or might not alleviate and issues you might be having. This article is not intended to be medical diagnosis or treatment in any way, shape or form! If you are experiencing uncommon pain or other issues please see your dentist or medical professional!

Simple TMJ Relief Ideas

Our goal is to use exercise to retrain your jawbone to move correctly.  We want to work the muscles to allow your jaw to move without pain and in the correct manner!

But before we start working, let’s use these suggestion to minimize any pain and swelling that might be evident.

  1. Avoid all chewy foods. Stick with softer foods for a while so your jaw does not have to work as hard.
  2. Make sure you use both sides of your mouth equally when you chew.
  3. Avoid chewing gum.
  4. Minimize as much as you can opening your mouth wide (less stress on the joints)
  5. No fingernail biting!
  6. Makes changes as necessary to lower stress and worry.
  7. If you do have localized pain or swelling, utilize warm, damp washcloths to the area (do not burn yourself!)
  8. If you are not allergic, try over-the-counter pain relief (ibuprofen, acetaminophen)
  9. No teeth grinding! (This can be happening at night while you are asleep and unaware!)


TMJ Exercises

Once you have managed your pain, use the following exercises from the American Family Physicians website to retrain your jaw movement muscle to minimize the potential for returning issues.

  1. Resisted mouth opening: Place your thumb or two fingers under your chin and open your mouth slowly, while pushing up gently on your chin with your thumb. Hold for three to six seconds and then close your mouth slowly.
  2. Resisted mouth closing: Place your thumbs under your chin and your two index fingers on the ridge between your mouth and the bottom of your chin. Push down gently on your chin as you close your mouth.
  3. Tongue up: Slowly open and close your mouth while touching the roof of your mouth with your tongue.
  4. Side-to-side jaw movement: Place an object about .25” thick (for example, two tongue depressors) between your front teeth. Slowly move your jaw from side to side. Increase the thickness of the object as the exercise becomes easier.
  5. Forward jaw movement: Place an object about .25” thick between your front teeth and move your bottom jaw forward so that the bottom teeth are in front of the top teeth. Increase the thickness of the object as the exercise becomes easier.


Exercises for TMJ relief should never be painful. Stop immediately if they are and call Dr. Abeyta for professional help!


Who Else Wants Whiter Teeth? The Best Teeth Whitening Solutions

Home and professional teeth whitening secrets

woman who shows before and after teeth whiteningWho does not want white teeth? A brighter smile looking back at you in the morning certainly makes a better, brighter start to the day!

Almost everyone who drinks coffee, tea or red wine has noticed the effects on their teeth.  For smokers, the issue is much more noticeable. In addition, years of wear and tear on teeth can produce damage such as grooves or etching, providing crevices even more difficult to keep white. Ah the joys of aging!

If the idea of having whiter teeth has caught your interest, be assured you are not alone. Teeth whitening is big business with multiple options available. From professional teeth whitening solutions in our office, to the many drugstore options – you have many choices to brighten up that smile.

 Commonality in Teeth Whitening Solutions

Almost all teeth brighteners and whiteners have peroxide in common as the active ingredient sold by dentists and drugstores. What sets them apart is the strength of the peroxide used in the treatment, the method of delivery to your teeth and the time to brighter teeth.

In Dr. Abeyta’s office, sometimes just one hour in her chair can make amazing changes to your smile, whereas a drugstore solution can takes weeks of hour’s long nightly applications.

The difference is in the tools. Dr. Abeyta can apply a high concentration gel in combination with a special heating lamp directly on your teeth with results that will really surprise you. There are follow-ups to get the best results but that first visit can work wonders.

In the office, the dentist will place a rubber dam or other protective barrier in your mouth in order to isolate the lips, gums, and tongue to keep the whitening gel on your teeth.  This keeps the gel in close contact with your teeth and minimizes the amount that is swallowed or lost.

Even if the whitening kits sold in drugstores contain lower levels of peroxide, they may work just as well just more slowly.  You simply have to apply it to your teeth for much longer periods of time over a longer term.

Touchy teeth and gums are no cause for concern when using whiteners.  Peroxide does not usually damage or affect any parts of the mouth and have been proven safe.

There are millions of people out there with a bright white smile who have been through the process! Who Else Wants Whiter Teeth? The Best Teeth Whitening Solutions!

Contact Dr. Abeyta for the best whitening solutions available!


Temporomandibular Joint – Big Words for Potential Problems!

The Temporomandibular Joint is simply the joint in your skull that hinges your jaw.

Senior man holding his jaw from TMJ

Obviously, you have two joints which work together as a pair, one each just in front of each ear. Since your lower jaw bone is called the mandible, and the bones on the side of your head called the temporal bones they just combined the two to name a very important joint in your body!

Strong muscles from the bones to the mandible allow the jaw to move in all three directions required for your jaw to move: up and down, side to side, and forward and back.

This joint is specially designed with a sliding movement to allow your jaw to open and close your mouth – as well as have the power to chew food. This joint is unlike any other in your body – and as such is susceptible to damage in many ways – including stress!

Temporomandibular Disorders Defined

Interestingly enough, Temporomandibular Joint disorders are a complex and poorly understood set of conditions usually defined by pain in the jaw joint area and surrounding tissues with the addition of possible limitation in jaw movements.

Injuries, trauma, stress are all blamed for some or all of these disorders.  It can affect one or both joints can make itself a real problem by affecting speaking, swallowing, facial movement, and even breathing and chewing.

What are the Symptoms?

The most common description include an awareness of a dull, aching pain.  This pain can seem to come and go in the jaw joint and nearby areas. Others report issues moving jaws with no pain attached.

A list of all symptoms may include everything from vision problems to pain in the jaw, neck and shoulders. You could have chronic headaches, ear pain, or dizziness. Other symptoms include jaw muscle stiffness, clicking, grating or popping of the jaw joint, and even a weird feeling to your ‘bite’.

Certainly this is not to say if you have one or more of these issues that you suffer from TMJ! Sore jaw muscles, headaches or any of these other issues could be caused by any numbers of other things from the flu to an accidental whack on the jaw!

Get Help!

Call Dr. Abeyta, or your local dentist for help if you believe your symptoms point to the Temporomandibular Joint.

What about Veneers? Caution is the Veneer Watchword!

Dr. Abeyta Says You Get What You Pay For With Veneers!

Porcelain Veneers

In our research online about veneers, we have come across some scary stuff. This is not to say there are not happy veneer customers – we have many!  But before you jump at the lowest price veneer brand, or dentist who is promising you a perfect smile, with no pain, in one visit; we recommend you do your homework first!

Some of the stories we have seen simply reinforce the old saying you get what you pay for. Isn’t this almost always the case?

For instance there is the one where the dentist (no names here of course) talks the patient into veneers to cover ALL his teeth, promising quick, painless and cheap.

Once the poor guy was in the chair and the dentist was grinding away at the enamel, seriously shortening (permanently) all his teeth, what could he do – complain to the dentist holding a running grinder in his hand in his mouth?

One of the great stories was the lady who went through the same initial shock only to discover the company who has made the veneers neglected to send all the bottom teeth! It must have been a lot of fun to walk around for three weeks while the dentist sent out to an overseas company for the rest of the veneers.

Then there is the one where the patient watches the dentist drop her veneers on the floor and then stick them in her mouth right from the floor.

Or the guy whose front tooth veneers were so big he bit his lips on every bite and the dentist said “get used to it”…

OK now that you are scared to death – don’t be – the point is this. Veneers can be an awesome answer to repair damaged teeth.

What Are Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front and top side surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. With veneers as an alternative, there is no reason to put up with gaps between your teeth, or teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. A veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct these maladies, simply and quickly and help you achieve a beautiful smile.

Dr. Abeyta is an expert in veneers. You can expect the highest professionalism, honest answers and a great smile when you are done! Just do your homework!