Dr. Schechter's Dental Discussion

Posts for: June, 2018

By Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S.
June 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

Who wants to admit their looks have changed? Yet, when you gaze in the mirror, you see your smile has faded. In Milford, CT, Dr. Bruce teeth whiteningSchechter offers both in-office and at-home professional teeth whitening. Simple and budget-friendly, teeth whitening brightens smiles by several shades of color.

The origin of dental stains

What people eat, drink, and smoke can potentially stain tooth enamel, particularly with years of repeated exposure. Tobacco, dark soft drinks, coffee, tea, blueberries, curry, and acidic foods typically become caught in the calcified matrix called tooth enamel. Poor oral hygiene adds to the problem as do certain prescription medications.

Over-the counter-products

We've all seen storefront whitening services and brighter smile kiosks at shopping malls. Plus, there's a plethora of whitening toothpastes, strips, and rinses at the local drugstore and supermarket.

Are these services and products safe? They can be if properly applied. However, gum and tooth sensitivity often happens with do-it-yourself whitening. Are these services and products effective? Again, they can be to an extent, but anything other than professional whitening gel is weak at best and cannot produce the dazzling results your dentist and his professional team can.

How professional whitening works

Professional teeth whitening is today's most popular aesthetic dental service, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Your dentist uses powerful hydrogen peroxide gel literally to lift stains out of tooth enamel.

But, before any application--either in-office or at-home--begins, Dr. Schechter will check your teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy enough for whitening. Your mouth should be free of decay and gum disease, and while some whitening patients may have crowns and veneers already in place, these restorations will not whiten and could require replacement to achieve a proper color match.

If you select in-office whitening, expect to spend about an hour in the dental chair. The hygienist will protect your gums and lips with a plastic dam and then apply the gel to your teeth. After sufficient penetration, the gel is rinsed off, leaving teeth up to eight shades brighter.

At-home brilliance is the same. However, it takes longer to achieve--about a week or so of daily applications of a less concentrated peroxide gel. You'll use custom-fitted whitening trays each day for a prescribed amount of time.

Keeping teeth white in Milford

Brush twice a day, and floss daily. Stay well-hydrated. Get whitening touch-ups as needed, and keep your regular cleaning appointments with Dr. Schechter.

For more information on teeth whitening, or to book a cosmetic dentistry consultation in Milford, CT, call the office at (203) 878-1787. Look forward to a brilliantly bright smile!

By Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S.
June 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gum Disease  

Gum Disease TreatmentYour gums have started bleeding when you brush your teeth. Should you worry? Bleeding gums often indicate an early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. It can develop into destructive periodontitis, a major cause of tooth loss in the US. Your family dentist in Milford, CT, Dr. Bruce Schechter, offers treatment options for gum disease so you and your mouth enjoy long-lasting health.

Symptoms of gum disease

Some symptoms of this common malady are obvious, and some are more hidden and require the expert eye of your family dentist in Milford. That's why Dr. Schechter emphasizes six-month cleanings and check-ups to:

  1. Remove toxic plaque and hard tartar which contain the causative agent of gum disease, strep bacteria
  2. Spot the signs of gum disease early while it is easier to treat
  3. Formulate a care plan as necessary
Upon inspection of your gums, Dr. Schechter watches for these troublesome signs:
  • Bad breath
  • Red, puffy gums
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Gum recession
  • Exposed tooth roots
  • Mobile teeth
  • Deep gum pockets
Gum pockets, the spaces between tooth roots and gum tissue, are easily and painlessly measured with a small, metal probe. Pockets deeper than three millimeters are indicative of gum disease.

How does it develop?

Gum disease frequently happens because people neglect daily brushing and flossing and don't see their dentist every six months (or as recommended) for cleanings and examinations. Tartar accumulates, leading to infection and recession.

Other contributing factors are:
  • Age (70 percent of people over 65 have some form of periodontitis, says the American Academy of Periodontology)
  • Smoking (the heat from cigarettes actually burns gum tissue)
  • Poor overall health and nutrition
  • Stress
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Heredity (some families seem more prone than others)
Treating gum disease

Sometimes treating gum disease is as simple as a thorough cleaning at Dr. Schechter's office. This routine scaling, to remove plaque and tartar, combined with disciplined oral hygiene habits at home, allow gums to heal quickly.

However, if gum disease progresses, more advanced techniques become necessary. They can include:
  • Deep cleaning and root planing, using hand scalers and ultrasonic tools to remove hard deposits below the gum line
  • Installation of antibiotics to heal infection
  • Gum grafting, using donor tissue or the patient's own gums, to cover exposed roots
If you have gum disease, Dr. Schechter will discuss your treatment options with you. You'll need routine periodontal maintenance--cleanings and charting of any gum pockets--to ensure healing and prevent escalation of the problem.

Find out more

If you are concerned about your gum health, don't hesitate to call Dr. Schechter's office in Milford, CT, for a consultation right away. Healthy teeth and gums both ensure a great smile. Phone (203) 878-1787.

By Bruce R. Schechter, D.D.S.
June 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What's the best way to replace missing teeth? It may surprise you to learn that there are many dental prosthetics, or dentures, all custom-denturesdesigned and fitted to restore full oral function and facial appearance If you believe dentures are in your future, or if you need them now, Dr. Bruce Schechter and his staff can help. Practicing skilled and caring family dentistry in the Milford, CT, area, Dr. Schechter can address your tooth replacement needs so you can have a great smile.

Dentures: just what are they?

Simply put, dentures are artificial teeth crafted from tooth- and gum-colored acrylic. Some dentures have structural elements made of metal, too.

To make either a full or a partial denture, your Milford family dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination, take X-rays and other digital imaging, and make oral impressions. Impressions are three-dimensional imprints which help the dental lab construct your dentures with accurate shape, size, and fit.

Today's dentures are more comfortable, well-fitting, and attractive than ever before. Dentures normalize speech, biting, and facial appearance. Without them, self-confidence and nutrition suffer.

Types of dentures

There are several kinds of dentures. Probably the most common type is the partial denture which replaces one or more missing teeth on either arch. Made of pontics, or artificial teeth, affixed to a metal frame, the partial denture clips to surrounding teeth on either side of the smile gap. Some partials are fully removable while others anchor to the jaw bone with titanium dental implants.

Full dentures are very common, too. Held by the mouth's natural suction, conventional dentures rest on top of the gums. Your dentist may place them immediately after tooth extraction or wait until extraction sites are healed. Immediate dentures give patients a complete smile right away but need relining or replacement as bone and gums shrink over time. Conventional dentures are placed after sutures are removed and gums are fully healed. As with partial dentures, Dr. Schechter may use dental implants to give dentures best oral function and jaw bone density.

Caring for dentures

Continue to see Dr. Schechter every six months for a complete oral exam and cleaning of both your remaining natural teeth and your dentures. Your dentist will ensure your denture continues to fit properly. At home, use a denture cleanser or paste approved by the American Dental Association, and be sure to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and gum tissue to keep them clean, odor-free, and stimulated.

Find out more

For a one-on-one denture consultation with Dr. Schechter in Milford, CT, call the office at (203) 878-1787. We look forward to helping you have a great smile.