Are Dental Implants Right For You?

Tooth loss occurs for a variety of reasons — including injury, health problems, lack of dental care and the natural aging process.

The results of tooth loss aren’t pleasant. Many people have trouble speaking and eating. There’s also an emotional toll that comes from losing a tooth or teeth, resulting in lack ofinside-pg1 confidence, reluctance to smile and a habit of trying to conceal the tooth loss.

There are long-term consequences as well. When there are open spaces where teeth should be, it can be harmful to the healthy and stability of neighboring teeth. It causes other teeth to shift and move, often leading to additional tooth loss.

A newer technique — modern dental implants — has revolutionized tooth replacement. Implants have become the go-to choice for many patients. When done correctly, implants mimic both the appearance and function of real teeth. The benefits aren’t just cosmetic, however. They also promote stability, restore proper bite, and limit bone loss, which is extremely important when natural teeth are missing.

You could receive a 10% discount on dental implants. Call our office during October 2016 to learn more.

Dental implants are very prevalent nowadays, but many people are still “new” to the concept. Implants are tiny, cylinder-like posts. Unlike dentures, implants are rooted directly into the jawbone, just like real teeth. They simulate the root of a tooth. The posts are made from titanium because the material is so compatible with bone and oral tissues.

Our staff surgically positions the implants right here at Future of Dentistry. Temporary restorations are applied, giving the implants time to “fuse” with the jaw. After the sites have healed, the implants have bonded with the jawbone, providing a strong anchor. Now you’re ready for the second part of the procedure. Crowns or bridges, which are designed to match your natural teeth, can be attached securely.

Implants can be used to anchor dentures more securely, or to replace individual missing teeth without compromising the healthy tooth structure of the adjacent teeth.

If maintained properly, dental implants can last up to 20 years. Studies show a nearly 100% success rate for this procedure. If you’re interested in implants, call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Call our office at 781-245-2299 and mention this blog entry to learn about our 10% discount. This offer is open to many patients who schedule an implant procedure during October 2016.



To Floss Or Not To Floss: We Have The Answer

A debate over flossing has emerged, and it’s grown to the point that some are now calling it “Flossgate.” To paraphrase Shakespeare: To floss or not to floss, that is the question. We’d like to set the record straight on this topic. The answer is yes, you DO need to floss!

Flossing is a small but essential tool for home dental care. Don’t toss the floss!

A single news report threatens to undermine decades of public health outreach. This report has been circulated widely and repeated in many other news stories. Essentially, it claims that there’s no evidence supporting the need for flossing and that the U.S. government doesn’t think flossing is necessary for oral health.

This claim is simply not accurate. The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines focused on food and nutrient intake (like sugar) as a means to promote oral health. Just because flossing wasn’t mentioned in 2015 doesn’t mean it’s not important. Brushing was removed from the guidelines too, but no one’s claiming that you can stop brushing your teeth! Additionally, there ARE studies showing the importance of flossing in reducing plaque.

Dentists have nothing to gain by encouraging you to floss. We don’t benefit if you neglect your oral health. The only reason we’re emphasizing the need to floss is that it removes cavity-causing plaque! Plaque is that slimy film of bacteria and saliva you notice in your mouth, and it damages teeth. It can lead to cavities, receding gums and tooth loss. Additionally, gum disease has been linked to a variety of health problems including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

So, there are many reasons to floss:

  • Dental health
  • Overall health
  • Financial
  • Breath freshness
  • Smile appearance

Future of Dentistry is one of many experts that advocate flossing, along with:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • The American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Periodontology
  • The Mayo Clinic
  • And many other health organizations!

Flossing has long been a sensitive topic for many patients. Those who don’t floss regularly are embarrassed to admit it. In fact, one study shows that at least 27 percent of U.S. adults lie to their dentist about how often they floss. There’s no need to be embarrassed. Just remember that flossing is critical to preventing disease, cavities and costly dental work down the road.

If you’re not already in the habit, look for ways to make flossing a more convenient part of your daily routine. Try flossing while watching TV at night or using floss picks. As we often say in the dental community, you only need to floss the teeth you want to keep!

Milestones and Memories: Sue’s 20th!

This month is the 20th “work anniversary” of Sue Hertrich! Sue joined us soon after Dr. Casazza established his practice. She played an important role in building Future of Dentistry, and continues to be an integral part of our team.outside-back-pagenew

At Future of Dentistry, it’s our mission to provide the finest patient care and customer service. It takes a team effort to fulfill this mission, and Sue leads the way. She is committed to our core values and helps our team stay focused on these goals all day, every day.

When someone comes in for an appointment, Sue knows them as a person, not just a patient. She has an amazing ability to recall not just your dental health information, but also your scheduling needs, your patient care preferences, and how you and your family are doing in general. How does she remember it all? It’s because she genuinely cares. She’s passionate about dental health and considers every patient part of the Future of Dentistry family.

No matter how much our practice grows, Sue continues to provide the personalized attention and patient-focused service that have been essential to Future of Dentistry from day one. Over the past two decades, she has set a standard for commitment to our practice and our patients. Thank you, Sue, for your dedication and hard work!

Back to School: The Most Wonderful Time of Year!

Despite what the Christmas carols say, back-to-school is “the most wonderful time of the year” for many parents! It’s a great time for getting kids back on schedule and building healthy habits.

future of dentistry
Start the school year off right, like Roman. He looks ready for science class!

Unfortunately, many children and teens will head back to school with untreated cavities. More than 51 million hours of school are missed each year because of childhood dental problems.

A dental checkup should be part of your back-to-school routine, just like visiting the pediatrician. Try to make it part of your late-summer rituals, along with shopping for backpacks and filling out paperwork from the school.

If you didn’t schedule your child’s dental checkup before Labor Day, this is a good time set up an appointment. In early fall, the distractions of school-year activities aren’t fully underway and preparing for the holidays isn’t occupying your time.

  • Exams & Diagnosis: Your dental team will check for: tooth decay, bite problems that can develop over time, gum health, proper loss and eruption of baby and permanent teeth, indications of certain sleep disorders, and more. Digital x-rays may also be taken to look for cavities and check that the roots of the teeth are healthy.
  • Prevention: The cleaning/exam schedule is crucial for kids and teens. This includes key components like professional cleaning, plaque removal and fluoride application. It’s also an opportunity to discuss options like dental sealants, which the CDC says “reduce decay in permanent molars by 81% approximately 2 years after placement and continue to be effective up to 4.5 years after placement.”
  • Screening: An oral cancer screening with a VELscope is part of regular patient care at Future of Dentistry. Oral cancer has become more common among young people, partly because of HPV, so these exams are more important than ever. Ask us about a simple saliva testing that can help detect oral cancer before symptoms appear.
  • Mouth guards: If you have a young athlete in the family, you’re probably thinking
    Start the school year off right, like Roman. He looks ready for science class!

    about equipment for fall sports. Custom mouth guards are shown to be more effective than over-the-counter guards, including protecting against concussions. Future of Dentistry works with the “Grin and Wear It” program to make custom guards affordable for all families. To learn more, call our office and mention this newsletter.

  • Teen Transitions: Many teens are old enough to visit the dentist’s office without you, but they still need help communicating how the appointment went. If your teen is in that in-between stage, ask us about the “Continuing Care Report.” They are like report cards for a teen’s visit. They show what services the patient received that day; his or her level for things like periodontal risk and plaque buildup; and any recommendations from our clinical staff.
  • College Bound: Dental care often falls to the wayside when kids graduate high school. Whether they’re entering the workforce or heading to college, they’re focused on the many “firsts” in their new lives. A little reminder from mom or dad goes a long way! Help young adults maintain healthy habits by encouraging them to schedule regular appointments, especially planning ahead for semester breaks.

Did you ever build a house from playing cards when you were young? Think of dental health as a house of cards. If the foundation isn’t secure, the upper levels aren’t strong. Proper dental care and hygiene habits are the foundation for kids — start the school year off right!

Do You Love Your Smile? Do You Want To?

When you hear “cosmetic dentistry,” what do you think of? Whitening is the first answer for many people, followed by dental aligners like Invisalign. These are popular options for good reason, which is why we offer them. (It’s also why we extended our summer whitening offer.) Cosmetic dental work, however, doesn’t begin and end with these treatments.

inside spread2There are a variety of other cosmetic procedures that can dramatically improve your smile and how you feel about it. A good way to navigate your choices is to ask yourself what you want from your “smile upgrade.” It may be an isolated issue — receding gums or a single tooth that stands out in a way you don’t like. For other patients, there are a few issues they want to address gradually over time.

Once you’ve identified your smile priorities, the next step is determining how to reach your goal. The following is a guide to help you understand your cosmetic choices. These are some of most successful options for helping patients improve their smiles.

VENEERS: Dental veneers are thin, custom-made coverings of tooth-colored porcelain or resin for the front surface of the teeth. These shell-like coverings can change the size, shape and color of teeth, so they’re popular among patients looking to improve the overall appearance of their smile. Some of the issues that veneers can resolve are cracked or damaged enamel, crooked teeth and noticeable gaps between two teeth.

BONDING: With dental bonding, we apply a durable plastic material and harden it with a high-intensity light, bonding the material to the tooth. We trim, shape and polish the material. This process allows us to repair decayed, worn, chipped, cracked or misshapen teeth. It creates the appearance of a healthy tooth.

REPLACEMENT FILLINGS: If you have silver-colored fillings, we can use bonding to replace them with tooth-colored composite material. The resin mimics the natural appearance of your tooth, and we use color-matching so the new filling doesn’t look out of place.

IMPLANTS: This is the solution for many patients with tooth loss. We insert the implant to replace the root portion of a missing tooth. Then we fit the implant with a crown to create a natural-looking replacement for the entire tooth. The process allows the patient to transform a missing tooth into a long-term replacement that’s nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding natural teeth.

CROWNS AND BRIDGES: A crown fits over and replaces a damaged or decayed tooth above the gum line, restoring its appearance, shape, size and strength. Crowns, also known as caps, are functional because they prevent a cracked tooth from breaking, but they’re also used to cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth. Bridges combine crowns with a false tooth, allowing you to replace a seriously damaged tooth while also strengthening and improving the appearance of the teeth.

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INLAYS & ONLAYS: For inlays and onlays, the material is fabricated in a dental laboratory to make the color matching more precise. Also called indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are attached to the teeth with dental adhesive. They strengthen teeth, restore their shape and prevent further deterioration or decay. This option is typically used when there isn’t enough tooth structure to support a filling, or if there’s mild to moderate decay.

GUM REPAIR: Gum recession can be caused by aggressive brushing, teeth grinding, periodontal disease, aging, tooth position and more. The appearance of the receding gum line often bothers patients who have this problem. A gingival graft restores the gum line to its proper height, improving the look of your smile while also preventing tooth decay and reducing sensitivity caused by exposed roots.

Bringing Your New Smile To Life

If you’re interested in improving your smile, call us at 781-245-2299 or send us an email through our website. Mention the “smile makeovers” you saw in this blog and we’d be happy to provide you with a free cosmetic consult.

Because cosmetic and restorative dentistry often overlap, some dental insurance plans cover select cosmetic procedures. There are also insurance plans that offer benefits for elective treatment, so it’s worth asking your employer’s HR department or your benefits provider.

If you’re uninsured, ask about Future of Dentistry’s Membership Program, which may be able to help you meet your smile goals.

Many patients also find that financing programs like CareCredit help them pay for treatment gradually — regardless of whether they’re insured.

There are many ways to help you achieve your “smile upgrade.” Our staff is happy to help you understand both the treatment itself and your financial options. We take pride in the fact that our staff never tries to “upsell” treatments that you don’t want or won’t benefit you.