Posts for: September, 2018

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Dental crowns are an essential means for restoring damaged or unattractive teeth. A well-crafted crown not only functions well, it looks and blends seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth.

Crowns are artificial caps that cover an entire visible tooth, often used for heavily decayed or damaged teeth or as added protection after a root canal treatment. Most crowns are produced by a dental lab, but some dentists are now creating them in-office with computer-based milling equipment. On the whole, the various crowns now available function adequately as teeth—but they can vary in their appearance quality.

In the early to mid 20th Century the all-metal crown was the standard; but while durable, it could be less than eye-pleasing. Although more life-like dental porcelain existed at the time, it tended to be brittle and could easily shatter under chewing stress.

Dentists then developed a crown that combined the strength of metal with the attractiveness of porcelain: the porcelain fused to metal or PFM crown. The PFM crown had a hollow, metal substructure that was cemented over the tooth. To this metal base was fused an outer shell of porcelain that gave the crown an attractive finish.

The PFM reigned as the most widely used crown until the mid 2000s. By then improved forms of porcelain reinforced with stronger materials like Lucite had made possible an all-ceramic crown. They’re now the most common crown used today, beautifully life-like yet durable without the need for a metal base.

All-ceramics may be the most common type of crown installed today, but past favorites’ metal and PFM are still available and sometimes used. So depending on the type and location of the tooth and your own expectations, there’s a right crown for you.

However, not all crowns even among all-ceramic have the same level of aesthetic quality or cost—the more life-like, the more expensive. If you have dental insurance, your plan’s benefits might be based on a utilitarian but less attractive crown. You may have to pay more out of pocket for the crown you and your dentist believe is best for you.

Whatever you choose, though, your modern dental crown will do an admirable, functional job. And it can certainly improve your natural tooth’s appearance.

If you would like more information on dental restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   tooth pain  

Root Canal DIagramCould your smile be trying to tell you that something is wrong?

Okay, so root canals haven’t gotten the best reputation over the years, but our Kinnelon, NJ, dentist Dr. Peter Brusco is here to tell you more about this procedure to ease your mind, particularly if you need to have one done.

First and foremost, root canal treatments happen all the time and really aren’t any more invasive than getting a dental filling. Furthermore, it could just end up saving your tooth from needing an extraction while also getting rid of that nasty toothache you’re experiencing.

So, what is a root canal?

It’s important to understand this procedure so that you understand the purpose behind it and why it’s necessary. This isn’t an elective dental procedure; it is one you will need if you want to treat a damaged tooth and prevent further damage from happening.

Deep inside, under the enamel and dentin layers of the tooth, lies a soft tissue structure known as the dental pulp. While the dental pulp is an important part of the tooth while it’s developing, once the tooth has fully matured the dental pulp no longer serves a purpose.

However, sometimes bacteria can break through these hard outer layers of the tooth, getting inside and infecting the pulp. Once this happens, our Kinnelon, NJ, general dentist has no choice but to remove the dental pulp. The purpose behind root canal treatment is to:

  • Remove the dental pulp
  • Disinfect the inside of the tooth and the root canals
  • Prevent bacteria from spreading
  • Fill the canals with special material to prevent a re-infection
  • Restore the tooth’s strength and function

How do I know that I need a root canal?

A lot of people may require a root canal but feel absolutely fine and not even notice any symptoms. While we know this thought can be unnerving this is why it’s important to visit your dentist every six months for checkups, even if you think everything feels fine.

Of course, if the dental pulp is infected, often times the most classic symptom is a toothache. After all, the dental pulp is made up of nerves, so when bacteria infect it, it will certainly let you know by causing you pretty persistent and sometimes severe pain.

Besides pain, you may also notice increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks. Sensitivity can linger long after you’ve had contact with the offending beverage or food. If a toothache goes ignored and the tooth doesn’t get the care it needs sometimes the tooth will begin to darken. This means the roots of the tooth are dying. You may also notice redness, swelling or tenderness in the gums surrounding that tooth.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it’s best to play it safe and give our Kinnelon, NJ, family dentist a call. We will go through your symptoms and determine whether you need to come in right away for care. Don’t put off the treatment your smile needs to stay healthy.

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 10, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

Like a second New Year’s Day, the month of September offers its own chance to make a brand new start: It’s back-to-school season! This can be an exhilarating time—a chance to meet new friends, face new challenges and set new goals. It’s also a great time to get started on the things that can keep your children healthy all year long…like a routine visit to the dental office.

Preventive dental visits are one of the most important ways to help keep a smile in top condition—not just for kids, but for people of any age. They are also one of the best values in health care, because so much can be accomplished in such a short time. What exactly happens at a routine visit? Here’s a brief run-down:

  • A professional teeth cleaning clears sticky plaque and hardened tartar from places where your brush can’t reach. These deposits can harbor the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, and removing them helps prevent more serious problems from getting started.
  • A complete dental exam involves a check for cavities, but it’s also much more: It includes screening for gum disease, oral cancer, and other potential maladies. X-rays or other diagnostic tests may be performed at this time; any changes can be observed, and the need for preventive or restorative treatments can be evaluated.
  • The growth and development of children’s teeth is carefully monitored, from the first baby teeth to the third molars. If orthodontic work or wisdom teeth removal could benefit your child, this is a great time to discuss it.  Adults may also benefit from ongoing evaluation for gum recession and other potential issues.
  • Keeping your teeth and gums healthy also depends on how you take care of them at home. A routine office visit is a great opportunity to “brush up” on proper techniques for tooth brushing and flossing, and to ask any questions you may have about oral hygiene.

So if you have youngsters starting a new school year—or if you’re looking to make a fresh start toward good oral health yourself—make it a point to stop in to the dental office for a routine visit this season!

If you would like more information about maintaining good oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “Dental Hygiene Visit: A True Value in Dental Healthcare.”

Kinnelon, NJ Dentist
Peter Brusco DMD
170 Kinnelon Rd # 29A
Kinnelon, NJ 07405
(973) 838-5862
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