Posts for: September, 2017

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  

Fatigue, irritability and family complaints about snoring — all tell-tale signs you may have sleep apnea. There’s more to this condition than being grouchy the next day — the long-term effect could increase your risks for life-threatening diseases.

But how do you know if you actually have sleep apnea? And if you do, what can you do about it?

Undergo an exam by a physician trained in “sleep medicine.” Sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked while you sleep, dropping the body’s oxygen levels; your body awakens to re-open the airway. The event may only last a few seconds, but it can occur several times a night. Even so, sleep apnea is one potential cause among others for snoring or fatigue. To know for sure if you have sleep apnea you’ll need to undergo an examination by a physician trained to diagnose this condition. He or she may then refer you to a dentist to make a sleep appliance if you have mild to moderate apnea.

Determine the level of your apnea’s intensity. Not all cases of sleep apnea are equal — they can range in cause and intensity from mild to advanced, the latter a reason for concern and focused intervention. Your physician may use different methods for determining the intensity of your case: review of your medical history, examining the structures within your mouth or having your sleep observed directly at a sleep lab. Getting the full picture about your sleep apnea will make it easier to develop a treatment plan.

Match the appropriate treatment to your level of sleep apnea. If you have moderate to advanced apnea, you may benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, an electrical pump that delivers pressurized air through a mask worn while you sleep that gently forces the airway open. It’s quite effective, but uncomfortable to wear for some people. Advanced cases may also require surgery to alter or remove soft tissue obstructions. If, you have mild to slightly moderate apnea, though, your dentist may have the solution: a custom-fitted mouth guard that moves the tongue, the most common airway obstruction, down and away from the back of the throat.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, see a trained physician for an examination. It’s your first step to a good night’s sleep and better overall health.

If you would like more information on sleep apnea treatments, 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 “If You Snore, You Must Read More!

By Peter Brusco DMD
September 11, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

There are numerous cosmetic procedures available for correcting or concealing various cosmetic dental concerns. Whether you want cosmetic dentistrywhiter teeth or with to hide stains, chips or cracks, there is a cosmetic dental procedure that can help you achieve your goals. Dr. Peter Brusco has a cosmetic dentistry practice in Kinnelon, NJ, and performs a variety of cosmetic dental procedures to give you your best smile ever.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are paper thin covers applied to the front of teeth to improve their appearance. Veneers can conceal or correct such imperfections as chips, cracks, stains, discolorations and uneven spacing. They can even correct the appearance of teeth that are misshaped. Essentially, veneers create an entirely new front for problem teeth. Veneers are applied directly on the surface of the teeth after a small amount of enamel is first removed. Shaving off a bit of enamel allows the veneer to sit flush with the surrounding teeth and blend in seamlessly.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns can conceal almost any cosmetic problem, while also strengthening teeth. Dental crowns look like small caps that fit right over the teeth. Once installed, a dental crown completely encapsulates the problem tooth. Any imperfections, such as stains, discolorations, cracks or chips, will be completely hidden once the dental crown is placed over the imperfect tooth. Crowns also provide a protective shell for teeth weakened by decay or daily wear and tear. With a crown, a weak tooth can perform normal biting and chewing functions once again.

What are the Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening?

Professional teeth whitening treatments performed in your Kinnelon cosmetic dentistry office deliver superior results to over-the-counter whitening products. The bleaching agent in professional treatments is stronger than that of over-the-counter products. Whereas over-the-counter whitening treatments typically require multiple uses before visible results are attained, professional teeth whitening delivers dramatic results in a single treatment. Teeth will visibly be several shades whiter. Further, results can last for up to five years.

There are many cosmetic procedures available to give you the smile you desire. Whether you want to improve the appearance of your teeth with veneers, dental crowns, teeth whitening treatments or another procedure, there is something to suit your needs. To discuss which procedures might be right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brusco by calling his cosmetic dentistry office in Kinnelon, NJ at (973) 838-5862.

Kinnelon, NJ Dentist
Peter Brusco DMD
170 Kinnelon Rd # 29A
Kinnelon, NJ 07405
(973) 838-5862
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