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Posts for: February, 2017

By Signature Smiles, LLC
February 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: teeth grinding  
TreatingTeethGrindingNowCouldHelpPreventExcessiveToothWearLater

Your teeth naturally wear as you age, but you may be making it worse if you grind your teeth.

Teeth grinding is a behavior that causes the teeth to gnash, grind or clench against each other generating forces greater than those produced from normal biting. These forces often result in tooth wear that cause not only functional problems but result in a more aged appearance. Grinding occurs while a person is awake, but most often episodes occur while asleep at night.

Teeth grinding is quite common in children, but not usually of great concern since most grow out of it. There's even a school of thought that teeth grinding might even help readjust an uneven bite.

Among adults, though, other factors seem to contribute to teeth grinding. Many researchers believe nighttime grinding occurs as a person passes through different sleep phases including deep REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. It may also have a connection with chronic snoring.

Certain medications seem to contribute to teeth grinding, particularly psychoactive drugs like amphetamines. Nicotine falls in this category, which could be why tobacco users report twice the incidence of the habit compared to non-users. Teeth grinding is also connected to another fact of modern life: stress. People who grind their teeth tend to have higher levels of anxiety, hostility or depression.

Because there are multiple triggers, there are many treatment approaches. Whatever course we take, our aim is to eliminate or minimize those factors that contribute to your habit. For example, we can create a custom mouth guard for night wear to prevent the teeth from making solid contact and thus reduce the biting pressure.

Perhaps the most important thing is to control or reduce stress. This is particularly helpful at night to prepare you for restful sleep by changing some of your behaviors. We also encourage investigating other stress therapies like biofeedback, meditation or group therapy.

Whatever the means, bringing teeth grinding under control not only reduces problems now, but could also help prevent abnormal teeth wearing and future health issues down the road.

If you would like more information on causes and treatments for teeth grinding, 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 “Stress & Tooth Habits.”


By Signature Smiles, LLC
February 07, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

CEREC, Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic, is a computer technology that makes it possible for your dentist to dental crownscreate custom restorations while you sit and wait in the chair. It’s a service that’s now available at Signature Smiles in Toms River, NJ. Discover more about CEREC technology and its cosmetic versus functional benefits for your smile.

What Is CEREC?
CEREC is a system that takes pictures of your teeth then designs a crown or veneer that’s made just for you. The technology is officially called computer-assisted design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM). After an exam and dental preparation (removing enamel when needed), the dentist takes a digital impression of the tooth. The image is then sent a machine called a milling unit, which carves out the desired tooth restoration. This entire process happens while you’re relaxing in the dentist’s chair. Once the restoration is finished, your Toms River dentist will bond it immediately and make final tooth adjustments as needed.

Is It Valuable Just for Cosmetic Reasons?
Many people like CEREC because they can improve the look of their smile in a matter of hours. But CEREC technology isn't just beneficial for cosmetic reasons. Getting a same-day crown or veneer also benefits the overall function of your teeth. With a classic restoration, you may have to wait a month or more until your dental issue is finally resolved. Your ability to eat, bite and talk properly may be affected during that wait. It's best to get the tooth fixed immediately.

Fast and Reliable Results
Dentists and patients like CEREC because it gives quality results in a short period of time. There's no need to wait weeks or months to get your smile issues fixed—just one visit is all that’s necessary. Also, the CAD-CAM computer technology is generally more accurate than having the crown or veneer designed by a human technician.

Call for a CEREC Treatment
CEREC is a dental technology that is now available at Signature Smiles in Toms River, NJ. Call (732) 244-4114 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carmela LaFalce.


By Signature Smiles, LLC
February 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  
VivicasVeneerstheMakingofaHollywoodSmile

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.




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

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