My Blog

By George L. Landress, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
March 27, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Find out what makes someone the perfect candidate for dental implants.

These days, more and more adults are turning to dental implants to replace their missing teeth. Accordingly, if you are dealing with tooth loss you may be wondering, “Are dental implants for me?”

From the office of our Danbury, CT, dentist Dr. George Landress, here are some factors that may just tell you that dental implants could help your smile:

You are in Good Health

One of the determining factors for getting an implant is your health. Of course, most people who maintain good oral health and general health are ideal candidates for implants. We will need to examine your teeth and gums to make sure there are no cavities or gum disease, but if you have a clean bill of health, chances are good dental implants are right for you.

You are Missing At Least One Tooth

No matter whether you are missing one, two, several, or all of your teeth, you may be surprised to discover that dental implant treatment can help you no matter how significant your tooth loss. If you are just looking to replace a single missing tooth then our Danbury, CT, family dentist will only need to place a single implant into the jawbone to support a dental crown; however, if you want implants to support multiple teeth, we can also place several implants along the jawbone to hold your dentures in place.

You Have a Strong Jawbone

In order for the jawbone to be able to support the dental implant, we need to first make sure that your jawbone is healthy. We will take x-rays to check the density of the jawbone. Of course, even if you are dealing with significant jawbone loss, you could still be a candidate for dental implants—you may just need to undergo bone grafting first to strengthen the jawbone.

Call Us

If you are looking for a dentist in Danbury, CT, that can provide you with dental implants, then call our office today at (203) 743-7608 to schedule a consultation.

RetainYourNewSmileAfterBraceswithaRetainer

It’s been a long road with your braces, but now they’re finally off. Hopefully the first glimpse of your new smile more than made up for the time and effort they required.

But while braces removal is a big milestone, it’s not the end of your treatment—not, that is, if you want to keep that new smile! You’ll now need to wear an appliance called a retainer for a few years or, in some cases, from now on.

Orthodontic retainers are a must after braces for the same reason braces work in the first place—your teeth can move. While the teeth attach to the jawbone via the roots, they’re firmly held in place by an elastic gum tissue network called the periodontal ligament. This tough but elastic tissue lies between the teeth and gums and attaches securely to both with tiny fibers.

While the ligament provides stability, it’s also dynamic—constantly remodeling to allow the teeth to move in response to biting pressure and other mouth factors. Orthodontists use this mechanism when moving teeth to better positions. The braces apply pressure on the teeth in the desired direction and the periodontal ligament responds as the teeth move.

Afterward, however, the ligament can still retain a kind of “muscle memory” for a time of the teeth’s old positions. Free of the pressure once supplied by the braces the teeth have a tendency, especially early on, to “rebound” to where they were.

A retainer helps prevent this by exerting just enough pressure to “retain” the teeth in their new positions. In the beginning this may require wearing the appliance around the clock, but you may be able later to reduce wear time to just a few hours a day. Rebounding is unpredictable, so you should continue to follow your orthodontist’s recommendations on retainer wear.

Wearing a retainer may seem like a drag, but it’s absolutely essential. Being diligent about it will help ensure that the beautiful smile you and your orthodontist worked so hard to obtain stays with you for years to come.

If you would like more information on getting a new smile through orthodontics, 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 “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

DontletPeriodontalDiseaseCauseYourGumstoRecede

Although your smile wouldn't be the same without them, there's more to your gums than their looks. Besides helping to hold your teeth in place, they're also an important protective barrier for their roots.

Unfortunately, gums aren't immune to disease, especially periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection, triggered by built-up dental plaque on teeth due to insufficient oral hygiene, can cause the gum tissues to detach from teeth and shrink back (recede). This can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages, as well as put them at even greater risk for tooth decay.

To treat gum recession, our first priority is to stop any ongoing gum disease through aggressive plaque removal. Depending on severity, this could require clinical procedures like scaling or root planing to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) at or below the gum line. This is especially crucial for improving gum tissue healing and stimulating potential reattachment.

Revitalizing gum tissues this way naturally has a better chance of occurring if we're able to prevent recession before it reaches the roots. If that does happen and we have sufficient gum tissue attachment remaining, we may need to give the gum tissue a helping hand through gum grafting surgery. There are a number of techniques depending on the circumstances, but they all use either tissue from another location in the patient's mouth or prepared tissue from another human donor. This type of surgery requires great skill and expertise, not to mention an aesthetic sense, to achieve a result that's both functional and attractive.

Other than daily brushing and flossing, the most important thing you can do for gum health is to see us as soon as you notice any signs of gum problems like swelling, bleeding or tooth sensitivity. The sooner we can diagnose and begin treating the problem, the less likely any gum recession will have a long-term impact on your health.

If you would like more information on gum health, 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 “Gum Recession.”

ViggoMortensensRed-CarpetSmile

The Golden Globes ceremony is a night when Hollywood stars shine their brightest. At the recent red-carpet event, leading man Viggo Mortensen had plenty to smile about: Green Book, the movie in which he co-starred, picked up the award for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. But fans looking at the veteran actor's big smile today might not realize that it once looked very different. A few years ago, an accident during the filming of The Two Towers took a major chip out of Mortensen's front tooth!

That might be OK for some movies (think The Hangover or Dumb and Dumber)—but it's not so great for everyday life. Fortunately, Mortensen visited a dentist promptly, and now his smile is picture-perfect. How was that accomplished? He didn't say…but generally, the best treatment for a chipped tooth depends on how much of the tooth's structure is missing.

If the tooth has only a small chip or crack, it's often possible to restore it via cosmetic bonding. This procedure can be done right in the dental office, frequently in a single visit. Here's how it works: First the tooth is cleaned and prepared, and then a tooth-colored resin is applied to the area being restored. After it is cured (hardened) with a special light, additional layers may be applied to build up the missing structure. When properly cared for, a tooth restored this way can look good for several years.

For a longer-lasting restoration, veneers may be recommended. These are wafer-thin shells made of durable material (most often porcelain) that cover the front (visible) surfaces of teeth. Strong and lifelike, veneers can match the exact color of your natural teeth—or give you the bright, high-wattage smile you've always wanted. No wonder they're so popular in Hollywood! Because veneers are custom-made for you, getting them may require several office visits.

If a chip or crack extends to the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal procedure will be needed to keep the tooth from becoming infected—a situation that could have serious consequences. But you shouldn't fear a root canal! The procedure generally causes no more discomfort than filling a cavity (though it takes a little longer), and it can help save teeth that would otherwise be lost. After a root canal, a crown (cap) is generally needed to restore the visible part of the tooth.

When a damaged tooth can't be restored, it needs to be extracted (removed) and replaced. Today's best option for tooth replacement is a dental implant—a small, screw-shaped post inserted into the bone of your jaw that anchors a lifelike, fully functional crown. Implants require very little special care and can look great for many years, making them a top choice for tooth replacement

If you have questions about chipped or damaged teeth, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

By George L. Landress, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
February 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health

Our dental team can help get your gum disease under control to preserve your beautiful smile.

Did you know that gum disease is one of the most common dental issues that affect adults? In fact, this condition, which causes inflammation and damage to the gum tissue, is the leading cause of tooth loss. To prevent tooth loss and other permanent damage to your oral health, Danbury, CT, dentist Dr. George Landress offers preventive dentistry as well as treatment options to get your gum disease under control.

What is preventive dentistry and how can it protect against gum disease?

Preventive dentistry includes maintaining good oral hygiene each and every day (aka: brushing and flossing) and also visiting the dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. Unfortunately, gum disease doesn’t often cause symptoms until the later stages and these routine checkups are the best tools that our Danbury, CT, general dentist has to be able to detect gum disease early on when it may be reversed or at least much easier to treat.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Again, not everyone with gum disease will experience symptoms, so it is possible that you may have gum disease but not even know it. Usually, the first sign of gum disease is inflammation. You may notice that your gums are puffy, red, or even tender to the touch. You may also notice that your gums bleed easily when brushing and flossing. These are all signs that warrant a trip to the dentist’s office. If gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to significant bone, tooth, and gum tissue loss.

How is gum disease treated?

For those with mild-to-moderate forms of gum disease, nonsurgical treatments are usually the first course of action against treating this inflammatory condition. The two common gum disease treatments include:

Scaling and root planing

This is the standard treatment option for handling most mild-to-moderate forms of gum disease. Scaling and root planing is a deep professional dental cleaning that involves having our dentist go under the gum line to remove tartar buildup from the roots of the teeth.

Sometimes antimicrobials are placed within the gums during scaling and root planing to help kill bacteria. Usually after scaling and root planing is successful, no additional treatment is necessary; however, you will still want to come into our office every six months for cleanings to make sure that your gums remain healthy.

Concerned? Give us a call

Not sure when you last visited the dentist for a cleaning? If it’s been more than six months, it’s high time you got a checkup to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy. Call our Danbury, CT, dental practice at (203) 743-7608 to schedule an appointment.





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