Gettysburg Family Dentist Blog

Julie Berger

Recent Posts

Why do I need a Crown?

Posted by Julie Berger on Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 15:05 PM



What is a crown?

A crown, sometimes referred to as a cap, is a protective covering for the tooth. Many materials are used to make crowns. 

Solid gold crowns are still an excellent option for molar teeth.  Gold is very biocompatible.  Some crowns are metal on the inside with porcelain on the outside.  Zirconium and lithium disilicate, all ceramic crowns are extremely lifelike and esthetic. There is no metal to show through at the gum-line. Crowns are custom-made for each patient and are cemented, or bonded to the natural tooth structure. Missing a tooth?  Crowns can also be specially made to be held in by dental implants.

How will I know if I need a crown?

A dentist may recommend a crown for various reasons. The most common reasons are:

  • Cracked tooth
  • Tooth with a large filling
  • Molar or premolar with root canal treatment 
  • Badly worn or decayed tooth

Cracked teeth usually cannot be restored with just a filling. To help prevent the crack from spreading and breaking the tooth, the tooth needs a crown to cover and protect it.

Teeth with very large fillings are more susceptible to breakage than other teeth. If the tooth has more filling than natural tooth, your dentist may recommend a crown to prevent the tooth from cracking and breaking.

Molars and premolars are the back teeth that perform most of the chewing. Root canal treatment can leave teeth brittle, and without proper protection the teeth can break. Since the molars and premolars bear the brunt of our chewing forces, once they have had root canal treatment, they usually need a crown to give them extra strength and support.

Badly worn or badly decayed teeth need structural restoration. When loss of tooth structure is significant, a filling is not enough to fix the tooth. A crown can replace lost tooth structure and protect the tooth from further damage.

Julie C. Berger, DDS, MS is a local Gettysburg dentist and prosthodontist and former clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.



Topics: Crowns, Porcelain Crowns

New Denture Technology

Posted by Julie Berger on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 09:07 AM

gettysburg dentist
These Ain’t your Grandparents Dentures!
There is nothing like your natural teeth.  That’s why, as dentists, we encourage you to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.  Sometimes, however, due to decay or trauma or periodontal disease, that’s just not possible.  When most people think about dentures, they visualize the ill-fitting ones that made Grandpa slur his words and struggle to eat. However, there have been many advances in denture technology. Modern dentures are comfortable to wear and often allow the user to eat, talk, and laugh normally. Today's dentures are also cosmetically appealing and, in many cases, look better than the natural teeth they replace!  
Immediate dentures
After complete tooth loss, immediate, removable dentures are usually fitted. These first dentures are made before the teeth are even removed.  That way you never have to go without teeth. No one needs to know.  During the next months your mouth will heal and the gums and bone will shrink.  The immediate denture will gradually loosen.  Once the healing process is complete, new, properly fitted dentures, can be constructed. 
Dental implants are often a life changer for denture wearers.  Rather than just having to rely on suction or denture adhesive to hold in dentures, two or more dental implants can be placed in the jaw bone to snuggly hold dentures in place.  Now you can eat and laugh and talk without fear of dentures slipping.  If several implants are placed the denture can sometimes be replaced altogether with permanent, fixed teeth. 
Denture Specialists
Whether you opt for implants or not, getting the most secure denture fit possible requires careful attention to detail. The way the teeth fit together (occlusion) is critical and the size and the shape of teeth should be proportioned to your particular mouth and face. Making excellent dentures is an art and skill that can require a lot of experience. The key to having a good denture experience, with or without dental implants, is getting the fit of the dentures right. The skill of the dentist in making molds and adjusting the dentures to fit properly can dramatically affect the final results. If the bite is right and the contours of the denture are made to ideal, wrinkles around the mouth can be reduced and you can look years younger!
Who should I go to for dentures?
It’s a good idea to select someone with extensive experience in making dentures. A prosthodontist is a dentist that specializes in this kind of treatment. A prosthodontist trains for three additional years after the four years of dental school to be proficient in all kinds of denture treatment options. He or she can advise you on the most modern options so you will look and feel your best.
Julie C. Berger, DDS, MS is a dentist and board certified  prosthodontist in Gettysburg, PA.  She is a former full time clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
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