Welcome to Marcellus Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, P.C.

We are a dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles!

High Standards

A standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality dental services our patients deserve.  We provide comprehensive treatment planning and use restorative and cosmetic dentistry to achieve your optimal dental health.  Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.

Education & Prevention

We believe that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health.   That’s why we focus on thorough exams – digital images instead of xrays, oral cancer exams with the latest FDA approved Velscope, and laser cavity detection.  

Uncompromising Safety

Infection control in our office is also very important to us.  To protect our patients and ourselves, we strictly maintain the highest possible standards of sterilization and cross contamination processes.

Training & Expertise

To give you the best possible service and results, we are committed to continual education and learning.  We attend dental lectures, meetings, and dental conventions to stay informed of new techniques, the latest products, and the newest equipment that a modern dental office can utilize to provide state-of-the-art dental care such as laser cavity preparation and air abrasion for fillings without shots or drilling.  

A Positive Experience

Building a foundation of trust by treating our patients as special individuals is vital to our success.  We understand how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, and how we can make a difference in providing a relaxing and positive experience.  We can use sedation to allow nervous patients to rest comfortably during their dental appointments.

We thank you for allowing us to take care of your dental needs and look forward to serving you.

Make an appointment today…..we’ll give you a reason to smile!


Who We Treat

We treat patients of all ages.  We like to start children around one year of age with brief, fun visits.  We can then spot problems early and get children on their way to a lifetime of excellent dental health.

Who Do We Serve

Located in Marcellus, New York, our office serves patients from surrounding cities such as Skaneateles, Camillus and Auburn.


Marcellus Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Staff:

Conscious Sedation

You can be provided with a prescription medication which allows you to rest comfortably while we complete your dental treatment. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is also available to make your dental appointment easier.

Orthodontic Treatment (Braces)

The benefits of orthodontic treatment often go beyond the obvious physical changes of an improved bite and straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image.   While having beautiful straight teeth is important, even more important is the need to alleviate any potential health problems associated with the teeth or jaw.  Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay and, possibly, gum disease or total tooth loss.  Orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments, and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.  Over time, excessive strain on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth can affect the jaw joints leading to problems such as headaches or face and neck pain.

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children get an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7.  Though orthodontic treatment can be done at any age, timely treatment ensures maximum dental health. 

With all of the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces has never been easier.  State-of-the-art appliances and treatments are now available, from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth colored brackets, to NASA type wires that are heat activated and require fewer adjustments!  Some patients may even be candidates for treatment with Invisalign, a revolutionary way to straighten teeth using clear, retainer type aligners that require no braces or wires!

If treatment is necessary, we will thoroughly discuss which treatment option is best suited for you!

Reasons for orthodontic treatment (braces) adults & children:

  • Breathing or swallowing problems – Mouth breathing can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Crossbite – One or more upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth (towards the tongue).
  • Crowding – Involving extra teeth or malpositioned teeth.
  • Deep Overbite – The lower front teeth bite into the upper tissue of the upper teeth.
  • Disfiguring of the face & mouth – Affects the development of the jaw and position of the teeth.
  • Jaw & jaw joint pain
  • Missing or extra teeth – Due to tooth decay, injuries, or inherited problems.
  • Overjet (protruding upper teeth) – Upper teeth that protrude beyond normal and are usually associated with a short lower jaw.
  • Self-image – An attractive smile can boost a person’s self-image and confidence.
  • Spacing between teeth – Teeth are missing or may be too small or too large.
  • Speech, chewing or biting problems
  • Underbite (lower jaw protrusion) – Lower jaw is longer than the upper jaw.

Specific to children:


  • Finger or thumb sucking – These habits can cause protrusion of the upper incisor teeth, and mouth breathing.
  • Teeth erupting out of position – Can be guided to proper alignment.

What does orthodontic treatment involve?


Orthodontic treatment involves three phases:

1.  Planning Phase – Your first couple of visits may include the following:

  • A medical and dental history evaluation.
  • Castings or “molds” of your teeth.
  • Computer generated photograph of the head and neck that will aid in planning.
  • Photographs of your face and mouth.
  • X-rays of the teeth and jaws.
After careful planning, your orthodontist will design and apply braces or fabricate custom-made appliances for you.

2.  Active Phase – Active treatment involves visiting your orthodontist on a regular basis for adjustments and following specific treatment requirements to ensure successful treatment.

3.  Retention Phase – When treatment is completed, the braces and/or appliances are removed and a new appliance is made.  Usually these retainers are removable and will maintain the changes made to your teeth if worn continuously until the teeth and bone are stabilized in their new positions.

Treatment and retention times vary depending on each individual case.  Your orthodontist will ensure you have a successful treatment for a beautiful smile that can last a lifetime. 

Orthodontics can not only help straighten your teeth, giving you an appealing smile, but can greatly contribute to the health of your jaw, teeth and sometimes your overall health.

TMJ (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)

Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. TMJ is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. The vast majority of TMJ sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that a dentist can effectively treat.

The symptoms of TMJ are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well being of the patient is at the heart of the dental practice, so pain relief is the first consideration of the dentist. The dentist is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.

Reasons for treating TMJ

TMJ sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.

The most common cause of TMJ is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” It is possible for the dentist to realign or adjust the teeth without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. The realignment/adjustment will stop the pounding headaches, the jaw pain, and the dizziness.

The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMJ is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.

It is important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of TMJ to visit the dentist for an exact diagnosis.

What does treating TMJ involve?

TMJ could be a result of several different problems. Bad bite is the most common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, the dentist will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patients bite, take x-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment.

Once a firm diagnosis is attained, there are several ways in which relief can be provided. A specially molded bite guard can be created to stop teeth grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended by the dentist. The dentist can also provide advice on relaxation techniques which will lessen the effects of stress. As a last alternative, the dentist is also able to prescribe muscle relaxants.

A better option is to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely, often called “realignment.” This is especially useful because it alleviates TMJ symptoms and may improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Realignment involves adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth come together with the lower teeth. This may require new restorations and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well. It is not a painful procedure, and it is one the dentist has performed with great success numerous times. As with any procedure, the dentist will be happy to answer questions and discuss symptoms, options, and treatments.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of TMJ, we encourage you to contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt (surface) in the mouth, generally making their appearance between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom), near the entrance to the throat. The term “wisdom” stems from the idea that the molars surface at a time typically associated with increased maturity or “wisdom”.

In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection, damage to other teeth, and possibly cysts or tumors.

There are several types, or degrees, of impaction based on the actual depth of the teeth within the jaw:

Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of the tooth (the crown) has penetrated through the bone, but the gingiva (gum) is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown and has not positioned properly around the tooth. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum and cause an infection and/or tooth decay, resulting in pain and swelling.

Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, because it is difficult to keep the area clean, infection will commonly occur.

Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex removal techniques.

Reasons to remove wisdom teeth

While not all wisdom teeth require removal, wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:

  • Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth directly in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease) and possible bone loss.
  • Disease: Although uncommon, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. The infection can cause considerable pain and danger.
  • Tooth Crowding: It has been theorized that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth and cause them to become misaligned (crowded or twisted). This theory isn’t universally accepted by all dental professionals, and it has never been validated by any scientific studies.

Wisdom teeth examination


As with any dental procedure, your dentist will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Panoramic or digital x-rays will be taken in order for your dentist to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The x-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can your dentist provide you with the best options for your particular case.

What does the removal of wisdom teeth involve?

Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist in an office surgery suite. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort.

Bruxism

Bruxism refers to an oral parafunctional activity which occurs in most humans at some point in their lives.  The grinding of the teeth and the clenching of the jaw are the two main characteristics of this condition, which can occur either during the day or at night.

Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders and causes most of its damage during sleeping hours.  The clenching and grinding which accompanies bruxism is symptomatic of a malfunctioning chewing reflex, which is turned off in non-sufferers when sleeping.  For sufferers, deep sleep or even naps, cause the reflex nerve control center in the brain to turn off, and the reflex pathways to become active.

Typically, the incisors and canines (front 6 upper and lower teeth) of opposing arches grind against each other laterally.  This side to side action puts undue strain on the medial pterygoid muscles and the temporomandibular joints.  Earache, depression, headaches, eating disorders and anxiety are amongst the most common symptoms of bruxism; which often accompanies chronic stress, Alzheimer’s disease and alcohol abuse.

Bruxism is frequently misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all, because it is only one of several potential causes of tooth wear.  Only a trained professional can tell the difference between bruxing wear and wear caused by overly aggressive brushing, acidic soft drinks and abrasive foods.

A BiteStrip® is an economical device used to diagnose bruxism at home.  The device itself is a small electromyography which senses and monitors any activity in the jaw muscles during sleep.  The frequency and severity of the condition can then be assessed and the best treatment plan can be formulated.

Reasons for the treatment of bruxism

Here are some of the main reasons why bruxism should be promptly treated:

  • Gum recession and tooth loss – Bruxism is one of the leading causes of gum recession and tooth loss; firstly because it damages the soft tissue directly, and secondly because it leads to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria can colonize and destroy the supporting bone.

  • Occlusal trauma – The abnormal wear patterns on the occlusal (chewing) surfaces can lead to fractures in the teeth, which may require restorative treatment.

  • Arthritis – In severe and chronic cases, bruxing can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints (the joints that allow the jaw to open smoothly).

  • Myofascial pain – The grinding associated with bruxism can eventually shorten and blunt the teeth.  This can lead to muscle pain in the myofascial region and debilitating headaches.

Treatment options for bruxism


There is no single cure for bruxism, though a variety of helpful devices and tools are available.  Here are some common ways in which bruxism is treated:

  • Mouthguards – An acrylic mouthguard can be designed from tooth impressions to minimize the abrasive action of tooth surfaces during normal sleep.  Mouthguards should be worn on a long-term basis to help prevent tooth damage, damage to the temporomandibular joint and help to stabilize the occlusion.

  • NTI-tss device – This device is fitted by a health professional and only covers the front teeth.  The goal of the NTI-tss is to prevent the grinding of the rear molars by limiting the contraction of the temporalis muscle.

  • Botox® – Botox® can be injected into the muscles to relax and weaken them.  Botox® is an excellent treatment for bruxism because it weakens the muscles enough to prevent the grinding, but not enough to interfere with everyday functions like chewing and speaking.
Other methods of treatment include relaxation exercises, stress management education and biofeedback mechanisms.  When the bruxing is under control, there are a variety of dental procedures such as crowns, gum grafts and crown lengthening that can restore a pleasant aesthetic appearance to the smile.

If you have questions or concerns about bruxism, please ask your dentist.

Xylitol - Reducing Cavities

Tooth decay is a common, yet preventable childhood problem.  Left untreated, cavities in primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth become painful and negatively impact the esthetics and functionality of the teeth.

Some children are particularly susceptible to tooth decay, even after receiving regular dental examinations and oral care at home.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has recently recognized the benefits of a substance called Xylitol for reducing childhood tooth decay.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural substance that can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Some of the most common Xylitol- rich foods include: berries, mushrooms, corns, and lettuces.  Study results indicate that 4-20 grams of Xylitol each day, divided into three or more helpings, can reduce tooth decay and cavities by as much as 70%.  As a point of reference, a single cup of berries contains a little less than one gram of Xylitol.

It can be difficult to encourage children (especially toddlers) to consistently eat four or more cups of fruit or vegetables each day.  For this reason, Xylitol is also available as a sugar substitute, a gum, and as a concentrate in numerous health foods. No other sugar substitute has been shown to benefit young teeth in the same way.

It should be noted that excessive Xylitol consumption does not provide “more” tooth protection.  Sticking to the recommended daily amount is enough to enhance other cavity-reduction efforts, and the effects will last well into the future.

How does Xylitol work?

The combination of many factors increases susceptibility to childhood tooth decay and cavities.  These factors include: oral care habits, diet, carbohydrate consumption, sucrose consumption, salivary flow rate, and tooth resistance to plaque.

More specifically, harmful oral bacteria feed on sugars and carbohydrates, producing acids.  When sugary foods are consumed, these acids attack and destroy vulnerable tooth enamel. Xylitol works to neutralize the acids, reducing enamel destruction, and minimizing the threat of cavities in the process.  Xylitol also stimulates saliva production, meaning that food particles, plaque and bacteria are continually removed from the teeth.  When used in combination with fluoride, Xylitol works to remineralize teeth, protecting tooth enamel and minimizing new cavity formation.

When should my child start using Xylitol?

Although Xylitol gum is not suitable for very young children, infants actually benefit from maternal chewing!  Mothers of children between three months and two years old who used Xylitol gum several times each day, protected their child from tooth decay until the age of five years old.  In this case, Xylitol reduced the amount of microorganisms transmitted from mother to child.

Once the child reaches toddlerhood, Xylitol can be consumed as a sugar substitute, or as a natural byproduct of eating fruit and vegetables.  Older children can reduce the threat of new cavities by chewing Xylitol gum.

If you have questions or concerns about Xylitol or tooth decay, please contact our practice.

After Tooth Extractions

There are a number of reasons that your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Some dental patients suffer from tooth decay; others need to remove teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas various patients simply need wisdom teeth removal. While a tooth extraction can be a serious dental procedure, aftercare is just as critical as the procedure itself. As the dental patient, it is important to understand that pain and the risk of infection can be lessened with proper care.

Care immediately following surgery:

  • Keep pressure on the gauze pad that your doctor placed over the surgical area by gently biting down. Dampen the gauze sponge with water if it begins to dry out. Try to maintain constant pressure in intervals of 45-60 minutes, repeating as often as needed, or until bleeding lessens.  Change the gauze as needed. 
  • Keep your head elevated and try to lower your activity level as much as possible.
  • 48 hours after surgery, rinse mouth with warm salt water every 1-2 hours. Avoid using any mouthwash containing alcohol as it can irritate the wound.
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing areas around the surgical site, but be sure to avoid sutures. Touching the wounded area in any fashion should be prevented.
  • Use ice packs to control swelling by placing them on facial areas near extraction.
  • Take all prescribed medications accordingly. If any itching or swelling occurs, contact the practice immediately, or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Try to eat softer foods, preferably high in protein.
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but do not drink through a straw for the next 5-7 days.
  • If you are a regular tobacco user refrain from smoking for the next 3-4 days as smoking increases your chances of getting a dry socket as well as an infection.
After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non-resorbable, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the stitches for you. Your tooth’s empty socket will gradually fill in with bone over time and smooth over with adjacent tissues.

Possible complications after a tooth extraction

Bleeding – Bleeding after a tooth extraction is entirely normal. A pinkish tinted saliva and subtle oozing is fairly common during the first 36 hours. If bleeding gets excessive, control it by using dampened gauze pads and biting down to keep pressure on the area. As an alternative to gauze pads, a moistened tea bag can be used, as the tannic acid helps blood vessels contract. Apply pressure to the gauze or tea bag by gently biting down for 30 minutes. Please remember that raised tempers, sitting upright, and exercise can all increase blood flow to the head, which can cause excess bleeding. Try to avoid these as much as possible. If your bleeding does not reduce after 48 hours, please call the practice.

Bone sequestra (dead tooth fragments) – Some patients have small sharp tooth fragments that were unable to be completely removed during surgery. During the recovery period, these dead bone fragments, or bone sequestra, slowly work themselves through the gums as a natural healing process. This can be a little painful until the sequestra are removed so please call our practice immediately if you notice any sharp fragments poking through the surgery site.

Dry socket – In the days that follow your tooth extraction, pain should gradually subside. Rarely, patients report that pain increases to a throbbing unbearable pain that shoots up towards the ear. Often this is a case of dry socket. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot becomes irritated and ousted before healing is complete. Food and debris can then get into the socket causing irritation. Tobacco users and women taking oral contraceptives are at a higher risk of getting dry socket. Dry socket is not an infection but does require a visit to our office. If you think you may be suffering from dry socket, please contact the practice immediately.

Lightheadedness - Because you may have been fasting prior to surgery, your blood sugar levels may be lower than normal. Until your body has had the chance to catch up and process some sugars, you should remember to stand up slowly when getting up from a relaxed position. For somewhat immediate relief, try eating something soft and sugary, stay in a relaxed position, and reduce the elevation of your head.

Numbness – Many patients report still feeling numb hours after their tooth extraction procedure. An extended lack of feeling around the mouth is normal and can last 10-12 hours after surgery.

Swelling – Swelling should subside almost entirely within 10 days after surgery. Immediately following your tooth extraction, apply an ice pack to the facial areas near the extraction. Continue using the ice in 15 minute intervals for the first 36 hours. After 36 hours, ice will no longer be beneficial in reducing swelling and moist heat should be used instead. To decrease swelling, apply a warm damp cloth to the sides of your face.

Trismus (difficulty opening and closing mouth) – If you experience a sore jaw and difficulty chewing or swallowing, do not be alarmed. Occasionally patients’ chewing muscles and jaw joints remain sore 3-5 days after surgery. This soreness can also make it difficult to open and close your mouth. Soreness should eventually subside.

If you have any worries, or are experiencing any complications not mentioned, please contact our practice immediately so that we may address your concerns.

Restorations


  • Amalgam Fillings

  • Dental Implants

  • Composite Fillings

  • Crowns (Caps)

  • Dentures & Partial Dentures

  • Fixed Bridges

  • Root Canal Therapy

  • Crown Lengthening


  • It’s great news that the incidence of tooth decay has significantly diminished over the years due to the use of fluorides and an increase in patient awareness.  However, teeth are still susceptible to decay, infection, and breakage and sometimes need to be restored back to health.  Through improved techniques and modern technology, we are now able to offer more options for restoring a tooth back to its normal shape, appearance and function.


    Should your teeth ever require a restorative treatment, you can rest assured knowing we will always discuss with you the available options, and recommend what we believe to be the most comfortable and least invasive treatment.  Providing you with excellent care is our number one priority when creating your beautiful smile.



    Reasons for restorative dentistry:

    • Enhance your smile.
    • Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth.
    • Improve or correct an improper bite.
    • Prevent the loss of a tooth.
    • Relieve dental pain.
    • Repair damaged and decayed teeth.
    • Replace missing teeth.
    • Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.
    • Restore normal eating and chewing.

    Remember to give your teeth the attention they need today!



    Amalgam Fillings

    A silver amalgam filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a silver filling.

    There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.  Amalgam fillings, along with composite (tooth colored) fillings, are the most widely used today.  An amalgam filling is more commonly used in the back teeth since the color is not as aesthetic as a composite filling.

    As with most dental restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and may someday need replacement.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting smile.

    Reasons for amalgam fillings:
    • Cracked or broken teeth.
    • Decayed teeth.
    • Worn teeth.

    What does getting an amalgam filling involve?


    Amalgam fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.  The space will then be thoroughly cleansed and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The silver filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

    It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when amalgam fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

    You will be given post-care instructions at the completion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

    Dental Implants

    Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures.  Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

    Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone.  The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!

    Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

    Reasons for dental implants:

    • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
    • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
    • Restore a patient’s confident smile.
    • Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
    • Restore or enhance facial tissues.
    • Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.

    What does getting dental implants involve?


    The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.

    X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.  While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months.  Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place.  With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.

    After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor.  Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete.  After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.

    You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.

    Composite Fillings

    A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

    There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

    As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

    Reasons for composite fillings:
    • Chipped teeth.
    • Closing space between two teeth.
    • Cracked or broken teeth.
    • Decayed teeth.
    • Worn teeth.

    How are composite fillings placed?

     
    Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
    It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

    You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

    Crowns (Caps)

    A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

    Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

    Reasons for crowns:
    • Broken or fractured teeth.
    • Cosmetic enhancement.
    • Decayed teeth.
    • Fractured fillings.
    • Large fillings.
    • Tooth has a root canal.

    What does getting a crown involve?


    A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

    While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

    At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

    You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

    Dentures & Partial Dentures

    A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

    There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures.  Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.  A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

    A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks.  During this time the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

    Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

    Reasons for dentures:
    • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
    • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
    • Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
    • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

    What does getting dentures involve?


    The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit.  At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

    It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

    You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

    Fixed Bridges

    A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

    There are several types of bridges.  You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case.  The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal.  This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

    Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

    Reasons for a fixed bridge:
    • Fill space of missing teeth.
    • Maintain facial shape.
    • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
    • Restore chewing and speaking ability.
    • Restore your smile.
    • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.

    What does getting a fixed bridge involve?


    Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits.  While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.  Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated.  In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

    At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit.  Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge.  The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

    You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

    Root Canal Therapy

    Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.

    Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

    Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

    Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
    • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
    • Sensitivity to hot and cold.
    • Severe toothache pain.
    • Sometimes no symptoms are present.
    • Swelling and/or tenderness.

    Reasons for root canal therapy:

    • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
    • Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
    • Injury or trauma to the tooth.

    What does root canal therapy involve?


    A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).

    While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

    Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.

    At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

    After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.

    You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

    Crown Lengthening

    Crown lengthening is generally performed in order to improve the health of the gum tissue, or to prepare the mouth for restorative or cosmetic procedures.  In addition, crown lengthening procedures can also be used to correct a “gummy” smile, where teeth are covered with excess gum tissue.  Crown lengthening exposes more of the natural tooth by reshaping or recontouring bone and gum tissue.  This treatment can be performed on a single tooth, many teeth or the entire gum line, to expose a pleasant, aesthetically pleasing smile.

    Reasons for crown lengthening

    Crown lengthening is a versatile and common procedure that has many effective uses and benefits.  The vast majority of patients who have undergone this type of surgery are highly delighted with the results.

    Here are some of the most common reasons for crown lengthening:
    • Restoration of damaged teeth – Periodontal disease can cause severe damage to the teeth, as can trauma and decay.  Where teeth have been broken beneath the gum line, crown lengthening can be used to prepare the area for a new restoration to correct the damaged teeth.

    • Cosmetic uses – Extra gum tissue can make teeth look unnaturally short, and also increase susceptibility to periodontal infections.  Removing excess gum tissue can restore a balanced, healthy look and thus improve the aesthetic appearance of the smile.

    • Dental crowns – Crown lengthening serves to provide more space between the supporting jawbone and dental crown.  This prevents the new crown from damaging gum tissues and bone once it is in place.

    What does crown lengthening involve?


    Crown lengthening is normally performed under local anesthetic.  The amount of time this procedure takes will largely depend in how many teeth are involved and whether a small amount of bone needs to be removed, in addition to the soft tissue.  Any existing dental crowns will be removed prior to the procedure, and replaced immediately afterwards.

    The dentist will make a series of small incisions around the soft tissue in order to separate the gums away from the teeth.  Even if only one tooth requires the re-contour, neighboring teeth are usually treated to provide a more even reshaping.  Separating the gums provides the dentist with access to the roots of the teeth and the underlying bone.

    In some cases, the removal of a small amount of tissue will provide enough tooth exposure to place a crown.  In other cases, the dentist will also need to remove a small amount of bone from around the teeth.  The bone is usually removed using a combination of special hand instruments, and rotary instruments.  The rotary instruments roughly resemble the drill that is used in cavity treatment.

    When the dentist is satisfied the teeth have sufficient exposure, the wound will be cleaned with sterile water and the gum tissue will be sutured with small stitches.  The teeth will look noticeably longer immediately after surgery because the gums have now been repositioned.

    The dentist will secure the surgical site using an intraoral (periodontal) bandage, which serves to prevent infection.  Prescriptions may be provided for pain medication, and a chlorhexidine (antimicrobial) mouth rinse may be given to help reduce any bacteria attempting to re-colonize.  The surgical site will be completely healed in approximately two to three months.

    If you have any questions about crown lengthening, please ask your dentist.

    Periodontal Disease

    The word periodontal means “around the tooth”.  Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.  Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva.  If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).  When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.  Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

    Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.

    Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy.  Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions.  Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

    Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

    Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

    • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
    • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
    • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
    • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
    • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
    • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
    • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
    • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

    Cleanings & Prevention

    A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

    Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet.  It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.

    Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.

    Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.

    FAQ:

    Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues.  If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

    Q: What should I do if I have bad breath?
    A: Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition.  Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.

    There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue.  Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

    What may cause bad breath?

    • Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
    • Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc.  Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
    • Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
    • Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
    • Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
    • Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
    • Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
    • Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
    • Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
    • Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.
    Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath.  Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist.

    What can I do to prevent bad breath?
    • Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush.  Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline.  Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months.  If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
    • See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year.  If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
    • Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
    • Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
    • Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor.  Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.


    In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.  If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.


    Q: How often should I brush and floss?
    A: Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

    Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.  The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay.  Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).  If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

    Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.

    Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.

    • Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
    • Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
    • Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
    • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
    Electric toothbrushes are also recommended.  They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently.  Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

    Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

    • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
    • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
    • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
    Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

    Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush.  If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.


    Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
    A: Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings.  An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury.  Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years.  The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.

    According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth.  The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.

    The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe.  Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective.  The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling.  The ADA has had fewer than 100 reported incidents of an allergy to components of silver fillings, and this is out of countless millions of silver fillings over the decades.

    Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels.  For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them.  However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.

    There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings.  We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which is the best option for you.


    Q: How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
    A: You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

    Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.  These include:

    • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your over all health and also your dental health.
    • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
    • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any sings of oral cancer.
    • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
    • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
    • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
    • Removal of calculus (tartar)Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
    • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
    • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
    • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
    • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.
    As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.  We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.


    Q: How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
    A: Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.  Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms.  Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.

    Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone.  Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.

    Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

    • Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
    • Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
    • Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives.  Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
    • Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
    • Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
    • Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis.  Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.



    Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease


    • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
    • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
    • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
    • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
    • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
    • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
    • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
    • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
    Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.


    Q: Why is it important to use dental floss?
    A: Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth.  Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

    Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline.  Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

    Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums.  Also, when plaque is not removed above and below the gumline, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar).  This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone.  This is the beginning of periodontal disease.

    How to floss properly:

    • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
    • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
    • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline.  Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
    Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

    Daily flossing will help you keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!


    Q: How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?
    A: If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer to a more beautiful, confident smile.

    Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health.  This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.

    There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile.  Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth make-over.  Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.

    Cosmetic Procedures:

    Teeth Whitening: Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking.  Teeth darkened as a result of injury or taking certain medications can also be bleached, but the effectiveness depends on the degree of staining present.

    Composite (tooth-colored) Fillings: Also known as “bonding”, composite fillings are now widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair teeth with cavities, and also to replace old defective fillings.  Tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth.  This type of filling is also very useful to fill in gaps and to protect sensitive, exposed root surfaces caused by gum recession.

    Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile.  They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth.  Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.

    Porcelain Crowns (caps): A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.  They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.

    Dental Implants: Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth.  Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.

    Orthodontics: Less visible and more effective brackets and wires are making straightening teeth with orthodontics much more appealing to adult patients.  Also, in some cases, teeth may be straightened with custom-made, clear, removable aligners that require no braces.

    Thanks to the advances in modern dentistry, cosmetic treatments can make a difference in making your smile shine!


    Q: What are porcelain veneers and how can they improve my smile?
    A: Porcelain veneers are very thin shells of tooth-shaped porcelain that are individually crafted to cover the fronts of teeth.  They are very durable and will not stain, making them a very popular solution for those seeking to restore or enhance the beauty of their smile.

    Veneers may be used to restore or correct the following dental conditions:

    • Severely discolored or stained teeth
    • Unwanted or uneven spaces
    • Worn or chipped teeth
    • Slight tooth crowding
    • Misshapen teeth
    • Teeth that are too small or large
    Getting veneers usually requires two visits.  Veneers are created from an impression (mold) of your teeth that is then sent to a professional dental laboratory where each veneer is custom-made (for shape and color) for your individual smile.

    With little or no anesthesia, teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the front surface of the teeth to allow for the small thickness of veneers.  The veneers are carefully fitted and bonded onto the tooth surface with special bonding cements and occasionally a specialized light may be used to harden and set the bond.

    Veneers are an excellent dental treatment that can dramatically improve your teeth and give you a natural, beautiful smile.


    Q: What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
    A: Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile.

    Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.  Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

    As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade.  The color of our teeth also comes from the inside of the tooth, which may become darker over time.  Smoking, drinking coffee, tea, and wine may also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull.  Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline.  Excessive fluoridation (fluorosis) during tooth development can also cause teeth to become discolored.

    It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for bleaching.  Occasionally, tetracycline and fluorosis stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains.  Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. before bleaching begins.  Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.

    Since teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright.

    The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems:

    Home teeth whitening systems: At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom-fitted mouthguard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth.  The trays are worn either twice a day for approximately 30 minutes, or overnight while you sleep.  It usually takes several weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening.

    In office teeth whitening: This treatment is done in the dental office and you will see results immediately.  It may require more than one visit, with each visit lasting 30 to 60 minutes.  While your gums are protected, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth.  A special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent while the teeth are whitened.

    Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity after having their teeth whitened.  This sensation is temporary and subsides shortly after you complete the bleaching process, usually within a few days to one weak.

    Teeth whitening can be very effective and can give you a brighter, whiter, more confident smile!

    Marcellus Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, PC

    28 East Main Street
    Marcellus, NY 13108


    Hours Of Operation


    MONDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    TUESDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    WEDNESDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    THURSDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    FRIDAY: CLOSED
    SATURDAY: CLOSED
    SUNDAY: CLOSED


    * These fields are required.

    Marcellus Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, PC

    28 East Main Street
    Marcellus, NY 13108


    Hours Of Operation


    MONDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    TUESDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    WEDNESDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    THURSDAY: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    FRIDAY: CLOSED
    SATURDAY: CLOSED
    SUNDAY: CLOSED


    * These fields are required.