Posts for: September, 2017
A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.
We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?
Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.
When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?
In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.
So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.
If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Don’t let a yellow smile bring you down. Our dentist is here to help!
Nothing is worse than smiling and knowing that your teeth are yellowing and dull. Don’t you want a brilliant smile that you can’t wait to show off? We thought so. Fortunately, getting rid of dental stains doesn’t have to be difficult. Our Forest Hills, NY, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Richard Lestz, offers up many ways that you might be able to get your stains under control and enjoy a brighter smile.
If you aren’t someone who brushes twice a day, like they are supposed to, then now is the time to start doing it. Brushing twice a day ensures that you remove all plaque and tartar buildup from teeth, plus with a little whitening toothpaste you can prevent the development of new dental stains.
Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks
If your teeth are prone to staining then you’ll want to consider changing your diet to accommodate your smile. This means staying away from dark foods and drinks, as well as sports drinks, coffee, wine and tea, which can quickly stain up your white smile. When you do consume these kinds of foods and drinks, just remember to brush your teeth immediately after to prevent stains from forming.
Try At-Home Kits
Some people only have minimal stains that aren’t very noticeable but certainly bother them. If this is the case, you may not need to undergo our powerful whitening system in order to achieve the results you want. Sometimes whitening kits from your local drugstore can offer the subtle changes you need.
Of course, you will need to follow the directions completely to make sure that you are getting the results you want. Some patients find that unsupervised teeth whitening makes them nervous and would rather come into our office. This is particularly a concern for those with teeth sensitivity, as this symptom can often get worse during whitening treatment.
Professional Teeth Whitening
This is one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry options our Forest Hills dentist offers. After all, there is no simpler way to get your smile several shades whiter in often just one visit. If you want to visibly change the color and radiance of your smile and you’re on a time crunch then it’s time to find out if professional in-office teeth whitening is the best approach for removing your dental stains.
And if the idea of sitting in the dentist chair for an hour doesn’t sound ideal, then don’t hesitate to ask us about our professional at-home whitening kits, which will offer beautiful, more even results than anything you’ll be able to purchase at your local drugstore. In a matter of a week or two, you’ll start to see a whiter smile.
If professional teeth whitening is what you’ve been looking for in Forest Hills, NY, then it’s time you called and scheduled a no-risk consultation. We will examine your smile and make sure you are right for this treatment.
Eliminating pain and discomfort is one of our major objectives during dental treatment. To that end, our profession has developed a number of anesthetic drugs and deliveries that ensures your experience in the dentist’s chair is as pain-free as possible.
But there’s another experience many people have with dental care that’s different from physical discomfort — emotional anxiety. These negative emotions can range from nervousness about a procedure to extreme fear. Very often the patient has no control over these emotions — they’ve become imbedded from earlier experiences or the influence of others.
Although each can influence and heighten the other, anxiety and physical discomfort are different and require a different approach. Physical pain and sensation is eliminated through anesthesia, either locally through topical application or injection or generally through intravenous medication that renders a person unconscious. Anxiety, on the other hand, requires first building a trustful relationship with an understanding dentist. But it may also call for certain drugs that sedate — promote a feeling of relaxation — rather than numb sensation.
We’ve incorporated a number of sedative medications in dentistry like Valium or Ativan that work well to reduce anxiety before and during treatment. Many are taken orally, usually just before scheduled treatment, and they dissipate from the system quickly afterward. Some medications also have “amnesic” qualities, meaning you won’t remember anything or little at all about the treatment period. This can be helpful in amassing positive treatment experiences that may diminish negative feelings you’ve developed about dental treatment.
It’s important, though, to find the right types of medication that work well for you. For that reason we’ll take a thorough medical history, including prescription or over-the-counter medications and supplements you’re taking and any medical conditions you may have. It’s also important to discuss your diet (certain foods can inhibit the action of some sedatives) as well as if you use tobacco or regularly drink alcoholic beverages.
Taken properly, oral sedation can effectively reduce your anxiety during treatment. As a result, it will be much easier and pleasant for you to receive the care you need for a healthy mouth.
If you would like more information on reducing anxiety during dental treatment, 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 “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”