Posts for: May, 2019

By Norton Family Dentistry
May 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant   bone loss  

Losing teeth continues to be an all too common experience for people, especially those in their senior years. Fortunately, there are several ways to replace them, ranging from partial or full dentures to implants.

Some, though, postpone or simply choose not to replace a lost tooth, often because of the cost. But putting off a dental restoration could have a long-term impact on your health, and not in a good way. Continuing bone deterioration is one of the top consequences of delayed restoration.

Like other bones in the body, the jawbone is living tissue with cells that form, grow and eventually wear out. At the end of their life, these older cells give way to new cells. Eating and chewing play an important role in maintaining this growth cycle: the forces we generate as we chew travel up through the tooth roots to stimulate bone growth in the jaw.

When a tooth goes missing, though, the stimulus ends. Over time the bone cell replacement rate can fall off and the bone slowly loses volume. To make matters worse, bone loss can continue beyond the immediate bone underlying the tooth and affect the rest of the jawbone. The jaw can shrink in height and width, and in time become weaker overall and more susceptible to fracture.

But dental implant restorations in particular could help stop or even reverse bone deterioration at the site of the missing teeth. The titanium post implanted in the jaw attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to its surface. Over time the bone fills in and becomes stronger.

You don't want to wait too long, though, because implants depend on a minimum amount of bone present for secure placement. You should therefore undergo an implant restoration as soon as it's practical after tooth loss. Otherwise, although we may be able to restore some of the lost bone with bone grafting, you may need to consider another restorative option.

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, time isn't on your side. But the right kind of dental restoration undertaken promptly can make for a brighter, healthier future.

If you would like more information on restoring lost teeth, 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 “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”

By Norton Family Dentistry
May 14, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Does your smile look brighter in old photographs? Most of us notice a definite change in the color of our teeth over the years. Fortunately, teeth whiteningteeth whitening, a service provided by your Norton, MA, cosmetic dentists, Dr. Eyad Salloum, Dr. Erin Walsh and  Dr. Matthew Devine of Norton Family Dentistry, offers a simple way to renew your smile!

Whitening effectively removes stains

Whether your teeth are dull due to aging, consuming darkly pigmented foods/drinks, or smoking, teeth whitening can lighten your teeth three to eight shades. Whitening targets the pigments trapped in tiny pores in your tooth enamel. These opening are so small that your toothbrush bristles can't reach them.

Although you can't remove these stains by simply brushing your teeth, teeth whitening offers a very effective stain-removal option. The hydrogen peroxide gel your Norton dentist uses seeps into the microscopic pores and breaks apart the pigments. After your one-hour treatment, your teeth will be noticeably lighter.

Professional whitening offers important benefits that you won't get if you buy an over-the-counter whitening kit, including:

  • Safety: Your dentist will protect your roots and gums with a special gel before whitening begins. This is a very important step, as sensitivity can occur if the whitening agent comes in contact with your gums or roots.
  • Better, Quicker Results: Professional whitening agents contain higher formulations of hydrogen peroxide than drugstore products and can produce impressive results in 60 minutes or less. You'll also receive a dental cleaning before your teeth are whitened. The cleaning removes plaque and tartar, two substances that hydrogen peroxide can't penetrate. If plaque and tartar aren't removed, your teeth may look splotchy.
  • Options: If you would rather whiten your teeth at home, your dentist can give you a take-home kit. The kit contains trays molded to fit your teeth and a supply of whitening gel. Take-home kits are also very helpful if you want to touch up your results from time to time. Keep in mind that whitening with a kit takes longer than a single whitening treatment at the dental office. You will need to use the kit several times a week for a few weeks in most cases.

Give us a call!

Transform your smile with teeth whitening! Call your Norton, MA, cosmetic dentists, Dr. Eyad Salloum, Dr. Erin Walsh and  Dr. Matthew Devine of Norton Family Dentistry, at (508) 226-1686 to schedule your appointment.

By Norton Family Dentistry
May 09, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Every year U.S. dentists perform around 25 million root canal treatments and save countless teeth from the ravages of decay. But if you search "root canal" on the Internet, you might encounter an unsettling charge against this tooth-saving treatment—that it causes cancer.

Root canal treatments are routinely used when tooth decay has infected the pulp, the innermost layer of a tooth. During the procedure, we access the pulp and remove all the infected tissue. We then fill the empty pulp and root canals, seal the access hole and later crown the tooth to prevent further infection. Without this intervention, the decay can continue to advance toward the roots and supporting bone, putting the tooth in imminent danger of loss.

So, is there any credibility to this claim that root canal treatments cause cancer? In a word, no: there's no evidence of any connection between root canal treatments and cancer—or any other disease for that matter. On the contrary: root canals stop disease.

As with other types of urban legends and internet hype, the root canal-cancer connection may have arisen from another discredited idea from the early 20th Century. A dentist named Weston Price promoted the notion that leaving a "dead" organ in the body led to health problems. From his perspective, a root canaled tooth with its removed pulp tissue fit this criterion.

In the mid-1950s, dentistry thoroughly examined Dr. Weston's theory pertaining to treatments like root canals. The Journal of the American Dental Association devoted an entire issue to it and found after rigorous scientific inquiry that the theory had no validity in this regard. Another study in 2013 confirmed those findings. In fact, the later study instead found that patients who underwent a root canal treatment had a 45 percent reduction in oral cancer risk.

Given the freewheeling nature of the Internet, it's best to speak with a dental professional about your oral health before trusting a post or article you've found online. Not only are they more informed than an unverified online source, they would certainly not knowingly subject you to a procedure to save a tooth at the expense of your health.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, 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 “Root Canal Safety.”

Dentist - Norton
275 West Main Street
Route 123
Norton, MA 02766

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