Just as an engineer creates a model to ensure that a machine will work correctly, the dentistoften fabricates a wax-up model of jaws and teeth when working on more complex restorative or cosmetic cases. By building an accurate model of your mouth, we can test prosthetics, veneers, and other dental work to ensure a proper fit. You can also see what our proposed solutions will look like on the wax model, so you’ll make a truly informed decision about your dental work. If adjustments are required, the dentist adapts the model to reflect changes before the case goes to the dental laboratory. Wax-ups provide us with a realistic projection of how your dental work will look and function, which results in more accurate restorations.
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It is estimated that between 9 and 15% of American adults avoid going to the dentist because of fear. Studies show that fear of the dentist is more often due to society’s misplaced belief that dental treatments are all painful more so than an actual painful experience. Dentists use nitrous oxide to help patients have a relaxed and pain free dental visit.
Nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, is used by dentists to help patients relax during treatment. It is a safe sedative that is combined with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask during treatment. This mild sedative will not put a patient to sleep. Patients are able to hear and respond to questions. They may experience some sensations of lightheadedness or tingling in the arms and legs. Once treatment is complete and the mask is removed the effects of nitrous oxide fade quickly as fresh air is breathed into the lungs.
Nitrous oxide is used on patients for two reasons. First, when patients are undergoing a procedure that may take a long time or an uncomfortable treatment, nitrous oxide can help them to relax and be comfortable throughout treatment. Nitrous oxide is also helpful for patients who suffer from dental anxiety or for children or those with special needs who may not understand the importance of dental care or be able to sit still during treatment. Dentists have extensive training in the use of nitrous oxide and other sedation techniques to ensure that all patients receive the appropriate dosage to keep them calm and relaxed throughout treatment.
Dentists are dedicated to providing the best possible patient care. They understand that the needs of each person are unique and they take the time to listen to them and address their concerns with an approach tailored to their needs.
For nearly two decades, lasers have been used for restorative and cosmetic purposes in dentistry. Today, lasers are approved for safety by the Food and Drug Administration, and they have become much more prevalent and standard in dental offices across the country. Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. This energy can be used to achieve accuracy and precision when shaping the gums, biopsying oral tissues, removing tooth decay, and killing bacteria during a root canal. Lasers are even being used for elective procedures, such as to expedite in-office tooth whitening.
that dental lasers offer a long list of benefits for patients and dentists? Specifically, laser dentistry has grown in popularity among patients because it is highly effective for reducing inflammation, bleeding and swelling during and following dental procedures. Many patients also report experiencing less pain when lasers are used as opposed to drills. For this reason alone, many patients experience less anxiety and apprehension before and during their dental appointments.
Possibly. Laser dentistry is generally not used in examinations and cleanings. However, if you need a filling, root canal, biopsy, periodontal treatment or tooth whitening, a dental laser could provide a better overall experience and recovery. To find out if laser dentistry is right for you, schedule an appointment to meet with your dentist and discuss your options for treatment.
Your experience will be similar to those you may have had before, only without the pressure, vibrations and sound of a dental drill. Just as with traditional dental treatments, you will be anesthetized before having laser treatment. However, because dental lasers may help minimize pain, you may not require as much anesthesia as you would with a non-laser treatment.
Your post-treatment care will not differ from the instructions you would have from a dentist using a drill or other dental tool. However, you may find that your recovery time is shorter and that bleeding is minimal immediately following your treatment.
For years, dental x-rays have been used to diagnose oral health complications and detect decaying or damaged teeth. X-rays provide a unique view of the mouth that isn’t possible with a visual exam alone. When x-rays are taken, the teeth and bones absorb the majority of the ray, making them highly visible on film or on a screen. Nearly all new dental patients are x-rayed, although you may instead request that previous x-rays be transferred from another dental provider to your new dentist. By comparing your x-rays with your full mouth examination and dental history, your dentist can prescribe effective treatment and recommend a plan for preventative care.
that dental x-rays deliver very low levels of radiation and are considered completely safe? In fact, x-rays are even considered safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding so long as a leaded apron and collar are used to protect your body from exposure. If you are pregnant or think you may be, tell your dentist so proper precautions can be taken.
Yes. Dental x-rays are capable of identifying tooth decay and damage beneath the surface of the teeth where caries are less visible during an examination. Furthermore, x-rays provide a reference point for the progression of decay in your mouth over time. You should have x-rays taken on a regular basis, but especially if you are experiencing oral health complications or are planning to undergo a dental procedure, such as a root canal.
Getting traditional dental x-rays can take several minutes. A thick paper tab is placed into the mouth, which you will be asked to bite down on. Most patients find that dental x-rays are completely painless and do not inflict any level of discomfort. In some cases, dentists intraoral x-rays, as well as extra-oral x-rays that snap images of the face, jaw and skull. Extra-oral x-rays are typically used to identify impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth.
Your x-rays will be saved either on film or digitally. In the future, your dentist may request additional dental x-rays every few years to monitor the health of your teeth, gums and jaw over time. If you are considered to be high risk for oral disease or are exhibiting symptoms of complications, your dentist may prefer to take x-rays more frequently.
A Panorex image is an X-ray that depicts a panoramic view of your mouth, from one side to the other. This image can help the dentists understand the relationship between your teeth, jaws, and occlusion (bite, or how your top and bottom teeth fit together). When planning extensive restorative or cosmetic cases, a Panorex may be necessary in addition to intra- and extra-oral photos and digital X-rays.
Tooth extractions are routine dental procedures used to remove decayed, damaged or otherwise problematic teeth. Dentists usually make every effort to preserve natural teeth, although sometimes an extraction is necessary. Although the procedure is performed in a dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office, it is considered surgery. Depending on which teeth are removed, they may be replaced with a dental implant or another oral prosthetic.
The most common cause of tooth extractions is severe tooth decay and cavities. However, many patients also undergo extractions for impacted teeth – particularly wisdom teeth. Other causes for extraction include advanced periodontal disease, cracked teeth, and teeth that are severely malformed. Although many circumstances that require extraction are unavoidable, some could be prevented with regular visits to the dentist for exams and cleanings.
Only your dentist can tell you if you need a tooth extraction. However, you may be a candidate for the procedure if one or more of your teeth are decayed so severely that a filling or others restoration is not a possibility for treatment.
If you and your dentist decide to extract one or more teeth, you will be scheduled to return for oral surgery at a later date. You will be given a local anesthetic to prevent pain during the procedure, and you may be prescribed medications to help manage pain in the hours following your extraction. Depending on the nature of your extraction and other factors, such as whether your teeth are impacted, you may also be sedated or given general anesthesia during your procedure.
Post-operative care following a tooth extraction is essential for healing and preventing complications. You will be instructed to avoid certain foods and also keep the surgical site clean at all times. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, it is important that you complete the course of treatment to prevent infection. Finally, you may be advised to avoid smoking or drinking through a straw, as doing so may delay the healing process and cause a condition known as ‘dry socket.’
Root canal is a valuable dental procedure used to treat and preserve teeth with an infected or dying nerve. The pulp is the live portion of the tooth that extends into the root containing nerve endings and tissue. If the nerve becomes infected or exposed patients may experience discomfort and/or swelling. Root canal (endodontic) procedures remove the affected tissue within the tooth and is sealed with gutta-percha (a dental filling material). The portion of the remaining tooth is then restored at a future appointment, most frequently with a crown, providing function, durability and a natural appearance.
Take heed for those requiring root canal, the procedure is usually painless and with modern advancements in technology and good anesthetic normally goes without incident.
Composite fillings – also known as tooth-colored fillings – are dental restorations designed to be inconspicuous and natural in appearance. They blend well with the teeth and appear more natural than amalgam fillings, which are darker and more easily seen by other people. Composite fillings are made of ceramic and plastic compounds that chemically bond to the teeth. They can be used to fill in decayed areas of the teeth, as well as to help repair chipped or broken teeth. Most dentists use composite restorations to treat the teeth closest to the front of the mouth, as they are more noticeable when patients smile. However, advancements in dental technology and the composition of composite fillings have made it possible for dentists to also use tooth-colored fillings on molars, which receive more wear than other teeth.
that composite fillings allow dentists to preserve more of the natural tooth structure? This is because composite materials chemically bond to the surface of the tooth like an adhesive. The process takes slightly longer to complete than traditional amalgam fillings, but patients can preserve more of the natural portion of the teeth while enjoying a restoration that is discreet and understated.
If you have a cavity, broken tooth, or a deteriorated filling, you may be a candidate for a tooth-colored filling. Schedule a dental consultation to find out if composites are right for you.
During your visit, your gums and teeth will be anesthetized with a local anesthetic near the site of the filling. Once the area is numb, the decayed or damaged portion of your teeth will be removed to make room for the new tooth-colored filling. A resin will be placed over the area and cured with a hand-held light for less than a minute. The new filling will then be shaped and polished before the procedure is complete.
Composite fillings are cured with light at your dentist’s office. You should be able to return to normal activity and oral care immediately after your visit. It’s normal for treated teeth to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold in the days following treatment, but sensitivity that persists beyond a week should be reported to your dentist.
Dr. Como has also taken significant postgraduate courses for various procedures, so that you can receive the majority of your dental care in our New Rochelle dentist’s office, where you feel comfortable, cared for, and familiar. The surgical procedures we offer include:
If we believe that you would be better served by a specialist, we’ll refer you to a trusted colleague. Should you have questions or concerns about any dental procedure that we recommend, please ask. Our team is always available to share information and educational materials. The more you understand about your dental treatment plan the better prepared you are for making an informed educated decision about your health.