My Blog

Posts for: May, 2017

By Garner Family Dentistry
May 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out if your smile could benefit from getting dental crowns

While most people know what a dental crown is, they don’t often know when it’s the best way to restore or improve their smile. Our Mount Pleasant, SC, cosmetic and family dentist Dr. Cynthia Garner is here to provide a little more insight into getting dental crowns and why they are sometimes necessary to improve tooth function and enhance your smile.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is designed to look just like the crown of a real tooth. A crown will also be custom-made to fit over and fully enclose a tooth to protect it. This restoration can be made from different materials (e.g. ; porcelain; ceramic, porcelain fused to metal), depending on the tooth that needs to be treated and other lifestyle factors.

All crowns are also customized to fit over your tooth, so you know that when you turn to Dr. Garner at Garner Family Dentistry, LLC, you will always get a beautiful cosmetic restoration that functions and feels natural.

When is a dental crown needed?

There are many situations that may warrant needing a dental crown:

  • If you have a broken or cracked tooth that needs additional protection in order to be fully functional
  • To protect a tooth that has weakened due to decay, teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • To preserve a tooth after root canal treatment
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To improve the appearance of a malformed, misshapen or badly discolored tooth
  • To cover a dental implant (when replacing a single missing tooth)

How do you get a dental crown?

Your treatment plan will really depend on what needs to happen prior to getting your crown, sometimes we need to go into the tooth and remove an infected dental pulp (root canal therapy). Traditionally, a tooth needs to be prepped so that the crown can comfortably fit over the tooth. Once the tooth has been prepared, we will need to take impressions of the tooth using a special mold.

This mold will be necessary for the dental lab to create your custom-fitted dental crown. Once the crown is made, you will come back in so that we can check the fit and make any necessary adjustments before cementing the restoration into place.

If you have questions about getting dental crowns or other cosmetic options in Mount Pleasant, SC, then it’s time you called Garner Family Dentistry to learn more. Not only will a crown look and feel great, but it could positively impact your oral health.


Durable as well as life-like, dental implants are by far the preferred method for replacing missing teeth. But they can be costly and, although not as much, so can traditional bridgework. Is there an effective but more affordable means to replace a few missing teeth?

There is: a removable partial denture (RPD). In fact, RPDs have always been the less expensive alternative to bridgework and implants. Today's RPDs are usually made of vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy. Because of the metal's characteristics, we can create an appliance that precisely matches the contours of your gums, is thin and hardly noticeable. We anchor prosthetic (false) teeth made of porcelain, resins or plastics in acrylic or nylon that resembles gum tissue.

The most important aspect of an RPD is to design it to produce the least amount of movement in your mouth as you eat or speak. A good design will minimize pressure on both the underlying bone (which can accelerate bone loss) and on the remaining teeth that support the RPD. Although a little more costly, it may be advantageous to use a dental implant to stabilize a lower partial denture when no end tooth is available for support.

To get the most out of your RPD — and to prevent dental disease — it's important for you to practice diligent daily hygiene. RPD attachments can make remaining teeth more susceptible to plaque accumulation, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that can cause tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. To avoid this you should remove the RPD and thoroughly brush and floss your remaining teeth. You should clean the RPD every day with recommended cleansers. You should also take it out at night while you sleep to discourage further bacterial or fungal growth.

Besides daily care for your RPD and natural teeth, be sure to visit us for cleanings and checkups at least twice a year. Taking care of both your appliance and your mouth will help ensure your RPD serves you for many years to come.

If you would like more information on removable partial dentures or other restoration options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”

By Garner Family Dentistry
May 10, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”