The Scoop on Wisdom Teeth

Usually in your late teens and early twenties, your final set of molars, or wisdom teeth, erupt. Some people never have any issues with their wisdom teeth, but usually these molars are misaligned and require removal. Wisdom teeth that come in crooked can crowd other teeth and make you more vulnerable to tooth decay. When wisdom teeth only partially break through the soft tissue, they are considered impacted, which can result in pain, swelling, and susceptibility to illness.

Often, a dentist or oral surgeon will recommend removal of wisdom teeth before any problems arise. Extracting wisdom teeth is easier on young people because the roots are not fully developed and the bone is less dense. Older patients can have a more difficult time with the healing and recovery process.

Before scheduling the extraction, your dentist will take X-rays and examine your mouth to assess the situation with your wisdom teeth. If the wisdom teeth have broken completely through the gum line, the extraction is as simple as any tooth removal. Impacted wisdom teeth will need an incision in the gum and will likely require removal of the tooth structure in pieces.

To remove your wisdom teeth, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the teeth and surrounding tissue. Often, patients having wisdom teeth extracted also choose sedation options like nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, which will lessen any anxiety about the procedure. After the appointment, your recovery will depend on the difficulty of the extraction. Usually, patients experience some bleeding and facial swelling. You can take over-the-counter pain medication for discomfort, or your dentist may prescribe something stronger if necessary.

We look forward to seeing you in our Hunderton County dental office

How to Prepare Your Teen for Invisalign

Being a teenager can be difficult, and being a teen whose smile could use some improvement can be even more difficult. If your teen suffers from gapped, crooked, crowded, or misaligned teeth, you may be looking into Invisalign with your teen’s orthodontist as a smile solution.

In the past, metal braces were the standard for teens, leading to “metal mouth” smiles and the worry that food is caught there during lunch or after snacks. Metal braces can lead to even more self-consciousness for your teen. Using Invisalign will lead to the same results as traditional metal braces. While metal braces use wires and brackets to straighten teeth, Invisalign uses clear plastic trays, allowing your teen’s process of tooth straightening to be less obvious.

The Invisalign process begins with impressions and x-rays, providing valuable information regarding the current condition of your teen’s teeth. The mold made from the impressions serves as the reference for creating the custom-made Invisalign trays. A series of trays are used, gradually altering the teeth, leading to a more comfortable straightening process.

Invisalign trays are removed before eating, eliminating the trepidation associated with eating in public with traditional metal braces. Because there is no hardware to dislodge, there are no food restrictions, and your teen may continue to enjoy whatever foods desired.

Your teen will need to have good oral hygiene habits. Flossing once a day and brushing after mealtimes or at least twice a day is best. Invisalign trays are removed prior to these activities, allowing for an ease of oral care not provided by traditional braces.

Be sure your teen wears the Invisalign trays as recommend by his or her orthodontist. In order to maximize Invisalign effectiveness, your teen must wear the trays at all times, except during mealtimes or when brushing or flossing.

If you live in the Milford, NJ, contact us today

Cosmetic Dentistry

Recreate Your Smile with a Makeover

It has been reported that nearly eighty percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their smiles. This is a surprisingly high number, given the fact that there are so many effective and safe cosmetic dentistry options available today. Many dentists are skilled and experienced at performing smile makeovers, which can transform a smile that makes you cringe into one that you proudly show off.

The first thing you should do is make a list of the things you dislike about your smile. Take this list with you to your dental appointment, because it is very likely that solutions are available to most of your dental problems.

Some common issues that patients often desire changing include:

  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Missing teeth
  • Crooked or overlapping teeth
  • Overly prominent gums
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Discolored or stained teeth

After you and your dentist discuss your goals, an examination of your mouth will be performed to see if your mouth is healthy. Your dentist will identify which characteristics can be altered or improved. Photos will be taken to use as a guide, as will measurements to determine the ideal size and shape of features that will complement your appearance. Your dentist will explain techniques and procedures that will help you achieve the goals of your smile makeover. Some of them may include bonding, crowns, teeth whitening, gum recontouring, orthodontics, veneers, implants, or dentures. With all of these types of techniques available, there is no reason to be discontent with your teeth and gums. Now is the time to discover how to get out of that category of people unhappy with their smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Phillipsburg dental office

Special Needs Dentist

Dental Care for Special Needs Patients

If you or a loved one have physical limitations, medical problems, or behavioral issues, you may need dental care that is sensitive to these special needs. Aging patients, individuals with limited mobility, those with mental challenges, and people who are immunocompromised may need extra help to maintain good oral health. Finding the right dentist to work with a special needs patient will make all the difference.

Do individuals with special needs have special dental issues?

In many cases, these patients have difficulty maintaining home routines. Others take medication or have dietary restrictions that impact oral health. Sometimes, these individuals have higher rates of problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Will preventive care help a special needs patient?

Absolutely. Taking good care of teeth and gums will stop problems before they start. Depending on the situation, the dentist may recommend additional treatments such as fluoride and sealants to promote a healthy mouth.

What will happen during appointments?

To accommodate a special needs patient, the dentist will likely make modifications to standard practices. Keeping appointments short, having additional assistants available, and recommending sedation can result in a more successful experience.

How do I find a dentist to care for a special needs patient?

With a special needs patient, it is important to find a provider willing to learn everything about the patient’s situation and come up with a dental treatment plan to fit that individual case. As you consider dentists, look at whether the provider seems willing to develop a relationship with you as the caregiver, as well as the patient. Make sure the dentist and staff are willing to accommodate the situation and partner with you to achieve positive results.

Schedule your appointment at our Milford, NJ dental office

Dentist for Seniors

Dental Care for Seniors

In modern society, life expectancy and quality of life have improved. Now, many people focus on aging gracefully, which includes protecting the appearance and health of their smiles. You can continue to enjoy a full, active lifestyle by protecting your oral health.

Over time, your body tends to weaken, including your teeth and gums. Proactive efforts will allow you to preserve your dental health. During regular visits, your dentist will perform a thorough exam, analyzing your jaw joints, bite, soft tissues, gums, and teeth. For patients with replacement teeth, like dentures, the dentist will check the condition of the prosthesis and make recommendations for optimal dental health.

Common Dental Issues for Seniors

Discolored Teeth

Your teeth naturally darken over time; stains can occur from certain beverages, medications, and lifestyle choices. To improve your smile’s radiance, your dentist can offer suggestions for better brushing and flossing, as well as explain teeth whitening options.

Dry Mouth

Medications, infections, and tobacco use can lead to dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable, but dry mouth contribute to the development of gum disease and tooth decay. Minimize the problem by chewing sugarless gum, drinking lots of water, and brushing frequently with fluoride toothpaste.

Gum Disease

Because gum disease is the main cause of adult tooth loss, your dentist will watch for any problems. Catching it in the early stages will halt the progression of gum disease and prevent long-term dental issues. As well, studies have shown a direct link between gum disease and risk of stroke, diabetes complications, and osteoporosis.

Tooth Loss

Losing teeth can cause your self-esteem and dental health to decline. It may also lead to sagging facial muscles, dietary restrictions, and bone degeneration. With options such as dentures, dental implant, and crown or bridgework, your dentist can renew your smile and improve oral health.

Our dental office is located in Phillipsburg

Dental Implants

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Dental Implants Bloomsbury

Did you know that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth? Missing teeth don’t just damage your smile. They can limit your diet, inhibit your speech, and compromise your oral health. Studies show that when one tooth is loss, 20 percent of adjacent teeth may be lost in the next several years if you don’t replace the missing tooth. Dental implants offer patients a solid, attractive way to restore their smiles.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. With implants, you can replace one or more missing teeth. One implant is surgically positioned in the gum line for each empty socket. Usually, your mouth will need three to six month to recover. During this time, the bone will fuse to the posts, creating a solid foundation for the dental crowns your dentist will place on the implants.

Dental implants offer several benefits, including

Attractiveness

Designed to look and feel like natural teeth, dental implants are the closest prosthetic to nature. Your implants will blend in with remaining teeth, giving you a full, attractive smile.

Convenience

Because implants aren’t removable, you don’t have to hassle with the messy adhesives or worry about the embarrassing slippage associated with dentures. After implant therapy, patients can smile confidently and enjoy active lifestyles.

Reliability

With proper care, implants will last for years. Treat your dental implants like your original teeth. Brush twice daily, floss frequently, and schedule routine checkups so that your smile will stay healthy and strong.

If you live in the Bloomsbury, NJ contact us today

Invisalign

Adults: Living with Invisalign

But am I too old to deal with the hassle of teeth straightening? You may be surprised to learn how little your routine will change with Invisalign. From your morning schedule, to meals, work-outs, and bedtime you can go about your day in much the same way as before you chose to beautify your smile with this state of the art treatment.

Always rushed in the morning? Simply pop out the Invisalign aligners, brush and floss normally, and pop them right back in place. To clean the aligners, you can either use the cleaning kit provided or brush and rinse with warm water. The process is easy and quick, allowing you to get out the door to your meeting or carpool in a flash.

Big lunch with clients or a special luncheon? No problem. With Invisalign, you remove the aligners during meals. No worries about spinach stuck in metal brackets and wires, or restrictions on the types of food you can eat. Enjoy your lunch with confidence.

But I love to play basketball at lunch, and soccer with my kids? If contact sports are a big part of your life, Invisalign won’t get in your way. You can leave the aligners in without concern that you might cut your mouth, or remove them if you normally wear a mouth guard when playing. Score another point for Invisalign!

I’m so tired by bedtime that I just want to fall into bed, won’t they take forever to clean? With Invisalign, no need to worry about the tedious cleaning and flossing between brackets and wires as with traditional braces. Since the aligners are removed for oral hygiene tasks, you can simply brush and floss your teeth normally, and then brush and rinse your aligners. It’s so quick that your pillow won’t have time to miss you.

As you can see, with Invisalign, your daily routine will experience minimal changes, but your smile will achieve maximum results!

Schedule your appointment at our Hunderton County dental office

Wisdom Teeth Q and A

Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt. Usually, people get their wisdom teeth in during their late teens and early 20s. Although some individuals have no trouble with their wisdom teeth, many people end up having these teeth removed because they may become impacted and create dental health issues.

Learn more about wisdom teeth with this Q and A:

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems, you can leave them alone. Typically, wisdom teeth are crooked or impacted, which can generate problems with the surrounding teeth. Also, wisdom teeth can be harder to keep clean, so the risk of decay on these teeth is higher.

When should I have these teeth taken out?

For optimal results, most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal for patients when they are between 16 and 22 years old. The formation of the roots isn’t complete, so you have fewer complications.

Are there any risks?

As with any surgery, you can have issues arise, but the biggest concerns are nerve damage and dry sockets. Older patients have a greater chance of nerve damage because the root has more fully developed. Dry sockets occur when the post-surgery blood clots dislodge.

Does my age matter?

Some adults don’t experience any symptoms until they are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. You can have these teeth extracted at any point, but when you get older, surgery is more difficult and the recovery takes longer. If you have trouble with your wisdom teeth, contact your dentist right away for a complete exam.

We look forward to seeing you in our Hunderton County dental office

Get Ready for Invisalign!

You have made the smart decision to improve your smile with Invisalign. Invisalign’s clear aligners make straightening your teeth both aesthetically appealing and easy to maintain. There are a few tips you can follow to ensure a successful treatment that results in a more perfect, new smile.

The most important step you can take is to find an excellent orthodontist with Invisalign experience. Your orthodontist should make time to answer all of your questions about treatment, and be vigilant and thorough with examinations and check-ups.

Once you start treatment, keep your aligners in place. For the first 48 hours your teeth will be adjusting to getting into new positions. They may be sore and sensitive, but this is a critical time for keeping the trays in as much as possible. Because the invisible aligner trays are removable, you may think it’s okay to remove them at any time. The success of your treatment depends on keeping the aligners in for the time recommended, usually at least 20 to 22 hours per day. Take them out to eat and to clean the trays, but otherwise, they should remain in your mouth.

Brush your teeth and aligner trays on a regular basis. Aligners can get plaque build-up just like your teeth, so it’s imperative that you keep them clean. The trays can be cleaned with either Invisalign’s tool kit, or a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Invisalign trays should be removed from your mouth for cleaning.

By following these easy tips, you can help guarantee Invisalign will work to straighten your misaligned teeth and ultimately give you a beautiful new smile.

If you need a dentist in Phillipsburg, contact us today

At What Age Do I Need Dental Implants?

When you think about artificial teeth, most people automatically think of elderly people. However, false teeth are not only targeted toward seniors. People of all ages have a need for tooth restorations, and dentures are not always the solution. Dental implants have become a very popular choice for those in need of new teeth. They may be used to replace individual or multiple teeth, and can be considered at various ages.

Reasons for tooth loss

There are a number of reasons that people lose teeth. It can result from trauma to the mouth from an accident or sports injury. Tooth loss also may occur from damage caused by chronic bad habits like smoking or drug use. Another reason for tooth loss is decay that wasn’t treated in time. Decay is a common problem in all ages due to consumption of sodas, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Eating items like these and not performing good oral hygiene is a recipe for tooth decay.

Advantage of implants

Implants are a more permanent restoration than dentures. Instead of being taken in and out of the mouth, implants are attached directly to the jaw bone. A younger patient might require a number of pairs of dentures in their lifetime, while a dental implant is usually a one-time procedure. Even if the crown on top of an implant requires replacement, that may be done without altering the implant itself.

Restrictions for implants

Since the implant is inserted into the jawbone, the jaw must be finished growing so that the implant doesn’t affect jaw formation. Therefore it is recommended that dental implants not be performed on boys under age 17 or girls under age 15, since most girls mature physically sooner than boys. Another consideration for implants is bone density. As people age, bone density decreases and can limit the success of an implant attaching properly to the jawbone. Dentists can determine good candidates for implants based on their age, growth, and bone density.

Schedule your appointment at our Bloomsbury, NJ dental office