When to Consider Arch Replacement

archAn arch replacement is when all the teeth on the lower or upper part of your gums are replaced fully by dental implants. A full upper arch replacement signifies that dental implants are being attached to the upper portion of your mouth while the full lower arch replacement is for when dental implants go in the bottom portion of your mouth. Besides full replacements, there are also partial replacements if you have some teeth left that can be utilized as a foundation. Dental implants act as excellent alternatives to regular teeth and offer a way for patient’s to improve their quality of life. For a patient who has lost their teeth, an arch replacement can benefit them in the following ways:

  • You can eat, speak, and function just as if you had natural teeth.
  • An arch replacement offers a stable solution for missing teeth; lasting you your lifetime.
  • Your facial appearance will be preserve and bone loss in your jaw will be prevented by receiving an arch replacement.

IMAGES_0007529_1Arch Replacement Treatment

  • Step 1) Prior to the procedure, our dentist needs to determine the extent of the work and prepare the patient for it through any necessary pre-procedure treatments.
  • Step 2) The replacement for the tooth roots, the dental implants, are then placed in the upper, lower, or both arches of the mouth depending on the need of the patient. Temporary teeth are placed in the implants at this time.
  • Step 3) The final bridge for the teeth then has to be installed in the patient’s mouth.
  • Step 4) Any final touches, like ensuring that the teeth for the dental implants are permanent, are then performed. The result: the patient has a happy, functioning full set of teeth again with the full arch replacement.

When is it Time for an Arch Replacement?

Receiving an arch replacement is a financial and time commitment, but if it is right for you, it is highly recommended that you pursue the treatment plan for it. To know if it is truly time for an arch replacement, you’ll want to come in and receive an assessment to be sure. However, there are some signs that would suggest that you might be a candidate for an arch replacement. If you have lost all or the majority of your teeth, then an arch replacement is highly recommended. Please contact us to schedule a consultation; we are happy to answer all your questions.

How Dental Implants Work

missingDental implants are the most advanced treatment currently available for missing teeth. They allow us to install replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like a natural part of your body. Years of research and experimentation have resulted in implant procedures with a very high success rate, allowing us to restore your bite even better than before.

Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure in which a small metal post is inserted directly into the jawbone, in the area previously occupied by your tooth roots. This post is usually allowed to heal and integrate with your jawbone before being topped with a dental crown, although in some cases it is possible to do this all at once. Gum tissue can be encouraged to grow around the prosthetic in much the same way that it does a normal tooth, hiding the metal abutment and producing the appearance of a healthy, natural tooth.

The best biocompatible materials

Most dental implants are composed of titanium, a metal whose strength and durability is well known. More recently, an alternate option has been produced in the form of zirconia, a type of ceramic. Both materials are functional choices, although titanium continues to be most commonly used; zirconia is mainly chosen by those who are leery of metal implants.

Both titanium and zirconia are biocompatible materials, meaning that your body has no negative reaction to their presence. Indeed, your bone will grow right up to the implant and secure it in place, a process called osseointegration which makes the implant procedure possible. Although this is different than the way your natural teeth attach to the bone, it is just as sturdy and stable, and allows for permanent implants which will last your entire life.

Mutually supportive structures

Your natural teeth are supported by the bone and gum tissue around them. When a tooth is lost, those structures begin to recede, leaving a gap in the jawbone and in the gums. Replacing a tooth with a dental implant encourages the supporting structures to remain and halts their deterioration. It is the best method for preserving the natural structure of your mouth once a tooth is lost.

Healthy teeth for life

Your new, healthy teeth can last a lifetime with proper care and cleaning. There is no reason that old age or disease should result in a toothless mouth. Whether used to support individual crowns, fixed bridges, or a full set of dentures, dental implants will allow you to smile, speak, and eat comfortably your whole life long. Call or contact us by requesting an appointment online.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

emergencyThe rule of thumb in dentistry is that if you can afford to be picky about when to schedule a procedure, it’s not an emergency. A dental emergency is a sudden, often painful and debilitating problem that needs treatment right away. One common example is having a tooth knocked out accidentally; other problems might include severe bleeding or swelling which can be dangerous and which you shouldn’t wait to have treated. It is best to have a plan in place before a dental emergency happens so that when it does, you know what to do.

General emergency tips

Where possible, keep our number on hand. Know the route to our office so you can get here quickly, and make sure you have a plan for transportation. When you experience a dental emergency, call us right away so that we can be ready for you at our office–or so that you know to go somewhere else. While we try to assist with all dental emergencies, circumstances may dictate that you’ll need to go elsewhere, so if possible you should also research a backup option.

If you lose a tooth

The details of an emergency dental situation vary from case to case, and how we respond will depend on your condition. But in the case of a tooth being knocked out, there are several specific ways you can improve your chances of saving the tooth.

First, try to immediately plant the tooth back where it came from. The longer the tooth is out of place, the less chance there is of saving it. If you can put it back where it came from, we have the best chance of being able to restore it.

If you can replant the tooth, put it in cold whole milk. Do not put the tooth in water. Milk will help keep the tooth from drying out, which is essential to saving it.

Whether the tooth is able to be placed back in your mouth or not, come to us immediately for treatment. A tooth is much more likely to be saved if it receives treatment within half an hour of being knocked out. Once you are in our office, we can help secure the tooth back in place so it will heal properly.

Call our office

In a dental emergency, time is crucial. The sooner you contact us, the better your odds. Contact us as soon as a problem develops so that we can help restore your smile.

Bridging the Gap

bridgeTooth loss can be a disheartening and even a debilitating condition, impairing your ability to eat and speak normally as well as affecting the beauty of your smile. The damage caused by a missing tooth is ongoing, as teeth surrounding the gap drift into the space, sometimes tilting and leaning. If not treated, a gap in your smile can begin to affect your entire mouth. To restore your smile and prevent further deterioration, Dental Partners of Boston offers dental bridges.

A dental bridge is a treatment in cosmetic dentistry that replaces one or more missing teeth with a prosthetic. With a dental bridge, the gap in your mouth becomes invisible, and you can once more talk, eat, and smile as you did before. Filling the empty space prevents nearby teeth from drifting and preserves the integrity of your bite. The sooner a bridge can be installed, the better for your remaining teeth.

Removable partial dentures

One solution for filling a gap in your teeth is a removable partial denture. The removable denture fills all the cosmetic and functional roles of your missing teeth. Although not as stable as a fixed bridge, this is a functional solution which can be installed without altering any of the adjacent structures in your mouth.

Tooth-supported fixed bridges

A fixed bridge is permanently installed in your mouth and provides greater stability than a removable partial denture. A tooth-supported fixed bridge relies on porcelain crowns which are fitted over the teeth on either side of the gap to support the false teeth in the middle. It is also possible to make a bridge that fastens to only one side of the gap, although this is not recommended.

Implant-supported bridges

For the greatest stability and comfort, we recommend implant-supported bridges. Dental implants are artificial structures implanted in your jawbone, where the tooth roots were originally. A single implant or a pair of implants can support a bridge replacing multiple teeth. Aside from keeping your teeth from drifting, dental implants help halt the deterioration of bone and gum tissue around the site of the tooth loss, preserving the natural, healthy structures of your mouth. Although dental implants are not possible for everyone, they are an excellent option for replacing one or more missing teeth.

Call us or request an appointment online to learn more about bridges.

Happy New Year from Dental Partners of Boston

2016Make Your Teeth Gleam in 2016!

If you have struggled with bad dental habits in the past, don’t dismay: New Years is coming. In addition to focusing on your diet and improving your business, you can also take the chance to focus on your dental health.

To start the year off right, consider making an appointment to come in for a checkup. Unlike other practices, which might have one or two general dentists, here at the Dental Partners of Boston, we have a huge array of specialists. In addition to a cosmetic and a restorative dentist, we also have a prosthodontist, an orthodontist, and an endodontist to address your more complicated dental needs. Instead of visiting several different dental offices and worrying about transferring your records, you can simply come to us and have all of your problems addressed. Here are just a few of the services the Dental Partners of Boston offer:

  • Dental Implants: Don’t continue living with missing teeth. In addition to making your smile look disjointed, missing teeth can also cause bone loss. Fortunately, dental implants, which are anchored directly into your jaw bone, are a permanent solution for a great looking smile.
  • General Dentistry: In addition to advanced dental procedures, we can also take care of basic needs for fillings, root canals, or even teeth whitening.
  • Preventative Care: Although we can take care of just about any dental issue, we believe that preventative care is the best policy. Make an appointment to hone your preventative care skills to avoid dental issues in the future.

If you aren’t a current patient, don’t stress. We are currently accepting new patients, which means that we can make you an appointment right away. To make an appointment, feel free to call our office or request an appointment online. We offer a large variety of different appointment times to make it easy for people to fit in their dental care.

A Full Smile Makeover

mkoverWhether through years of neglect or an accident that left your mouth and teeth damaged, nothing should hold you back from the smile you deserve. You should feel comfortable and happy to share your bright, unique smile with the world. Don’t let anything hold you back—make a change today; it’s easier than ever! If you haven’t heard of Dental Partners of Boston’s full smile makeover process, then it is time that you learn how it can change your life. This four step process will change the way you, and everyone else, sees your smile.

STEP ONE: SMILE EVALUATION

Prior to receiving any cosmetic dentistry procedure, it is important to understand what you would like to change your smile. To begin, it is crucial to have a skilled cosmetic dentist, such as our talented Dr. Cardenas, for example, look at the aesthetics and structural needs that have to be addressed regarding your smile. This planning stage is the time to figure out if you need your teeth straightened, whitened, repaired, replaced, or any other procedure done.

STEP TWO: BALANCING YOUR SMILE

Once the needs of your smile makeover have been determined, we can begin balancing your smile through a variety of reshaping procedures. For most people, this means getting your teeth straightened through the use of adult orthodontic techniques like Invisalign invisible braces. This is an excellent and pain free way to receive the straight, balanced smile you’ve always desired.

STEP THREE: CUSTOMIZING YOUR SMILE

After your smile is properly balanced, it can be then customized to address the unique needs of your mouth. For example, if you require a restoration like Lumineers dental veneers or a porcelain crown to cap a damaged tooth, Dental Partners of Boston can help you. We utilize a Cerec 3D machine to custom design any and all restorations in house with a single visit to our office.

STEP FOUR: POLISH AND SMILE

Polish and smile is the last step performed in the four step full smile makeover process. This is the time for teeth whitening; after all, we want your smile to be perfect beforehand. Both Zoom! and BrightSmile tooth whitening services are available depending on the preference of the patient. The first procedure utilizes hydrogen peroxide to get your teeth white while BrightSmile offers the option of a whitening gel substance. Our doctors at Dental Partners of Boston are specially trained in these teeth whitening procedures and will polish your teeth to a smooth shine once the procedure is complete.

There you have it—the secrets to a full smile makeover at Dental Partners of Boston. Whether you require just a touch up to your smile or if you need to restore your smile, Dental Partners of Boston has you covered with our four step process and our vast number of cosmetic dental procedures available. For additional information on a full smile makeover, please call or contact us online. We look forward to meeting you.

Happy Holidays from Dental Partners of Boston

hildayHappy holidays to each and every one of you! We just want to take a minute to recognize our wonderful, dedicated, caring staff. Our dental hygienists, assistants, and office staff work hard day in and day out to provide excellent care for our patients. The level of service that you provide astounds us, and we wouldn’t be here without you!

We also want to wish all of our loyal patients a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. We genuinely hope that you have a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, family get-togethers, great food, and happiness. Don’t forget to call or contact us if you need us! Stay safe out there!

Think You Might Have TMJ?

tmj2The temporomandibular joint is the place where your lower jaw connects to your skull. Various disorders of this joint fall under the umbrella terms TMJ or TMD. These disorders can be problems with the muscles of the head and neck, the jaw, or the joint itself. Whatever the cause, TMJ is often a painful and uncomfortable condition which can limit your ability to speak, eat, and complete daily tasks. Dental Partners of Boston offers diagnosis and relief for sufferers of TMJ with TMJ appliances.

What causes TMJ?

Because TMJ is a general term for many conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint, the cause can be one of several things. Injuries to the head, neck, or jaw can cause TMJ, as can arthritis, clenching of the teeth, or stress which tightens the muscles around the joint. Occasionally the soft cushion between the ball and socket of the joint can be displaced. It is impossible to know the source of the pain in any individual case without completing an exam.

How is TMJ diagnosed?

Symptoms to watch for include pain around the joint or in other areas of the head neck and face, especially pain associated with moving your jaw, chewing, or speaking. You should also take note of any difficulty in doing these activities, any noises from your jawbone, swelling in your face, or a change in the way your teeth fit together. All of these are possible signs of TMJ which you should have checked right away. You can call Dental Partners of Boston for an appointment during our scheduled office hours, or request an appointment online at any time.

Once at our office, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and to answer questions about your condition. Your diagnosis will be based on your description, on observation of the effects, on touching your jaw to pinpoint the source of pain, and sometimes on an x-ray or other imaging procedure. This exam allows us to confirm your TMJ and helps us to locate a cause to allow us to offer appropriate treatment.

What treatments does Dental Partners of Boston offer?

The exact treatment for your individual case will depend on the cause of your pain and can range from conservative and simple fixes to more aggressive treatment.  Our staff includes specialists in multiple areas who can address a wide range of TMJ causes, including a misalignment of your bite or teeth grinding and clenching. Whatever the cause, we can help relieve pain and reduce symptoms so that you can eat and speak without pain. Call our office or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Snoring? Try Using a Snore Guard

snoringSnoring is one of the most noticeable signs of sleep apnea, and can have a serious effect on your sleep and the sleep of your loved ones. Left untreated, it can contribute to serious health complications including heart disease and diabetes. Fortunately, treatment is simple. Dental Partners of Boston offers snore guards to keep your airway open and help you get a decent night’s sleep.

Sleep apnea and blocked airways

Snoring related to sleep apnea is caused by the tongue and soft palate blocking your airway while you sleep. In a healthy mouth, the muscle tone of the tongue keeps it up out of the way; but in a patient with Snoeep apnea, the tongue sags back into the mouth, causing snoring and halts in breathing. While at first glance this is only an annoyance, sleep apnea is linked to more dangerous conditions, and should be treated as soon as possible.

A simple treatment

The snore guard is designed to help keep your airway clear while you sleep. It keeps the tongue and jaw from dropping back, allowing you to breathe easily–and quietly. A snore guard, properly fitted and consistently worn, will provide the peaceful night’s rest that you’ve been craving.

Ease and comfort

Unlike many sleep apnea machines, the snore guard is a small, simple appliance with no masks, hoses, power supplies, or noise. Similar to an athletic mouthguard, it’s worn in the mouth and is designed not to interfere with your sleep. It is made of flexible plastic and molds to your mouth for the greatest comfort, and keeps your airway open without any fuss.

Make your appointment

If you are interested in a snore guard, you can get it in one appointment at Dental Partners of Boston. Call our office today to schedule, or you can request an appointment online. There’s no reason to live with interrupted rest. Call today or contact us online so we can help you get the sleep you need.

Using a Night Guard to Avoid Clenching

clenchIf you wake up with a headache or a sore or tense neck and jaw, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Bruxism–also called teeth clenching, teeth grinding, and bruxing–is often brought on by stress and is a major cause of muscle soreness and fatigue in the face which persists after waking. But this unconscious habit is more than simply a painful annoyance. Over time, bruxism can cause damage to your teeth and jaw which can require major dental work to restore.

Cracks and chips

Teeth are more fragile than we sometimes realize. Clenching your teeth hard enough can cause them to break, and when you sleep, you have no control over how hard you clench. Snapping your teeth together too quickly can have a similar effect. Both constant pressure and sudden impact can result in fractures in one or more teeth.

Wear and tear

Each of your teeth possesses an outer layer of hard, bright enamel, and a darker inner layer of a substance called dentin. Bruxing wears away at your enamel and can expose your dentin, causing pain and sensitivity as well as a darker appearance to the teeth. Any significant amount of enamel loss will not heal and can only be treated with crowns or other dental procedures.

Long-term effects on your bite

If there is any space between your teeth, the constant pressure of grinding can make them shift, causing misalignments in your bite. Bruxing can also cause or exacerbate joint problems in your jaw. Over time, teeth clenching can severely damage your entire bite.

The best prevention

To protect your teeth from the harmful effects of tooth grinding, we recommend a night guard, a small piece of plastic worn over your teeth to shield them from the pressure of bruxism while you sleep. Night guards cushion your teeth from pressure and impact, reducing the likelihood of cracking. They also provide a buffer between your upper and lower teeth which prevents them from wearing each other down, and helps keep teeth properly aligned. Although basic night guards are available over the counter, the most effective night guards are custom-fitted by a dental professional to ensure you receive the maximum benefit. Dental Partners of Boston offers custom night guards to keep your teeth safe and whole. If you are worried about teeth grinding, call our office to schedule an appointment, or you can request an appointment online.