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tooth sensitivity

Tooth Sensitivity: Diagnosis, Treatment, Relief & More

Sensitive teeth are a common dental health issue that most people experience at least once in their life. While your first thought may be that you have cavities when you feel pain as you eat or drink something cold, hot or sweet, the truth is that there are many different reasons for tooth sensitivity. Understanding why this sensitivity happens helps you work with your dentist to find the best treatment to bring you relief.

What Do Sensitive Teeth Feel Like?

In most cases, pain as you eat or breathe through your mouth are the first signs of sensitivity. Unlike severe dental pain, you will most likely feel a brief instance of discomfort that quickly goes away once the irritating factor is removed.

Hot, cold and acidic foods are the most common irritants for to a sensitive tooth, but you may also feel pain if cold air hits your teeth. People often complain that they briefly feel pain when they first bite into something with an extreme temperature such as ice cream or very hot coffee.

What Makes Teeth Sensitive?

Approximately half of the adult population has tooth sensitivity, and your risk of developing it goes up with age. This condition has several different causes that your dentist will look for during your appointment. Gum recession, enamel erosion, tooth decay and cracks in your teeth are a few of the most common reasons why you may suddenly be dealing with sensitivity in your teeth.

According to the American Dental Association:

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.

Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

What is Gum Recession?

Your gums are made up of soft tissue that responds to changes in your overall health and lifestyle. Gum disease is the primary cause of recession since the tissue naturally begins to erode and pull away from the teeth as infection sets in. You can also irritate your gums by being too aggressive with your oral hygiene routine. Brushing too rough or using a brush with hard bristles can cause your gums to recede.

Once your gums recede enough, you can begin to see the yellowish part of your tooth root peeking through. This has less enamel and more dentin at the surface, which is sensitive to temperatures and acids in your food. Sadly, your gums do not grow back once they are gone or receded. However, your dentist does have treatment options that can stop the recession and help cover any exposed tooth roots. Gum treatment and health are important for overall healthy oral health.

Can Sensitivity Come and Go?

One of the most confusing aspects of tooth sensitivity is that it can come and go. This can cause you to think that the problem is over until it comes back again. Your mouth is constantly undergoing changes as it is bombarded by things such as the food you eat and even the environment in which you are living. You may not feel sensitivity for a few days if food particles or plaque temporarily blocks an exposed root or fills in a cavity. Alternatively, you may just not feel pain because you haven’t eaten anything hot or cold enough in the past few days. If your sensitivity is caused by something such as nighttime tooth grinding, then it may also go away during periods when you are not engaging in the behavior.

Is Tooth Sensitivity Preventable?

As with many dental health conditions, prevention is your best bet toward avoiding long term pain. Although you cannot stop the natural recession that occurs with aging, you can develop lifestyle habits that helps to slow the process. For instance, you may need to have your dentist check your tooth-brushing technique to make sure that you are not putting unnecessary pressure on the sensitive gum tissue. You can also make sure to treat tooth decay and the signs of gum disease as early as possible so that they do not lead to lingering pain.

How Do Dentists Treat Sensitive Teeth?

A diagnosis for a sensitivity tooth is often done after a thorough exam that identities all possible causes. Your treatment plan is developed to address each potential cause for the pain you feel in your teeth. In some cases, your dentist may recommend getting cavities filled or having a special cleaning to halt gum disease in its tracks. You may also be prescribed a special mouth rinse or toothpaste that helps to reduce sensitivity along the gum line and tooth root. If you grind your teeth at night, then you might need to wear a mouthguard as you sleep.

Getting to the bottom of tooth sensitivity requires you to work closely with your dentist to identify the cause so that you receive the appropriate treatment. Remember that pain should never be considered normal when you eat or breathe, so be sure to mention it at your next appointment. If your tooth sensitivity is mild, then it could be as simple as using a prescribed toothpaste or switching up your technique to bring back your comfort.

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teeth grinding | dentist port washington ny

What Causes Bruxism and Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism, defined as habitual teeth grinding and clenching, is estimated to affect 30-40 million Americans. It impacts some individuals exclusively at night, known as nocturnal bruxism, while others struggle at various times of the day. It is listed in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) and represents the third most common sleep dysfunction.

How Is Bruxism Identified?

The symptoms of bruxism vary based upon the individual, causes and severity of the involvement. Many individuals who infrequently grind or clench their teeth have no symptoms. Others will only discover their bruxism from their dentist during routine dental care. Sometimes it is a sleep partner that hears you grind at night.

In more severe cases, headaches, a sore jaw and tooth pain upon waking may indicate nighttime grinding. Having these symptoms should prompt a consult with your dental professional. Chronic or extreme grinding may cause teeth to fracture, fillings to loosen and even a loss of teeth. Ensuring proper evaluation by your dentist will ensure proper management to prevent this damage. Unchecked, bruxism may cause Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, tooth loss and change your facial appearance.

Causes of Bruxism:

The etiology of grinding can be simple or complex, depending on the individual. In many, it is a cluster of reasons that trigger a person to grind or clench teeth. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Subconscious habit
  • Malocclusion or improper bite alignment
  • Side Effects of Medications such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil
  • Alcohol Use
  • Amphetamine Use
  • Parkinson’s or other Neurological Disease

Establishing a early diagnosis is advantageous, as unchecked continued grinding and clenching has been shown to impact quality of life and can lead to potential tooth, jaw and facial damage. Identifying the reasons for your teeth grinding is only the first step your dentist will take in evaluating this disorder. Confirming the cause of grinding helps to outline the best treatment option.

What Will the Dentist Find in Cases of Chronic Grinding?

Bruxism is a problem dentists see routinely due to its frequency rate. During a dental examination, abnormal tooth wear or tightness in the masseter jaw muscles are early signs. With prolonged tightness of these muscles, a bump may occur on the inner aspect of the mandible or maxillary bones, known as Torus Maxillaris and/or Torus Mandibularis. Gum recession or limited ability to open the mouth may be present. Late symptoms include direct tooth damage such as breakage or mobility of the teeth.

How is Bruxism Treated?

Treatment tends to coordinate with the cause of the grinding. One of the first steps is typically the use of a mouth appliance to protect the teeth. At times, these appliances are utilized exclusively at night; however, daytime grinding and clenching can trigger the need for use during the day.

  • Stress or Anxiety: Work with your healthcare specialist to identify the cause of stress or anxiety. Professional counseling or biofeedback are techniques utilized to resolve the triggers.
  • Malocclusion: Correction of tooth alignment and bite may require reshaping of the teeth, improvements to alignment and even physical therapy. More severe cases may require orthodontia to correct optimally.
  • Medicines: Medicines have been shown to be a trigger. Eliminating or changing these medications will provide a resolution. Medicines are also treatment tools. Anti-anxiety medications, muscle relaxants and even Botox may be utilized when necessary to treat bruxism.
  • Habits: Habitual clenching or grinding tends to respond best to retraining methods such as biofeedback and physical therapy. Tools are utilized to provide alternate focus, distracting from the damaging behaviors. Modifications to alcohol and caffeine use, recreational drug rehabilitation, and cessation of gum chewing will target the exact etiology.
  • Sleep Disorder: Sleep apnea is a common concurrent problem. Correction, often via the use of a CPAP machine, has been demonstrated to be a viable treatment option.

If you suspect you grind or clench your teeth, contact 3V Dental Associates today to schedule you consultation with our amazing team. Treatment options are optimal when utilized early.

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long island dentist

3V Dental: Your Local Long Island Dentist

Full-Service Dentistry Expertise and Care from Long Island’s 3V Dental Associates

The excellent dentistry services provided by 3V Dental Associates in Port Washington, Long Island, NY include a full spectrum of expert professional dentist’s treatments and care. In order to satisfy the needs of every patient, we offer ultimate quality cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, teeth cleaning and hygiene and a variety of specialty dentist’s services at our attractive, modern offices and clinic. With a number-one ranking among dentistry practices serving Port Washington and greater Long Island on Google and Yelp, our primary focus and intent is to ensure each patient’s complete comfort and ease during all of our expert dentist’s procedures and personalized care.

At 3V Dental Associates, a local Long Island favorite, our comprehensive dentistry practice is headed by Dr. Steven Volk and Dr. Irina Kellerman-Volk, esteemed general and cosmetic dentists, and Dr. Bliss Baek, general dentist. Our top-rated services are enhanced by use of the latest advanced dentistry technology and techniques. We receive top ratings, thanks and praise from our patients, and they always look forward to their next scheduled appointments with our highly experienced dentistry professionals. Our exceptional staff of dentistry specialists offers a total treatment clinic venue in which a wide variety of the best dentistry practices and procedures are performed to improve and maintain quality dental health for our patients.

Top Quality Contemporary Dentistry Services from 3V Professionals on Long Island

Superior quality dentistry procedures and services provided by our highly accomplished and experienced professionals at 3V Dental Associates include the following:

• Gentle Dental Cleanings on Long Island

During your appointment for teeth cleaning and a checkup at 3V dentistry experts at our Long Island clinic location, your teeth and gums will be thoroughly examined. X-rays may be taken if recommended, and your dentistry professional will examine your mouth carefully to ensure that no signs of oral cancer are present. Your dentistry expert will also evaluate your bite, and an expert cleaning will be performed by the dentist or a dental hygienist to remove any buildup of plaque or tartar.

Gingivitis, the first stage of major gum disease, can often be reversed by regular teeth cleanings and proactive oral health care. Thorough teeth cleaning can also prevent gingivitis from advancing into the more serious gum disease of periodontitis, which can cause permanent damage to gum tissues. Cavities can also be identified during their early stages by careful teeth cleanings. Having your teeth well cleaned at least twice annually can improve and maintain the health of your teeth.

• Cosmetic Dentistry Long Island

Our Long Island cosmetic dentistry specialists can convert a less than perfect smile into a dazzling smile of radiance. Expert cosmetic dentistry can correct countless flaws in the appearance of your teeth. The coloration, spacing, alignment and regularity of tooth formation all contribute to the overall appearance of a smile. Fortunately, tooth and gum flaws and irregularities can now be repaired or alleviated for a renewed, bright appearance. The best options that are available in cosmetic dentistry to improve the look of your teeth include smile redesign, tooth re-contouring, tooth implants, bonding and use of ceramic or porcelain crowns.

• The Best Zoom Teeth Whitening on Long Island

During a Zoom Teeth Whitening procedure, a highly effective peroxide gel will be applied to your teeth. Your dentistry expert may initiate the whitening action by directing a light on this gel, and the entire process requires about one hour. The methods of passive tray whitening and professional strength white strips are both used by 3V dentistry experts for Zoom! Teeth Whitening treatments.

With application of the whitening gel activated by light, teeth usually whiten by no less than six to ten shades of white. Trays with gel following this treatment will ensure optimal degrees and maintenance of whitening. The tray method involves use of a carbamide peroxide gel and requires three to four weeks of daily use for best results. It costs about half the price of the Zoom Teeth Whitening, although this method often brings more effective and lasting results than the tray method.

• Your Local Long Island Invisalign Team

Straightening your teeth with Invisalign® involves the use of a series of clear, customized aligners that are specifically molded to fit your teeth and mouth. These aligners will realign your teeth gradually for the best beautiful smile. No more metal brackets to affix or wires to tighten like old, cumbersome braces required. About every two weeks, you simply put a new set of aligners in your mouth for the duration of your treatment.

Believe it or not, most of your Long Island neighbors will not even be aware of your discreet, transparent aligners. Just remember to remove your aligners before you eat, floss and brush your teeth, and change aligners every two weeks. You will see results within six months to one year. Invisalign® is very popular with dentist’s patients in Port Washington and throughout Long Island.

• Expert Dental Veneer Applications on Long Island

This dentistry procedure is used to correct or improve the appearance of chipped, stained, crooked or decayed teeth. During this procedure at our clinic, the visible area of a tooth is covered with a thin porcelain or resin shell, and this process can be direct or indirect. The direct method typically uses bonding to position composite resin on the exterior of the tooth. The indirect method involves two separate treatment sessions, and during the first appointment, impressions of the tooth or teeth are taken and these teeth receive a temporary cover.

When the veneers arrive from the lab two or three weeks later, the temporary coverings are removed and the veneers are then affixed to your teeth by bonding. These veneers that are produced in the laboratory are frequently composed of porcelain or pressed most-ceramic, providing a dazzling smile. Veneers are often preferred over crowns since a much smaller amount of tooth is removed to affix veneers, and placement of veneers on teeth causes less discomfort. Veneers are also usually the preferred choice for covering teeth with large size fillings or limited structure.

• Emergency Dentistry Long Island

Our dental specialists at 3V Dental Associates offer emergency dentistry care for Long Island patients for emergency tooth extractions, tooth loss or trauma, repair of broken teeth, loose of damaged crowns and many other emergencies. Serious dentistry issues caused by accidents or injuries can be extremely painful and lead to more serious conditions and complications.

If a tooth is damaged by an unexpected and traumatic incident, it will need stabilizing, which involves re-positioning in proper alignment. This and other emergent occurrences like abscessed gums or teeth need immediate attention from expert dentistry professionals like our excellent staff of leading treatment specialists at 3V dentistry.

• Long Island Sedation Dentistry

Using our choice of the best well-known dentistry anesthetic is safe, pleasant and effective in making your dentist’s treatments and procedures more comfortable and less stressful. We use nitrous oxide and sedation dentistry for many patient procedures in our relaxed local Long Island dentistry office and clinic. Before your dentist’s work begins, you will use a mask that enables you to inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth. You will soon experience a sedate, soothing sensation as your cheek and gums start to numb. Afterward, a local anesthetic may be applied as needed prior to your treatment.

Following your dentistry procedure, you will breathe pure oxygen to lessen the effects of the nitrous oxide, returning you to your normal state. Our dentistry professionals at 3V dentistry on Long Island are known for providing the best comprehensive, innovative dentistry with gentle care using the latest top-tier equipment and methods. With the many advancements in sedation dentistry today, you can schedule dentist’s procedures without anxieties about pain or discomfort. You can relax during your treatment and return to your normal state afterward without lingering after-effects.

• Gentle Root Canal Procedures

Long Island patients need root canal treatment (root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) if a cavity is neglected until it affects the pulp. Root canal therapy may also be necessary due to trauma caused to a tooth or deep restorations. If the nerve is damaged by either of these occurrences, root canal is needed to prevent infection of the pulp, which can spread through the root tip and damage bone tissue, causing an abscess.

A root canal can repair one or more teeth that are seriously infected or decayed while preventing other severe health conditions from developing, such as immune system weakening. By seeing your dentistry expert for a checkup every six months, any health issues affecting your teeth and gums can be detected and treated early to ensure that you retain a healthy mouth and brilliant smile.

• The Best TMJ Treatments on Long Island

Numerous TMJ symptoms may occur that cause discomfort or acute pain. These symptoms include teeth grinding, sensitivity or pain in the jaw or temporomandibular joints, facial aches, earaches, chewing problems and jaw locking. A popping or clicking sound may also be present when you open or close your mouth.

There are varied treatments for TMJ, dependent on the type and severity of symptoms that each patient is experiencing. These treatments include teeth replacement, re-positioning of teeth, bite adjustment, use of a plastic mouthpiece, muscle relaxants, exercises and surgery. TMJ surgeries performed by the dentistry specialists at the Port Washington Office of 3V dentistry include Arthrocentesis, Arthroscopy and Total Joint Replacement.

• Gum Treatments

Non-surgical gum treatments can be performed by our dentistry professionals at 3V Dental Associates in Port Washington. The gums, ligaments and bones that support your teeth (the periodontium) form the foundation for your teeth. If any part of this supporting foundation becomes weakened, gum disease may result with red, bleeding gum tissues, loose teeth and changes in your bite. Deep cleaning or root planing by your dentistry expert with use of a local anesthetic and antibiotics can alleviate this condition. More serious problems may require surgery or tooth extraction.

Periodontal laser gum treatment is also offered by our 3V dentistry experts as an alternative gum therapy. By offering our patients this laser gum treatment in conjunction with scaling and root planing, our specialists are providing the most advanced therapeutic gum treatment currently available.

Contact our advanced, modern Long Island office of 3V Dental Associates today for further information and to schedule your consultation appointment. Whether you need a thorough checkup and teeth cleaning, non-surgical gum treatment, evaluation for veneers or possible root canal treatment, our friendly, helpful and caring staff is always ready to assist you. As part of your Long Island community, we are here to provide you with ultimate quality dentistry care to ensure that you always have your attractive, natural and radiant smile. Contact us today by phone, by email or by completing a contact form on our website. We await your call or contact and look forward to speaking with you soon!

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dental bridge port washington ny

What Are Dental Bridges?

Losing a tooth for any reason can bring both oral health and quality of life consequences. Luckily, today’s dental medicine has devised many options to help your mouth and jaw adjust and give you a cosmetic fix to remedy missing teeth. At 3V Dental Associates in Port Washington, we’re proud to be the leader in dental bridge technology in Port Washington, and the Long Island area.

A dental bridge is one such tool that your dentist may recommend after loss of one or more teeth. This dental device can work in a number of ways to accommodate tooth loss based on your personal situation.

In this article, learn what is a dental bridge for teeth, how does a bridge work to close gaps when a tooth is missing, different types of bridges, how to care for a bridge and more.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

This is a permanent prosthetic device that is designed to fill in gaps left by missing teeth.

According to the American Dental Association:

Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth and literally “bridges” the gap where one or more teeth used to be. Bridges can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.

The device has two main parts: the pontic and the abutment.

The pontic is a type of fake tooth that is positioned to fit into the place where the missing tooth (or teeth) used to be – literally “bridging” the gap and filling it in.

The abutment is a type of hook or wing structure that secures the device into place.

Why Are Dental Bridges Needed?

Bridges offer many benefits beyond simply restoring your smile.

They help to ensure structural integrity of your jaw, prevent tooth movement around the area of the gap, make it easier to chew and speak, guard against dental decay and gum disease and help safeguard the health of existing teeth.

They can also be faster and more economical to install than implants and they do not require any bone grafting prior to installation.

How Is a Dental Bridge Installed?

There are three different device types that can be used depending on how and where the tooth loss has occurred. Each device is permanent and cannot be removed (except by a dentist) once placed in the mouth.

Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best prosthetic type for your cosmetic and oral health needs.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Bridges?

The three different device types are as follows:

1. Standard Dental Bridge

This is the original device type, which is designed to be cemented to the two teeth on either side of the gap. It is also called a traditional or double-abutted device.

In the middle of the area of the gap there is a pontic to fill in the missing space.

2. Cantilever Dental Bridge

A cantilever device is quite rare and in most cases a dentist will recommend an implant over this type of device because implants are more secure.

However, if there is just one abutment tooth available around the gap (such as at the very back of the mouth or if multiple teeth are missing) a cantilever device can be used to fill in the gap.

3. Maryland Dental Bridge

A Maryland device is typically only recommended for areas of the mouth which do not bear the full brunt of bite and chew strength (such as at the front of the mouth).

This device has a pontic with “wings” on either side that are made of porcelain, resin or metal. These wings are what bond to the abutments on either side of the gap.

How Are These Dental Bridge Devices Placed in the Mouth?

Before one of these devices can be installed to fill in the gap left by a missing tooth, the teeth on either side of the gap must be prepared by your 3V Dental Associates dentist.

This is done by filing each one down and then placing a crown over each. This makes room for the pontic to fit into the gap and gives the abutment something stable and secure to attach to.

Taking the step to file down and crown any tooth that will help secure the device is important to safeguard the health of that tooth. Otherwise, the device may place unnecessary pressure on that tooth and cause stress that will eventually lead to cracks or even tooth loss.

Who Is a Good Candidate for a Dental Bridge?

A person who is a good candidate for this type of dental prosthetic device usually has overall good oral health and not more than three consecutive missing teeth in the area where the device will be placed.

Any serious dental health issues such as widespread decay or gum disease must be remedied before the prosthetic can be placed.

It is also important that each tooth the device will attach to is healthy and strong or can be made to be so by use of a crown or even a dental implant.

If you have significant bone loss in your jaw in the area where the device is to be placed, you may need to have bone grafting and an implant placed before the prosthetic can be secured. This can add time and expense to the process but will greatly increase the odds of a successful placement.

Why Not Just Get Dental Implants Instead of a Dental Bridge?

This is a great question and is one that only your dentist is qualified to answer. In some cases, you may need both to ensure the device has secure and stable support on each side of the pontic.

And in other cases, one or more implants may better serve your oral health needs or gap issues over the long term.

Your dentist will be able to examine your mouth and recommend the best approach.

Caring for Dental Prosthetics and Dental Bridges

Your dentist here at 3V Dental Associates in Port Washington will give you specific instructions to care for this permanent prosthetic device after it is placed.

Because the device is permanent, you won’t be able to remove it for cleaning or inspection. Luckily, lots of different basic tooth care aids exist to help you clean and care for your new prosthetic at home.

There are flossing and brushing aids plus mouth gargles to deal with plaque, tartar and germs such as bacteria. Daily care will ensure your mouth stays healthy once the device is in place.

To schedule your dental bridge appointment with 3V Dental Associates here at our lovely Port Washington dental clinic, contact our helpful staff today.

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Invisalign FAQs

What is Invisalign® treatment?

Invisalign treatment is a cosmetic dental process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that gradually straighten your teeth. No brackets and wires, and none of the restrictions that come with metal braces.

What are Invisalign clear aligners made of and what do they look like?

Invisalign clear aligners are made of flexible plastic — specifically, a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® created exclusively for Invisalign treatment.   Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved and contain no BPA, BPS, latex, or gluten. They are thin, clear, and fit snugly over your teeth, making them virtually invisible.

How will Invisalign treatment straighten my teeth?

Your doctor will create a unique, digital treatment plan that maps out the exact movements of your teeth. Your Invisalign clear dental aligners are then designed to apply the right amount of force to the right place at the right time based on your plan. Your doctor will be with you every step of the way to monitor your progress and ensure your aligners fit correctly.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign treatment?

Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible or clear braces — people may not even notice you’re wearing them. You can remove them to eat and drink, to brush and floss, or for special occasions. There are no metal brackets or wires that could irritate your mouth or break, sending you to your doctor for an emergency visit.

Who is Invisalign treatment for?

Invisalign treatment can be a great solution for both adults and teens looking for a virtually invisible method to improve their smile. Our innovations and technological advancements make it possible to fix nearly all common teeth-straightening and bite issues, from simple to complex — all without interrupting your busy life. And, thanks to a discreet blue dot on the outside of teen aligners, parents can be sure their child is wearing their clear aligners enough.

What is the treatment process?

Invisalign treatment starts with a consultation with an Invisalign-trained doctor. Your doctor will evaluate your smile and then map out a precise, customized digital treatment plan that showcases the step-by-step transformation of your smile.

Once you approve your plan, your unique aligners will be created. You will wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, changing to a new set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks, as directed by your doctor. Each set of aligners will gently and gradually shift your teeth into place, according to your treatment plan, until you reach your beautiful new smile.

How much does Invisalign treatment cost and what are the payment options?

In most cases, the cost of Invisalign treatment is similar to the cost of braces. Your doctor will determine the cost of your treatment based on how complex your case is and how many aligners you need.

There are several options to make Invisalign treatment more affordable for you, from using insurance and tax-free dollars to a monthly payment plan.

What if I’ve had braces or other types of dental work?

Invisalign clear aligners can treat nearly all common teeth-straightening issues, from simple to complex. Many people who formerly had braces choose Invisalign treatment as the discrete solution to improve their smile when they find that their teeth have shifted back.

How do I take care of my aligners?

The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign Cleaning System, available online or from your doctor. You can also brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinse them in lukewarm water. Never use hot water on your aligners — it could permanently warp the plastic.   What happens when I’m done with Invisalign treatment?   Most doctors recommend that anyone who has completed orthodontic treatment, whether with braces or Invisalign treatment, use a retainer to prevent teeth from gradually shifting back toward their initial position. Every case is different, so ask your doctor if you need retainers.  

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A New Smile with Porcelain Veneers

Understanding Porcelain Veneers

Having a healthy smile goes a long way toward boosting a person’s self-esteem; however, for those who suffer from teeth that have been damaged, stained, or sit crooked, trying to crack a smile can be humiliating. Too often, people find themselves trying to hide their teeth from those around them because they are ashamed of their less-than-perfect smile. Thankfully, there are cosmetic dental options to help restore healthy teeth and porcelain veneers are one of the most popular ways to do just that!

What is a Porcelain Veneer?

dental veneers port washington ny

It is a piece of material that looks like a natural tooth with the same shape, structure, and color. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry explains that a veneer fits over the existing tooth to hide imperfections and signs of damage.

Preparing for the Procedure

If you are a good candidate for a porcelain veneer, our cosmetic dentist team in Port Washington, NY will start by removing some of the enamel from the surface of the natural tooth that is going to be covered by the material. The dentist will need to make impressions of your existing tooth structure so that the material can be formed to fit exactly right. Once the piece has been designed, your dentist will use a special kind of cement to anchor it firmly to your existing tooth.

Who is a Good Candidate for this Treatment?

Patients who are suffering from teeth that are discolored, chipped, or poorly shaped usually find the most advantage in getting veneers. However, they can also be used for more cosmetic issues such as filling gaps between teeth. In some cases, this treatment has been used to help improve a patient’s bite. Some people may discover that, while they have some dental issues, their problems can easily be fixed with veneers rather than enduring a round of braces.

Being a Part of the Process

If you think that this cosmetic procedure might be what you need to make your smile perfect, contact our Port Washington dental clinic today to speak with our lovely staff. Rather than simply leaving all of the decisions up to your dentist, make sure that you are a part of the process – let them know why you think that you need this treatment and what you want to change about your smile.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Veneers

Veneers are a non-invasive treatment option that provides optimum benefits with very little pain and no length procedures. Since they are applied over the tooth, very little of the original tooth structure is lost and the strong materials are resistant to stains. Many patients can complete the treatment without the use of anesthetic.

While there are many advantages to this cosmetic treatment plan, there are also some downsides. Applying the veneers involves removing a layer of enamel, making it an irreversible process. Once the material is in place, it will be impossible to remove and restore the original smile. Veneers that have been cemented in place are there to stay, making it impossible to change colors if they don’t match up with the natural teeth. While the porcelain veneer material is strong, habits such as chewing fingernails or ice can ultimately chip the pieces, making some lifestyle changes necessary. Some people find that they have temperature sensitivity for several days after the treatment process.

Caring for Your New Smile

While veneers are made from a porcelain material, they will still need to be carefully maintained with proper brushing and flossing. Nonabrasive toothpastes should be used to limit decay without hurting the pieces. Some people find that they need to use a night-guard to prevent them from grinding the material in their sleep. Those with veneers will need to continue to receive regular dental cleanings, although you dental hygienist will use a nonabrasive polish that will be easy on the material.

For many people with cracked, chipped, or discolored teeth, veneers are the answers to their need for a healthier smile. Through this cosmetic procedure, dental problems can be resolved with minimally invasive process, working to restore a bright smile and give patients the self-esteem boost that they deserve!

To schedule your porcelain veneer consultation, contact our convenient Port Washington, NY dental office today. Our helpful staff are waiting to assist you.

Related Porcelain Veneer Cosmetic Dental Procedure Information:

Ways to Fix a Chipped Tooth

Full Mouth Restoration and Reconstruction

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

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adult-orthodontics-invisalign-port washington ny dentist

How to Choose the Best Orthodontics as an Adult

If you didn’t get a chance to straighten your teeth as a child or a teenager, there’s no reason why you can’t take action as an adult. More and more, we’re seeing new advancements in adults orthodontic technology that makes it easier, cheaper, and more convenient (think Invisalign!) to get started on the path to a new, straight smile.

While not all children have the benefit of getting braces when they’re young, some do, but as we age, our teeth still shift a bit leading to dental malocclusions (misalignment). Our team at 3V Dental Associates in Port Washington specializes in clear adult braces with a minimal appearance, making it easy for you to get started.

While orthodontics and Invisalign fall under cosmetic dental services, they don’t have to carry the “cosmetic” price tag. Ask our team about our special Invisalign discounts and ways to help you make that smile affordable!

What are the Different Types of Dental Malocclusions?

There are many types of dental malocclusions, including:

• Crossbites
• Overcrowding
• Overbite
• Wide gaps
• Underbite
• Impactions

You may have one or more of these dental health issues, and that is why you must have a customized orthodontic treatment. The process of choosing the proper orthodontics for you will depend on several factors, including your types of misalignments, how much you can afford for the treatment and your personal preferences. It is also a good idea to think about what your orthodontist suggests so that you will understand the amount of care that is required for certain types of braces or clear aligners.

What Are the Types of Orthodontics Available?

Type 1: Traditional Metal Devices

traditional wire braces

In the past, there was only one type of orthodontic device, and you may remember seeing your friends wear traditional metallic braces on their teeth. These types of devices are still available today, but the good news is that the brackets are smaller and the wires are thinner. In addition, a computer software program will analyze your malocclusions to determine how the wires are placed on your teeth along with how the wires are tightened every few weeks. This can lead to a shorter treatment time than your friends had when they were younger. However, it is important to remember that children have softer alveolar bones in their teeth, so the pressure from the brackets will move teeth quickly. Adults have firmer bones in their gums, so it can take a longer amount of time to complete treatment. Affordability is one of the most important benefits from metal braces because other types of treatments can cost more. Caring for these traditional devices requires special care to avoid breaking the delicate wires or dislodging the metal brackets. You must consume a healthy diet, but you should also restrict certain foods that can damage the brackets or the wires. In addition, you must learn how to brush and floss carefully between the wires and the brackets.

Type 2: Clear Braces

Today, you can select clear orthodontic treatment, and these devices are made from plastic, porcelain or ceramic materials. These types of braces are perfect for adults who want to have a beautiful smile without having noticeable brackets and wires. Clear brackets and wires are also designed with computer software, and you must use caution to avoid damaging the items. In addition to having a list of foods that you cannot consume, you must also avoid artificial dyes or brightly colored foods and beverages that can stain the ceramic, porcelain or plastic materials of the wires and brackets. While flossing and brushing, you should select toothpaste, floss and mouthwash that won’t harm the brackets or the wires. An advantage from wearing clear braces is that you may feel less embarrassed about orthodontic treatment as an adult because the items are practically invisible.

Type 3: Self-ligating Devices

If you are a busy adult, then you may want to limit your visits to an orthodontist’s office when you need to straighten your teeth with devices that have wires. Damon braces are special types of devices that have numerous self-ligating brackets. You won’t need to cope with elastic o-rings that degrade or break, requiring you to replace the items. Without the o-rings, the wires can move easily through the brackets. This can make the items less uncomfortable on your teeth, reducing the discomfort in your jaw, gums and soft tissues of the mouth. A benefit of these devices is that the wires are made from lightweight metals such as titanium, nickel and copper. Caring for Damon devices is similar to caring for your regular braces, and you must also follow your orthodontist’s dietary guidelines to protect the items from damage.

Type 4: Lingual Braces

lingual braces

Today, it is also possible to have the brackets of your braces placed on the backs of your teeth. Many adults prefer this type of treatment because the brackets are nearly impossible for others to see. While this is a wonderful benefit, the process of adjusting to the brackets may become difficult because your tongue will touch the brackets while you talk and chew food. In addition, you may need to use extra care while performing oral hygiene because it is important to remove all of the food debris from the brackets that are located on the backs of your teeth. However, by using small adjustable mirrors, you can use flossing picks and other tools to dislodge the food debris. It is also a good idea to buy and use an oral irrigator that emits highly pressurized streams of water against your teeth along with the wires and the brackets, helping to keep your mouth clean.

Type 5: Invisalign Clear Aligners

invisalign port washington long island ny

When you have mild to moderate dental malocclusions, your dentist may recommend Invisalign clear aligners. One of the best benefits from aligners is that the items are invisible on your teeth when you care for the items properly. When you are able to wear aligners, you will receive 20 to 30 sets that are made in a series. Each set is designed in a different way to apply pressure against your poorly aligned teeth. You can wear each set of aligners for two weeks before switching to the next set. An important part of the treatment plan with Invisalign is wearing the aligners for most of the night and day. While the aligners are removable, if you don’t wear the devices enough, then your teeth will shift back into the wrong positions. You are permitted to remove the aligners while you brush and floss your teeth, making sure to clean the devices to keep the items invisible on your teeth. To protect the aligners, you should remove the devices while you chew food or drink beverages. Caring for Invisalign aligners is easy by using mild toothpaste to wash away any plaque along with making sure to insert and remove the items carefully. One of the advantages from Invisalign treatment is that you can remove the devices for special occasions such as a business meeting or an event such as a wedding. Clear Invisalign aligners are the most popular choice for adults.

You can read more about the Invisalign process here.

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dry mouth port washington ny

Dry Mouth: Where Does it Come from and How to Treat it

Dry mouth is more than a feeling you get when thirsty. It is a condition that occurs when your salivary glands are not making enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Other names for the condition include xerostomia, doughmouth, cottonmouth and pasties. This condition not only affects your mouth.

Saliva has enzymes, which helps with digestion. It prevents tooth decay by neutralizing bacteria acids, washed away food particles and limits bacterial growth. A dry mouth can go from being a nuisance to having an impact on your general health. It can affect the health of your gums and teeth, your appetite and your ability to enjoy food.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

This condition occurs for a number of reasons. The causes fall under four main categories, which include medications, age, cancer treatment and nerve damage. You should check the side effects on your medication.

According to the American Dental Association, the most common reason for dry mouth is lack of saliva.

Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

Many prescription and OTC medications cause this condition. These medications include decongestants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants and antidepressants. Dry mouth can also occur from autoimmune disorders.

Sjogren’s syndrome is a severe autoimmune disease. It makes your white blood cells attack your salivary glands and mouth. Other causes may include methamphetamine use, smoking, nervousness and stress. If you want to prevent oral issues, then you should schedule regular appointments with your dentist.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

It is common for your mouth to feel dry from time to time. However, you should get worried when this feeling does not go away. If you suspect you have dry mouth, then you should look for certain symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Mouth dryness
  • Cheilitis
  • Taste disorders
  • Sore throat

A painful tongue is another symptom of xerostomia. It causes you to feel a burning sensation. This symptom can occur all of a sudden and can be severe. Other symptoms may include tooth decay, thrush, sticky saliva and salivary gland infections.

Dry Mouth Treatment Options

Treatment depends on what is causing your dryness. You should start by checking your medication. If the dryness comes from medication, then you may need to change to another drug.

It helps to get your salivary glands checked by a physician. If your salivary glands can still produce some saliva, then your doctor can prescribe you medication. There are medications available for stimulating your salivary glands. Taking the medication allows you to produce more saliva. Common medications used for stimulation includes Evoxac and Salogen tablets.

Artificial saliva is another treatment option for xerostomia. This treatment works by using artificial saliva to keep your mouth moisture.

Dry Mouth Diagnosis

To diagnose xerostomia, a medical doctor or dentist will need to examine your mouth. Your physician will ask you about your medical history. He or she also will perform imaging scans and blood tests of your salivary glands.

There are common tests used to make a diagnosis about xerostomia. These tests include a biopsy, saliography and sialometry. A biopsy is when a small sample of salivary gland tissue is taken.

The saliography takes a radiographic examination of your ducts and salivary glands. This test can identify masses and salivary gland stones. The sialometry is a procedure that measures the flow rate of your saliva.

Dry Mouth Prevention

You can take a number of steps for prevention from xerostomia. When eating a meal, you should sip on water or a drink that does not contain sugar. Hydration is critical to the production of saliva. Some drinks add to the dryness. You should avoid sodas, tea, caffeine and coffee.

Oral care products can help with producing more moisture in your mouth. You should get a recommendation from your dentist. Sugarless gum and candy is another way to stimulate saliva juices.

It is also a good idea to avoid tobacco and alcohol. These things are very drying on your mouth. The addition of sugar and acidic foods will only add to your condition. It may help to sleep with a humidifier at night as well.

Complications Associated with Dry Mouth

If you experience constant mouth dryness, then it can be uncomfortable. It can also have severe consequences to your oral health. The dryness is irritating for the soft tissues in your mouth. These conditions cause your soft tissues to become irritated and more open to infections. Saliva is very cleansing without it you have to worry about tooth decay. However, it is important to keep your gums and teeth healthy to prevent complications.

For more information about dry mouth symptoms, causes, and prevention, contact our dental team today. We’re happy to help answer any questions you may have.

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What Are Cavities?

A cavity is a decaying portion of a tooth. It commonly occurs when acids damage the outer enamel that protects your teeth from corrosion. Cavities form when there is no more protective enamel to guard the inner-layers of your tooth.

A cavity forms in the dentin layer, and it may leave a visible opening in the tooth. This small opening can enlarge overtime. Particles of food can become lodged inside the cavity. If you have a cavity, you may even experience intense pain depending upon the severity of the damage. Based on the severity of the pain, contacting 3V Dental Associates, your local Port Washington, NY dental team, should be your first step.

Signs and Symptoms

dental cavity

There are three main symptoms that your dentist may associate with a possible cavity diagnosis. These aren’t the only symptoms of tooth decay, but they are good reasons for you to contact our dental team for treatment as soon as possible.

  • Toothaches: Toothaches are typically a throbbing pain within your tooth that is not a result of an injury. It may also be accompanied by a swelling of the gums around the tooth.
  • Increased Sensitivity: Cavities often cause your teeth to become more sensitive to otherwise normal conditions. It could include sensitivities to temperature. You may also experience discomfort when eating sugary foods.
  • Pain When Chewing: If you experience any pain when chewing foods, then you should schedule an examination with your dentist right away. It is one of the major red-flags of an existing cavity.

What Causes Cavities?

The main underlying cause of dental cavities is the bacteria that naturally forms around teeth. It’s also known as plaque. This bacteria creates acids from breaking the foods we eat. These acids are also formed when drinking sugary drinks.

The acid created by plaque can remove vital minerals from enamel. It weakens the enamel overtime causing a cavity to form. When acids breach through your enamels, then they can continue to decay the underlying dentin in your tooth.

A cavity can eventually make it’s way to nerve endings. That is the point when most people first notice that they have a very serious dental problem. Not all cavities are visible to the naked eye. Your dentist will perform a physical examination of your tooth, and a dental x-ray of the dentin will reveal any issues that can’t be diagnosed through examination.

If your tooth isn’t treated, then the decay will continue to cause significant damages. There is a risk of infection associated with tooth decay when it reaches the nerve endings. An abscess may form within your gums.

Infections are much harder to treat, and they may require dental surgery. It is important to treat a cavity as a means of prevention from more serious complications that can occur.

How Can You Prevent Cavities?

According to the American Dental Association, the best prevention method for cavities is good oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth at least twice daily to prevent excessive bacteria build up. Brushing helps remove plaque from the surface of your teeth, and it helps reduce the amount of bacteria below your gum line.

Flossing is very important for cavity prevention as well. Brushing alone may not remove hard to reach plaque in between your teeth. You should also schedule regular checkups with your dentist routinely throughout the year.

Always use fluoride toothpastes when brushing your teeth. Fluoride is an antiseptic agent that kills most bacteria in your mouth on contact. Your child’s pediatrician can also prescribe fluoride supplements to reduce the risks of your children developing a cavity.

Your diet plays a big role in oral hygiene. Foods that are rich in starches may increase your chances of enamel loss. Try to avoid eating sugary snacks between meals to cut back on the amount of exposure to acids.

Having a dry mouth as a result of other complications will significantly increase your risks of tooth decay. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Treating Cavities

If your dentist is able to place a diagnosis within the early stages, then fluoride treatment may be able to reverse the decaying process. This is only possible under certain circumstances, but your dentist will be able to judge when further action treatment is needed.

The next step in treatment is a dental filling. The damaged section of your tooth will be filled to prevent plaque buildup inside your tooth. You may need a full crown cap in order to save the underlying tooth, but it depends on how far the decay has spread.

Tooth extraction may be recommended in the most severe cases. If infection has spread to the nerve endings inside your gums, then a root canal procedure may be necessary. Root canals are typically more costly than other options. That’s why it is very important to diagnose tooth decay early on. Make oral hygiene your priority to keep a healthy smile for years to come.

Think you may have a cavity or interested in preventative care? Contact the friendly dental staff at 3V Dental Associates today to schedule your next office visit.

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