Dr Johnson's Blog

Before You Whiten Teeth, Talk to Your Dentist

Joseph Coupal - Friday, December 28, 2018

Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, MAThere are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products available to you. But, you may not get the results you are looking for when you use store-bought whitening products. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and director of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, has been performing teeth lightening procedures for his patients since 1986 and has lectured nationally on the topic.

All promise a dazzling smile and whiter teeth, and some of them work well. However, when you opt for over-the-counter teeth whitening products, you don’t get your dentist’s education, training, and experience. And you actually need this before you whiten your teeth. You’ll save money when you choose over-the-counter tooth-whitening products instead of in-office teeth whitening, but, often, you get what you pay for. Think... Tylenol vs a stronger, prescription pain killer.

Even if you want to try to whiten your teeth at home, American Dental Association experts recommend that you see your dentist first. This is because you want to rule out dental problems such as periodontal (gum) disease and cavities before you use store bought teeth whiteners. Whitening your teeth can aggravate those problems.

Also, previous teeth restorations like crowns and fillings won’t whiten along with their natural teeth. Tooth whiteners do not work as well on antibiotic-stained teeth either. And they do not correct all discoloration. Yellow and brown teeth respond better to bleaching than gray teeth.

Another advantage of scheduling a visit with your dentist before you whiten your teeth is that the dentist can explain all your options and educate you on the advantages and disadvantages of each method. There are basically, three approaches: over the counter, high-intensity prescriptions and in-office options. If you choose to whiten your teeth by yourself, your dentist can recommend the best product for you. They can also explain what they can do for you. Over-the-counter products are not custom-fit for your mouth. In-office teeth whitening uses custom trays that fit perfectly in your mouth; and you can use them at home. In-office teeth whitening also uses stronger bleaching agents than you would get from a store bought product.

For more information on teeth whitening, contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners.

oralhealth.deltadental.com

Happy Holidays from Newton Wellesley Dental Partners

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, December 20, 2018

Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, MAOur warmest Holiday wishes from the entire team here at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners. Calendar year 2018 was, and continues to be, a truly remarkable year and we take this moment to recognize the joy that each and every one of you has brought to our personal and professional lives. We exist because of your faith and trust in us.

As calendar year 2019 approaches, we reflect upon the foundational recognition that "your success is our success". Our New Year’s wish for 2019 is to nurture our positive and ever strengthening relationship and to deliver increasing value to you and your family through the entirety of 2019.

Throughout this Holiday season may you be blessed with health and surrounded by friends and family. All the best! Cheers!

Get Rid of Discolored Dental Fillings for Newer, Lighter Options

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, MAStill flashing a bit of silver when you smile? Cavities can happen to anyone, but the whole world doesn't have to know about them! According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and director of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, "If you've been living with old, discolored fillings, there's never been a better time to have them replaced."

Find out how new fillings can benefit more than your looks, and about all the options that are now available by visiting Newton Wellesley Dental Partners.

Why Replace Fillings?

The cosmetic reasons for replacing amalgam (often referred to as "silver") fillings may be obvious — your smile looks better without the telltale dark spots and any associated feeling of self-consciousness goes away.

What many people don't realize, however, is that there are also health reasons for getting new fillings. While it can be easy to forget about cavities once they're filled, the truth is that oral health threats can re-emerge as fillings weaken over time and leakage unchecked can lead to a need for a root canal procedure or crowns. Constant grinding and chewing will wear down any filling, and it often only takes one particularly hard or sticky food to dislodge or crack it.

Once the protective barrier to a cavity has been lost or broken, harmful bacteria can easily seep in and continue to eat away at the tooth. In many cases — especially those where the seal has been damaged but has not completely fallen out — tooth decay under or around the filling may easily escape notice until it reaches the point where a root canal or an extraction is necessary. Being diligent about dental visits and proactive about replacing fillings can help you avoid the unnecessary pain and expense of a tooth infection.

Replacement Options?

The good news about getting rid of old fillings is that amalgam is no longer your only choice. As hardy and durable as this traditional mixture of silver, mercury and other metal alloys is, it has become virtually obsolete due to more discrete options such as: Ceramic Inlays or Onlays: custom ceramic fillings used to replace larger fillings in molars using CAD/CAM technology

  • Composite Fillings: tooth-colored bondings primarily used for the front teeth
  • Veneers: thin, porcelain, non-staining shells affixed to the front surface of teeth
  • Crowns: complete covering for damaged teeth that a filling alone cannot repair

Your dentist may recommend one particular treatment or a varied approach, depending on the number and type of fillings needed. Rest assured, however, that the choices at your disposal lend themselves to a more natural look than that of an amalgam filling.

Caring for Teeth with Fillings

Regardless of which replacement option you choose, a little extra care and attention can go a long way in protecting your investment. To extend the life of a newly restored tooth, consider making these changes to your everyday routine:

  • Brush and floss regularly to keep the tooth's surface clear of tough buildup
  • Use a mouth guard at night to avoid unnecessary pressure if tooth grinding is a habit
  • Steer clear of overly hard or sticky foods that can damage the restored tooth
  • See a dentist if you notice a bad taste or dull pain that can indicate a defect or decay

Regular dentist visits can further minimize the risk of damaged filings — and help prevent the need for new ones. For questions about replacing and/or maintaining fillings, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

lh360/mayoclinic.org

Teeth Trauma: It's Sensitive

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, Newton, Brookline, Wellesley, MAYou're not imagining it. That sudden twinge of pain in one or more of your teeth can, in fact, be caused by something as simple as a blast of wind, a bite of something fresh from the oven, or (what was supposed to be) a cool, refreshing treat. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and director of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners has seen the entire range of dental sensitivities over his 32 years of practice.

Some will pass and others are a symptom of a more significant issue.You may have sensitive teeth, and if so, the problem could be here to stay. What does this mean and what can you do about it? It depends on a number of things.

How to Tell if You Have Sensitive Teeth

First, you should determine whether the pain is truly due to tooth sensitivity, or something else entirely. A trip to the dentist will let you know for sure, but here are some things you can do to see if sensitivity is most likely to blame:

1. Take recent dental work into consideration: cleanings or invasive procedures can aggravate the teeth and gums, and result in temporary discomfort that should go away in a short period of time.

2. Check your teeth for new cavities: if the area where you experienced pain can easily be examined, grab a mirror and scan the section for visible holes or pits that could indicate an untreated cavity that may be the source of the problem.

3. Make sure existing fillings are intact: inspect prior work for any cracks, or fillings partially or completely removed. A deeper filling that has been damaged may cause nerve irritation and result in more noticeable pain.

4. Check your gums for recession: if you notice that your gums are receding this could be contributing to you sensitivity. When the porous root surface of a tooth is exposed it is more susceptible to temperature and air.

5. Assess your daily habits: if you notice that your gums are receding, this could be contributing to your sensitivity. When the porous root surface of a tooth is exposed, it is more susceptible to temperature and air.

Ways to Ease the Pain

If tooth sensitivity is ultimately the problem, there are plenty of things you can do to help manage it. Minimize your discomfort by making these changes:

  • Limit intake of acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and sodas
  • Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush, and apply less pressure when brushing
  • Quit using over-the-counter mouthwash; ask your dentist for a more neutral rinse
  • Try toothpastes made for sensitive teeth, and see which option works best for you
  • Use a mouth guard at night if you have a habit of grinding your teeth
  • Brush and floss regularly to keep enamel-eroding plaque at bay
  • Switch to an electric toothbrush, which is more gentle on your gums

Get Help from Your Dentist

See your dentist regularly to stay on top of the issue. Regular, professional cleanings and examinations will go a long way in keeping the problem from getting worse.

Certain in-office treatments may further ease your pain, such as:

  • Fluoride varnishes: An application that strengthens and protects exposed enamel
  • Fluoride foam/gel trays: An immersion of teeth in a concentrated dose of fluoride
  • Sealants: A bonding material acts as a barrier and seals off the dentin of your teeth

If you've modified your habits, but still experience major discomfort after a period of time, contact Newton Wellesley Dental Partners to see whether these options are right for you.

LH360