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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Cary J. Limberakis, DMD
February 16, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: local anesthesia  
LocalAnesthesiaTakesthePainOutofMostDentalWork

Long ago dental work could be painful and stressful—often for both patient and practitioner. Thankfully, that time is long past: today, most procedures are painless in large part due to local anesthesia.

Local anesthetics are numbing substances applied to specific areas of the body like the teeth and gums to temporarily block pain during a procedure. And because they only affect a localized area of the body, you remain conscious and alert throughout the procedure.

To achieve the level of numbing necessary for dental work, we often need to deaden the gums using a needle to deliver the anesthetic. But then this poses a secondary pain concern—the needle stick itself.

Again, topical anesthesia comes to the rescue in the form of a swab, patch or spray applying an anesthetic directly to the top layer of the gums at the injection site. This numbs the area and prevents you from feeling the needle stick. It's highly probable, therefore, that from start to finish you won't feel any discomfort during your dental work except perhaps for a little pressure.

Local anesthesia truly is a game changer for dental care—and not just for the patient. A dentist who's concerned about their patient's comfort level may work hurriedly to complete a procedure. But if their patient is relaxed, the dentist can work calmly and methodically. The result is better, more focused care.

For all its improvements in the patient experience, though, there has been one consistent complaint—the numbness that often lingers for a while after the procedure is over. But there have been advances in recent years that have helped reduce this irritation: new anesthetic agents (even some that can reverse the anesthetic effect) and fine-tuned dosages can help keep residual numbing to a minimum.

Not all procedures like routine teeth cleanings or enamel shaping require anesthesia. But when it's appropriate, local anesthesia can make your next dental visit much more pleasant.

If you would like more information on how anesthesia benefits your dental care, 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 “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”

By Cary J. Limberakis, DMD
January 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental CrownsNow you can restore a damaged tooth in just one dental visit.

Are you dealing with dental damage due to an injury, decay or an infection? If so, the health of your tooth may be compromised. When this happens one of the best ways to restore a tooth is with a dental crown, a tooth-shaped restoration that covers over a tooth to protect it. While getting a traditional crown often take 2-3 visits, our Abington, PA, dentists Drs. Cary and Jonathan Limberakis can now restore a tooth with a dental crown in just one visit with help from CEREC technology.

Preserve a Damaged Tooth

The purpose of a dental crown is to cover the entire visible portion of a tooth to protect it from further damage. A crown will strengthen and restore the tooth while preventing the tooth from becoming weaker over time. If a tooth is cracked, severely decayed or has an infection, our Abington, PA, general dentists may recommend getting a dental crown to restore your smile.

Save Yourself Time

Our goal as your dentist is to make sure that you always have a pleasant experience whenever you walk through our doors. With that said, we also understand that our patients lead busy lives and often find it difficult to keep coming back for multiple appointments.

Now if you need to get a dental crown in Abington, PA, you can get your new restoration created and placed in the same day, which will significantly cut down on your treatment time and allow you to get back to your daily routine faster.

Say Goodbye to Temporary Crowns

When it comes to getting a traditional crown, the tooth always has to be prepared to make room for the new restoration; however, it can take up to a week or more to get a permanent crown, which means that a temporary crown has to be placed to protect the tooth in the interim.

Unfortunately, temporary crowns aren’t as strong as permanent ones and you may have to avoid certain foods, which could damage the crown or cause it to fall out. However, when you get CEREC crowns you don’t even have to worry about wearing a temporary crown.

Do you want to find out if same day crowns are right for you? Want to learn more about this restorative dentistry technique that could improve the health of your smile? If so, call Limberakis Family Dentistry in Abington, PA, today to schedule a consultation with us.

JulianneHoughSharesaVideo-andaSong-AfterWisdomTeethComeOut

Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.

That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!

Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.

Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”

One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.

Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”  Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By Cary J. Limberakis, DMD
November 08, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Cary J. Limberakis, DMD
October 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Want that glamorous smile?

Drs. Cary and Jonathan Limberakis offer multiple teeth whitening solutions at their Abington, PA, office, 3 minutes away from their previous location in Jenkintown. Read below to learn about their take-home kits, commercial products, and in-office procedures.

Reasons for Discolored Teeth

Discolored, dull, or stained, teeth are a result of:

  • Age
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Poor oral care, i.e. not brushing or flossing properly
  • Drinking coffee and/or tea
  • Eating certain foods such as soy

Under your tooth's enamel is a darker yellowish tissue, dentin, that become exposed when enamel is worn away. Enamel is worn since food particles are naturally attracted to it. Over time, your white teeth will gradually yellow as the dentin becomes more prominent.

Whitening Teeth

There are several methods to whitening your teeth.

Here are a few:

  • At Home Kits Personally Customized for Your Teeth: Your Abington dentist, previously located in Jenkintown, takes impressions of your teeth to make two trays, one for your upper jaw and another for its lower counterpart. All you need to do is fill each tray with whitening gel provided by your dentist, position each tray over the upper and bottom teeth, then wait for about an hour. You may need to repeat the process to see the results you want.
     
  • Commercially Available Products, like Toothpaste and Mouthwash: Theses specifically chosen goods will remove stains and make your teeth multiple shades brighter. The products may be a bit abrasive, so avoid overusing them. Additionally, note that these products will not help severely discolored teeth or dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, and veneers.
     
  • In-office Procedure: First, a device designed to keep your cheeks and lips open will be placed in your mouth. This device ensures that the soft tissue in your mouth won't come in contact with the hydrogen peroxide gel and other high-concentration bleaching products. The dentist will then apply the gels on the surface of your teeth, leaving it for a few minutes before removal. The procedure takes about one-hour and yields the fastest results.

Are you interested in brightening your smile? Drs. Cary and Jonathan Limberakis offer teeth whitening in their Abington, PA, office (3 minutes from their old location in Jenkintown). Call for an appointment at (215) 886-8866 today!



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