New York City Office [MAP]:
655 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Tel: (212) 751-2544
Fax: (212) 486-9463
Caroline A. Grasso, DDS
Harold Litvak, DMD, MSD
Michael D. Litvak, DDS
Udo Schütte, DDS
Litvak Prosthodontics Wing
|What is a prosthodontist?
How can a prosthodontist help protect my teeth?
Is replacing lost teeth a prosthodontic specialty?
How do I care for my dentures?
Do dentures undergo adjustments?
How do I care for my crowns?
What is zoom teeth whitening?
What causes tooth discoloration?
Do many people whitening their teeth?
Is whitening safe?
How long does whitening last?
How does the Zoom in-office system work?
Prosthodontists are dental specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth.
After completing four years of dental school, prosthodontists receive three additional years of specialized training in an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited graduate education program. Prosthodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the ADA.
Rigorous training and experience provide prosthodontists with a special understanding of the dynamics of a smile, the preservation of a healthy mouth and the creation of tooth replacements. Serving as the “architect” of a dental treatment plan, prosthdontists collaborate with general dentists, specialists and other health professionals to develop solutions to your dental concerns.
|HOW CAN A PROSTHODONTIST HELP PROTECT MY TEETH?
Years of eating, chewing and for many, nightly “grinding” can affect your teeth in many ways. For example, excessive wear on teeth with large fillings or root canals can lead to portions of teeth breaking off. To preserve the remaining tooth and prevent breakage, a prosthodontist may recommend various types of crowns or “caps” to restore the tooth. Prosthodontists are experts in managing the increased complexity of multiple tooth treatments, as well as providing state-of-the-art solutions to protect and restore natural-looking smiles.
|IS REPLACING LOST TEETH A PROSTHODONTIC SPECIALTY?
Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons including decay, gum disease, injury, medical and congenital problems, and even wear. The inability to enjoy certain foods and feeling self-conscious when you smile may cause a loss of self-esteem. Prosthodontists, experts in recreating natures balance, understand that missing teeth have an immediate impact on a person’s quality of life.
As the American Dental Association recognized specialist in tooth restoration and replacement, your prosthodontist can recommend and provide the best treatment available including:
- Single or multiple tooth replacements supported by dental implants
- Crowns and bridges
- Partial dentures and complete dentures
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY DENTURES?
Dentures today are made from very advanced materials designed to give you a natural appearance.
However, keep in mind that just like your teeth, dentures should be cared for with diligence. This means daily brushing and regular visits to your dentist for minor adjustments.
Just like natural teeth, dentures need to be cleansed of plaque, food particles and other debris. Keeping your dentures in top shape will also help keep the soft tissues of your mouth healthy; an unclean or malformed denture can cause infections and irritation.
Remember to rinse and brush your dentures after every meal, and soak them in denture solution overnight. This also allows your gums to breathe while you sleep.
Here are some simple techniques for keeping your dentures clean:
• People can brush their dentures in a variety of ways. Some people use soap and water or a slightly abrasive toothpaste. Popular denture pastes and creams also can be used.
• Avoid using highly abrasive chemicals or pastes, or vigorously brushing with hard bristled toothbrushes. These can scratch or even crack dentures.
• Hold your dentures gently to avoid loosening a tooth.
• Clean your dentures with cool or tepid water over a water-filled sink. Hot water may warp a denture. A small washcloth placed in the bottom of the bowl will ensure that your denture isn’t damaged if it falls.
• Soak your dentures overnight in any commercially available product like Efferdent or Polident and remember to rinse your dentures before placing them back in your mouth.
• Remember to use a separate toothbrush to clean your own natural teeth, as well as all of your gum tissues. In lieu of a toothbrush, a soft washcloth may be used to wipe your gums.
Over time, even daily care of your dentures may require them to be cleaned by the dentist. A powerful ultrasonic cleaner may be used to remove hard accumulations of tartar and other substances.
DO DENTURES UNDERGO ADJUSTMENTS?
People’s mouths undergo change all of the time. Gums change shape; in many cases, gums tend to shrink over time after teeth have been extracted.
Most denture wearers experience a break-in period of as long as two months, during which the tissues surrounding their extracted teeth must heal. Conventional denture wearers must periodically visit their dentist to have the appliances adjusted. This is because patient’s gums sometimes change shape or shrink; moreover, daily maintenance of the appliances over time may also obviate the need for minor adjustments.
Adjustments are critical because a loose-fitting appliance, or one that has not been adjusted to compensate for gum or jaw changes could cause pressure points, leading to mouth sores and possible infection. Regular dental visits also provide an opportunity to replace or repair loose teeth, or make small repairs to dentures that may have become chipped or cracked.
Over the long run, the base of a denture may need to be “re-lined” because of wear and tear from constantly rubbing against your soft palate or roof of your mouth.
|HOW DO I CARE FOR MY CROWNS?
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown. .
WHAT IS ZOOM TEETH WHITENING?
Zoom is a bleaching process that lightens discoloration of enamel and dentin.
WHAT CAUSES TOOTH DISCOLORATION?
There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of stainging substances such as coffee, tea, colas, tobacco, red wine, etc. During tooth formation, consumption of tetracycline, certain antibiotics or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration.
DO MANY PEOPLE WHITEN THEIR TEETH?
More people than you might imagine. A bright sparkling smile can make a big difference for everyone. The Zoom Chairside Whitening System makes it easier and faster than ever before.
IS WHITENING SAFE?
Yes. Extensive research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest cosmetic dental procedure available. As with any tooth whitening product, Zoom is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.
HOW LONG DO RESULTS LAST?
By following some simple post whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. To keep your teeth looking their best, we recommend flossing, brushing twice daily, and occasional touch-ups with Zoom Weekender or Night White gel. These are professional formula products designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest. They are available only through your dental professional.
HOW DOES THE ZOOM IN-OFFICE SYSTEM WORK?
The Zoom light activated whitening gel’s active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. As the hydrogen peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching colored substances while the structure of the tooth is unchanged. The Zoom light aids in activating the hydrogen peroxide and helps it penetrate the surface of the tooth. A study has shown that use of the Zoom lamp increases the effectiveness of the Zoom gel by 26% or more, giving an average improvement of eight shades.