Posts for: August, 2019


As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."

The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"

Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.

Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.

Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.

Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!

If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Is your mouth missing teeth? Do you have broken or cracked teeth from an injury or accident? If you want a more complete smile, Dr. Dental-implantJeffrey Mason, can be your Hasbrouck Heights, NJ dental implants expert.

Frequently asked questions about implants:


What are dental implants?

Dental implants are metal supports that fit inside your gums where the tooth roots once were. These metal implants serve as a foundation for artificial teeth by fusing with your jawbone.

Dental implants can fill a gap of one missing tooth; or they can make up your whole mouth by affixing denture to the metal supports.

Artificial crowns are tailored in Hasbrouck Heights specifically to your mouth, and are affixed to the implants. They match your other teeth in both look and feel, making them seem just like natural teeth.


How do dental implants work?

When you decide to get dental implants, the process for getting dental implants is lengthy, and requires some surgery. The healing period can be 6-12 months, while the metal support actually melds with your jawbone. The potential appointment schedule is outlined below:

  • First appointment: Removal of broken teeth and gum preparation for dental implant placement.
  • Follow-up appointments: Local anesthetic is administered for comfort while the dental implants are placed.

After the implants have melded with the jawbone, the crowns are placed on the implants, and your new tooth is ready to use.


Do dental implants require special care?

The care of your teeth after dental implants is just as important as it is for natural teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you should always brush twice a day and floss once a day to keep healthy teeth and gums.


Interested? Call us now!

If you are interested in learning more about how implants save your smile, call Dr. Mason today at (201) 288-4447 to schedule your dental implant consultation in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ.

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 15, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

For years people tuned in to enjoy one of David Letterman's "Top 10 lists," a frequent gag performed on his show Late Night. Each countdown list poked fun at off-the-wall topics like "Top 10 New York City Science Projects" or "Top 10 Questions People Ask when Shopping for an Umbrella."

Recently, the American Dental Association presented their own kind of list—"America's Top 3 Oral Health Problems"—based on surveys of around 15,000 people across the U.S. But unlike the popular Late Night lists, this one is no laughing matter.

Coming in at #3, 29% of the respondents indicated they had experienced tooth pain at some time in their life. Tooth pain is the body's way of alerting to trouble in the mouth, anything from a decayed tooth to a gum abscess. The best thing to do if you have any persistent oral pain is to see your dentist as soon as possible for a thorough examination. And you should do this even if the pain goes away.

The second most prominent oral problem among people is difficulty biting or chewing, about 31% of those in the surveys. As with tooth pain, the reasons can vary greatly, including cracked, loose or deeply decayed teeth, dentures or jaw joint disorders (TMD). Because dental disease is usually the ultimate culprit, the best way to avoid this is to practice daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits. And, as with tooth pain, you should see your dentist if you're having symptoms.

At 33% of respondents, the number one oral problem in America is chronic dry mouth. It's a constant inadequate flow of saliva often caused by medications or certain systemic conditions. Because saliva helps protect the mouth against infection, a restricted flow increases your risk of disease. If you notice your mouth is dry all the time, you should talk to your dentist about ways to boost your saliva. If you're taking medications, ask your doctor if they could be causing your symptoms and if you could change to something else.

While any of these Top 3 oral problems can be a stepping stone to more serious dental problems, it doesn't necessarily have to lead to that. You can improve your dental health through daily oral hygiene and regular dental treatment. And it might help you stay off this unpleasant list.

If you would like more information on treating dental disease, 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 “Top 3 Oral Health Problems.”

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Dental implants replace missing teeth. Placed by your dentists in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, Dr. Jeffrey Mason and Dr. Seth Perlmutter, theseDental-Implants state of the art tooth replacements resemble real tooth. Patients say they actually forget they have artificial teeth. Read on, and discover the many benefits of amazing dental implants.


The anatomy of a dental implant

The basic, single-tooth implant in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, has three parts: a titanium screw or cylinder placed into the jaw bone during oral surgery, a metal alloy abutment post and a custom-crafted porcelain crown. The titanium implant itself acts as the root system and literally bonds with the jaw through what science has termed osseointegration.

Once fully integrated, Dr. Mason or Dr. Perlmutter finish the implant procedure with the post and crown. The entire process takes a few months as osseointegration is a slow and steady process.

Some dental implant patients receive multiple implants. Placed strategically in the jaw, they serve to anchor larger prosthetics such as bridgework or even full dentures. Osseointegration is key to their success and long-term retention, too.


The benefits of dental implants

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry states that individuals from their teen years on up may receive dental implants if their dentists deem their oral health good and their jaw bone density... sufficient. In other words, many patients may opt for these innovative tooth replacements.

The AAID also cites these benefits:

  • Improved speech and oral function
  • Greater bone density and fuller gum tissue
  • More youthful facial appearance and greater self-confidence
  • Comfort--no sore spots or slipping dentures
  • Support for remaining natural teeth
  • Ease of oral hygiene--just brush twice daily and floss every day to remove plaque

Finally, you won't need to replace your implants--ever. The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness states that these prosthetics are a one-time fix, giving patients a lifetime of healthy smiles.


What can threaten dental implants?

Poor oral hygiene can--just as with your natural teeth. Teeth clenching and grinding can, too. So, ask Dr. Mason or Dr. Perlmutter about a acrylic bite guard to cushion your teeth at night.

Finally, tobacco uses damages implant sites. People who smoke or chew tobacco may experience peri-implantitis, a destructive infection similar to periodontal disease. Peri-implantitis may degrade supporting bone and gum tissue, loosening the implant and compelling implant removal. If you are considering dental implants, consider a smoking cessation program, too.


Learn more

Dental implants have beautified and strengthened literally millions of smiles over the past several decades. Could yours be next? Contact the office of Dr. Mason and Dr. Perlmutter for your own implant consultation by calling (201) 288-4447 today!

By Jeffrey Mason, DMD
August 05, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: vaping   smoking  

If you think “vaping” electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes for short) is healthier for your teeth and gums than smoking cigarettes, you might be disappointed with the latest research. A number of studies seem to indicate e-cigarettes could be just as damaging to your mouth as traditional cigarettes.

An e-cigarette is a device containing a chamber for liquids and a means to heat the liquid into a vapor. The user then inhales or “vapes” the vapor, which contains nicotine and flavorings. The heat also pressurizes the vapor causing it to expel as an aerosol into the mouth.

Researchers have found the ingredients and aerosol effect could lead to potential health problems. An Ohio State University researcher found that vaping disrupted the normal balance of microorganisms in the mouth known as the oral microbiome. This imbalance could make it easier for disease-causing bacteria to proliferate, particularly those most responsible for periodontal (gum) disease.

Another study coming out of the University of Rochester and Stony Brook University in New York detected cell damage in gum tissue caused by e-cigarette vapor similar to that caused by regular cigarette smoke. Some of this damage seemed to result from the flavoring agents used in the e-cigarette liquid, as well as nicotine.

Another study from Quebec, Canada appears to concur with the New York study. These researchers found the damage caused by e-cigarette vapor might substantially increase the rate of cell death in oral tissues by as much as 50% over a short period of time. This kind of damage can lead to higher risks of dental diseases like gum disease or tooth decay.

While we don’t know the long-term effect of using e-cigarettes on both oral and general health, these studies are alarming: They seem to show vaping may cause some of the same problems as smoking. With the jury still out, the prudent thing to do is limit or avoid vaping altogether to protect your mouth from these unhealthy outcomes.

If you would like more information on the possible oral health effects of e-cigarettes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.