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Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling.   The larger the cavity is, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even if a large caivity is repaired with a filling the tooth has a greater chance of breaking due to limited reamaining tooth structure. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns are placed over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

Dental bridges are used to permanently replace a missing tooth or teeth, both cosmetically and functionally. This is done by shaping the teeth on either side of the space. It is formed to look like the missing tooth and takes its place in the mouth. The materials used may be gold, porcelain bonded to metal or all ceramic. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetic apperance.

It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the space begin to shift inward, creating more complications. Teeth use their surrounding teeth for support, and, with one missing, they start to shift to fill that spot.  As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.  In some rare instances a space may be left alone or untreated as long as it does not put your bite or surrounding teeth in jeopardy of future problems. 

Dental implants are an alternative to bridges, partials or dentures. An implant simply is a metallic titanium object that is inserted into your jawbone to act like a natural tooth root. It integrates with the jawbone to give a firm support to the artificial replacement that it will support.

There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. They replace teeth that have been lost due to bone loss or other complications.

Getting Used to Dentures

Learning to wear your new dentures can take time.  Even the best-fitting dentures may feel awkward at first.  

Common changes with dentures:

  • Feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn how to keep them in place
  • Changes in the way you speak. Reading aloud and over annunciation can help correct any minor speech problems. 
  • Some soreness and minor irritation.

Caring for Dentures

  • Dentures are delicate and can break easily. 
  • Store away from children and pets
  • Brush daily to remove food particles, and prevent plaque buildup
  • Use the proper brushes and denture cleaners
  • Never boil dentures, this may warp them
  • Never clean with rinses that contain alcohol
  • Do store dentures in water to prevent them from drying out

Dr. Hottinger offers a free consultation for dentures.  Whether you already have dentures or think dentures are for you and have questions, give us a call and schedule a free consultation.  Also ask about implant supported dentures. They allow the denture to snap into place stabilizing it and not having to deal with the "goopy stuff" to keep them in.   (916) 683-8020


TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension.

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling spaces between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.



9303 Laguna Springs Dr #100
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 683-8020