Gum Disease Prevention: Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene

Little girl points to her gums without gum disease.

Little girl pointing to her healthy gums. Caption: Make oral hygiene a priority will give your kids healthy habits for life!

As a parent, you want the best for your child in terms of their health, including their oral hygiene. But you might be unsure of how to help your child learn to care for their teeth. Don’t worry, we’ve got tips and strategies that’ll help you ensure your child develops good oral health and hygiene habits as soon as possible. This can prevent serious issues such as gum disease as a child and later in life.

Implement an Oral Hygiene Routine Early On

To avoid troublesome issues like gum disease and tooth decay, get into good oral hygiene habits as early as possible. If it’s something that they grow up doing as part of a daily routine, it will stick with them as they grow into adulthood. It will become normal for them and they’ll show little resistance to the idea of brushing and flossing daily.

Make it Fun to Battle Gum Disease

Another good way to establish routines from an early age and prevent gum disease is to make it fun. Sure, brushing their teeth will probably not be the highlight of their day, but you can make it playful and engaging. Even the most dreadful of tasks, like making their bed or cleaning their room, can be made fun. For example, they can brush along with a song, pretend the brush and toothpaste are battling the bad germs (gum disease) in their mouth, you could set a timer, or use incentives.

Invest in Age-Appropriate Brushing and Cleaning Tools

Brushing and flossing are difficult for your child when they are very young. There are toddler brushes and flossing tools that make fighting gum disease much easier. Make sure to choose age-appropriate tools. It will allow your child to play an active role in their oral hygiene from an early age. They won’t have to rely on you to do it all for them.

Set a Good Example

It’s a good idea to brush your own teeth and take care of your oral hygiene while your child is also present. Gum disease is no respecter of age or gender. If you don’t properly care for your teeth, you are just as susceptible as anyone else in developing gum disease. Show your kids that it’s not something that only they have to do. Instead, it’s something that you and everyone else does, too. Kids are impressionable at a young age, and when they see their parents doing something, they’ll want to do the same.

Visit A Pediatric Dentist

Another key part of taking care of your child’s teeth to prevent gum disease is ensuring they have regular checkups with a pediatric dentist. Many offer “practice visits” for children to go see what the office is like before they have their first exam and cleaning. This way, they know what to expect and have been taught to look forward to their check-up. They won’t feel trepidation upon returning for their regular bi-annual visits.

The right pediatric dentist will not only make your child feel safe and comfortable in their care but expertly teach them how to take care of their teeth at home. They will help to establish good habits as your child grows. As they develop these habits, hopefully, they, and you, won’t ever have to worry about gum disease.

Schedule An Appointment

If you have questions or want to find out what we can do for you at Dental Partners of Boston, schedule an appointment today. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Covering the Cost of Dental Implants

A man smiling about dental implants

A middle-aged man in a blue shirt smiling while resting his head in his hand. Caption: Don’t be concerned about costs. Call us! There may be an option that works for you.

We realize that finances play a role when we recommend dental implants as an option to replace missing teeth. Implants are the ideal solution because they feel and function just like a regular tooth. It’s essential to keep the bone structure healthy as well, which an implant will ensure, unlike other tooth replacement options such as dentures. We don’t want our patients to believe that without the cash to pay for the treatment, they won’t be able to afford dental implants.

Please don’t consider dental implants to be a luxury option only. Putting off the treatment will only put your oral health, and your overall wellbeing, in jeopardy. At Dental Partners of Boston, we understand that affording dental work isn’t always easy. So, that’s why we have a variety of options at your disposal.

The following is how we try to make dental implants accessible to everyone.

We Talk To Your Insurer About Dental Implant Coverage

You may not have experience dealing with your insurance company often. You may not know what to say or know what questions to ask, but you don’t need to because we’ll do it for you. Our experienced team will speak to your insurance company to find out what they cover and how we can make things work for you.

All you have to do is contact us for an exam and consultation. At your appointment, we will gather your necessary insurer details, such as the name of the company, phone number, and policy reference. Our advisors are experienced and dedicated, which means we’ll do the hard work and report back with the findings.

We Accept A Range Of Payment Options for Dental Implants

If your insurance policy does not cover you, you can use your flex spending or health savings account as dental implants are classified as a qualifying medical expense.

A payment plan is a possible arrangement. Unlike other dental practices, we create your schedule to your specific needs. This ensures the amount you pay back each month is affordable and doesn’t put you under any undue pressure. During your consultation, we will gather some financial details from you to determine what is agreeable for you and us.

Contact Dental Partners of Boston

After years of providing quality dental implants to patients, we understand how treatment may seem out of reach due to costs. We do everything to make our services affordable and will work with you so you can have the care you need. Please give us a call today or request an appointment, and we’ll go over all the details and options together.

How Dental Implants Work

Dental implant cross section model.

A close up of a dental implant cross-section model held by a dentist. Caption: Dental implants replace the root of a tooth, feeling & functioning like a natural tooth.

Dental implants are a fantastic solution to missing teeth. They can allow you to return to normality in terms of appearance, natural feel, and function. At Dental Partners of Boston, we have periodontists with years of experienced at placing dental implants.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants work by replacing the root of a tooth with a small screw-like metal implant. That implant as it heals becomes bonded with your jaw to format strong root replacement for a missing tooth. Once this implant has been bonded, an artificial tooth or “crown” is fitted.

With a dental implant, the tooth is remarkably stable and performs just like any other tooth in your mouth. It doesn’t get removed for cleaning, and you won’t be left feeling like there’s a foreign object in your mouth, either.

Why Are Dental Implants the Best Solution for Missing Teeth?

Dental implants are the best solution for missing teeth, first and foremost, because of how natural they are in terms of feel, appearance, and performance.

Many older approaches, such as dentures, involve complex cleaning processes and have often required significant changes to the lifestyles of the individuals involved. Dental implants, by contrast, allow you to get on with your life just as you would with your natural teeth. Once the healing process is complete, you can expect to quickly forget about the fact that you have implants in at all.

Here’s a straightforward rundown of the process of having dental implants fitted.

Initial consultation

The first step of the process is an initial consultation with your implant dentist. You will discuss the various options available and will have impressions and x-rays of your mouth taken, as required.

Dental implant placement

Following your initial consultation, you will have the implant itself fitted in your jaw where your missing tooth would be. This process is like any other dental surgery. It will be performed under anesthetic, and will require some healing and may cause a bit of swelling and bleeding. However, it’s worth mentioning that patients frequently find the process to be less painful than they imagined it would be.

Osseointegration

Before the process can proceed further, the main part of the implant has to fuse with your jawbone. This happens as a natural part of the healing process and results in a firm base for the tooth. This process can take up to a few months but is unlikely to interfere much with your everyday life – although you will be on a soft food diet for the first few weeks.

Abutment placement

Once the implant has bonded with your jaw, a small connecting element – called an abutment – will be attached to the implant just above the gum line. Your custom-made tooth will later be attached to this abutment.

Customization and attachment of new teeth

Once the abutments have been fitted, custom-made and lifelike teeth will be installed in place, based partly on molds taken from your existing teeth. When the custom-made teeth have been attached, they will look, feel, and perform just like your real teeth would.

Checkups

Dental implants don’t decay like real teeth, but they do still require the same cleaning routine, along with regular checkups.

Once the implants have healed and settled, these checkups will be essentially the same as any other dental checkup would – and will tend to occur with the same frequency, too. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with one of our exceptional doctors to discuss your dental implant options today.

What Are Bone Grafts?

Bone grafting for solid teeth: A woman confidently takes a bite out of a green apple.

A woman takes a bite out of a green apple. Caption: Bone grafts provide a solid foundation for dental implants.

Do you want to find out more about bone grafts and how they help your oral health? In this blog post, we’ll look at the different types of bone grafts and why you may need it when getting a dental implant.

What Are They And Why Do You Need Them?

A bone graft is a solid foundation on which we will apply a dental implant. Usually, they are needed because you suffer from a form of gum disease and have left it for too long. As a result, the bacteria eat away at the jawbone and surrounding teeth. The graft allows your dentist to repair or replace your teeth with implants.

Removing a tooth isn’t always an option as it can make depressions and indentations in the bone more pronounced. Therefore, bone grafts eliminate the need to take out teeth and damage your jaw even more.

What Happens If You Don’t Get A Bone Graft?

Usually, patients that don’t opt for a bone graft may choose other options for a tooth or teeth replacement. A different option to consider for a tooth replacement is to get a dental bridge. However, a dental bridge requires a health healthy set of teeth on either side of the gap. These healthy teeth are needed to provide a solid anchor for the bridge. This is not always an option and also requires reshaping the healthy teeth on both sides to place dental crowns as the anchors. A dental crown also does not prevent bone loss from the missing tooth since the crown does not attach to the bone at the root level.

In extreme situations, your jawbone may recede to the point you lose facial contour. When this happens, the only way to replace it is with a bone graft.

Bone grafts also play a significant role in making new teeth possible. Without the foundations to build on, your periodontist won’t be able to make implants stay firmly in place, even with new applicators such as biologically active gels.

The Types Of Bone Grafts

There are three main types of bone grafts:

  • Particulate
  • Block
  • Sinus lift procedures

Particulate Grafts

A particulate bone graft is when small shards of bone are placed around a tooth to hold it in place. The particles add extra stability, making particulate grafts perfect for small sockets and single teeth.

Block Grafts

Block bone grafts build on particulate by using bone particles in blocks. They are used for significant shrinkage as they can reduce the amount by up to 25%. Without significantly building up the bone, there is no way to receive a dental implant.

Sinus Lift Procedures

Sinus lifts are used for extreme cases where the cavity is too close to the jawbone. As a result, a dentist must lift back the membrane to place a bone graft to create more space. This is typically done if there is fewer than 5mm between the cavity and jaw.

How Long Do Bone Grafts Take to Heal?

For major bone graft surgery, you will need to wait three to six months to determine whether the graft is stable enough for dental implants. Minor bone grafts can be done during the procedure, but only if your periodontist believes it’s suitable.

Dental Partners of Boston Can Help

Do you suffer from tooth loss? Is your jawline receding? If so, you may need a bone graft to improve your wellbeing. At Dental Partners of Boston, you can schedule a consultation and we’ll be happy to address all your questions. Please contact us today.

Complete Oral Exams

Close up of a woman getting an oral examination.

A woman sitting in a dental chair receives an oral exam. Caption: Complete oral exams will keep your pearly whites in perfect health.

Regular dental checkups and oral exams are essential for good overall health and well-being. Far too many people put off their dental visits for long periods of time. Here is a look at the thorough oral exams we offer at Dental Partners of Boston. Our team of highly dedicated and conscientious professionals will take great care of your oral health and answer any questions you may have.

Dental Exams of Diagnostic Low-Radiation X-Rays

With low-radiation x-ray exams, we can detect decay, spot tumors, and cysts, and diagnose bone loss. The x-ray dental exams will then allow for quick and effective treatment and correction. Low-radiation x-rays are also useful for determining the precise positions of your teeth and roots.

Oral Cancer Screening

Our oral cancer screening involves a thorough examination of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, soft tissue, and gums to spot cancer in the early stages. Here is a look at each of our dental screenings.

Gum Disease Evaluation

Our team will investigate your gums and supporting bone structure for any signs of developing periodontal disease.

Tooth Decay Screening

A close oral exam of all your tooth surfaces will tell us if there is any tooth decay. If any issues are identified from our examination, necessary recommendations will be provided.

Examination of Your Existing Restorations

Your existing fillings and crowns need to be monitored and maintained – and we will conduct appropriate evaluations for that purpose.

Occlusion Analysis

An irregular or otherwise compromised bite can harm the structure of your face, and can even contribute to issues such as TMJ. That being the case, we will evaluate your bite, notify you of any issues, and make recommendations as required.

Smile Analysis

Everyone wants a beautiful smile. If you’re not happy with your smile, we can conduct a smile analysis to put you on the fast track to the smile of your dreams.

Why regular dental exams are essential

Regular dental exams are essential for all sorts of different reasons, not least of all the fact that the mouth is the primary entry point to the body. Poor dental health can cause a slew of other health conditions, and in extreme cases, can even be life-threatening. Good dental health is also essential for enjoying everyday life without unnecessary pain or complications. No one wants to have trouble eating, speaking, or even sleeping peacefully.

Finally, the state of your mouth and teeth have an effect on the relationships you develop with others. For this reason, it’s essential to keep your teeth looking presentable and perform their vital functions properly.

Regular dental exams can help you to identify issues as they are developing, and to nip them in the bud so that you aren’t confronted by significant problems further down the line.

Contact us

Our complete oral exams can help to ensure that your smile stays bright and healthy, while also safeguarding your overall health and sense of well-being. Contact Dental Partners of Boston to schedule an exam with one of our highly capable and professional dentists today.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Gum disease affects the heart. A woman forms a heart shape with her fingers.

A woman forms a heart shape with her fingers. Caption: Healthy gum, healthy heart! Call us to treat and heal gum disease.

Gum disease – also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease – is a common dental problem that affects as many as 50% of adults. Aside from pain, sensitivity, and discomfort, gum disease may cause bad breath, bleeding, and swelling of the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can also cause tooth loss.

Gum disease presents a significant risk to your dental health and is often the first step towards more serious, long-term dental issues. But perhaps more of a concern, recent research also suggests a link between gum disease and heart disease.

While the cause-and-effect relationship is not yet clear, scientists believe that the inflammation caused by gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease. This inflammation may also cause strokes and exacerbate other heart conditions. One study suggested that those who received proper gum disease treatment reduced the cost of their future cardiovascular care by 10%-40%.

Many people are living with gum disease and are either not aware of it, or do not recognize the symptoms. But if left untreated, gum disease is likely to worsen and put your health at higher risk. So if you suspect you may be suffering from gum disease, it is vital to seek professional treatment as soon as possible.

What Is Gum Disease?

Your mouth is home to many different types of bacteria, many of which are completely normal and harmless. But if left to build up, bacteria will start to form plaque, which can irritate your gums. This irritation causes swelling and can damage the surrounding tissue, eventually causing gum disease and tooth decay.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

The first signs of gum disease are red, swollen, and bleeding gums. As the infection progresses and gets deeper into your gums, you may also experience chronic bad breath, receding gums, tooth sensitivity, increasing pain while chewing, and loose teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to the loss of bone and eventually, tooth loss.

If you have any of these symptoms or haven’t had a dental check-up in a while, make an appointment now to see if you require treatment.

Treating Gum Disease

Thanks to advanced gum treatments, Dental Partners of Boston can help you control and even reverse the effects of periodontal disease. In the early stages, gum disease treatment may be fairly simple. In later stages, treatments become more involved.

Here are some of the periodontal treatments we offer at Dental Partners of Boston:

  • Root planing and scaling
  • Soft tissue grafting
  • Bone grafting
  • LANAP: Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure

Treat Gum Disease, Help Prevent Heart Disease

With proper treatment, gum disease can be significantly improved or eliminated, and this may reduce risk to your heart health. However, the more gum disease is allowed to progress, the more significant the risk. Not only is it an oral health risk but an overall health risk.

So if you suspect you may be suffering from gum disease or would like a routine check-up, get in touch with us today and schedule an appointment.

Are Inlays and Onlays Better than Crowns?

Should you have a cavity or broken tooth, you might know it is there because you might be able to see it or even feel it with your tongue. It may be tender to touch, and it will be rough across the surface. Sometimes you can smell a cavity on your breath. When you notice something isn’t right, you need to get in touch with us as soon as possible. There are different treatments that may be used, including crowns, onlays, and overlays. There is no right or wrong approach; it all depends on your circumstances and what we feel is going to be right for you. With that being said, read on to discover more about the differences between these different options. 

Inlays & Onlays

These are often referred to as “three-quarter crowns” or “lab-made fillings” because of their design. Basically, they look a bit like a partial dental crown, with a portion, usually between a quarter and a third, of your natural tooth still exposed. To understand why this sort of treatment would be required, you need to know why a filling would not be suitable. Fillings, as the name indicates, are designed to fill in a small area of tooth decay. If that eroded or broken area is too big, it would only fall out or break off after a while because of the structural design. 

So, what is the difference between onlays and inlays? An inlay will go inside of the tooth where a big part has been hollowed out. On the other hand, an overlay will go over areas like the cusps (points) of your teeth, rebuilding the structure while also repairing any damage. As with a crown, both onlays and inlays can be made out of the likes of gold, zirconia, and porcelain. The main benefit of going for one of these options instead of a crown is that as much of your natural tooth will be preserved as is possible. They compliment the remaining healthy enamel, meaning the procedure is less invasive. 

Dental Crowns

Now, let’s take a look at dental crowns. Let’s say your area of decay or fracture has had an impact on most of a tooth. If you were to use one of the approaches mentioned above, there may still not be enough healthy enamel for ongoing chewing and biting forces to be supported. It can often seem fine at first, but your tooth could end up splitting in two. This is why a crown is needed for this situation. This involves using a full crown to encase the tooth and protect the integrity of it. 

So there you have it: an insight into the main treatment options that are available if you break a bit of your tooth. As you can see, there is no better option; it is all about making sure that you go for the treatment that is right based on your case. This is something that we will definitely explain to you in full while examining your teeth. Please schedule an appointment with us today if you suspect you have a cavity. 

Dental Implants: A Wise Investment

There have been a lot of great dental treatments that have been invented over the years. However, a lot of people would argue that dental implants are one of the best inventions today. Dental implants help you to replace a tooth that has broken or fallen out for any reason, whether this has been a traumatic injury or because of tooth decay. Read on to discover some of the different reasons why dental implants make sure a wise investment. 

  • Dental bone loss is prevented. There is only one place to begin, and this is with the fact that dental bone loss is avoided when you go down this route. If you have trauma in your mouth or missing teeth, your dental bone is going to begin to deteriorate if the teeth are not replaced quickly. Bone mass loss and weakening are due to the absence of teeth in the gums and jawline. Bone loss can also cause other health complications, which is why dental implants come highly recommended, as they function as natural teeth do. They will fuse with the dental bone, which means it will start to strengthen instead of getting weaker. 
  • They help you to look fabulous. Another benefit associated with dental implants is the fact that they look great. People often say that the first thing they notice about another person is their smile. Therefore, most people would agree that it is much better to have a dental implant than it is to have a missing tooth. You will feel confident about your smile, rather than feeling like you always need to have your mouth closed in photographs. 
  • They are not as expensive as people think. A lot of people rule out dental implants because they deem them to be too expensive. However, they are a lot more affordable than they once were. Plus, a lot of dental clinics offer payment plans so that you can split up the payments into manageable amounts. 
  • They provide better functionality than dentures. If you were to go for dentures instead, which tends to be the main alternative, you would not benefit from the level of functionality that you get with dental implants. As any person who wears dentures will attest, having an appliance that does not fit properly is the stuff of nightmares. Whether it is too small or too big, dentures can cause severe aesthetic issues, as well as having added expenses to their upkeep. You are also going to have limitations in terms of what you can eat with partials and dentures. 

As you can see, there are a lot of different benefits that are associated with dental implants. So, it is not hard to see why this has become such a popular treatment for many people today. If you need to have dental implants, it is advisable to choose an experienced and reputable dentist who you can rely on while getting this treatment carried out. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our award-winning dental implant doctors.

What Can I Eat After My Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?

There are several foods that you need to avoid to make sure that healing goes smoothly after having your wisdom teeth removed. For example, chewy snacks or candy, crunchy granola, and other foods that might poke into the extraction site. Before you come in for the extraction procedure, you should have your kitchen stocked with soft foods for your recovery period.

Some great soft foods we suggest are smoothies, soup, cottage cheese, ice cream, fruits, avocados, mashed potatoes, pasta, pancakes, eggs, and yogurt. Prepare vegetables to be easy to eat. Avoid solid foods with sharp edges, such as raw lettuce, because they can disturb the site. Foods to stay away from during your first week of recovery include chewy or hard candies, crackers, crunchy vegetables, apples, solid meats, spicy flavors, nuts, and chips.

After your wisdom teeth have been extracted, a blood clot will form in the hole where the tooth used to be. The clot is vital for proper healing. If disturbed or lost, the socket will take longer to heal and might prolong the usual soreness you’ll experience after the extractions. Additional assistance may be needed to treat the resulting dry socket, so you need to be extremely gentle during the first few days of recovery in what you eat. Also, do not use a straw for drinking. You may draw the clot out of the socket when you create the vacuum in your mouth to drink through a straw.

A few days to a week after your surgery, you can start to eat more solid foods again. A few days will ensure that the critical blood clot has sufficiently stopped any bleeding and promoted a socket ready for new bone to grow. 

We will go over all this with you in your consultation before the extractions and give you further instructions. Most importantly, after you are home and ready to eat, take care to be gentle. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and call us if you have any questions.

Solutions for a Cracked or Chipped Tooth

Although the enamel covering your teeth is your body’s most robust tissue, it can still be cracked or broken. There are several different ways that teeth can be damaged. Suffering a traumatic incident, such as an automobile accident, or a sports injury, or even misusing teeth as tools, like using them to open a bottle. There are also foods that can cause damage to your teeth as well, including alcohol, soda, coffee, ice, and hard candies. Cavities or tooth decay weaken your teeth, which can cause them to be more likely to break whenever you are chewing hard food.

There are many different treatment options if you have a chipped or cracked tooth. The correct solution for you is going to be based on the type of injury or tooth loss you are suffering from. Your dentist will assess the damage and make their recommendations based on this. Below, we are going to take a look at some of the different treatment options available. 

Dental Veneers

Veneers are covers for a tooth. A veneer is going to be bonded to the front of the tooth. This will transform the appearance of the tooth. Veneers can last up to 30 years with the right care, meaning you do not need to worry about replacing them regularly. Veneers can be put on one tooth, or they can be placed on several teeth. 

Dental Bonding

Composite bonding is a method used for repairing teeth that are cracked, chipped, misshapen, discolored, decayed, or gapped. It can last for as long as ten years. While the procedure is being carried out, anesthesia is not usually needed, unless cavities are being treated.

Crowns

If you have pain while you are drinking or chewing, or your tooth is chipped badly, you will probably be advised to have a crown placed. This is one of the most common types of restorative treatment. This is a cap that covers the tooth, protecting it and approving the appearance of it. With this type of treatment, you are not going to lose your tooth. 

Root Canal

If you have a crack in your tooth that has extended into the pulp, a root canal will typically be the treatment of choice. After the root canal treatment, a crown can be placed to ensure the crack does not spread. Until then, the patient is given a temporary crown to wear.

Dental Implant

Finally, if damage expands beneath the gum line, and your tooth cannot be repaired, the tooth will be extracted and replaced with a dental implant. Dental implants are made to appear like healthy teeth, so you don’t have to worry about the implant looking different from the rest of your teeth.

Schedule An Appointment Today

As you can see, there are several different treatments available, and it is always best to speak to your Boston dentist at Dental Partners of Boston first regarding the right treatment for you for you. Schedule an appointment with us today!