My Blog

Posts for: November, 2017

November 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

A smile gap changes your appearance, your outlook and how the world perceives you. Also, tooth loss impacts the strength and position of dental implantsyour remaining teeth. Learn how tooth replacement with dental implants from Dr. Carl Tegtmeier in Mount Kisco, NY fills smile gaps and avoids the harmful effects of tooth loss.

Dental implants do it all

They look natural, they feel natural and they stay in place for decades. How do dental implants do all that? These artificial teeth are anchored by titanium metal screws strategically placed right into the jaw bone. Through a process known as osseointegration, an implant and the jaw bone meld together, creating an inseparable bond and strong foundation for a metal post and customized porcelain crown.

Placed in multiples, dental implants support bridges, partial dentures, full fixed dentures and full removable dentures, making implants the most versatile tooth replacements available today. Additionally, common problems of denture slippage, bone and gum deterioration and prematurely aged facial appearance disappear. While initially more costly than other options, dental implants cost less in the long run because they rarely fail or need replacement.

Placing implants

Dr. Tegtmeier carefully evaluates his prospective implant patients in Mount Kisco. Using visual inspection, digital X-rays and three-dimensional imaging, your dentist ensures you have sufficient jaw bone to support a dental implant. If you do, the oral surgery takes place in two stages:

  1. Incision of gums and insertion of the implant into the jaw, followed by healing and osseointegration
  2. Placement of the post and crown

After placement, the patient cares for his or her new tooth with diligent brushing and flossing at home and with in-office cleanings and exams. The patient also avoids smoking if possible because tobacco causes peri-implantitis, an infection resembling gum disease. This infection often necessitates implant removal.

However, the vast majority of dental implants--95 percent, states the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness--stay in place, function and beautify smiles for a lifetime. With dental implants, you can count on a smile that's amazingly close to perfectly natural.

Learn more

Don't let a lost tooth weaken your smile and self-esteem. Replace it with a stunning dental implant from Dr. Tegtmeier in Mount Kisco, NY. For a convenient consultation, call his staff at (914) 241-2069.

By Carl H. Tegtmeier, DMD
November 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health

It's no secret that many of Hollywood's brightest stars didn't start out with perfectly aligned, pearly-white teeth. And these days, plenty of celebs are willing to share their stories, showing how dentists help those megawatt smiles shine. In a recent interview with W magazine, Emma Stone, the stunning 28-year-old star of critically-acclaimed films like La La Land and Birdman, explained how orthodontic appliances helped her overcome problems caused by a harmful habit: persistent thumb sucking in childhood.

“I sucked my thumb until I was 11 years old,” she admitted, mischievously adding “It's still so soothing to do it.” Although it may have been comforting, the habit spelled trouble for her bite. “The roof of my mouth is so high-pitched that I had this huge overbite,” she said. “I got this gate when I was in second grade… I had braces, and then they put a gate.”

While her technical terminology isn't quite accurate, Stone is referring to a type of appliance worn in the mouth which dentists call a “tongue crib” or “thumb/finger appliance.” The purpose of these devices is to stop children from engaging in “parafunctional habits” — that is, behaviors like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, which are unrelated to the normal function of the mouth and can cause serious bite problems. (Other parafunctional habits include nail biting, pencil chewing and teeth grinding.)

When kids develop the habit of regularly pushing the tongue against the front teeth (tongue thrusting) or sucking on an object placed inside the mouth (thumb sucking), the behavior can cause the front teeth to be pushed out of alignment. When the top teeth move forward, the condition is commonly referred to as an overbite. In some cases a more serious situation called an “open bite” may develop, which can be difficult to correct. Here, the top and bottom front teeth do not meet or overlap when the mouth is closed; instead, a vertical gap is left in between.

Orthodontic appliances are often recommended to stop harmful oral habits from causing further misalignment. Most appliances are designed with a block (or gate) that prevents the tongue or finger from pushing on the teeth; this is what the actress mentioned. Normally, when the appliance is worn for a period of months it can be expected to modify the child's behavior. Once the habit has been broken, other appliances like traditional braces or clear aligners can be used to bring the teeth into better alignment.

But in Stone's case, things didn't go so smoothly. “I'd take the gate down and suck my thumb underneath the mouth appliance,” she admitted, “because I was totally ignoring the rule to not suck your thumb while you're trying to straighten out your teeth.” That rule-breaking ended up costing the aspiring star lots of time: she spent a total of 7 years wearing braces.

Fortunately, things worked out for the best for Emma Stone: She now has a brilliant smile and a stellar career — plus a shiny new Golden Globe award! Does your child have a thumb sucking problem or another harmful oral habit? For more information about how to correct it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”

By Carl H. Tegtmeier, DMD
November 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: toothache  

If your child begins complaining of tooth pain without an accompanying fever or facial swelling, it’s likely not an emergency. Still, you should have us check it—and the sooner the better if the pain persists or keeps your child up at night. There are a number of possible causes, any of which if untreated could be detrimental to their dental health.

Before coming in, though, you can do a cursory check of your child’s mouth to see if you notice any abnormalities. The most common cause for a toothache is tooth decay, which you might be able to see evidence of in the form of cavities or brown spots on the tooth’s biting surfaces. If you notice swollen or reddened gums around a tooth, this could be a possible sign of a localized area of infection known as an abscess. You should also ask your child if they fell or were hit in the mouth and look for any signs of an injury.

If you don’t see anything unusual, there may be another cause—stuck food like popcorn or candy lodged and exerting painful pressure on the gum tissue or tooth. You may be able to intervene in this case: gently floss around the affected tooth to try to dislodge any food particles. The pain may ease if you’re able to remove any. Even so, if you see abnormalities in the mouth or the pain doesn’t subside, you should definitely plan to come in for an examination.

In the meantime, you can help ease discomfort with a child-appropriate dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. An ice pack against the outside jaw may also help, but be careful not to apply ice directly to the skin. And under no circumstances rub aspirin or other painkiller directly on the gums—like ice, these products can burn the skin. If these efforts don’t help you should try to see us the same day or first thing the next morning for advanced treatment.

The main thing is not to panic. Knowing what to look for and when to see us will help ensure your child’s tooth pain will be cared for promptly.

If you would like more information on handling dental issues with your child, 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 “A Child’s Toothache.”