1035 Park Boulevard Suite 2A
Massapequa Park, NY 11762
Dr. W. Bradford Emery DMD
2184 Chili Ave.
Rochester, NY, 14624
Dr. John V. Bucher, D.D.S. Family and Cosmetic Dental Care
1881 Western Avenue
Albany, NY, 12203
29 Barstow Road
Great Neck, NY, 11021
393 Franklin Avenue,Suite 103
Franklin Square, NY, 11010
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
Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are malignancies that include the lips, tongue, lining of the cheeks (buccal mucosa), floor of the mouth, gum (gingiva), the area behind the lower wisdom teeth (retromolar trigone), the roof of the mouth (hard and soft palates), the back of mouth and throat (oropharynx), and the sides of the throat (tonsil areas).
Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are most often diagnosed in older adults (average age at diagnosis is between 60 and 63), with over 95% of the oral cancer cases occurring after the age of 45. Men are diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer twice as often as women. Over the past several decades, the overall number of oral and oropharyngeal cancers has not changed; however, the number of men being diagnosed with the disease is decreasing and the number of women with the disease is increasing.
All forms of tobacco and excessive use of alcohol have been identified as major risks factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancers, and are suspected to account for 75% of all oral and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States. Sun exposure is a risk factor for lip cancer, while smokeless (snuff or spit) tobacco increases the risk for cancers inside the lips and cheek. Other risk factors for oral and oropharyngeal cancer are vitamin A deficiency and Plummer-Vinson Syndrome (a very rare iron deficiency).
The American Cancer Society estimates that 7,800 people will die because of oral or oropharyngeal cancer in the year 2000. Overall, people surviving five years after a diagnosis of oral and oropharyngeal cancer have shown little improvement; half of the people diagnosed with this disease survive five years. Deaths due to oral and oropharyngeal cancer vary greatly with the stage (spread) of the cancer at diagnosis. Oral and oropharyngeal cancers that are detected and treated early, and are localized, have greatly improved survival compared to those that have spread.
Early localized oral and pharyngeal cancers often are not bothersome and therefore go undetected until the cancer has spread. About half of oral and oropharyngeal cancers have spread to the lymph nodes (spread to the neck) at the time of diagnosis or treatment. Three sites within the mouth are high-risk for the development of oral and oropharyngeal cancer: the floor of the mouth, the sides of the tongue, and the soft palate complex (soft palate, inside the retromolar trigone, and tonsil area).
Detection of an oral and oropharyngeal cancer also identifies an individual who is at high risk for developing or having a cancer of the respiratory system and upper digestive tract (larynx, lung, and esophagus).
Warning signs and symptoms of oral and oropharyngeal cancer:
Pain may not be present with early oral and oropharyngeal lesions. Traumatic oral lesions will resolve or greatly improve after the cause of the trauma is removed (such as a sharp tooth or denture). A biopsy, to rule out or confirm a malignancy, is indicated if an oral lesion persists after two weeks. A dentist and/or physician should evaluate all suspicious lesions.
By Denise J. Fedele, DMD, MS