My Blog
By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
February 20, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Dr. Mark Gleckner of Florham Park, NJ, provides patients with dental crowns to restore and protect damaged teeth. Crowns are cap-like dental appliances that cover unappealing teeth and aid in supporting other dental appliances, like dental bridgework.

A crown is made of strong porcelain and, because they are custom made, fits perfectly over teeth, above the gum line. Crowns are a strong, durable structure that reinforces teeth.

Here is how dental crowns can restore damaged teeth:

  • Crowns hide severely stained teeth that may have been a result of certain medications, excessive tea-and-coffee-drinking, smoking and tobacco chewing.
  • Chipped, fractured, broken and missing teeth can also benefit from crowns.
  • Crowns are used to complete dental implants, after a root canal procedure and to complete a dental bridge.

When crowns restore damaged teeth, apart from rejuvenating your smile, it restores several functions, including bite, chewing and speech.

What does the procedure entail?

The whole procedure requires about two visits to our Florham Park dentist. Your dentist first shapes your tooth so that a crown can easily cover it. If your tooth needs to be built up to provide structural support for the new crown, then filling material is used to do so.

Next, impressions of your teeth are taken, digitally or using putty-like materials. The impressions are sent to the dental laboratory so a model of your teeth is made to help create a crown. The final step entails cementing the crown and hardening the cement with a special light.

Crowns rejuvenate smiles, restore important functions and support weakened teeth. They are a comfortable and durable dental appliance that can last many years if taken care of properly. For more information about crowns, make sure you contact Dr. Mark Gleckner in Florham Park, NJ by calling (973) 377-1174 today.

By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
February 16, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.

In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.

Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.

Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.

If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.

The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.

Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
February 06, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

So, you're about to have a tooth capped with a crown. Do you know what you need to know before you undergo this common dental procedure?

Here's a short true or false quiz to test your knowledge of dental crowns.

All crowns are the same. False — while all crowns have the same basic design — a life-like prosthetic tooth fitted over and bonded or cemented to a natural tooth — their compositions can vary greatly. Early metal crowns consisted mainly of gold or silver and are still used today. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns — a metal interior for strength overlaid by a porcelain exterior for appearance — became popular in the latter 20th Century. Although still widely used, PFMs have been largely surpassed by newer all-ceramic materials that are stronger than past versions.

Crowns can differ in their artistic quality. True — all crowns are designed to replicate a natural tooth's function — in other words, enable the tooth to effectively chew again. But a crown's appearance can be a different story, depending on how much attention to detail and artistry goes into it. The higher the individual craftsmanship, the more lifelike it will appear — and the more expensive it can be.

With digital milling equipment, dental labs are obsolete. False — although technology exists that allows dentists to produce their own crowns, the equipment is not yet in widespread use.  The vast majority of crowns are still produced by a trained technician in a dental laboratory. And just as you base your choice of a dentist on your confidence in and respect for them, dentists look for the same thing in a dental lab — good, reliable and consistent results.

Your insurance may not cover what your dentist recommends. True — dental insurance will typically pay for a basic, functional crown. Aesthetics — how it will look — is a secondary consideration. As a result, your policy may not cover the crown your dentist recommends to function properly and look attractive. A new crown, however, is a long-term investment in both your dental function and your smile. It may be well worth supplementing out of pocket your insurance benefit to get the crown that suits you on both counts.

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

By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
January 27, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth loss  

In an instant, an accident could leave you or a loved one with a missing tooth. Thankfully, we can restore it with a dental implant that looks and functions like a real tooth—and the sooner the better.

But if the patient is a teenager or younger, sooner may have to be later. Because their jaws are still developing, an implant placed now could eventually look as if it's sinking into the gums as the jaw continues to grow and the implant doesn't move. It's best to wait until full jaw maturity around early adulthood and in the meantime use a temporary replacement.

But that wait could pose a problem with bone health. As living tissue, bone cells have a life cycle where they form, function and then dissolve (resorption) with new cells taking their place. This cycle continues at a healthy rate thanks to stimulation from forces generated by the teeth during chewing that travel through the roots to the bone.

When a tooth goes missing, however, so does this stimulation. Without it the bone's growth cycle can slow to an unhealthy rate, ultimately reducing bone volume.  Because implants require a certain amount of bone for proper placement and support, this could make it difficult if not impossible to install one.

We can help prevent this by placing a bone graft immediately after the removal of a tooth within the tooth's "socket." The graft serves as a scaffold for new bone cells to form and grow upon. The graft will eventually resorb leaving the newly formed bone in its place.

We can also fine-tune and slow the graft's resorption rate. This may be preferable for a younger patient with years to go before their permanent restoration. In the meantime, you can still proceed with other dental treatments including orthodontics.

By carefully monitoring a young patient's bone health and other aspects of their dental care, we can keep on course for an eventual permanent restoration. With the advances in implantology, the final smile result will be worth the wait.

If you would like more information on dental care for trauma injuries, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers: Factors Influencing Treatment Planning in Adolescents.”

By Mark J. Gleckner, D.M.D.
January 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Teeth Cleanings  

Regular brushing and flossing is important for your oral health and everyone is clear on that but not everyone understands the importance of teeth cleanings. Dr. Mark Gleckner of Florham Park, NJ, offers his patients bi-annual checkups and dental cleanings as a first line of defense against diseases like tooth decay.

The Importance of Teeth Cleanings

So, why get your teeth professionally cleaned if you brush and floss everyday? Simple. A professional teeth cleaning isn't like your everyday oral regimen. While brushing and flossing eliminate food debris and bacteria, professional cleaning is more thorough. It eliminates bacteria under gums, bacteria from small spaces between teeth and sticky film, plaque, on the surface of teeth. A professional cleaning not only prevents oral diseases from manifesting but also stops them in their tracks, or before they progress. This preventative measure protects teeth against cavities, dental holes produced by acid-producing bacteria, that may result in severe problems like infections and ultimately require more invasive treatments like root canals, or dental implants if there's tooth loss.

More About Dental Cleaning Procedure

  1. The first step is to receive an oral examination. A dental hygienist first examines your mouth using a small mirror. This facilitates in discovering any inflammation around teeth and gum tissue because of plaque and tartar buildup. If they discover anything, your Florham Park dentist will first need to address the issue before proceeding with a professional dental cleaning. 
  2. The next step is removing plaque and tartar using a tool called a scaler. The scaler removes plaque and tartar buildup on teeth surfaces, between teeth and near the gum line and between your teeth. To avoid any sort of discomfort, you can take an Ibuprofen before the procedure. 
  3. During the procedure, a gentle stream of water is run over teeth to eliminate the debris removed. The procedure is simple and is done within an hour or less.

If you would like more information about a professional teeth cleaning, then you should contact Dr. Mark Gleckner of Florham Park, NJ, at (973) 377-1174 to learn more!

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