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Posts for category: Dental Procedures


Actor Zac Efron has one of the top smiles in a business known for beautiful smiles. Bursting on the scene in 2006 at age 18 in High School Musical, Efron has steadily increased his range of acting roles. He recently starred as Ted Bundy on Netflix, wearing prosthetics to match the notorious serial killer's crooked teeth.

With his growing fame, Efron's attractive smile has become one of his more memorable attributes. But it wasn't always so. Before Hollywood, Efron's smile was less than perfect with small, uneven teeth and a gap between his top front teeth. Before and after pictures, though, make it quite apparent that the actor has undergone a significant smile makeover.

While fans are abuzz on the 411 regarding his dental work, Efron himself has been hush-hush about his smile transformation. We won't join the speculation: Instead, here are a few possible ways you can get a more attractive smile like Zac Efron.

Teeth whitening. A single-visit, non-invasive teeth whitening procedure can transform your dull, stained teeth into a brighter, more attractive smile. Although the effect isn't permanent, it could last a few years with a professional whitening and good oral practices. Having it done professionally also gives you more control over the level of shading you prefer—from soft natural white to dazzling Hollywood bright.

Orthodontics. Like Efron, if your teeth aren't quite in proper alignment, straightening them can make a big difference in your appearance (and your oral health as well). Braces are the tried and true method for moving teeth, but you may also be able to choose clear aligner trays, which are much less noticeable than braces. And don't worry about your age: Anyone with reasonably good dental health can undergo orthodontics.

Bonding. We may be able to correct chips and other slight tooth flaws with durable composite resins. After preparing your tooth and matching the material to your particular color, we apply it directly to your tooth in successive layers. After hardening, the unsightly defect is no more—and your smile is more attractive.

Veneers. Dental veneers are the next step up for more advanced defects. We bond these thin, custom-made layers of dental porcelain to the front of teeth to mask chips, heavy staining and slight tooth gaps. Although we often need to permanently remove a small amount of tooth enamel, veneers are still less invasive than some other restorations. And your before and after could be just as amazing as Zac Efron's.

Improving one's smile isn't reserved for stars like Zac Efron. There are ways to correct just about any dental defect, many of which don't require an A-lister's bank account. With a little dental “magic,” you could transform your smile.

If you would like more information about how to give your smile a boost, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

By Crystal Dental Care
May 27, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you struggling with some form of tooth loss? Here at Crystal Dental Care in Crystal, MN, Dr. Kimberlee Murphy provides her patients with dental implants to solve this issue—read on to learn why.

More about Tooth Loss

Tooth loss can come from a variety of sources, including trauma from accidents and sports, as well as poor oral hygiene. Unfortunately, if you struggling with tooth loss and don't treat the issue immediately, it may cause other serious problems to arise, including decreased bone density and jawbone recession. As a result, a person may end up looking older and have difficulty eating and speaking. If you don't replace missing teeth, you may notice the gaps between teeth widening. This is because the tooth opposite the missing tooth is looking for a point of contact.

Tooth Loss Fixes

Your Crystal dentist offers several options, like bridges and crowns, but the best is likely a dental implant. They have a 95% success rate and reinforce the jawbone. Dental implants are great in that they fill gaps while also looking natural. No one will know it's a prosthetic tooth. Dental implants replace one or more missing teeth, and restore functionality, like eating, biting into your favorite foods, and speaking.

The procedure is simple too. Dr. Murphy removes any remaining tooth, uses a local anesthesia to numb the surgical area, inserts a titanium implant, and seals the area for about 3-to-6 months. When you come back, she opens the surgical area to place a connecter that fixes the crown in place.

Do You Need to Speak With a Dentist?

If you would like to learn more about dental implants and who they can help you, just call Dr. Kimberlee Murphy of Crystal Dental Care in Crystal, MN, at 763-537-3655 today!

By Crystal Dental Care
May 08, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth pain  

Let's say you have a diseased tooth you think might be on its last leg. It might be possible to save it, perhaps with a significant investment of time and money. On the other hand, you could have it replaced with a life-like dental implant.

That seems like a no-brainer, especially since implants are as close as we have to natural teeth. But you might want to take a second look at salvaging your tooth—as wonderful as implants are, they can't beat the real thing.

Our teeth, gums and jaws form an intricate oral system: Each part supports the others for optimum function and health. Rescuing a troubled tooth could be the best way to preserve that function, and replacing it, even with a dental implant, a less satisfying option.

How we save it will depend on what's threatening it, like advanced tooth decay. Caused by bacterial acid that creates a cavity in enamel and underlying dentin, decay can quickly spread into the tooth's pulp and root canals, and eventually threaten the supporting bone.

We may be able to stop decay and save the tooth with a root canal treatment. During this procedure, we remove diseased tissue from the pulp and root canals through a drilled access hole, and then fill the empty spaces. We then seal the access and later crown the tooth to protect it against future infection.

A second common threat is periodontal (gum) disease. Bacteria in dental plaque infect the outer gums and, like tooth decay, the infection quickly spreads deeper into the root and bone. The disease weakens gum attachments to affected teeth, hastening their demise.

To treat gum disease, we manually remove built-up plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). This deprives the infecting bacteria of their primary food source and “starves” the infection. Depending on the disease's advancement, this might take several cleaning sessions and possible gum surgery to access deep pockets of infection around the root.

Because both of these treatment modalities can be quite in-depth, we'll need to assess the survivability of the tooth. The tooth could be too far gone and not worth the effort and expense to save it. If there is a reasonable chance, though, a rescue attempt for your troubled tooth might be the right option.

If you would like more information on whether to save or replace a tooth, 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 “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

When talking about dental health, it’s not just all about having a radiant smile or perfectly straight teeth. You also need to make sure that your gums are in great shape. Even if you have the whitest teeth in town and don’t have any cavities, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re resistant to periodontal or gum disease. Likewise, because gum disease is typically painless, most individuals won’t know that something nasty is already brewing inside their gums.

Fortunately, periodontal disease is preventable, and your family dentist, Dr. Kimberlee Murphy of Crystal Dental Care in Crystal, MN, can help you avoid it. To that end, here are some practical tips to help keep your gums in top shape.

Floss Your Teeth Once Daily At Least

According to the American Dental Association, flossing regularly will help get rid of food particles and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. A

Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily At Least

If possible, brush your teeth after each snack or meal and not just in the morning and evening. Also, make sure to clean your tongue and all your other mouth surfaces as well. In addition, make sure to swap your toothbrush when you see the bristles fraying or after three to four months of use.

Regular Dental Examinations and Cleanings

Professional cleanings are the only way to get rid of tartar completely. Likewise, your family dentist in Crystal, MN, is capable of detecting early warning signs of gum disease so that you can receive prompt treatment before they become more serious.

Stop Smoking Right Now

Studies have consistently shown that smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. Additionally, because tobacco weakens the immune system, it can also make it more difficult for you to combat gum disease if developed.

For More Tips and Tricks to Prevent Gum Disease, Call Us.

Dial (763) 537-3655 to reach Crystal Dental Care in Crystal, MN, and arrange your consultation with our family dentist, Dr. Kimberlee Murphy.

By Crystal Dental Care
March 09, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

The long-running hit show Dancing with the Stars has had its share of memorable moments, including a wedding proposal, a wardrobe malfunction, and lots of sharp dance moves. But just recently, one DWTS contestant had the bad luck of taking an elbow to the mouth on two separate occasions—one of which resulted in some serious dental damage.

Nationally syndicated radio personality Bobby Bones received the accidental blows while practicing with his partner, professional dancer Sharna Burgess. “I got hit really hard,” he said. “There was blood and a tooth. [My partner] was doing what she was supposed to do, and my face was not doing what it was supposed to do.”

Accidents like this can happen at any time—especially when people take part in activities where there’s a risk of dental trauma. Fortunately, dentists have many ways to treat oral injuries and restore damaged teeth. How do we do it?

It all depends on how much of the tooth is missing, whether the damage extends to the soft tissue in the tooth’s pulp, and whether the tooth’s roots are intact. If the roots are broken or seriously damaged, the tooth may need to be extracted (removed). It can then generally be replaced with a dental bridge or a state-of-the-art dental implant.

If the roots are healthy but the pulp is exposed, the tooth may become infected—a painful and potentially serious condition. A root canal is needed. In this procedure, the infected pulp tissue is removed and the “canals” (hollow spaces deep inside the tooth) are disinfected and sealed up. The tooth is then restored: A crown (cap) is generally used to replace the visible part above the gum line. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise be lost.

For moderate cracks and chips, dental veneers may be an option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells made of translucent material that go over the front surfaces of teeth. Custom-made from a model of your smile, veneers are securely cemented on to give you a restoration that looks natural and lasts for a long time.

It’s often possible to fix minor chips with dental bonding—and this type of restoration can frequently be done in just one office visit. In this procedure, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to fill in the parts of the tooth that are missing, and then hardened by a special light. While it may not be as long-lasting as some other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can produce good results.

If you would like more information about emergency dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Knocked Out Tooth.”