Posts for: August, 2016

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Our main focus as your dentist is to keep your teeth and gums healthy and functional. But there’s another important aspect of care — your teeth’s appearance. It’s not just a superficial concern: your smile can have a profound effect on your self-image, as well as your personal and professional relationships.

This is the realm of cosmetic dentistry: served by both specialists and general dentists, it focuses on altering your teeth’s appearance with treatments as basic as teeth whitening or as comprehensive as dental implants. The goal, however, is the same: a new, more attractive smile.

In a way, cosmetic dentistry begins with you and oral hygiene. The twin tasks of brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque not only lowers your risk for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, they also improve the appearance of the tooth surface. There are, however, circumstances where otherwise healthy or repaired teeth may need extra cosmetic attention due to chipping, misshape or staining. In these cases, a truly cosmetic approach may be necessary.

One approach is to cover a tooth’s blemishes. Veneers, for example, are thin, layered pieces of dental porcelain shaped and colored like natural teeth that are bonded to the outside of an unattractive tooth. In other cases, a tooth may require a life-like porcelain crown that completely covers it to gain the same effect.

Missing teeth, of course, pose a different challenge, but here there are a wide range of solutions: dental implants, fixed bridgework or removable full or partial dentures. Advancements in dental materials and techniques can produce new teeth that are so life-like and natural that they’re imperceptible from the real thing.

 These and other measures like orthodontics can all be used to turn a smile you find embarrassing into one you’re confident to share with the world. It begins, though, with both you and us taking a good, close look at your current smile — a smile analysis, if you will.

After assessing both your current needs and your expectations for change, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan. It might be quite simple or with multiple treatment stages, but it will be the best plan for you. Through cosmetic dentistry we have the means to help you achieve a new, more confident smile.

If you would like more information on the many ways to transform your smile, 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 “Cosmetic Dentistry: A Time for Change.”

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 11, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: abscess   infection  

A blemish on your face isn't usually a cause for concern, but when a pimple appears on your gum, it's time for a visit to the dentist. Jeffreyabsess Mason, D.M.D., your Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, dentist, explains why prompt treatment is essential if you notice a bump.

Bumps are signs of infection

Bumps or pimples in your mouth are usually a sign of an abscess, a bacterial infection that affects the mouth. Abscesses can form in the spaces between your teeth and gums and can be caused by gum disease or the presence of trapped food. You may also develop an abscess if the nerve in a tooth begins to die. Although the abscess may start in the root of the tooth, it can spread to your jawbone.

Other signs of an abscess

In addition to a bump in your mouth, you may also notice:

  • Severe toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity when you bite or chew or eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Swelling in your cheek or jaw
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your jaw or neck
  • Fever

Don't pop the pimple

The pimple or bump you see is filled with pus. Although popping it will cause the pus to drain and may relieve your pain, that doesn't mean that you no longer have to see your dentist. The bacterial infection that caused your symptoms will remain and grow worse without treatment with antibiotics. In fact, an untreated infection can spread throughout your body.

How can my dentist help?

If you notice any of the symptoms of an abscess, call your Hasbrouck Heights, NJ dentist as soon as possible. He can clean the infected area of your gum or perform a root canal if the abscess started in a tooth. He can also provide antibiotics and pain killers that will help you feel much better. If your abscess was caused by gum disease, it's essential to treat the disease to prevent another abscess.

Are you concerned about a strange bump or other dental issues? Call Jeffrey Mason, D.M.D., your Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, dentist, at (201) 288-4447 to schedule an appointment.

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 02, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”