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By Dental Associates of Shelton
April 14, 2022
Category: Dental
Tags: General Dentist  


When was the last time you saw your dentist for a checkup?

Life gets busy. We get it! But it should never get so busy that you forget to see your dentist. It is time for you to turn to Dr. Michael Caserta and Dr. Adrian Basu of Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT, for your routine teeth cleaning. After all, these six-month checkups are truly the best way to keep your smile healthy.

What happens during a dental cleaning?

When you come into the office for your six-month checkup here’s what to expect:

  • A thorough professional cleaning using specialized tools that will fully remove plaque and tartar buildup, while also removing surface stains
  • A comprehensive oral examination to make sure that your teeth look healthy and that there aren’t any issues
  • An oral cancer screening to evaluate the soft tissue of the mouth to look for lesions, patches, and other warning signs of oral cancer
  • Once a year we will perform X-rays to get a more in-depth look at the health of your entire mouth including the face and jaw (it can also detect decay between teeth)
  • We will provide recommendations as necessary. If you grind your teeth at night we may recommend creating a custom nightguard that you’ll wear to protect your teeth while you sleep


How often do I need a dental cleaning?

Most people need to see the dentist twice a year. Smokers, those with active oral health diseases, and pregnant or menopausal women may be more at risk for developing dental issues and may want to come in every 3-4 months for cleanings and checkups. 

If it’s been more than six months since your last routine cleaning, then it’s time to turn to Dr. Michael Caserta and Dr. Adrian Basu of Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT. To schedule your next visit, call (203) 924-4115. 

 

By Dental Associates of Shelton
April 07, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  
WantToBuyaDentalCrownTheKingofRockandRollsIsUpforSale

Although Elvis Presley left us more than four decades ago, he still looms large over popular culture. It's not uncommon, then, for personal items like his guitars, his revolver collection or even his famed white jumpsuit to go on sale. Perhaps, though, one of the oddest of Elvis's personal effects recently went on auction (again)—his gold-filled dental crown.

It's a little hazy as to how the "King" parted with it, but the crown's list of subsequent holders, including a museum, is well-documented. Now, it's looking for a new home with a starting bid of $2,500.

The interest, of course, isn't on the crown, but on its original owner. Dental crowns weren't rare back in Presley's day, and they certainly aren't now. But they are more life-like, thanks to advances in dental materials over the last thirty years.

Crowns are an invaluable part of dental care. Though they can improve a tooth's cosmetic appeal, they're more often installed to protect a weak or vulnerable tooth. In that regard, a crown's most important qualities are strength and durability.

In the early 20th Century, you could have utility or beauty, but usually not both. The most common crowns of that time were composed of precious metals like silver and, as in Presley's case, gold. Metal crowns can ably withstand the chewing forces teeth encounter daily.

But they simply don't look like natural teeth. Dental porcelain was around in the early days, but it wasn't very strong. So, dentists devised a new kind of crown that blended durability with life-likeness. Known as porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns, they were essentially hybrids, a metal crown, which fit over the tooth, overlayed with a porcelain exterior shell to give it an attractive appearance.

PFMs became the most widely used crown and held that title until the early 2000s. That's when a new crown leader came into its own—the all-ceramic crown. In the decade or so before, the fragility of porcelain was finally overcome with the addition of Lucite to the tooth-colored ceramic to strengthen it.

Additional strengthening breakthroughs since then helped make the all-ceramic crown the top choice for restorations. Even so, dentists still install metal and PFM crowns when the situation calls for added strength in teeth that aren't as visible, such as the back molars. But for more visible teeth like incisors, all-ceramic usually stands up to biting while looking life-like and natural.

For a star of his magnitude, Presley's crown was likely state-of-the-art for his time. In our day, though, you have even more crown choices to both protect your tooth and enhance your smile.

If you would like more information about crown restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”

IfYouPlayHoopsHereare3TipstoGettheMostOutofYourAthleticMouthguard

Fun fact about the NCAA basketball championship tournament, affectionately known as March Madness: financial website WalletHub says your chances of filling out a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion (a scratch-off from your corner bodega looks like a sound investment in comparison!). Now, here's a not-so-fun fact about basketball in general: Nearly half of all sports-related mouth injuries occur while playing hoops.

Yikes! Not to put a damper on all the revelry, but facts being facts, it's better to face them head-on. Fortunately, there's a proven way to drastically reduce the odds your star basketball player suffers an oral injury—have them wear an athletic mouthguard.

Mouthguards have been essential gear in sports like football, hockey, or wrestling for some time. Made of soft, pliable plastic, mouthguards cushion the impact of a hard blow to the face or mouth. Wearing a mouthguard often means the difference between a sore jaw and a broken one—or even losing teeth.

Mouthguards are now growing in prominence in a wider array of sports, including basketball and baseball (which makes up a substantial part of the other half of annual mouth injuries). Many youth basketball leagues now require them, and although they're not mandated in the NBA, most pro players wear them.

Simply put, wearing a mouthguard for basketball is a smart play. Here, then, are 3 tips for getting the most out of this important safety appliance.

Get a custom-made mouthguard. You can buy a retail mouthguard called a "boil and bite" that can be somewhat customized to fit the wearer's bite, but you should consider a custom appliance created by your dentist based on the wearer's mouth dimensions. Although more expensive, they don't require as much material as the retail version. This makes them more comfortable to wear (and easier to communicate with others), while still providing maximum protection.

Get it updated every few seasons. Young players' jaws change rapidly during their childhood and teenage years. The measurements used to create a mouthguard may be obsolete after a couple of seasons—meaning the mouthguard may lose its proper fit. That's why it's a good idea to have your dentist check the fit each year and, if need be, create a new one based on your player's current mouth.

Wear it for all basketball activities. Formal contests only make up a small part of basketball activities—an organized team often practices five hours or more for every hour of game play. A player is just as likely to be injured practicing (or during pick-up games) as they are during real-time games. As a rule of thumb, then, any time your player goes on the court, they should wear their mouthguard.

If you would like more information about athletic mouthguards, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Athletic Mouthguards.”

By Dental Associates of Shelton
March 18, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
ImplantsCanLastaLongTimeIfYoullDoThistoMaintainThem

Dental implants have taken restorative dentistry by storm for a number of reasons: They're incredibly life-like; and their unique design allows them to function much like natural teeth. But perhaps the clincher for many is their longevity. Numerous studies show that more than 95% percent of implants are still performing after 10 years.

The reason for their durability is wrapped up in their "unique design" mentioned earlier—a titanium metal post imbedded into the jawbone, to which a dentist attaches the visible crown. The titanium attracts the growth of new bone cells, which adhere and accumulate on the implant surface.

This "integration," a process which occurs over a few weeks after implantation, creates a strong bond between the implant and jawbone. This ultra-strong hold enables the implant to withstand years, if not decades, of chewing forces you generate on a daily basis.

With that said, though, there are rare instances when an implant loses its hold—or doesn't properly develop it. Integration may not fully succeed due to infection either before or right after surgery, which can inhibit bone growth around the implant.

Other conditions can compromise the bone's integrity like a weakened immune system, diabetes or osteoporosis. And even if integration occurs normally, later problems like gum disease or a teeth-grinding habit can damage the connection between implant and bone.

There are things you can do, however, to further minimize the risk of implant failure.

  • Brush and floss daily (especially around implants) and maintain regular dental visits to lower your risk of gum disease;
  • See your dentist if you notice swollen, reddened or bleeding gums, an indication of a gum infection that could impact your implants;
  • Stop smoking, which increases your infection risk, or abstain a few weeks before and after surgery;
  • Manage issues like diabetes, osteoporosis, or teeth-grinding that could affect your implants.

Implants can be a great long-term solution to tooth loss. You can help ensure their longevity by looking out for both your oral and general health.

If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, 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 “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method That Rarely Fails.”

By Dental Associates of Shelton
March 15, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental fillings  

One of the most common dental treatments—one you've probably heard about since your childhood years—is a cavity filling. A filling covers and protects the exposed tooth enamel after decay has been identified and removed from a tooth. This allows the previously infected tooth to get stronger and maintain its good health. Understand how a filling placed by your dentist at Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT, can make your smile healthy again.

What Is a Dental Filling?

A filling is a restorative dental treatment that uses a protective material (usually composite resin, porcelain, or glass ionomer) to replace lost enamel. When a cavity is treated, some of the enamel has to be removed to expose the decay. After treatment, the dental filling is added in layers to the outer surfaces of the teeth, matching the pits and fissures for a natural look. When filled, bad bacteria can't compromise the tooth again if you keep it healthy.

Types of Fillings

The default choice for fillings in the past was amalgam, which has a dark metallic look. It's durable and provides long-lasting protection from future decay. More recently, patients are choosing tooth-colored fillings because they preserve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth while also securing it from damage. They are made of composite resin, glass ionomer, or porcelain—all materials that your dentist can color-match with your tooth.

Making Your Smile Healthy

Without a filling, decay will continue to progress until it ultimately claims the tooth. It's best to get ahead of the problem to avoid expensive and more time-consuming treatments. With a protective filling, your tooth has a chance to get better and return to full health. You can chew your food with confidence again, instead of living in fear of dental discomfort. A filling will last between five to 15 years (possibly longer) if you brush often and have your teeth examined regularly by a dentist.

Keep Your Smile Intact

Without a filling, a dental cavity can progress to a more serious infection. Make sure to have your teeth checked by your dentist at Dental Associates of Shelton in Shelton, CT, to see if you need a filling. Call 203-924-4115 today for an appointment.





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