Posts for: June, 2019
Find out why seeing your dentist for routine care is necessary for a healthy smile.
Do you brush your teeth twice a day? Do you floss every day? If you said “yes” then you are already doing a great job at ensuring the health of your teeth and gums! However, even with the best at-home care, it’s still important that you visit our Cohasset, MA, family dentists, Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Aaron Chenette, every six months for cleanings and checkups.
Here are the top reasons why everyone should get routine dental cleanings:
Remove Plaque and Tartar
Even the most diligent brushers and flossers will still miss areas around their teeth when brushing and flossing. Fortunately, regular six-month cleanings ensure that any plaque or tartar buildup is removed—a great thing, for these substances can lead to decay or gum disease if left untreated. Furthermore, once plaque hardens into tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional.
Early Detection of Dental Issues
Dental cleanings are just part of the preventive measures that you should be taking to ensure that cavities and gum disease don’t happen to you. After all, with the proper care, these two common problems can be completely prevented. However, even if you develop these conditions, they can still both be reversed if treated early enough. Of course, this requires special treatment and care from our Cohasset, MA, dentists.
Oral Cancer Detection
Oral cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition whose cure relies on early detection, an action most effectively completed during your routine checkups. By examining the gums and other oral tissue, we can look for early warning signs such as lesions and red/white patches, and determine whether you have the condition or not.
Need a Cleaning? Give Us a Call
Is it time that you and your family came in for their routine dental cleanings in Cohasset, MA? If so, the dental team at Cohasset Dental is ready to provide your family with the care they need. Call us today at (781) 383-9393 to schedule your next visit.
Each year, the National Safety Council recognizes June as National Safety Month. It's the perfect time to focus on safety: With summer temperatures heating up, so do sports and outdoor activities—and, unfortunately, the risk of accidents. As the old Boy Scout motto goes, everyone should "be prepared." And while that means watching out for sunburn, poison ivy or traveling hazards, it also means being alert for potential tooth injuries.
Even during casual recreational sports, an unintentional hit to the face or jaw could chip, move or, worse yet, knock a tooth out completely. As with any other aspect of safety, prevention should be at the top of your list when it comes to dental injuries. In that regard, anyone involved in a contact sport or other high-risk activity should wear a mouthguard. This device absorbs much of the force generated during a hard impact to the face or jaw that might otherwise affect the teeth.
Mouthguards fall into two basic categories. The first are retail guards available at sporting goods stores and many pharmacies, most commonly "boil and bite" guards. They're so named because a wearer first softens them with very hot water and then bites down on them to personalize their fit. Once cooled, the mouthguard will maintain its shape. While reducing the severity of impact injuries, these retail mouthguards can be bulky and uncomfortable to wear.
The second category, a custom mouthguard created by a dentist, offers a sleeker, more comfortable fit. These guards are based on a direct impression of the wearer's mouth that we take at the dental office. Although any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard, a 2018 study confirmed that custom-made mouthguards from the dental office perform better than the kind bought in a drug store or sporting goods store.
Summer is prime time for creating cherished family memories. With a little dental injury prevention knowledge, you can help make sure those summer memories are happy ones. If you would like more information about dental injury prevention and treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “Dental Injuries: Field-Side Pocket Guide.”
We know that for many teens and adults, the idea of wearing braces a little later in life sounds rather unpleasant—maybe you don’t want to wear braces for your senior pictures or you worry that your braces will be the only thing your colleagues or clients notice about you. Here at Cohasset Dental in Cohasset, MA, our family dentists, Dr. Kevin Thomas and Dr. Aaron Chenette, understand these challenges, which is why we offer Invisalign, a nearly invisible way to get a straighter, healthier smile!
A Straighter, Healthier Smile
Let’s acknowledge the most obvious benefit first—Invisalign has the ability to give patients the straighter smile that they’ve always wanted. It can handle a wide range of issues from overbites and underbites to crooked teeth and crowding.
On top of the aesthetic advantages of improved alignment, people with straightened smiles also have a better probability of avoiding the cavities, gum disease, tooth sensitivity, and damaged teeth that are more commonly experienced by those with misaligned bites.
Comfortable and Convenient Treatment
The Invisalign system utilizes a series of clear, plastic aligners that are each custom made to fit perfectly over your teeth and apply the pressure needed in order to shift teeth gradually into place. The medical-grade flexible thermoplastic used in the aligners' construction is extremely comfortable and doesn’t cause rubbing or gum irritation in the same way that traditional metal brackets and wires sometimes can.
Another reason why many people turn to our Cohasset, MA, dentist to get Invisalign treatment is that these aligners are removable, meaning that treatment doesn't require a change to your oral care routine or diet. In contrast, traditional braces can often pose an initial challenge on how to adapt your oral care routine to keep your teeth clean.
However, with Invisalign aligners, you can just remove them prior to brushing and flossing. These aligners should also be removed prior to eating or drinking anything other than water.
Faster, Easier Treatment
Invisalign also often offers faster results as compared to other orthodontic options. On average, an adult undergoing Invisalign treatment may receive their final results in about one year, while some patients with minor issues may achieve results in as little as 6 months. With teens, the average length of treatment is comparable to traditional braces (anywhere from 18-24 months).
During your treatment, you will also come in about every four to six weeks to make sure that everything is progressing, as it should. Patients with traditional braces may need to come in for routine checkups more often.
Interested? Give Us a Call
Are you a teen or adult living with a crooked smile in Cohasset, MA? If so, call Cohasset Dental at (781) 383-9393 to schedule a consultation.
Chronic pain can turn your life upside down. While there are a number of disorders that fit in this category, two of them—fibromyalgia and temporomandibular disorders (TMD)—can disrupt your quality of life to the extreme. And it may be the two conditions have more in common than similar symptoms—according to one study, three-fourths of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia show symptoms of TMD.
To understand why this is, let’s take a closer look at these two conditions.
Fibromyalgia presents as widespread pain, aching or stiffness in the muscles and joints. Patients may also have general fatigue, sleep problems, mood swings or memory failures. TMD is a group of conditions that often result in pain and impairment of the temporomandibular joints that join the jaw with the skull. TMD can make normal activities like chewing, speaking or even yawning painful and difficult to do.
Researchers are now focusing on what may, if anything, connect these two conditions. Fibromyalgia is now believed to be an impairment of the central nervous system within the brain rather than a problem with individual nerves. One theory holds that the body has imbalances in its neurotransmitters, which interfere with the brain’s pain processing.
Researchers have also found fibromyalgia patients with TMD have an increased sensitivity overall than those without the conditions. In the end, it may be influenced by genetics as more women than men are prone to have either of the conditions.
Treating these conditions is a matter of management. Although invasive techniques like jaw surgery for TMD are possible, the results (which are permanent) have been inconclusive in their effectiveness for relieving pain. We usually recommend patients try more conservative means first to lessen pain and difficulties, including soft foods, physical therapy, stretching exercises and muscle relaxant medication. Since stress is a major factor in both conditions, learning and practicing relaxation techniques may also be beneficial.
In similar ways, these techniques plus medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy that may influence neurotransmission can also help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. Be sure then that you consult with both your physician and dentist caring for both these diseases for the right approach for you to help relieve the effects of these two debilitating conditions.
If you would like more information on managing TMD or fibromyalgia, 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 “Fibromyalgia and Temporomandibular Disorders.”
As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."
The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"
Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.
Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.
Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.
Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!
If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”