Americans have seen an overall improvement in their oral health ever since we started adding fluoride to our daily intake of water, but in other ways, fluoridation has led to a hidden problem, what we in the industry refer to as “hidden caries.” Our tooth enamel has become harder and more durable due to the fluoride we receive, but sometimes this causes tooth decay to travel below the surface, where it can go undetected and wreak havoc on a patient’s oral health and on our ability to diagnose the problem.
Our solution? The DIAGNOdent Laser. This tool allows dentists to see below the surface of a tooth in order to know exactly what the ‘root’ cause is. In the past, dentists had to occasionally guess and perform procedures without knowing if they were targeting the correct issue. With our DIAGNOdent laser, the guesswork is gone, allowing us to make the right diagnosis for your optimal dental health.
The laser emits a specific wavelength of light (655 nanometers to be exact) that targets the problem area. Healthy tooth material won’t react at all, but decaying material, even below the surface, will reflect a fluorescence that is measured by the laser. The higher the fluorescence, the more tooth decay there is.
If you’re experiencing dental problems and are unsure of the cause, it’s possible that we can detect the issue with the DIAGNOdent laser. Call our office at 207-781-5900 and tell us your story.
Brushing your teeth serves a variety of important functions. It clears away plaque that can build up and lead to tooth decay. It keeps your gums healthy and lowers your chance of developing gingivitis. It may even reduce your risk of developing dementia. However, it cannot fully fight off tooth stains. Yellowing of the teeth is common even in the most assiduous brushers.
Stains on the teeth are not necessarily the result of ill health. They are more likely an indication that you enjoy teeth-staining foods and beverages (like coffee). While brushing your teeth can help, it is typically not enough to totally prevent yellowing. This is true even if you use whitening toothpaste.
Fortunately, Falmouth Dental Arts offers treatments that can revitalize your smile. Don’t go another year feeling embarrassed of your yellow teeth. Spend just one hour in our office and you’ll leave with pearly whites. Would you rather whiten in the privacy of your own home? We also offer at-home tooth whitening solutions. Call us today at 207-781-5900.
George Washington was plagued by dental disease almost his entire life. His adult teeth began falling out in his early 20’s. Others had to be extracted due to advanced decay. By the time he became president only one remained.
Because of this, Washington frequently sought out the help of dentists. During the Revolutionary War he became close to Franco-American dentist Jean-Pierre Le Mayeur, who became a lifelong friend. Later, during his presidency, Washington relied on dentist John Greenwood to fashion him several sets of false teeth. However, none were made from wood. One set was made from ivory and held together with gold springs, which is a bit more presidential than a hunk of wood. One pair of Washington’s dentures survives and is on view at his home in Mount Vernon.
George Washington’s story is a good reminder of how far we’ve come in dentistry. Despite the best efforts of Revolutionary Era dentists, Washington still suffered a lifetime of discomfort and regularly took laudanum (an opiate painkiller) to deal with the pain. His poor teeth also hurt his self-esteem and made him reluctant to give speeches.
Although there are many ways you should inspire to be like our nation’s first president, having unsightly teeth is not one of them. At Falmouth Dental Arts we offer dental solutions that fit your specific needs and budget for your complete comfort both physically and financially. Most importantly, we will get your teeth functioning properly and looking beautiful once again. Call today to see how we can improve your smile.
Many believe that losing their teeth and eventually ending up with dentures is inevitable. Others think they’re “too old” for certain procedures. There are many myths that need to be debunked about our dental health as we age. Here are seven of the most common of them:
1. I’m going to lose my teeth anyway. Why put money into them?
Having a great smile and being able to eat anything you want is an investment, not a cost. Many of us will now live to be over 90 thanks to modern medicine. There are many procedures to save teeth, so you don’t have to be doomed to a future of gumming your food or ill-fitting dentures for 20+ years.
2. I’m too old for orthodontics. My teeth can’t be straightened now.
As we get older, unfortunately our teeth become more crooked and overlapped. Orthodontics work at any age as long as the teeth have good bone support and are in fair shape. Many times, orthodontics are used before cosmetic procedures, so the results can be beautiful.
3. My dentures will never be tight enough.
There have been many advances in helping people with loose dentures. One of the most cost-effective methods is the placement of “mini-implants,” which can attach to the inside of the existing dentures in order to give patients a tighter fit. For those who want to get rid of their dentures completely, there are “implant supported bridges,” where slightly larger implants are placed and a bridge that looks like normal teeth is cemented permanently over them.
4. Teeth whitening is only for the younger crowd.
Teeth whitening works no matter what your age. Done properly, it can make your teeth (and you) look much more youthful. Just be aware that whitening will not work on old fillings or crowns.
5. I’m too old for veneers and crowns.
Some of our favorite patients are those over 70 who have had cosmetic veneers done on their aging and yellowing teeth—it gives them much more confidence in their smiles and can help with self-esteem.
6. Implants won’t work in my mouth so I’m stuck with what I have.
Dental implants are changing so fast that it’s hard for even dentists to keep up with the advances. Just a few years ago, if your jaw couldn’t accommodate implants, your options were limited. Now, there are many procedures that allow us to place implants almost anywhere in the mouth. Biting into an apple is a wonderful thing you can do again with the help of the proper procedures.
7. The health of my teeth and gums doesn’t matter at this age.
Gum disease, or “periodontal disease,” is the number one disease in the world. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss as we age, and it’s entirely preventable! There are now a vast number of studies showing how important healthy gums are to our heart and joints. If you’ve had joint replacements, you know how strict surgeons are about healthy gums before surgery. The mouth is a window to the health of the rest of your body.
It’s never too late for the beautiful smile and functional teeth you’ve been dreaming of for years. With the advances of modern dentistry, your dreams can become a reality.
That is a pretty high statistic if you ask us. Especially because you have some control over that. Over our many years practicing dentistry, we have found that most people visit us for any one of these three distinct reasons.
Fear – some people are just plain petrified of the dentist. It the fearful ones have had some traumatizing experiences in the past, and even if they didn’t, they know how old school dentistry did their work – fill, drill, and bill. That philosophy is a thing of the past, and something we never, ever, ever bought into here at FDA. We know some people have pre-appointment nerves and apprehensions, and we take every single one of those into account no matter how irrational those fears may be. We are here to calm your nerves and fix your teeth!
Personal Image – people want to look good. Of course it is true, and why wouldn’t it be? Your smile is a focal point of your face and people notice it, so it is normal to want a great smile. Whether that means veneers, whitening, tooth replacement, or orthodontics, we can help you get to where you want to go and get you that beautiful, confident smile of your dreams.
Function – some people have such a serious problem that it impacts the way that they are talking and eating. People often wait until they are in serious pain and discomfort before they visit us, and although we are glad to see that they finally come in to fix the problem, waiting around often complicates things further. The sooner you come in, the easier it is to treat the problem, the more treatment options we will likely have, and the faster your recovery will be. So if you’re hurting or uncomfortable, or something just doesn’t feel right in your mouth, then don’t wait around forever, come visit us! Our promise is to solve the problem and lay out a treatment plan together – one that you are completely comfortable with.
We know how to help even the most fearful patients who have the most complicated issues. We talk and formulate a treatment plan together that fits your lifestyle and budget. The most important thing to understand is that we are a team, and we have the same goals that you do to get you your perfect smile.
If you know a person who is so fearful of the dentist that they haven’t been in ages, then please share this blog post with them and tell them about us. We would love to talk with them.
Dentistry has changed quite a bit over the past twenty years, most notably in the new forms of technology available to dentist offices. Things like digital x-rays, water cooled electric drills, lasers and even the use of microscopes have given us the opportunity to offer more effective treatments to our patients.
Because of the rapid changes in technology, the team at Falmouth Dental Arts puts a strong focus on continuing education for the entire staff. It is something we really take pride in and get excited about! Can you believe that the combined years of experience of our staff is 275?! Most recently, our hygiene team attended a class on dealing with gluten intolerance, sensitivity and celiac disease. In January, we took courses on periodontal disease diagnosis.
Our main focus is on the prevention of future dental problems with the use of fluorides and sealants on children. We also recognize that many of our patients are interested in the cosmetic treatments available to them, such as teeth whitening, veneers and orthodontics. With the new sleep apnea devices (can we link this to the sleep apnea page?) that are now available, we can even treat sleeping disorders with a custom fit mouthpiece.
Technology is changing dentistry, and we are committed to having the knowledge, education and training needed to deliver these new advances to our patients.