Call: (831) 449-8363
7/13/2017 5:09:00 PM | Russell Cureton DDS

Dental implants are a great way to restore your smile. They can either blend in with your existing teeth, or they can be implanted to give your dentures something to adhere to. Either way, getting dental implants is a simple procedure that can permanently fix your grin.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants work by totally replacing missing teeth. Some dental implants are made to form steady anchors that you can attach dentures to. This is for patients who have lost most or all of their teeth. If you’re only missing one or two, you can get dental implants that simply replace those teeth.

Dental implants work by using high grade titanium screws. Titanium is a metal that can fuse with bone. The implants are screwed into your jaw bone. Your jaw heals, fusing to the metal, creating a strong chewing surface and base. If you’re not using dentures the screw is capped with a crown. This tooth-like covering helps your dental implant blend in with the rest of your teeth. Your smile will look natural, and it will be stronger than ever. 

 How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Ideally, dental implants will last the rest of your life. Once the dental implants are fully healed, they last upwards of 25 years with ease. They’re difficult to break and easy to take care of. However, they’re not indestructible. You should still brush and floss around your implants regularly. This keeps your gums and jaw bone healthy. A weakened jaw could soften around the implant in time, potentially leading to complications. Keep brushing and flossing and your dental implants will thank you!

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

Unfortunately, dental implants are not for everyone. While the majority of people can get dental implants, there are several reasons that dental implants may not work for some. The most common reason dental implants won’t work is that someone is or has been a heavy smoker. Smoking reduces bone mass in the jaw. Dental implants need to fuse with your jaw bone to stay secure. If this bone is worn away, there’s nothing for it to fuse to.

Smoking isn’t the only reason someone may not be suitable for dental implants. Some people with illnesses or conditions that slow or complicate the healing process may not be suitable. People with a history of broken jaws and osteoporosis are also at a high risk for being unable to receive implants.

While dental implants aren’t for everyone, they can be a huge benefit to those who qualify. Dental implants can last the rest of your life. An investment today can still be serving you 25 years down the road. Whether you need a cosmetic crown to complete your set of pearly whites or you just want a secure and comfortable way to wear your dentures, look into dental implants. Your dentist can tell you if they’re right for you.

6/12/2017 6:03:00 PM | Russell Cureton DDS

A dental crown is a common and extensive procedure that protects a damaged tooth. If your tooth is broken, cracked, or suffering from a large cavity, a crown may be the best option for you. Your dentist may also recommend a crown if you have a small to a moderately sized cavity in a portion of the tooth that’s difficult to protect with a filling.

What Does a Dental Crown Look Like

Once it’s properly installed, your dental crown will look like a natural tooth. The crown covers the entire visible portion of your tooth, all the way down to the gumline. If you get a crown made of metal as opposed to ceramic or resin, of course, the tooth will be obviously metallic. If you opt for a crown that does resemble your natural teeth, the crown will be indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth.

What are Dental Crowns Made of

As mentioned above, there are many materials that can make dental crowns. Gold and silver crowns are very common. Crowns can also be made with stainless steel. These crowns will be tooth-shaped, but obviously not blend in with the rest of your teeth. If you want a crown that looks more like your natural tooth, you can opt for a resin or ceramic crown. These can be color matched to your teeth, so you have the most natural looking smile available.

What is a Partial Crown

A partial crown, or dental onlay, is an option for people whose teeth are not damaged enough to require full crowns. When you want to restore the look of a tooth, a dental onlay can be used. It fits over a side or portion of the tooth, restoring appearance and protecting your tooth from further harm. A partial crown doesn’t require you to shape or file down your teeth. This allows you to keep more of the healthy enamel than you would otherwise be able to.

What is the Difference Between a Cap and a Crown

This is actually a trick question. A cap is the same as a crown. Cap is typically used by laymen. It accurately reflects the function of the dental crown: it “caps” the tooth, preventing further damage. The term crown often gives people the wrong impression about what the piece actually does. Cap and crown can be used interchangeably in most conversations, but you’ll find that your dentist probably sticks with a crown.

If your tooth has sustained extensive damage, a dental crown might be the solution. Crowns protect your tooth from further decay and reduce the odds of chipping or cracking. They can be made from metal, resin, or porcelain. While some crowns are obvious, most today are made to blend into your smile so naturally that even a dentist will have to take an X-ray to see which is which. If you’re thinking of changing the appearance of your tooth or gaining more confidence from a smoother smile, contact our office at (831) 449-8363. The staff at Russell Cureton, DDS, General & Cosmetic Dentistry, are here to help you get the smile you want.

5/24/2017 3:27:00 PM | Russell Cureton DDS

When the average person thinks “dentist” they often think of cavities and drills. How a dentist goes about filling a cavity is more of a mystery to the average audience. Despite being a common procedure that most people experience, at least once, just how fillings are placed remains a mystery. In order to ease concerns and shed some light on this commonplace procedure, let’s take a look at the details involved when your dentist fills a cavity. Remember, dentistry can do amazing things to reconstruct your teeth, but the best defense against cavities is brushing and flossing daily.

What is a tooth filling?

A tooth filling is a structural and cosmetic repair to a damaged tooth. The most common cause of tooth fillings is cavities. Tooth decay is the most common dental problem that exists today. While brushing and flossing work to prevent tooth decay, even the most careful people often end up with a cavity in those hard to reach spots, at some point in their lifetime. When a tooth decays, the enamel wears down, causing pits to form in the tooth. Sometimes, these pits reach all the way to the center of the tooth, which results in a severe infection and even a root canal. The best way to stop this decay is by filling the tooth. Once the pit is cleaned, a filling is inserted into the hole, protecting the sensitive enamel.

What are fillings made of?

Like most people, you probably want to know what materials are used to fill your teeth. These materials vary. Fillings are made with a variety of substances, depending on the needs of the patient receiving it. If your tooth is in a highly visible location, you most likely want to opt for tooth-colored enamel, plastic, or resin. However, if the filling is in a less visible location, you can choose a cheaper material, opting to save money. Surprisingly, gold and silver amalgam fillings tend to be cheaper than tooth-colored fillings.

How long do fillings take?

When it comes to scheduling a dental visit, you need to know how long a procedure takes. Thankfully, fillings are very quick to place in most instances. While individual times vary, depending on the placement and severity of the cavity, most take about fifteen minutes to place. However, this does not include the time it takes for the anesthetic to kick in. Again, times vary person to person. Most people are comfortably numb and ready for the filling to be placed in five to ten minutes after receiving the anesthetic.

How long do fillings last?

Your smile is one of the most important features that people see. For this reason, you want to know that any work you have done on your teeth will last. While fillings are quick and affordable, they don’t last forever. Each combination has a different lifespan. In general, though, you can expect your filling to last about eight years. However, some materials can last over a decade. This is just an average, however. If you take care of your teeth and eat carefully with your fillings, they could last longer. On the other hand, careless treatment wears out a filling much sooner.

If left untreated, a cavity could ruin more than just a tooth. You want to correct any cavities as soon as possible. Your dentist can place a filling in the pit of a cavity to halt the decay and damage to your tooth. With proper care, you could be enjoying a strong filling more than ten years down the road. These benefits more than justify spending fifteen minutes getting the filling in the first place. If you think you might have a cavity, contact our office today and schedule an appointment.

3/20/2017 3:33:00 PM | Russell Cureton DDS

Brushing your teeth is the best way to make sure keep them for a long time. However, brushing is a little more complicated than we're often taught. Like most people, you probably wonder about drinking water or other beverages after brushing your teeth. You may also wonder if and when it's okay to eat after brushing your teeth, especially at night. Don't worry, getting to the bottom of these brushing questions is simpler than it appears.


Yes, soda is delicious. However, when it comes to healthy teeth, there’s never a good time to drink soda. The acids in soda, and diet drinks, soften your tooth enamel. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get your enamel back, after it’s gone. Obviously, drinking soda puts your teeth at risk, but the risk is even greater after you’ve brushed your teeth. Brushing cleans plaque off your teeth, but it can also temporarily soften your enamel. Drinking soda, after brushing your teeth just compounds this effect.

Orange juice

For many people, orange juice is the best morning pick-me-up. This highly acidic juice is full of great vitamins, but it’s not great for your teeth. You should brush your teeth for thirty minutes before—or after—you drink orange juice. Drinking orange juice after brushing teeth can lead to more enamel loss than drinking juice alone. The highly acidic nature of the juice softens your teeth. Then, a toothbrush comes in and worsens the damage. You can lessen this effect several ways. First of all, always dilute your juice. Orange juice thinned with water still tastes great and provides plenty of vitamins. On the other hand, you can avoid drinking this power packed juice right before or right after brushing.

Coffee or tea

Coffee and tea can both be hard on your teeth. As mentioned earlier, brushing your teeth softens the enamel, making it more porous. This allows stains to get deep into your tooth. Yikes! While coffee and tea aren’t as bad for your teeth as orange juice or soda, they’re also not kind. If you want to keep your smile pearly white, avoid drinking coffee or tea for at least thirty minutes after you’ve brushed your teeth.

All foods introduce plaque

A little bedtime snack may seem like the perfect ending to your day. However, you’re making a big mistake if you eat after brushing your teeth at night. It doesn’t matter if you drink milk or orange juice, or eat a meal, all foods introduce plaque. When you eat, the germs in your mouth go into overdrive. These germs are the very culprits that cause tooth decay. They eat the starches and sugars in your food, and excrete acid that harms your teeth. When it comes to germs, all foods have sugar in them. If you plan on eating a bedtime snack, make sure you brush your teeth again before you go to bed. Anything you introduce after brushing your teeth just sits in your mouth otherwise.