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Welcome to the first installment of “Stuff Our Patients Ask,” a weekly dialogue between team members and the patients that grace our practice. We’ll be featuring the most memorable or helpful questions that we hear as we’re brightening your smile, repairing a worn-down bite, helping you take better care of your teeth, or just doing our best to make your day a good one. And the best part, is we’ll try to answer those questions here for everyone, because we figure if one person is asking it, there may be so many more people that also want to know how we would answer.

So here goes! The first question is from Gene:

Question: Do crowns build up as much plaque and tartar as natural teeth?

Answer: Interestingly enough, no they don’t! Natural teeth have pores and irregularities that can harbor even small amounts of bacteria and debris, while man-made materials often have been glazed in the lab or are otherwise very smooth and rounded.

Once a little bit of bacteria has locked onto the surface of a tooth, it’s just a matter of time before calcium deposits from saliva and waste products from bacteria build up into a matrix that can cause your gums to bleed. Plaque is also more acidic than the rest of your mouth, so the acid in it can dissolve tooth surfaces and cause cavities.

When you have a crown placed on a tooth, not only are you improving its strength when chewing, you’re increasing the tooth’s resistance to assaults caused by bacteria. As a bonus, they take less time to clean around during your dental visits and at home, and you know what that means…more time to spend here at our blog (!).

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to bring your own questions when you have an appointment with us — they might just show up here someday!