Happy Thanksgiving from Dental Partners of Boston

thanksgivingYou Aren’t The Only One Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner

Most people don’t realize it, but your mouth is filled with oral bacteria. In fact, there are twenty-five different species of the common oral bacteria Streptococcus mutans, with each strain affecting a different portion of your teeth. As you enjoy that holiday feast, these oral bacteria munch away on the food particles left behind—producing acid that can erode your dental enamel.

To give your teeth the upper edge over bacteria, bring along a toothbrush and some toothpaste to your Thanksgiving festivities, and excuse yourself after dinner to brush. Also, keep in mind that sugary desserts like pie can provide an ample amount of simple sugars for oral bacteria. Consider chewing gum after dessert, which can amp up your saliva production and wash away food particles.

Watch Those Beverages

Keep in mind that drinks like wine, coffee, and deeply pigmented juices can dye your teeth, which can make your smile look dingy. If possible, try to drink these beverages with a straw, which will keep the fluids from pooling on the front of your teeth. If you don’t have a straw handy, swish a little water around your mouth after you enjoy that drink. It might seem like a hassle, but it will keep your teeth pristine and pearly white for that holiday family photo.

Happy Holidays From the Dental Partners of Boston!

We want to take the time to wish each and every one of our patients a happy holiday season. We want you to know that we are there for you, rain or shine, if you experience a dental emergency in the middle of a holiday. If we aren’t available, we will do our best to help you to find the treatment that you need. Call us or request an appointment online. Thank you for your business, and stay safe out there!

Is A Sports Guard Right for You?

sportsCustom-made mouth guards are the most effective form of protection for your teeth during sports. Most athletic activities carry some risk of injury, and the danger to your teeth in particular can be severe. Dental Partners of Boston offers personalized, custom-fitted sports guards to ensure that your teeth remain undamaged.

What activities require sports guards?

Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment during contact sports such as football, soccer, ice and field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, boxing, and martial arts. Anyone participating in these activities should have a well-fitted mouth guard and should wear it every time they play. Injuries are also possible during other non-contact athletic activities like gymnastics, skateboarding, and mountain biking, and the use of dental guards during these activities is strongly recommended.

Do I need to get a custom mouth guard from my dentist?

The best choice for any dental appliance is one custom-fitted for you by your dentist. Over-the-counter mouth guards are available but do not have the same close fit and therefore do not provide the same degree of protection that a custom sports guards does. Dental Partners of Boston provides quality mouth guards tailored to you, the best choice for protecting your teeth from damage.

Do I really need a sports guard?

The consequences of playing without a mouth guard can be painful and expensive. A tooth lost due to a sports accident can lead to lifetime costs of $10,000 or more, as well as the risk of causing other dental problems. These teeth can require multiple restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures, dental implants, and even full mouth reconstruction if enough teeth are damaged. There is a strong risk of dental injuries when playing without a mouth guard; damage to the teeth is the most common injury to the face and mouth sustained by athletes participating in sporting events. The American Dental Association estimates that in high school and college football programs alone, roughly 200,000 injuries each year are prevented by the proper use of mouth guards. In short, a properly fitted sports guard is the best insurance against the cost, inconvenience, and pain of dental trauma. Call our office today or request an appointment online so that Dental Partners of Boston can help protect your teeth.

Dental Implants

naturalOur treatment of choice for one or more missing teeth is dental implants. Dental implants are small metal fixtures rooted in your jawbone that can support one or more replacement teeth. With over a quarter century of clinical success, Swedish and American research has proven that osseointegrated dental implants—dental implants using biocompatible materials which allow your bone to grow right up against them and fuse them in place—are effective in over ninety-six percent of all patients treated. With over 10,000 osseointegrated dental implants cases, the Dental Partners of Boston is one of the leading centers for osseointegrated dental implants in New England.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants work as an aesthetic and functional replacement for missing teeth. While there are other options to address tooth loss, such as removable bridges, dental implants are highly recommended. Some of the advantages of dental implants are:

  • Natural look: Dental implants have no visible metal fixtures; once finished, they appear to be healthy, natural teeth.
  • Full function: A single crown or a bridge supported by a dental implant functions like your natural teeth. You can speak, eat, and smile as you would naturally. Even full dentures are at their most secure and reliable when fastened using dental implants.
  • Permanence: A successful dental implant becomes a permanent part of your mouth and, with proper care, should never need to be replaced.
  • Ease of care: Cleaning dental implants is a simple process and will become part of your everyday routine.          

Installing implants

The placing of dental implants is a surgical procedure which is best performed by a periodontist. Periodontic education includes specific training with dental implants, allowing a periodontist to place them with care and precision that will provide the best chance for the implant’s successful integration. After initial exams to determine where the implant must be placed and ensure you have sufficient bone mass to support it, we will place a small metal fixture in your upper or lower jaw, in the space normally occupied by the roots of the missing teeth. This fixture can support a single dental crown, a bridge to replace multiple teeth, or a fastening for dentures.

Over time, the surrounding bone will grow right up against the implant, securing it permanently. Usually, there is a period of months between the time an implant is installed and the time the crown or bridge is added, to ensure that the implant integrates properly with the bone; however, in some cases, is it is possible to install both the implant and the crown in a single procedure. If there is a waiting period recommended, you may be provided with a temporary prosthesis to use in the meantime.

Teeth in an hour

The early dental implant treatment protocols were based on the concept that an implant had to be integrated in bone prior to loading. However, an increasing number of publications and reports illustrate that one-stage surgery and immediate dental implants can be successfully used in many cases.

The advantages of immediate dental implants are easy to recognize: they allow for immediate replacement of a lost tooth without the need for a waiting period or temporary stop-gap measures.

To date, Dental Partners of Boston’s implant dentists have been successfully utilizing several systems for immediate dental implants, including the Teeth in One Visit Treatment and the Teeth in an Hour Treatment.

To learn more about dental implants, including immediate dental implants, from a Dental Partners of Boston implant dentist, please contact our Boston dentist office today or request an appointment online.

 

Unhappy with yellowing teeth? Ask about At-Home Teeth Whitening.

pearlyAre you unhappy with the color of your teeth? Discolored teeth can keep a lot of people from sharing their smile with the world and we don’t think that’s right. Dental Partners of Boston wants to help you achieve the smile you want so that you can share it with the world. As a result, we offer at home teeth whitening trays to help patients reach their desired white smiles! Take a moment to learn more about this below.

What is At Home Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a procedure that is utilized to bleach or whiten your teeth; combating any discoloration that has occurred in your teeth. At home teeth whitening trays bring the desired results of teeth whitening in a convenient and easy to use package. In addition to the trays, there are often toothpastes, rinses, strips, and other whitening products available for home use.

Is At Home Teeth Whitening Right for You?

Here are some of the reasons you might choose at home teeth whitening over other teeth whitening options:

1. Convenience: After you receive the whitening trays, you can perform the teeth whitening at your schedule. So long as you follow the instructions, you don’t have to go out of your way or normal routine to get the teeth whitening done; you’re avoiding the long office visits!
2. Comfort: Some people experience anxiety at the dentist, that’s okay! By performing at home teeth whitening, you can avoid spending any time in the office; avoiding any unnecessary anxiety.
3. Long Term Results: Teeth whitening often has to be maintained, it’s not a one-and-done type situation. By having at home teeth whitening trays, you can ensure that you maintain your whitening results so that you always have a brighter and whiter smile.

How is the Procedure Performed?

There are a variety of different at home teeth whitening products to choose from, so the directions for each can vary little by little. Typically, for the at home teeth whitening tray, a bleach or peroxide product is utilized in trays which are then inserted into your mouth. The exact length that these trays have to remain in your mouth and how long they need to be used before results are visible varies depending on the solution. Most trays are intended for overnight use and often come pre-packaged for ease of use.

Schedule an Appointment

At home teeth whitening is an excellent way to get your smile brighter and whiter at your own convenience without having to sit through an office appointment. If you would like to request an appointment, you can call us during our business hours or you can fill out our online form and we will get back to you with an appointment date and time. If you have any questions regarding at home teeth whitening or any other services offered by Dental Partners of Boston, please do not hesitate to contact us as we would be happy to help you. Dental Partners of Boston is proud to help the greater Boston, MA, area with all their dental needs!

The Mount-Joint Connection

enjoyThough at first glance arthritis and gum disease would seem to be separate and unrelated health problems, they are commonly found together. A person who suffers from one is significantly more likely to also experience the other, a connection which has been repeatedly documented. While a causal link has not yet been proven between poor dental health and rheumatoid arthritis, the correlation between the two is well established, and the most recent research suggests that gum disease may be a precursor to joint pain.

Study of the connection between gum disease and arthritis goes back to at least 1987. A study, authored by Jerry A. Molitor, MD, PhD, began that year to examine the overlap which had already been observed between arthritis and periodontitis (gum disease). After eleven years examining the health of 6,616 participants, the researchers concluded that patients whose periodontitis was classed as moderate or severe were twice as likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis as those with little to no gum disease. That connection has been borne out since in multiple studies across several countries.

The reason for the connection was previously not understood. Initially doctors believed that the arthritis might be the cause of the tooth loss. Pain in the hands could easily make oral hygiene more difficult, and some of the medications used to treat arthritis can cause dry mouth, which promotes oral bacterial development. But more recent research suggests that gum disease may actually precede the development of arthritis. A study examining the effects of joint pain on oral hygiene concluded that pain due to arthritis was not enough to account for the link. And the correlation remained even among patients who were not medicated for their arthritis, meaning that dry mouth could not be the sole factor. The effects and treatment of the arthritis itself are not wholly responsible for the increased occurrence of gum disease in arthritic patients. Instead, similarities between the tissues of the gums and tissues of the joints–and similarities between the types of bacteria which can affect them–may provide clues about the source of joint inflammation and how it relates to dental health. Though the cause has not yet been firmly established, signs point to a possibility that gum disease contributes to arthritis.

If gum disease is a factor in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, then proper dental care becomes all the more important for those who have, or show other risk factors for, arthritis. Everyone should properly brush and floss their teeth, but if this is difficult or painful, talk to your dentist about what assistive devices might help you. Regular dental exams are also key to catching any infection early. Call our office or request an appointment online.

For more information, see “Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease”by Mary Anne Dunkin. 

Immediate Dental Implants with Dental Partners of Boston

implantsPatients who’ve lost bone in their jaw or have missing teeth as a result of gum disease or other health issues know the pain of losing the beautiful aesthetics of their natural smile as well as the trouble of trying to eat or speak properly. Dental implants are one of the ways to correctly solve this issue, but the process in the past could take up to a year. Luckily, Dental Partners of Boston has a solution: immediate dental plants that can be done in a single office visit. Take a moment to learn more about them below!

What are Immediate Dental Implants?

Dental implants act as a replacement to the roots of your teeth. They provide a solid foundation in which replacement teeth or permanent fixed teeth can be placed in your mouth to match your natural teeth. Typically, dental implants can take several visits to get working, but with immediate dental implants you can have the procedure done in a single office visit. This is through a revolutionary process that utilizes 3D printing technology to place a bridge with space for four dental implants utilizing the bone that the patient has available. Here is a short list of some of the advantages to utilizing immediate dental implants:

1. Being able to have your teeth fixed immediately.
2. Having a better esthetic look to your smile.
3. Doesn’t require the use of removable prosthesis which are often uncomfortable.
4. Improving personal self-image and confidence in addition to enhanced oral function.

Are One Visit Dental Implants Right for You?

There are many restorative dentistry procedures out there, so we are unable to determine if a procedure is right for a patient until an assessment is performed. Once we’ve assessed the state of your current oral health, we will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment option. A dental implant will likely be appropriate for you if you’re missing crucial teeth and wish to return aesthetics and functionality back to your mouth. We will generally recommend one visit dental implants to most patients who’re going to receive dental implants.

How is the Procedure for Immediate Dental Implants Performed?

After the necessary assessment is performed on a patient, the single visit dental implant procedure can be scheduled and undergone. First, the area is prepared for the surgery; meaning any roots or teeth that need to be removed or altered must be taken care of first. From there, the site is prepared with a bridge and the dental implants utilizing the 3D printing technology.

Make an Appointment

Dental implants are a great way to restore the aesthetics and function of your teeth; making them a great choice when necessary for a patient. If you’re looking to make an appointment for a one visit dental implant or another procedure that we offer, please contact us today.  Our trained dentists and professional dental team are proud to serve the greater Boston, MA, area.

Oral Cancer Screenings

smokingDid you know that our doctors can examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer during your regular dental check-up? People have a tendency to put off regular dental exams, and oral cancer is usually detected in late stages, when it can be fatal. Each year in the United States, over 45,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, and it will cause over 8,600 deaths. However, you might be able to ward off late stage oral cancer by doing something as simple as going in for a regular dental checkup. We will look for oral irregularities that could signal oral cancer. Here are a few things your we will look for:

What the Dentist Will Look For

  • Unexplained Bleeding: Do you have spots in your mouth that bleed for no reason? If so, it could be a sign of oral cancer.
  • Bumps, Rough Spots, or Other Irregularities: When cancer cells grow inside of your oral tissue, they can create bumps, rough spots, or other irregularities. Some patients become so used to these malformations that they overlook the danger.
  • Numbness: Do parts of your mouth or face ever feel numb or tingly? When cancer spreads, it can interfere with nerve connections and cause that numb feeling.
  • Dental Changes: Are those once-perfect dentures fitting a little oddly? It could be a sign that dental cancer has changed your oral anatomy.
  • Ear Pain: Depending on the location of the disease and the effects it has had on the structures of your mouth, jaw or ear pain might be present.

How To Prevent Oral Cancer

Fortunately, you might be able to fend off oral cancer by making a few life changes. Here are a few ways you might be able to prevent problems:

  • Receive Regular Dental Checkups: Don’t put off your dental checkups. Instead, schedule a new appointment before you leave the dentist’s office. In addition to looking for problems, your dentist will also become more familiar with your mouth, so that he or she can spot malformations.
  • Quit Tobacco Products: Both chewing tobacco and smoking exposes your mouth’s tissues to deadly chemicals. If you are trying to quit, talk with your doctor about other products that might help you to curb cravings.
  • Know Your Family History: Talk with your parents about your family history. If you have a long line of relatives that have struggled with cancers of the head or neck, you need to be extra careful about oral cancer.

By making an appointment with Dental Partners of Boston for an oral cancer screening, along with a dental check-up, you might be able to fend off a deadly illness. Please call us today.

Don’t Avoid Straightening Your Teeth as an Adult

invisalign1Many adults are unhappy with the alignment of their teeth, but if you are like most adults, you might not be able to imagine yourself with a mouth full of wire braces. However, braces today are a lot better than they were twenty years ago. Here are two reasons you shouldn’t be nervous about adult braces:

1: Braces Are Better Than Ever Before

When most people think of braces, they imagine headgear, loads of dark silver wire, and neon rubber bands. However, braces have evolved over the years, and most people are pleasantly surprised with their new orthodontic appliances. Here are a few ways braces have changed:

  • Smaller Brackets: Modern brackets are smaller, flatter, smoother, and stronger than they were in the good old days. In addition to staying strong throughout the course of your treatment, the thinner profile makes braces more comfortable and less prone to accumulating food grime.
  • Dental Cement: While older brackets were attached to teeth with a thick metal band, brackets these days are attached with a minuscule amount of invisible dental cement.
  • Band-Free Designs: Some dentists even use self-litigating braces, which don’t require unsightly rubber bands. Instead, these braces use tiny metal clips that blend in with the surrounding wires.

Before you rule out braces, take the time to check out a new set in real life. Here in our office, we have a photo gallery of orthodontic patients so that you can see real-life examples.

2: You Have Other Options

If you still can’t wrap your mind around traditional braces, don’t despair. Our dentists offer a huge range of alternative orthodontic care options, including:

  • Behind-The-Teeth Braces: If you want straighter teeth without all those wires, ask your dentist if they can place them on the backsides of your teeth.
  • Appliances: For people with mild alignment issues, straightening things out might be as easy as wearing a retainer overnight. Orthodontic appliances can be used to bring down rogue canines, correct buck teeth, and even close gaps.
  • Invisalign: At the Dental Partners of Boston, we also offer advanced Invisalign braces, which straighten your teeth with a range of clear, hard plastic retainers.

If you think that you could benefit from braces, make an appointment with the Dental Partners of Boston today. By coming in for a consultation, we can discuss your options, and let you know what to expect from your treatment.

Benefits of Dental Botox(R) Treatments

TMJIn the terms of pop culture, we are now in the future. We all know it’s 2015, and we all know what cosmetic enhancements are. Except what would surprise you, is that some qualified dentists, like the ones at Dental Partners of Boston, uses Dental Botox  Treatments to relieve the symptoms of TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) and associated jaw tension and pain. The injections can sometimes eliminate headaches which are caused by teeth clenching, grinding, and from severe stress. This treatment can even minimize lock jaw. There has been some evidence that proves its effectiveness but it’s only experimental at this point.

How does Botox treat these disorders?
When you use your jaw for daily actions like talking, eating, swallowing, the joint where your jawbone meets the skull, can become displaced or might just be overworked through excessive teeth grinding. These problems may cause sharp pain in the jaw, tension headaches, and lockjaw. When Botox is injected into these joints, it can relieve the tension by making the muscles unable to engage in the powerful movements that cause the problems.
Botox is an alternative treatment for these disorders, and is non-surgical which requires no hospital stay. This procedure is done in the qualified dentist’s office, and most patients experience a noticeable difference within one or two days of their initial treatment, although it could be a week.

Am I a candidate for Botox?

It is important for providers to screen patients to determine their eligibility because this is still an early treatment. Although it does appear that Botox is a safe alternative to traditional treatment such as physical therapy, muscle relaxers and pain medications, and even night guards. During your initial appointment, your dentist should carefully review every patient’s medical history before beginning the treatment. You must disclose whether you are using any medications, drugs, or other substances that could have a negative interaction with the injections. This would be the time to also disclose any known allergies to avoid a possible negative reaction. If you aren’t eligible for this treatment, other options such as TMJ Appliances will be recommended.

Risks and benefits of Dental Botox Treatment

If you suffer from soreness and pain caused by problems with the temporo-mandibular joint, this treatment can provide relief. This can also aid in preventing chipped teeth, or many other problems caused by the tension of this joint. While Botox appears to be safe for these disorders, other treatments may impact the effectiveness. In some cases, patients have experience bleeding at the injection sites or bruising, or excessive paralysis of the muscles in the treatment area. Complications are rare, but all possible risks should be considered and discussed with your dentist.

If you or anyone you know has these types of disorders, and are interested in this exciting treatment, please contact us to set up an appointment with one of the dentists here at the Dental Partners of Boston.

Managing Gum Disease

agingThe Centers for Disease Control has found that more than half of Americans, aged 30+, have periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. This represents 64.7 million Americans who are at risk of tooth loss because they have gum disease. Fortunately, your dental care providers here at Dental Partners of Boston have a plethora of solutions for diagnosing, preventing, and treating gum disease.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

If you are 35-40, you are at the age where gum disease can become severe. Here are some of the strongest indicators that you could develop gum disease:

  • – Age: As you age, you are more likely to develop gum disease. In fact, more than 70% of Americans over age 65 suffer from gum disease.
  • – Use of Tobacco: Tobacco use can cause and intensify gum disease.
  • – Poor Nutrition: A poor diet can damage your immune system, which can help fight of periodontal infections.
  • – Genetics: If gum disease runs in your family, you are likely to suffer from it.

Knowing the Symptoms

If you havent been to the dentist for a while, you might have some of the symptoms of gum disease. These include tender, red gums, as well as pain in your mouth. You might notice that your gums bleed when you brush, floss, or eat certain types of food. You may also notice:

  • – Loose teeth.
  • – Persistent halitosis (bad breath).
  • – An overall change in how your bite feels. 
  • – If you have caps, bridges, or other dental prosthetics, they might not fit correctly.

Treating Gum Disease: Early Non-Surgical Treatments

It is important for you to get into your dentist for your cleaning, especially if youve missed the last several appointments. Before gum disease becomes persistently bad, your dentist can perform the following treatments:

  • – Professional Dental Cleaning: During your dental cleaning, your dentist will scrape away plaque and tartar that have built up at the base of your tooth.
  • – Tooth Scaling and Root Planing: This is a procedure where your dentist puts you under a local anesthetic. They will smooth your teeth and remove plaque from under the gum line. This procedure gives your gums the opportunity to reattach to your teeth.

Prevention Starts With You

Ultimately, healthy gums start with you. Good dental hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, will help prevent gum disease. Here is what the experts are saying you should do to prevent gum disease:

  • – Brush your teeth twice per day, using a fluoride-based toothpaste. You should brush for at least two minutes, using a circular motion.
  • – Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash solution twice per day for thirty seconds to kill bacteria.
  • – Floss with a wax-based dental floss taking time to go in between each tooth all the way down to the gum line.
  • – See your dentist twice per year for a checkup and cleaning.
  • – Give up smoking and smokeless tobacco products.

Gum disease is a fact of life for many Americans, but with regular dental hygiene and checkups, you can eliminate and prevent gum disease, keeping your permanent teeth longer. Our specialists at Dental Partners of Boston can help you prevent, manage, and recover from gum disease. Call us today for a consultation.