My Blog

Posts for: July, 2018

By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
July 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Veneers  

Dental VeneersAre you ready to find out how veneers could improve your appearance?

Do you wish that you weren’t embarrassed by your smile? It’s amazing how even the most minor aesthetic issues can affect your self-esteem. If you find yourself unable to “say cheese” because you have a less-than-brilliant smile, let our Burlington, MA, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Paul Epstein, change all that with stunning porcelain veneers.

Just as false nails can help elongate stubby nails and improve the look and appearance of your hands, veneers can offer the same benefit for your smile. If you are dealing with cosmetic flaws that negatively impact the shape, size, or color of your teeth then dental veneers might just be the restoration you need to get your smile back on track.

Veneers are made from thin layers of medical-grade porcelain. Our Burlington dentist bonds veneers to the front surface of your tooth to hide everything from discolorations and cracks to gaps between teeth. Veneers can help even out your smile and make it more symmetrical and it can even protect teeth from excessive wear and tear due to teeth grinding.

Are you an adult who has wanted to close that gap between your front teeth or fix minor misalignments in your smile but aren’t keen on getting braces? We know that many people want a straight smile but don’t often want to wear braces for a year or more in order to fix minor issues that aren’t very obvious. Of course, veneers could easily help you straighten your smile without ever needing braces.

Before you get veneers, we will first need to examine your smile to make sure it’s healthy enough for cosmetic dentistry. We will also want to sit down with you and discuss your specific goals to ensure that veneers are the best way to go. Once we’ve deemed you an ideal candidate we will need to prep your teeth for your new restorations.

What makes veneers so great is that you don’t need extensive tooth preparation in order to get these restorations. We will remove only a trace amount of enamel from the front of your teeth to make room for your veneers. This tooth preparation is so minimal that we don’t often need to numb the area beforehand.

Once teeth are prepped, we will take impressions of your mouth. After all, each veneer is custom-made based on specific measurements of your teeth. Once your veneers have been designed by a dental lab you will come back in so that we can bond them to your teeth and finally give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of having.

Do you want to learn more about getting dental veneers in Burlington, MA? Are you ready to find out if this is the right cosmetic treatment for you? If so, it’s time to call our office today to schedule a free evaluation with us.


By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
July 22, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: celebrity smiles   retainer  
FanofSuperheroFilmBlackPantherBreaksSteelWirewithHerMouth

Some moviegoers have been known to crunch popcorn, bite their fingers or grab their neighbor’s hands during the intense scenes of a thriller. But for one fan, the on-screen action in the new superhero film Black Panther led to a different reaction.

Sophia Robb, an 18-year-old Californian, had to make an emergency visit to the orthodontic office because she snapped the steel wire on her retainer while watching a battle scene featuring her Hollywood crush, Michael B. Jordan. Her jaw-clenching mishap went viral and even prompted an unexpected reply from the actor himself!

Meanwhile, Sophia got her retainer fixed pronto—which was exactly the right thing to do. The retention phase is a very important part of orthodontic treatment: If you don’t wear a retainer, the beautiful new smile you’re enjoying could become crooked again. That’s because if the teeth are not held in their new positions, they will naturally begin to drift back into their former locations—and you may have to start treatment all over again…

While it’s much more common to lose a removable retainer than to damage one, it is possible for even sturdy retainers to wear out or break. This includes traditional plastic-and-wire types (also called Hawley retainers), clear plastic retainers that are molded to fit your teeth (sometimes called Essix retainers), and bonded retainers: the kind that consists of a wire that’s permanently attached to the back side of your teeth. So whichever kind you use, do what Sophia did if you feel that anything is amiss—have it looked at right away!

When Black Panther co-star Michael B. Jordan heard about the retainer mishap, he sent a message to the teen: “Since I feel partly responsible for breaking your retainers let me know if I can replace them.” His young fan was grateful for the offer—but even more thrilled to have a celebrity twitter follower.

If you have questions about orthodontic retainers, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Bonded Retainers.”


By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
July 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  
ProfessionalWhiteningOffersanEffectiveWaytoRestoreYourSmilesLuster

Your teeth were meant to shine! Tooth enamel’s polished translucence, framed by the dentin layer beneath it, has a way of vibrantly catching the light when you smile. But tooth wear and structural changes as you age can dim that shine. Add to that staining caused by foods and beverages or disease and your smile could further lose its luster.

On your supermarket or pharmacy oral hygiene aisle you’ll find dozens of products promising to restore that lost luster, including toothpastes, whitening kits or even chewing gum. While such products work to some degree, our dental office may have the right solution for you: a safe and effective treatment for whitening teeth.

Why see us for teeth whitening? For one, professional whitening solutions contain a higher concentration of bleaching agent (usually 35-45% hydrogen peroxide) than home kits. We usually apply it in a gel form directly to the teeth while using barrier devices like dams to protect the lips and other soft tissue from irritation. We may then apply heat or light to the applied gel to enhance the release of peroxide into your enamel.

This professional procedure can often give you a brighter smile in fewer sessions than a home whitening kit — and it may last longer. What’s more, we can control the level of brightness to produce only a subtle change or a dazzling “Hollywood” smile — whatever your preference.

Like a home kit, this procedure bleaches staining on the outer surface of enamel, known as extrinsic staining. But you can also have discoloration deep within a tooth, known as intrinsic staining, caused by a variety of reasons like tetracycline use early in life or complications from a root canal treatment. Home kits or even the professional treatment described above can’t whiten intrinsic staining.

For intrinsic staining you’ll need a special procedure that places a bleaching agent inside the tooth. Depending on the extent of staining the procedure could require more than one session.

To find out what kind of discoloration you have, visit us for a full examination. We’ll then be able to give you your options for putting the shine back in your smile.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Teeth Whitening.”


By Paul David Epstein, D.M.D. & Associates, P.C.
July 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   tooth decay  
ACrownCouldbetheAnswertoPreservingYourDamagedTooth

We’ve been treating one of your decay-prone teeth for some time with one filling after another. Each incident required a little more removal of decayed tooth material until now there isn’t enough structure to support another filling.

We could remove the tooth and replace it with a bridge or a dental implant, both viable restoration options. But keeping the tooth if possible would be more beneficial in the long-run for your gums, bone and remaining teeth. If it still has a healthy and stable root, it’s possible to permanently cover or “cap” the tooth with a life-like crown.

Crowns have been used for decades: the first were mainly composed of metal like gold or silver and later dental porcelain, a ceramic material that could be molded, shaped and oven-fired to resemble a real tooth. The earliest porcelains, though, were brittle, so a hybrid with a metal interior for strength and a fused exterior porcelain layer for appearance came into prominence.

Today, advances in materials have led to all-porcelain crowns strong enough to withstand biting forces. While the metal-porcelain hybrid still account for about 40% of crowns installed annually, the all-porcelain types are steadily growing in popularity.

Regardless of the type, though, the process for fitting any crown is relatively the same. The first step is to reshape the affected tooth so that the future crown will fit over it, followed by an impression mold of the tooth a dental technician will use to form a custom crown. Once the new crown has been prepared, we then permanently bond it to the tooth.

With a crown, you’ll be able to enjoy normal function and have a tooth that looks as healthy and normal as its neighbors. Be aware, though, that your underlying tooth is still subject to decay — so diligent, daily hygiene and regular dental visits are a must. With proper care your newly crowned tooth can continue to serve you and your smile for many years to come.

If you would like more information on dental restoration options, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”