Gettysburg Family Dentist Blog

A Different Kind of Crown

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 07:06 AM

gettysburg dentist crown
"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.."  - Shakespeare
While most people likely do not look forward to getting a dental crown, it sometimes becomes necessary. However, not everyone is familiar with what a crown is-- or why they're needed. So, what exactly is a dental crown? A crown-- which is kind of like an artificial layer of enamel placed over a tooth-- serves a number of functions. A dental crown not only improves the appearance of a damaged tooth, it also strengthens the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. Crowns are usually custom made for your particular tooth by a dental lab technician. Sometimes it is also possible to make an in -office, CADCAM designed Cerec crown. Let's discuss some more information about crowns below.
When is a crown needed?
If your dentist has recommended a crown to you, you might wonder why it's necessary. Crowns are typically recommended in the following situations:
  • Large filling replacement. If you have a large filling that needs replacement, your dentist might recommend a crown instead. This is particularly true if the filling is so large that there is very little tooth remaining.
  • Repair a fractured tooth. Sometimes, fractured teeth are restored by using dental crowns. The tooth-shaped cap is placed over the damaged tooth, helping to strengthen it.
  • Prevent fracture. Not only are crowns used to repair fractured teeth, they are also sometimes used to prevent fractures in weak and at-risk teeth.
  • Root canal. If you've had a root canal, your dentist will likely place a crown over the affected tooth.
  • Improve appearance. If you have a chipped, discolored, or otherwise damaged tooth, a crown is sometimes used to improve its appearance.
Caring for your dental crown
When cared for properly, a dental crown can last between five and fifteen years. It's important to maintain good oral hygiene and remember that your crown isn't immune to tooth decay or gum disease. Thus, brushing your teeth at least twice a day and daily flossing is essential. When flossing and brushing, take special care of the area around the crown, where the tooth and crown margins meet. Make sure to visit your dentist and hygienist for regular preventative care as well.
Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
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Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry

Your Headaches and Your Teeth

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 14:05 PM


Did you know that your tension or stress headache maybe caused by teeth grinding or a malaligned bitegettysburg tmj dentist

The medical name, Bruxism, is the grinding, gnashing or clenching of your teeth. . This can occur during the day and, more commonly, while you sleep.  Many people are completely unaware of this activity, but your dentist can always tell!

Jaw muscles allow us to chew, close, and open our jaws. Every time you swallow, the upper and lower teeth come together to brace your lower jaw against the skull. If the teeth don’t meet properly the muscles can become painful. If the bite is off and you grind your teeth at night it’s a double wammy! Headaches, muscle aches, jaw pain and jaw popping may result. Additionally you may crack teeth and fillings or simply wear your teeth down to nubs.

Signs and Symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of bruxism and a misaligned bite may include:

  • Teeth clenching or grinding
  • Flattened teeth, chipped, loose or fractured teeth
  • Worn enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Soreness in your face or jaw
  • Tight or tired jaw muscles
  • Earache
  • Dull headache in the temples
  • Waking up with a headache


A dentist may prescribe an oral, splint appliance (orthotic) made of acrylic to protect the teeth for severe and persistent bruxism. A well adjusted, custom made splint appliance can do much more than an over the counter night guard. It can be constructed in such a way that the harmony is restored between the jaw joints and the bite, thus reducing muscle strain and relieving pressure on the jaw joints.

Sometimes, after a period of splint wear, the bite can be adjusted to ideal. This is called equilibration. Your dentist can make tiny adjustments to teeth and fillings to restore the harmony between the jaw joints and the teeth.

Some headaches can be easily taken care of with the help of a dental professional. It is in the best interest of a headache sufferer to make an appointment with their family dentist, who may be able to diagnose the cause.Once again, harmony can be restored in the mouth and the headaches may dissappear!

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. He is on the clinical faculty at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and treats TMJ problems.


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Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, Bruxism, Dentist Gettysburg, headaches, tension, tmj pain