Dentist - Cumberland
2138 Mendon Rd, Suite 202
Cumberland, RI 02864

Posts for: November, 2017

By Dental Associates of Cumberland
November 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Dental Associates of Cumberland
November 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Although usually an orderly process, some permanent teeth don't come in as they should. In fact, they may not come in at all and remain hidden in the gum — a situation called impaction. This creates multiple problems for function, health and, in the case of front canines, appearance.

Canines are the longer and more pointed teeth on each side of the front-most incisors. They help tear and cut food during chewing, a function impaction eliminates. Besides a higher risk for developing abscesses (isolated areas of infection) and cysts, they can also put pressure on neighboring teeth and damage their roots or cause them to erupt abnormally.

Dentists often remove impacted wisdom and other back teeth to lessen these potential problems. Removing canines, though, has additional considerations: besides compromising ideal chewing function, missing canines often create an unattractive smile.

But before considering removal, there's another technique we might be able to use to save the canines and actually draw them down through the gums to their correct position. It's usually part of an overall orthodontic plan to correct a poor bite (malocclusion).

After pinpointing their exact position with x-rays or CT scanning, a surgeon surgically exposes the impacted canines' crowns through the gums. They then bond small brackets to the crowns and attach a small gold chain to each bracket. They fasten the other end of the chains to orthodontic hardware that exerts downward pressure on the impacted teeth. Over several months this pressure can help move the teeth into their normal positions.

Unfortunately, this technique isn't always advisable: one or more of the impacted teeth may be in a difficult position to attempt it. It's usually best in these situations to remove the teeth, usually sooner rather than later for the sake of neighboring teeth.

Fortunately, with today's advanced restorative techniques, we can eventually replace the canines with dental implants, although that's best undertaken after the patient enters adulthood. In the meantime, we can utilize orthodontic means to preserve the open space and provide a temporary restorative solution.

Whatever route taken, these teeth don't have to become a source of problems, especially for your appearance. Whether through orthodontics or restorative dentistry, impacted canines don't have to ruin your smile.

If you would like more information on various orthodontic procedures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By Dental Associates of Cumberland
November 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

In a perfect world, our teeth and gums would be immune to periodontal disease, tooth decay, and cosmetic damage like chips, spacing, restorative dentistryand stains. But even with a great oral hygiene routine and regular dental care, your teeth are vulnerable to a number of issues that can potentially damage your smile, from aesthetic issues to tooth loss. Crowns and bridges are one of the most reliable tools available to dentists tasked with repairing broken and damaged teeth. Dr. Angeles Felix, a dentist in Cumberland, RI, recommends dental crowns for a number of common cosmetic and general dentistry issues.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Cumberland, RI

Crowns are one of the longest standing dental treatments available and remain a staple of cosmetic and restorative dentistry for their durability, effectiveness, and affordability.

What is the Difference Between a Crown and Other Dental Restorations Like Veneers?

Crowns are also known as caps because they cover a damaged tooth to restore surface area and function lost to tooth decay or damage, and protect the remaining healthy portion of a tooth. Crowns can also be used to replace a missing tooth as part of a dental bridge.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge consists of a row of dental crowns designed to replace a missing tooth. The replacement crown is surrounded by a crown on either side that is placed over the surrounding teeth (also known as abutment teeth) which anchor the bridge in place, filling in the gap of the missing tooth and completing your smile.

When Should I Get a Crown?

Crowns are used for a number of dental restorations including:

  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Significant tooth decay where there is not enough tooth left to fill with a standard dental filling
  • Permanent stains and discolorations
  • Missing teeth

How Long Do Crowns Last?

This really varies from person to person, but generally speaking, the typical lifespan for a dental crown restoration is in the 5 to 15-year range or longer. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are the best way to preserve your oral health and to get the most out of your restorations and dental work.

Find a Cosmetic Dentist in Cumberland, RI

Don't let a little cosmetic damage or past oral health problems get in the way of a whole, healthy smile. For more information about crowns and bridges and other cosmetic dentistry options, contact Dental Associates of Cumberland by calling 401-723-0350 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Felix today.



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