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Dental crowns are commonly used prosthetic dental devices that are designed to completely cover or cap the exposed portion of a tooth. Dental crowns are most often used to preserve a patient's natural tooth after it has become severely damaged as a result of disease, tooth decay, or injury. Sometimes, dental crowns are used for purely cosmetic purposes.

A dental crown permanently attaches to a patient's permanent tooth. In order for a secure attachment to form between the dental crown and the natural tooth, there needs to be enough of the natural tooth visible above the gum line for the dental crown to attach. Sometimes, a crown lengthening procedure is required before a patient can receive a dental crown.

What Is a Crown Lengthening?

A crown lengthening (sometimes also called a crown extension) is a surgical procedure that is designed to recontour a patient's gum tissue (and sometimes bone tissue as well) in order to lengthen the portion of a tooth that is exposed above the gum line. Crown lengthening procedures are performed for both cosmetic and restorative dentistry purposes.

Although they are considered to be surgery, crown lengthening procedures are fairly simple and quite commonly performed. Patients are treated with local anesthetics to ensure they do not experience any pain or discomfort during treatment. Typically, a crown lengthening procedure requires about an hour for the duration of the procedure.

5 Reasons Why You Might Need a Crown Lengthening

1. Your Tooth Is Too Short

The bond between your gums and teeth helps to prevent food debris and bacteria from becoming stuck between the gums and teeth and causing problems like periodontal disease. In order to create a strong bond and seal between the gum tissue and tooth, the gums need at least about two available millimeters of exposed tooth.

If a tooth is too short to promote good gum health due to genetics, an injury, or serious tooth decay, then a crown lengthening procedure might be necessary.

woman smile dental crown

2. Your Tooth Is Fractured or Broken Below the Gum Line

If you incur an injury to the face or a weakened tooth gives way and breaks off or fractures below the gum line, then you might need a crown lengthening procedure so that your dentist or prosthodontist has access to the fractured portion of the tooth for treatment.

3. You Have Significant Tooth Decay Below the Gum Line

Cavities do not always occur on the exposed surface of the tooth. Sometimes, they develop below the gum line. In the case of a dental cavity below the gum line, a crown lengthening procedure might be necessary in order to lower the tissue level, exposing more of the tooth, to provide the dentist better access to the cavity for treatment.

4. You Have Excessive Gum Tissue

Some people have excessive gum tissue. This is sometimes referred to as a "gummy smile." For some people, having a gummy smile is a cosmetic concern that they wish to address to change the appearance of their smile. Excessive gum tissue, however, can also be an oral health problem because it can be difficult to maintain and keep clean. As a result, it can increase a patient's risk of developing periodontal disease.

A crown lengthening (or gum recontouring) procedure can be performed to remove excessive gum tissues, expose more of a patient's tooth surface, and correct a gummy smile.

5. For a Better Fitting Dental Restoration

A variety of dental restorations and cosmetic treatments require an anchor (usually the patient's natural tooth) to fix it securely inside the mouth. In addition to dental crowns, this includes restorations and cosmetic treatments such as dental veneers and dental bridges.

If there is not enough natural tooth surface exposed above the gum line, then these dental restorations would not be able to achieve a secure attachment. In such instances, a crown lengthening procedure can help to expose more of the tooth's surface so that your prosthodontist can create a secure and lasting bond between a new dental restoration and the patient's natural tooth.

Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry With Our Loveland Prosthodontist

Dr. Bock is one of the only prosthodontists in the Loveland, Colorado area, and he takes pride in providing patients of Northern Colorado Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry with the very best care using some of the most advanced treatment technologies available. Dr. Bock is highly experienced and trained in dental prosthetics.

Whether you're in need of a dental crown or another restorative or cosmetic procedure, we are here to create and recommend a treatment that is personalized to meet your needs and help you achieve your smile goals. To learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. Bock at Northern Colorado Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry, we welcome you to contact our office today.


Getting dental implants is an exciting decision for anyone who is missing one or more teeth. The process, however, can be fairly lengthy and complex. To ensure that your dental implant procedure and recovery go smoothly, it's important to follow all of the aftercare and recovery instructions provided to you – including what to eat and not eat in the days immediately following surgery.

What to Eat After Dental Implant Surgery

what to eat after dental implants

For one to two weeks after your dental implant surgery, you will want to keep to a diet of soft foods that have a mild flavor and moderate to cool temperature. Some great suggestions of things to eat after dental implant surgery include:

  • Oatmeal - Warm oatmeal or cold overnight oats is a nice soft meal that will be gentle on your gums while they heal.
  • Nut Butter - Any kind of nut butter, enjoyed alone or mixed into oatmeal, is a great source of protein and fat while you recover.
  • Soft Fruits - Avoid hard, crunchy fruits, but feel free to enjoy soft fruits like mashed banana, applesauce, canned peaches, or canned pears.
  • Smoothies - If you have harder fruits that you would like to enjoy, blend them up into a smoothie with some spinach and plain yogurt.
  • Mashed Potato - Mashed potatoes with soft fixings (butter, sour cream, or cheese) are a good option that won't irritate your healing gum tissues.
  • Eggs - Eggs cooked just about any way offer a wide variety of nutrients and also make a great meal while you're recovering from dental implant surgery.
  • Broth and Soups - You can also enjoy broths and soups while you recover. Be sure to let them cool down so that they are just warm and not hot when you eat them. Also, we recommend sticking to pureed soups during the first few days of recovery and saving chunkier soups or chili for after a few days of healing.
  • Dairy - yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, soft cheese, ice cream
  • Pudding - Pudding in any flavor is a nice treat and easy to eat while you recover.
  • Protein Shakes - Protein shakes can also be a good source of protein and other vitamins to ensure you're maintaining a balanced, well-rounded diet while you heal.
  • Soft, Flaky Fish - You can also eat fish that is cooked up to be flaky and soft.
  • Tofu - Tofu that isn't prepared in a way that makes it overly crisp can also be eaten during your early recovery from implant surgery.

Any soft food that doesn't require much chewing after your surgery should be just fine to eat. Plus, remember that it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water while you recover.

What to Avoid After Dental Implant Surgery

After dental implant surgery, there are some foods, activities, and other things that you should try to avoid in order not to disturb the incision site in your mouth. These include:

  • Hot or Spicy Foods - Any spicy foods like salsa, chili, or hot peppers can irritate your gum tissues that will be extra-sensitive following surgery. This can cause painful irritation and inflammation.
  • Hard Foods - Chewing on ice, nuts, or hard candy after surgery can damage your incision site.
  • Chewy Foods - Overly chewy foods like steak, raw vegetables, or taffy put too much pressure on your delicate incision site after surgery.
  • Crunchy Foods - Crunchy foods like nuts, crackers, or chips can damage your incision site, too.
  • Acidic Foods - Like spicy foods, acidic foods and drinks such as citrus or soda can irritate and inflame your sensitive gum tissue while it is still healing.
  • Straws - Sucking on a straw can dislodge the blood clots that help your incision site to heal properly. Liquids are a good choice after surgery, but be sure to enjoy them without a straw.
  • Alcohol - Alcohol can increase inflammation, leading to worse swelling and pain at the incision site.
  • Tobacco - Tobacco use of any kind can slow your recovery process.

Further Aftercare Instructions for Your Dental Implant Surgery Recovery

In addition to providing you with guidance regarding your diet after having dental implant surgery, our prosthodontist provides patients with additional aftercare instructions that are intended to help speed recovery and ensure a proper recovery. These instructions typically include avoiding exercise or other vigorous physical activities for two to three days after your surgery, keeping your head elevated to prevent swelling, using a cold compress to keep swelling at bay, and using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to treat any pain that arises.

We will also send you home with a list of signs or symptoms that could indicate complications or infection after your surgery. Some of these include severe pain, significant swelling, visible pus at the treatment site, and more. If you notice any concerning signs or experience severe symptoms, you should contact our office as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment.

Comprehensive Dental Implant Procedures and Care in Loveland, CO

At Northern Colorado Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry, we're pleased to provide our patients with comprehensive dental implant services from initial consultation, preparation, and surgery to permanent crown placement and ongoing maintenance. To learn more about why dental implants are the best tooth-replacement treatment option and how dental implants can help you replace one or more missing teeth, we welcome you to contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Bock today.

Dental implants are not only an investment in your health and wellbeing but also a considerable investment in time, as the process of getting dental implants can be quite lengthy. Additionally, the cost of dental implants, depending on your individual treatment needs, must also be carefully considered. For this reason, selecting the right dentist to work with throughout the process of getting dental implants is essential and can mean the difference between a perfect treatment outcome and less desirable results.

dentist and dental implants

What Are Dental Implants?

A permanent tooth-replacement treatment option, dental implants are basically prosthetic teeth that resemble a natural tooth's structures, form, and function. Three parts comprise a dental implant: an anchor, an abutment, and a dental crown.

The anchor is a screw-like apparatus made of biocompatible metal that is implanted into the patient's jawbone. The anchor osseointegrated (fuses) with the patient's bone and holds the prosthetic tooth in place. The abutment attaches to the anchor and is designed to fit snugly inside the dental crown which is the visible portion of the dental implant that replaces the tooth.

Why It's Important to Choose the Right Dentist for Dental Implants

Getting a dental implant is more complicated than getting a dental filling or a root canal procedure; the dental implant process can be lengthy and complex, and it's essential that you choose a dentist who is experienced in evaluating patients for dental implants, performing bone grafting procedures (if necessary), performing implant placement surgery, and assessing the patient's recovery.

Working with the right provider throughout this process ensures continuity of care, the knowledge of experience and training, positive treatment outcomes, and a good investment of your time and money.

So, how do you choose the right dental treatment provider for your dental implants? What qualities or certifications should you look for? What factors should you consider?

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dentist for Dental Implants

1. Full-Service Dental Implant Provider

The dental implant process is complex, can take months to complete, and involves several steps such as:

  • The initial consultation, diagnostic imaging, examination, and patient evaluation
  • Bone grafting and recovery
  • Implant placement and recovery
  • Abutment placement and recovery
  • Dental crown design and manufacturing
  • Placement of the permanent dental crown
  • Ongoing care and maintenance

When working with a full-service dental implant provider, you'll enjoy continuity of care and much more desirable results. Plus, working with a single provider throughout the process is way more convenient for patients since you do not have to worry about the transfer of your patient records between offices or work to facilitate the communication between your separate dental care providers during the process. Instead, you'll receive treatment in a single office with a single provider and the dental care support staff with which you are already familiar.

2. Qualifications and Continuing Education

Not every dentist is qualified to place dental implants. Dentists who can place dental implants are also oral surgeons, which requires extensive training and education. Look for a board-certified prosthodontist or a dentist with specialized training in implant dentistry.

It's also important to select an oral surgeon who participates in continuing education to ensure you have the most positive patient experience possible today. Continuing education and training ensures you receive the most advanced care using the best treatment technology available.

3. Years of Experience

As with anything, practice makes perfect. Ask about your dental implant provider's years of experience and the number of patients who have been treated successfully. You're more likely to receive high-quality care from a provider with a positive track record and lots of experience than you are from a provider who has just completed their schooling.

4. Patient Reviews

Before choosing a provider, take a look at their patient reviews and testimonials to learn more about the positive and negative aspects of receiving treatment from them. You'll learn invaluable details about the care and office environment different dentists provide from other patients who have already experienced it.

5. Sedation Dentistry Options

When undergoing a fairly invasive dental procedure, it is important to ask about the sedation dentistry options available to you and talk with your dentist about which options might be best for you. Additionally, you can find out whether any other steps are taken to ensure your comfort before, during, and after your treatment.

6. Insurance and Payment Options

Although no one really likes to think about money, it's an important factor to consider when choosing an oral surgeon for an implant placement procedure. Choose a provider that accepts your dental insurance policy and ask whether they offer any financing or other payment options if needed.

Northern Colorado's Dental Implant Specialist

As a board-certified prosthodontist specializing in dental implants and prosthetic dentistry, Dr. Andrew Bock is highly trained, educated, and experienced in working with patients throughout the entire dental implant process and procedure – from consultation and preparation to the placement of the final crown, bridge, or denture.

To always ensure patients receive the best care available, to continue learning, and to stay abreast of the latest advancements in the industry, Dr. Bock is a member of the American College of Prosthodontists, the Academy of Osseointegration, the American Dental Association, the Colorado Dental Association, and the Larimer County Dental Society.

If you are missing one or more teeth and think that dental implants, an implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported dentures are the right tooth-replacement option for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bock at Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry today.

Several factors can affect the appearance of a person's smile such as diet, disease, injury, age, and genetics. Whether you have major concerns or minor imperfections that you would like to correct in order to revitalize the look of your smile, cosmetic dentistry treatments can help you create a smile that will boost your confidence and make you feel happy and proud when you show it off.

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry refers to a branch of dentistry that focuses on the aesthetic appearance of a smile in addition to the correction of both major and minor imperfections with the goal of improving the look of a patient's smile. While some cosmetic dentistry treatments also have some health-related benefits, the maintenance of oral health is not necessarily the primary goal of cosmetic dentistry treatments.

cosmetic dentistry

9 Ways Cosmetic Dentistry Can Improve Your Smile

1. Improve the Symmetry of Your Smile

Facial symmetry is strongly associated with our perception of beauty. The more symmetrical a face is, the more attractive it is perceived to be. A variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments can help correct asymmetrical imperfections to create an overall more balanced, symmetrical look.

2. Hiding Cracks, Chips, or Broken Teeth

If you have cracked, chipped, or broken teeth due to weakened enamel or an injury, cosmetic dentistry treatments like veneers or dental bonding can help to mask minor damage while a dental crown might be needed to cover and correct more severe damage.

3. Filling in Tooth Gaps

Some patients love the unique look that a tooth gap can bring to a smile, but not everyone loves their own. Whether you get orthodontic care, dental veneers, or dental bonding, cosmetic dentistry can help you fill in a tooth gap with which you simply are not in love.

4. Correct the Shape or Size of Teeth

Sometimes, teeth can be much larger, significantly smaller, or misshapen – especially when compared to their neighboring teeth or the corresponding tooth on the other side of the arch. This can significantly impact the symmetry, fullness, and overall look of a person's smile. Treatments like bonding, veneers, and dental crowns can help correct the size and/or shape of a tooth.

5. Improve Your Smile's Color

It is common for teeth to become stained or discolored as a result of tobacco use, consuming highly pigmented foods and drinks, age, as a side effect of certain medications, and even as a result of certain oral health issues. Cosmetic dentistry can help address stains and discoloration for a brighter, whiter, and more uniform smile appearance with several different treatment strategies.

Most stains and discoloration can be removed with professional teeth whitening treatments. More stubborn stains or discoloration can be covered up using dental veneers, dental bonding, or dental crowns.

6. Replace Missing Teeth

Having a tooth that is missing, especially one that is visible in the front of your mouth, can significantly alter a person's appearance. Additionally, there are other consequences that can arise as a result of missing teeth. Over time, the neighboring teeth can shift and move into the gap left behind, resulting in bite problems (malocclusion). Over time, a person's jawbone will also start to deteriorate in the spot where the missing tooth was once located.

The best treatment option for replacing one or more missing teeth is dental implants which anchor directly in a patient's jawbone and closely mimic a natural tooth. Dental implants, implant-supported dentures, implant-supported bridges, and all-on-4 treatment are all great tooth-replacement options that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.

7. Straighten Crooked Teeth

Orthodontics can actually straighten crooked teeth with braces and clear aligners. However, cosmetic dentistry treatments can give a patient's teeth the appearance of being straight with dental veneers. This is often a good option when a patient's teeth are not so severely crooked that the misalignment causes discomfort, TMJ disorder, or difficulty with oral hygiene.

8. Healthier Teeth

While dental crowns, inlays, onlays, and bonding can be considered cosmetic dentistry treatments, they can also offer some improvement to the health of a patient's teeth when they are in need of restoration. For example, dental crowns, inlays, and onlays can all be used to address severe tooth decay.

9. Address Tooth Sensitivity

In addition to covering up stains and correcting minor chips in teeth, dental bonding can also help patients who suffer from sensitive teeth by sealing areas where the tooth enamel is thin or where the dentin has been exposed as a result of receding gums.

Restorative and Cosmetic Dentistry Services With Our Loveland, CO Prosthodontist

While cosmetic dentistry treatments are designed to improve the look of a patient's smile, several restorative dentistry treatments can do the same while also addressing oral health concerns. Although every patient is different, many patients benefit from receiving a combination of both restorative and cosmetic dentistry treatments during their oral health journey.

At Northern Colorado Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry, we offer a variety of cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments and services that, together, can restore the function of your smile and completely revitalize your look. Treatments available with our experienced prosthodontist include:

  • Dental Bonding
  • Dental Crowns
  • Dental Veneers
  • Porcelain Restorations
  • Inlays and Onlays
  • Dental Implants
  • Bridges
  • Full and Partial Dentures
  • Implant-Supported Dentures
  • All-on-4

After a consultation and examination, Dr. Andrew Bock can recommend a personalized treatment plan that is based on your treatment preferences and designed to help you achieve a smile that looks and feels amazing.

To learn more about how cosmetic and restorative dentistry can improve the look of your smile or schedule a consultation with Dr. Bock, we welcome you to contact our office or schedule an appointment online today.

Dental veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments because they are simple and relatively non-invasive. However, their ability to completely makeover the look of a smile is quite powerful. They are a great option for patients who have healthy teeth and gums but who would like to correct the appearance of minor (or even major) imperfections in their smiles (that do not affect the integrity of the health of the teeth).

choosing veneers while smiling

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin, shell-like dental prosthetics that adhere to the fronts of a patient's teeth to alter their appearance. They can be used to mask or correct the appearance of stains, discoloration, chips, cracks, gaps, slightly crooked teeth, misshapen teeth, broken teeth, or teeth that are too small.

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

The average lifespan of dental veneers varies depending on the type of material the veneers are made out of.

Porcelain Dental Veneers

Dental veneers made from porcelain have an average lifespan of about 20 years. The lifespan can be extended when they are properly cared for, or it can be shortened in cases where they receive excessive wear and tear.

Porcelain veneers are typically more expensive than composite veneers, and they are a permanent treatment, meaning once you have porcelain veneers you will need to maintain them for life. Despite that, they do last much longer, look much more natural, and are more resistant to staining.

Composite Dental Veneers

Composite dental veneers have an average lifespan of about five years since the material they are made from is not as durable, stain-resistant, or strong as porcelain.

Composite dental veneers are made from a synthetic material that's comprised of a combination of resin (a type of plastic) and glass. Rather than being permanently cemented to the front of the teeth, composite dental veneers are "painted" on in a very thin layer. This means a patient does not have to continue maintaining them for life like they do porcelain veneers.

How to Make Your Dental Veneers Last Longer (8 Tips)

To extend the life of porcelain veneers or composite veneers, practice the following care tips:

1. Don't Chew on Hard Objects

The excessive wear, tear, and pressure that chewing on hard objects like pen caps, pencils, or ice put on the teeth can damage dental veneers, leading to the need to replace a broken porcelain veneer or to repair a composite veneer.

2. Don't Use Your Teeth As Tools

Just like you shouldn't chew on hard objects, you also shouldn't use your teeth as tools. For example, you should never use your teeth to open packaging or pop bottle caps.

3. Wear an Athletic Mouthguard

If you participate in sports or other athletic activities that have a risk of falling or impact or that involve the use of balls, sticks, or other flying objects, then you should wear an athletic mouthguard to protect your dental veneers (and the rest of your mouth) from damage.

4. Wear a Nightguard

If you have been diagnosed with sleep bruxism (clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth) at night, this can put excessive wear and tear on your teeth. You should wear a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Depending on the wear patterns your teeth display, our dentist can recommend the right type of nightguard or mouth splint for you.

5. Don't Use Tobacco Products

Using tobacco products of any kind can stain your dental veneers, and traditional teeth whitening products do not work on the porcelain or composite materials that veneers are made out of. As a result of using tobacco, your bright, white smile can soon appear dull, stained, and yellowed.

6. Avoid Highly Pigmented Foods and Beverages

Just like tobacco can stain dental veneers, highly pigmented foods and beverages can too. Try to avoid consuming dark-colored juices, red wine, caramel-colored sodas, chocolate, tea, coffee, and berries. If you do enjoy these foods and drinks, rinse your mouth with water right after eating. Drinking with a straw can also minimize the amount of pigment your front teeth are exposed to.

7. Choose the Right Oral Hygiene Tools

It's important that you use proper brushing techniques when you have dental veneers and that you choose dental tools that won't damage your dental work. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles, use toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association, and brush your teeth using gentle pressure and strokes only.

8. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Continue practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly to protect the health of your teeth and gums while helping to extend the lifespan of your dental veneers.

Dental Veneers and Veneer Replacement With Our Prosthodontist in Northern Colorado

If you want to drastically improve the look of your smile, then veneers might be the right cosmetic dentistry treatment option for you. Veneers can be used to cover difficult stains or other discoloration, fill in gaps, correct the shape of a tooth, or improve the symmetry of your smile for a more attractive overall appearance.

Dr. Bock at Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry is highly experienced in veneer design, creation, placement, and care. He can work with you to help you determine whether dental veneers are the right treatment option to help you meet your smile goals. To schedule a consultation, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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© 2022 Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry. Loveland, CO. All Rights Reserved.