How Galileos 3D CT Scan Is Beneficial to Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

galileos-3d-ct-scanBefore any dental procedure can begin, an examination must be done by your dental professional. Back in the day, this involved an x-ray. The x-rays would let the dentist see what is going on with your mouth, more than by physical examination. They would tack them to the screen and you would both sit down and discuss any issues that may be happening and discuss a plan of attack. Today, only the most advanced and innovation technology is used by the professionals of Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry. This technology includes the Galileos 3D CT Scan, which allows for an in-depth view of your mouth, teeth, jawbone, and jaw points.

3D scans, in a way, provide a live feed of a patient’s dental anatomy from various angles. The various perspectives allow for a better view of the structure of the bones, making it easier to locate root fractures and canals. Even more importantly, 3D scans provide dentists the ability to gain more accurate measurement of their patient’s dental structure. They can also be used in conjunction with an already existing treatment plan to increase its possibility of success and allowing dental practitioners to be more confident in preparing for various dental procedures, such as extractions, root canals, implants and so on. The clearly laid out details allow dental practitioners to make better decisions, which in turn allows patients to have more confidence.

The use of 3D dental scans also create a more engaging environment where dental practitioners and professionals can assess their patient’s dental health, while at the same time the patient can also ask questions about what they see on the screen. This allows for constant communication between patient and doctor, allowing for a more comfortable dental visit for the patient, which may help put them at ease, especially those who suffer from dental anxiety.

The Galileos 3D CT Scan is highly beneficial because it provides useful information about oral conditions, including:

  • Placement of wisdom teeth
  • Jaw and jaw joint problems
  • Receding bone levels
  • Dental implant positioning and planning
  • Tumors or cysts located on the jaw

Contact Dr. James Yankowskas in Tyngsboro, MA at 978-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information regarding periodontal.

Dr. James Yankowskas proudly serves Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

How Can I Maintain Good Oral Health at Home? | Tyngsboro Dentist

460453373Most people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies. And while you may brush regularly, you may be still making some basic mistakes.

Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities. Your morning method is equally important. Saliva production slows down as we sleep, allowing the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant. A few straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. When you move behind your front teeth, you should turn your tool vertically to better reach the entire tooth. And make sure to give special attention to the back of your mouth, since that area normally hides the largest amount of plaque. And this may come as a shock to you, but spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding some type of an oral rinse to your routine will be greatly beneficial to your oral health.

Another problem you may have is your toothbrush. Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. If plaque isn’t removed, you increase your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing with a medium or hard model can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your tooth’s roots. Since the root surface isn’t as hard as the exposed enamel-covered part of your teeth, scrubbing this area can wear it away more easily and cause little cavities. Pick a soft bristle and change your toothbrush every couple of months. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months and this is why. The average brush contains more than 10 million bacteria, according to one study. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria.  If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush and potentially re-infect you.

I know this may not sound like something you should think of when brushing your teeth, but your tongue traps harmful bacteria too. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue. Run that toothbrush over your tongue as well! Keeping these few tips in mind will ensure that you will have great oral health when you go in for your dental checkups.

For further information regarding your daily dental routines and/or make an appointment, contact Dr. Yankowskas at 978-649-7773 or www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly serves Tyngsboro, Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and all surrounding areas.

Dental Terminology | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Your mouth is a complicated place, full of teeth, your tongue, active bacteria and your gums – all play a vital roll all need to be properly cared for and controlled. As we know, so many things can go wrong inside your mouth without proper oral care. But sometimes when you go to the dentist, you may hear terms you’re not quit familiar with – or maybe you are too shy to ask. We’ve compiled a list of terms you could possibly hear during your visit so you can feel comfortable knowing you understand whats going on with your oral health.

Teeth conditions or terms you may hear at the dentist: 

  • Cavities (or caries): Bacteria evade removal by brushing and saliva and damage the enamel and deeper structures of teeth. Most cavities occur on molars and premolars.
  • Tooth decay: A general name for disease of the teeth, including cavities and caries.
  • Periodontitis: Inflammation of the deeper structures of the teeth (periodontal ligament, jawbone, and cementum). Poor oral hygiene is usually to blame.
  • Gingivitis: Inflammation of the surface portion of the gums, around and between the crowns of the teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis.
  • Plaque: A sticky, colorless film made of bacteria and the substances they secrete. Plaque develops quickly on teeth after eating sugary food, but can be easily brushed off.
  • Tartar: If plaque is not removed, it mixes with minerals to become tartar, a harder substance. Tartar requires professional cleaning for removal.
  • Overbite: The upper teeth protrude significantly over the lower teeth.
  • Underbite: The lower teeth protrude significantly past the upper teeth.
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism): Stress, anxiety, or sleep disorders can cause teeth grinding, usually during sleep. A dull headache or sore jaw are symptoms.
  • Tooth sensitivity: When one or more teeth become sensitive to hot or cold, it may mean the dentin is exposed(Source: webmd.com).
  • Root Canal: A dentist can save a damaged tooth by performing a root canal, which removes decayed pulp from interior space of the root. The space is then filled with an inert material. A root canal is sometimes but not always followed by the adding of a crown.
  • Crown: Tooth crowns are placed over existing teeth, and are typically a way to cover teeth that have metal fillings or misshapen teeth. They are most commonly given to patients who have crooked, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
  • Denture: Dentures are removable (partial or complete) set of artificial teeth.
  • Dental Implant: A dental implant is a metal cylinder surgically placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw to provide support for a dental restoration or appliance.
  • Bridge: Bridges resemble natural teeth, and are designed to take the place of areas where there are gaps between teeth. bridge is a stationary dental prosthesis (appliance) fixed to teeth adjacent to a space. It replaces one or more missing teeth, cemented or bonded, to supporting teeth or implants adjacent to the space.

A more extensive list of terms can be found at the ADA’s website at: http://www.ada.org/en/publications/cdt/glossary-of-dental-clinical-and-administrative-ter

While we encourage you to never be shy ask your dental professional to elaborate on what they’re speaking about – Dr. Yankowskas is happy to guide you!

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

 

What to Expect at a Long Overdue Visit to the Dentist | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

If you’re wondering what’s in store for you as a patient, rest easy – modern dental visits are fast, easy, and will be much less painful than in years past. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, your first visit back will require a lot of routine procedures. Most dental visits will follow a similar path, and knowing what to expect can help lower the stress of the unknown. Dentistry has come a long way though, so there is no need to have anxiety on your visit to the dentist. 

Here’s a basic explanation:

– You’ll almost certainly start with X-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth. Not only will they be able to see large problems like misaligned, missing or cracked teeth, they’ll also be able to see small cavities caused by decay, and even problems such as bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.   

– Once the X-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the X-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you haven’t been in a while, the dentist may also check your head, neck, and mouth for signs of oral cancer – this may seem unusual, but it’s a great way to find problems early. 

– If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination. Depending on time, the dentist may be able to treat the problem immediately – in the case of minor cavities, this typically means a local anesthetic to numb the area, followed by a brief period of drilling to remove decay, and then a filling using composite resin. Once the resin is set and cured, the dentist will polish and shape the resin with the dental drill.

– Depending on the length of your appointment, your dentist or dental hygienist may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. In some cases, this can be done in the same appointment – in others, scheduling may dictate that you come in for a follow-up, when more time is available. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling (cleaning the roots beneath the gum line), which can take multiple visits.

If you’ve been putting off seeing your dentist because you’re anxious about the pain, rest assured that modern dentistry involves far less pain than you may remember. Talk to Dr. Yankowskas if you’re nervous, he’ll be happy to go slower, and explain what they’re doing to help keep your mind at ease. Visiting the dentist twice yearly can help catch minor problems before they become major problems, which means fewer and faster dental visits in the future.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Threats to Good Oral Health | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Dental checkups and cleanings are designed to help patients keep as many natural teeth as possible. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings are three key components to maintaining natural tooth health. However, there are many threats to good oral health, and knowing the threats can help patients minimize risk.

Here are some common threats to consider when you think about your overall oral health:

  • Smoking damages oral tissue causing gum recession, increases risk of oral cancer, stains teeth, and causes other long term health risks.

  • Periodontal disease – infections below the gum line – can spread to teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and can cause one or more teeth to be lost

  • Obesity has been linked to an increase in oral bacteria, which contributes to increased rates of periodontal disease among obese patients

  • Patients who regularly bite their nails are more likely to chip, crack, or cause atypical wear on their front teeth, and are statistically more likely to suffer from bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching), which can cause issues with tooth sensitivity, recessed gums, and tooth loss

  • Research shows that patients who get less than six hours of sleep per night are shown to be more likely to have periodontal disease, which is generally attributed to a lowered immune response due to fatigue, as the body becomes unable to fight off oral infections

  • Patients with a diet high in sugar, especially sugary drinks, are significantly more likely to suffer from tooth decay and periodontal disease, as the presence of sugar fuels bacteria which contributes to both negative factors

  • Patients that are anemic – having insufficient red blood cells – often have pale gums and painful or swollen tongue. Extended periods of anemia (often due to poor diet) can contribute to periodontal disease and the body becomes unable to push sufficient nutrients to the gums to combat infection.

While there are certainly a lot of risks to dental health for patients, proper brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning helps protect teeth. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene routines will help fight off bacterial colonies that contribute to periodontal disease as well as keep gum tissue healthy to prevent gum recession. If you have questions about any individual threat, contact your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain oral health risks to you on your next scheduled visit.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Choosing a Toothbrush | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Toothbrushes come in a number of different varieties – not only manual and electric, but also different bristle firmness ranging from soft to hard. Given that brushing is vital to tooth health, choosing the right toothbrush is important not only to tooth health, but also gum health. While there is some personal preference in choosing a toothbrush, there are some guidelines to help you make the right decision.

Deciding between manual and electric toothbrushes is almost entirely a personal preference, however, there are some factors that may help some people choose one side or the other. Some studies have shown that electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective at removing plaque. Electric toothbrushes vibrate much faster than manual brushes, which may allow them to be more effective with less physical pressure against the tooth. For that reason, for patients who tend to push too hard on the brush, using an electric toothbrush may help them avoid damaging their gums by brushing too hard. However, electric toothbrushes cost more money, and require regular cleaning to stay safe and effective – manual toothbrushes are cheap and disposable, and can simply be replaced regularly.

Regardless of whether you choose electric or manual, you’ll have a choice of bristle firmness. Studies have shown that all three options – soft, medium, and firm/hard – are likely to clean your teeth equally well, but softer brushes are less likely to damage gum tissue. For that reason, most dentists tend to recommend soft bristle brushes unless you have a reason to use a medium or firm brush. You should choose a brush that is comfortable to hold, and comfortable to use – ensure that you can reach the sides of each tooth, and reach to the back of your molars.

No matter which style or firmness you choose, be sure to choose a brush that carries the ADA symbol, to ensure it’s been tested for both safety and effectiveness. Also, be sure to replace manual brushes every 3-4 months, and clean electric toothbrushes according to manufacturer recommendations. Minimizing bacteria on the toothbrush will help avoid tooth decay and periodontal disease. Finally, be sure never to share your toothbrush – tooth decay is bacterial in nature, so you can transfer tooth decay causing bacteria between people who share a toothbrush.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Teeth Whitening | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Many people want a perfect smile, and that typically involves straight, white teeth. Dentists can help not only correct alignment and crowding with orthodontics (braces) and cosmetic dentistry techniques such as veneers and bonding, but can also provide professional whitening.

Virtually all tooth whitening procedures involve a mild abrasive to remove surface stains, and/or some type of whitening agent such as hydrogen peroxide. Together, the mild abrasive can help remove stains such as coffee or wine, and the whitening agent can help lighten the shade of the rest of the tooth.

There are a number of over the counter options:
– Whitening rinses use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth, and it may take 8-12 weeks to see any results.
– Whitening toothpastes use both a mild abrasive and a peroxide-like whitening agent, and can lighten one shade in 4-12 weeks, depending on the brand.
– Over the counter whitening gels and strips use a stronger dose of peroxide, and are typically worn for less than an hour per day. Results can be seen within a few days, and when used properly, can lighten a few shades over the course of a typical two week treatment.
– Tray based tooth whitening – typically provided by a dentist for home use – use stronger agents than over the counter whitening gels, and provide better results in similar time periods.

While all of these over-the-counter options typically work, their level of effectiveness will depend on how regularly they are used, and how stained the patient’s teeth are to start. In-office whitening tends to be far stronger – the dentist can apply the bleaching agent in very strong doses, and use laser/light/heat for increased effectiveness. In as little as 30 minutes, in office treatments can provide significant whitening, though your dentist can provide multiple procedures for even better results.

If you’re interested in tooth whitening, ask your dentist about services they provide, or over the counter recommendations they may have. Depending on how many shades of lightening you expect, your dentist may recommend certain products or procedures over others, and may recommend professional cleaning or other permanent work before whitening to ensure it’s as effective as possible.

For more information on your teeth whitening, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

What to Eat to Keep Your Teeth! | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

girl eating appleA modern take on proper oral hygiene goes beyond ‘brushing twice a day’ and ‘avoiding sugar’. Paired with a proper oral care routine a diet with foods beneficial to your teethes health is imperative if you plan on keeping your teeth long term.

Research indicates that antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts may strengthen immunity and improve the body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, all of which can help protect the teeth and gums. And some foods and dietary habits even have distinct effects on the mouth’s ability to handle cavity-causing bacteria spikes.

For example:

  • Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D and help promote healthy teeth and bones, reducing the risk for tooth loss. Adding powdered milk to cooked dishes helps those who don’t like milk or cheese to get some of the calcium needed to protect teeth and jawbones.
  • Cheese unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.
  • Crisp fruits and raw vegetables, like apples, carrots and celery, help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
  • Vitamin C, and other nutrients from fruits and vegetables help protect gums and other tissues from cell damage and bacterial infection.
  • Fresh cranberries, interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque.
  • Folic acid, found in leafy greens(deltadentalins.com).

Water is also a great agent in the fight for oral health! Water is as effective as mouthwash at swishing away stuck particles and residue from teeth. It also keeps your gums hydrated while stimulating saliva – a great defense against bacteria.

It is possible to eat your way to a cleaner mouth. So try these everyday foods to maintain your oral hygiene.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Tips for Good Oral Health | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

restorationsMost people have heard that poor dental care is linked to heart disease, as well other health maladies. One of which is erectile dysfunction, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

And while you may brush regularly, chances are you’re making at least one of these 6 mistakes. Here are the fixes for each.

1. You don’t clean at the right time of day.

Your toothbrush should be the last thing your teeth touch at night. Snacking before you sleep significantly raises your risk for cavities if food stays lodged between your teeth. Your morning method is equally important: Protective saliva production slows down when you snooze, spurring the bacteria in your mouth to multiply even faster. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes, making sure you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant (your upper left teeth, your upper right teeth, and so on).

2. You use the wrong brush.

Pick a soft bristle toothbrush that can slip under your gum tissue and dislodge any plaque stuck there. If the plaque isn’t removed, you increase your risk of developing gum disease. Brushing with a medium or hard model—and using excessive pressure—can cause your gums to recede and expose the surface of your roots, or the bottom of your teeth. Since the root surface isn’t as hard as the exposed enamel-covered part of your teeth, scrubbing this area can wear it away more easily and cause little cavities.

3. You don’t rinse.

Spitting out your toothpaste doesn’t totally remove all the harmful stuff that you loosened while brushing. Adding an oral rinse to your routine is greatly beneficial to your oral health.

4. You follow the wrong technique.
A few straight strokes won’t get the job done. Position the handle of your brush so the bristles point at a 30- to 45-degree angle when they touch your gum tissue. Rotate your wrist in a circular motion to effectively remove the plaque. When you move behind your front teeth, you should turn your tool vertically to better reach the entire tooth. And make sure to give special attention to the back of your mouth, since that area normally hides the largest amount of plaque.

5. You don’t replace your brush.

The ADA recommends buying a new brush every 3 or 4 months. The average brush contains more than 10 million bacteria, according to one study. Worn bristles won’t effectively remove plaque or bacteria.  If you’ve been sick, swap out your brush immediately. Residual bacteria and viruses from an illness can cling to the brush and potentially re-infect you.

6. You ignore the rest of your mouth.

Your tongue traps harmful bacteria, too. Food or debris can easily get stuck in the crevices between the carpet-like strands, known as papillae, on the surface of your tongue. Run that toothbrush over your tongue as well!

For more information on your oral health call Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry in Tyngsboro, MA at 978-649-7773 or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro, Townsend, Westford, Hudscon, Pepperell, Pelham, and surrounding areas.

Prophylaxis vs. Periodontal Maintenance | Tyngsboro, MA Dentist

Many patients of mine have asked the question, “What is the difference between a dental cleaning (prophylaxis) and a periodontal maintenance visit?”  This is a great question and it is important to understand the difference.

The medical term for a professional dental cleaning, prophylaxis is purely a preventive measure and not a treatment for disease.  Part of your dental checkup, prophylaxis is used to remove dental plaque and other irritants from the oral cavity.  As these deposits build on your teeth, they form dental tartar, which contributes to most dental problems.  Unfortunately, some of these deposits can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing and it is important to have them removed by a dental professional.

The term periodontal maintenance refers to a dental cleaning performed by a dental professional that is for the treatment and maintenance of periodontal (gum) diseasePeriodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.  In the worst cases, teeth are lost. Periodontal disease is a condition that cannot be cured unfortunately, but with regular visits for these more detailed dental cleanings it is a condition that is very treatable and patients with periodontal disease can keep their teeth for a lifetime.

If you are behind on your routine prophylaxis or periodontal maintenance appointments, give our office a call and schedule an appointment to keep your smile a healthy one at 978-649-7773 or visit our website at www.tyngsborocosmeticdentistry.com.

Accepting patients from Tyngsboro, Townsend, Westford, Hudscon, Pepperell, Pelham and all surrounding areas.