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Posts for: June, 2017

By Dentistry by Design
June 28, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral appliance  

What do dentures, retainers and nightguards have in common? Along with orthodontic aligners and athletic mouthguards, they’re all types of removable dental appliances. They also share another commonality: each one depends on the wearer caring for it to ensure its longevity.

The most important thing you can do for your appliance is to clean it regularly. Don’t use toothpaste, though, even with dentures: while your natural tooth enamel can handle the abrasive particles in toothpaste, your appliance’s materials may not. Toothpaste can create tiny scratches that can harbor disease-causing bacteria. Instead, use liquid dish detergent or hand soap with warm water.

Although boiling water may disinfect your appliance, it’s not advisable to use. Even hot water can distort plastic components and warp the appliance’s fit in your mouth. Likewise, don’t use bleach, which can fade the plastic color used to resemble gum tissue and break down the material’s composition. When you clean your appliance, use a brush — but not the one you use for your natural teeth. Use a soft toothbrush, a nail brush or a specialized brush for appliances like dentures.

You should also protect your appliance from damage. Some appliances like dentures have parts that can break if they’re dropped on a hard surface — like the porcelain in your sink. To prevent this, place a towel in the sink to cushion the appliance if it accidentally slips from your hand during cleaning. And when the appliance isn’t in your mouth, don’t keep it on a low table or night stand where small children or pets can easily get their hands (or paws) on it.

And one more thing: don’t wear your denture appliance around the clock — take it out, for instance, while you sleep. Leaving dentures in interferes with the acid-neutralizing and antibacterial function of your mouth’s saliva, which could increase your risk of disease (and bad breath).

Appliances can be an expensive investment in your dental health. By following these guidelines you’ll help protect that investment for years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental appliance, 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 “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”

By Dentistry by Design
June 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

What your dentists in Andover want you to knowroot canal

If you’ve ever wondered what goes into a root canal, you’re not alone. Root canals are a commonly prescribed treatment that is often misunderstood by many people. The truth is, root canals are simple procedures and can provide permanent pain relief while still allowing you to keep your tooth. Your dentists at Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, want to share the facts about root canals and how they can help you.

If you have severe dental pain, you can have the offending tooth removed, but that may not be the best choice for several reasons. Your natural teeth are still the best option to provide chewing function, and if you have a tooth removed, it will affect your bite and your ability to chew the foods you love. Also, you will be faced with either living without the tooth or replacing it with expensive, or less than adequate options.

A root canal can eliminate severe dental pain associated with deep decay, infection or dental trauma. To find out if you need a root canal, you should visit your dentists in Andover. They will take x-rays and do a thorough examination and testing to determine if you can benefit from root canal therapy.

If you do need a root canal, your dentists in Andover will create a small opening inside your tooth and remove diseased tissue through the opening. They will use tiny instruments called files to clean out inflamed tissue and fluid which is causing you pressure and pain. A small amount of sedative material is placed inside your tooth.

Your tooth will begin to “calm down” over a few days, and you will feel less pain. After your tooth pain is resolved, the tooth will be reopened, cleaned out, and filled with an inert, rubbery material known as gutta-percha. As a final step, your tooth is sealed up with a permanent filling.

Root canal treatment is effective and allows you to retain your tooth and your full smile. Before you think about having a tooth removed, call your dentists at Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, to find out about root canal treatment. A root canal can save your smile, so call today!

By Dentistry by Design
June 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”