Integrative Dentistry 101

Integrative Dentistry 101

What is Integrative Dentistry?

Here at FDA, Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos and our team of compassionate dental professionals follow an Integrative Dentistry philosophy – but what does this mean? Integrative Dentistry, also called Holistic Dentistry, Alternative Dentistry, or Complementary Dentistry, is a philosophy that takes the patient’s entire wellbeing into account when providing oral care. Dental practices that use an integrative approach believe that oral health and general health are forever connected. By approaching dentistry with the whole body in mind, we can better educate and communicate with our patients. Another important component of Integrative Dentistry is the belief that patients should be actively involved in their own treatment plan. This is why we build a partnership with our patients and encourage them to make a personal commitment to their oral hygiene.

How are Oral Health and General Heath Connected?

At FDA, our goal is to become an integral part of your health care team and help you set up an oral health plan that takes your whole body’s health in mind. Poor dental care has been linked to a variety of health issues, such as cardiovascular disease and complications in diabetes. Sometimes when our patients report that they have been feeling ill or rundown, it is revealed that there is a dental issue behind the scenes that is affecting the person’s entire wellbeing. This is why it is so important for Dr.Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos to be included as part of a patient’s healthcare team.

Our Approach

We always approach dental care with an eye to the health of the whole person. As integrative-oriented dentists, we stay up-to-date on the latest information regarding what materials are the safest to use with our patients. This includes mercury amalgam fillings, metal crowns, root canals and fluoride among others. We are constantly searching for the safest and least invasive products and procedures that “do no harm.”

We build a partnership with our patients and include them when creating a treatment plan. As iIntegrative-oriented dentists, our patients have a voice and we always defer to what is best for you. Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos will help you decide which Integrative Dentistry procedures are best for your needs.

To learn more about our Integrative Dentistry approach or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 207.781.5900, as we’re always here to help.

Spring Refresher! Teeth Whitening 101

Spring Refresher! Teeth Whitening 101

With winter finally in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Like typical Mainers, we can’t wait to get outside and create new spring memories with photos of fun, outdoor activities with our friends and family. Are you excited for spring, but you feel self-conscious about the brightness of your smile? Luckily, there are a variety of tooth whitening options that you can use at home or that can be applied in our office. If you are hoping to achieve a bright, new smile, Dr. Brunacini, Dr. Karagiorgos, and our team of compassionate dental professionals are here to help you decide which treatment is right for you!

Over-the-Counter Whitening Treatments

There are many teeth-whitening products available at your local grocery store or pharmacy that promise amazing results, but just how good are they?

    • Activated Charcoal      

Activated charcoal for tooth whitening is available as a powder or toothpaste. Use of these products may be effective in whitening the surface of your teeth, but do not remove the deeper stains. They are also messy and tend not to be formulated with fluoride. Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we recommend charcoal products for adults only and caution against daily use. We are happy to provide more information about whether charcoal products are a good choice for you – feel free to ask!

    • Whitening Toothpaste

There are many different toothpastes on the market that claim to whiten teeth and they can make a difference with minor surface stains over time. However, some whitening toothpastes contain ingredients that can cause tooth sensitivity. Watch out for brands that contain abrasive ingredients, such as activated charcoal, microbeads, or other natural exfoliants, as they can damage the enamel of your teeth. We are happy to provide a recommendation for a whitening toothpaste that is safe for you; just give us a call or inquire at your next appointment.

Our Treatments

Teeth whitening is one of our most popular cosmetic dentistry options as just a few treatments can make a world of difference to your appearance! At Falmouth Dental Arts, we offer several whitening options that can be done while you are in the office or can be taken home with you. Professional teeth whitening is a very safe way to achieve a brighter smile and Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos will be happy to consult with you to determine which option is best for you.

    • Laser Teeth Whitening

Laser teeth whitening is a quick and easy in-office procedure that can be completed in just over an hour in our office. The process for laser whitening is simple and the results can be seen immediately. After removing any plaque from your teeth and gums, a bleaching agent is applied with a laser. This laser allows the bleaching agent to penetrate the tooth enamel, removing even the deeper stains, leaving you with a whiter, brighter smile. If you are wondering if you are a good candidate for laser teeth whitening, give us a call or talk to us at your next appointment!

    • At-Home Whitening Strips

At-home whitening strips are an affordable option that can be applied at your convenience and in the comfort of your own home. It may take some time for the results to become noticeable, but whitening strips are still a good option for many people. They are most effective with surface discolorations, but if used correctly, they may be able to penetrate the tooth enamel to remove deeper stains as well. We will be happy to discuss whether whitening strips would be a good choice for you.

At Falmouth Dental Arts we are your partners in dental health. We’d love to talk with you about your goals for teeth whitening and about which treatment will give you the results you’ve always wanted. Give us a call at 207.781.5900 so we can go over your options and answer any questions you may have!

Same-Day Crowns: Faster and More Comfortable for Our Patients

Same-Day Crowns: Faster and More Comfortable for Our Patients

The process of getting a crown just became a whole lot easier for our patients! The team at Falmouth Dental Arts is excited to offer same-day crowns, also known as Dentistry Powered by CEREC®—(Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics). With this advanced technology, we can now provide same-day crowns and other dental restorations right in our Falmouth, Maine dental office. The CEREC® Primemill, developed by Dentsply Sirona, is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that allows us to mill, bake, and stain your new crown all in one visit – so there is no more need for a temporary crown. Because of this exciting upgrade, getting a crown will now be a faster and more comfortable experience. The cost of same-day crowns is also on par with traditional crowns. Always seeking to expand our knowledge in the field, our team has participated in extensive training to be able to offer this convenient new option to our patients. Let’s take a deeper look at what this technology means for you, our patients.

Benefits of Same-Day Crowns

We are pleased to be one of just a handful of family dentistry practices in the Portland, Maine area to offer same-day crowns, as they offer many benefits for our patients:

  •  Less time at the dentist
  • A permanent solution in just one visit – no need for temporary crowns
  • Minimally invasive
  • Highly precise and custom-made for an optimal fit
  • Natural-looking
  • Made from safe material
  • Durable and long-lasting

How Do CEREC® Dental Crowns Work?

 This new technology is exciting for many reasons, one of them being how much easier it will make dental restoration for our patients. The same-day crown procedure is a simple four-step process:

1)      Scan

We use digital scans to create a 3D model of your teeth. This is an easier process than traditional impressions, which means less discomfort for you.

2)      Design

We use CEREC® Software to design your customized restoration right here in the office. The designs are extremely accurate and can be created very quickly.

3)      Manufacture

Next, the design is sent to the milling machine to create your custom crown. The process is very precise and allows us to create a very smooth and realistic result in just one visit.

4)    Heat

Your custom ceramic dental crown is then sintered (baked) and glazed using a special sintering furnace made just for dental restorations.

Like any dental restoration, your new ceramic crown may be sensitive for the first few days after your visit. If you have any questions about same-day crowns, would like to make an appointment, or want to become a new patient, give us a call, or fill out a new patient form today!

Braces for All Ages!

Although we usually think of braces as a hallmark of teenage years, there are many reasons that adults could benefit from a straighter smile. The perks of aligning your pearly whites go far beyond vanity. Braces align your bite, enhancing your ability to chew food and even alleviating some speech impediments. Straight teeth are much easier to clean; better brushing and flossing reduces the potential for cavities and periodontal disease. 

However, for many adult patients, the idea of wearing braces carries a sort of stigma. The team at Falmouth Dental Arts encourages all of our patients to have a healthy smile. We want to help you at every step of the journey, no matter your age! Let’s take a look at the three major types of dental braces: 

  • Conventional: Conventional braces consist of a single bracket, mounted to the front of each tooth with dental cement. Wire is strung through the brackets, and the shape and tension of the wire gradually moves teeth to the desired, aligned shape. Brackets can be metal, clear, or ceramic. Conventional braces boast the shortest average treatment time. However, they also are the most noticeable of the three types of braces, which can be a deterrent for some patients. With customizable rubber band options and shiny silver, conventional braces can add some extra sparkle and flair to your smile. A healthy mouth is the best accessory of all! 

  • Lingual: Lingual braces apply the same general concept to orthodontic alignment: brackets are cemented to the teeth, and metal wires work to straighten teeth. However, lingual brackets are cemented to the back of the tooth, not the front. This option eliminates the immediate image concerns. However, because they require a little more customization and time than conventional braces, lingual braces are typically the most expensive brace option. 

  • Aligners: Like a perfect mold of your teeth, aligners are customized clear trays made from an elastic thermoplastic material. Aligning treatments consist of multiple removable trays and enamel-colored “buttons” which are affixed to your teeth. The buttons allow the trays to snap into place and gradually leverage your teeth into the desired configuration. Typically, trays are switched every two weeks. However, aligners require the highest degree of patient discipline because their success relies on the patient remembering and keeping the trays in place for most of the day (typically 20-22 hours per day). Since they require more responsibility, aligners are a good option for adults. Many adults prefer aligners because the clear material is much less visible than conventional options. 

Invisalign is the most recognizable brand of dental aligners. Falmouth Dental Arts now offers Invisalign treatment for our patients. If you think that you could benefit from braces of any kind, discuss the options with your doctor during your next visit. They’ll be happy to discuss the pros and cons of each option with you. If you are a candidate for Conventional or Lingual braces, you will be referred to one of the trusted local orthodontists.

Please note: our office opened on June 1 with new protocols and procedures in place to keep you and our staff safe. You can also read the full list of these updates on our COVID Protocol Page, easily found in the top menu bar of our website, so you know what to expect before your next appointment.  If you are overdue for your appointment, rest assured we will be in touch soon as we catch up with our backlog. We do look forward to seeing you again.  Thank you for being our patient!

Best Foods for Post-Oral Procedures

Do you or a family member have an oral procedure scheduled in the near future? Whether it’s the application of braces on your high-schooler, a root canal for your spouse, or teeth whitening for yourself, many oral procedures require some sort of specialized diet in the hours or days afterwards. The team at Falmouth Dental Arts breaks down the dos and don’ts of post-oral procedure diets, so you can make your grocery list with ease. Let’s break down the best foods to eat after dental surgery. 

For surgeries: 

  • Do enjoy soft, easy-to-chew or no-chew foods! 
    • Smoothies and shakes (made with your favorite fruits and veggies!)
    • Soups (smooth varieties such as tomato, clear broth, or cream soups)
    • Oatmeal, mashed potatoes
    • Yogurt, ice cream, or pudding
    • Applesauce
    • Avocado
    • Bananas or other very soft fruit (mash it up!)
    • Hummus
    • Peanut butter
    • Soft scrambled eggs
    • Tofu
  • Don’t eat any spicy, chewy, crunchy, or crusty foods. The list above may look a bit bland, but sticking to it will help speed up your healing process and avoid any post-surgery complications!.
  • Keep in Mind: TEMPERATURE! Your mouth is especially sensitive after an oral procedure, so avoid foods or drinks that are too hot or too cold. Allow everything to come to a nice room-temperature before consumption. 

For teeth whitening: 

  • Do stick to the White Diet for 24 Hours! 
    • Chicken or white fish
    • Cauliflower
    • White pasta and rice
    • White cheeses
    • Bananas
    • White yogurts
    • Clear beverages
    • White toothpastes
    • Clear mouthwash
  • Don’t eat any dark foods or drinks such as red sauces, red meat, chocolate, tea, coffee, or any type of alcohol or fruit juice.


  • Keep in Mind: THE STAIN TEST! If a food would leave a mark or stain on a white t-shirt, it would leave a stain on your new pearly whites! Avoid it! 

For all procedures: 

  • Keep in Mind: BALANCED NUTRITION! No matter how limited these lists appear, each one has room for proteins, vegetables, and fruits, as well as healthy carbohydrates and fats. Make sure to build a healthy menu within your guidelines. Your body needs good nutrition to heal quickly and properly. You’ll be back to chewy, crunchy foods in no time!  
  • Keep in Mind: Consumption of alcohol. Many people wonder if it is safe to consume alcohol after dental surgery. You should wait at least 24 hours before drinking any sort of alcoholic beverage. 


Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we care about your mouth pre-procedure, in-procedure, and post-procedure! If you have specific dietary restrictions, needs, questions, or concerns, just talk to Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. They will be happy to give their food recommendations, specifically tailored to you and your particular procedure. If you have any questions, or to schedule your appointment, please call our office at 207.781.5900

Porcelain Restoration–Is it Right For Me? An Interview with Dr. Brunacini

We love helping our patients achieve the smile of their dreams!  Many dental issues can be corrected through cosmetic dentistry and the first step for any cosmetic procedure is a simple consultation with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos.  They are here to discuss your dental health goals and help you find the right fit for your needs. A question we often get from patients is if they should replace old metal crowns and bridges with porcelain.  There are many advantages to replacing your old crowns, but the reason to replace them isn’t one-size-fits-all. To learn more about porcelain restoration and who could benefit from this procedure, we spoke with Dr. Brunacini.

1. What is porcelain restoration? 

Dr. Brunacini:  Porcelain is the material that is used to give crowns and veneers the esthetic properties–color, luster, and a tactile sense.  Porcelain restoration provides you with the translucency and shine of your natural teeth—you’d never be able to tell there was a need for a crown—and the texture of the polished porcelain is very similar to that of enamel.  It is a restoration that needs to be fabricated in a lab, and requires taking an impression to send to the lab. We are now doing crowns that are metal-free. By doing so, we can create highly esthetic AND very strong restorations with minimal risk of chipping or breaking. It is a great option for patients!

2. Why would I need to replace a metal crown or bridge?

Dr. Brunacini:  There can be numerous reasons for patients to need to replace their metal crowns.  The most obvious one is when a new area of decay develops under an existing crown or bridge.  This is one reason we do regular x-rays; they are very important to discover any changes underneath crowns before they become loose or problematic.  

Also, for some patients, they find it unsightly to have metal show, so replacing a metal crown with a porcelain crown is a good solution for their needs.  For many years, dentists placed crowns with a metal substructure and porcelain overlayed on top of the porcelain. Over time, the porcelain can chip, which may lead to poor esthetics or difficulty cleaning the crown.  The only way to fix this situation is to replace it with a new crown.  

If you have questions or concerns about your metal crowns, schedule a consultation with me or Dr. Karagiorgos.  We are here to help you achieve your dental goals!

3. I’ve heard porcelain crowns can cause more wear and tear on my other teeth.  Is this true?

Dr. Brunacini:  With newer types of porcelain, there is less concern with wearing down opposing teeth.  Of course, it is very important to finely adjust the bite on crowns to be sure they function well with the other teeth. This is why when we fit a porcelain crown, we sculpt and shape the porcelain to fit perfectly with your existing bite.

4. Are there any special care instructions for porcelain crowns and bridges?

Dr. Brunacini:  There really isn’t much “special” care needed. For patients who grind their teeth, a night-guard may be indicated to protect the porcelain from chipping.  However, most patients can simply stay on top of their regular home care, such as brushing twice daily and flossing daily. This should be sufficient enough to maintain porcelain crowns for many years! 


Thank you, Dr. Brunacini!

Whether your reason is cosmetic, physical, or a bit of both, our team of caring dental professionals is here to help you find the right path toward a better smile.  If you have more questions about porcelain restoration or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos, call our office at 207.781.5900 today.