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Posts for: July, 2020

By Signature Smiles, LLC
July 29, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental injuries  
HaveFunThisSummerButPlayitSafeforYourDentalHealthsSake

As summer reaches its apex here in the western hemisphere, warmer weather beckons many of us out of doors. And there's plenty of fun to be had, from hiking and camping to frolicking in the pool, so long as you're playing it safe—and that includes with your family's dental health.

As physical activity increases during the summer months, so does the potential for accidents. And our mouths—especially the teeth, gums and jaws—aren't immune: In the blink of an eye an accident could cause a serious oral injury that can reverberate for weeks, months or even years. Not only that, but dental diseases like tooth decay or gum disease don't take the summer off.

So have fun this summer, but take precautions with your family's dental health. Here are a few top things that deserve your focus.

Sports-related injuries. Summer often means outdoor sports like basketball and baseball. Even if you are shooting hoops alone or honing batting and catching skills with family members, accidents can happen, possibly resulting in an injury to the mouth. To guard against this, be sure the athletes in your family wear appropriate protective gear like helmets or mouthguards.

Slips and falls. Moving around outdoors, especially in unfamiliar territory, increases the risk for falls that could injure the mouth. A pool area can be especially hazardous: Hard surfaces that are slippery when wet, for example, are a tooth injury waiting to happen. So, try to eliminate structural hazards around pools or other high-risk areas as much as possible, and insist that everyone adhere to safety rules like “No running.”

Oral hygiene. Although not in the category of an accidental blow or fall, dental disease is still a year-round risk: Your family may be taking a break from routine, but disease-causing oral bacteria don't. So, encourage your family even in the more laid-back summer months to continue to brush and floss every day to minimize the development of tooth decay or gum disease.

Sugary snacks. Summer may also occasion a break from what your family normally eats. As a result, you may be munching more on foods with added sugar. Remember, though, oral bacteria love this particular carbohydrate as much as your family does. More sugar in the mouth means more bacteria and a higher risk of tooth decay. So, choose items like nuts or fresh fruit as much as possible in lieu of sugary treats.

Summer is a great time for relaxing in the open air and building fond family memories. Just be sure to exercise these preventive measures to keep oral accidents or dental disease from ruining the fun.

If you would like more information about dental prevention measures, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”


Cosmetic dentistry Toms Rivers treatments can do wonders for those struggling with the condition of their teeth. How will you know which is the right one for you? The best individual to answer this question is your dentist here at Signature Smiles, LLC in Toms River, NJ, Dr. Carmela LaFalce. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the cosmetic dentistry services and treatments we offer here.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

This cosmetic dentistry service addresses discoloration of the tooth regardless of the cause. It relies on high-concentration gels for bleaching, resulting in longer-lasting white teeth. We have various at-whitening options to help improve your smile.

CEREC Crowns

In dentistry, CEREC means Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic, which relies on Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology in the fabrication of dental restorations. This means no more biting into impressions that can numb your jaw and mouth. A camera instead is used to capture full dentition in seconds, which in turn is used by the computer to create a 3D model that will be the basis for the production of the dental crown.

A porcelain block is milled to match the patient’s teeth shade and other characteristics. The crown can then be bonded immediately to existing teeth. This means dental restoration is completed within hours. CEREC partial or ceramic crowns can be inserted in a single session; avoiding unnecessary additional appointments. No temporary prosthesis is also needed as CEREC allows direct insertion. It is one of our most popular cosmetic dentistry Toms River procedures.

Porcelain Veneers

One of the other most popular cosmetic dentistry Toms River treatments is veneers. In the past, these would require an impression that would be sent to a lab for fabrication. In the meantime, temporary veneers were placed in between treatments while waiting for the final veneers to be ready. Fortunately, with CEREC technology, a computerized digital scan of the teeth can allow for the creation of customized porcelain veneers in minutes. Once this is ready, it is bonded to the surface of the teeth for immediate improvement and protection.

Dental Implants

Implants are normally recommended for teeth with extensive damage. This allows for the replacement of the tooth root with a titanium post that will fuse to your jawbone. This provides a stronger and permanent replacement for the damaged tooth, which is capped by a dental crown.

Dental Bonding

This dental restoration targets the teeth surface to restore beautiful and bright smiles. It is also effective in dealing with discoloration and stains. A relatively quick process, the patient initially has to choose the best shade that matches the natural teeth. Light etching and brushing using bonding liquid will be done to allow the resin to stick to the teeth.

To Learn Which Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments are Right for You, Call Us

Schedule an assessment with Dr. Carmela LaFalce of Signature Smiles, LLC in Toms River, NJ, by dialing (732) 244-4114.


TalkWithYourDentistAboutAntibioticTherapyBeforeImplantSurgery

Dental implants are far and away the most “tooth-like” restoration available today for missing teeth. Not only do they look real, they also mimic dental anatomy in replacing the tooth root.

To install an implant, though, requires a minor surgical procedure. And, as with any surgery, that includes a slight risk for a post-surgical infection. For most patients this isn't a major concern—but it can be for people with certain medical conditions.

One way to lessen the risk for implant patients whose health could be jeopardized by an infection is to prescribe a prophylactic (preventive) antibiotic before implant surgery. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the measure for patients with artificial heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and other heart-related issues.

In the past, their recommendation also extended to people with joint replacements. But in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS), the ADA downgraded this recommendation a few years ago and left it to the physician's discretion. Indeed, some orthopedic surgeons do recommend antibiotic therapy for patients before surgical procedures like implantation for up to two years after joint replacement.

These changes reflect the ongoing debate over the proper use of antibiotics. In essence, this particular argument is over risks vs. benefits: Are pre-surgical antibiotics worth the lower infection risk for patients at low to moderate risk in return for increased risk of allergic reactions and other side effects from the antibiotic? Another driver in this debate is the deep concern over the effect current antibiotic practices are having on the increasing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

As a result, dentists and physicians alike are reevaluating practices like prophylactic antibiotics before procedures, becoming more selective on who receives it and even the dosage levels. Some studies have shown, for example, that a low 2-gram dose of amoxicillin an hour before the procedure can be effective with much lower risks for side effects.

If you're considering dental implants and you have a medical condition you think could be impacted by the procedure, discuss the matter with your dentist and physician. It may be that pre-surgical antibiotics would be a prudent choice for you.

If you would like more information on getting dental implants, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics.”


By Signature Smiles, LLC
July 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  
WhateverYourVacationPlansThisYearDontForgetTeethandGumCare

COVID-19 containment restrictions could put a kink in many of our vacation plans this summer. With leisure air travel discouraged and popular attractions like Disney closed, this may be the year for a “staycation.” But however your summer plans turn out, be sure you keep up with the essentials—like taking care of your teeth and gums.

Vacations, whether a road trip or a camping getaway in your own backyard, are times to recharge the “mental batteries” by temporarily leaving everyday life behind. But not everything—you still need to take care of life's necessities, including daily dental care. Not to sound like a schoolmarm, but there is no vacation from brushing and flossing.

Actually, it's not that onerous: Just five short minutes a day is all you need to effectively perform these two essential hygiene tasks before you head out for your vacation activities (or non-activities, as the case may be). During those five minutes, though, you'll be removing built-up dental plaque, a bacterial film that's the top cause for tooth decay and gum disease.

You should also keep an eye on your vacation diet. For many people, seasonal getaways often come with an increase in sweet treats like pastries, ice cream or, the perennial campfire favorite, s'mores. But increased sugar may also raise your risk for dental disease. So, limit those sweet treats, consider alternative snacks without sugar, and brush after eating to keep tooth decay or gum disease from getting a foothold.

An equally important measure for maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a regular dental visit at least twice a year. During these visits we'll clean your teeth of any missed plaque or tartar (hardened plaque) and check for any signs of dental disease. Our goal is to keep you in the best oral health for the long haul.

Everyone needs a break from the routine now and then, even if it's a creative alternative to the traditional summer trip. Just be sure you have your dental care covered before your vacation.

If you would like more information about daily and regular dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Daily Oral Hygiene” and “The Bitter Truth About Sugar.”




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

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