To ensure healthy teeth and gums throughout your lifetime, it is essential to brush thoroughly and regularly, floss daily, and have your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist at least every six months. Regular and properly-performed daily homecare can keep tartar from building up and turning into calcified plaque deposits.Keeping away plaque deposits can prevent the gums from becoming inflamed, losing their tone, and creating “pockets”, or spaces between the gums and teeth which in turn leads to further inflammation and deeper pockets. Untreated, these pockets can lead to periodontal (gum) disease which can damage underlying jawbone and leading to loss of teeth. Even the most adapt brushers and flossers will develop deposits, and regular hygiene appointments can take care of removing these deposits before they become problematic.Your dental hygienist will thoroughly remove all traces of tartar and calcified plaque. This is done either with instruments called “scalers”, or an ultrasonic tool called a “Cavitron”. Sometimes a combination of both techniques is used. Then the hygienist will polish your teeth with a low-abrasion paste to keep the surface smooth and less resistant to build-up. In some instances she will apply fluoride to strengthen enamel. Based on your exam, your hygienist will tailor your treatment and frequency of visits to best suit your specific needs. Maintaining ideal oral hygiene is the best way to prevent decay and bone loss in your dentition over your lifetime. Many high-profile studies have emerged in recent years that point to a potential link between periodontal (gum) disease and cardiovascular disease.Our hygienists are licensed professionals, dedicated to preserving and maintaining your oral health, as well as educating you so that you can develop excellent home-care habits. Regular hygiene visits and good home-care habits are the most important routines you can employ to gain maximum longevity from your natural dentition. We consider the preventive dental hygiene appointment to be one of the most valuable services we offer to our patients.
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
What could dental x-rays reveal? Abscesses or cysts. Bone loss. Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.Decay between the teeth. Developmental abnormalities. Poor tooth and root positions. Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line. Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are digital x-rays safe? Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
How often should dental x-rays be taken? The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.
Beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime – At Dental Associates Roslindale our dentists and hygienists make this their number one goal when treating patients.Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.What is the best way to brush your teeth Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.How do you floss effectively? Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.Is rinsing important? To keep your mouth clean, rinsing your mouth with water after brushing is important. It is also recommended to rinse your mouth after a meal if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you. Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.
Tooth Colored Fillings. When decay rots away enamel, the resulting space is called a cavity. Left untreated, the decay will eventually cause extensive damage to the tooth, and potentially cause the root to be infected. However, if the cavity is caught early, your dentist can treat it with a simple filling, typically in one appointment.Your dentist will first apply a local anesthetic, then use a drill or laser to remove the decay. Then they will apply a filling to prevent further decay, and to prevent the sensitive inner layers of the tooth from cold, heat or pressure. The filling is applied in layers and hardened with a special light. The final layers are shaped and polished to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. Composite (plastic resin) is the modern filling material of choice in most cases.
At Dental Associates Roslindale our dentists recommend porcelain veneers as an excellent option for people who are unhappy with the cosmetic appearance of their teeth. These ultra-thin, porcelain slips fit perfectly over teeth, making them look cosmetically perfect and completely beautiful. An off-white or crooked smile can cause serious confidence problems. Porcelain veneers are a fantastic alternative for patients wanting a beautiful smile without surgery, harsh chemicals or painful treatments. For porcelain veneers to be applied, the underlying teeth, bone and gums must be healthy. Patients with gum disease or tooth decay must be treated prior to the placement of porcelain veneers.What problems can porcelain veneers solve?Large gaps between the teeth. Misaligned teeth. Stained teeth. Uneven gums and teeth. Unnatural looking bridges and crowns. How can porcelain veneers benefit you? One main advantage of porcelain veneers is that patients can change the look of their smile without painful alterations of their teeth. The covers themselves are so thin and unobtrusive that speech and eating are seldom affected.Here are some of the other advantages of porcelain veneers:No harsh drilling of inner tooth mechanisms.No injections.No pain or discomfort.Only two dental visits required.Option to place multiple LUMINEERS® at one time.Perfect, pearly-white teeth.Thickness of a contact lens.Totally reversible treatment.
An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. Porcelain onlays are made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist. Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration. As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.When should you consider an onlay restoration? Broken or fractured teeth.Cosmetic enhancement.Decayed teeth.Fractured fillings.Large fillings. What does getting an onlay involve? An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration. While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory. At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable. You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.
At Dental Associates Roslindale we offer many tooth whitening methods to improve your smile quickly and painlessly. For example:Light-activated whitening systems are performed in about an hour. This saves time and shows results quickly.Custom Whitening Kits are made for you from impressions of your teeth. They contain prescription-strength whitener, and you can safely whiten in the comfort of your own home. It usually takes between 5 and 12 short sessions to significantly brighten your smile. Once the custom whitening trays have been made, you can use them again in the future if you want to do touch-ups to refresh your bright smile. We have individual syringes of whitening gel available for touch-ups.Quick-Paks contain pre-loaded non-custom trays. No impressions or chair-time in the office is needed. This is a budget-friendly option that allows you to whiten your teeth for a special event or photo and is a more-potent version of the over-the-counter products found in drugstores.It is important to seek advice from the dentist prior to beginning a bleaching regime. Women who are pregnant or lactating should not seek bleaching treatment.
At Dental Associates Roslindale our dentists recommend dental implants as an ideal solution for replacing one or more missing teeth. Dental implants can be a superior choice when compared to conventional dental bridges or dentures. Dental implants look and act like natural teeth. And because they maintain bone mass, dental implants can help prevent additional tooth loss, as well as the sunken-face appearance associated with missing teeth.Dental implants can also be used to secure appliances such as dental bridges and dentures. Implant-secured dentures virtually eliminates the stability problems associated with conventional dentures while still allowing the dentures to be removed for hygiene purposes.A dental implant consists of a titanium fixture that is surgically placed in the jawbone, where it replaces the natural tooth root. Titanium is a “bio-compatible” material, meaning it will not be rejected by the body. In a few months, the dental implant securely fuses with the bone (called “osseointegration”), allowing it to withstand biting and chewing forces just like a healthy, natural tooth.Are dental implants right for you?
The primary limiting factor in implant dentistry is the amount of bone available to receive and support the dental implant. In some cases, if it is determined that a patient does not have enough supporting bone to sustain a dental implant, bone grafting procedures may be considered. The presence of periodontal disease or certain medical conditions may preclude the ability to perform successful implant surgeries.What is involved in getting a dental implant?First appointment
This consists of a consultation with our implant specialist, who will examine your mouth and take any necessary x-rays. Sometimes CT scans may be prescribed as well. The implant specialist will determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants, and if so, will discuss the treatment specific to your case and schedule the surgical appointment.Second appointment
This is the surgical appointment. While your mouth is completely numb, a small incision is made at the implant site to expose the bone. The surgeon then prepares the site to receive the implant. Once the implant is secured, the gum is sutured closed over the implant and a small “healing collar” is placed for easy access to the implant when it comes time to restore it. The implant is left undisturbed for three to six months to allow it to osseointegrate, or fuse with the bone. If the implant is in a visible area of the mouth, a temporary prosthesis can be made and worn during the healing phase.Subsequent appointments
Once the implant has successfully integrated with the bone, your dentist removes the healing collar and takes a specialized impression that is sent to our ceramics laboratory. The healing collar is replaced, and the final appointment is scheduled.Final Appointment
At the final appointment, your dentist removes the healing collar for the final time and inserts a custom-designed “abutment” in its place. The custom abutment is either a titanium or ceramic post that is designed to fit precisely into your implant. If the implant is to restore a single tooth, then a custom ceramic crown is attached to the abutment to complete the restoration. If the implant is to secure a denture or bridge, then further steps are taken for these prostheses.
One of the primary concerns people often have about dental braces is the aesthetic impact of the metalwork on their smile. Especially for adults, the prospect of wearing unattractive metal braces for long periods of time can be very discouraging. At Dental Associates Roslindale our dentists recommend Invisalign® in certain cases. Invisalign® offers an almost invisible aligning system that straightens teeth fast and contains no metal.
Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of custom-made aligning trays. The dentist changes the trays every several weeks to fit the new tooth configuration. In addition to the reduced visual impact, Invisalign® aligning trays can be temporarily removed for important occasions – meaning that treatment duration is patient-controlled. A great number of people report complete satisfaction with both the Invisalign® treatment and the stunning results.What kind of bite problems can Invisalign® correct?
Invisalign® corrects the same dental problems as traditional metal braces; the only difference is that Invisalign® trays are almost invisible to the naked eye, and can be removed at will.What problems can commonly be corrected with Invisalign®?Overcrowding – This occurs when there is too little space for the teeth to align normally in the mouth. Overcrowding can cause tooth decay and increase the likelihood of gum disease.Large gaps between teeth – This can sometimes occur because teeth are missing or because the jaw continues to grow abnormally.Crossbite – This common dental problem occurs when one or multiple upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. As a consequence, uneven wear can lead to bone erosion and gum disease.Overbite – This problem occurs when the upper teeth project further than, or completely cover, the lower teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ may occur.Underbite – This is the inverse of the overbite; the lower teeth project further than, or completely cover, the upper teeth. Eventually, jaw pain and TMJ can occur.What advantages does Invisalign® offer over traditional braces and veneers?
Traditional dental braces, Invisalign® aligning trays, and dental veneers are three different ways to perfect the alignment of the teeth. There are many different considerations to make when deciding which treatment will be best, and each of these options works better in certain situations.
Invisalign® differs from traditional braces in that the aligning trays are fully removable. This means that more discipline and commitment is required from the patient. This is not usually a problem since the trays are comfortable and nearly invisible. Almost identical results can be obtained by using either treatment.
Invisalign® is preferable to veneers in many cases because unlike veneers, Invisalign® actually straightens the teeth. Veneers are thin covers that the dentist permanently affixes to the teeth. Teeth must be etched beforehand, meaning that to remove dental veneers, an alternative covering must be constructed. In addition to being somewhat expensive, veneers can break and often last for less than 20 years.What are some considerations when wearing Invisalign® trays?
Life with Invisalign® aligning trays may take several weeks to get used to. The trays should be worn constantly, except when eating and drinking. It is important to remove the trays when consuming food or drink because food can become trapped between the tray and the teeth, causing tooth decay.
Usually, new trays are necessary every two weeks, and progress between appointments can be seen with the naked eye. There is no doubt that Invisalign® aligning trays have revolutionized orthodontics. Invisalign® is renowned for being both comfortable and effective.