Posts for: April, 2018
Are you tired of those stained, chipped, slightly crooked or—in a word—unattractive teeth? We have an effective solution for you: cover them with life-like porcelain veneers.
As the name implies, a veneer is a thin layer of dental porcelain custom-made to match your tooth’s shape and color and permanently bonded to the outside enamel. With its translucent, light-reflective quality similar to tooth enamel, dental porcelain looks completely natural. Veneers are well suited for minor to moderate imperfections, and can even be used to correct slight gaps between teeth.
We begin the process by performing a comprehensive dental exam to begin planning the exact shape and color of your new veneers. We can now do much of this planning with computer imaging, which may also give you the chance to see how your veneers will look on you after treatment.
We often will also need to prepare the teeth to accommodate the veneers when we bond them. Although the alterations shouldn’t be anywhere near as extensive as with a porcelain crown, we will still often need to remove some of the enamel layer so the veneer won’t look bulky. Even though we’ll remove as little as possible, if needed it will still permanently alter your teeth—so they’ll require some form of restoration from then on.
Once we’ve prepared the teeth, it’s then time to create the veneers. This is typically done by a dental laboratory technician through a manual process that may take several weeks. Increasingly, though, equipped dental offices are now able to generate their veneers in-house with computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) milling technology.
Once the veneers are ready, they’re bonded securely to the teeth with a detailed process that helps ensure they’ll endure biting and chewing forces for a long time. Still, you’ll need to avoid biting into hard objects or using your teeth for such things as cracking nuts. If you have a clenching or grinding habit, we may also recommend you wear a night guard to prevent excessive forces against not just your veneers but your teeth as well.
By taking good care of them, your new veneers can give you many years of service. Most of all, they can transform your embarrassing appearance into a smile you’re proud to show.
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers.”
Aspirin has been a popular pain reliever and fever reducer for over a century. Its effect on the clotting mechanism of blood, however, has led to its widespread and often daily use in low dose form (81 mg) to help reduce the chances of heart attack or stroke in cardiovascular patients. While this has proven effective for many at risk for these conditions, it can complicate dental work.
Aspirin relieves pain by blocking the formation of prostaglandins; these chemicals stimulate inflammation, the body’s protective response to trauma or disease. Aspirin reduces this inflammatory response, which in turn eases the pain and reduces fever. It also causes blood platelets to stop them from clumping together. This inhibits clotting, which for healthy individuals could result in abnormal bleeding but is beneficial to those at risk for heart attack or stroke by keeping blood moving freely through narrowed or damaged blood vessels.
Even for individuals who benefit from regular aspirin therapy there are still risks for unwanted bleeding. Besides the danger it may pose during serious trauma or bleeding in the brain that could lead to a stroke, it can also complicate invasive medical procedures, including many in dentistry. For example, aspirin therapy could increase the rate and degree of bleeding during tooth extraction, root canal or other procedures that break the surface of soft tissue.
Bleeding gums after brushing is most often a sign of periodontal (gum) disease. But if you’re on an aspirin regimen, gum bleeding could be a side effect. A thorough dental examination will be necessary to determine whether your medication or gum disease is the root cause.
It’s important, then, to let us know if you’re regularly taking aspirin, including how often and at what dosage. This will help us make more accurate diagnoses of conditions in your mouth, and will enable us to take extra precautions for bleeding during any dental procedures you may undergo.
If you would like more information on the effects of aspirin and similar medications on 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 “Aspirin: Friend or Foe?”
Your jaw moves constantly. You eat, speak, breathe, and change facial expressions with your mandibles and the two joints on either side of your head. Called the temporomandibular joints, these hinge-like mechanisms operate the bone, muscles and connective tissues of your jaw in three dimensions. If something malfunctions, jaw pain often results. Dr. Paul David Epstein expertly evaluates and treats jaw pain in Burlington, MA. Sufferers of TMJ, or TMJ/TMD, as it is called, can feel well again.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD in Burlington, MA
Commonly, your jaw hurts if you suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction. It may feel warm to the touch, stiff and swollen. You may hear weird popping, grinding or clicking sounds as you eat or simply open and close your mouth. In extreme cases, you may not be able to open or close your mouth. Ear aches, tinnitus (a buzzing or high-pitched squealing noise) and headaches often accompany TMJ/TMD.
Causes of TMJ/TMD
Women between the ages of 18 and 44 seem most prone to jaw pain. However, besides age and gender, heredity poses risk for TMJ/TMD, as the condition appears to run in families.
Other causes of jaw pain include:
- Uneven dental bite
- Chronic teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism)
- Trauma (a blow to the head)
How Dr. Epstein can help
If you have jaw pain, contact Paul David Epstein DMD & Associates. During a one-on-one consultation, Dr. Epstein will review your symptoms, take digital X-rays and other kinds of imaging as needed and do a complete oral examination. Based on his findings, he'll present a care plan aimed at the root causes of your jaw pain.
Relief often comes with a combination of treatment modalities, and most of them are very simple. Surgery, orthodontic correction or bite alteration with dental crowns are good options but only when more conservative measures don't work. As such, Dr. Epstein likely will recommend:
- A soft diet to reduce the pressures associated with biting and chewing
- Stretching exercises
- Ice or heat to relieve pain
- Muscle relaxants
- Over-the-counter ibuprofen to reduce inflammation
- A customized acrylic bite guard to cushion teeth
End your jaw pain
Yes, you can. For more information, or to arrange your TMJ/TMD consultation with Dr. Epstein, call his office at in Burlington, MA, (781) 273-1152.