My Blog

Posts for: March, 2016

It’s amazing how much these simple restorations can revive your smile.

Restorative dentistry is a wonderful thing; it allows your Chico dentist Dr. Ashley Harrison, to give you back a beautiful smile despite dental bridgedamage or other issues that may have affected the appearance and function of your teeth. Find out the benefits of choosing crowns and bridges and what they can do for your oral health.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a fixed restoration that replaces a missing tooth or several teeth and prevents the surrounding healthy teeth from shifting into the open space and moving out of alignment. A bridge is made up of two dental crowns, which are placed over natural teeth to help secure and anchor the bridge into place. From there a false tooth, also known as a pontic, is placed in between the two crowns and cemented to them.

What are the benefits of getting a dental bridge?

There are many advantages to getting a dental bridge in Chico including:

An aesthetic boost

With a traditional dental bridge not only will we fill the gap in your smile with a tooth that looks and functions like a real tooth but also the two crowns we place over the supporting natural teeth can be used to improve the overall look, color or shape of those teeth, as well. Through the use of durable but natural-looking porcelain, your Chico dentist can create the desired look you want while also providing a restoration that is stain-resistant.

Additional protection

If the teeth that we are going to place dental crowns over are a bit weaker or even broken then getting a dental crown can actually restore strength and function back into the tooth. Not only will the gap in your smile benefit from bridges but the neighboring teeth can also get a makeover. A dental crown can also make a damaged or weaker tooth last longer.

You’ll get a new smile fast

With other options like implants, it can take up to a year to get a new tooth but getting a dental bridge only takes about two visits (and doesn’t take much more time than getting a dental crown). This is significantly easier on many patients’ busy schedules.

Boasts less invasiveness

Many patients fear dental procedures, most particularly surgery. If you are looking to replace a missing tooth without needing surgery than you’ll want to choose a dental bridge over implants. Getting a bridge does not require any surgeries and is generally a much easier procedure to go through.

If you need to replace a damaged or missing tooth, then it’s time you called our Chico, CA dental practice. Turn to Ashley Harrison, DDS and her caring team for the best general, cosmetic and restorative dentistry.

By Ashley Harrison, DDS
March 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?


There are a lot of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth. Some methods can be quite involved like crowns or bridgework, which require extensive alteration of teeth to accommodate them.

Other methods, though, can achieve stunning results with less tooth reduction or alteration to your teeth. Porcelain veneers are one such alternative that literally puts a new face on your teeth. A dental veneer is a thin layer of restorative material (usually porcelain) that is bonded to the outside of a tooth to cover blemishes. They’re an excellent choice for dealing with otherwise healthy teeth with mild to moderate chipping, wearing, staining or slight misalignment.

Veneers can be fashioned to match the shape and texture of the prepared tooth, as well as coloring that blends with neighboring teeth. They’re created by skilled dental lab technicians who use porcelain powder mixed with water to create layers of pliable porcelain laminated together to achieve the appropriate thickness and shape. The veneer is then oven-fired to produce a strong, durable product.

Their use in various dental situations does require some tooth preparation, though normally not as much as other restorative measures — usually no more than 0.5 mm of surface enamel. Removing this small amount will ensure the veneer doesn’t look too thick and bulky once bonded to the tooth.

There are some situations, though, where veneers aren’t the best choice: because they’re mainly a cosmetic solution, they can’t remedy problems like poor tooth position and bite or large discrepancies in root position. And teeth that are heavily decayed may require more extensive dental work to repair and preserve them.

In the right situation, though, veneers can make a huge difference to your smile and last for years, as long as you practice effective oral hygiene and don’t subject them to abnormal biting force (no cracking hard shell nuts with them — they can shatter). In skilled hands, veneers can transform your teeth from embarrassing to dazzling.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Smile Design Enhanced with Porcelain Veneers.”