Posts for: January, 2016

AmericasDentistsGotTalent-forFixingDamagedorMissingTeeth

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.”


By Jeffrey Mason, D.M.D.
January 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Wondering if dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you? Although implants are a good choice in most cases, it's important to carefully consider all aspects of the implant process before you make a decision. Hasbrouck Heights Dentist Jeffrey Mason, DMD, shares some information about dental implants that will help you decide.Dental Implants

What is a dental implant?

An implant is a tiny titanium screw that acts as the root for your replacement tooth. It's placed in a small hole in your jawbone under your gums. Over a span of several months, your jawbone grows around the implant, and it becomes part of the bone. Once your implant is strong and stable, your dentist attaches a connecting piece, called an abutment, to the implant. A realistic looking crown is placed on top of the abutment, restoring your ability to bite and chew normally. The entire process generally takes between six to nine months.

What are the advantages of implants?

Implants are more comfortable than dentures or bridges, which can irritate your gums if they don't fit properly. If you wear dentures, it may be impossible to chew hard foods. With an implant, there are no chewing limitations. An implant may be a more costly option than a bridge or denture initially, but over the long run, you may discover that it's actually the cheapest option. Bridges and dentures usually must be replaced several times during your lifetime, while you'll only need to get an implant once.

Can I still get a dental implant if I lost a tooth several years ago?

In many cases, you will still be able to benefit from a dental implant if you lost a tooth a few years ago. Since your jawbone begins to shrink after tooth loss, you may need a bone graft before you can begin the implant process. If a graft is needed, several months will be added to the treatment timeline.

Is it difficult to care for dental implants?

If you own a toothbrush and dental floss, you can care for dental implants. Removing plaque by brushing and flossing is very important. When plaque forms at your gum line, it can cause an infection called periodontitis that can threaten the health of your implant.

Interested in finding out if dental implants are a good choice for you? Schedule an appointment with Hasbrouck Heights Dentist Jeffrey Mason, DMD, at (201) 288-4447. Preserve your smile with a dental implant!


BeontheLookoutforTheseCommonBiteProblemsinChildren

Somewhere around age 6, your child’s primary (baby) teeth will begin to give way to their permanent set. If all goes well, you’ll notice all the front teeth erupting in the right position: the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom and all coming in without crowding.

Sometimes, though, the process doesn’t occur as it should and a bad bite (malocclusion) may develop. You can get a head start on treatment if you know what to look for. Here are a few problems for which you should see a dentist — or more likely an orthodontist — for a thorough evaluation.

Spacing problems. Teeth should normally come in right next to each other without a noticeable gap. But if you notice excessive space between the permanent front teeth especially, this may be an indication there’s a discrepancy in size between the teeth and the jaws. At the other end of the spectrum, if teeth on the same arch appear to overlap each other, this indicates crowding in which there’s not enough space for the teeth to erupt properly.

Bad bites. Malocclusions can take different forms. In an underbite, the front bottom teeth bite in front of the upper teeth. If there’s a noticeable gap between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed, this is known as an open bite. Front teeth biting too far down over the lower teeth is a deep bite and could even include biting into the soft tissue of the hard palate. Cross bites can occur in either the front or back teeth: if in the front, some of the lower teeth will bite in front of the upper; if in the back, some of the lower teeth bite outside the upper rather than normally on the inside.

Abnormal eruptions. You should also be alert for protusions, in which the upper teeth or the jaw appears to be too far forward, or retrusions, in which the lower teeth or jaw appears to be too far back. You should also be concerned if permanent teeth erupt far from their normal position — this is especially likely if the primary tooth was also out of position, or was lost prematurely or not in the right order.

If you would like more information on monitoring your child’s dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.