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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Dentistry by Design
November 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

Have you seen the commercials for Invisalign but aren't sure if the system is the best option for your orthodontic problems? Invisalign, the newest orthodontic treatment method, provides an effective and discreet way to straighten your smile and correct bite problems. Andover, MA, dentists Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo, and Dr. Leo Kharin of Dentistry by Design offer Invisalign treatment to help you look your best.

Is Invisalign a Good Choice for Me?

Invisalign offers a few benefits that you won't receive with traditional metal or ceramic braces. It may be a good choice if:

  • You Want to Straighten Your Teeth but Don't like the Look of Metal Braces: True to its name, Invisalign is practically invisible. Instead of wires and brackets, the system uses clear aligner trays to realign your teeth. If you've been looking for a more subtle straightening option, Invisalign may be the ideal option for you.
  • You Want to Correct Crowding or Spacing Issues or Address a Bite Problem: Invisalign is just as effective as traditional braces in correcting bite problems, eliminating overlapping teeth due to crowding, or getting rid of gaps. Severe or complicated bite problems may require treatment with metal braces.
  • Your Motto IsThe Simpler the Better: Wire braces definitely make your life more complicated. To avoid damage to them, you would need to skip hard or sticky foods during the entire course of your treatment and would have to spend much more time than usual on oral hygiene. None of these restrictions are needed with Invisalign, as you'll remove your trays to brush, floss, eat, and drink anything other than water. Apples, carrots, and gum will be of no problem!
  • You are Disciplined: Invisalign aligner trays are designed to be worn for 22 hours per day, however, they can be taken out from time to time for special occasions. If you keep them out of your mouth too often, you may delay your treatment, but as long as you're disciplined and follow your Andover dentist's wear instructions, you'll soon notice an improved smile.
  • You Want Straighter Teeth as Soon as Possible: Invisalign offers quick results for adults. In fact, you may only need to wear your aligner tray for about one year. The usual treatment time for teens applies whether you choose Invisalign or metal or ceramic braces.

Are you ready to choose Invisalign? Call Andover, MA, dentists Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo, and Dr. Leo Kharin of Dentistry by Design at (978) 475-5333 to schedule an appointment today!

By Dentistry by Design
October 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  
VivicasVeneerstheMakingofaHollywoodSmile

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Dentistry by Design
September 28, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
LasersPoisedtoTransformCurrentTreatmentforGumDisease

While lasers still seem like science fiction, they’ve been used commercially (and medically) for decades. But there’s still room for growth in practical applications with this developing technology. One promising area is in the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection triggered by plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles caused by inadequate oral hygiene. The disease is highly destructive and can eventually lead to both tooth and bone loss. Treatment procedures vary widely, but they all have the same goal: remove the offending plaque and calculus (tartar) from tooth and gum surfaces. Without plaque the infection subsides and the gums can heal.

For decades now, dentists have removed plaque and calculus manually with special hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment. If the disease has advanced below the gum line or formed deep voids filled with infection called periodontal pockets, the dentist may also employ surgical techniques to access the infected areas.

While all these techniques have a long track record for effectiveness, they can cause the inadvertent destruction of healthy tissue, as well as create discomfort for some patients afterward. This is where a new protocol called Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP®) may be able to make a difference in the future.

With the LANAP® protocol, surgeons direct a laser beam of light through a fiber optic the width of three human hairs onto diseased tissue. The particular color of light interacts with the tissue, which contains the darkly-pigmented bacteria causing the disease, and “vaporizes” it. The beam, however, passes harmlessly through lighter-pigmented healthy tissue; as a result diseased tissue is eradicated with little to no harm to adjacent healthy tissue.

With these capabilities, trained dentists using LANAP® for gum disease treatment might be able to achieve conventional results with less tissue removal and bleeding, less discomfort for patients, and less tissue shrinkage than traditional procedures — and without scalpels or sutures. And some post-surgical studies have indicated LANAP® might also encourage gum tissue regeneration in the months following.

LANAP®, however, is still developing and requires further research. Thus far, though, the results have been encouraging. As laser technology advances, it’s quite possible tomorrow’s patient may experience less discomfort and more effective healing with their gum disease treatment.

If you would like more information on gum disease treatment, 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 “Treating Gum Disease with Lasers.”

By Dentistry by Design
August 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   cosmetic dentistry  

Dental Crowns DiagramFind out more about these commonly used tooth-shaped restorations in Andover.

Did one of our Andover, MA, dentists - Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo, and Dr. Leo Kharin - recently tell you that you need a dental crown? Are you dealing with a weak, damaged, or cosmetically flawed tooth? If so, this is most likely why you need a dental crown. Sure, teeth are amazingly strong, but even they can fall victim to damage. When cracks, chips, or fractures occur, it’s always comforting to know that you can get a dental crown to protect the tooth from further damage.

A crown, as you might imagine, is made to mimic the look of a natural crown of a tooth. This dental “cap” is a permanent restoration that is custom-made to fit over a tooth to not just improve its appearance but also to restore functionality and strength. So why would a dental crown need to be used? If a tooth has become damaged by direct injury (such as a crack or chip) or if the tooth has been weakened by extensive decay or an infection you may also benefit from this restoration.

If you need to get a root canal to get rid of bacteria that has infected the inside of the tooth, more often than not a crown will be placed over the tooth after root canal treatment in order to restore and protect the tooth so it doesn’t become brittle and begin to fracture and crack. A crown provides the ultimate in protection for a tooth to prevent further damage.

A dental crown is also instrumental in treating tooth loss. For example, a crown is placed over natural teeth to support a dental bridge (false tooth or teeth) to replace one or two missing teeth in a row. A crown is also placed over the top of a dental implant to permanently replace a single missing tooth. So, as you can see, these tooth-shaped caps are pretty amazingly versatile and can improve the look of your smile while also restrengthening and even rebuilding damaged and toothless smiles.

Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, prides itself on providing the very best in restorative dentistry. No matter whether you want to discuss your treatment options or you need to just schedule a routine dental cleaning, we are here for you.

TakeCareofYourDentalApplianceandItWillTakeCareofYou

What do a teenager with a poor bite, a senior citizen with multiple missing teeth or a middle-aged person with a teeth grinding habit all have in common? They may all depend on a dental appliance for better function or appearance.

There’s a wide variety of removable dental appliances like clear aligners or retainers for orthodontic treatment, dentures for tooth loss or night guards to minimize teeth grinding, just to name a few. But while different, they all share a common need: regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent them from triggering dental disease and to keep them functioning properly.

The first thing to remember about appliance cleaning is that it’s not the same as regular oral hygiene, especially if you have dentures. While they look like real teeth, they’re not. Toothpaste is a no-no because the abrasives in toothpaste designed for tooth enamel can scratch appliance surfaces. These microscopic scratches can develop havens for disease-causing bacteria.

Instead, use liquid dish detergent, hand soap or a specific cleaner for your appliance with a different brush from your regular toothbrush or a specialized tool for your particular appliance. Use warm but not very hot or boiling water: while heat indeed kills bacteria, the hot temperatures can warp the plastic in the appliance and distort its fit. You should also avoid bleach—while also a bacteria killer, it can fade out the gum color of appliance bases.

Be sure you exercise caution while cleaning your appliance. For example, place a towel in the sink basin so if the appliance slips from your hands it’s less likely to break hitting the soft towel rather than the hard sink. And while out of your mouth, be sure you store your appliance out of reach of small children and pets to avoid the chance of damage.

Cleaning and caring for your appliance reduces the risk of disease that might affect your gums or other natural teeth. It will also help keep your appliance working as it was designed for some time to come.

If you would like more information on care and maintenance for oral appliances, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.