My Blog

Posts for: November, 2016

By Great Meadows Dental Group
November 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

You have a problem with your teeth. Functionally, there's nothing wrong with them — but it's another story when you look in the mirror: discoloration, wearing or maybe a slight gap between them.

Fortunately, you don't have to settle for a smile you're not happy with. Less costly than crowns or bridgework, porcelain veneers can nonetheless correct many mild to moderate cosmetic problems with teeth and transform them into an attractive smile.

Like the name implies, a veneer is made of thin layers of dental material custom-designed and bonded to the outside of a tooth. Veneers can correct problems with color, tooth shape and size, and mild misalignments or spacing. It's akin to installing new siding on a house.

To begin your journey with veneers, we must first examine your teeth to fully assess your dental needs and ensure you have no issues that could prevent applying them. Then, we prepare your teeth: although not to the extent as for a crown or bridge, we must remove a small amount of tooth material so the veneer will appear natural and not bulky.

We then make an impression mold of your prepared teeth that a dental technician will use to create your veneers. During this process they build up layer after layer of liquid porcelain until they achieve the right thickness, shape and color to match your teeth.

In the meantime, we can fit you with a temporary set of veneers made of acrylic plastic so you can chew, speak and smile normally. These provisional veneers also give you and your friends and family a chance to see what your new smile will look like.

When your veneers are ready, we'll create micro-etches in your teeth that will help keep the veneer secure after we've bonded them. Once bonded, the veneer will feel like an inseparable part of the tooth and look it too. No one except you and us need know you're wearing veneers.

If you take care of them — keeping up daily hygiene habits, not biting into hard surfaces, and visiting us regularly for checkups — your veneers can last for many years. And so will that beautiful, new smile.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers.”

By Great Meadows Dental Group
November 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tmj   jaw pain  

Mouth and jaw pain can be a truly unfortunate experience, especially if it becomes a daily occurrence. Luckily, your Bedford, MA, dentist tmjcan help you understand your jaw pain and find the best treatment plan for you. Find out more about mouth and jaw pain with Great Meadows Dental Group.

What causes mouth and jaw pain? 
One of the main causes of jaw pain is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This condition affects the TMJ itself. The joints lie on either side of your jaw and control its movements, making the TMJ crucial in speaking, chewing and eating. TMJ disorder happens when the joints become damaged or inflamed, causing functionality issues, swelling, and discomfort. If left untreated, TMJ disorder could result in severe headaches, neck pain and jaw tension.

Am I suffering from TMJ disorder? 
The symptoms of mouth pain are not always as obvious as they would seem, but here are a few signs that may indicate you are suffering from mouth pain:

  • clicking or popping when the mouth opens or closes
  • headaches
  • pain and tenderness in the jaw and facial area
  • aching pain around one or both ears
  • locking of the joint, either opened or closed
  • difficulty chewing

TMJ Disorder Treatment in Bedford, MA 
Treatment for TMJ disorder will depend on the severity of the condition. Most dentists begin treatment conservatively with special stretches or exercises to help strengthen and relax the muscles and joints to relieve the pressure on them. Over-the-counter medication or ice packs can help relieve pain and swelling. If your TMJ disorder stems from stress and clenching the jaw, lowering your stress level can help relieve your symptoms. In some cases, dental splints can help align the jaw and reduce symptoms. In severe cases, your dentist may recommend surgery. Your dentist at Great Meadows Dental Group can help you determine the best course of treatment for your disorder and symptoms.

For more information on mouth pain and TMJ disorder, please contact Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Leo Kharin and Dr. Jessica Ristuccia at Great Meadows Dental Group in Bedford, MA. Call (781) 275-7707 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!

By Great Meadows Dental Group
November 10, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”