Monthly Archives: December 2011

Dreaming of Delicious Wines for Christmas?

cosmetic dentist nyc‘Tis the time to be jolly and what brings in the christmas cheer like a little bit of wine? With the New Year just about to happen, loads of celebrations are sure to be in order. Unfortunately, the extra wine consumption during this time of year isn’t good news for the teeth. And while we would hate to be the Grinch who stole Christmas wine (isn’t that what the story was about??), we would like to offer a few tips to help maintain your teeth white, despite the holiday cheer.
A study from the New York College of Dentistry revealed that white wine is just as much to blame for tooth
stains as red wine. The reason is very straightforward: both colors of wine contain a lot of acidity, the factor that offer that tart flavor. Acid erodes the enamel of teeth, causing rough area and grooves on the surface of the teeth that leave them susceptible to stains from other colored foods and drinks. Although white wine is colorless, it leaves your teeth vulnerable to stains from coffee, tea, or other colored things.

Wines are not the only high acid culprits. Citrus drinks just like grapefruit and orange, most sports drinks, energy beverages and sodas are also fairly full of acid, causing vulnerabilities in the teeth.

nyc cosmetic dentistSo what exactly is the answer? Stop drinking most of these wonderful beverages? Ruin your holidays by turning down the drinks? Actually, there are some less drastic measures you can take. Dental Life professionals have the following tips. Do not brush your teeth right after sipping your holiday wines; allow time for the enamel to harden again. Any time you do brush, do so lightly with whitening type toothpaste and a soft bristle brush. Have you ever wondered why wine is so often paired with cheese? Cheese actually helps coat the teeth with calcium to aid protect the teeth, particularly the hard cheeses. Enjoying some crudités such as cauliflower, broccoli, and celery are great options as well. They increase saliva, assisting to wash away the acids, and actually act as a natural brush as well.

So, the dental news for you this holiday is to be careful what you do when you enjoy those holiday wines. Take care of your teeth well, and you’ll keep that wonderful smile. And if you do feel your teeth aren’t looking their brightest, in might be time for an after the holiday trip to a cosmetic dentist. Manhattan area dentists are very well equipped to provide your teeth a profession whitening that will get those pearly whites back to sparkling.

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A Look at Oral Cancer

oral cancer nycLives all around us are being touched by cancer. We all have friends, family members, or co-workers that have battled this ever-spreading disease, yet we try to ignore the possibility of it ever happening to us. However, ignorance is not bliss in this instance, and we should be aware of warning signs. This is true for the mouth as well. Oral or pharyngeal cancer affects almost 37,000 Americans each year, and is usually far-advanced before it is detected. Traditional methods of detecting oral cancer relied on visual check and physical palpitations by hand. New methods of detection are making dental news, making your Dental Life professional a key part of your cancer prevention regime. And while your dentist is not responsible for treating oral cancer, he is certainly a vital part of early detection and dealing with the effects of cancer.

Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco and alcohol use as well as HPV (human papillomavirus). Men over 40 are also more susceptible, but just because you don’t fall into one of these categories does not mean you are immune to oral cancer. Anyone can get oral cancer, so it is important to know the signs for early detection.

Symptoms of oral cancer can include:

●      White or red patches in your mouth

●      Loose teeth

●      Oral Bleeding

●      Mouth sores that do not heal

Keep in mind that these symptoms do not mean you have cancer. Many people have similar issues that are not cancerous at all. However, it is important to keep an eye on these issues and check with your dentist if they persist. More advanced signs of oral cancer can include:

●      Earaches

●      Lump in the neck

●      Difficulty or pain with swallowing

●      Numbness in the mouth

nyc oral cancerSo, what should you do if you are suffering some of these symptoms? Scheduling an appointment with your dentist is often a good first step. A dentist will not treat oral cancer, but he can quickly eliminate other factors that may be causing your symptoms. A dental visit may be all you need to put your fears to rest and ensure your mouth is in optimal health. After you have explained your concerns, the dentist will perform an examination of your mouth’s condition. This will involve a physical inspection, but may also include some of the latest technology in dentistry news, including an intra-oral screening light that helps make cancer easier to spot. With three different colors of lights, the tool allows your dentist to check for unusually high cellular activity, and monitor vein condition. If any sign of possible cancer is apparent, your dentist will refer you to a specialist for further investigation.

Oral cancer can lead to damaged teeth which can be addressed after the cancer has been treated. Cosmetic dentistry brings bright smiles back to cancer patients with the use of a number of progressive treatments, including dental implants. NYC cancer survivors have the benefit of many of America’s finest dental professionals. Remember mouth reconstruction is a crucial part of healing from oral cancer.


Pretty Teeth for Everyone?

cosmetic dentist nyc

Start 2012 with a beautiful new smile!

We all see them, those flashy smiles full of beautifully white, perfectly aligned and proportioned teeth. Why were all the models and big names in TV blessed with such good teeth genetics? The truth is that most of them weren’t genetically favored; rather their smiles have been touched up a bit to create a little teeth envy in the rest of us. The good news? Those same “touch ups” are readily available through the miracle of modern cosmetic dentistry, making great smiles attainable by those of us with a little less camera exposure.

In our last post, we discussed ideas for a new smile in the upcoming New Year. We’d like to continue that discussion by looking more in depth at an option often chosen by the people we see on the screen: dental veneers (also known as porcelain veneers or laminates).

porcelain veneers nyc

Porcelain veneers can drastically improve your smile

Porcelain veneers are extremely thin shells of tooth colored material that are individually crafted to fit each person’s teeth. Veneers are designed to fit over the surface of teeth, primarily to improve appearance. Specially formulated bonding material is used to permanently bond the veneers to your teeth, ensuring they keep the flashy good looks in place without cracking or falling off. Porcelain resists stains, and has the ability to reflect light in much the same way as natural teeth, making them less noticeable. Veneers can give you a screen-worthy smile, producing shapely, balanced teeth that are sparkly white and beautifully aligned. They also serve to protect damaged teeth, and can sometimes avert more extensive work.

The reasons for getting porcelain veneers are almost as varied as the people who get them, including:

●      Uneven teeth – Face it, most of us weren’t blessed with teeth that make a neat, well-proportioned line in our mouths. Veneers are an easy way to correct that.

●      Stained enamel – The thin, hard substance that covers the surface of your teeth can become stained as a result of drinking coffee, tea, or soft drinking. Smoking is another major contributor, as well as genetic factors and medications.

●      Chips, cracks, or breaks – accidents happen, and the result can be unsightly damage to teeth. Porcelain veneers are a simple solution.

●      Gaps between teeth

●      Worn teeth

porcelain veneer nyc

Veneers are designed to fit over the surface of teeth

So, how hard is it to get these veneers? Getting porcelain veneers is a much easier process than getting a crown or dental implants. NYC cosmetic dentists can usually produce brighter smiles in just two or three visits to the office. The first visit involves a consultation to determine your goals and if veneers are right for you. This may be combined with the next step on the same visit: preparation. Your teeth need to be prepared for veneers by the removal of about ½ millimeter of enamel from the surface of the tooth.

This is approximately the same amount which will be added by the veneer. The dentist will then take an impressing of your teeth that will be sent off to a professional dental laboratory, which will custom make veneers for your teeth. The final visit is the most intensive, and involves the actual bonding of the veneers to your teeth. Your dentist will be very careful to check for proper fit, color match with your other teeth, and correct placement. Once all of these have been verified, he will apply the bonding to your teeth and you will walk out of the office flashing that beautiful smile you never dreamed could be yours.


Smile Makeovers for the New Year

As the old year comes to a close and we prepare to ring in the new, why not consider ringing in a new smile for the New Year? Chipped, stained, misshapen, and missing teeth can all be corrected through prosthodontic procedures. And while the name sounds daunting, these procedures are simply those done by a trained professional to restore stunning good looks to your pearly whites. Prosthodontic procedures are those that involve diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation, and maintenance of the function, comfort, appearance, and health of your mouth. Many of these procedures have become very popular, involve little risk, and have stunning results. We’ll discuss a few of these procedures here, so you can begin to make plans for a stunning smile.

Porcelain veneers are a relatively easy and inexpensive solution for stained, misshapen, or chipped teeth. One of the best things about veneers is that they can usually be applied without anesthesia. Veneers can even be used to remove unwanted spaces, and correct crooked teeth.  Veneers are made from an impression done by your Dental Life professional, and are then glued to your teeth. Veneers will not stain, and are very strong and durable, lasting from ten to fifteen years. Porcelain veneers have been popular with celebrities who need a quick smile makeover.

If your teeth are good looking except for stains and yellowing, then a simple teeth whitening procedure may be your best smile makeover option. While there are many over-the-counter, do it yourself type products available, professional teeth whitening is much more effective and long-lasting. Also, beware of salon-type teeth whitening services, not all whitening products are created equal, and many operating these types of shops do not have the professional training equivalent to that of a cosmetic dentist. Manhattan area residents should choose their teeth whitening options carefully. It is always a good idea to consult with a professionally trained dentist for the safest and most effective whitening methods.

Obviously a little higher on the price range, dental implants are not as expensive as they used to be, and have improved dramatically in technology. Implants are a great option when missing teeth are involved. Nothing is worse than dealing with dentures to replace those missing teeth, and a well done implant can finish off that smile without any embarrassing slips!

Other options include tooth bonding, contouring and reshaping, fillings, bridges, crowns, and caps. Really, the path to a beautiful smile may be much easier than you think. Whether you need your teeth whitened or need some dental implants, Dental Life has the perfect solution for your mouth.  Maybe a smile makeover is just what Santa ordered for the New Year!