My Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Gargano Family Dentistry
September 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dentures   Missing Teeth  

Dentures can restore your smile by replacing several missing teeth. Dentures can replace an entire row of missing teeth or only some teeth along an arch when there are still natural teeth remaining. Several different types of dentures are available. A dentist can recommend the Couple With Denturesright type of denture for you. At Gargano Family Dentistry, Dr. Joseph Gargano and Dr. Theodore Gargano are your North Haven, CT dentists for dentures.

What are the Benefits of Dentures?

Dentures provide multiple benefits. They fill in the gaps where teeth are missing and restore your smile. They can also restore the natural contours of your face by providing support for drooping or sagging facial muscles. Dentures can improve speech by correcting tongue placement when speaking, which can be altered when several gaps exist from missing teeth.

What is the Difference Between Partial and Full Dentures?

There are two main types of dentures — partial and full. Full dentures are also called complete dentures and replace a full arch of missing teeth. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain. Your North Haven dentist can recommend the right type of dentures for you.

Are There Different Types of Partial Dentures?

Two types of partial dentures are transitional and removable. Transitional dentures are only worn temporarily while waiting for the gums to heal following tooth extraction with the goal of placing dental implants at a later date. Partial dentures that are removable are meant to be worn more long-term.

Are There Different Types of Full Dentures?

Two types of full dentures are conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are custom made for each individual patient and are worn long-term. Immediate dentures are worn temporarily before a patient is fitted for custom conventional dentures. Immediate dentures are worn following the extraction of any remaining natural teeth to give the gums time to heal before creating custom conventional dentures.

What is an Implant-Supported Overdenture?

Implant-supported overdentures are another denture option that is beneficial when there are no teeth left in the jaw bone to adequately support a denture. Implant-supported overdentures are held firmly in place by dental implants so there is no need to use dental adhesives, as is the case with other types of dentures.

There are different types of dentures available for giving you a complete smile. To learn more about how dentures can restore your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph or Theodore Gargano, your North Haven, CT dentists, by calling Gargano Family Dentistry at (203) 239-2356 for the Elm Street location or at (203) 239-3985 for the St. John Street location.

By Gargano Family Dentistry
April 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental crowns can help you in several ways. They can be used to conceal cosmetic imperfections, such as stains or discolorations. They dental crownsalso protect cracked or chipped teeth from worsening. Dental crowns even strengthen teeth that are damaged, weak, or worn down, and restore normal biting and chewing functions in those teeth. At Gargano Family Dentistry, Dr. Joseph Gargano and Dr. Theodore Gargano are your North Haven, CT, dentists for installation of dental crowns.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns protect and restore damaged teeth. They are placed over the problem tooth like a protective outer shell and restore the tooth’s ability to perform normal functions, such as biting and chewing food. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, resin, and porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain is commonly used because it closely resembles the appearance of natural tooth enamel. Once placed, dental crowns look and function just like natural teeth.

Dental crowns are used for several restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. They are often placed over a tooth following root canal therapy to ensure the tooth remains strong. Crowns are also placed over teeth with extensive areas of decay when significant portions of a tooth needs to be removed. The crown allows the natural tooth to remain in place, but strengthens and restores it to normal functioning.

When teeth are missing, crowns are used as replacement teeth in conjunction with dental implants. Crowns can also hold bridgework securely in place. A dental crown at each end of the bridge holds it firmly in place so there is no worry about your bridgework falling out. Cosmetically, dental crowns can conceal such imperfections as chips, cracks, stains, or discolorations.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns offer multiple protective, restorative, and cosmetic benefits. Your North Haven, CT, dentist can help you decide if dental crowns are the right choice for addressing your dental concerns. Benefits of dental crowns include:

  • Replacing missing teeth when placed over a dental implant
  • Protecting damaged and weakened teeth
  • Concealing cosmetic imperfections
  • Restoring normal tooth functioning
  • Holding bridgework securely in place
  • Looking and functioning like natural teeth

Whether your specific dental concern is to protect, restore, or improve the appearance of your teeth, dental crowns can help. To schedule an appointment with either of the Dr. Garganos, your dentists in North Haven, CT, call Gargano Family Dentistry at (203) 239-2356 for the Elm St. office or (203) 239-0678 for the St. John St. office.

WemayNeedtoRemoveoneorMoreTeethBeforeApplyingBraces

“To gain something, sometimes you have to give up something else.”

No, that isn't the latest viral meme on the Internet. It's actually a practical consideration that could arise in orthodontics.

In this case, the “something” to gain is a straighter, more attractive smile; the “something” you may have to part with is a few teeth. This may be necessary if there are too many teeth on a dental arch for its capacity, a situation called crowding. A lack of space is the main reason teeth come in misaligned.

Before we can correct this, we'll need to free up space to allow for tooth movement by removing one or more of the existing teeth. The ideal candidates are those that are near to the teeth we wish to move but not highly visible. The first bicuspids are the most frequent choices for removal: they're located behind the cuspids or eyeteeth (the pointed teeth right under the eyes).

Ideally, we'll remove the target teeth some time before we apply braces to give the gums a chance to heal. At the same time we want to preserve the bone that once supported the teeth we've extracted. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulates bone replacement growth. When a tooth is no longer there the supporting bone doesn't receive this stimulation and may ultimately reduce in volume.

We may try to prevent this by placing a bone graft in the empty socket immediately after removing the tooth. The graft serves as a scaffold to encourage new bone to grow. Hopefully when we're ready to apply braces, the bone will be strong and healthy to handle the movement of the teeth.

As the teeth move under the influence of braces, they'll begin to fill up the space created by tooth removal. Once it's completed, the extracted teeth won't be missed — the other teeth now straightened will completely fill out the smile.

The different steps in this process must be carefully planned and executed precisely, and it will take months or even years to complete. In the end, though, this complicated bite problem can be corrected and replaced with an attractive, straight smile.

If you would like more information on correcting a poor bite, 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 “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”

By Gargano Family Dentistry
May 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
HowKathyBatesRetainsHerMovie-StarSmile

In her decades-long career, renowned actress Kathy Bates has won Golden Globes, Emmys, and many other honors. Bates began acting in her twenties, but didn't achieve national recognition until she won the best actress Oscar for Misery — when she was 42 years old! “I was told early on that because of my physique and my look, I'd probably blossom more in my middle age,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “[That] has certainly been true.” So if there's one lesson we can take from her success, it might be that persistence pays off.

When it comes to her smile, Kathy also recognizes the value of persistence. Now 67, the veteran actress had orthodontic treatment in her 50's to straighten her teeth. Yet she is still conscientious about wearing her retainer. “I wear a retainer every night,” she said. “I got lazy about it once, and then it was very difficult to put the retainer back in. So I was aware that the teeth really do move.”

Indeed they do. In fact, the ability to move teeth is what makes orthodontic treatment work. By applying consistent and gentle forces, the teeth can be shifted into better positions in the smile. That's called the active stage of orthodontic treatment. Once that stage is over, another begins: the retention stage. The purpose of retention is to keep that straightened smile looking as good as it did when the braces came off. And that's where the retainer comes in.

There are several different kinds of retainers, but all have the same purpose: To hold the teeth in their new positions and keep them from shifting back to where they were. We sometimes say teeth have a “memory” — not literally, but in the sense that if left alone, teeth tend to migrate back to their former locations. And if you've worn orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, that means right back where you started before treatment.

By holding the teeth in place, retainers help stabilize them in their new positions. They allow new bone and ligaments to re-form and mature around them, and give the gums time to remodel themselves. This process can take months to years to be complete. But you may not need to wear a retainer all the time: Often, removable retainers are worn 24 hours a day at first; later they are worn only at night. We will let you know what's best in your individual situation.

So take a tip from Kathy Bates, star of the hit TV series American Horror Story, and wear your retainer as instructed. That's the best way to keep your straight new smile from changing back to the way it was — and to keep a bad dream from coming true.

If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.” The interview with Kathy Bates appears in the latest issue of Dear Doctor.

By Gargano Family Dentistry
April 18, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
LasersBeginningtoChangeSomeRootCanalProcedures

As in other parts of medicine, lasers are beginning to change the way we provide dental care. More and more dentists are using lasers to make earlier diagnoses of dental disease or provide surgical treatment. One area prime for change is the treatment of teeth with deep decay and in danger of being lost.

For decades now, the best way to save teeth in this condition is with root canal treatment. In this common procedure we access the pulp, remove the infected tissue with specialized hand instruments, and then fill and seal the pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling.

We can now potentially improve the efficiency and increase the success rate of this treatment with laser technology. With their focused light, lasers emit a concentrated burst of energy that's extremely precise. In many instances laser energy can remove the target diseased tissue without damaging nearby healthy tissue.

In this form of root canal treatment, we use lasers to remove tissue and organic debris within the pulp and then shape the root canal walls to better receive the filling. We can also utilize the heat from laser energy to soften and mold the filling, so that it better conforms within the walls of the root canals.

Using lasers in root canal treatments may require less local anesthesia than the traditional approach and also eliminates disturbing or discomforting sounds and vibrations. Dentists who've used the new technology also report less bleeding during the procedure and less pain and occurrences of infection afterwards.

But there are a couple of disadvantages for using lasers in root canal treatment. For one, light travels in a straight line — and many root canal networks are anything but straight. More complex root canal networks may still require the traditional approach. Laser energy could also increase the tooth's inner temperature, which could potentially damage tissues even on the tooth's outer surfaces.

Used in the right circumstances, though, lasers can be an effective means to treat diseased teeth.  As laser technology continues to advance and becomes a mainstay in dental care, you may soon find it part of your next dental procedure.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.