Posts for: April, 2016
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.”
How visiting your dentist regularly can help your health
When you make and keep a dental appointment, you are ensuring the health of your teeth, and your overall health. Dr. David Kahn and Dr. John Pergolizzi, in Ringwood, New Jersey, want you to know just how vital it is to keep your mouth healthy. In fact, if you have an unhealthy mouth, it can dramatically increase your risk of:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
Also, when you make and keep your dental appointments, Drs. Kahn and Pergolizzi can catch dental problems while they are still small, saving you time, money and potential dental pain. You don’t want to postpone regular visits to your dentist because dental problems can escalate.
Drs. Kahn and Pergolizzi, your Ringwood dentists, want to keep you from having a more severe dental problem. If you don’t keep your regularly scheduled dental visits, there is a chance that:
- Untreated gum infection can turn into a need for periodontal treatment
- Untreated periodontal disease can turn into need for a tooth extraction
- Untreated decay can turn into a need for a root canal or tooth extraction
- Tooth extraction can turn into need for a partial or denture
Brushing and flossing are an excellent start to preventing gum and periodontal disease and tooth decay, but you also need to see your dentist regularly. Drs. Kahn and Pergolizzi will examine your gums and teeth and take vital x-rays. It is only through x-rays that all decay and bone loss from periodontal disease can be seen.
You need to keep your scheduled dental appointment to ensure your teeth are professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Again, brushing and flossing are a good start, but you can’t remove hard deposits, called calculus or tartar, from your teeth. Only a skilled dental professional can remove all hard and soft tissue deposits to fully clean your teeth.
Current recommendations are to visit your dentist every six months to one year, more often if you have periodontal disease or severe dental issues. When it comes to the health of your mouth, don’t wait! Your overall health depends on it. So call Dr. Kahn and Dr. Pergolizzi, in Ringwood, New Jersey, and start establishing a regular dental schedule. Call today!
Modern life can be demanding. The body helps us rise to the occasion through responses we collectively call stress.
But while stress can be a good thing, it can also overwhelm us and manifest in some harmful way: bouts of back pain, stomach ulcers or even acne. It could also trigger tooth grinding, often occurring as we sleep. And like other stress relievers, tooth grinding can be detrimental to your health long term.
Teeth-on-teeth contact occurs normally when we eat or speak, or simply as our jaws contact each other with glancing touches hundreds if not thousands of times a day. Such normal contact is beneficial because it stimulates healthy bone growth in the jaw. But if the forces created exceed the normal range as with tooth grinding (up to ten times), it can cause a bevy of problems to the teeth and jaws.
While excessive jaw motion during teeth grinding can cause inflammation and painful spasms in the muscles, the greater danger is to the teeth, which could even fracture from the high amount of force. The more common occurrence, though, is an increased rate of enamel erosion, which causes the tooth to lose vital structure and eventually appear shorter in appearance.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce teeth grinding or its severity. The first order of business is to treat its effects by reducing its symptoms and ongoing damage. We can recommend some behavior modification techniques to alter the frequency of the habit or a night guard to protect the teeth from the intensity of the habit if you’re unable to change the behavior.
A custom-fitted night or occlusal guard, a retainer-like dental appliance made of smooth acrylic plastic is designed so that the lower teeth glide over the guard surface when grinding and can’t make solid contact with the upper teeth. This reduces the generated force and helps protect the teeth.
In the long term, though, you should address the root cause — how you’re handling daily stress. Treatment by a psychotherapist or counselor, for example, could help you develop ways to channel stress in more productive ways.
However your treatment strategy develops, it’s important to address stress and teeth grinding as soon as possible. Controlling it will have long-term benefits for your teeth and smile.
If you would like more information on dealing with stress that causes tooth grinding, 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 “Stress & Tooth Habits.”