12780 W. North Ave., Brookfield, WI 53005, 262-860-1500



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Posts for category: Patient Education

May 07, 2013
Category: Patient Education
Tags: Crowns  


At Geary Dentistry we want to help our patients keep their teeth for the rest of their lives, in optimum health, comfort, appearance and function.  Because informed patients make better decisions about their health and well-being, we would like to briefly answer some commonly asked questions about dental health.

What is a crown and why do I need one?  Do I have any choices?

A crown is a man-made replacement for the part of the tooth that is above the gum line and is sometimes referred to as a cap.  A crown, which generally replaces much of the visible part of a tooth becomes necessary when the natural tooth is broken, or when a large filling has deteriorated to the point where the tooth is no longer strong enough to hold a new replacement filling.

After the old filling and any decay are removed and only visibly healthy tooth material remains, a crown is custom made to fit over the good parts of the tooth and helps to hold the tooth together.  Sometimes there is so little remaining healthy tooth material that the tooth first needs to be built up with a core material.  So, a crown replaces damaged parts of a tooth and adds to its life-span.

tooth with large cracked old filling

Cracked filling has been replaced with a strong, tooth colored crown 



Crowns can also be used to make cosmetic improvements in the appearance of teeth that are chipped, discolored, crowded or broken.


Advances in modern dental materials and techniques to offer the best ways to create more pleasant and natural looking smiles are something that we take very seriously at Geary Dentistry.  Every year our doctors spend many hours at continuing dental education courses advancing their knowledge and skills using the latest dental technology and techniques.  Options to improve appearance and increase longevity are always considered and discussed.  Crowns can be made from esthetic materials like ceramic,  zirconium and plastic compounds all the way to the gold standard, which is gold, proven to be long-lasting and kind to the opposing teeth which share the heaviest chewing load in the back of the mouth.


Remember, even if it doesn't hurt, when a tooth or an old filling is cracked or decayed to the point where there is insufficient remaining healthy tooth structure, a crown is always the best choice to prolong the life of the tooth.  In some cases, waiting can mean more involved treatment will be necessary.  


With Halloween just around the corner, this is a good time to think about the different types of candy that may find there way home in Trick or Treat Bags.  Of course we don't recommend that kids eat large amounts of sugary treats, but there are some treats that are better than others for your children's teeth.

Some of the worst are sour candies since they are VERY acidic and can quickly break down the protective layer of enamel.  Chewy, sticky, and gummy candies and taffy, and even dried fruit are also not recommended since they can be nearly impossible to remove from tiny crevices in, and between the teeth.

While any sugary candy, snacks, cookies, and cake all contain high amounts of sugar which can cause tooth decay, sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate saliva which can help to clear debris and neutralize acids.  Sugar-free gum can actually help prevent cavities!

Last but not least, dark chocolate can be lower in sugar and more readily cleaned from the teeth. It also contains anti-oxidants which some studies have shown to have beneficial effects on the heart, and may even lower blood pressure.

'Parents should closely monitor their children's candy intake at Halloween and all year long and make sure that their teeth are thoroughly brushed twice a day for two minutes.' 

For more tips on improving your child's oral health, just ask us.  You can also visit the Academy of General Dentistry [AGD]  KnowYourTeeth.com.

'Special Patient Award' for a Special LadyDr. Terence Geary surprised Mrs. Joan Bennett with a 'SPECIAL PATIENT AWARD' and a beautiful basket of Edible Fruit.  These were presented to her at her recent dental appointment.  Mrs. Bennett and her family have been loyal patients of Geary Dentistry dating back to our father, Dr. Cornelius Geary.

Dr. Terry Geary says Mrs. Bennett [along with her late husband, and both her son and daughter] has always been one of those special people who, bring a smile to OUR faces when we see their names on the schedule for the day.

Here's to you Mrs. Bennett!  May God continue to bless you and hold you in the palm of His hands.