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Got a Gap in your Smile?  Dental Implants to the Rescue!

Posted by Julie Berger on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

 

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Remember when you were a child, and you looked forward with giddy excitement to the day when you would lose your first tooth? Finally, you would have tangible evidence that you were growing up! You would proudly display your gap-toothed grin and prove once and for all that you were a Big Kid at last!

These days, however, the thought of losing a tooth probably isn't so thrilling. 

Everyone's situation is different, of course, but no matter how many teeth you've lost or why you've lost them, on this you can rest assured: you are not alone. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 35 million Americans are missing teeth on one or both jaws. So you are in good company.

In a paper detailing current trends in dental implant procedures, the U.S. National Library of Medicine offers this further statistical breakdown:

69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. 

Losing a tooth or two may prove embarrassing, but it is actually not unusual, and you definitely have options to restoring your smile to its former glory. One of the best ways to restore lost teeth is with dental implants. It’s the next best thing to growing a new tooth!

So don't despair.

Instead, look ahead to your next step!

Your Next Step

If your goal is to restore your smile, then your next step should be to schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options. After evaluating your particular situation, we'll work together to form a plan best suited to your needs. Did you know that today we are often able to replace all the teeth in one day?  Hopeless teeth are removed, dental implants are placed and you leave with a new smile!

Odds are high that dental implants will be right for you; but if not, we'll discuss your options and select the best and most efficient route. Everyone deserves a great smile!

Julie C. Berger, DDS, MS is a local Gettysburg dentist and prosthodontist.  She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

717-334-0555 GettysburgCosmeticDental.com

Not Your Grandfather's Dentures

Posted by Julie Berger on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 18:07 PM

Missing teeth can be a serious issue that affects your speech, your appearance, and your ability to eat. Equally important, missing teeth can also negatively affect how you feel about yourself and how you appear to others. If you want to recapture the old you and become the person you used to be, dentures may be the perfect solution for you.

Modern dentures are available in a variety of options that can maximize both your appearance and you comfort, while simultaneously restoring your ability to both eat and speak.

Here are a few of the many denture options available from your dentist. Your dentist will be able to help you chose the best denture options to both greatly improve your quality of life and help you regain your winning smile:

  • A Complete Denture: This is what most people picture when they think of dentures. As its name implies, a complete denture replaces all of a patient's top or bottom teeth and is used when a patient has had those teeth removed. A complete denture consists of a removable plate, made of a pink material designed to look like the patient's natural gums, with the false teeth permanently affixed to the plate. This plate is then carefully fitted over the patient's gums. This is the most basic kind of denture. A properly fitted complete denture can change a patient's life by giving the patient the confidence that comes with having perfect, straight teeth that to the casual observer are indistinguishable from the patient's nature teeth.
  • A Partial Denture: As the name implies, a partial denture is smaller or partial version of the complete denture, and is used when a patient is missing only a few consecutive teeth. A partial denture attaches to the adjacent or nearby teeth to remain in place. Your dentist will be able to match the color and tint of the false teeth with the existing natural teeth, making the partial denture undetectable to both family and friends.
  • An Implant-Supported Denture: A recent innovation in teeth replacement is the implant-supported denture. This type of denture offers significant advantages to the patient in terms of appearance, durability and comfort compared to traditional denture options. Implant-supported dentures consist of two parts: false teeth mounted on a clear acrylic base, and implants or attachment studs which are placed in the jaw bone. The implant-supported dentures simply fit over the gum and click into place on the stud or attachment point, giving the dentures a firm, comfortable fit that will not loosen or fall out. This unmatched fit means that implant-supported dentures will stay in much more solidly than conventional dentures. Many of the problems associated with traditional dentures, such as irritation or sores or embarrassement may be avoided. 
  • Fixed Teeth with Implants  New techniques often allow us to replace bad teeth with teeth fixed to the jaw with dental implants in one day.  Only your dentist can take the teeth out. You can eat, talk, socialize, and date without worrying about dentures moving or loosening.

Julie C. Berger, DDS, MS is a Gettysburg dentist and board certified prosthodontist.  She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

717-334-0555      GettysburgCosmeticDental.com

Topics: Gettysburg Dentures

Can't Tolerate CPAP?

Posted by Julie Berger on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 @ 16:06 PM

 

 

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Many people believe that CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure machines are the only treatment options for sleep apnea sufferers. However, that is not the case. Dental appliances can also be used to effectively treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Do dental sleep appliances work like a CPAP machine?

Dental sleep appliances do not work in the same manner as a CPAP machine, but they do encourage uninterrupted breathing. A CPAP machine directs a stream of air into the face of the sleeper to promote a continuous breathing cycle. A dental appliance does not provide additional airflow. Instead, the device promotes proper placement of the structural components of the mouth. 

The intervals of interrupted breathing that are associated with sleep apnea often occur when the soft tissues within the mouth collapse into the throat to obstruct airflow. A dental appliance can keep the lower jaw in proper position during rest to discourage soft tissue collapse.

Are dental appliances for sleep apnea bulky?

One reason that many people find it difficult to sleep while using a CPAP machine is the bulk of the device. The mask covers a significant portion of the face, making some sleep positions awkward and uncomfortable. 

Dental sleep appliances fit in the mouth like a custom mouth-guard. The appliance fits onto the upper teeth and the lower teeth. Most people find the appliance quite comfortable.

Is the process for obtaining a dental sleep appliance lengthy?

Only a few appointments are needed for the creation of your dental sleep appliance. During one appointment, a mold of your mouth is made to use as a guide for the dental lab that will fabricate the appliance. Once the appliance is complete, a fitting appointment is scheduled to ensure that the device fits and performs as it should.  You will be monitored with several appointments over a period of time to make sure the appliance is working optimally.

Does insurance pay for oral sleep appliances?

Oral sleep appliance therapy is a recognized effective treatment for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.  It is often covered by medical insurance.

 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

 

334-0555   GEttysburgCosmeticDental.com

Topics: tmj pain, Tmj

Snoring Isn't Funny!  Got Sleep Apnea? A Sleep Appliance may be the Ticket.

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, May 2, 2017 @ 10:05 AM

 

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Does your partner complain about your snoring? Or perhaps he or she worries that you may have a problem with sleep apnea. Luckily, your dentist may have the solution to either -- or both -- problems: An FDA-approved dental appliance.

Snoring

If your partner has told you in no uncertain terms that you snore, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. As many as half of all adults snore! Snoring occurs when breathing is partially obstructed in some way. Air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing them to vibrate and produce that harsh, often joked about sound known as snoring.

Snoring has many potential causes such as ...

  • having a low, thick soft palate
  • drinking alcohol at night before bed
  • nasal problems
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep position
  • sleep apnea

Snoring isn’t Funny!

Snoring is sometimes associated with a sleep disorder known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Not all snorers have this disorder, so don't panic! However, if your snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, a visit to your doctor is a good idea: ...

  • extreme daytime sleepiness
  • frequent or chronic morning headaches
  • morning sore throat
  • restless sleep that's not stress-related
  • nighttime gasping or choking
  • nighttime chest pain
  • snoring that's so loud it frequently wakes your partner and sometimes even wakes you

Oral Appliances

Even though you may see your doctor for a diagnosis, your dentist is actually the person who will fit you for an oral appliance to help with snoring.

An oral appliance is a form-fitting dental mouthpiece that fits over your teeth and  helps advance the position of your jaw, soft palate and tongue to keep your air passage open and unobstructed. Many times, these appliances are covered by your medical insurance or Medicare.,

Tried a CPAP machine and are unable to tolerate it?

You are not alone.  An oral sleep appliance may be a good option.  There are no masks or hoses or sounds.  Talk to your physician about this option.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

Sedation Dentistry Explained

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 @ 13:04 PM

 

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I often ask new patients who come to me for sedation dentistry what it is that they are most anxious about. Many times it is simply a fear of being judged.  “I haven’t been to a dentist for 20 years and I’m afraid you’re going to lecture me!”  We are non-judgemental and we cater to cowards! If going to the dentist makes you uneasy, nervous or stressed out you are not alone. We are grateful that we can provide sedation services for those who would otherwise not go to the dentist. Fear is the problem. Sedation dentistry is often the solution.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses IV medicine to help patients relax and rest comfortably while having dental work completed. This is called conscious sedation anesthesia. It is safely administered in our office by a trained, medical anesthesiologist. You are carefully monitored throughout the procedure. This kind of care should not be confused with just taking a pill or using laughing gas given by a regular dentist.  During sedation patients remain conscious but often are so relaxed that they feel like they slept through the entire appointment. Time seems to go by very quickly.  The treatment may take several hours while many patients feels like only a few minutes went by. Sedation anesthesia often allows dentists to complete complex procedures such as deep cleanings, fillings and crowns in one visit versus having a patient return multiple times. This can save you time, money and discomfort.   

Sedation Dentistry - Overcome Dental Phobias

If you or a loved one is reluctant to go to the dentist because of a fear or dental phobia, consider IV conscious sedation dentistry. From regular check-ups to complete reconstructions, we can help you overcome your fears and walk away victorious, with a healthy smile as your prize.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   334-0555

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Teeth in a Day All-On-Four in Gettysburg?

Posted by Julie Berger on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

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Root canals, gum disease, fillings, and crowns…oh my.  If you’ve been through the mill with your teeth you know who you are.  We all want to keep our natural teeth for a life-time, but sometimes enough is enough.  Recent new TeethXpress technology allows some great solutions.

 

It used to be that removable dentures were the only option.  You had your teeth removed and had an immediate, temporary type denture placed, and then, after several months of healing, another final denture.  You hoped you could accommodate to a new lifestyle of wearing a removable piece of plastic in your mouth.  You hoped that your mouth was shaped right so that the denture would stay in.  If you had a dry mouth or a gag reflex then removable dentures might never work well.

 

Along came dental implants.  Now we had a way to give you fixed teeth that were almost like your own natural teeth.  But the procedure was long and complicated.  You had to have the teeth removed and wear removable dentures for six months to a year.  Then implants were placed and you waited another six months or so.  Finally the process of making fixed teeth held in by implants could be started.  This would take another several months.  It was not uncommon for the process to take about two years from start to finish, and it was very expensive.

 

Today, with the proper planning and technology such as TeethXpress, we can often remove teeth, place implants, and make fixed teeth all at the same visit.  You’re sedated and comfortable and leave with a new smile held in by dental implants.  There’s a period of healing and the first set of teeth are temporary for several months, but you are never without fixed teeth; no loose dentures and no big piece of plastic covering the palate. Most patients feel good enough to get back to their normal routine with practically no down time.  A brand new set of teeth in one day! The price tag has also come way down from just a few years ago.

 

Eat healthy, socialize without embarrassment, date again, get that new job.  A new TeethXpress smile with fixed teeth can help get you there!

 

 

Julie C Berger, DDS, MS is a local Gettysburg dentist and prosthodontist specialist. 

 

GettysburgCosmeticDental.com    717-334-0555

Topics: Teeth in a Day, All on Four, Gettysburg

Can ALL-On-4 or TeethXpress implant teeth Change Your World?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 16:04 PM

 

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Good teeth are essential for health and happiness.  Unfortunately, people sometimes lose one or more teeth and require a suitable substitute.  Removable dentures have been around for a long time and while they can be a viable choice, many people choose dental implants for a more natural feel and functionality.  Dental implants really can make your world a better place!

 

Dental implants function much more like natural teeth than anything removable.  Once anchored in the bone, they act much like the roots of natural teeth which prevent jaw bone facial structure from melting away.  Single tooth replacements with implants can reduce the stress on adjacent natural teeth to help prevent further tooth shifting and loss.  Replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is often the most natural tooth replacement that doesn’t involve making crowns for adjacent teeth.

 

Missing all your teeth?  You’ve never had so many options.  If your teeth are in such bad shape that it’s no longer worth trying to save them, today we can often remove the teeth and replace them with implants with fixed teeth all at the same time.  You never have to be without fixed teeth.  Other options are to use as few as two implants to help anchor a removable denture in place.  You can snap the denture on and off of the implants, but no one else will know. 

 

Dental implants can help you eat the foods you crave without embarrassment.  Bring on the salads, carrots, and steaks!  Unlike with a removable upper full denture, with fixed teeth held in by implants there is usually nothing covering the palate.  You can taste and enjoy foods normally. Fixed teeth held in with dental implants, such as the TeethXpress or All-on-4 procedures avoid the slippage that occurs with conventional removable dentures.  You no longer need to avoid eating in public or going out socially. 

 

Fixed dental implants and a great new smile can preserve the structure of your face which can make you look and feel younger.  You can regain confidence to network and make new friends, date more, explore new activities, and even go after that new job or promotion. Your world only gets better!

 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

 

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Silver Mercury Amalgam and Composite and Porcelain. Oh My...

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 3, 2017 @ 17:04 PM

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When you see a dentist for a filling, the question often arises about which type of filling is the best;  Silver amalgam, porcelain, composite or even gold?  Depending on your particular dental situation the doctor can explain the pros and cons of each. Remember that no matter the material, advantages and disadvantages will always exist.

Silver fillings, often called amalgam, are actually a mixture of about half silver and half mercury with small additions of tin and copper. They’ve been in use for over 100 years, so they've definitely stood the test of time. The material is pliable and hardens quickly. Silver amalgams can last for many years, and they're less technique sensitive to place than other materials. They are, however, less aesthetically pleasing.  If you're allergic to silver or concerned in any way about the use of amalgam, other choices are available

Composite Fillings: These fillings -- made of acrylic plastics, quartz fillers, and colorants -- have become a popular choice in the modern dental office. They maintain their size and shape, they are mercury free, and they are cosmetically pleasing. Composite fillings can generally be used in any area of the mouth because they blend in with your natural tooth color. They're resistant to breakage and easier to polish. Composites can also be chemically bonded to the tooth.  This often means that the cavity preparation can be more conservative.   

Porcelain inlays and onlays:  Large composite fillings don’t always hold up very well.  Porcelain inlays and onlays are stronger and can be bonded into a large cavity to help hold the tooth together.  These kinds of fillings can be made by a laboratory, similar to a crown, or they can be made in the office with a CAD/CAM computerized machine, such as Cerec.  They are tooth colored and contain no metal.

Gold Fillings:  Gold inlays and onlays have also stood the test of time.  Gold is very biocompatible and possibly lasts the longest of any dental filling material.  There’s a reason why most dentists I know have their own cavities restored with gold!

Most dentists have their own a preferences when it comes to fillings, so talk to your doctor about your options.  

 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com                       717-334-0555

Topics: Gettysburg mercury free

Perio Disease and Sugar; Not so Sweet!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 @ 08:01 AM

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If you lived in the days before we Americans drank soda like water and before the sugar industry began a full-throttle campaign to deflect attention from sugar as the cause of disease, you probably heard something like this regularly: "Stay away from sugar -- it will rot your teeth." 

Today, in the face of an obesity and diabetes epidemic and other accompanying diseases -- and with low-fat diets failing to correct these problems -- we hear sugar warnings once again. Does sugar "rot your teeth?" Yes, but the relationship between sugar and rotting teeth is more complex. Bacteria living in the mouth digest carbohydrate debris left on your teeth after you eat, and this process causes dental decay. Bacteria form a sticky plaque which produces acid. Plaque and the acid it produces is the direct cause of decay.

Some debris is what we expect, things like cake, cookies and candy -- but carbohydrates include whole wheat bread and even vegetables. Since a healthy diet includes 40-65% carbohydrates, this means another line of defense against dental decay is frequent brushing to remove plaque.

It also, however, includes a real food diet, that is, a diet in which the carbohydrates are intact with all their fiber. The fiber serves like a toothbrush, removing plaque as you eat. Refined, high sugar content, processed foods don't have that plaque-removing capability. Coincidentally, or perhaps not so coincidentally, these same real foods are most beneficial to those who must control blood sugar levels.

The relationship between dental disease and systemic disease with sugars at the heart of that equation extends further. "Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, adding serious gum disease to the list of other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease." Newer research suggests the relationship is two-ways, that those with gum disease are more likely to have diabetes and related diseases. "If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth than non-diabetics. Like all infections, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and may make diabetes harder to control."

According to an article in Diabetologia (2012 Jan; 55(1): 21–31), "Periodontitis and diabetes: a two-way relationship," periodontal disease and diabetes are intimately linked through inflammation: "Inflammation is a central feature of the pathogenesis of diabetes and periodontitis."

What does all of this mean in plain words? It means what we have long known, that the best diet for all of us to follow is one that was once recommended to diabetics. As Michael Pollan advises, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is a diet of real food, weighted to plants; protein and good fats; and limited added sugars. It serves those who want to keep their blood sugar levels in a normal range, avoid weight gain, diabetes, dental caries, periodontal disease, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer, all inflammatory conditions correctable with lifestyle changes.

So brush and floss your teeth to reduce plaque. Visit your dentist at least twice yearly for professional cleaning. And remind yourself of the wisdom we once took for granted: while it's not a direct relationship but rather an insidious and pervasive one, sugar does rot your teeth...and maybe the rest of your body.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of  Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   717-334-0555

Topics: Periodontal disease and sugar and health

Same Day Dentures?

Posted by Julie Berger on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 16:12 PM

 

 

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As modern dentists our goal is for you to keep your teeth for a lifetime.  The reality, however, is that not everyone can.  That’s when a denture specialist (prosthodontist) can help.

It is very possible for most people to have dentures placed at the same appointment that teeth are removed. The biggest advantage to one-day dentures is that you never have to worry about going without teeth for any length of time. 

Whenever a full mouth extraction is planned, the process of preparing and creating dentures that will replace the removed teeth on the same day of extraction starts several weeks prior to the extraction procedure. Moulds are made of your mouth and natural teeth before teeth are removed. Right after your teeth are removed the new, immediate dentures are ready to be inserted. The new dentures can act as a band-aid for your gums.

One-day or immediate dentures are often the best way to start with new dentures. You will need to be patient with your prosthodontist and let her help you through the transition.  Your new teeth will require adjustments as the gums and bone shrink and you may need relines of the inside of the denture.  After six months to a year most people have a second set of dentures made to fit the healed gums and the new jaw bone positions.  If you would like more solid retention of your dentures, dental implants can be placed.

Transitioning to dentures can be difficult.  Beginning with the expertise of a board certified prosthodontist can help smooth out your journey to a great new smile.

 

Julie C. Berger, DDS, MS is a Gettysburg, board certified, prosthodontist and former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgCosmeticDental.com       717-334-0555

Topics: dentures Gettysburg, dentures

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