Archive for October, 2012

Cleaning Your Dental Bridge

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Dental work can involve time and expense, so taking good care of your dental bridge is key to keeping it in ideal condition so that you don’t have to replace it. Diligent cleaning and care will allow you to enjoy the benefits of your bridge for as long as possible. Here are some tips for cleaning your dental bridge to keep it in tip-top shape.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush at least twice daily, so that both your teeth and the bridge are cleaned. Brush around all sides of the bridge to remove food particles. Your bridge is not immune to plaque buildup and potential decay, so cleaning it as well as your natural teeth is important.

Flossing is especially necessary with a dental bridge. It is recommended that you floss twice daily, usually before brushing. Use a bridge floss threader to clean around and under the bridge. Many dentists recommend using superfloss, which is made of stiff end threaders, spongy parts, and regular parts of floss. The stiff end threaders make it easier to floss under the bridge, while the spongy floss is helpful in cleaning the wider areas. The regular portion of the floss helps remove plaque from the teeth near the dental bridge.

Mouthwash such as Listerine kills germs that your toothbrush may miss, and also reaches areas that other tools can’t. Rinse with mouthwash at least once a day.

Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. This will ensure that your bridge fits properly and remains in good shape, as well as helping you maintain overall oral health.

A Brief Overview of Inlays and Onlays

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

When you develop a cavity, your dentist will need to remove the decay and restore the tooth. Whenever possible, the doctor will try use a filling. For larger cavities, your dentist may suggest and inlay or onlay. Learn more about these restorations with the following FAQs.

What are inlays and onlays?
Created in a laboratory and bonded to your tooth, inlays and onlays are custom restorations that strength the damaged area and renew stability. An inlay fits within the grooves and between the cusps of a tooth, while an onlay extends up and over the cusps to cover more surface area.

How are inlays and onlays placed?
Usually, it takes two appointments for an inlay or onlay. During the first visit, the dentist will eliminate the diseased tissue, reshape the tooth, and take an impression to serve as a model. Skilled technicians will then build the inlay or onlay on this mold. You will turn for final placement once the dental office receives your permanent restoration.

What’s the difference between an inlay or onlay and a crown?
Whereas a crown encompasses the entire tooth to the gum line, an inlay or onlay covers only a portion of the tooth’s surface.

How long will these restorations last?
If you take good care of your mouth by brushing often, flossing regularly, and scheduling routine checkups, your inlay or onlay should offer decades of healthy smiles. At your regular appointments, the dentist can examine the restoration to look for any signs of trouble.

Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

Monday, October 15th, 2012

If you see medical specialists like pediatricians for your kids or dermatologists for your skin, why wouldn’t you also want to visit a specialist for your dental enhancements? Your smile is just as important as the rest of your health, so consider choosing a cosmetic dentist when it comes to updating your smile. Although any provider can call themselves a cosmetic dentist, you should find one who can achieve the look you desire.

First, consider the benefits of selecting a cosmetic dentist:

•    A specialist will have completed post-graduate studies focused on cosmetic dentistry, and will be current on the latest technologies.
•    When you need dental work on a highly visible part of your mouth like your front teeth, a specialist will be able to perform the repair while still maintaining your smile.
•    If a complete smile makeover is your goal, a cosmetic dentist has the expertise and experience to achieve the optimum results. You’ll be able to discuss your goals, see examples of other makeovers, and obtain a detailed treatment plan suited to your needs.

Once you’ve decided to find a cosmetic dentist, locate the right one for you:

•    Ask for recommendations from friends, coworkers, and family. Personal referrals are the best way to get started on your search. You can also research the Internet to read about cosmetic dentist qualifications and customer reviews. Some dentists allow patients to post reviews on facebook, such as here:
•    Make sure the dentist you choose has experience and training in the specific procedures that interest you.
•    Visit the office for a consultation, and go prepared with a list of questions.
•    Ask to see photos of cosmetic dentistry work the dentist has performed. Many cosmetic dentists have Before and After photos that you can view. Metrowest Prosthodontics has a smile gallery on their website, right here:
•    Go with your gut instinct in selecting the right cosmetic dentist for you. Make sure you feel comfortable in the office and confident in the dentist’s ability to give you the outcome you want.

Causes and Effects of Gingivitis

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Any stage of gum disease (or gingivitis) can cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity. It can make eating and talking difficult. It’s important to know what causes gum disease and what can happen if it develops, so that you can avoid it altogether or at least catch it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth.

What causes gingivitis?
Plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, although other factors can lead to it as well. These include:

• Illnesses, especially those that interfere with your immune system. Patients with HIV, diabetes, and cancer are often at higher risk for gingivitis.
• Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
• Some medications affect oral health by decreasing saliva or causing abnormal growth of gum tissue.
• Smoking can hamper the healing of your gums.
• Poor dental hygiene, including neglecting brushing or flossing, or using improper techniques.
• Family history of gum disease.

What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis can sneak up without symptoms, even in the later stages of the disease. However, there are signs that may point to some level of gingivitis. These include bleeding, red, or swollen gums. Ongoing bad breath and receding gums are other symptoms. Deep pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and teeth may shift or loosen. You might also notice changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. Your dentist can recognize symptoms even if you don’t, so make sure you have checkups regularly.

How is gingivitis treated?
Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease, how you responded to previous treatment, and your general health. Treatments range from therapies to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore gum tissue. Often gingivitis can be controlled with dental visits and good dental hygiene.

What can happen without treatment?
Gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, causing permanent damage to your mouth. Advanced gum disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes complications.

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