Types of Dental Crowns

Since 1975, Charles Zebe, DMD, has treated patients with a wide array of oral health issues at his private practice, Accurate Dental Group in Mercerville, New Jersey. One treatment that Dr. Charles Zebe uses for both restorative and cosmetic purposes is the placement of dental crowns.

A crown is a tooth restoration that completely covers a tooth and is used to treat decayed or broken teeth. Also used cosmetically, crowns can be placed to give oddly shaped or stained teeth a more aesthetically pleasing shape and color. There are three main types of crowns: metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and all-ceramic.

Because of their conspicuous appearance, metal crowns are often used on baby teeth or molars rather than on permanent front teeth. Strong enough to withstand heavy chewing forces, metal crowns rarely break and can be made from gold or less expensive base metal alloys.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have a metal base but are covered with porcelain materials that are shaded to match the patient’s surrounding teeth. These types of crowns are more natural looking than metal and stronger than all-ceramic crowns, but they often show a dark edge along the gumline and can cause opposing teeth to wear.

All-ceramic crowns are made of natural-looking, light-reflective porcelain materials for optimal cosmetic appeal. While they offer slightly less strength and durability than other types of crowns, they offer the best aesthetics, especially for front teeth.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Charles Zebe, DMD, has undergone hundreds of hours of advanced education beyond dental school to gain expertise in state-of-the art cosmetic dentistry procedures. His education, experience, and compassionate manner have made Dr. Charles Zebe a sought-after provider of dental implant crowns in the Mercerville, New Jersey, area.

Dental implants are the most advanced method of tooth replacement, offering stability and a natural feel unmatched by dentures. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for implants, however. Patients considering the procedure need to have healthy gums and enough dense bone tissue in the jaw to support the implants. Those without adequate bone tissue may still be good candidates for implants if they first undergo a grafting procedure to rebuild the alveolar bone.

Patients who wish to have implants placed must also have a strong commitment to keeping their teeth and gums healthy with diligent oral hygiene at home and regular dental visits. Smokers are not ideal candidates because smoking inhibits proper healing and is a major cause of dental implant failure.

Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, hemophilia, or immune disorders may prevent a patient from undergoing implant placement, but a lot depends on the severity of the condition and how well it is controlled. The implant dentist evaluates each patient on a case-by-case basis to determine candidacy.

Why Should Missing Teeth Be Replaced?

With a strong focus on preventive care, Charles Zebe, DMD, does everything possible to help patients keep their natural teeth for life. In some cases, however, tooth loss cannot be avoided, and Dr. Charles Zebe strongly encourages patients to have their teeth replaced with bridges, dentures, or dental implants.

While the cosmetic issues of missing teeth are very clear, the negative health effects are not quite as obvious. Problems with eating and speaking may be minimal at first, but just one missing tooth can have a domino effect on the entire mouth. Biting forces are redistributed to other teeth, which alters the bite, affects the jaw joints, and creates abnormal tooth wear. Teeth also begin to shift when tooth loss creates extra room in the mouth. Without tooth replacement, it may not take very long for the patient to develop crooked and worn teeth, a misaligned bite, TMJ disorder, and a greater vulnerability to tooth decay and gum disease.

While dentures, bridges, and dental implants can all prevent tooth drifting and changes in the bite, only one of these methods can additionally prevent the bone loss in the jaw that occurs after tooth loss. A dental implant stimulates the jawbone in the same manner as a natural tooth root, preventing the bone resorption that alters the appearance of the face.

Dr. Charles Zebe Discusses Fluoride

At Accurate Dental Group, general and cosmetic dentist Charles Zebe, DMD, recommends that patients see him every six months for preventive care. As part of these preventive checkups and cleanings, Dr. Charles Zebe offers his patients fluoride treatments to keep cavities at bay.

A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride helps to reverse the effects of acid attacks on tooth enamel, which is the protective outermost layer of the teeth. When sugars and starches are consumed, oral bacteria mix with these substances and produce acids that leech minerals from the enamel and make the teeth more prone to decay. This process is called demineralization, but minerals such as fluoride and calcium help to remineralize and strengthen the enamel.

In addition to eating a diet that is high in calcium, patients can help to prevent decay by drinking fluoridated water and brushing with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride treatments, which are administered after a professional dental cleaning in the form of a gel or a varnish, can make teeth more resistant to acids and reverse early decay in some cases.

Cosmetic Bonding Q&A

For detailed information on cosmetic bonding, contact Charles Zebe, DMD, at Accurate Dental Group in Mercerville, New Jersey. Dr. Charles Zebe provides a wide array of preventive, reconstructive, and cosmetic dentistry services.

What is cosmetic bonding?

Making use of the same plastic composite resin material that is used for tooth-colored fillings, bonding is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that can change the color, shape, and size of a tooth in just one office visit. Bonding material starts out soft so that it can be molded into the perfect shape and is then hardened.

Why would a patient need dental bonding?

Bonding can be used to correct most cosmetic issues, such as teeth that are chipped, cracked, oddly shaped or discolored.

How is cosmetic bonding performed?

First, the dentist applies a conditioning solution to the tooth to create an optimal surface that will help the resin material bond. Next, the putty-like composite resin, which is tinted to match surrounding teeth, is applied and sculpted to the desired aesthetic appearance. After hardening the material under a special light, the dentist shapes and buffs the tooth. The end result is a polished new tooth that looks natural and functions just like a natural tooth.

Dental Malpractice: What Counts and What Doesn’t, by Dr. Charles Zebe

Like other forms of medical malpractice lawsuits, dental malpractice claims arise when a dentist seriously injures a patient as a result of inappropriate or inadequate procedures, whether or not the dentist was aware of his or her actions. Performing treatment that exceeds the decided-upon procedures (completing a surprise root canal during a routine cleaning, for example), can also result in a malpractice claim, as can the failure to report serious oral diseases to the patient.

However, many patients attempt to file malpractice charges when they are simply unhappy with the results of their visit. Unsatisfactory procedures rarely fall under the category of malpractice, as no dentist can guarantee that every patient will be thoroughly satisfied. For instance, a lawsuit filed against a dentist whose whitening procedure did not reach the client’s expectations would not stand up in court.

About the author: A family dentist with more than 37 years of experience, Charles Zebe, DMD, is the owner of the New Jersey private practice Accurate Dental Group. With a medical career that began in 1975, Dr. Zebe is pre-qualified as an expert witness in dental malpractice cases.

Dr. Charles Zebe Discusses Pulpotomies

Primarily used for children, pulpotomies have been called “the baby root canal.” When cavities get too deep they may reach and damage the pulp, or the living portion of the tooth. If the cavity is not caught early enough, bacteria may infect the tooth and cause abscesses, inflammation, and other issues. Through pulpotomies, dentists can rescue and restore the tooth. This becomes especially important with baby molars, as their health and the positioning affect the growth of adult teeth.

In a pulpotomy, practitioners remove the diseased pulp in the crown while retaining the healthy root. The empty space is filled with a putty-like substance consisting of zinc oxide and eugenol. Subsequently, a stainless steel crown caps the tooth. To complete the process, dentists treat the tooth with ferric oxide, electrosurgery, or formocresol. By some estimates, the procedure features a success rate of more than 90%.

About the Author:

Since 1975, Dr. Charles Zebe has provided medical care to clients of Accurate Dental Group, LLC. From the facility in Mercerville, New Jersey, Charles Zebe, DMD, performs many techniques, including pulpotomies.