Posts for: August, 2015

By Newmarket Dentistry
August 30, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

A critical part of effective, daily oral hygiene, flossing removes bacterial plaque from between teeth that can’t be accessed with brushing. Unfortunately, it’s often neglected — string flossing requires a bit more dexterity than brushing and can be difficult to do properly.

It can be even more difficult for people with implants or who wear orthodontic appliances. For brace wearers in particular, getting access to areas between teeth with string floss is next to impossible; the metal brackets and tension wire also have a tendency to catch and retain food debris that’s difficult to remove with brushing alone.

Water flossing, using a device called an oral irrigator, is an effective alternative that addresses many of these difficulties. First available for home use in the 1960s, an oral irrigator delivers pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld applicator that forcefully flushes material from between teeth.

There’s no question that string flossing is effective in plaque removal between teeth — but what about oral irrigators? A 2008 study looked at a group of orthodontic patients with braces who used oral irrigators and compared them with a similar group that only brushed. The study found that five times as much plaque was removed in the group using the oral irrigators as opposed to the group only brushing.

Oral irrigators may also be effective for people who’ve developed periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, oral irrigators coupled with ultra-sound devices are routinely used by dental hygienists to remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) in periodontal patients. As with regular oral hygiene, though, it’s important for patients with gum disease to include water flossing with daily brushing (at least twice a day) and regular cleaning sessions at the dentist to ensure removal of all plaque and calculus.

If you’re interested in using an oral irrigator, be sure to consult with us at your next appointment. Not only can we recommend features to look for in equipment, but we can also instruct you on the techniques to make water flossing an effective plaque remover.

If you would like more information on water flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”

By Newmarket Dentistry
August 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Did you see the move Cast Away starring Tom Hanks? If so, you probably remember the scene where Hanks, stranded on a remote island, knocks out his own abscessed tooth — with an ice skate, no less — to stop the pain. Recently, Dear Doctor TV interviewed Gary Archer, the dental technician who created that special effect and many others.

“They wanted to have an abscess above the tooth with all sorts of gunk and pus and stuff coming out of it,” Archer explained. “I met with Tom and I took impressions [of his mouth] and we came up with this wonderful little piece. It just slipped over his own natural teeth.” The actor could flick it out with his lower tooth when the time was right during the scene. It ended up looking so real that, as Archer said, “it was not for the easily squeamish!”

That’s for sure. But neither is a real abscess, which is an infection that becomes sealed off beneath the gum line. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease, or even an infection deep inside a tooth that has spread to adjacent periodontal tissues. In any case, the condition can cause intense pain due to the pressure that builds up in the pus-filled sac. Prompt treatment is required to relieve the pain, keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the face (or even elsewhere in the body), and prevent tooth loss.

Treatment involves draining the abscess, which usually stops the pain immediately, and then controlling the infection and removing its cause. This may require antibiotics and any of several in-office dental procedures, including gum surgery, a root canal, or a tooth extraction. But if you do have a tooth that can’t be saved, we promise we won’t remove it with an ice skate!

The best way to prevent an abscess from forming in the first place is to practice conscientious oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day, you will go a long way towards keeping harmful oral bacteria from thriving in your mouth.

If you have any questions about gum disease or abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses” and “Confusing Tooth Pain.”

By Newmarket Dentistry
August 05, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Are your teeth crooked, gapped, discolored or misshapen? If so, you may feel like you have to live with a less than perfect smile forever. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth. When you visit your dentist at Newmarket Dentistry, Dr. Richard Lee-Shanok, for Veneersveneers, you can get a brand new smile you will love to show off in no time!

What are Veneers?

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that your Newmarket dentist will attach right to the front of your teeth. Because veneers cover the visible portion of your teeth, any dental imperfections are covered up quickly and easily, leaving you with a beautiful, picture perfect smile instead.

What are the Benefits of Veneers?

Veneers offer a number of benefits that make them well worth looking into. Not only are they a fairly quick option, especially when compared to procedures such as dental implants or braces, they are a very versatile option as well. Veneers can be used to treat a wide number of dental imperfections, including crooked teeth, gapped teeth, misshapen teeth and tooth discoloration.

What is the Procedure for Getting Veneers?

As soon as you decide that veneers are right for you, the first step you will want to take is to call your dentist at Newmarket Dentistry to set up an appointment. At this appointment, Dr. Lee-Shanok will take x-rays of your teeth, examine your teeth and assess your overall oral health. If Dr. Lee-Shanok determines you are a good candidate for veneers, he will then shave your teeth slightly to make room for the new veneers and take impressions to send off to the lab.

Once your new veneers are ready, he will check the color, fit and shape to make sure the veneers are a good match. If they are, he will attach the new veneers to the front of your teeth with a special cement and light. If not, he will make adjustments as needed until the veneers look and feel great.

Whether your teeth are crooked, crowded, misshapen, discolored or all of the above, achieving the beautiful smile you've been dreaming of may just be quicker and easier than you know. Call Dr. Lee-Shanok at Newmarket Dentistry to find out how a couple of visits to your dentist may completely change your smile for the better. You'll be glad you did.



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