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    Who Might Benefit from a Fixed Bridge?

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Do you suffer from tooth loss? This problem can cause a range of cosmetic and clinical concerns. One or more missing teeth can detract from the look of your smile. Tooth loss can also cause remaining teeth to become unstable in the mouth. It can interfere with proper speech and healthy chewing function as well.

    A fixed bridge can quickly alleviate each of these problems. This device, which fills the gap left by a missing tooth or several lost teeth, can restore the appearance and utility of your smile. A dentist can help you achieve these benefits by securing a bridge to the teeth on either side of the gap. Once cemented into place, the bridge looks and acts exactly as teeth do. If you’re tired of hiding your smile, or you want to eat the foods you once enjoyed with natural teeth, ask your dentist about getting a fixed bridge.

    Belmont Dental Group is happy to offer fixed bridge appliances for our patients in the greater Cambridge and Belmont communities. If you have experienced tooth loss, we can help. Call (617) 484-2431 to schedule a consultation.

    Understanding the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Visiting a dentist on a regular basis is important for a number of reasons. Not only can your dentist identify tooth decay and gum disease, but he can also look for signs of oral cancer. Like many other types of this disease, oral cancer can be more easily treated when found at an early stage. Delaying or avoiding your periodic dental checkups can allow oral cancer to develop and cause greater health problems. To prevent this disease, consider these risk factors for oral cancer:

    Spending Time in the Sun
    Oral cancer can be a significant problem if people fail to take the necessary precautions to protect their lips when outdoors. Any part of the body that’s exposed to UVA and UVB rays runs the risk of developing cancer. Even if a person applies sunscreen and wears long-sleeved shirts or slacks, he may forget SPF lip balm. With continuous exposure to the sun, the lip region can develop oral cancer.

    Contracting HPV
    HPV, or human papilloma virus, is a common term for more than 100 viruses that can cause health problems. Some of these viruses provide the catalyst for oral cancer. A person can contract HPV when his skin touches that of another person. Being vigilant about those with whom one comes into contact is key to avoiding this problem.

    Consuming Alcohol
    Medical research indicates that a person’s alcohol consumption can heighten the risk for oral cancer. To lower the danger of this disease, alcoholic beverages should be enjoyed with restriction.

    Engaging in Smoking Habits
    Of all risk factors that can bring on oral cancer, smoking is the most widespread. The carcinogenic ingredients in tobacco are to blame for this condition. No type of tobacco usage is exempt from this problem; smoking pipes, cigars, or cigarettes can lead to oral cancer. Individuals who chew tobacco are at risk as well.

    Belmont Dental Group urges our patients to be proactive about their oral health. If you suspect that you are at risk for oral cancer, call (617) 484-2431. A dentist from our Belmont office can perform an oral cancer evaluation and help you find ways to lower your chances of getting this disease. 

    Dr. Nager's Inside Flossophy – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Breast Cancer, like any cancer, is a challenge nobody wants. Let’s not make it any worse than it has to be. Oh boys, one percent of breast cancers happen to us. It’s a small number, but really big if you are #1.

    A sore, dry, burning mouth is no help surviving care for your cancer. Dental infections can develop more rapidly, be more severe, and appear all at once. Decay can run slipshod, ruining teeth and bringing rot to your dearly expensive dental work.   A yogurt like coating of yeast (Candida Albicans) does nothing good for your breath. Dentists have lots of experience with breast cancer patients. We know what’s ahead for your oral health, short term and long. We know what to expect while you are being treated, and we know how to help. Your dentist knows how to protect your teeth and mouth so you can enjoy them when you are cured. 

    Chemotherapeutic drugs are designed to kill the most rapidly growing cells, like those found in a tumor. The pink tissues of your cheeks, tongue, gums and throat become thin and easily ripped (friable). With less saliva to dilute them, bacteria overgrow. Oral infections can colonize the damaged tissues. Nothing good is happening here. 

    With less saliva there is a decrease in the calcium and phosphate ions that help keep your teeth hard. It is common for patients to have an altered sense of taste. The sense of taste will return, but in the meantime you need to keep your nutrition adequate. 

    Of course, nausea that causes inability to eat or vomiting is no help at all. 

    If you are facing cancer treatment, make an appointment for a thorough look-see right away. Cancer drugs and radiation often produce a marked decrease in saliva. Imagine your mouth without that lubricating coating, which BTW contains an important immune factor. Removable replacement teeth will become very uncomfortable. Nasty little sores can develop and make you miserable. Your dentist can fine tune the fit.

    If there are cavities, get them fixed. If you have any chronic infections, like those around half erupted wisdom teeth, deal with them now. 

    Tartar (calculus) on your teeth can turn your gums red as a summer sunset. Your dental hygienist can get that stuff off. 

    We have rinses that help with the dry mouth.  Suckers and gum sweetened with Xylitol can help. You can also try ice chips. The good oral hygiene habits we all should be doing- well this is a good time Gladys  to do them for real. 

    We have a number of pleasant take-home potions to introduce extra fluoride and minerals into your teeth. 

    A soothing rinse can be a cup of warm water with ¼ teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 a teaspoon of salt. This is particularly helpful when vomiting is at issue. Salt is absorbed well by the oral tissues, so beware if you are on a salt restricted diet.

    Your oncologist and your dentist are quite used to dealing with each other to keep you comfortable and happy. Your dentist, who you have known for many years, thinks of you as a friend.  Let him or her help you through to a happier day. 

    Oh yes, one more thing. I like to advise my patients to have a dish of ice cream every day. It doesn’t do anything for the problem, but life is for the living. Good luck.

    Dr. Jim Nager is a practicing dentist and resident of Belmont, and a Clinical Instructor at Harvard. Call Belmont Dental Group today at (617) 484-2431 to arrange an appointment for any of our general dentistry services.

    A Patient's Guide to Dental Fillings

    Last updated 9 months ago

    When a dentist finds tooth decay, the next step is to repair the cavity with a filling. Though filling material can vary from glass to gold to ceramic, dentists generally use either silver or composite resin for patients. If you have been diagnosed with cavities, the following information can help you determine the dental filling that is best for your needs.

    Composite Fillings
    If a composite filling is used to correct a cavity, chances are that no one but the patient and dentist will ever know of its presence. That’s because composite fillings can be created to perfectly complement the shade of the natural teeth. For this reason, patients often ask for this type of filling when diagnosed with tooth decay. Composite fillings also let patients retain more of their natural tooth. Any treatment procedure for tooth decay requires that the dentist remove some tooth. Amalgam fillings typically entail the removal of more natural tooth than composite fillings. If comparing the longevity of fillings, though, composite fillings generally require replacement more frequently than their amalgam counterparts.

    Amalgam Fillings
    An amalgam filling is another term for a silver filling. For many years, this type of filling has been a standard treatment option in dentist offices across the United States. The resiliency of amalgam is one reason why it has enjoyed great popularity for so long. With proper oral hygiene habits, an amalgam filling can last for a decade or more. Many patients also request amalgam because it often is a more economical choice for dental treatment. Due to their silver color, though, amalgam fillings can take away from the appearance of a healthy, white smile. Their metal content can potentially put the surrounding tooth in jeopardy as well. In the event that a person with amalgam fillings eats a meal that is extremely hot or cold, the metal in the filling can shrink or expand. This action may cause the tooth to break.

    Belmont Dental Group wants to help you have the smile you have always wanted. If you have cavities, we can decide together which filling material is the best match for your cosmetic and clinical needs. To set up an appointment at our Belmont practice, call (617) 484-2431. 

    Dental Sedation: Conscious Sedation Method

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Have you been avoiding your dental checkups for fear of what the dentist might find? With conscious sedation available at many dental practices, there’s never been a better time to make that next appointment. Sedation dentistry has enjoyed immense popularity for good reason; it allows patients to rest instead of worry while undergoing their dental care. Conscious sedation provides just the right amount of medication-induced relaxation without putting patients to sleep. As a result, patients can communicate with their dentists when treatment calls for it. Because it does not cause unconsciousness, this method also affords patients a quicker recovery from their sedation. By taking medication both the day before your appointment and immediately preceding your treatment, you can receive the care you need with ease.

    Would you like to learn more about the sedation dentistry practices at Belmont Dental Group? Call us today at (617) 484-2431 to speak with a representative at our Belmont office. We can see to it that you get an appointment with a friendly and capable sedation dentist.




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All content and information are of an unofficial nature and are not intended to be interpreted as dental advice.
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