Tag Archives: Dental Bridge

Could CEREC Crown Have Saved My Tooth?

I needed a root canal treatment and dental crown. I wanted to do a CEREC crown, but my dentist doesn’t have the machine. I considered going elsewhere, but felt guilty about going to another dentist. So, I thought the traditional crown would have to suffice. After he made the temporary, I had to go out of town for work. While I was gone, the temporary crown broke. I called my dentist and he said it would be fine, though to try and eat on the other side of my mouth. I was super careful. When I got back, I immediately went to the dentist but he told me that a crown would no longer work. First, the crown would no longer fit and we’d have to start over. But, that part of my tooth broke and the rest was brittle, so he’d have to do an extraction. Is this really my only option? Now what? I’m over $2000 into this crown which I can’t even have and now I’m losing the tooth. Should I have gone to a CEREC dentist?

Minnie W.

Dear Minnie,

A tooth receiving a CEREC crown

There are some things that bother me about what you’re saying. I’d like you to get a second opinion to see if your tooth can be saved. Preferably to a dentist who does provide CEREC crowns. Some dentists will even do free second opinions. While certainly, a CEREC crown would have saved your tooth, because it would have been protected from day one, there’s more at issue here.

If he’d have suggested you see an emergency dentist when your temporary broke, this would also have protected your tooth. It would also have allowed your permanent crown to fit. When you leave the space empty, it doesn’t always take very long for your teeth to shift leading to the crown not fitting properly. This was your dentist’s fault.

Something else which bothers me is how quickly the tooth became brittle. That’s uncommon.

If You Can’t Get a CEREC Crown and Lose the Tooth, What then?

If it turns out you can’t save the tooth, I’d first ask for a full refund from your first dentist. Then it’s time to decide on a tooth replacement. The two best options are dental implants or a dental bridge. A dental bridge would make more sense if either of the adjacent teeth need to be crowned.

If they don’t, then a dental implant would be a better option. It’s a great tooth replacement, but you don’t want just any dentist to do it. It’s an advanced procedure. Be sure to ask the dentist how many they’ve done and what their success rate is? It needs to be at least 98%.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can CEREC Crowns Handle Night Grinding?

My dentist recently purchased a CEREC machine he’s very excited about. I have a cavity that he feels is too large for a filling. He wants to me have a crown done using the machine. I just wanted to get a second opinion as to how they hold up as well as normal crowns. My dentist said I grind my teeth at night. I’m assuming he would only give me a crown that would hold up against that, but just wanted to double check.


Dear Lizza,

Machine for CEREC Crowns

This is one of those yes and no answers. CEREC crowns are every bit as strong as traditional crowns. The biggest difference is they’re able to milled at the time of your appointment, eliminating the need for either a temporary crown or a second appointment.

However, I’m truly concerned about your grinding. When your dentist mentioned to you your teeth showed evidence of nighttime grinding, did he suggest anything to you, such as a nightguard? Your teeth need protecting. The stress of grinding will not only wear down the enamel of your teeth down, but can also lead to your teeth cracking and breaking.

When your enamel wears down it leaves you vulnerable to decay. With decay, you’ll be looking at a mouth full of fillings. Even worse, would be the possibility of losing a tooth. Then you’re looking at getting a tooth replacement, such as dental implants or a dental bridge.

While your choice of crown is fine, just like your natural teeth, it won’t stand up under grinding without you having some type of nightguard to protect both your natural teeth and your crowns.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can a General Dentist do Dental Implants?

I need to replace a tooth. Everyone says dental implants are the best replacement. Are there implant specialists or can a general dentist do them?

Max L. – Connecticut


First, I’ll say, yes, dental implants really are the top of the line tooth replacement. Be aware that not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. There are some conditions which are contra-indicative, like gum disease. Or, if you’re a smoker, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a good dentist willing to go forward with the procedure. If it turns out you’re not a candidate, there are other good options which we’ll discuss momentarily.

As to whether or not you need a dental implant specialist, that’s a yes and no. There isn’t actually a recognized specialty in implants, so any dentist who does them is a general dentist. However, it takes some additional training than what they get in dental school to be skilled in this procedure.

Dental Implants are an advanced procedure, with potentially severe complications if things go wrong. Because of that you’ll want to be bold in asking the dentist some blunt questions. Some things to ask are “What type of implant training have you had?” “How many implant procedures have you performed?” “What percentage of them are successful?”

So, what if you’re not a good candidate? Whatever dentist you go to should give you all your options. For instance, the next best procedure would likely be a dental bridge. In fact, if your adjacent teeth need a crown, a dental bridge might make more sense for you.

The important thing is you find a dentist you trust and then have them explain all the procedures you’re a candidate for.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

I Want an Implant and My Dentist Wants Me to Get a Bridge

I have two teeth that need work. They’re right next to each other. One needs a crown. The other needs to be extracted. I want to do a dental implant and a crown. My dentist wants to do a bridge. I’d think he’d be more excited about a dental implant because they’re more expensive, but he seems pretty insistent about a bridge.  Is there a real medical reason for this?  I’m not too excited about the idea of a bridge.

Brenda C. – Michigan


My guess is your dentist isn’t comfortable with dental implants.  It’s an extremely advanced procedure. I wouldn’t push your dentist if that’s the case. When it’s not done perfectly, there can be serious complications.  It’s a credit to your dentist that he’s not just taking your money and doing the procedure halfway.

A bridge is fine in your case. You already need work on one of the adjacent teeth, so it’s like getting two procedures knocked out in one—no pun intended. However, your other tooth is healthy so you might not want to grind down healthy tooth structure. I understand your desire to go with an implant and crown.

My suggestion would be to get the implant and crown, but with another dentist. I’m not saying leave your current dentist, just have this particular procedure done with someone else. Then, you can continue with your current dentist for general treatments and cleanings afterward.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

What are some decent tooth replacement options?

I have to get a tooth extracted. I wanted to get a second opinion on some good tooth replacement options. Money is no object. I want the best. What are your thoughts?

Martin C. – Albany, NY


My initial thought is if you want the top tooth replacement option, than just about any dentist would tell you to get dental implants.  They’re the most like having your own natural tooth.  If you’re in good general health, than you are likely a candidate.

There are times when a dental bridge makes more sense. That’s generally if the adjacent teeth to the missing tooth happen to need dental crowns. If that’s the case, a dental bridge will take care of two procedures at once.

You didn’t say what your dentist suggested. If he’s not adequately trained in dental implants, then he wouldn’t be likely to suggest them.  But, it is the ideal treatment if you’re a candidate.

There are other options, as well, aside from implants and bridges, such as a removable partial denture, but you asked for the top treatments.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Trying to decide between a dental implant or a bridge?

I have a tooth I need to replace. I am trying to decide whether I should get a dental implant or a bridge. Is there any advantage to the implant? They are much more expensive.

Desiree J. – New Mexico


This is an important question. Dental implants are fantastic and function much more like your natural teeth than a bridge, but there are times where a bridge would make more sense. Your dentist can help you determine which one is the better treatment, but here is a basic  guideline.

When one of your adjacent teeth needs some work, such as a dental crown.  If you’re going to need to have an adjacent tooth ground down anyway, you can save money by getting a bridge. It will replace your tooth and crown the sick one simultaneously.

If, on the other hand, both of the adjacent teeth are healthy and you have the money, you’ll be much happier with the dental implant.   It is much more like your natural tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr.Mike Malone.

This bridge will be a disaster

I had four teeth removed because of gum disease. My dentist is planning on giving me a dental bridge to replace the teeth, but my other teeth are starting to get loose. Should I go through with this procedure?

Harriet E. – Mississippi


I am quite concerned about this treatment. If you’ve lost teeth because of gum disease, that has to be treated before you try to put any permanent replacement on.

A dental bridge needs anchor teeth, which will put pressure on them. They’re already coming loose. The bridge will pull them right out.

Your dentist has a disaster planned for you. What you need right now if to start treatments for periodontal disease. Your loose teeth will need be stabilized while that is taking place.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Is there a procedure that uses both dental implants and a bridge?

I have a space where an adult tooth never came in, have no insurance, and I need something to fill in the gap. The gap seems a little too small to have an implant but I’m not quite sure. I am wondering if there is another way that I can receive an implant together with a bridge? Or if implants can be placed no matter what the space is?

Thanks, Tony

Dear Tony,

There are instances when a dental implant is connected to a dental bridge, however this is not necessary in your case. You have one  missing tooth so your dental options would be either a dental implant or a dental bridge, but not both. However if your space is too small for an implant or a bridge you might be a good candidate for Invisalign, depending on the space location. Invisalign is clear braces and if your teeth are not quite perfect this might be your best option to close the space and have straight teeth. Without insurance a dental bridge can cost up to several thousand dollars and usually takes two appointments completed over a three week period of time. A dental implant from start to finish cost anywhere from $4000 on up and takes approximately six months from the initial placement of the implant to having the crown put on the implant. Invisiline treatment is anywhere from 18 to 24 months and can cost roughly $5000. We recommend you consult a dentist about what treatment options would be best for you, your budget, and your time.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist



Is there a way to floss between a bridge and the gum?

Is it necessary to floss under a bridge? I have read that these are tight-fitting against the gum to prevent food from getting trapped between the bridge and gum. I had gum disease over a year ago, had teeth extracted, and a bridge placed after everything was cleaned up. Now I am having problems with a swollen gum under the front bottom of the bridge. It’s swollen to the point of bleeding around the bridge even when the bottom lip is simply pulled back.

Thanks, Gary

Dear Gary,

Yes, it is necessary to floss under a dental bridge daily, even more so if you were previously treated for gum disease. Flossing daily will help in the prevention of further bone loss around the teeth. There could be two reasons why your gums are swollen and bleeding around your bridge. Due to the fact that you have not been flossing under it, there is a big possibility that your teeth anchoring your bridge are reinfected with gum disease and may need to be retreated. Another problem could be that your dental bridge was placed right after the teeth were extracted therefore the extraction site may have not had the proper time to heal which can cause a similar affect on the tissue under the bridge.

There are different types of bridge floss threaders available in the toothpaste isle at your local store to help you clean under your bridge. Ask your dental hygienist at your next cleaning appointment to show you how to floss properly around your bridge. We recommend you discuss this matter with your dentist to find the root of the problem with your bleeding gums.

Post courtesy of Dr. Malone, Lafayette Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist



My tooth really hurts, but I don’t have any money

I’ve got pretty bad teeth. I am missing several of my back teeth, and now I have an infection or something in one of the only molars I have left. The swelling along my jaw looks terrible! It is really embarrassing.

I don’t have a job right now, or any insurance. I am estranged from my family, so there is no one I can ask to help with any kind of medical or dental expenses. Is there anything I can do on my own to treat the infection? I am in a lot of pain.

Maria in Grand Haven

Dear Maria,

Before we offer advice on what to do, we want to make very sure we tell you what to avoid. Don’t take oral antibiotics to try and get rid of the infection without FIRST having the tooth treated. Here is why that is so important: the infection is inside a tooth, where antibiotics can’t reach it. If you treat the tooth without addressing the source, you will simply make sure that the bacteria that survive are stronger and more resistant to treatment.

An infection in a tooth is a potentially serious situation. An untreated infection could spread to your brain, or cause dangerous swelling in your throat. You really must have this addressed before it becomes far more serious and even potentially life threatening.

The infected tooth needs a root canal treatment, after which it may need to be protected by a dental crown. If that is too expensive, or if the tooth is too damaged, it may need to be extracted. When your fortunes improve, you might consider a dental bridge or dental implant to replace the missing tooth.

Ask at your local social assistance agencies if they know of a clinic where you can get this work done. Many communities have a method of connecting people in dire need like yourself to dentists who will complete the work for free or at a greatly reduced price with a payment plan. Be persistent – it is very important that you get this work done!

Good luck to you.

This blog posted courtesy of the office of Lafayette Louisiana cosmetic dentist Dr. Malone.