How would you like to rapidly reverse the effects of local anesthesia?

Posted by DrMagida | Filed under ,
If you're like so many patients, the lingering numbness of local anesthesia is something you've become used to but never comfortable with - it's not easy getting on with your day when part of you is still not feeling normal. Are you ready for a new possibility?

OraVerse is the first and only product of its kind to rapidly reverse the effects of your local dental anesthetic so you can feel, speak, smile, and drink normally in approximately half the time. It is scientifically proven to accelerate the return of normal sensation and function following routine dental procedures.

Call Newtown Dental Care visit our website to see if OraVerse is right for you.


Wisdom teeth: Are they assets or liabilities?

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Normally people develop three permanent molars in each quadrant of the mouth. The first molars begin to erupt around the age of six years old. The second come around the age of 12. The third molars, or wisdom teeth, will usually attempt to erupt around the age of 18 to 20. The name "wisdom tooth" came about because at this age, people were thought to have become wiser.

If a third molar grows in properly, it can become a useful tooth. However, many times this does not happen. Often the teeth do not erupt at all, or just partially. In some cases, they do not even develop in the jawbone.

A fairly common problem with wisdom teeth is that they become impacted. Impacted teeth are teeth that are being prevented from growing in properly. Sometimes the teeth are totally encased sideways in the bone with no possibility of straightening out. Sometimes they partially poke through the gums and get "stuck" in that they do not continue to erupt.

It is thought that from an evolutionary standpoint, as human beings evolved, their jaws shrank and this caused a lack of space for all their teeth. Hence the need for most people to eventually have their wisdom teeth removed.

Often it is necessary to use an X-ray to determine if a wisdom tooth is impacted. Impacted teeth cause problems such as infection, decay of adjacent teeth, gum disease or a cyst or tumor can form around the tooth. Many of these situations cause discomfort, which is what brings the patient to the dentist. The solution is to remove the tooth.

Even if the wisdom teeth are not impacted, there may still be reasons to have them removed. If a wisdom tooth is interfering with a person's bite, is badly decayed or has severe periodontal disease around it, it is best to have it removed. Another reason to remove the tooth is interference with the restoration of an adjacent tooth.

Every case is individual and only a dentist can decide if there is a problem that warrants the removal of the wisdom tooth.

If you ever have pain, infection or swelling in your mouth in the area of your wisdom teeth, give your dentist a call. It's the "wise" thing to do.

Why you need to Visit Dentist More Often

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Yikes you say.  See the dental team more than the 2 times per year that my dental insurance tells me to.  No way.  You’re gonna have to have a good reason to get me into your office more times than they say they will consider paying for.

First of all, if you think the dental insurance companies are on your side, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I need to unload cheap.   They are out to provide coverage, if you call it that, for the bare minimum.  One size fits all.  Take it or leave it.

Here is a list of reasons that patients might either be told or decide on their own that they need to come for a dental hygiene appointment three or four times per year:

Periodontal patients.  Diabetic patients. Heart patients.  Patients with cerebral vascular disease (stroke, TIA).  Patients with limited use of hands, i.e. arthritis, geriatric, physically challenged, etc.  Pregnant patients.  Immunosuppressed patients.  Orthodontic patients.  Patients with dental prosthetic reconstructions.  Smokers. Patients who chew tobacco.  Patients on Dilantin who develop excess gum tissue.  Patients with medication induced dry mouth (xerostomia).  Patients on chemotherapy or radiation treatments.  Patients who easily develop lots of cavities. 

Bulimic patients.  Patients with bad breath.  Kids who do not want to brush and have tons of plaque.  Patients who admit to not flossing.  Patients with a denture or partial denture due to prior tooth loss.  Patients under significant stress of any kind.  Patients who have bleached their teeth.

If your dentist or hygienist has examined and/or treated you and suggests that it is in your best interest to be seen multiple times per year for hygiene appointments, it is probably because you fit into one of the categories previously mentioned.  Your insurance company doesn’t care that you have one of these labels on you.  All they see is a person who is going to need money spent on them for valid health reasons.  Even though the reasons are there, the insurance policies will only allow your “two cleanings per year.”

I really do not know the origin of this practice, but I’m sure it was some bean counting pencil pusher who really didn’t care about anyone’s oral health.  In an office that is truly in tune with the oral health needs of its patients, the majority probably come back to the office more than twice a year.

If your dentist suggests this extra treatment, consider it good advice.

Vizilite…A new way to help detect oral cancer

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

The American Cancer Society recently announced that despite the first overall reduction in cancer deaths ever recorded, oral cancer incidence and related deaths are increasing. For 2006, it is estimated that there will be a 5.5% increase in new cases and a 1.5% increase in deaths. An alarming fact is that 27% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and have no other lifestyle risk factors.

There is a new product available at your dentist’s office that will help detect possible oral cancer lesions before they are visible to the naked eye. There is a painless, easy to perform test that can be performed by your dentist or dental hygienist that will greatly increase the odds of early detection. This product is called Vizilite.The way it works is like this. The patient rinses with the Vizilite solution for 1 minute and then spits the solution out. A special light wand is activated and after the dental operatory is darkened the wand is placed in the person’s mouth. Using the light emitted from the wand the entire mouth is examined. If there is a questionable lesion that may or may not be hidden from the naked eye, the tissue will appear white when viewed under the special light. Normal tissue appears dark, so it is easy to detect when there is an area of tissue in the mouth that needs further examining . This whole test only takes minutes and it is very easy to do. If there is any question about any lesions in the mouth, the dentist will have a biopsy done to determine just what the tissue is. The key thing here is that this test helps detect abnormalities at their earliest so that they can still be addressed at their most easily treated stage.

Next time you have your teeth cleaned, ask your dental office about getting this important test done.

Soft drinks. A health menace that's out of control

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Every dentist out there can probably agree that the advent of fluoridation has greatly decreased the incidence of dental decay, commonly called "cavities" In areas that are fluoridated approximately 75% of 6 year olds have never had a cavity. This is truly awesome. What is also truly awesome is the fact that more and more children and young adults in their mid to late teens and early twenties are starting to get cavities. They are past the supposed "cavity prone" years, but they are now starting to get them. Why is this happening?

Soft drinks have made great inroads in the American culture. There are "sports drinks" advertised to energize those worn out on the playing fields, high sugar "juice drinks" advertised with a smidgen of vitamins to supposedly help the growing child, a million and one types of iced tea drinks and sodas, all highly sweetened. There's even a cola that has extra caffeine to keep you going. We have come to accept soft drinks as a routine part of the diet instead of the occasional treat like they were in the past.

Advertising budgets for soft drinks are stratospheric. They are many times larger than money spent promoting good foods such as fruits, vegetables and the like. Because of this children start drinking soda at younger and younger ages. Children are targeted by advertisers who try and instill brand loyalties.

Obviously, since I am a dentist, I see the increased effects these drinks have on teeth. However, because of all the sugar and other chemicals they contain, soft drinks pose significant health risks to the body, such as obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and kidney stones.

In a patient where I observe a marked increase in dental decay, a diet analysis is always warranted. Many times a fluoridated rinse is prescribed nightly. It is interesting to note that after about the age of 16, many dental insurance companies stop paying for professionally applied fluoride. The irony is that this is the time when many teens definitely need this extra protection applied twice a year because many of them are increasing their consumption of these decay promoting drinks.

My message here is to inform people, children and parents alike as to just how much sugar these drinks contain. Some sodas have over 11 teaspoons of sugar per can. This is not a typo! If you had a glass of iced tea, you might put 1 or 2 teaspoons in it. Maybe 3, but not 11. Also the typical can of soda holds 12 ounces. Some soda bottles now contain 20 ounces. You can do the math....

The soft drink industry is on a mission to steadily increase the amount of its products that are bought. People need to realize these health hazards for what they are, and to try and reduce the amount they and their children consume. People also need to think about one other thing. Why are there soda vending machines both on the outside and the inside of our schools? Do the schools really need the money?

The Real Price of Your First Cavity

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Your lower first molars, also called your six year molars, because the usually show up at six years of age, are the first posterior, or back teeth in your mouth. This honor does not come without potential problems, however. Being the first permanent back tooth means that it will have the longest time, of all your back teeth, to be exposed to all those things you eat that cause cavities. All those sugary candies and sodas will have more chances of causing problems. This is why the six year molars tend to be one of the more decayed teeth in people’s mouths, in general.

So let’s say you go to ol’ Doc Goodfellow’s and he announces to the world that you have your first cavity, and it’s in your six year molar. Ok, mom, being the good mom that she is, brings you back to have a “filling” placed in that tooth, before you get a toothache. Good idea..Let’s say this happens when little Johnny is seven years of age. If the average lifespan of a seven year old boy these days is approximately 78 years, or so, that’s a long time that that filling is going to be in Johnny’s mouth. Don’t worry about the filling as there is no way it is going to last another 71 years. It won’t. All dental restorations leak saliva and bacteria over time, so it is inevitable that Johnny’s six year molar is going to have the need for a new filling, probably around the time he is in his late twenties, or early thirties. While this is not definite, it is fairly predictable. The problem is that the second time around, upon removal of the original filling and the new decay that has developed under the filling, the “hole” in the tooth is now larger, so a bigger filling will need to be placed. The bigger the filling, the less original tooth structure that remains. Keep this thought in mind.

Okay, fast forward now another ten or twelve years. Johnny, who now answers to “John”, is married now and has 2.3 kids of his own. While his attention is now on the raising of his kids, it wouldn’t hurt to be aware of what is going on in his own mouth. Especially with his six year molar, which has been “filled” twice so far in it’s lifetime. What John does not know is that over time, a back tooth that has a large filling in it, undergoes a lot of stress during the chewing it is called on to do every day. Remember I told you that the bigger the filling, the less tooth there is? Well, the tooth structure that remains around a large filling tends to develop a lot of cracks and fissures as it is ground upon daily. John’s six year molar is becoming increasingly susceptible to fracturing under this constant stress caused by chewing. Finally, a piece of the tooth breaks off leaving a big void. Since ol’ Doc Goodfellow has retired, John calls new Doc Goodfellow, his son who took over the practice and tells him of the problem. When John is seen, he is told that the tooth will definitely need a crown to properly restore the tooth in a way that will make it stronger again. Because the tooth broke in such a deep way John is told, there is a very real probability that the nerve of the tooth is also affected and a root canal procedure might be needed to remove the nerve before it becomes infected.

In today’s dollars John’s tooth has cost him approximately $80-100 for the first filling at age seven. The second filling 20+ years later is much larger and could cost him $150-225. When the crown and root canal are discussed, he is probably looking at a bill for $1800-2000 to restore the tooth for the third time.

The moral of the story is to try and not get your first cavity. Use a fluoridated toothpaste, put sealants on your kids teeth, do everything you can to stop or at least delay as long as possible, getting any cavities, since they get more involved ( and costly) to fix as they get larger.

Makeovers - Maybe It's Time to Smile

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

The other night my wife was watching a reality TV show called "Extreme Makeovers". Don’t tell anyone but I was watching it also. This is a show where people start out as ugly ducklings and then are incredibly transformed into swans by the end of the show. This magic is done with the help of plastic surgery, fitness experts and cosmetic dentistry. This particular episode had a shy young woman named Amy who looked to be in her twenties. You could really tell that this woman had suffered in her youth from the teasing brought on by the way she looked. That problem about herself that bothered her the most was her teeth. She spent most of her life with oddly spaced, discolored ugly teeth. This problem affected her self confidence so much, that she rarely smiled or even spoke to anyone. Her cosmetic dentistry makeover consisted of porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. The porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain which are bonded to her existing teeth. The beauty of this procedure is that in one feel swoop, a dentist can correct color imperfections, size problems and also spacing issues. The veneers, being made of porcelain, appear perfectly lifelike and natural. They can lighten dark teeth, lengthen teeth shortened by the ravages of time, and straighten teeth for those people who might not have had the ability to get braces when they were younger.

This process was painless and the results were quickly seen. For her teeth that did not receive veneers, a bleaching process lightened them to match the veneers.
When Amy saw her teeth for the first time, she started sobbing. She just couldn’t believe the difference her teeth made in her overall appearance. Amy felt that just the improvement in her teeth alone would make a big change in her life. It gave her the boost in confidence she needed to get out and join the rest of the world. This young woman’s happiness was so evident and extreme, that my wife sat there with tears streaming down her face. My wife was amazed at the effect cosmetic dentistry had on this woman. I wasn’t surprised because I see it all the time. The advances in cosmetic dentistry have made it easier and more predictable than ever.

If you, or a family member or friend have been thinking about changing your appearance, consider improving your smile. Most people notice a nice smile on someone’s face above everything else. A nice smile will definitely improve a person’s self confidence. Who knows, this might also lead to a better job and a higher quality of life. Ask your dentist for an opinion about what can be done for you. You will be glad you did.

Dental Treatment for Patients with Artificial Joints

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Today's dentists are presented with a myriad of patients who have prosthetic joints, pins, screws and/or plates of some type. These patients need to have special consideration as far as how to keep these devices infection free. For many years there were conflicting ideas about the need to premedicate these people. The prevailing thoughts ranged from condemning the use of all prophylactic antibiotics for all dental procedures, to the complete opposite, which was to use antibiotics for all types of treatment on all patients, all the time for life.

In 1997, The American Dental Association, in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons issued an advisory regarding antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines. This advisory stated that antibiotic premedication is not needed for patients who have pins, screws or plates, and it is also not indicated for the majority of dental patients who have total joint replacements. The advisory stated that only for those patients who would be at increased risk for blood borne total joint infection, should antibiotics be considered.

The following conditions or diseases would place a patient with a prosthetic joint at risk of infection following dental treatment:

  • Immunocompromised patients- either because of disease, drug or radiation induced suppression
  • Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Insulin dependent diabetics
  • Hemophiliacs
  • Malnourished patients
  • Joint replacement patients-up until the first 2 years after joint surgery
  • Joint replacement patients-if there has been a previous prosthetic joint infection

The advisory also stratified the incidence of bacterial infections developing based upon the severity of the dental treatment. The following are the types of treatments that would require antibiotic premedication. Extractions, periodontal treatments, implant placement, certain types of root canal procedures, initial placement of orthodontic bands, and a dental cleaning in a patient where much bleeding is expected to occur. Treatment that would not indicate antibiotics would include simple restorative or prosthetic dentistry, local injections, conventional root canal procedures, suture removal, orthodontic appliance removal, impressions and x-rays.

As stated before, some physicians and dentists advocate the use of antibiotic premedication for all procedures on patients with prosthetic joints. This can present a potential problem though, for the unrestrained use of antibiotics has been shown to have certain hazards. These include overgrowth of pathogenic organisms (disease causing bacteria ), secondary infections, bacterial resistance in the patient, bacterial resistance to the drug being used and allergic reactions, including potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions.

All patients preparing to undergo joint replacement should receive a complete dental examination including the taking of new x-rays to look for any infections present in the oral cavity. Even if the patient is not complaining of any problems or discomfort, a full mouth x-ray series is definitely needed, since many dormant or non-painful abscesses are found this way. The treating of any oral infection before the joint surgery is absolutely imperative to help prevent problems in the future with the prosthesis.

Every case is different, and if the treating dentist or physician has reason to think premedication is needed for a dental procedure, than after careful consideration of the guidelines, the patients health is of paramount importance.

Invisible braces - Only your dentist knows for sure

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

The Invisalign system is a series of totally clear, very thin mouthguard-like devices that are custom made for every patient. They fit over your teeth. "Does she or doesn't she... only your hairdresser knows for sure." That was a line in a popular commercial for hair coloring.

Now, it could be a line a dentist uses to promote a new system of invisible braces. That's because nobody can tell you are wearing them.

The Invisalign system is a series of totally clear, very thin mouthguard-like devices that are custom made for every patient. They fit over your teeth.

Used instead of metal braces, they are an alternate way to straighten teeth. To be considered for this type of treatment, you must have only mild to moderate crowding or overlapping.

Since the mouthguards are so clear, you can go through the day and no one will know you are straightening your teeth

Oral hygiene is much improved over conventional braces, which trap food, because you take the appliances out whenever you eat. You also take them out to brush and floss. Another plus is that you do not have to alter your diet the way you have to with metal braces.

One drawback is the cost.

Invisalign costs about 30 to 40 percent more than metal braces, and if you forget to wear the appliances, your results will get delayed.

To get started, you must schedule a consultation with a dentist who does this procedure. If you are a good candidate, impressions are taken and a very sophisticated lad uses a special computer program to fabricate your appliances, which are called "aligners."

Each appliance is worn for two weeks. During that time, the teeth out of alignment are moved ever so slightly. Depending upon the situation, upwards of 40 or more appliances are made for each patient. A new one is used every two weeks to continue the gradual process of moving the teeth into their proper spaces. Occasionally, the dentist might need to slightly recontour some of the teeth to keep the alignment process going smoothly.

In this day and age, with people getting all kinds of cosmetic procedures done so they will look and feel better about themselves, add this to the list of possibilities. If you do decide to have this done, don't worry, I'll never tell. Even if I did, no one would believe me.

Easy solutions to a common problem

Posted by Dr. Edward Magida | Filed under

Do you find your co-workers offering you mints or gum all the time? Do meetings end up with you alone at one end of the table? Don't fret, you could be one of the millions of people who have bad breath. Many people don't even know they are offensive to others because most times you cannot smell your own breath.

If you were to believe all the commercials, then all you would need to do would be to use this mouthwash or that and your problems would be solved. Or would it be? Bad breath is a condition that cannot be cured - only controlled. Most breath care products don't really control the problem. They only temporarily cover things up. After about 15-20 minutes the problem starts to come back because the cause of the problem has not been addressed.

The cause of bad breath is bacteria. The oral cavity harbors millions and millions of odor causing bacteria. As the bacteria digest the foods that pass through our mouths, they give off a gas, methyl mercaptan that contains sulfur. Sulfur is the compound that gives rotten eggs their awful smell. It is this sulfur-containing gas which causes a person's breath to smell bad.

So what is a person to do? Trying to eliminate the bacteria from your mouth is impossible. The bacteria recolonize within hours. Most of the mouthwashes that are available have alcohol in them. Alcohol is a good drying agent, but not the best at killing off the bugs in your mouth. In fact, as the alcohol dries out your mouth, the bacteria tend to proliferate on the dried out oral tissues.

Good oral hygiene is a must when you want to beat bad breath. Brushing 2-3 times daily as well as flossing are needed to control bacteria and the plaque they produce. One largely overlooked area of oral hygiene is the tongue. The top of the tongue, especially towards the back, has many ridges and grooves on it. The bacteria in your mouth thrive in these grooves. What also tends to happen on your tongue is that a coating develops on it. The coating is made up of food debris, bacterial plaque, and bits and pieces of dead tissue from the inside of your mouth. If you clean off the top of your tongue on a daily basis, then most of the gas-producing bacteria will be eliminated for most of the day. There are products called tongue scrapers that will help you do this.

The last piece of the oral hygiene puzzle is to use a mouthwash and toothpaste that contains Chlorine dioxide. There are several on the market. The key thing here is twofold. Because there is no alcohol, the mouth rinse will not dry out your mouth and cause bacteria to multiply at a faster rate. The chlorine dioxide is a compound that has been proven to remove the sulfur gases in your mouth for many hours. It is much more effective at controlling bad breath than any other product on the market.

To gauge the extent of the bad breath and also to measure the effectiveness of the treatment, there is an instrument called a halimeter. This instrument is extremely sensitive to sulfur molecules and measures them in parts per billion.

Many times an initial assessment i .

Most times treating bad breath simply requires changing the way a person performs oral hygiene procedures. The problem is easily solved.