It is now widely understood that gum disease can contribute to a host of potentially life-threatening conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research also indicates that women with periodontal disease are 3-5 times more likely to have a baby born prematurely compared with women without gum disease. However, is it possible that periodontal disease itself […]
The American Dental Association (ADA) is offering new advice for the parents of young children. Previously, the ADA recommended that parents start using a pea-size amount of toothpaste on baby teeth, beginning at 24 months of age. The ADA now recommends that, twice daily, parents use a smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth as soon as they erupt. Once children are three to six years old, the amount of toothpaste used with each brushing should be increased to a pea-size drop. This new recommendation is being made to combat the increasing number of cavities among the very young. At the same time, only the tiniest amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used to minimize the risk of “fluorosis.” It is important to note that keeping heathy baby teeth will pave the road for healthy adult teeth
P.S. “Fluorosis” is a condition caused when youngsters ingest too much fluoride, which can lead to mild tooth discoloration (white spots or streaking).
By maintaining hygiene checkups and regular office visits, most patients can avoid many common dental problems. Along with daily brushing and flossing, the application of sealants can help youngsters reduce tooth decay. Adults can avert their most common problem, gum disease, with early detection and preventive dental care. In cases where tooth loss, breakage, or misalignment does occur, your dentist is an expert in a variety of advanced, mercury-free, bonded restoration and replacement techniques. In addition, there are a number of esthetic procedures, including laser tooth whitening, veneers, and non-metal ortho corrections that effectively remedy chipped, discolored, and gapped teeth. The more patients know about dental health, the better their smiles. In the weeks and months ahead, this column will address all aspects of dental care.
Welcome to Bedford Family and Laser Dentistry’s new column. Our mission is to provide long term dental health and long-radiant smiles to all family members. We continue to evolve our techniques and technologies to better serve our patients and help in their dental treatment. Prevention is the best policy for long term oral health and low cost. All this can be accomplished through excellent communications, understanding patient’s needs and guaranteed service pop over to these guys. If you have a question regarding any treatment, please contact our office at 781 275 6349. Our office is located in Bedford at 143 Great Road. “ Nothing is More Economical than Regular Checkups!”
Your Personal Instructions
The Interplak™ toothbrush removes 98% of plaque with ten tufts moving both ways to help stop skating action (i.e. the toothbrush slipping off of your tooth). The unit is four (4) times softer than the softest manual toothbrush. The shorter tufts are devised for cleaning the facial (outside of front teeth), buccal (outside of back teeth), lingual (inside of all teeth); the longer tufts are for interproximal areas (those areas in between teeth); the whole top surface of the brush is for the occlusal (biting) surface.
The Interplak™ should be used at a 90 degree angle. It has a bristle spraying action, in which the bristles contour to the teeth the 90 degree angle. This creates an extremely efficient cleaning surface.
Various speeds are available for your use. We suggest the following:
- Beginners and periodontal patients would be best to start on speed # 1.
- Speed # 2 is for general use (with the thought in mind to work up to speed #3 gradually).
- Orthodontic and healthy gum tissue should use speed # 3. Speed #3 straddles the arch wire and helps prevent decalcifying deposits for orthodontic patients currently in braces.
NOTE: The Interplak™ has a Ni-Cad battery and four heads which are child proof, with a one year warranty on the head. Do not press hard when using the unit, as it stops the action. Do not hold the unit in a downward position, as this will also stop the action of the unit. There is a phone number (1-800-334-4031) on the back of the unit if you need assistance.
CLEANING AND CARE OF THE INTERPLAK™ UNIT With proper care and maintenance, your Interplak™ unit should function well for many years to come. Please follow these instructions carefully:
- Use speed # 3 when cleaning the unit.
- Before each use place in warm water to wet the bristles . After each use be sure to run warm water through the back of the unit while it is in the ” on ” position through the holes for one (1) minute.
- Once weekly, pour a small amount of mouthwash ( i.e. Scope™ Do not use Listerine™) that contains glycerin through the holes in the back of the unit (This lubricates the gears).
- Do not attempt to use oil, or any other substitute. The glycerin in the mouthwash acts as a lubricant. Do not use regular toothpaste with this unit. It jams the gears of the Interplak™ unit Interplak™ supplies their own toothpaste with the unit.
- Always dry the handle thoroughly before placing the unit back in the holder to prevent yellowing and rusting.
- Always leave the unit charged. Remember, daily and weekly maintenance of the Interplak™unit is important.
We hope you find the Interplak™ to be a valued addition to your home care regime.
- The Rotadent™ Oral Hygiene Device is an effective tooth cleaner designed with the same tooth by tooth precision as a professional dental handpiece. Its cleaning action is area specific, designed to clean the hardest to reach areas and the smallest cracks or crevices.
- The Rotadent™ system comes with three different types of brush tips, all designed to remove plaque from specific areas and each used in a definite manner.
- The flat brush tip (hollow cup) is designed to clean tooth surfaces facing your cheeks and lips and tooth surfaces facing your tongue. It’s also useful for cleaning plaque on dental implants.
- The short cone brush tip is designed to clean areas along your gumline and under your gumline. It is also useful for cleaning all biting surfaces of your teeth.
- The long cone brush tip is designed to clean small or large spaces that may exist between your teeth. This is especially helpful for our Periodontal patients who have very large spaces between their teeth either as a result of periodontal loss or as a result of certain surgical procedures. It is also terrific for cleaning under your “permanently” cemented bridges.
Some Additional Ideas: Here are some additional thoughts concerning the use of your new Rotadent™
- Your system comes with an extra interchangeable arm ( head) which can be used by another family member
- Your Rotadent™ is powered by a re-chargeable battery and also comes with a charger. The charger is plugged into the bottom portion of the Rotadent™ handle and should not be charged for more than 24 hours. You can damage electrical components if charging exceeds the 24 hour period. After a 24 hour charge your Rotadent™ should function for approximately two (2) weeks. If you notice that it is slowing down or being sluggish, recharge it for 24 hours.
- Two sets of brush tips are included. Brush tips must be used properly and cleaned thoroughly.
- Also, try to keep the handle of the Rotadent™ as dry as possible, attempt to avoid moisture from entering the area where the charger plugs into the handle.
- Your Rotadent™ can be used with toothpaste, gel or mouthwash. When using any of these be sure to place the Rotadent™ in your mouth before you turn it on. It is extremely important to make sure that the interchangeable arm (head) is thoroughly cleaned under running water and blotted dry after each and every use.
- A power wall bracket and interchangeable arm ( head ) wall bracket is included for wall or mirror mounting.
- Before operating your Rotadent™ be sure to read the instruction booklet which came with the unit. Also please remember to mail out your Warranty Registration Card. If any problem arises, call the Customer Service Telephone number on the back of the instruction booklet. ( 1-800-752-2564 )
- Your Rotadent™ is approved by the American Dental Association and is highly recommended by dentists throughout the country.
The Proxybrush™ is designed to remove plaque and debris in open interproximal areas (areas that are very large and located between the teeth). These brushes are particularly helpful in cleaning the spaces that exist between caps and bridges.Instructions
- Place the soft nylon filament brush into the handle.
- Moisten the brush and insert it into the interdental areas (embrasure spaces that exist between each tooth and its neighbor).
- Move the brush in and out several times in each interdental space (also known as an embrasure). Make sure to clean the brush by holding it under running water during each use. This is necessary in order to remove debris and plaque that may be deposited during the mechanical cleansing of the spaces.
- Clean the brush thoroughly after use and allow it to air dry. The brush may be used several times before it is necessary to replace it. Discard the brush when the filaments become loose or deformed. There are several types of Proxybrushes. Each type has its own particular area of use.
- There is even a portable brush as shown in the accompanying diagram. If you have any questions as to the best one to use in your particular set of circumstances, please ask your dentist.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a simple, nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people from 18 to 65 years of age. BOTOX® is a purified protein derived from the botulinum toxin. It’s FDA-approved for the treatment of moderate to severe frown lines between the brows.
What Causes Frown Lines Between the Eyebrows.
Overactive muscles in the face that form our expressions (like frowning) continuously crease our skin over time, making the lines deeper and more noticeable. These lines eventually begin to form what looks like a permanent “11” between the eyebrows. The frown lines between the eyebrows are as common as they are unwanted. As we lose elasticity with age, this process becomes more exaggerated.
How does Botox work?
BOTOX, a neuromuscular inhibitor, blocks the signals to the targeted muscles and prevents them from fully articulating to the degree that leads to wrinkles. To achieve this, very low doses of the solution are injected under the skin targets specific muscles in the treatment area, thus allowing the muscles to relax. The treatment is about 10-minute treatment, a few tiny injections, and within days there’s a noticeable improvement in moderate to severe frown lines between the brows, lasting up to 4 months. It is recommended that the patient return for maintenance doses to stop the wrinkles from reappearing
BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can improve:
- Worry lines in forehead
- Lines between the eyebrows
- Smile lines
- Laugh lines, from nose to mouth
- Crow’s feet
Potential Side Effects
Side effects are uncommon, and when they do occur, they are generally minimal and mild. Potential side effects some minor discomfort in the injection site, inflammation, and tenderness. Sometimes there can be minor discoloration like bruising that will go away on its own fairly quickly and temporary drooping of the eyelid
Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums that, if severe, can lead to the loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms constantly on teeth. Because early periodontal disease is painless and shows few symptoms, patients are often unaware that there is a problem. For this reason, regular dental visits are essential for the early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
There are various stages to periodontal disease—from gingivitis (early stage) to periodontitis (advanced disease). Red and swollen gums that bleed easily are a sign of gingivitis. At this early stage, the disease may be reversed with a professional cleaning and more regular daily care at home. During the cleaning, the dentist or dental hygienist will use a special tool to scrape the hardened calculus and plaque from along and beneath your gum line. More advanced forms of the disease require cleanings that go more deeply below the gum line. Sometimes, the dentist will refer you to a specialist called a periodontist for these cleanings.
Learn how technology helps provide more effective treatment for certain dental conditions and increases your understanding of recommendations made by your dentist.
Perhaps you’ve heard about it from a friend or you may have seen it on the Discovery Channel; but what is Intraoral Video Imaging anyway and what role does it play in my oral examination?
Several years ago the computer industry felt that the ability to communicate was being hampered by the inadequacies of verbal communication. Most of what you listen to is either never really heard or else it is just too easily forgotten. Our goal is to inform you about your dental health so that you can make an educated decision regarding your own care. Active participation in the oral health process is a must if we are to accomplish our mutual goals.
Intraoral video imaging involves the use of a small camera with a fiber optic light source small enough to be placed within the mouth. This camera is attached to a computer which allows the images of your teeth to be displayed on the computer monitor. These intraoral images can then be stored by the computer or printed out just like a photograph.
One of the nice things about computers is their ability to store these images in their memory, indefinitely. We can access these images whenever we want in order to compare one recare examination with another. At the same time, the computer allows us to send copies of these images to other dentists or physicians thereby improving our ability to consult on issues that may be of strategic importance. A picture is truly worth a thousand words.
Some of the conditions we can see with an intraoral camera that are difficult to see with the naked eye include : various types of oral pathology and lesions, broken fillings and other types of restorations, cracked teeth, a variety of gum conditions and cavities in areas that are difficult to see and reach. You will be amazed by the quality of the images and just how diagnostic they really are.
Another intriguing aspect of imaging is its ability to use the computer to predict cosmetic alterations without ever actually having to touch a tooth. Close a space, change the shape of a tooth or just see what your teeth would look like a shade whiter. It’s all possible with Cosmetic Imaging!
You’re about to have your first experience with a new and exciting technology. LASERS. A million questions are probably going through your mind. Perhaps you’ve head about dental lasers on T.V. or on the radio. Just in case you haven’t had the opportunity to learn about lasers, I want to give you some basic information and maybe even allay some of your concerns regarding dental laser treatment.
When you are seated in the operatory, one of the dental assistants will give you a pair of safety glasses to wear, position the laser next to the dental chair, and place a sterile laser tip in the sterilized handpiece. You will then be ready to go. Unlike the dental drill, there is no whining sound to disturb your sleep or to make you grip the sides of the dental chair. The only noise you will hear will be the slight hissing sound of the air jet that is attached to the laser. According to most of our patients, this silent feature is definitely a big plus!
Dental lasers can be used for a variety of treatment procedures. Depending upon the treatment needs, your dentist may use the laser for several minutes or possibly for only a brief moment. However, even those procedures that require only a short period of laser usage, benefit from the many advantages of laser therapy. Bleeding is minimized, swelling is controlled and there is usually little if any postoperative discomfort. For maximum comfort, most of the procedures do, however, require a local anesthetic.
This will be discussed with you prior to the beginning of the treatment session.
The goal of modern dentistry is to prevent tooth loss; however, there are situations in which extraction is the only course of treatment.
One of the main goals of modern dentistry is the prevention of tooth loss. All possible measures should be taken to preserve and maintain your teeth because the loss of a single tooth can have a major impact upon your dental health and appearance. However, it is still sometimes necessary to remove a tooth. Here are some of the reasons a tooth may need to be extracted.
- Severe Decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abcess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
If you’ve just had a tooth extracted or your dentist has recommended that a tooth be extracted, the following information will help you get through the first few days after your extraction. Should anything occur that seems out of the normal, do not hesitate to call your dentist.
- DO NOT DISTURB THE WOUND: In doing so you may invite irritation, infection and/or bleeding. Be sure to chew on the opposite side for 24 hours and keep anything sharp from entering the wound (for example, eating utensils, etc.).
- DO NOT SMOKE FOR 12 HOURS: Smoking will promote bleeding and interfere with healing.
- BRUSHING: Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery.
- MOUTH WASH: Avoid all rinsing for 24 hours after extraction. This is to insure the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper wound healing. Disturbance of this clot can lead to increased bleeding or the loss of the blood clot. If the clot is lost, a painful condition called dry socket may occur. You may use warm salt water or mild antiseptic rinses after 24 hours only if prescribed.
- DO NOT SPIT OR SUCK THROUGH A STRAW: This will promote bleeding and may dislodge the blood clot causing a dry socket.
- BLEEDING: When you leave the office, you will be given verbal instructions regarding the control of postoperative bleeding. A rolled up gauze pad will be placed on the extraction site and you will be asked to change this dressing every 20 minutes or so depending on the amount of bleeding that is occurring. It is normal for some blood to ooze from the area of surgery. We will also give you a package of gauze to take with you to use at home if the bleeding should continue. Should you need to use the gauze at home, remember to roll it into a ball large enough to cover the wound. Hold firmly in place, by biting or with finger pressure, for about 20-30 minutes. If bleeding still continues, you may fold a tea bag in half and bite down on it. Tea contains Tannic Acid , a styptic, which may help to reduce the bleeding.
- PAIN: Some discomfort is normal after surgery. Analgesic tablets ( i.e. Aspirin, Tylenol etc. ) may be taken under your dentist’s direction. Prescription medication, which may have been given to you, should also be taken as directed. If pain continues, call your dentist.
- SWELLING: To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the area of the extraction during the first 12 hours. Apply alternately, 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off, for an hour or longer if necessary.
- DIET: Eat normal regular meals as soon as you are able after surgery. Cold, soft food such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids.
REPORT ANY UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES IMMEDIATELY!
For people who have lost teeth, implants provide artificial teeth that look more natural and feel more secure. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or support a bridge, full dentures or partial dentures.
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions:
- What are dental implants? Dental implants are basically sophisticated screws made of a medically pure metal, titanium. These screws are then placed in the jaw bone and rest under the gum for 3 – 6 months. During this time they actually fuse to the jawbone and become osseo(bone)integrated. After the appropriate healing time, we uncover the implants and use them to replace one or more missing teeth by fabricating some sort of dental prosthesis.
- How long have implants been used in dentistry? Dental implants have been available for the past 50 or so years. There are significant differences, however, between the various types of implants that have been used to replace missing teeth. These differences are important since they are directly related to the implants success rates. The implants currently in use today, OSSEOINTEGRATED IMPLANTS, were originally developed in Sweden by Dr. P.I. Branemark., a Swedish Orthopedist approximately 25-30 years ago. They have been used in the U.S. for the past 12 years.
- I understand they originated in Sweden? Is there a difference between the different implant manufacturers? All implants in use in the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Originally, the only system available was the Noblepharma™ Branemark implant. Today, there are numerous implant companies in use on a daily basis. All of these companies are FDA approved and must meet very stringent requirements. Your dental team will choose the system that is best for you and the one that allows them to accomplish your mutual restorative goal
- What are implants made of? Implants are made of commercially and medically pure titanium. This is the same metal that has been successfully used in hip implants for many years. It is inert and is not known to cause any type of rejection phenomenon.
- How complicated is the surgery? Implant surgery is done in two stages. The first stage involves the placement of the implants into the available jaw bone. This is most commonly done with just local anesthesia. It is complicated only in the sense that the surgery requires great precision. Every attempt is made to insure success. The room is set up similar to an operating room, the equipment thoroughly sterilized and the most modern techniques utilized. Stage two involves the uncovering of the implants after they have integrated (fused). This can be accomplished with minor gum surgery or with a dental laser and is a relatively minor procedure. In both instances, minimal postoperative discomfort is noticed. You will be given the appropriated antibiotics and analgesics just as a precaution. Very definitive postoperative instruction will be given to you at the time of surgery. If you follow the guidelines, everything should proceed without a hitch.
- Can implants be rejected? No! They are made of an inert metal which has no history of rejection by the body. They are not a living organ such as the lung or liver and therefore there is no rejection phenomenon. If failure should occur, and this is only a remote possibility, it is mechanical in nature and not due to rejection by the body. By the way, depending on the source you read, implants are anywhere from 85-95 percent successful depending upon certain factors such as implant location, amount and quality of bone etc. These factors will be evaluated before we place your implants. If you have any questions regarding this or any other aspect of the implant process, ask your dentist. If I lose several teeth, do they each have to be replaced with a separate implant? No. Although implants simulate the roots of teeth, biomechanically one implant can be used to replace one or more teeth. This will depend upon the mechanical requirements of your chosen prosthesis. At your consultation your dentist will discuss the various treatment alternatives and the type and number of implants that are needed in order to fulfill our treatment objectives.
- What about infection and complications? During the surgery every attempt is made to maintain a totally sterile field. This tends to minimize any potential for postoperative infection. Once again, your dentist will prescribe the appropriate antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Once the implants have been engaged in your prosthesis, it is imperative for you to maintain scrupulous oral hygiene. Success very often depends on your cooperation and homecare efforts.
- What types of restorations can be placed on implants? The answer to this question depends upon your treatment objectives. This can vary from simple removable prostheses, using the implants for retention, to totally implant supported porcelain fused to metal crowns and bridges. Implant bridges can be either removable or fixed (not removable) depending upon the number of implants. We are now finally able to replace single or multiple missing teeth returning the dentition to a biologically healthy and esthetically pleasing state.
- Will I be able to chew and function normally? Yes. Once your implants have integrated, you will be able to function normally without any unusual sensations. Your chewing ability will really depend upon the type of prosthesis you have chosen.
- How long is the entire implant process? Dental implants take approximately 3-4 months in the lower jaw and 6 months in the upper to integrate. Once integrated, it takes several visits to several months to complete the restoration depending upon the complexity.
- What is the cost? The cost of implant dentistry is based upon a combination of the surgical phase and the prosthetic phase. Your total treatment fee will depend upon the number of implants and the complexity of your final restoration.
We hope that this brief explanation will answer some of your questions regarding implant dentistry. Your dentist will be happy to discuss any of these questions with you at your consultation. Please write down your questions so that we can be sure to answer them to your satisfaction.
Implant Care Home Care Instructions: If you have just had your implant prosthesis inserted or are considering an implant prosthesis, you may be wondering what procedures are necessary for the proper maintenance of your new prosthesis. Well, here’s the whole story in a nutshell! The home care needed for dental implants is probably more important than that required for your natural teeth. The appliances that we fabricate on top of dental implants are wonders of engineering but unfortunately, can not be designed to be maintenance free. There are many areas around the implants and the prosthesis that need special attention to make sure that dental plaque does not accumulate. As with your own teeth, plaque, a sticky substance that adheres to teeth and is a breeding area for bacteria, must be removed at least every 12hrs to avoid potential periodontal (peri-implant) disease. What are the tools needed to combat peri-implant disease and how should they be implemented.
The care of your Implant Prosthesis consists of three steps:
- Educating and training you about proper oral hygiene techniques.
- Removal of plaque and calculus (tartar) on a regularly scheduled basis by your Hygienist.
- Maintaining meticulous oral hygiene between your recall visits.
Home plaque control is a critical component of your implant care. The following devices have proved extremely helpful in plaque removal and as tools in the proper maintenance of dental implant/prostheses.
- Soft Toothbrush, End Tuft Brush, Proxy Brush™
- Dental Floss ( i.e. Post Care Dental Implant Floss, SuperFloss™)
- Oral Irrigation Devices ( i.e. Water Pik™)
- Mouthwashes containing essential oils (i.e. Listerine™)
Individual Instruction sheets are available for each of the above mentioned cleaning aids. Your dentist and hygienist are also available to assist you in any way they can. Remember, it’s not the tool that counts, but the elbow grease behind it.
The proper maintenance of your dental implant prosthesis must be a good blend of proper hygiene technique, appropriate instrumentation and adequate frequency. Your hygienist will suggest a suitable recall schedule for you based upon the complexity of your dental restoration. She or he will also demonstrate each and every technique so that you can become familiar with the tools that are required for implant care. Then it’s up to you. With a little effort, your dental implant prosthesis can provide you with years of comfort, satisfaction and service.
Bedford Family and Laser Dentistry has served thousands of people in the Bedford, MA area since 2001. Our dental office is dedicated to helping patients maintain their oral health both now and in the long-term.
Bedford Family and Laser Dentistry
- 143 Great Road, Bedford, MA 01730
Mon – Thurs
8 AM – 5 PM
Selected Fridays & Saturdays
Available for after hours emergencies