Posts for: March, 2019

By Peter Brusco DMD
March 29, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  
MarchIstheTimetoEvaluateSleepProblems

The month of March brings the first day of spring, when nature seems to wake up after a restful winter slumber. It also brings Sleep Awareness Week, which leads us to ask: How's your sleep? For around one of every three people, the answer seems to be: Not so good! In fact, it's estimated that some 50-70 million people in the U.S. alone have sleep problems, including sleep-related breathing disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

People who suffer from this condition seem to sleep fitfully and snore loudly—and they may actually wake up dozens of times every night without even knowing it. These "micro-arousals" make it impossible to get restful sleep, which can lead to fatigue, trouble concentrating, and behavioral issues. Children with sleep disorders like OSA are sometimes diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders because the symptoms are very similar.

If you suspect that you (or someone you care about) may have a serious sleep disorder, it's a good idea to get an examination from a medical professional who specializes in this area. If the diagnosis is OSA, there are a number of treatments that can be effective—one of which is an oral appliance that's available from the dental office.

Dentists are quite familiar with the anatomical structure of the mouth, which is sometimes the root cause of OSA. In many individuals, the soft tissue structures in the back of the oral cavity (including the tonsils, tongue and soft palate) can shift position when muscles relax during sleep and block the flow of air through the windpipe. The lack of sufficient air may cause a person to awaken briefly, gasp for breath, and then relax their muscles—over and over again, all night long.

After a complete exam, we can have an appliance custom-made for you that has proven successful in managing mild to moderate cases of OSA. Shaped a little like a retainer, it is worn in your mouth at night and taken out in the daytime. The appliance helps maintain an open airway by re-positioning the jaw and/or keeping the tongue out of the way.

Oral appliance therapy is one of the most conservative options available for treating OSA: It requires no major equipment or irreversible medical procedures. However, there are a number of other options, including machines that supply pressurized air through a face mask and even oral surgery. It's important to consult with a specialist in sleep disorders when you're facing this issue. If the diagnosis is OSA or a similar sleep problem, remember that help may be available here at the dental office.

If you have questions about sleep-related breathing disorders, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Oral Appliances For Sleep Apnea” and “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”


NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”


By Peter Brusco DMD
March 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Crowns Protect TeethIt's no fun, is it? Your damaged smile needs attention. Cracked teeth with multiple fillings compromise how you eat and how you look. Your Kinnelon, NJ, family dentist, Dr. Peter Brusco, has the solution. Custom-made porcelain crowns can restore your smile's strength and beauty, so you feel confident once again.

Is it a Crown or a Cap?

Actually, the dental crown is called by either name. It's a tooth-shaped restoration which fits over the remaining healthy parts of a tooth compromised by:

  • Cracks
  • Chips
  • Infection
  • Decay
  • Old and deteriorating fillings
  • Injury

Porcelain is today's material of choice for most crowns and for bridgework (adjacent artificial teeth) secured by crowns. Natural-looking and very durable, porcelain are colored and shaped to blend in with the rest of your smile. Only you and your Kinnelon, NJ, family dentist will know you have a dental crown.

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 15 million Americans have porcelain crowns and bridges. So, you know these restorations are effective. Combine these statistics with Dr. Brusco's experience and expertise, and you can count on a lasting, healthy, beautiful smile. Crowns even cover dental implants and teeth that have been treated with root canal procedures. So, crowns are very versatile and reliable.

The Crown Procedure

You'll visit Dr. Brusco's office twice for your crown placement. The steps are simple and include:

  • A complete oral examination and X-ray imaging of the tooth
  • Oral impressions, either with traditional putty and trays or with digital imaging
  • Removal of the damaged portions of the tooth
  • Shaping of the tooth, so it properly receives the dental crown
  • Placement of a temporary restoration to protect the tooth as the permanent crown is made at the dental lab
  • Healing time of about one week
  • Removal of the temporary cap
  • Bonding of the new cap over the tooth
  • Adjustment of bite and shape as needed

Crown Care

You'll find the crown procedure easy and comfortable. Afterwards, simply brush and floss as you usually do, and see Dr. Brusco every six months for a routine check-up and professional cleaning.

If you grind or clench your teeth, your crown could wear prematurely. So, ask Dr. Brusco about a bite guard to wear at night.

Find Out More

Crowns are a wonderful alternative to dental extraction and the pain and embarrassment of failing teeth. To book your consultation with Dr. Brusco, contact his Kinnelon, NJ, office team at (973) 838-5862. He'll give you all the details on how to have a fully restored smile through dental crowns.


By Peter Brusco DMD
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Molar Tooth ExtractionHow your dentist in Kinnelon, New Jersey, can save your smile

It may seem strange, but sometimes removing a tooth is the right choice. Common causes include if a tooth is severely decayed and can’t be repaired with a filling, or if there is infection around the tooth that can spread to healthy teeth and tissue, dramatically affecting the overall health of your smile. You may also be in a lot of pain!

There are common signs and symptoms indicating you may need to have a tooth extracted. Read below to learn more, and contactDr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, New Jersey, if you feel that you could use treatment.

 

More about Tooth Extraction

Many teeth can be repaired with a simple dental filling, with or without root canal treatment. However, there are teeth that remain painful even after treatment. If you have periodontal disease, that can also lead to the need for tooth extraction.

You may to have a tooth extracted if you have:

  • Severe pain after a dental filling has been placed
  • Severe pain after root canal treatment
  • Lost bone support around a tooth, making the tooth mobile

You may need a tooth extraction for reasons other than pain and disease, for example, teeth are often removed before orthodontic treatment. If there is not enough room, or if it will make moving other teeth into correct position faster and easier, your orthodontist may suggest removing specific teeth.

The most common healthy teeth to be removed, however, are wisdom teeth. This is your third set of permanent molars, and most people don’t have room in their jaws for them. As a result, wisdom teeth are often removed between the ages of 18 and 25. If wisdom teeth are left in, there is a chance they will form cysts which can cause bone destruction and other issues.

 

Give us a Call!

These are just a few of the reasons why you might need a tooth extraction. Only your dentist knows for sure whether a tooth should be taken out or not. If you have a painful tooth, don’t wait for it to get worse. Instead, just pick up your phone and call Dr. Peter Brusco in Kinnelon, New Jersey. Dial (973) 838-5862 today and save your smile!


YourAgeDoesntHavetoKeepYoufromaStraighterSmile

Bite problems are quite common—as many as 75% of adults may have some form of orthodontic issue. Unfortunately, there's also something else just as common: that many people believe they're too old to correct it.

This belief is a myth—while there are factors that could prevent orthodontic treatment, age isn't necessarily one of them. If your teeth, gums and bone are sound and you're in reasonably good general health, you most likely can have a bite problem corrected even beyond middle age.

Why worry about it, though, if you've lived this long with misaligned teeth? For one thing, straightening teeth with braces or clear aligners can boost your dental health. Teeth that are in normal alignment are easier to keep clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. You'll also find it easier to chew than if your bite is out of line.

A more attractive, straighter smile can also impact your social and professional life. Having a smile you're not embarrassed to show can boost your self-confidence and image. Research on people who've undergone orthodontic treatment in adulthood have found improvements in social connection and even expanded career opportunities.

Orthodontic treatment can make a difference with your health and life, no matter your age. But while the number of years you've lived won't necessarily make a difference, what those years have brought could rule it out.

If, for example, you've lost significant bone structure due to diseases like periodontal (gum) disease, your teeth may not be able to sustain the new position created by braces or aligners without a form of permanent fixation. If you have systemic conditions like severe cardiovascular disease, bleeding problems, leukemia or uncontrolled diabetes, orthodontic treatment could worsen those conditions. And certain prescription drugs may pose similar problems as well.

That's why you'll need to undergo a thorough dental exam, as well as provide a complete medical history to your orthodontist. If nothing prevents you from treatment, though, you may be able to regain a new smile, better health and a new confidence in life.

If you would like more information on adult orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”




Kinnelon, NJ Dentist
Peter Brusco DMD
170 Kinnelon Rd # 29A
Kinnelon, NJ 07405
(973) 838-5862
Dental Tooth Call for Pricing Options

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