180 Hwy 35
Red Bank, NJ 07701
562 Route 35
Red Bank, NJ 07701-5066
Wang, Alex W D.D.S.
1077 E Chestnut Ave
Vineland, NJ, 08360-5840
Mid-Jersey Endodontic Group
76 Livingston Ave # 1
New Brunswick, NJ, 08901-2575
Tsoucaris, Stephen J D.D.S.
1323 Anderson Ave
Fort Lee, NJ, 07024-1771
Wang, Alex Weilun D.D.S.
810 New Rd
Linwood, NJ, 08221-1105
The crown serves two important functions. First, it restores the appearance of your teeth and your face. If your tooth is severely decayed or cracked, the dentist will need to restore it prior to preparing a cap. Teeth also support the muscles in our faces, so anything less than a full tooth may affect the way you look.
Second, a crown will be the same size and shape as the natural tooth. As a result, it will keep your jaw and bite aligned; it will also make sure that other teeth don't shift locations or take on a greater share of the work of biting and chewing.
Crowns are most often made of gold or porcelain. Crowns also can be made of stainless steel, but those crowns are often temporary and not designed for long-term wear.
Porcelain crowns usually are built on a metal base, which fits snugly over the natural tooth. Your dentist will choose a porcelain that matches the color of your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns usually are so carefully matched in color, they cannot be distinguished from your natural teeth. Many people choose porcelain crowns for the cosmetic appearance and the confidence it gives them.
New materials are now available that allow the use of "all-ceramic" crowns in some cases. They have a beautiful life-like appearance and short-term studies support their success, with long-term trials ongoing.
Crowns also can be made of all gold. Some people prefer not to use gold because it stands out from the other teeth in appearance. At the same time, if the crown is on a back molar, some people feel the cosmetic issue is not a big one. Your dentist will discuss the types of materials available if a crown is recommended.
Once your crown is in place, make sure the area is brushed well and that you floss below the gum line. While the crown protects your remaining tooth from further decay, you must protect the base of the crown from bacterial growth and gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing as you would your natural teeth will ensure that your crown will be in place for years to come!
By Danine M. Fresch, DDS
Tooth sensitivity to cold and/or sweets may be a sign of a cavity, but it may also be caused by root sensitivity. Teeth are made up of a very hard substance called enamel, which protects the nerve inside the tooth from the stimuli your teeth experience, such as hot, cold, sweets, and chewing.
The surface of the root of the tooth is covered by a material called cementum that is not as strong as enamel, but is protected by the overlying gum tissue. Tooth sensitivity basically occurs when something happens to cause the gum tissue to recede, leaving the sensitive cementum exposed.
One of the most common factors of gum recession is due to the toothbrush. The process is caused by brushing too hard or by using a hard bristled toothbrush, thereby causing the gums to recede. The use of a soft toothbrush with proper technique can help prevent this recession.
Chemical erosion is another cause of root sensitivity. This can occur in people who drink an excessive amount of carbonated beverages or suck on highly acidic foods, such as lemons or limes. The acids in these products can actually eat away the protective enamel coating of the teeth right along the gum line, leading to sensitivity.
This same type of tooth sensitivity may also occur after any dental treatment that affects the position of the gum tissue on the tooth. Some examples would be gum surgeries that expose more tooth structure or the extraction of teeth, which may cause shrinkage of the gum tissue in the area adjacent to other teeth.
The most critical aspect in treating root sensitivity is accurately diagnosing and treating the cause with your dentist. If the cause is not known and corrected, the problem will continue to recur in spite of treatment. Treatment is aimed at coating or sealing the surface of the exposed root to prevent the stimulus (cold, sweets) from transmitting to the nerve of the tooth, causing sensitivity.
There are toothpastes available at most stores that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth. These products decrease the sensitivity over time, although you may find if you stop using them, the sensitivity returns. This may be because the underlying cause has not been treated.
Another option is to have a highly concentrated fluoride gel applied to the sensitive areas at your dentist's office. Your dentist can also seal the area with a thin coating of resin. This is not like a filling, but more like a thin coat of a clear liquid that helps to seal your tooth when it is placed and cured.
Placing restorations (fillings) in the exposed areas will also seal them, but unless the cause of the tooth sensitivity is identified and corrected, the gum may continue to recede past where the filling was placed, causing a new area of root to be exposed below the level of the filling. If the recession is more extreme, a gum graft may be placed, where gum tissue is taken from another part of your mouth and grafted over the exposed area.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD