We Now Offer A Solution For Dental Anxiety

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First, let me say that much has happened since our last newsletter back in August. We have welcomed Dr. Sagar Lunagaria to our practice, and as a result, we are offering new services and additional hours. In particular, Dr. Lunagaria provides sedation for those who have dental anxiety, he is experienced in placing dental implants and he performs gum procedures which previously required our patients to seek the care of a periodontist. For many minor surgical procedures our patients can now remain in our office. In addition, in the event that you need care for a dental emergency, you will find it much easier to be seen very promptly to have your problem addressed.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dr. Lunagaria, and he has been well received by not only our team but by the many patients who have met him during September. Dr. Lunagaria will be available in our office every day that we are open except Tuesdays. Please make sure that you have an opportunity to meet him the next time that you are in the office.

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You can now truly relax in the dental chair while having your treatment. Nitrous oxide – commonly known as laughing gas is a mild sedative. It is one of the safest ways to relieve fear and anxiety related to dental appointments. This form of relaxation is also very helpful in eliminating or minimizing severe gagging. It does wonders for individuals who are highly fearful of needles or who have real difficulty getting numbed.

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Is severe gagging preventing you from seeing a dentist?

Nitrous oxide is administered through the nose by simple inhalation while your dentist works on your teeth. The amount of gas is regulated by the dentist so he has full control over the amount of anxiety control which is needed for each individual patient.

Fear of needles?

Inhalation sedation is very safe and there is almost no side effect of it. The effects of the laughing gas wear off quickly as so that you can drive yourself home after finishing your procedure without the need of an escort.

Do you ever dread going to a dentist?

Depending on the severity of fear and anxiety, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be combined with oral medication which is taken before your treatment to help you relax even further. It is a great choice for people who fear needles. You will be awake and aware of your surroundings but relaxed and free of anxiety. It also helps create short term partial memory loss, so most patients do remember discomfort, smells or noises associated with the dental procedures performed.

Do you have difficulty getting numbed?

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Again, our goal is for you to be comfortable and anxiety-free during your dental treatment. We are proud to offer this service in our office now. Call our office at 908-659-6655 to find out more or visit us online at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com to book a complimentary consultation today!!

Top Five Dental Problems For People 50 +

Many of our patients have been visiting us for well over 20 years. As these patients reach 50 years of age and above, we see a significant shift in the risk factors whichj affect them from a dental standpoint.  There have been several instances of patients who have suddenly developed rather severe decay, gum disease, and general tooth attrition resulting from bite problems. These are patients who for years required only minimal and basic preventive and restorative care.

As a result, I decided to list and describe the top five dental problems which those of us who have reached age 50 and beyond are experiencing. In our next blog article, we will present the top treatments which have been successful at addressing these issues. As always, the best treatment and care which every dental patient needs is preventive care. Preventive care includes proper homecare and routine dental exams and cleanings. Those who are seen regularly in our office are much less likely to develop the major problems which some 50+ year olds experience.

The top five dental concerns are:

1. Dental decay especially around the gumline.

features-teeth-1Often, as we get older, our gums recede leaving root surfaces exposed and gaps between the teeth.   As the root surface is less smooth and softer than enamel, decay in these areas is quite common here. And between the teeth where spaces have developed, food and plaque become trapped and lead to decay as well.

 

 2. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia.

The amount of saliva in our mouths can decrease as we age. In addition, many medications can cause a reduction in saliva production leading to dry mouth. The importance of saliva in protecting our teeth and gums cannot be overstated. Saliva acts as a buffer to help neutralize the acids which are the main cause of dental decay and gum disease. Acids are formed in our mouths when the bacteria in plaque ingest carbohydrates like sugars which we eat.

3.   Gum disease (periodontal disease)

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It is not uncommon to see patients who have had mild to moderate cases of gingivitis in the past begin to develop more serious periodontal disease. Gingivitis is inflammation which is limited to the gums and results in redness, swelling and bleeding gums. If this problem progresses, the underlying bone may become involved and the attachments of the teeth becomes increasingly jeopardized. In its most severe form, teeth will become loosened and may eventually literally fall out.

4. Oral cancer

Traditionally, the use of tobacco and alcohol has been associated with oral cancer.   Today HPV  (Human papilloma virus) which is sexually transmitted has become the number one cause of oral cancer. In this case, the best offense is a good defense meaning regular dental checkups which include a proper oral cancer screening.

5. Crowded teeth

We have seen numerous examples of patients whose teeth have been slowly shifting over the years resulting in marked overlapping of especially the upper and lower front teeth. Teeth which are crowded tend to collect more debris and plaque than those which are straight. In addition, overlapping teeth are more difficult to keep clean. As a result, such teeth are more prone to both dental decay and gum disease. In addition, because crowded teeth do not meet the teeth in the opposing arch evenly, such teeth exhibit increased wear and chipping as they become more and more thin.

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We will address possible solutions to each of these problems in our next blog. In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of these issues please feel free to contact us by telephone at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

 

Which Is Worse –Bad Gums Or Teeth?

This may sound like a trick question, but really it’s not. The “correct” answer, of course, is that both are equally important. But, I have a different view and will share it later in this article.

Both gums and teeth require good to excellent daily hygiene to remain healthy.   Prevention of both periodontal disease and dental decay is accomplished using the same techniques and products.  Both gum disease and dental decay are caused by the attack of bacteria which produce acid.  This acid causes damage to both hard and soft oral tissues including gums, enamel, dentin and bone. Both conditions if not properly and promptly addressed will result in the eventual loss of teeth as well as the inability to properly chew food.   And, both problems are a source of embarrassment and self consciousness due to missing teeth, bad breath, swollen and red gums, black holes, etc., etc.

Both teeth and gums are checked at every dental re-care appointment.   Commonly, both june3of these dental diseases go unnoticed by patients until more involved and expensive treatments are required. In the case of cavities, decay which has advanced to the point when a patient feels pain will generally require root canal therapy. And, in the case of gum disease, by the time a patient realizes that there is a problem, the solution often involves the services of a periodontist, possible gum surgery and / or loss of teeth.   Unrecognized and untreated periodontal disease will eventually lead to loose teeth as a result of the loss of bone and the attachment of the teeth.

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Finally, both gum disease and tooth decay result in the existence of chronic infection and inflammation which has detrimental affects on the overall health of the body. A chronic infection which becomes acute, can result in serious illness which may require hospitalization. The hidden impact of such diseases, however, is that these chronic inflammations increase the risk of other health issues including heart disease, cancer, complicated births, etc.

As promised, my view whenever planning the treatment for patients and explaining its need is that once acute infection and pain are under control, the health of the gums is the number one priority.  Consider the gums and bone to be the foundation which supports the teeth.   Without a solid foundation, even the healthiest teeth can be lost. Once the periodontal condition is stable and healthy, then the teeth can be addressed as needed.

If you have any questions about gum disease or dental decay, please feel free to contact us by telephone @ 908.359.6655 or via our website www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

The Best Way To Fill Your Tooth

Can You Just Fill It?

One question that dentists are asked all the time is: “Can you just fill it?” My goal with this particular article is to answer just that question.   And the answer is: That depends on several factors. First and foremost are the needs and desires of the particular patient.  Equally important is the condition of the tooth or teeth in question.

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First, let me begin by explaining that nearly all of today’s tooth restorations are made of ceramic. Ceramic encompasses the materials most commonly used to restore teeth today. This includes porcelain in various forms as well as composite, commonly known as “plastic” fillings.  In our practice, metal is rarely used except in specific cases where achieving a quality bond is impossible (deep under the gum) or the strength of metal is mandatory.  Ceramic materials offer a beautiful, lifelike appearance and can be bonded to tooth structure for strength and longevity.

The choice of whether to use a composite filling or some type of porcelain restoration is dependent upon the following five conditions:

1. The size of the cavity

Composite fillings makes sense when the cavity – whether caused by decay or fracture – is less than one third the width of the tooth and takes up less than 50% of the biting surface. Larger cavities with inadequate tooth to support a filling are best restored using porcelain.

2. A cracked tooth

If the tooth is cracked, a porcelain restoration is needed to protect the tooth from fracturing.  We commonly see cracked teeth when silver fillings, especially large ones, have been in place for many years.

3. Worn teeth

Teeth which are worn can be restored with either material depending upon the extent and location of wear.   Surfaces which receive heavy biting forces require the strength of porcelain to last a reasonable length of time.

4. Root canal

Teeth which have had root canal therapy generally require porcelain crowns to protect them from breakage, as these teeth are brittle and somewhat hollow as a result of the root canal.

5. Tooth Modifications

Sometimes teeth are restored to alter their shape and or appearance. Examples are gaps between teeth, poorly aligned teeth and teeth which are restored to improve the bite.  Larger modifications require the use of porcelain.

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Today’s porcelains are much different from those that were used only 10 to 15 years ago. Newer technology has produced ceramic materials with exceptional strength as well as a lifelike appearance.  In addition, these materials can be used to make crowns, commonly known as  “caps”, which cover the entire tooth.

fillThey can also be used as onlays or “partial caps” to preserve solid healthy tooth structure. These onlays are beautiful and long-lasting restorations which can be less costly than full crowns.

If you have any questions about which fillings are appropriate for you, please do not hesitate to call our office at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

Celebrating 30 Years- Thank You Technology

Before I begin today’s topic, I must correct a glaring omission from the thank you letter I wrote to April and all of our dental assistants. There is a woman who was our second dental assistant after Liz back in the mid 80’s and describing this person provides a perfect segue into today’s subject. The person to whom I refer is Remi, a very attractive young woman, who would come to the office dressed in popular clothing of the time, which were stretch pants and high heels with the top of her choice. Naturally, Remi was very popular among my male patients as well as being a top-notch dental assistant.  I had the pleasure of working with her for a couple of years until her family moved to North Carolina  but Remi and I stayed in touch.  Then, during the 90’s, we became quite good friends socially. When April began her first maternity leave, Remi stepped in to help us and remained on a part-time basis until she left for a new full-time position.  Remi is owed a big thank you for both her friendship and her contributions to our dental practice.  Remi, please forgive me for not having included you in the first article!!

But what does Remi have to do with today’s topic?  Today, I will express thanks for the amazing progress that we have made in dentistry owing to the development of various technological advancements. At the same time, I’ll have an opportunity to describe how the practice of dentistry has changed in the last thirty years. So, if you can picture Remi wearing stretch pants and high heels, you will realize that what we wear today is far different from the “uniform” of thirty years ago.  Better yet, if you can picture what Remi was not wearing at the time, you will understand the first major change that occurred in dentistry in the last thirty years.

Thank you technologyWhat Remi was not wearing back then was gloves, a mask and all the other outer protective garments, which are mandatory today. What changed was the AIDS epidemic had begun and the use of all  protective clothing and shields became mandated.  After having practiced “wet fingered” dentistry for several years, wearing gloves was initially quite a challenge due to the loss of tactile sensation that resulted.  But we all adapted and have since incorporated a multitude of protocols and protective items to protect not only those who work in the dental office but also every patient.

Thank you technologyThe next major change for dental practices was the use of computers which began in the mid to late 1980’s. I remember buying my first computer, an IBM with a whopping 50 MB of memory! Bear in mind that is megabytes and I’m not referring to RAM. This computer took some getting used to, but relieved us of hours upon hours of paperwork every day as all appointments and transactions had been done by hand up to that time. As you can imagine, the computers kept getting bigger and doing more for us every year.  Now, the practice of dentistry and the use of computers are totally integrated and amazing.

Thank You technologyToday, the world of dentistry is becoming more and more digital. By now, most of my patients have seen the digital x-rays which we employ.  These x-rays are so large and easy to read that patients can easily see what we see with minimum coaching. These x-rays can be manipulated in terms of contrast, size and various other features.  Similarly, in the future, impressions will be taken digitally using a small intraoral camera rather than all of that impression gook which many patients are not fond of.

If you’ve been in our office for the last dozen years or so, you’ll note that we also use a digital camera to record photos of your teeth.  In addition, we have an intraoral camera which takes close-up images of the teeth.    The use of these photographs helps us to better diagnose what is going on in a given patient’s mouth as well as the ability to easily explain conditions and options to patients.

Thank you technologyOne of my favorite newer pieces of equipment is called the K7.  We have been using this system for the past five years or so to help us better diagnose and treat patients who have Temporomandibular Joint Disorders.   This piece of equipment allows us to evaluate the jaw muscles, jaw movement and joint sounds. Using this piece of equipment, we can determine in an objective way the best position for an individual patient’s jaw.  Since using the K7, we have been able to help many patients who were suffering with a variety of TMD symptoms.   If you have any interest in the subject, you may find additional information on the website  www.myotronics.com  .

Other technological advances which assist us in our day to day treatment of patients include the use of the diode laser, the Wave One root canal system, and the Diagnodent cavity detection device.

Thank you technologyThe diode laser has a multitude of uses including preparing teeth for impressions, cosmetic re-contouring of the gums, the treatment of periodontal or gum disease and the speed healing of canker sores and fever blisters just to name a few. This is a marvelous piece of equipment which is kind to patients for its healing properties, its gentleness not requiring the need for anesthesia in many cases, as well as its ability to work without creating bleeding.

The Wave One root canal system is an equally wonderful system which helps us to perform root canal therapy for patients in less time than in the past while being more thorough at the same time.

Thank you technologyThe Diagnodent cavity detection device uses a laser to detect the presence of decay in an extremely accurate manner. We had even seen that it finds decay which is not visible either on x-ray or in the mouth but serves to help patients avoid more extensive treatment due to lack of prompt care.

The descriptions provided above of the technological advances which we have seen the last 30 years is by no means a complete list. Suffice it to say, the practice of dentistry is far more enjoyable, accurate and just plain better than it was in the 80’s.

Thank you to all the pioneers who helped to develop the technology that we use today. It will be fascinating to watch dentistry continue to evolve in the next thirty years!

Smile Enhancements for Healthy Aging

Earlier this month, we discussed common dental problems which affect us as we grow older and how to address them.  In this installment, we will describe three popular methods to improve both the appearance and the function of your teeth. At the end of this article, we will reinforce what we believe to be the best ways to improve the health and beauty of your smile.

smile enhancementsYou may be surprised to hear about the first popular procedure which has increased in frequency over the past several years.  Once considered only appropriate for adolescents and teenagers, orthodontics has become an excellent means for adults (even those well into their 60s) to improve their smile, take years off their facial appearance, and improve their self-esteem.  This, in turn, improves their overall outlook on life. Alternatives to the metal braces commonly seen in the past have grown in popularity as they have become more comfortable, effective and invisible.  In our office, Invisalign™ orthodontics has proven to be a discrete and successful method for adults to address bite issues and crooked teeth.  Even patients who had braces as a teenager find the system an excellent way to realign teeth which have relapsed over the years.

invisalign, smile enhancements

Invisalign™orthodontic treatment, combined with either tooth bleaching and/or bonding, can help you to achieve your dream smile, improve your appearance, help you look younger, and feel a renewed sense of self confidence.  In addition, a properly aligned bite serves to preserve your overall health and well-being.  Teeth which are not aligned and bites which are not properly balanced are much more at risk for a variety of dental issues.  These issues include tooth fractures, tooth wear, loosening teeth, gum recession, ineffective chewing ability as well as a variety of jaw, neck, and shoulder pain and headaches.

The second popular dental enhancement which has steadily gained in popularity over the last twenty-five plus years is implants. Titanium implants have evolved and become a staple in the replacement of missing teeth for those who wish for comfort, convenience, and excellent appearance. Implants can be used in a number of different ways to replace missing teeth. The simplest way, of course, is for replacing a single missing tooth. But implants can also be used to replace a series of missing teeth or even an entire arch of missing teeth. Contrary to popular opinion, the placement of implants does not involve significant discomfort and their success rate is very high.

implant, smile enhancements

There are many patients who have struggled with dentures for years. Such patients have had as few as two implants placed to stabilize their existing dentures. The benefits of such procedures are astounding for those who have struggled to eat and speak with loose plates for years. We even see patients who are about to lose all their remaining teeth in one or both arches. Such patients can have their hopeless teeth removed, four implants placed, and a set of teeth mounted on those implants all in a single appointment. That procedure is called “All-On-Four” and requires collaboration between a prosthetic dentist, an implant surgeon and a laboratory technician.  The results in these cases are life changing.

The third popular smile enhancement involves bonding or porcelain to restore worn, broken, or otherwise damaged teeth. “Bonding” utilizes tooth-colored filling material which is placed on one or a group of teeth to restore natural appearance, shape, and color. Similarly, porcelain is used in more advanced cases for those patients who wish to have the most long-lasting and cosmetic solution to their dental problems. Porcelain can be used to cover the entire tooth or limited areas of the tooth as needed in any given situation. The porcelain is bonded to the teeth which results in a very strong, cosmetic, and natural result.

Bonding and porcelain can be used to enhance smiles in a number of different ways. Teeth which have mild misalignment can be made to look perfectly aligned instantly using these materials. Similarly, problems with symmetry, proportion, color and shape can all be addressed using these materials. The next time that you are in our office, make sure to look at some of the photographs on our walls which exhibit the results gained by using these materials.

Finally, let us reiterate the best ways to ensure healthy aging at least as far as oral health is concerned.  As we grow older, we are all more prone to have decay which can sometimes develop very quickly.  It is not uncommon for adult patients to have some gum recession which results in the exposure of root surfaces.  Such surfaces are very prone to decay and must be carefully monitored both at home and in the dental office.  In addition, as our gums recede, food is more likely to lodge between the teeth creating another cause for decay developing.  Increased use of medications and other medical issues may lead to a condition of dry mouth.  Without the buffering effects of saliva, the likelihood for increased dental decay as well as gum disease is highly likely.

dental care, smile enhancements

So what is one to do to prevent an increase in gum disease and dental decay? Here are our favorite as well as most effective recommendations:

  1. Use an electric toothbrush and brush where the teeth and gums meet.
  2. Clean between your teeth with an appropriate sized tool. Large spaces require a proxy brush and smaller spaces require fluffy floss.
  3. Brush before bed!
  4. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash especially before bed.  During this month we have been handing out Listerine Zero which is a good product found in the grocery store but any similar product which includes no alcohol can be used.
  5. Have regular checkups! This is the best way to make sure that small problems do not become big ones! In the past few years, we have seen more and more patients who have returned after extended periods with more severe problems. Regular checkups will save you money and give you more peace of mind.

In closing, cosmetic dentistry may be key to a person’s health in later life.  Here is a quote from a cosmetic dentist in Texas:

“We often hear older patients just wanting things patched up as opposed to getting something aesthetic. They may have the idea that they are not worth it, or their families have the idea that they are too old for cosmetic dentistry. This may lead to an attitude that things are ending.

“Improving an older person’s mouth can bring them more happiness and joy, not only by improving chewing efficiency, but also bringing joy back. They will want to smile more.”

If you have any questions concerning this article or any other dental questions, please call our office at 908.359.6655 or contact us via our website at www.designsfordentalhealth.com.

 

 

A Healthy Mouth and Healthy Aging

For over 20 years, September has been designated healthy aging month. This is an annual celebration of the positive side to growing older. During this month, a variety of sources provide Inspiration and ideas for baby boomers and adults aged 45 and above to help them to improve their physical, mental, social, as well as financial well-being.  It is our hope that we at Designs For Dental Health can provide some pertinent information to contribute to our fellow baby boomers.

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It is interesting to note that there are over 76 million baby boomers today over the age of fifty and the first of the 82 million Generation X-ers are about to reach that milestone in 2015.  Why not use September as a time to look back on where you’ve been and consider what you might truly like to do with the rest of your life.  If you’re happy and fulfilled with what you’re currently doing, keep on keeping on!  If not, this is definitely the time to make a change.  From my point of view, I’m happy to keep on doing what we, as your dental care providers, love to do most.  Help to keep you healthy! dreamstime_l_21764121

So, with that in mind, here’s our question for you today: How’s your smile? 

  

First of all, research supports the idea that those who smile more are just plain happier.  Secondly, those with a healthy mouth are much less likely to develop a myriad of diseases commonly suffered by those of us in the 60+ population. So ask yourself- when is the last time that you had a comprehensive dental examination to determine your overall oral health and the best methods used to maintain it?  I promise to provide such a comprehensive examination free of charge for anyone over age 55 who has been a patient in our practice for more than 5 years and who requests it.  That’s right!  All you have to do is ask! I’ll sit down with you for as long as it takes to discuss your concerns and desires.  Then, we’ll do a comprehensive examination including an oral cancer screening, evaluation of your teeth, gums, and bite. Together, we’ll discuss any options that might be available to you to improve your dental health and from that discussion we will arrive at the best treatment plan for you.

 

Consider this – a mere 60 years ago, it was assumed that we would lose all of our natural teeth as we aged.  Now we know that a healthy mouth and teeth will help you to not only look good, but to eat delicious and nutritious foods, to speak clearly and to be confident.  An excellent quality of life demands a vibrantly healthy mouth.  Just consider the fact that those whose oral health is subpar are at risk for various serious medical conditions including: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, cancer, and various other diseases which are common in older adults.

 

What are some common oral health problems?

 

  1. Dry mouth.   Reduced salivary flow is most commonly the result of cancer treatments, the use of certain medications, and certain diseases. Dry mouth is a significant cause of decay and gum disease in older patients because saliva serves to buffer acids that are produced as we eat.  Without the protection of these buffers, rapidly advancing problems occur. 

  2. Darkened teeth.   Our teeth tend to darken with time as the pulp in our teeth recedes and the outer layer of enamel becomes thinner, thus allowing the darker dentin to show through. There are various methods available to whiten the teeth for a more youthful appearance.  These techniques do not harm teeth and most patients are extremely happy with their whiter, more beautiful smiles. 

  3. Root decay. As the gums recede, exposure of the tooth roots result. Exposed root surfaces are less resistant to decay than enamel and decay here is quite common. Good brushing and plaque removing habits go a long way to protect these surfaces. In addition, the judicious use of fluoride rinses can be most helpful to protect these exposed surfaces. 

  4. Gum disease. Inflammation of the gums and resulting bone loss in more advanced cases is quite common in adults over the age of 50.  Gum disease is worsened by poorly fitting tooth restorations, less than ideal dietary choices, and certain diseases like anemia, cancer, and diabetes.  The best way to fight gum disease is to practice excellent oral hygiene and have regular dental exams and cleanings as recommended in your particular case. 

  5. Tooth loss. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss; however, teeth which have broken due to old, large silver fillings or simple attrition require prompt attention to avoid unnecessary loss of teeth!  Restoring a broken tooth is always better and less expensive than losing a tooth and later trying to replace it. 

  6. Uneven jawbone. This common problem is a result of premature tooth loss.  Once a tooth is lost, the bone previously around that root vanishes and teeth adjacent to and opposing the missing tooth will shift.  This causes an uneven bite and places for food and bacteria to become trapped. 

  7. Oral cancer. Routine examinations are essential to identify possible cancerous conditions in the mouth. Always report unusual lumps or bumps or discolorations to your dentist or hygienists promptly! 

So what is the best way to maintain your good oral health?  It’s the same regardless of your age!    

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  1. Brush at least twice a day with good quality toothpaste as recommended by your dentist or hygienist. The most important time to brush is just before bed!! 

  1. Floss or otherwise thoroughly clean between your teeth at least one time each day. 

  1. Visit your dentist or hygienist on a regular basis as recommended by them for regular cleanings and oral examinations.  

  1. Use appropriate rinses or fluorides or other such adjuncts as recommended by your dental professionals. 

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If you have any questions about healthy aging month or would like a complementary comprehensive examination please call us at 908.359.6655 or contact us via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

All-on-4®, A Dental Miracle

All–on–4® is the name for a technique used in the total rehabilitation of patients who have lost or will soon lose all of their teeth in one or both arches. This system was developed in the 1990s through studies which were funded by Nobel Biocare which has been a corporate leader in the implant industry since the early 1980s.

The All-on-4® treatment concept is a miracle because patients arrive at their dentist’s office in the morning with either no teeth or teeth which cannot be saved in one or both arches.  At that appointment, the implant surgeon (usually a periodontist or oral surgeon), the prosthetic dentist (in this case, me) and a lab technician work collaboratively.  A few hours later the patient leaves the office with a complete set of teeth which are not removable, which function well and which look amazing.

In addition, no grafting is required before placing the implants with this system. Therefore, most patients who have been told that they are not good candidates for implants because of a lack of bone, or large sinuses, or other anatomical circumstances are perfect candidates for the All–on–4® procedure.

There is no grafting, and no lengthy healing time required. Four implants are placed in each treated jaw. This procedure takes advantage of the dense bone which is available in the front of both the top and bottom jaws and places two implants there. Two more implants are placed in the back of the jaws and at an angle to both avoid sensitive anatomic areas as well as to take advantage of available dense bone there. Permanently fixed bridges can then be secured to these four implants immediately because of the solid primary stability which is gained by these strategically placed implants.

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The full dental bridge which is attached to these implants is not removable, has no coverage of the palate, and can be used immediately to eat a complete diet without restriction. After four to six months, a final fixed prosthesis is placed over the implants once total healing is assured.

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The advantages of All–on–4® are many:

1. Get implants in one day with minimal surgery.

2. Entire procedure completed in one location and one day.

3. Avoid the expense and healing time of bone grafting.

4. Have fixed, not removable teeth.

5. Have a complete new set of teeth which look and feel natural – Smile Again!

6. Have the ability to again eat all the foods that you desire.

If you have any questions about the All–on–4® procedure or if you know someone who would benefit from it, please contact us at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.designsfordentalhealth.com

Your Shimbashi Number And Your Bite

I am writing this article in honor of Dr. Henry “Hank” Shimbashi, a practicing dentist and researcher from Edmonton, Alberta who passed away this week. Dr. Shimbashi was a very influential friend of comprehensive restorative dentists and his research is used every day in offices like mine where problems with the bite and TMJ’s are treated.

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As a result of his research, the Shimbashi number was established to indicate an ideal relationship between the upper and lower jaws. When there is an optimal position of the lower jaw relative to the upper jaw, the muscles which are connected to them will also be at their optimal length and can function ideally.

If the relationship between the upper and lower jaws is altered, one or more of the many muscles of the head, neck and face may be overworked causing them to go into spasm — i.e., be painful. This can happen if the lower jaw is too close to or far from the upper jaw, too far forward or back, or shifted in any direction relative to the upper jaw.

Dr. Shimbashi’s research measured muscle activity in over 500 patients. He found that there was an ideal vertical dimension at which the jaw muscles functioned at their maximum potential. In addition, at this ideal position, patients had no symptoms of muscle pain. This vertical dimension was found to be universally applicable in all age groups and all races.

This simple number which we use is the measurement from the gum line of the upper front tooth to the gum line of the lower front tooth. Dr. Shimbashi found this ideal distance to be approximately 19 mm plus or minus one mm (about three quarters of an inch) when a patient bites.  In our office, we often see patients with bite problems whose Shimbashi number is significantly less than ideal  measuring as little as 10 mm or even less. In such patients, the lower front teeth are often nearly completely covered by the upper teeth. Such patients are much more likely to develop tooth and pain problems resulting from their bad bites.

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So what is your Shimbashi number?  If you have any questions about your bite as a result of this article, please feel free to call our office at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

Designs For Dental Health VIP Plan

Starting this month, we will be offering our Designs For Dental Health VIP Plan!!
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The Designs For Dental Health VIP plan* offers new and existing patients more affordable dental care on the most common and necessary dental services. This discount plan will save patients 15% off treatment fees for most of our services at no extra cost to you! In addition, there is no yearly maximum coverage limit, no deductibles, or waiting periods

What’s included in the plan?

  • 15%* discount on fillings, periodontal deep cleanings, crowns, bridges, implant crowns, dentures, extractions and root canal therapy.
  • Two regular exams per year, regularly $122.
  • Two regular cleanings per year, regularly $230.
  • All x-rays included with your cleaning visits, regularly up to $153
  • Oral Cancer screenings
  • One Fluoride treatment per year (up to age 16), regularly $48        (15% courtesy does not apply only to in-office bleaching or bleaching products, Invisalign Orthodontics, SixMonthSmiles Orthodontics, All-on-4 procedure, TMJ therapy, Sleep Apnea appliances, Arestin treatment, and full-arch or full-mouth rehabilitation)

With Designs For Dental Health’s VIP Program there are NO worries!

  • No yearly maximum coverage limit
  • No deductibles
  • No waiting period
  • No pre-existing condition exclusions
  • No ID cards necessary
  • No Insurance consultants

What is the cost of membership?

Only $325 for one entire year beginning on your registration date. That’s an automatic savings of up to $180 on your regular exams, cleanings, and x-rays alone!

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Making high-quality dentistry even more affordable!

 Designs For Dental Health has many options to help you pay for quality dental care. We accept cash and checks. We even offer a 5% prepayment discount for all treatment prepaid in full with cash or check when scheduling a service, and when dental insurance isn’t being billed.  That means when you use the Designs For Dental Health VIP Plan and pay in full you can save 20% on treatment! 

We also honor Visa, Discover, MasterCard and American Express. And, we offer 0% financing (if paid in full over 12 months*) and flexible payment options through CareCredit and Springstone. For those with insurance, our team will file all your claims and work with you to receive the absolute maximum benefit from your dental insurance.

How do I sign up?

Come on into our office and we will be happy to sign you up ASAP! No appointment necessary, and new patients are always welcome. And if you have any questions about the Designs For Dental Health VIP Plan and would like to get more information, just ask us and we will be happy to help.

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Call us at 908-359-6655 or visit our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

*This plan is subject to change without notice

*Discounts cannot be combined with any other offers

*Fee discount is limited to 5% with any financing offer