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Posts for: December, 2016

Non-PrescriptionPainMedicationcanManageMostPost-ProcedureDiscomfort

The old stereotype with the words “pain” and “dental work” in the same sentence is no more. Using local or general anesthesia (or a combination of both) we can completely eliminate the vast majority of discomfort during dental procedures.

But how do you manage pain in the days after a procedure while your mouth is healing? The news is good here as well — most discomfort after dental work can be easily managed with a family of medications known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In most cases, you won't even need prescription strength.

You're probably already familiar with aspirin, ibuprofen and similar pain relievers for the occasional headache or muscle pain. These types of drugs work by blocking prostaglandins, which are released by injured tissues and cause inflammation. By reducing the inflammation, you also relieve pain.

Most healthcare providers prefer NSAIDs over steroids or opiates (like morphine), and only prescribe the latter when absolutely necessary. Unlike opiates in particular, NSAIDs won't impair consciousness and they're not habit-forming. And as a milder pain reliever, they have less impact on the body overall.

That doesn't mean, however, you don't have to be careful with them. These drugs have a tendency to thin blood and reduce its clotting ability (low-dose aspirin, in fact, is often used as a mild blood thinner for cardiovascular patients). Their use can contribute to bleeding that's difficult to stop. Excessive use of ibuprofen can also damage the kidneys.

That's why it's necessary to control the dosage and avoid long-term use of NSAIDs, unless advised by a physician. Most adults shouldn't take more than 2,400 milligrams a day of a NSAID and only during the few days of recuperation. There's no need to overdo it: a single 400-milligram dose of ibuprofen is safe and sufficient to control moderate to severe post-procedural pain for about five hours.

Our aim is to help you manage any pain after a procedure with the least amount of pain reliever strength necessary. That will ensure you'll navigate the short discomfort period after dental work safely and effectively.

If you would like more information on pain management after 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 “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”


By Signature Smiles, LLC
December 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
KathyBatesPlaysItSmartWithProfessionalTeethWhitening

Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”


By Signature Smiles, LLC
December 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Whether you are looking to get whiter teeth, or to fix minor aesthetic problems like spacing or sizing issues, advancements in cosmetic cosmetic dentistrydentistry have made it possible to get the smile that is perfect for you, without spending a fortune or committing to time-consuming or invasive procedures. Yet despite the availability and affordability of cosmetic treatments like bonding, which can be used for everything from eliminating stains and discoloration to fixing chips and cracks, many people believe that smile enhancement procedures are beyond their reach.

According to an industry survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in 2015, concerns over affordability, as well as old-fashioned fear of going to the dentist, keep many people from undergoing cosmetic dental work. Dr. Carmela LaFalce at Signature Smiles in Toms River, NJ offers a range of affordable and minimally invasive cosmetic dental treatments to fit every need and budget.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Toms River, NJ

Composite resin bonding can be used to fill a cavity, or for cosmetic improvements like teeth whitening. Bonding is also one of the fastest and least expensive options for fixing common cosmetic problems that may not warrant major dental work, but still have an impact on a person's smile, like gaps, chips and cracks. Composite resins are molded to match the color and texture of natural teeth for subtle and realistic looking improvements. Unlike other dental treatments that require multiple visits, a bonding treatment can be completed in as little as a single visit to Dr. LaFalce at Signature Smiles, making it the ideal solution for busy patients looking for non-invasive dental treatments at a modest cost.

Find a Dentist in Toms River, NJ

Small cosmetic dental improvements can have a big impact on the quality of your smile. For more information about composite dentistry, and to find the cosmetic procedure that is right for you, contact Signature Smiles by calling (732) 244-4114 to schedule a consultation with Dr. LaFalce today.




Carmela LaFalce, DMD
Dentist - Toms River
616 Washington St
Toms River, NJ 08753

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