Gum Problems and Lasers

Laser Dentistry Nashua, NHLasers have an ever-growing place in all kinds of medical procedures, from making surgical incisions to eviscerating diseased tissue. They even have a role in aesthetic treatments for encouraging the body to produce new amounts of the skin supporting protein known as collagen.

Dentistry is no different. At Kalil & Kress, we use our diode laser for many treatments, from cavity preparation to reducing pain in cold sores. But we find them among the most useful when dealing with various gum problems.

What is the diode laser?

The word laser has become so commonplace that the original spelling LASER has become laser. The original capitalized version was used because the word is an acronym. Laser stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Different lasers are categorized by the wavelength of the energy they produce.

Drs. Kalil and Kress use the diode laser, whose wavelength is ideally suited for soft tissue procedures since it is highly absorbed by hemoglobin and melanin. This gives the diode laser the ability to precisely cut, coagulate, ablate, or vaporize targeted soft tissue.

Uses of the diode laser

When the gums become inflamed or infected, tissue can need to be trimmed back. This is called a gingivectomy.

Root planing and scaling are done when the gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits, tartar, on them. Root planing and scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots.

While this was formerly done with dental picks (and sometimes still is), now we usually perform these procedures with a diode laser.

A gingivectomy removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue to get rid of the pockets that have formed between the teeth and the gums. The laser removes any loose tissue, while simultaneously causing hemostasis (stopping the flow of blood). The laser eliminates the former problems of unruly soft tissue and blood when performing a gingivectomy.

In root planing and scaling, the laser not only makes for easier recovery for our patients, but also reduces bacteria normally involved in the procedure. This makes the procedure safer and more comfortable.

At Kalil & Kress, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of dental technology. Using our diode lasers for gum procedures is just one example.

Is it time for your regular exam and cleaning? Call us at (603) 880-7004 to make your appointment.


The Best Way to Replace a Tooth

Dental Implants Nashua NHAt Kalil & Kress, we’re big fans of dental implants. They are far and away the best solution to replace a missing tooth. They also are great for supporting dentures, adding much-needed anchoring and providing confidence for the denture wearer.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is misnamed. The implant is the part of the entire prosthesis that is placed down into the jawbone. The implant is made of titanium and shaped like a screw. It is screwed down into the hole formerly occupied by your tooth root. Then a post is attached to the implant and an artificial tooth to that. Because dental implants are rooted in your jawbone, just like a natural tooth, they behave exactly like a natural tooth.

What are the advantages of implants?

The alternatives to implants are bridges or dentures. A bridge can fill a space of one or two missing teeth in a row. But bridges must be anchored with crowns on the adjacent healthy teeth on each side of the gap. Those teeth must be shaved down to make room for the crowns. Then the entire bridge is made with those outer crowns and the false tooth or teeth in the middle. The false teeth don’t go down into the gums as implants do, so you must be sure to keep the area clean where they meet the gumline. Plus, bite strength isn’t as strong as a bridge. Also, bridges have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, whereas implants often last the rest of the patient’s life.

Dentures usually replace a few missing teeth or an entire set. But dentures can slip and preclude you from eating certain foods. Also, they don’t stimulate the jawbone beneath them, as your natural teeth (and implants) do. That’s why we like using implants to anchor dentures.

Implants function just like your natural teeth. You can eat whatever you want. You brush and floss around them, just like a normal tooth. They are ultimately strong and will likely last the remainder of your life. Plus, implants stimulate your jawbone to continually build new bone mass, just as natural teeth do. This comes from the energy used in biting and chewing transferring down through the tooth, into the implant, and out into the surrounding jawbone.

The process

Getting an implant with the team at Kalil & Kress takes three steps. First, the titanium implant is placed into your jawbone in the socket from the missing natural tooth. Then we give the jawbone time to grow around the implant and make it a part of the jaw. This takes from three to six months. That may seem like a long time, but, hey, it’s shorter than the Red Sox season!

Next, you come in, and we place a post into the implant and again let the gums heal for a few weeks. When they are ready, we then attach the artificial tooth to the post, and you’re good to go. The entire process takes from six to eight months.

Are you missing a tooth? We can place an implant to fill the gap. Call us at Kalil & Kress, (603) 880-7004, to make an appointment.


Electric or Manual?

Home Care  Nashua, NHWhile we give every one of our patients a toothbrush after their twice-yearly exams and cleanings, we’d be happy to forgo those and give you more floss instead. Why?

It’s not that we don’t want you to brush, obviously. It’s that we’d like you Ito switch to an electric toothbrush.

We’re not trying to have you spend money on a luxury item that replaces manual brushing because you’re lazy or because we have some vested interest in an electric toothbrush company. Electric toothbrushes simply make sense for most patients as a tool for better home hygiene.

Why is an electric toothbrush better?

Electric toothbrushes, by their very nature, do the work for you. You place the brush head on your teeth and gums and let it get to work. Many of these toothbrushes have a built-in timer that tells you when you’ve been brushing for two minutes, the length of time recommended by the American Dental Association. All you need do is move the head from tooth to tooth, and it will remove the plaque from your teeth.

The goal is to be a thorough brusher, and many people are any but that. Because the heads rotate or otherwise move, the odds of doing a better job than your hand and arm are heavily weighted in favor of electric toothbrushes. If you’re a very diligent brusher, you may get every tooth brushed and hit your gums. But not many people ever brush for the full two minutes recommended. The problem with some even good manual brushers is they can be too aggressive. This can lead to gum recession.

Here are some specific cases where electric toothbrushes are a no-brainer.

  • If you’re a haphazard, cursory brusher — You know who you are. You brush your teeth but are lackadaisical about it. You could easily leave a tooth here or there with the plaque on it.
  • If you’re a kid — Little kids love electric toothbrushes because they’re fun gadgets. Some think they tickle their teeth. Once you explain to place the brush head on each tooth, they’ll do a good job brushing. Also, kids with traditional braces benefit mightily from electric brushes because of their thoroughness.
  • If you’re elderly — As we age, many of us have some dexterity issues with our hands and fingers. Electric brushes don’t require any hand or finger dexterity.

Statistics?

Your hand and arm can produce around 200 strokes per minute with your manual toothbrush. An electric toothbrush generates 30,000 strokes per minute. That’s quite a difference. Which do you think will clean better?

Want research proof? Braun Oral-B, a maker of toothbrushes (both electric and manual), had dentists and hygienists ask 16,000 patients to use an Oral-B electric toothbrush from one visit to the next. When asked to monitor how their patients’ teeth looked afterward, the dental professionals said the electric toothbrush had a positive effect on the oral health of over 80 percent of the patients.

If you have any questions about electric toothbrushes, please ask us. At Kalil & Kress we have the same goal as you — a healthy mouth. Call us to make your next appointment, (603) 880-7004.


The Lowdown on Baby Teeth

Cleanings & Prevention Nashua NHFor 27 years we’ve been proud to be the best family dentistry in Nashua. From generation to generation, there’s one thing we love to see — parents passing on good home hygiene habits to their children. After all, we provide the means to fix dental problems, but what we really like to see is a well-cared for, beautiful smile.

Along those lines, parents worry about when their child’s baby teeth should come in and what should be done with them. So, here’s some background on these teeth that will one day be the domain of the Tooth Fairy!

Primary dentition

Primary dentition. Doesn’t that sound like something that may have been taught way back in a one-room schoolhouse in Nashua? It actually is simply the term for the arrival of a child’s 20 baby teeth. Baby teeth are clinically known as deciduous teeth. They will include four incisors, two canines, and four molars on each jaw. These begin erupting through the gums around the age of six months. One or two teeth will break through each month.

When?

The first teeth to come in are the bottom central incisors, followed by the four front teeth on the upper jaw. The rest of the teeth descend in pairs, usually one on each side. Your child should have around 10 teeth on top and bottom somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. These teeth will last until around 6 or 7 when they will start to shed. This is the time to alert the Tooth Fairy and get those silver dollars collected! Those deciduous teeth will be mostly gone by the age of 13, replaced by permanent teeth.

Some things you didn’t know about baby teeth

While we are near some really esteemed centers of higher learning here in Nashua, we bet even university professors in the various schools of dentistry could be stumped by these facts about baby teeth. Impress your friends at garden parties when this long winter finally gives it up.

  • Girls get their teeth earlier than boys.
  • Teeth in the lower jaw erupt before those in the upper jaw.
  • Children who are shorter in height may have delayed tooth eruption.
  • If you live in a warmer climate, your kid’s teeth will come in earlier.
  • People living in urban areas get teeth faster than rural kids.
  • Birth rank can make older kids get their teeth earlier than their youngest brother or sister.

A couple tips for baby tooth hygiene

  1. Before your child’s teeth erupt, clean your baby’s gums and the erupting teeth by rubbing a clean, damp washcloth along the baby’s upper and lower gums.
  2. When the teeth come in, start brushing your baby’s teeth at least two to three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water.

Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress have started the dental care for hundreds of tiny Nashua residents. So, when it’s time to see us for your little one, please come by. To make your appointment at our Nashua offices, call (603) 880-7004.


Don’t Forget Your Teeth as the Years Go By

Fluoride Treatment Nashua, NHAfter we fly past our 50th birthday, lots of health issues suddenly begin to show themselves. If you’re female, problems such as osteoporosis need your full attention. For men, osteoarthritis could result from younger days playing sports or from the previous injury.

And that’s just the beginning of medical changes as we age.

But one area you need to keep on the radar is your mouth. After all, you don’t want to join the 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 who have no remaining teeth. So, Drs. Kalil and Kress have some advice for your aging teeth.

Don’t forget the fluoride

Cavity-prone years and fluoride seem to go together. But that’s a bunch of advertising mumbo jumbo. Kind of like halitosis and Listerine. The truth is, all human teeth need fluoride, whether age 9 or 90. Remember, fluoride is important for the remineralization of our teeth. This is the process where the teeth regain the minerals they need after they demineralize. Fluoride helps this process, which is important to ward off tooth decay. Older people have an increased risk for cavities versus those in middle age. This is especially true around fillings that have been in place for some time.

And don’t buy into the fluoridated water “conspiracy” theories. It’s not a plot to brainwash you; it’s a plot to strengthen the enamel in your teeth, and that’s a good thing. If you’ve got a couple of cavities of late, we can even help strengthen your enamel with one of those tasty fluoride treatments you may remember from your youth.

Dry mouth

Old age and dry mouth don’t go hand in hand, but some facets of aging can increase your risk for dry mouth. Taking regular medications or certain chronic conditions can increase your risk for dry mouth. And with dry mouth comes an increased risk for cavities and decay issues. If you wear dentures, dry mouth can affect the quality of their fit.

So, what can you do? Use a “moisturizing” mouthwash or dry mouth spray. Chew sugar-free gum, as it encourages saliva production. You can use an “artificial saliva” product; these products have ingredients that closely mimic your real saliva.

Mind your dentures

If you have dentures, take care of them as diligently as you would natural teeth. Clean them with a denture-specific toothpaste (regular toothpaste are too abrasive), and be sure you clean them every day. And don’t forget to use a soft toothbrush on your gums and tongue to remove any bacteria and food particles.

Finally, your twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams with the team at Kalil & Kress are also very important. Call us at (603) 880-7004 to make your appointment.


Invisible Straightening

Invisalign Nashua, NHMost of us have fond memories of our teenage years saddled with the fun that was traditional braces. Bands were scraping our lips and cheeks. Wires were poking out. Tightening sessions that were akin to medieval torture. Having to use threaders for flossing. Hating every photo with that metal mouth smile.

Ah, those were the days.

Luckily for today’s teens, Invisalign allows their teeth to be straightened without the metal. At Kalil & Kress, we use Invisalign with many of our patients.

What is Invisalign?

It may seem impossible that plastic trays that you place over your upper and lower teeth could move your teeth, but that is the premise with Invisalign. Rather than anchored bands connected by wires and rubber bands, Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligner trays to move the teeth. Each set of trays is worn for around two weeks and is then discarded and replaced with the next tray in the progression.

Is Invisalign right for everyone?

Invisalign can do some remarkable tooth movement, but it can’t be used in all orthodontic cases. Invisalign is great for mild to moderate orthodontic corrections. More serious issues with bite and dramatic tooth movement still must be done with traditional braces.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

When comparing Invisalign with metal braces, the advantages are myriad:

  • No metal bands— Because Invisalign uses trays to move your teeth patients don’t have to deal with metal bands digging into their lips and cheeks.
  • No wires— Braces move teeth with a combination of wires and rubber bands. Wire ends are notorious for poking the cheeks and tongue.
  • Cleaning is a breeze— With braces, getting food out from between your teeth and in your bands is difficult. With Invisalign, you simply remove the aligner trays and brush and floss as you normally would.
  • No more metal mouth— Braces are embarrassing, especially for self-conscious teenagers. The metal mars any photo taken and teens can avoid openly smiling to hide the bands. With Invisalign, it’s almost impossible to even see the aligner trays when they are on the teeth.

Interested in straightening your child’s teeth with Invisalign? Call us at (603) 880-7004 and set up an appointment to see if this great system can work for your child.


Restoring Your Smile

Dental Restorations Nashua, NHSometimes our oral health can head downhill in a big way, one thing leading to another. Restorative dentistry with Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress is designed to treat and repair or replace diseased, defective, and damaged teeth. Although not an overnight solution, the various possible procedures included in restoring your teeth will return function and give you back an attractive smile. This is not to be confused with a smile makeover — that is a series of cosmetic treatments intended to improve the aesthetics of your smile. Dental restoration is necessary to save your smile.

How would I know if I need dental restoration?

Usually involving the placement of prosthetics, these are the issues restoration patients have:

  • One or more missing teeth
  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Stained teeth that don’t respond to whitening
  • Teeth with infected dentin
  • Decayed teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Widely spaced teeth
  • Worn enamel

What procedures are involved in dental restorations?

Every patient’s condition is unique, but these are the various procedures we may use in your restoration:

  • Tooth-colored fillings— These replacements for silver amalgam replace decayed areas with composite resin that is virtually invisible in a tooth.
  • Porcelain inlays and onlays— Inlays are placed on the chewing surface of a tooth. Onlays replace the chewing surface and at least one of the cusps. They may extend down the tooth side.
  • Crowns— If a tooth can’t be restored with a filling, inlay, or onlay because there isn’t enough healthy structure remaining, a crown is placed over the tooth. This returns strength to the tooth. They are also used to anchor bridges and placed on a tooth that has had a root canal.
  • Porcelain veneers— Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are placed on the fronts of the teeth. They can mask minor flaws such as chips, cracks, size issues, and permanent discoloration (such as from tetracycline).
  • Composite bonding— This use of composite resin can allow us to reshape a tooth that is chipped or misshapen.
  • Dental implants— The best replacement for a missing tooth, dental implants are based on a titanium screw that is placed into the hole from the former tooth root. The jawbone then grows around the implant, making it a part of the jawbone. A post is then attached to an artificial tooth atop that. Implants look and function exactly like a natural tooth.
  • Bridges— These dental prosthetics are used to bridge a gap between a missing tooth or two. Crowns are placed on the teeth on both sides of the gap, with the prosthetic with the artificial tooth or teeth in between.
  • Dentures— If the patient has no remaining teeth, or if his or her teeth are so decayed and damaged that they need to be extracted, dentures may be required. They may replace the entire arch or just some missing teeth (partial dentures).

If you have extensive damage or issues with your teeth, call the team at Kalil & Kress at (603) 880-7004 and schedule a consultation. We can restore your smile and give you back functioning, beautiful teeth again.


New Dentures Aren’t Old School

DenturesIf you’re over the age of 65, there is a one in four chance that you’re missing all of your natural teeth. It may seem like an outdated concept to have dentures made to replace those teeth, but today’s materials and fitting technology ensures dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than ever before. At Kalil & Kress, we offer full or partial dentures, and implanted-supported dentures.

Why would a person opt for dentures?

Dental implants are excellent options for replacing a missing tooth or even a few missing teeth. But replacing all of your teeth with implants isn’t realistic for most people. Instead, dentures can be a great option. Here’s why:

  • Dentures return the patient’s ability to bite and chew, giving them back a balanced diet that may have been lacking for years, due to chewing difficulty.
  • Dentures give you back a great smile, returning the original dimensions of your teeth, gums, and jawbone.
  • Dentures can return your confidence. Who wants to smile while trying to hide the fact that you’re missing all or most of your teeth?
  • Dentures allow you to speak normally again, without worrying about whistling or the inability to pronounce certain sounds.

Types of dentures

At Kalil & Kress, we offer traditional full dentures, partial dentures, and implant-supported dentures.

  • Traditional full dentures — Traditional full dentures replace all of your upper and lower teeth. They are held in place by pressure from the cheeks and tongue and by suction onto the gums. They are removable.
  • Partial dentures — A partial denture fills a gap of three or more teeth, where a bridge can’t provide sufficient support. Partial dentures are attached to the healthy teeth on each side of the gap. They may be permanent or removable.
  • Implant-supported dentures — At Kalil & Kress, we’re big fans of implant-supported dentures. For these dentures, dental implants are placed into the jawbone on either the upper or lower (or both) arches. Usually four implants are used to anchor an entire arch. The denture is then snapped onto the implants, providing support and stability.
  • Here are the advantages of this type of denture:
    • The implants firmly anchor the dentures to eliminate rubbing or irritation.
    • The implants keep the dentures from slipping when chewing or speaking.
    • Implants transfer bite force energy down into the jawbone, providing the energy by which the jawbone rebuilds itself. This limits the rate of bone loss in the jawbone that occurs with traditional dentures.
    • Implants provide the support to allow the wearer to eat many foods that usually need to be avoided with traditional full dentures.

Are you missing all or most of your teeth? Dentures can be a great solution. Call the team at Kalil & Kress in Nashua, (603) 880-7004, to schedule a consultation.


What You Should Be Doing at Home

Now that we’re in the midst of another New England winter, it can seem like we have to spend tons of time blowing snow, raking our roofs, basically working to keep the snow from taking over. Along that line, we pay lots of attention to our snowblowers and their maintenance.

If only we paid the same kind of attention to the maintenance of our teeth.

Despite their importance, many people take their oral health for granted. If your snowblower breaks down, you can always use a shovel. But if your teeth break down, you’re headed for a long road of pain.

Maintaining your teeth is far easier than maintaining your snowblower. Healthy teeth start at home. So, here’s what Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress would like to see you doing for your home dental health care.

What is the proper way of brushing my teeth?

Twice daily is the proper amount for brushing your teeth, although you can do it three times. Use a soft-bristled brush (bristles that are too stiff can damage your tooth enamel and make your gums recede) and use gentle pressure. Brushing too firmly can damage your enamel. You should brush for around two minutes, 30 seconds per quarter of your mouth. Here’s how to brush teeth properly:

  • Position your tooth brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Using small, circular strokes, gently brush the teeth while making sure that the bristles are also touching the gums. Use overlapping circles to cover all the tooth surfaces.
  • When brushing, make sure the inner, outer, and biting surfaces of the teeth are included.
  • Using the tip of the brush, clean the inner portion of your front teeth.
  • It is important to brush the tongue as well to remove existing bacteria and to freshen up your breath. And don’t miss the roof of your mouth.

Electric toothbrushes are great, but not required as long as you brush diligently. Use a toothpaste with flouride.

What is the correct way of flossing my teeth?

You should floss between your teeth once daily. Flossing has two purposes. It removes food debris and plaque from between the teeth, and it stimulates the gums. Follow these steps to properly floss your teeth:

  • Use a piece around 18 inches long. Wrap the thread around your middle fingers and leave 2 inches of thread in between your fingers.
  • Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently insert the floss in between each tooth and clean the area following a sawing motion.
  • Hold the floss in a “C” shape on each tooth as well as under the gumline. Move the thread up and down to clean every side of the tooth.

If you want more conveniece, you can purchase floss holders. Flavored floss? If you like mint and it will make you actually floss, then by all means buy it!

There. That wasn’t so hard, now was it? And you didn’t have to change a drive belt or clean out a single carburetor!

Practice this hygiene routine and come see us at Kalil & Kress twice yearly for your professional cleanings and exams, and you should have a future that includes a healthy smile. As for your snowblower maintenance, spring’s not too far off.


Keeping an Eye Out for Oral Cancer

VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening Nashua, NHAt Kalil & Kress, every one of our professional cleanings/exams includes checking for oral cancer. This may seem routine, but it’s not. According to the American Dental Association, only 15 percent of patients reported receiving an oral cancer screening at their routine cleaning appointments with their dentists.

So, why do we care about checking for oral cancer? We think those other dentists are not fully doing their job — oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting for 643,000 new cases each year. At Kalil & Kress, we have a series of visual and tactile tests, plus we use the VELscope® system.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is described as cancer that begins in the oral cavity. This can include the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, the teeth, gums, most of the tongue, the bottom of the mouth, and the hard palate.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

As part of your home hygiene, we recommend being on the lookout for any signs of oral cancer. These are some of the most common signs or symptoms:

  • A sore in the mouth that doesn’t heel is the most common symptom of oral cancer
  • Persistent mouth pain, in contrast to tooth pain
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils, or lining of the mouth
  • A sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Numbness of the tongue or other areas inside the mouth
  • Jaw swelling
  • Loosening teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Persistent bad breath

How we check for oral cancer

During your appointment, both Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress, along with your hygienist, will look for signs of oral cancer. These include any unusual bumps, growths, lesions or other anomalies. We check the head and neck muscles; this is why we push on your lymph nodes and the thyroid in the front of your neck. This is also why we pull on your tongue and check all around its base.

We also use VELScope for oral cancer screening. When we look in your mouth with this technology, healthy cells will emit a bright green glow while areas of concern appear dark. The device achieves approaching 100 percent accuracy when discriminating between normal mucosa from severe dysplasia or invasive carcinoma.

Is it time for your next checkup at Kalil & Kress? Call us at 603-880-8004 to make your appointment.


Thumb Sucking Doesn’t Get a Thumbs Up

Pediatric dentistry Nashua, NHCharles Barkley, the Hall of Fame NBA player, once famously said, “I’m no role model.” At Kalil & Kress, we think Linus van Pelt should say the same thing.

You know Linus, the thumb-sucking brother of Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip. Despite being at some grade level in elementary school, Linus still sucks his thumb. Should your kids emulate Linus? No.

Why? Thumb sucking should run its course usually before a child reaches preschool age.

In case you have a thumb sucker in your household, here’s some information on this universal childhood habit.

What is normal thumb sucking?

Thumb sucking is a natural human comfort behavior. Sometimes it even gets a head start — in ultrasounds you can often see the fetus sucking his or her thumb. Thumb sucking can help a child feel secure and happy, and it can be soothing when there is anxiety such as when the child is separated from his or her parents. Thumb sucking or pacifier use can also help a child fall asleep.

How long can it go on?

The American Dental Association recommends discouraging thumb sucking by the age of four. By this time, prolonged sucking can begin to affect the proper development of your child’s mouth, jaw, and teeth. Continued thumb sucking can cause the permanent teeth to be misaligned, and that only spells the need for orthodontics later on.

If it continues into the five or six-year-old age, the pressure from sucking will lead to changes in the mouth and teeth. The ADA says that the front teeth may begin to jut forward and the child’s bite will begin to open, meaning the upper and lower teeth won’t be able to touch. As the permanent teeth descend, they will start to become misaligned.

So, how do I break the habit?

Parents struggle with how to end prolonged thumb sucking. Believe it or not, often the best way is to pay it no mind and ignore the behavior. Without any undue attention, kids usually cease their thumb sucking on their own. They usually start to understand that there is a point where sucking their thumb isn’t cool in certain social situations or when they compare to other kids. There’s no need to put a couple of drops of Tabasco sauce on their thumb, as you may have heard a neighbor do. In most cases, kids just stop sucking their thumb one day.

Still, if it endures, try these tricks:

  • Offer a pacifier to infants. They are easier to take away, obviously.
  • Establish a chart and reward system, plotting progress on quitting.
  • Encourage and praise all attempts to stop thumb sucking on your child.

Have questions about your child and thumb sucked? Ask away at Kalil & Kress. Call us, 603-880-7004.


A Cover-Up That Robert Mueller Doesn’t Need to Uncover

Porcelain Veneers Nashua, NHCover-ups never seem to work out well. Just ask Nixon, although you’ll have to do that through a medium.

At Kalil & Kress, however, we love cover-ups. At least we love cover-ups as they apply to your teeth — porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are an excellent way to mask imperfections with your visible teeth, things such as interior staining, chips, misshapen teeth, and the like.

What are porcelain veneers?

The concept of a dental veneer is the same as those in furniture, where a thin piece of more expensive wood is placed over lesser quality wood beneath. This gives the appearance that the piece of furniture is made of higher quality wood when in actuality it’s just a veneer.

Porcelain veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are applied to the front sides of the visible teeth in your mouth. They cover up imperfections beneath. You can have just a tooth or two covered with veneers or all of your visible teeth.

What do porcelain veneers mask?

Porcelain has similar characteristics to natural tooth enamel in the way it is slightly translucent, absorbing some light and reflecting some light. For that reason, people can’t tell when a person has veneers on his or her teeth; they simply know they have great looking teeth!

Porcelain veneers can cover up a variety of cosmetic flaws:

  • Slight crookedness
  • Small gaps between teeth
  • Minor chips and fractures
  • Stains or discolorations that can’t be addressed with whitening
  • Teeth that are too short
  • Teeth that are misshapen

It’s important to remember, though, that veneers are only a cosmetic application. They do not correct any underlying problems. Issues such as decay, serious cracks, or gum disease must be addressed first before veneers can be applied.

This is not one and done

Another thing to note about getting veneers is that this is not a one-time procedure. Veneers currently last around 10 years, although dental porcelain continues to become stronger and stronger. Still, when your veneers have reached their lifespan, you’ll need to get a new set. Because the enamel has been removed from the teeth, those teeth will always need a veneer on them to protect the tooth.

Interested in a cover-up that doesn’t originate in Washington? Call the team at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and ask about porcelain veneers.


No More Pits. No More Crevasses.

Dental Restorations Nashua, NH “Pit” is kind of an ugly word, no matter what it’s paired with. Think about it — armpit, peach pit, life can be the pits, even Poe’s Pit and the Pendulum. Nothing good going on with “pit.”

That holds true with your teeth. No one wants pits in their teeth. Or fissures. Or crevasses.

You may not know it, but your molars can feature deep pits or fissures, kind of like a glacier on Mont Blanc. It’s usually jest genetics — if your molars have gaps or pits, odds are your parents’ did too. The problem with them in your molars is that they are the perfect place to harbor bits of food that, if they do a good enough job hiding, can then start the unfortunate process of tooth decay. No matter how diligent you are with your trusty toothbrush, you can’t get down in those pits. And that’s the pits.

This is especially a problem in children who are in the midst of their most cavity-prone years. But at Kalil & Kress we’re not scared of some pits. We simply show them who’s the boss with dental sealants.

What are sealants?

You can think of dental sealants, metaphorically at least, like tar on your neighborhood asphalt road. Roads made of asphalt tend to separate in creases with the New Hampshire cycles of hot and cold. To fill these creases, crews come along and fill the creases or gaps with hot tar. The tar fills the crease and keeps out water.

We do a similar thing with dental sealants. We use sealants to fill potholes, if your will, in the molars. Drs. Kalil & Kress use a strong resin or glass ionomer that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant is cured with a special light and fills in the depressions and grooves in the molars, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth. Now, food can’t get down into the pits and attract bacteria.

Who needs sealants?

We recommend that children and teenagers with even moderate grooves in their teeth should get sealants. The reason for this is simple prevention. The ages from 6 to 14 are the most cavity-prone years and sealants can head off some of these potential cavities. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed any decay and are without fillings.

How are sealants applied?

Applying sealants is simple.

  1. First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
  3. An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
  4. This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
  5. Sealant is painted onto the tooth and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during the cavity-prone years.

At Kalil & Kress, we’re big fans of dental sealants. After all, who likes pits? Call us at 603-880-7004 to schedule your child for a checkup and maybe for the application of sealants.


Gingivitis Has no Soul

Periodontal Disease Nashua, NHIf you have a teenager, you’ve probably heard that “gingers have no soul.” That’s a reference to a series of YouTube videos where the soul qualities of redheads are facetiously challenged.

But what about gingivitis? Drs. Kalil and Kress believe gingivitis has no soul, or at least it should have no place in your mouth!

Gingivitis, a name for Halloween

You have to admit that whoever came up with the term “gingivitis” did a good job. It sounds scary! The actual meaning, however, is far less so. Gingivitis means nothing more than gum irritation.

Ooh.

Of course, gum irritation is a problem that can’t be allowed to progress. Plaque is the main irritant of the gums. Plaque is the film that forms on the teeth throughout the day. It consists of bacteria, bacteria waste products (uck!), food residue, and saliva. Plaque and your toothbrush have an ongoing roadrunner vs. coyote thing going. You brush away the plaque morning and night, and then it forms again hoping that you’ll get lazy. When you begin to get lax with your brushing and flossing, plaque can move in under the gumline, not unlike that distant Uncle Frank who moved into your basement for a “few months.”

When plaque gets under your gums, it is very irritating to the gums. And if it is allowed to take up permanent residence there, it will harden into tartar. This irritates the gums even more. This is the point where things can go either way. Get more aggressive with your home hygiene, and the gum irritation can pass. But stay on the lax side of hygiene, and the irritation progresses. Now the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, due to the irritation. You’re headed into the realm of gum disease, clinically called periodontitis. This is a place you don’t want to head.

What are signs of gingivitis?

Do you have gingivitis? It’s easy to spot. Your gums should look like Patrick on SpongeBob Squarepants, nice and pink. Bright red is not a color you want to see on your gums. That spells irritation, gingivitis. Your gums should also lie flat against the teeth; inflamed gums tend to recede and pull away from the teeth. Your gums will also be prone to bleeding, and this shouldn’t normally happen if you’re using a soft toothbrush. Bleeding is a sign of inflammation. And finally, your breath will reek — your bad breath is caused by bacteria that are being left to their own devices by your poor oral hygiene.

Now you need our help. Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress can beat back gingivitis with some root planing and scale. Maybe even a thorough professional cleaning will do the trick.

See gingers do have souls. Gingivitis? Not so much. Don’t let it get you! Call us at 603-880-7004 to make an appointment.


Tetracycline and Tooth Staining

Teeth whitening Nashua, NHTetracycline has been a popular antibiotic for over 60 years. Unfortunately, tetracycline is also responsible for teeth staining. The first case of reported tooth discoloration in children occurred in 1956. Unfortunately, many, many other children had their teeth stained over the following decade before the connection was fully understood.

At Kalil & Kress, we use porcelain veneers to cover the effects of severe tetracycline staining.

Here’s some more information on tetracycline and staining.

How does tetracycline cause the teeth to be stained?

The timing and discoloration seem to be tied to tooth mineralization. In teeth, mineralization is an ongoing process, where teeth continually lose (demineralization) and gain (remineralization) minerals such as calcium. When teeth lose more minerals than they regain, that is when decay sets in. Mineralization is especially active in young, growing teeth. Ingested fluoride has been proven to help in this process by strengthening the developing permanent teeth from within. Fluoride applied directly to the teeth helps to speed remineralization on the tooth surface.

With tetracycline, research shows that if the teeth are exposed to tetracycline at a time of tooth mineralization or calcification, the tetracycline will bind to the calcium ions in the teeth. If this happens before the teeth erupt, the tetracycline that has bound to the calcium will cause the teeth to come out with an initial fluorescent yellow discoloration. Once these teeth does not affect to light, however, the tetracycline will oxidizetoothpasteand the discoloration will change from fluorescent yellow to nonfluorescent brown over a period of a few months to years.

The location of the discoloration will correspond directly to the stage of tooth development at the time of the tetracycline exposure. Permanent teeth tend to show the discoloration with less color, but it is more widespread across the tooth.

Tetracycline is limited in its timeframe for use

Because of this tooth discoloration, tetracycline is not to be used by doctors during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy or in children up to 8 years of age. These ranges are the periods of calcification of the teeth.

What do I do if my teeth were discolored by tetracycline?

The staining by tetracycline is different than staining from, say, drinking of coffee or red wine. That staining occurs on the tooth enamel. Teeth whitening products and whitening toothpastes have either bleaching agents such as peroxide or abrasive agents to break down or scrub the stains away. Teeth whitening has no effect on the interior of the teeth, just on the enamel.

The interior of the tooth, called the dentin, is where tetracycline affects the color. When the dentin is stained, this is permanent. It’s also why our teeth become more yellow with age, as the enamel wears down and more of the dentin shows through. Although you see claims of teeth bleaching fixing tetracycline discoloration, the dentin really can’t be whitened.

But, it can be covered. That’s the idea behind porcelain veneers. A thin porcelain shell is placed over the visible front sides of the teeth to cover stains and imperfections. That’s how we can help with tetracycline-stained teeth at Kalil & Kress.

Do you have discolored teeth from tetracycline given to you as a child? Call us at 603-880-7004 and ask about porcelain veneers. We can give you the bright white smile you thought was always out of reach.


Bad Teeth? Blame Your Parents!

Dental Exams  Nashua, NHIf you have fair skin and a trip to the dermatologist usually results in the doc running out of liquid nitrogen, you probably know someone else who has gotten more sun than the Sphinx yet never even has any sun spots.

The same is true of your teeth. Some people have a cavity in just about every molar, while others have few despite eating more sweets than Willy Wonka.

What gives? Genes.

Scientists now understand that healthy teeth depend on a combination of genetics and dental hygiene (including twice yearly trips to see the team at Kalil & Kress!). It appears that about 60 percent of the risk of tooth decay is due to genetic factors. These show themselves in individual genes that can be found in the saliva and also that dictate certain immune responses such as the individual propensity to not have gum disease.

Scientists say five areas are impacted by your genes.

Preference for sweets

Scientists have identified gene variants that show a range of “sweet preference.” The stronger your genetic “sweet preference,” the better chance you’ll have tooth decay one day.

Your tooth enamel

The enamel is the protector of your teeth. Some people, much to their chagrin, have softer enamel than others, making it easier for bacteria to get through to the interior of the tooth, i.e. decay. Genes are the primary determinant of your enamel structure.

Taste

“Taste ability” is a measure of the variety of things you are able to taste. This is a complex process that includes your tongue and is linked with your sense of smell. Studies show that the greater your “taste ability” profile, the less likely you are to develop tooth decay. Why this is the case is still a mystery under further study.

Saliva

Elements such as calcium and potassium are critical to healthy, strong teeth. These elements must be properly broken down by your saliva for your teeth to use them.

Microbiome

Your body has communities of different bacteria. In your mouth alone, there are communities on your tongue, on the surfaces of your teeth, and below the gum line. How your body manages or responds to these bacteria affects your tendency toward tooth decay.

So there’s 60 percent of your risk for tooth decay — all thanks to Mom and Dad. But for the other 40 percent, that’s up to you. Your dental hygiene and your propensity to love soft drinks (they are the number one environmental factor that encourages tooth decay) all play a role in whether you get cavities or not.

And, of course, your propensity or not to visit Kalil & Kress for your twice-yearly exams and professional cleanings plays a starring role. Due for your next appointment? Call us, 603-880-7004.


Why We Love Fluoride

Fluoride Treatment Nashua, NHAt Kalil & Kress, we’re big fans of fluoride. Now, this can sound nerdy, kind of like being a fan of xenon or manganese. But there’s a reason we’re fond of this chemical ion of the element fluorine — it’s the ultimate superhero defender of the teeth!

At Kalil & Kress, we apply fluoride to all or our younger patients, as it strengthens their teeth during their cavity-prone teenage years. We can also provide fluoride treatments for adults upon request.

Minerals are the key

Enamel, the protective outer layer of the visible portion of your teeth, consists of closely packed crystals. Every day all day, the enamel loses and gains minerals in processes called demineralization and remineralization, respectively.

Demineralization can point to bacteria as the culprit. Bacteria exist everywhere, but the bacteria in the plaque on our teeth feed on sugar and other carbohydrates in our mouth, and they produce acids as a byproduct. These acids dissolve crystals in your tooth enamel — demineralization. In most cases, these losses are counterbalanced by remineralization, where minerals in the saliva, such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate, are deposited back into the enamel. If you have more loss than gain, that equals tooth decay.

How does fluoride act like a superhero?

Fluoride plays the role of tooth enamel superhero, but it doesn’t wear a fancy costume. When children eat or drink fluoride in small doses, it enters the bloodstream and becomes part of their teeth. Swallowed fluoride also can enter the teeth from the outside through the saliva. When teeth are being defended by fluoride, they are far less susceptible to damage from acids created by bacteria.

In addition to ingesting fluoride in water and such, we apply fluoride directly to the teeth in fluoride-containing toothpaste, rinses, and the like. Plus, dentists such as Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress provide fluoride treatments. Fluoride applied to the outside of the teeth helps to speed remineralization. These treatments applied in our office are strong enough to disrupt the production of acids by bacteria.

Fluoride occurs naturally in water and some foods. Most municipalities add small amounts of fluoride to the water supply to help young teeth. It is also available as a supplement in areas that believe fluoridation of the local water supply is a communist conspiracy, and would rather have tooth decay than submit to this hidden menace. These misperceptions fostered by ignorance are unfortunate, as fluoride is thoroughly proven to help prevent decay in children’s teeth.

If your children are between the ages of six months and 16 years old, we’ll provide fluoride treatments to strengthen their enamel and help prevent decay while their teeth are developing.

If you have any questions about fluoride or want to make your appointment for your next cleaning and exam, call us at 603-880-7004.


Lasers to the Rescue

 laser dentistry Nashua, NH At Kalil & Kress, we’re into lasers. No, not the kind used to blow stuff up in sci-fi movies, but dental lasers. The use of lasers in dentistry continues to rapidly expand ever since the FDA approved the first use in the 1980s. Today we use lasers at Kalil & Kress to vaporize hard and soft tissue and to create specific chemical reactions.

Where do we use lasers?

At Kalil & Kress, we take pride in staying abreast of the latest dental technology. Here’s where we use lasers to provide the best care for our patients.

Cavity prep

Lasers have become very effective when dealing with cavities. While they still can’t replace the drill, lasers have reduced its use. Here are some of the benefits of lasers when preparing a cavity for filling:

  • Less tooth sensitivity
  • Preservation of more of the healthy tooth structure
  • Faster treatments
  • Less risk of harming the pulp of the tooth

Lasers can also alleviate the need for anesthetic in some patients. Plus, their accuracy allows us to precisely remove the decayed portion of the tooth, keeping as much of the healthy tooth as possible.

Periodontal disease

We can now often use lasers to fill the role of the dental picks in root planing and scaling. Plus, by evaporating infected tissue, lasers are very effective for addressing periodontal pockets. We use lasers to reshape the gumline after dealing with those pockets, as well.

Gum recontouring

Addressing gummy smiles or fixing asymmetrical gums was a painful procedure before lasers came along. And recovery wasn’t easy. But when recontouring gums with a laser there is less bleeding and swelling, less follow-up pain, faster healing, reduced risk of infection, and greater precision.

Oral surgeries

Lasers play a key role in these oral surgeries:

  • Root canals
  • Frenectomy (for incorrect tongue function)
  • Invasive TMJ surgeries where cartilage or bone need to be reshaped
  • Biopsy to diagnose oral cancer
  • Removal of benign oral tumors and lesions
  • Pain reduction of cold sores

The next time you’re in for a checkup, ask us to show you our dental lasers at Kalil & Kress. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make an appointment.


Are Whitening Toothpastes True to Their Name?

Teeth Whitening Nashua, NH The name of the game in today’s supermarket is shelf space. That’s why you see 14 different types of Special K cereal when a decade ago there was but one. Or six kinds of Oreos, when there is really just one true Oreo.

Toothpastes aren’t immune to the phenomenon. It can get downright confusing trying to figure out what each offering promises, and, more importantly, if those promises are simply marketing hype or if they actually help your teeth.

When you stop before the assortment of toothpastes these days, the choices can be daunting. There is “tartar control,” “enamel strengthening,” “bad breath fighting,” “yoga posing” (OK, that may not actually be there). And, then there is “whitening” toothpaste.

But do whitening toothpastes actually whiten your teeth?

Limited goals

Whitening toothpastes focus on surface stains on your teeth, such as those caused by drinking coffee or red wine. These stains are on the outermost surface of your tooth enamel. Whitening toothpastes can break down these stains, although not with instantly dramatic results.

Unlike our teeth whitening options at Kalil & Kress, whitening toothpastes do not contain peroxide. This is the ingredient that gives teeth whitening programs their real power to whiten teeth. Instead, whitening toothpastes use special abrasives that gently polish the teeth, along with other chemicals that help break down stains.

There is a fine line here — too much abrasion and the tooth enamel can be worn down. That’s why whitening toothpastes can only go so far. Without peroxide, they must remove stains by gently scrubbing off the stains. These toothpastes are somewhat related to the polishing paste we use once your teeth have had the tartar removed during a regular cleaning. They are far less abrasive than our polishing paste, but that’s the idea.

Some whitening toothpastes contain the chemical blue covarine. This adheres to the surface of the teeth and creates an optical illusion that can make teeth appear less yellow. We don’t recommend these types of whitening toothpastes.

Instead, you can get moderate whitening with a whitening toothpaste that simply attacks stains. Be sure to look for approval by the American Dental Association, however.

Our whitening kits

For deeper whitening, check into our three teeth whitening options at Kalil & Kress. We offer custom-made trays for at-home whitening, a 1.5-hour in-office whitening treatment, and an option that combines at-home and in-office options.

Want whiter teeth? You can try a whitening toothpaste, but to get them really white, call us at 603-880-7004 and ask about our professional teeth whitening options.


You Don’t Have to Have Netflix to Get the Crown

You Don’t Have to Have Netflix to Get the Crown | Nashua, NHSure The Crown on Netflix is a good show that illuminates the world of the monarchy in Britain. But in New Hampshire, the closest any of us are going to get to royalty is a dental crown. And, while Drs. Kalil and Kress are not Duchesses of Nashua, they can give you a crown, sans jewels, in just a couple of visits.

What is a Crown?

When a tooth is in trouble — it could have a serious crack, a huge filling that has compromised the tooth’s strength, or maybe there’s a ton of decay — a crown is the only way to save the tooth. A crown, as the name implies, fits over the entire visible (above the gum line) portion of the tooth returning strength to the underlying weakened natural portion of the tooth. Crowns are also used as the anchors for dental bridges. They are not, however, used for parades or inspecting the troops or for confusing people with all the lords, earls, dukes, et al.

Reasons for a Crown

Crowns can be used to strengthen a weakened tooth or to overcome cosmetic issues. At Kalil & Kress, we use crowns for these problems:

  • You have a deeply cracked, worn, or fractured tooth
  • You have an overly large cavity in a tooth
  • Your tooth needs a root canal (a crown is placed on it afterward)
  • You have a tooth (or teeth) that is oddly shaped, very discolored, or overly small
  • You need a bridge (crowns are placed on the abutment teeth)

How we Place a Crown

A crown is a two-appointment process; you don’t have to be born in some ancient bloodline! During your first visit, we evaluate your tooth and use x-rays to ascertain the amount of damage. Once we decide you need a crown, we’ll first clean your teeth. If heavily stained, we could recommend whitening before you get your crown. Next, we go through a color matching process for the porcelain (although you can choose other options, too) of your crown.

Now we’re ready to prepare the tooth. We have to shave off a portion of the enamel all the way around the tooth and across the top. Why? This makes room for the crown so that once it is in place, your crowned tooth is the same size as your adjacent teeth. Then we take an impression of your prepared tooth and send it off to the dental lab for fabrication of your custom crown. To protect your tooth while the crown is being made, we place a temporary crown on it.

When your crown is finished, you come in for your second appointment. We check the fit and the color match first. When satisfied, we cement the crown permanently onto the tooth. We then make any final adjustments for bite and fit, and you’re done.

Now your tooth looks great and is strong enough to last for a decade or more.

Do you have a tooth that may need a crown? Don’t get Netflix, call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and make an appointment.


Tartar That’s Not Good on Fish

Tartar That’s Not Good on Fish | Kalil & Kress Family and Cosmetic Dentistry | Nashua, NHWhen you’re over in Boston this summer you may have your favorite fish joint, and, while frowned upon in the kitchen, you may like it best with some tartar sauce on top. Unfortunately for our dental health, there’s another sort of tartar that is neither tasty or on any menu — tartar also called calculus.

Once tartar has formed and locked onto your teeth, you can’t get it off at home. You need the skills of our hygienists at Kalil & Kress to remove it. Not doing so leads to gingivitis and then to full on gum disease.

Here’s how we de-tartar your teeth.

How Tartar Forms

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on our teeth. Plaque and your toothbrush are involved in an ongoing battle. Every day you brush it away only to have it re-form the next day. It’s easy to remove with some attentive brushing and flossing. Problems arise when you don’t brush and floss, or do a lackadaisical job.

When plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth, it hardens or calcifies. This calcified plaque is now called tartar. It starts on your teeth above the gums and then progresses slowly down under the gumline. Initially, tartar under your gums slightly irritates them. This is called gingivitis. But as more tartar builds up and the gums become more irritated, they begin to pull away from the teeth. This is the beginning of gum disease, which can end up with tooth loss and extensive jawbone damage.

So We Chip it Away

No one should have gum disease, so our hygienists are expert tartar removers. How do they do it? They use dental picks in a process called scaling. The pick is applied to the edge of the tartar, and some force is applied. Often the tartar comes off, sort of like a shell. Other times, some back and forth scraping will remove it.

The important thing to know is that scaling is a professional job. Not only can you damage your gums and tooth enamel if you try and scrape tartar off your teeth, but you can’t do a thorough enough job so that the tartar will remain and grow.

That’s why we advise all of our patients to come in every six months for our professional cleanings. This is about the time it takes for tartar to develop on even the best cared-for teeth. Tartar is especially prevalent on the inside of the lower bottom teeth. Just about everyone builds up tartar in that location.

Is it time for your next cleaning? Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004 to make your appointment, and leave the tartar to the cod.


What Do We Do During Your Professional Cleanings

Dental Exam & Cleaning Nashua , NHSome people scoff at the idea of a “professional cleaning” thinking they can do all the same stuff at home, so why to waste time and money on the dentist. But our professional cleanings and exams at Kalil & Kress are so professional; they should probably have an agent. What we do in these twice-yearly events is far beyond anything you can do at home.

In short, skipping twice-yearly exams and cleanings with the Kalil & Kress team may save you a few bucks today, but it will surely cost you thousands down the road.

Our professional cleanings and exams are critical parts of your oral hygiene regimen. Here’s what we do.

What is involved in the exam?

This is what Drs. Kalil and Kress are looking for when you come in twice each year.

  • Diagnostic dental x-rays— X-rays are crucial in detecting some hygiene issues: decay, possible tumors, cysts, and bone loss. We also use x-rays to check the position and alignment of each tooth.
  • Evaluation of your gums— This is the time we look for signs of periodontitis, gum disease.
  • Oral cancer screening— We check your gums, tissues, throat, tongue, lips, face, and neck for signs of oral cancer. See, Dr. Kalil doesn’t just pull on your tongue for fun.
  • Examination for decay— In addition to x-rays, Drs. Kalil and Kress use visual clues to check for the beginnings of decay on your teeth.
  • Examination of your dental restorations— We’ll check any prosthetics such as bridges or crowns, along with fillings, veneers, bonding, and the like.

How is the cleaning different than what I do at home?

While your home hygiene is crucial to a healthy mouth, it can’t match the power of our professional cleanings. These are called prophylaxis because we would like to use that word in Scrabble. That’s the clinical name. The reason we schedule these twice a year is simple — that’s how long it takes enough plaque to harden into tartar to create a situation that needs to be removed. If you leave tartar on your teeth to expand and creep under your gumline, that’s the start of gum disease. Here’s what we do in our cleanings:

  • Calculus (tartar) removal— Calculus in high school or college was a class many wish they could have removed. Calculus on your teeth needs removing, too. Calculus is the clinical name for the plaque that has hardened onto your teeth. Plaque is always on there, waiting for you to brush and floss it away every day. But over time some areas tend to form tartar, areas such as the inside of your front bottom teeth. You can’t remove tartar at home; we have to chip and break it off with our trusty dental picks.
  • Plaque removal— This sticky, invisible substance forms on your teeth all the time. Along with saliva, food debris and bacteria hang around in plaque. You remove it at home, but we remove every bit of it when we professionally clean.
  • Teeth are polishing— The gritty tooth-cleaning paste we apply with our spinning brushes polishes away any remaining plaque and the lighter stains on your enamel.

Now, do you see why we want to see you twice a year for this stuff? Call the team at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, for your next appointment.


Be Scared of the Yeti, Not Us

Sedation Dentistry Nashua, NHSome people are scared of spiders. Some people are scared of heights. Some people are scared of orange-colored politicians.

Others are scared of going to the dentist. And that’s a bad thing for their teeth.

At Kalil & Kress, we provide sedation for our patients who equate a visit to our offices with a viewing of Saw IV.

It’s not just fear

Some people have a fear of the dentist office. It may have been a bad previous experience with another dentist, or it may stem from stories from the patient’s friends. Or, he or she may simply have watched Marathon Man one too many times. Haven’t seen it? Suffice it to say the innocent protagonist, Dustin Hoffman, is mistaken for another person who knows where some hidden Nazi treasure is located. To find it, ex-Nazi doctor Lawrence Olivier uses, uh, persuasive dental drilling techniques!

Not good for our reputation!

Beyond fear, some patients also have other issues that can be mitigated with sedation. They may have overly sensitive teeth or gums, or they may have an extremely strong gag reflex.

Sedation to the rescue!

Sedation allows people to feel comfortable about undergoing complex or lengthy procedures. Often, those patients note afterward that the procedure seemed to last just a few minutes. It allows those with sensitive teeth or gums to feel absolutely nothing during the procedure. And for those with an innate fear, it simply takes the edge off.

Types of sedation we use

At Kalil & Kress, we use several possible levels or types of sedation:

  • Nitrous oxide — You may know it as laughing gas. Administered through a facemask, nitrous oxide is helpful for patients who fear the needle used to inject a local anesthetic. Nitrous oxide gives the patient a feeling of relaxation, making it easier to sit through a long procedure. It also wears off quickly, making it great for patients who will drive themselves home after their appointment.
  • Oral sedatives — We use a variety of oral sedatives such as Valium and Xanax to cause drowsiness and reduce anxiety. Like nitrous oxide, once administered, oral sedatives allow us to inject a local anesthetic to prevent any pain.

See? There’s no reason to miss your appointment with the team at Kalil & Kress because you’re nervous about it. Our sedation services will alleviate your fear and discomfort. Call us to schedule your next appointment, 603-880-7004.


This Enamel Won’t Paint Your Patio Furniture

Porcelain Veneers Nashua, NHHere’s a question to ask your friends and then impress them with your vast knowledge. Or better yet, spring it on someone from Harvard or BU in a bar if you’re over at Marblehead this summer.

What is the hardest tissue in the human body?

You could even frame your answer in the form of a question, for true Jeopardy-esque wittiness: What is tooth enamel?

Your tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in your body. Who knew?

Tooth enamel covers the crown of the tooth, the part that is visible above the gum line. It is comprised for the most of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite. It is translucent so that you can see right through your enamel to the main portion of the tooth, the dentin, beneath it. The dentin is what makes your tooth color, not the enamel.

But stains on your teeth from food and drink accumulate on the enamel, not in the dentin. Regular visits to the team Kalil & Kress for your twice-yearly prophylaxis (fancy word for professional cleaning!) clean and polish most of those stains away. Tooth whitening also removes these stains from the enamel.

Like Terminator 2 without the accent

Like Arnold when he became a good robot in Terminator 2, your enamel’s job is protection. Enamel protects your teeth during daily use. You don’t realize it, but things such as chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding create lots of force, and your enamel keeps that force from damaging the interior of the tooth. The enamel also insulates the teeth from potential painful temperatures and chemicals.

Although it is incredibly strong, your enamel can still be damaged. It can crack or chip, but unlike bone cells, enamel has no living cells so once it is damaged the body cannot repair it. People think you can restore your enamel — some dental products even claim this — but you cannot. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone for good. Kind of like your youth!

Leave the erosion to the sandblaster

When you consider the fact that your enamel can’t rebuild, it’s wise to avoid the foods and beverages that cause enamel erosion. Here’s a list of enamel eroders:

  • Acid reflux disease
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Fruit drinks (fruits have various acids, some very erosive)
  • Excessive soft drink consumption (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
  • Too much sugar and starch in the diet
  • Medications like aspirin and antihistamines
  • Environmental factors (see below)

Environmental surface erosion

While you can watch what you eat or drink, stopping what is called “environmental erosion” isn’t as easy. Friction, stress, general wear and tear, and corrosion can all combine to grind off the enamel from your teeth.

  • Abfraction —This is a stress fracture of the tooth caused by flexing or bending of the tooth.
  • Abrasion — This is the wear from when you brush too hard, bite hard objects such as fingernails and pens, or chew tobacco.
  • Attrition — This tooth-to-tooth friction is called attrition. If you’re a night grinder, this is what you’re doing to your teeth.
  • Corrosion — This is the name for acidic contents hitting the enamel. Frequent corrosion takes off the enamel.

Will I know when enamel has eroded?

Unlike a crack or chip in your tooth, enamel erosion doesn’t happen quickly. There will be clues, but you have to be in tune with them to either stop your behaviors or change your diet. Sensitivity to sweets and temperatures can cause twinges of pain in the early stages of erosion. As it progresses, your teeth become discolored as more of the dentin is exposed. As enamel erodes the edges of your teeth can become rough and irregular. Severe sensitivity will come in the late stages.

If you have any symptoms of enamel erosion, give us a call at Kalil & Kress. When you’ve lost enamel, we can do things like bonding or place veneers to cover the loss. Call us at 603-880-7004 for an appointment.


Fillings Can Be Good

Fillings can be good. Take a jelly donut. Or how about a Boston éclair? What about a stuffed pork chop? Yummy.

But people don’t care much for tooth fillings. Tooth fillings are used once decayed tooth matter is removed, what you could call a cavity.

Clinically, that term is dental caries. If you don’t know what that word is, you’re not alone. But it is the most common oral disease known to man, dental caries. The process of getting caries is called tooth decay.

When you think about it “cavity” is really a misnomer anyway. That term probably came from the fact that once the dentist cleans out the decay, what is left is a cavity. And that cavity can’t be left open, as food debris and bacteria would become lodged in there. It needs to be filled.

Hence, the name “filling.”

Drs. Kalil and Kress fill teeth every day and more and more we’re using composite resin instead of the old silver amalgam. Here’s some information on those fillings.

Silver or tooth colored?

Everyone’s familiar with silver fillings. If you’re over 35, you can probably see a couple of them looking back at you in the mirror when you open your mouth. In New Hampshire, we’re a hardy lot, and silver amalgam fillings are hardy.

Well, they’re not really silver, they’re actually mostly mercury! That is disconcerting to many people. Silver fillings are made of silver amalgam. To make them, we mix mercury (50% of the eventual filling) with a powder comprised of silver, copper, tin, or zinc (usually a combination of some or all of those). There really isn’t any potential for harm from the mercury in your amalgam fillings. They’ve been studied by the FDA and they’ve been used since the 1800s. Still, some people don’t like the idea of being like a fish at the bottom of Lake Erie.

Composite fillings are becoming more and more popular with our patients at Kalil & Kress because they are very close to tooth color, and there isn’t any mercury in them. The resin is made of a mixture of plastic and glass. Problem is composite fillings are not as durable as amalgam. Technological advancements, however, are rapidly improving durability and are making composite fillings the choice for our team at Kalil & Kress.

Not only are composite fillings basically invisible, as the resin color can be matched very closely to your natural tooth color, but they also help the tooth actually become stronger. What?

When a traditional silver amalgam filling is placed, not only does the decayed portion of the tooth need to be removed, but some of the healthy tooth needs to also be removed to make room for the amalgam. It is then kind of wedged into the tooth. Another problem is that amalgam tends to contract and expand with hot and cold, and this can cause the host tooth to crack.

Composite fillings actually bond to the tooth surface. They are applied in layers and cured with a UV light. The resin tends becomes part of the tooth and creates some pull on it with the hardening. This actually adds strength when compared to a silver filling.

If you have been experiencing some extra sensitivity when eating or drinking hot or cold foods or drinks, you may have decay entering the interior of your tooth. Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and let’s take a look.


Call 911 for Your Teeth

Just as when your furnace stops working at 2:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning when it’s a chilly -23-degree night in New Hampshire, rarely do dental emergencies seem to happen during office hours. Sure our office hours at Kalil & Kress are more available than most — running from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. most days — but what happens when you have a dental emergency at other times?

Here are some typical problems that may or may not need immediate attention. For emergencies, a call to our office line will be transferred to the on-call dentist.

Knocked-out teeth

OK, you were playing pond hockey, and you caught a puck in the kisser. Find the knocked out tooth or teeth and rinse it/them off with water. Then rinse your mouth out with warm water as well. Don’t scrub the tooth, though, as those tissue fragments could save the tooth. You can try and put the tooth back in place, facing the right direction, of course. Don’t wait — we have a better chance of saving your tooth if we can see you within a few hours after the incident.

Chipped or broken teeth

If you chip or break a tooth, try and find the pieces, if you can. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Apply gauze to any spot that is bleeding until it stops. Call us immediately.

Lost fillings or crowns

If a filling detaches or if a crown comes off, we should see you right away. You can fill the gap from a filling with sugarless gum or dental cement. Don’t use sugared gum, as it will cause pain. If a crown pops off, find it first. Then try and reattach it to your tooth with over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive. This will protect the underlying tooth until we can see you.

Toothaches

Toothaches usually don’t constitute an emergency. Floss your teeth to remove any food that may be stuck and causing the pain. Try over-the-counter tooth pain medication, but don’t get it on your gums. If the pain doesn’t pass, call us, as this could be a sign that decay has made its way into the interior of a tooth.

Objects in your teeth

If something you’re eating or something else becomes lodged between your teeth, first try to floss it out. Don’t use a pin or other sharp object to try and dislodge it, as this can damage your enamel or your gums.

We deal with dental emergencies all the time. If you have one, call us at 603-880-7004.


Questions Answered About Teeth Whitening

Everyone wants to have teeth as white as movie stars. But we also like our red wine, coffee, raspberries, and the like — and they all conspire to stain our teeth! Lucky for you, at Kalil & Kress we are expert tooth whiteners!

Three options

At Kalil & Kress we offer three different teeth whitening options. They whiten your stained teeth by destroying the particles that adhere on the enamel. As the stains are broken down your enamel is restored to its natural white color.

We offer:

  • At-Home Custom Tray System— We make custom trays from impressions of your teeth, and we provide you with whitening gel. Then you fill the trays and wear them for 30 minutes at home for a period dependent on how badly your teeth are stained.
  • Hour-and-a-Half In-Office System— With our in-office option, we paint a stronger hydrogen peroxide solution onto your teeth and then activate it with a special light.
  • In-Office and At-Home Combination— We believe this combination of both methods to deliver the best results for our patients. You’ll do some whitening in our office, and then follow it up with some home time.

Benefits to Kalil & Kress whitening

Our treatments are:

  • 100% safe for your teeth and gums
  • You don’t have to give up coffee, tea, or red wine
  • Comfortable and easy
  • Low to no sensitivity
  • Effective even on tetracycline-stained teeth
  • Perfect for all ages over 14

How long do whitening results usually last?

Whitening can last a lifetime when maintained. We recommend “touching up” your whitening after each visit with our hygienist. Excessive coffee drinking and other staining foods and drinks will need more frequent touch-ups. Still, your teeth will stain somewhat over time, and you’ll probably want to have another whitening procedure in a few years.

Can I whiten my teeth if I have a crown?

Whitening doesn’t affect crowns, veneers, or implants, as they are made of porcelain and whitening has no effect on them (plus they don’t stain the same as regular tooth enamel). When having veneers or a crown, it’s important to match your natural tooth color, so we may recommend whitening before getting the implant, crown, or veneers.

Are there other whitening options?

Porcelain veneers and crowns are permanent whitening options for the teeth they cover. As mentioned above, porcelain doesn’t stain.

Want to brighten your smile with our teeth whitening options? Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, for an appointment.


Dental Implants are the Boss of Tooth Loss

Dental ImplantsLots of people are missing a tooth or two…or all of them. The American Dental Association says that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Over 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. Whoa.

There are many reasons a person could opt to not replace a tooth: cost, inconvenience, inertia, or fear of the dentist (although Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress are anything but scary!). But not replacing a missing tooth is a bad idea for the overall health of your teeth and jawbone.

Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress are big fans of dental implants for the replacement of missing teeth. They feel and function just like a natural tooth, and they can last for the rest of your life.

What happens if you don’t replace a missing tooth?

You probably don’t give this a second’s thought, but your teeth are of critical importance to the health of your jawbone. There is a tremendous amount of energy created when you bite and chew. That energy is transferred through your teeth down into the jawbone where they are anchored. It is that energy that stimulates the jawbone to keep rebuilding new bone mass, which is the key to keeping your jaw healthy and strong.

Problems arise when you are missing a tooth, or even more so when you are missing two or three in a row. Now the jawbone doesn’t receive any energy in the locations of those missing teeth. This may seem innocuous, but it’s not. In those areas, the jawbone won’t build new mass. This leads to reabsorption of the bone over time. This is the reason that people who are missing all or most of their teeth look as if their lower face is collapsing inwards. It’s because the jawbone has eroded dramatically.

As if your jawbone health weren’t reason enough to replace missing teeth, there are the other issues. Cosmetically, especially if the missing tooth is one of your front teeth, the loss may make you avoid smiling. It may make you self-conscious in social or business situations. Biting can be a problem. If you’re missing a molar or two, you may avoid eating certain foods. There may be a whistling sound when you talk.

Plus, teeth stay in place thanks to pressure from the adjacent teeth. If you’re missing a couple teeth, the remaining teeth on both sides of the gap tend to slide over into the gap because there is no longer any pressure on them to stay put. This messes up your smile and can create problems with your bite.

Implants are groovy

Dental implants are the best solution for replacing a missing tooth. They get their name from the actual part of the implant that is the anchor. Made of titanium, implants are shaped like a screw and actually are screwed down into the jawbone into the socket where the tooth root formerly was anchored. Then the jawbone is allowed to grow around and fully integrate the implant into the jaw. From there, we place a post on the implant and an artificial tooth atop that. Now you have a tooth that looks just like any of your other teeth, functions just like them, and transfers energy down into the jawbone below.

How cool is that? Plus, you can eat whatever you want, and you care for an implant exactly like you do a natural tooth.

So, don’t leave that missing tooth missing. Have Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress replace it with a dental implant. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your appointment.


Panoramas Aren’t Just an iPhone App

panoramic X-rayX-rays and dentistry have been a match made in heaven ever since the first x-rays were developed in 1895. They’re every bit as important as body x-rays and for the same reason — you can’t see inside the teeth with the naked eye.

At Kalil & Kress we switched over to fully digital X-rays many years ago. We find them to have many advantages, plus they only emit a fraction of the radiation as a film X-ray machine does.

One of our digital X-rays we utilize for various diagnostic options are panoramic X-rays. These aren’t done yearly, but every 2-5 years depending on the needs and history of the individual patient. We find panoramic X-rays valuable in identifying problems that regular periapical X-rays cannot.

What are panoramic X-rays?

Everyone is used to the typical X-rays taken at the dentist’s office. They are taken close-up and are great for helping to detail the health of individual teeth. Our panoramic X-rays, however, show the whole picture. They take a much broader view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) joints.

What can we see with a panoramic X-ray?

We don’t use panoramic X-rays to identify cavities. That’s the job of periapical X-rays. We identify the following conditions with our panoramic X-ray:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Bone abnormalities
  • Cysts
  • Solid growths (tumors)
  • Infections
  • Fractures

How do we take a panoramic X-ray?

Digital bitewing or periapical X-rays use a camera that is placed adjacent to the patient’s cheek. The camera is moved to get the various portions of the mouth. But with our panoramic X-ray machine, the patient stands and places his or her forehead onto a resting panel to stay still. Then the camera rotates around the person’s head. The images generated are digital, so they are instantly available and can be enhanced and enlarged easily as needed. If needed, they can be sent out to other dentists for second opinions or other reasons.

Our panoramic X-ray capability is just part of our commitment to the latest technology for our patients. Is it time for your next exam and cleaning? Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004.


E-Cigarettes Found to be Just as Harmful As Tobacco for Oral Health

vapingIt’s common knowledge that cigarette smoking is bad for your overall health in myriad ways. Of concern to the team at Kalil & Kress, smoking also damages the health of the cells in your mouth and can lead to gum disease and mouth cancer.

But when electronic cigarettes came out a few years ago, the thinking was that they wouldn’t be as harmful. New research, however, suggests vaping may be just as harmful as smoking to your oral health.

In a new study published in the journal Oncotarget, researchers found that the chemicals present in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) vapor were equally as damaging, and in some cases, more damaging, to cells in the mouth as tobacco smoke.

Background on e-cigarettes

When e-cigarettes first started showing up in stores around 2010 most people assumed they would be far less harmful than traditional cigarettes. After all, they don’t contain tobacco. It was assumed e-cigarettes would be a viable way for smokers to actually quit tobacco.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices about the size of a cigar or large pen. They contain a heating device and a cartridge that holds a liquid solution. When used, the heating device vaporizes the liquid and the user inhales the vapor.

E-cigarettes aren’t made of tobacco, but they still pack a punch of nicotine and other chemicals and flavoring agents. While assumed to be safer than inhaling actual tobacco, e-cigarettes have been on the market for such a short period of time that there isn’t any long-term research on the effects of “vaping” on human health.

New study shows damage

In an attempt to gain some research knowledge, this study was conducted at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. The goal was to gauge the effect of e-cigarette vapor on oral health.

For the study, the research team exposed the gum tissue of nonsmokers to either tobacco- or menthol-flavored e-cigarette vapor. The tobacco-flavored vapor contained 16 milligrams of nicotine, while the menthol flavor contained 13-16 milligrams of nicotine or no nicotine.

The researchers found that all e-cigarette vapor damaged gum tissue cells in levels comparable or even above the damage caused by actual tobacco smoke.

This is how the study’s lead researcher, Irfan Rahman, Ph.D., described the findings, “We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases.”

Nicotine is a known contributor to gum disease, but it appears e-cigarette flavoring actual exacerbates the cell damage, particularly with the menthol-flavored vapor.

These oral health findings are particularly relevant to young people, as their use of e-cigarettes has increased in recent years. In 2011, just 1.5 percent of high school students reported using e-cigarettes, but that number climbed to 16 percent in 2015.

So, while not inhaling the tobacco smoke from cigarettes may preclude some lung damage, e-cigarette vaping appears to be bad or even worse for the area of concern to the team at Kalil & Kress, your oral health. Looks like this newest fad should be one to be avoided for good oral health.

For the best dental care in Nashua, call us at 603-880-7004.


What is Root Scaling and Root Planing?

Cleanings & PreventionWhen you come in to see us for a regular cleaning and exam at Kalil & Kress we do some “scaling” on your teeth to remove plaque and tartar all the way down to the gumline and across the entire surface of each tooth. This keeps your teeth and gums healthy. But if you have gum disease, periodontitis, we may need some more dramatic options called root scaling and root planing.

When does a patient need root scaling and planing?

Root scaling and planing are non-surgical procedures whose job is to address and cause periodontal disease to retreat. Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth. The accepted measurement from the top of the gumline to where the gum attaches to the tooth should only be from one to three millimeters in depth. The problem comes when plaque and tartar accumulate around and under the gums, below the gumline. This is the start of periodontal disease, and deeper pockets will form around the teeth. This harbor even more bacteria, worsening the situation. The depth of these pockets can now be four millimeters or more. Root scaling and planing is the first option to treat the advancing gum disease.

How root scaling and planing are done

The goal is to get the gums to heal and reattach themselves firmly to the teeth, as they did when they were healthy. Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress begin with scaling. This is done below the gumline on the roots of the teeth. All plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits are scraped off. Next, root planing is done to smooth all the rough areas on the surfaces of your roots. When these surfaces are smooth, bacteria, plaque, and tartar don’t adhere to the root surface, allowing your gums to heal.

Afterwards

After a period, you’ll be asked to return so that we can ascertain the effectiveness of our efforts addressing your periodontal disease. We look for gums that were red and swollen to have become firm and pink again. Bleeding should be reduced, and the pockets that were growing should have shrunk back down. If these signs all point to good progress, you may not need any additional periodontal work, but if the conditions have become more severe, a periodontist may be needed to intervene to halt the progression of bone loss.

Obviously, the way to avoid all of this is to practice good home dental care, and to keep your twice-yearly exams and cleanings with the team at Kalil & Kress. Call us for your next appointment, 603-880-7004.


Straightening without the Metal Mouth

invisalignAs a nation we like straight teeth. That explains why statistics show that up to 80 percent of U.S. teens have some sort of orthodontic treatment.

But no one likes the metal wires and bands, the poking and rubbing, the whole “metal mouth” business.

Well, maybe you don’t have to go the metal route to straight teeth. Maybe you can have Invisalign with the team at Kalil & Kress.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a tooth straightening process that uses clear plastic trays in lieu of the traditional metal bands and wires. Invisalign can be used to correct mild to moderate orthodontic needs.

Invisalign trays are custom designed to the individual patient. Each tray is worn for two to three weeks until the teeth have been moved to the full degree for that tray. Then the tray is discarded and the next tray is used for the next two to three weeks. This process continues until the full amount of adjustment has been made.

Invisalign can correct these orthodontic problems:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Unevenly spaced teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Mild to moderate bite problems

Why should I use Invisalign?

Everyone loves having a metal mouth, right? Uh, no. Invisalign has numerous advantages over traditional braces beyond just the visual part.

The visual aspect is the main selling point, however. Because Invisalign trays are made out of clear plastic they are virtually invisible when worn. Even when talking to a person in close proximity, the other person cannot see the Invisalign tray on the wearer’s teeth.

Second is comfort. Metal bands rub on the wearer’s lips and cheeks. The wires periodically poke the tongue and cheeks. With Invisalign there won’t be any need to cover bands with wax to make them tolerable. The smooth plastic used in the trays isn’t uncomfortable in the least.

Third, they’re easy. Metal braces are difficult when eating, actually making some foods like corn on the cob and chewy items off limits. Plus, food gets caught in the bands. Flossing and even brushing is a chore. When you need to clean your teeth with Invisalign, you simply remove the tray and clean away. The same goes for flossing. Plus, you can eat whatever you want.

Interested in straightening your teeth without the pain, literally and figuratively, of braces? Call the team at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and ask us about Invisalign.


Periodontitis — the Big Word You Don’t Want

Periodontal Disease Don’t underestimate your gums. While they may look all pink like a piece of Double Bubble chewing gum, they are actually pretty tough. Remember, their job, after all, is to be the bodyguard for the roots of your teeth.

But prevention is key with these Hello Kitty-colored workhorses. Treat your gums well and do the required home dental care and they will take care of your teeth. Neglect them at your own peril!

Periodontal disease is the medical term for gum disease, periodontitis if you want to get downright clinical. It involves infection of the gums that can end up with tooth loss and an extra spot in the next Duck Dynasty episode.

But this can be said about gum disease — it’s oh so preventable. Prevention is a word we like a lot at Kalil & Kress. Not that we won’t address your larger problems, but everyone’s happier when some good home hygiene prevents them.

Plaque that doesn’t belong on a wall

The process begins with dental plaque, which is the sticky film that forms on your teeth throughout the day. Plaque has lots of bacteria in it. Dental plaque is easy to remove simply by daily brushing and flossing. In fact, a good home dental hygiene program of brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing once a day is usually enough for most people to never have to deal with gum disease.

But if you only give home hygiene cursory attention, and if you throw in lifestyle choices such as smoking, plaque can have its way with your mouth. When plaque isn’t removed it hardens into calculus, also known as tartar. Now while you may like tartar sauce with some cod at a Portsmouth fish house, your professional hygienist at Kalil & Kress can only remove this kind of tartar.

The start is innocent — gum irritation

You won’t wake up one day and have gum disease. There will be signs. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums. How do you know if your gums are irritated? They are red and they bleed easily. Plus, the tartar that has formed gradually makes its way below the gumline, leading to more irritation. This irritation is called gingivitis.

You may have let things go, but at this point you can still reverse things with a professional cleaning from the team at Kalil & Kress and more diligent home care. But if you don’t opt for this route, the gum irritation worsens and the gums begin to pull away from the teeth causing pockets to form. These pockets hold all the bacteria from the plaque and that bacteria begin to attack the roots of the teeth. You can see where this is leading — tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.

Now, a trip to see either Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress will be necessary just to keep your teeth. They’ll need to do things such as gum planing and scaling. There will probably be a root canal or two, along with plenty of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

And to think, all of this could have been prevented with simple brushing and flossing at home, combined with twice-yearly visits to our office for professional cleaning and exams. Call us at 603-880-7004 to book your appointment.


Our Bridges Don’t Need Congressional Approval

dental bridgesWhen you’re missing a tooth or two, sometimes it’s tempting to save a few bucks and not have the gap fixed. But that’s a bad idea for a number of long-term dental health reasons. Instead, trust Drs. Kalil and Kress to fill the gap with a dental bridge. This is one infrastructure project that doesn’t need to be stuck in Congress, either — we place bridges all the time at Kalil & Kress.

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge uses a false tooth or two to fill the gap. These false teeth are fused either to porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. The bridge is anchored on each end by crowns placed on the healthy teeth on each side of the missing teeth.

What bother to fill the gap?

Many people are missing a tooth or two and they simply leave them that way. But that’s a bad idea for a number of reasons. First, when a tooth or a couple of teeth are missing, the teeth on either side of the gap now don’t have any pressure on them to stay in place. Because of that, they tend to slide over into the open space. This creates all kinds of problems with your alignment and even your overall bite. Beyond cosmetic issues of crooked teeth, a bad bite can create jawbone pain that can spread throughout your mouth and down into your face and neck.

A bridge is excellent for replacing a tooth or two. If a patient needs more than two teeth, it’s often a better solution to replace them with a partial denture.

Traditional bridge

For a traditional bridge to be placed, the patient needs to have healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. Crowns are placed on these teeth, which are technically referred to as the abutment teeth. In between the crowned healthy teeth is a third crown, the full artificial tooth. This tooth, clinically termed the pontic, is a porcelain false tooth that is connected to the porcelain or metal appliance anchored between the abutment teeth.

How is a bridge placed?

At Kalil & Kress, placing a bridge is a two-stage process. Once we’ve decided to go ahead with the bridge, we first perform a thorough exam and take a series of x-rays. Next we prepare the abutment teeth to receive their crowns. To do this we remove a minute amount of the healthy tooth on all four sides and from the top. We remove some healthy tooth matter to make room for the crown that will fit over the tooth. Once this is done, we take dental impressions of the teeth involved with the bridge, and send these impressions to the dental lab for the fabrication of your bridge. Until the bridge is finished, we place a temporary bridge on your teeth.

Once your appliance is finished, you return and Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress checks the fit. We may need to adjust it for maximum comfort and the perfect fit. If we’re not completely sure the fit is perfect, we may install the bridge with temporary adhesive so you can try it out for a few days. Once we are all satisfied with the fit, we cement the bridge into place permanently.

If you’re missing a tooth, you shouldn’t just let it be. Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and let’s talk about filling the gap with a bridge.


Like a Real Tooth, Only With a Titanium Root — Dental Implants

Dental ImplantsDental implants have become more and more popular as a tooth replacement option over the past 15 years. Their recent popularity makes many people think they are a new part of the dental world. Actually, implants have been around in one for or another for a long time. At Kalil & Kress, we think they are the preferred method for replacing a missing tooth.

Where did dental implants come from?

Modern dental implants, with their titanium base, may be a relatively new addition to dentistry, but humans have tried to replace missing teeth for eons. Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Who wouldn’t want a cochina shell sitting in there between their natural teeth?

The modern implant can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break, but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.

At our Nashua office, Drs. Kalil and Kress believe dental implants are the best solution to replace missing teeth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone, or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.

Some people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. Not so. If you don’t replace a missing tooth the adjacent teeth tend to spread out to fill the gap. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment.

Other facts about dental implants

Now that you’re becoming an expert at dental implants, here are some facts about missing teeth and implants:

  • 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
  • An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
  • Dental implants are basically a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
  • Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
  • Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
  • Implants now have a 98% success rate.

If you’re missing a tooth, call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and let’s talk about replacing it with a dental implant.

 


Pits are the Pits — Get Them Sealed

dental sealantsIf you asked your teenager if he or she would rather have good jeans or genes, they’d probably choose the pants. Ah, but those genes could be the cause of cavities and more cavities all because their molars have deep crevices/pits/trenches in them. Yes, the makeup of your molars is something you can thank Mom and Dad for directly.

And while pits in your molars don’t change their appearance, they surely change your chances of getting cavities. Why? Because food particles get stuck down in the pits and you, no matter how well you brush and floss, can’t get down in there to clean the food away. Then bacteria is attracted to the food, multiplies, and starts to eat away at the teeth. That would be the definition of a cavity in the making.

But at Kalil & Kress, we prefer to seal those pits and crevices in the teeth of our younger patients. We do this with sealants.

What are sealants and I’m not talking about deck stain

The sealants we use at Kalil & Kress are made of either strong resin or glass ionomer. The teeth to be filled are first thoroughly cleaned. Then the sealant, in liquid form, is painted onto the molars. The liquid sealant flows down and fills up the troughs. Once we are satisfied that we’ve created a seal without gaps or holes, the sealant is cured with a special light, bonding it to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.

Who should get sealants?

We recommend that any of our patients who are children and teenagers with even moderate grooves receive sealants. This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed and decay and are without fillings.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during youth, you know, the famous “cavity-prone years” from commercial lingo.

If you have children between the ages of 6 and 14, you really should have sealants put on their molars. After all, you’re the one who will be paying for the cavities and fillings! Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004 and ask about sealants.


Keeping An Eye Out for Oral Cancer

oral cancer | nashua nhAt Kalil & Kress, we’re all about staying up to date on the latest dental technology. We use all digital x-ray machines, even a digital panoramic x-ray for certain full-mouth diagnostics.

And we use the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment system to help us with our all-important oral cancer examinations.

Do I need to worry about oral cancer if I don’t smoke or drink much?

Many people think, wrongly, that if they don’t smoke or drink heavily that oral cancer isn’t something they need to worry about. Truth is 25% of all oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke and who only drink occasionally. At Kalil & Kress, more and more of our oral cancer patients now are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals that have the human papilloma virus (HPV). You may have heard of this virus in connection with cervical cancer, but it also greatly increases the risk of oral cancer.

Finding it early is the key

At Kalil & Kress, we believe in prevention before treatment, when possible. The same can be said about oral cancer — think early diagnosis versus later tragedy. When discovered early, the five-year survival rate for oral cancer patients is about 83%. Unfortunately, most oral cancers are discovered in later stages, whether due to patients skipping regular dental exams or lack of proper diagnostic practices during those exams.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

These are the most common symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Swellings, lumps, bumps, rough spots/crusts on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, neck, or ear
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and don’t heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice (usually slurred speech)
  • A lump in the neck
  • Dramatic weight loss

Men account for 70% of oral cancers, with men over the age of 50 at a greater risk.

How do you check for oral cancer?

Most practices screen for oral cancer the traditional way by feeling for lumps or irregular tissue changes in the mouth, head, face, and neck. We do this at Kalil & Kress, too. We also look for sores or discolored tissue, and inquire about any of the symptoms we list above. While this method was fairly reliable, we have added a whole new level of diagnostic proficiency with the VELscope® system.

What is VELscope®?

The VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System uses a handheld scope to help visualize oral tissue abnormalities, including cancer and pre-cancer. The VELscope® Vx handheld device emits a harmless, bright blue light that is used to inspect the mouth and tongue. The device is sensitive to abnormal tissue changes and the distinctive blue-spectrum light causes the soft tissue (oral mucosa) of the mouth to naturally fluoresce. Healthy tissue fluoresces in distinct patterns that are visibly disrupted when tissue undergoes abnormal change such as with oral cancer. Often these tissues cannot be seen with the naked eye alone, so the VELscope system gives the team at Kalil & Kress a real leg up in diagnosing oral cancer.

Is it time for your next checkup and cleaning? Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your appointment.


Keep Bacteria at Bay

Sealants | nashua nhSome people are born with good teeth, others not so much. But there is one thing you can do, particularly for your kids, to help them get fewer cavities no matter how good their teeth are. Seal their molars.

At Kalil & Kress we recommend that all of our younger patients get their molars sealed. Why? Most of us have pits/fissures/crevices/whatever you want to call them in our molars. The problem with these pits is that food particles get down in them and it is almost impossible to get down into the pits to get it out. You know what happens next. Bacteria are attracted to the food and then start to attack the tooth leading to a cavity.

What are sealants?

Sealants are made of plastic. The teeth to be filled are first thoroughly cleaned. Then the sealant, in liquid form, is painted onto the molars. The liquid sealant flows down and fills up the troughs. Once we are satisfied that we’ve created a seal without gaps or holes, the sealant is cured with a special light, bonding it to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.

Who should get sealants?

At Kalil & Kress, we recommend that any of our patients who are children and teenagers with even moderate grooves receive sealants. This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed and decay and are without fillings.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during youth.

If you have children between the ages of 6 and 14, you really should have sealants applied to their molars. After all, you’re the one who will be paying for the cavities and fillings! Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004, and make your appointment.


You’re Feeling Very Sleeeeeeeeeepy — Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry | Nashua NHMost everyone in Nashua is pretty laid back. We leave the uptightedness to the wannabes down in Boston! Still, even the most laid back person can have a full panic attack when confronted with a simple appointment for a cleaning at Kalil & Kress.
What’s up with that? Maybe they watched Marathon Man one too many times in their youth (“Is it safe?!”), but whatever the causes behind the trepidation, fear of the dentist can make patients skip routine cleanings and exams, along with more serious dental care issues. That’s a problem because most dental problems if caught early can be totally managed. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry for our patients at Kalil & Kress.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medications to keep patients relaxed during dental procedures. This is different than full general anesthesia because in sedation dentistry the patient is usually awake and is able to respond to requests from the dentist. The sedation simply allows the patient to relax and overcome his or her anxiety.

What are the levels of sedation?

There are four levels of sedation. We generally only keep patients in either minimal or moderate sedation.

  • Minimal sedation — Under minimal sedation, you are awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation — This used to be called “conscious sedation.” You may slur your words when talking and not remember most of what occurred during the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — In deep sedation, you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia — You’re completely unconscious.

What types of sedation are used?

  • Oral sedation can be minimal to moderate. The patient takes a pill (usually Valium or Xanan) usually about 30 minutes before the procedure. The pill makes the patient drowsy. Oral sedation is the most common form of sedation used in dentistry.
  • Everyone knows about laughing gas, formally known as nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and the patient breathes it through a mask placed over the nose. The gas wears off quickly and the patient usually can drive home following the procedure.

Your comfort is our priority at Kalil & Kress. Get anxious about Tom Brady’s return with the Patriots, not about visiting the dentist. If you have serious dental anxiety, be sure to inform us and we’ll make sure you receive some sedation during your next visit. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your next appointment.


Gingivitis Doesn’t Belong in Cookies

Periodontal Disease | Nashua NHMost people have heard the term “gingivitis.” Problem is, they have a better a chance at naming all eight Supreme Court justices (which equates to about a 1 percent chance) than actually knowing what gingivitis means.

Yes, we all are victims of advertising in this case, the culprit being Listerine. Since the dawn of time, Listerine has been touting in its TV commercials that Listerine kills the germs that cause gingivitis. They didn’t bother to explain what gingivitis is because the term sounds so ominous.

At Kalil & Kress, we like our patients to be as knowledgeable as possible, so here’s what gingivitis means:

Gum inflammation.

Whoa, that’s anticlimactic, isn’t it? Here’s what you need to know about gingivitis.

What is gingivitis?

Yes, gingivitis is nothing more than gum inflammation. The main culprit is plaque. Plaque is the film that forms on the teeth throughout the day. It consists of bacteria, bacterial waste products, food residue, and saliva. When you brush and floss you remove the plaque. Then it starts to rebuild, only to be removed again when you brush.

This sounds so innocent. The problems come when you get lazy with your home hygiene. When you do cursory brushing and care the plaque can develop beneath the gumline, where it is very irritating to your gums. If allowed to stay there, the plaque hardens into tartar, causing more persistent irritation. While the term “irritation” sounds innocent enough, if this irritation is allowed to continue and progress, it leads to gum disease, clinically known as periodontitis.

What are signs of gingivitis?

Gum irritation is easy to spot. Your gums should be pink all over, kind of like a piece of Double Bubble. Any bright red patches show irritation. Your gums should also lie flat against the teeth; inflamed gums tend to recede and pull away from the teeth. If they’re irritated, your gums will also be prone to bleeding and this shouldn’t normally happen if you’re using a soft toothbrush. Bleeding is a sign of inflammation. And finally — they get this right in the commercials — your breath will reek. Your bad breath is caused by bacteria that are being left to their own devices by your poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis treatments

To keep your gums healthy and keep gingivitis at bay, it all starts with good home hygiene. Beyond that, Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress treat gingivitis with these treatments:

  • Prophylactic cleaning
    Twice-yearly cleanings with our office are the first step. Why twice a year? That generally is the time it takes to start forming tartar and other issues that lead to decay. During these cleanings and checkups, not only will those problem areas receive a thorough cleaning, but we will also point them out to you for more attentive care at home.
  • Scaling
    If you have a fair amount of tartar built up under your gumline, we will scrape it off with dental tools. This is called scaling, and depending how much we have to do, we may give you a local anesthesia.
  • Root planing
    If we opt for root planing, any tiny grooves or pits are removed from the tooth roots to make it easier for the gums to adhere and stop receding. This is done in multiple appointments with local anesthesia.

The goal here is to keep things at gingivitis, not moving toward periodontitis. Toward that end, is it time for your next cleaning? Call us at 603-880-7004 to schedule your appointment.


Fluoride — Communist Conspiracy or Tooth Superhero?

fluoride | nashua nhThere are far more whackos out there than anyone really wants to admit. This election season just seems to have brought many more of them to the forefront.

Before today’s crop of loonies, fluoride used to occupy one of the main tenets of the conspiracy theorists. Yes, the geniuses of the John Birch Society even tried to get fluoride stopped from being added to the nation’s water supplies, deeming it to be a “Communist plot” to achieve mind control over Americans.

Fortunately, saner minds prevailed because fluoride is one of the best things a person can ingest to help strengthen their teeth.

At Kalil & Kress, we probably would have a lot more business if it weren’t for fluoride in the New Hampshire water supply. If you doubt that, here’s some info on this ubiquitous dental mineral.

What is it and how does fluoride protect your teeth?

You could say your mouth is like a mine in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Minerals come and go in two processes called demineralization and remineralization. These processes are the way minerals are lost and then added back to the enamel layer of the teeth. We like remineralization; demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. The balance is what’s important. Too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.

OK, so the process probably confuses the anti-fluoride crowd. But beyond the process, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in many foods and in water. Yes, it’s in there before we add it, just not as much. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.

When is fluoride the most beneficial?

It was originally thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.

Fluoride treatments at Kalil & Kress

So, now you know that fluoride is one of your mouth’s best friends. We provide fluoride treatments topically at regular cleaning/exam visits, particularly for our younger patients.

Is it time for your next checkup? Call us at 603-880-7004 to make an appointment.


Giving Your Teeth and Gums the Star Wars Treatment

gum disease | nashua nhHan Solo and company aren’t the only ones to make good use of lasers. At Kalil & Kress, we use lasers every day in our various procedures. And there’s not a Death Star in sight.

What is laser dentistry?

Laser dentistry is a part of the field that has been expanding rapidly since dental lasers were first approved by the FDA in the 1980s. We often combine laser dentistry with traditional techniques to reduce patient discomfort and provide more precise results. We use lasers to reshape gum tissue, to enhance the whitening of our gel, and many other uses.

Cavity preparation

We use our dental lasers to remove decayed tooth tissue and to prepare cavities for filling. Lasers provide these benefits when treating dental caries:

  • No drilling noise
  • Less tooth sensitivity
  • Faster treatment
  • Less collateral damage of healthy tissue
  • Less risk of harming the pulp in the tooth’s center

We can’t use lasers on teeth that already contain fillings, on cavities located between the teeth, and on teeth that require significant tissue removal in preparation for a crown.

Gum surgery

We use lasers for various gum procedures.

In periodontal disease, we use lasers to perform root planing and scaling, to remove bacteria and infected tissue from gum pockets, for surgical reshaping of the gums, and to promote reattachment of the gum to the tooth root.

In gum recontouring, we use lasers to trim away unwanted gum tissue and to prepare the gum line for the placement of crowns.

With the gums, laser provide these benefits:

  • Less pain during and after treatment
  • Less bleeding and swelling
  • Faster healing
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Greater precision
  • The option to work on various areas in one session

We use our dental lasers for plenty of other procedures such as root canals, too. To learn more, call us at 603-880-7004 and ask us about our sci-fi dental lasers at Kalil & Kress.


Foods That Your Teeth Find Tasty

dental food | nashua nhYou ever see the movie Elf? If so, you’ll remember his breakfast consisted of a waffle with Captain Crunch, chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, and syrup. And for dinner he put syrup on his spaghetti!

Sound like you?

OK, maybe that’s not you; guess you’re not an elf after all! Still, we all eat lots of sweet stuff and drink one too many sugary sodas. They may satisfy a craving, but they can also lead to toothy troubles such as tooth decay.

The American Dental Association (ADA) wants to help you not totally abuse your teeth. So, they put together this little list of seven foods that your teeth love.

Apples

Of course, an apple-a-day keeps the doctor away. Maybe the dentist, too (although you could still come see Dr. Kalil and Dr. Kress just to chat or show us new pictures of your cat). While fruits such as apples are sweet, they’re also high in fiber and water. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. Think of it as a good scrubbing of your teeth and gums.

Carrots

Everyone knows carrots are good for your vision. But they’re also crunchy, and when you eat a few baby carrots at the end of a meal your saliva production increases. Why is saliva good? Saliva rinses away bacteria and leftover food particles. Plus carrots are high in fiber and a great source of vitamin A. Your eyes will thank you for them, too!

Yogurt

Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. The probiotics (good bacteria) in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowds out the bad bacteria. It’s best to have yogurt without added sugar, although most companies, feeling the heat about added sugar, are lowering it in their yogurts.

Cheese

You wouldn’t think of cheese when you think of the health of your teeth, but you would be mistaken. A study in 2013 published in General Dentistry found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects’ mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. The chewing required to eat cheese also increases saliva production, which, as mentioned above, is bueno. Cheese also contains lots of calcium and protein, both of which strengthen tooth enamel.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens seemingly are on every healthy diet list, kind of like Brad Pitt on every hunky actor list. While they are full of great minerals and vitamins for your overall health, leafy greens also are good for your teeth. They’re high in calcium for your enamel. They contain folic acid, a type of B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including helping pregnant women avoid gum disease.

Celery

Celery needs a new P.R. agent, as it has a rep for being bland and stringy. But, like carrots and apples, it’s kind of like a natural toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It also has lots of vitamin A and C, which is good for your gums.

Almonds

Almonds are a great source for calcium and protein and have little sugar. Plus, they’re great at filling you up. Add a quarter cup to lunch and throw some on your salad at dinner. And their crunchiness has value, as detailed above.

Eat more of this stuff, and you can have the occasional Ho Ho with a Dr. Pepper chaser. And then, be sure to schedule your regular twice-yearly cleanings and exams with your friends at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004.


Summer’s for Corn on the Cob, not Braces

invisalign | nashua nhFew things are more interesting to eat for kids than corn. The way we eat it is so different than most foods that kids find it interesting. Some of this holds on even through the interesting teenage years, unless your teen is burdened with braces on every tooth. Then you’re cutting the corn off the cob and where’s the fun in that? Summer and corn go together like the Cookie Monster and the Keebler Elf.

But if your teenager needs to move his or her teeth around what are you going to do? Braces are just a fact of life, right? Not necessarily.

Invisalign is a relatively new method of moving the teeth that doesn’t involve metal bands and wires and doesn’t require changes in the way your child eats. While not all straightening cases can involve Invisalign, many can and it’s certainly worth investigating with the team at Kalil & Kress.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is one of the few changes in orthodontic methodology in the last few decades. It utilizes clear plastic aligners in place of the traditional metal brackets and wires. Each aligner is designed by computer to move the teeth a certain amount and is worn for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks that aligner’s job is finished and the next aligner takes its place. This procedure is repeated until the teeth are in the proper position.

What are the advantages of Invisalign?

First off there’s that corn on the cob issue! With Invisalign, teens don’t have to change their diet. When eating, the Invisalign aligner is removed. Then after eating, the aligner is replaced and all is well.

Of course, for a teen, the biggest advantage is visual. When a person is wearing their Invisalign aligner trays most people can’t even tell the person is having his or her teeth straightened because the aligners are clear plastic and virtually invisible. Even when talking to a person one on one, the aligners can’t be detected.

Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign won’t irritate the cheeks and lips. There aren’t any stray wires to unexpectedly poke the cheeks or tongue.

Cleaning your teeth is much easier with Invisalign. The wearer simply removes the aligner to eat, and brush or floss. No need for floss threaders and the like, and there’s no chance of getting food caught in the brackets.

How does Invisalign work?

The Invisalign system is more than just the aligners; it’s an entire computerized system. After digital images are taken, our state-of-the-art 3D computer imaging system creates an incredibly detailed 3D image of the patient’s teeth. This image guides the creation of each successive aligner by the Invisalign system. Each aligner is worn for two weeks and is then replaced by the next aligner in the series. The patient should wear his or her aligners for 20 to 22 hours each day (really only removing them to eat and clean the teeth). When the teeth are into their correct, final position, Invisalign retainers are worn to keep them there.

Think your teen could be right for Invisalign? Let’s talk about it. Call us at 603-880-7004.


Panoramic Photos Aren’t Just for the Grand Canyon

Panoramic Xray | nashua nhAs our smart phones get smarter and smarter, it seems they can do just about anything. One of the latest features is the ability to easily take panoramic photographs. What used to require stitching together two or three photos can now be done with a single pass. At Kalil & Kress, we’re big fans of panoramic photos, too. We just like to take them of your teeth and mouth area.

What are panoramic x-rays?

At Kalil & Kress, we have digital panoramic x-ray technology that takes digital images, rather than the film of most older x-ray systems. Our panoramic x-rays are part of our overall belief in preventive dentistry. Panoramic x-rays provide images of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues of the mouth. But, unlike bitewing x-rays that are focused solely on the teeth, panoramic x-rays give us a much broader perspective on the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal area, and temporomandibular jaw joints.

Why are digital x-rays better?

Both our panoramic and traditional x-rays are all digital at Kalil & Kress. People sometimes wonder what’s the big deal about these. First, they deliver significantly lower levels of radiation than traditional x-ray machines. Second, the images can be enhanced, enlarged, and adjusted for contrast, all of which are very helpful when looking for issues such as dental caries. Plus, should we ever seek a second opinion from a colleague, sending a digital file is instant. That’s a far cry from sending x-ray film off for a second look.

What do panoramic x-rays show us?

We don’t use our panoramic x-rays for detecting cavities. They have a different role. Here’s what conditions we use our panoramic x-rays to identify:

  • Bone abnormalities
  • Impacted teeth
  • Cysts
  • Solid growths (tumors)
  • Fractures
  • Infections

How are they taken and how often?

Unlike bitewings, where the film is placed inside the mouth, panoramic x-rays are taken with a camera that pivots around the patient’s mouth, face, and neck.

We recommend that patients have a digital panoramic x-ray every 2-5 years.

It is time for checkup? Call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004 and set up your appointment.


Fillings that Don’t Go In Pies

dental fillingsCaries.

Any idea what that word means? And, no, it’s not applicable to the running back in a football game, unless you’re talking about his teeth!

Dental caries are the most common form of oral disease in humans. The process of getting caries is called tooth decay.

You probably think of them as “cavities,” but that’s not really accurate. That term probably came from the fact that once the dentist cleans out the decay, what is left is a cavity. And that cavity can’t be left open, as food debris and bacteria would become lodged in there. It needs to be filled.

Hence, the name “filling.”

At Kalil & Kress we fill dental caries every day. To us it’s easy as pie, although that idiom really makes no sense to us. Pies aren’t really that easy. Uh, moving on…

Types of fillings at Kalil & Kress

You’re probably familiar with silver fillings, particularly if you’re over 40. Want to know a secret? They’re not really silver, they’re actually mostly mercury! Holy bottom of Boston Harbor, Batman! Yes, that is disconcerting to many people. Silver fillings are made of silver amalgam. To make them, we mix mercury (50% of the eventual filling) with a powder comprised of silver, copper, tin, or zinc (usually a combination of some or all of those). There really isn’t any potential for harm from the mercury in your amalgam fillings. They’ve been studied by the FDA and they’ve been used since the 1800s. Still, some people don’t like the idea of being like a fish at the bottom of Lake Erie.

Composite fillings are becoming more popular with all of us at Kalil & Kress. Not only are they virtually invisible once placed in a tooth, but they are becoming stronger and stronger with technological advances. The resin is made of a mixture of plastic and glass. In the past, composite fillings have had a much shorter lifespan when compared with amalgam, but that is changing.

Ceramic or porcelain fillings have the admirable quality of being durable and having high aesthetic value because their color can closely match the natural color of the patient’s teeth. They are more expensive, but resist staining and aren’t easily scratched as composite resin can be.

Glass ionomer fillings are made of a combination of acrylic and glass. They are the stuff of children, as they are intended for baby teeth. This is because they only last five years and release fluoride to strengthen the surrounding natural teeth.

Gold fillings used to be popular, but not so much anymore because they are very visible and expensive. Still, they are very durable, sturdy, and non-corrosive.

If you have tooth pain, it may be a sign that decay has entered the interior of your tooth. Call us at 603-880-7004 and we’ll take a look and discuss filling options with you.


Don’t Paint Your Patio Furniture with This Enamel!

aesthetic dentistryWhat is the hardest tissue in the human body?

If you’re down around some muscleheads at the Jersey Shore, you probably can guess what they’d say as they flex for you. But they’d be pumped up…and wrong.

Your tooth enamel is the hardest tissue on your body. And no, you would never have gotten that one right on Jeopardy!

Comprised for the most part of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite, tooth enamel covers the crown, the part of the tooth that’s visible above the gumline. It is translucent, so you can see right through your enamel to the main portion of the tooth, the dentin, beneath it. Whether your teeth are white, off white, grey, of yellow, the dentin is where your tooth color is dictated.

Stains on your teeth from food and drink accumulate on the enamel, not in the dentin. Regular visits to the team at Kalil & Kress for your twice-yearly prophylaxis (fancy word for professional cleaning!) clean and polish most of those stains away. Tooth whitening also removes these stains from the enamel.

Like the Secret Service, without the earpieces

Like the Secret Service, your enamel’s job is protection. Enamel protects your teeth during daily use. You don’t realize it, but things such as chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding create lots of force, and your enamel keeps that force from damaging the interior of the tooth. The enamel also insulates the teeth from potential painful temperatures and chemicals.

Although it is strong like an ox, your enamel can still be damaged. It can crack or chip, but unlike bone cells, enamel has no living cells so once it is damaged the body cannot repair it. People think you can restore your enamel — some dental products even claim this — but you cannot. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone for good. Kind of like your youth!

Leave the erosion to the Grand Canyon

When you consider the fact that your enamel can’t rebuild, it’s wise to avoid the foods and beverages that cause enamel erosion. Although your tooth enamel is tough, like the hardest rock it can be eroded over time. Just ask the Grand Canyon! Acids are the usual culprits. Here’s a list of enamel eroders:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Excessive soft drink consumption (high levels of phosphoric and citric acids)
  • Fruit drinks (fruits have various acids, some very erosive)
  • Too much sugar and starch in the diet
  • Medications like aspirin and antihistamines
  • Acid reflux disease
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors (see below)

Environmental surface erosion

While you can watch what you eat or drink, stopping what is called “environmental erosion” isn’t as easy. Friction, stress, general wear and tear, and corrosion can all combine to grind off the enamel from your teeth.

Abfraction —This is basically a stress fracture of the tooth caused by flexing or bending of the tooth.

Abrasion — This is the wear from when you brush too hard, bite hard objects such as fingernails and pens, or chew tobacco.

Attrition — This tooth-to-tooth friction is called attrition. If you’re a night grinder, this is what you’re doing to your teeth.

Corrosion — This is the name for acidic contents hitting the enamel. Frequent corrosion takes off enamel.

Will I know when enamel has eroded?

Unlike a crack or chip to your tooth, enamel erosion doesn’t happen quickly. There will be clues, but you have to be in tune with them to either stop your behaviors or change your diet. Sensitivity to sweets and temperatures can cause twinges of pain in the early stages of erosion. As it progresses, your teeth become discolored as more of the dentin is exposed. As enamel erodes the edges of your teeth can become rough and irregular. Severe sensitivity will come in the late stages.

It’s in your best interest to take care of the enamel that’s taking care of your teeth. If you have lost some enamel, the pros at Kalil & Kress can bond over it to protect the tooth. Call us at 603-880-7004 to schedule your next appointment.


Oh, the Things We Do to Our Teeth

dental healthOur teeth are like super heroes. Well, super heroes without the tights. They spend all their time fighting the likes of bacteria, tartar, plaque…and your bad habits! Yes, our teeth are doing their utmost to allow us to get the nutrition we need, and what do we do? Chew ice, open bottles, drink acid-laced drinks, and other bad habits that show little respect for our enamel-covered friends.

At Kalil & Kress, we like our patients to be as knowledgeable as possible about their teeth, including what they are doing to harm them! See if you’re guilty of any of these bad dental habits.

Grinding your teeth — Life can be stressful, and we take it out on our teeth by grinding them at night while we’re dreaming about killing our boss. This behavior is called bruxism, and you are actually grinding your teeth down when you do it. The problem is that most people who grind don’t realize they do it, unless they awake with very sore jaws. But the pros at Kalil & Kress can see the signs and get you into a mouthguard to wear at night.

Chewing ice — While ice may be sugar-free and no-cal, that doesn’t mean you should be munching on it like Mr. Ed eating some hay. Chewing ice can chip or crack your teeth. It also irritates the soft tissue inside the tooth, causing toothaches.

Sodas — In this country people are cutting down on soda consumption, but for the wrong reasons. Well, not all wrong. It’s obvious the sugars can lead to dental decay, but they also contain phosphoric and citric acids. These are corrosives that eat away at the enamel protecting your teeth.

Your teeth, the opener — Everyone knows someone who takes great pride in opening bottles with their teeth. While this is an interesting parlor trick, you’re best to leave it to that person. Opening a beer bottle with your teeth is the quickest way to crack them.

Bottle in the crib — Leaving a bottle with your baby at night is doubly weak. It’s a weak way to avoid the full-on feeding, and it’s bad for the child. The tot may fall asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth, bathing the teeth in sugars overnight. Feed them before bed and they will calm down.

Fruit juice — Skip the juice “beverage” and opt for fruit juices that are 100% juice. No Hawaiian Punch or Hi C, OK! Why? Because there is often as much sugar in these pseudo-juices as in soda. Once you read the label you’ll see that these “juices” have all of around 10% juice content. Plus, in certain juices, the acidity is pretty high.

Snack-o-rama — What’s the big deal eating a few Red Vines followed by a pretzel or two? Well, when you eat a regular meal, your mouth understands it needs to get with saliva production to help eliminate and break down residual particles. But when you snack for brief periods, you don’t produce saliva in the same way. The lack of saliva when you eat a snack means that food bits can stay in your teeth for hours. If you need a snack, opt for something low in sugar and starch, like carrots.

Cigarette smoking — This one’s a no brainer. Cigarettes stain your teeth and lead to gum disease. As if that weren’t enough, tobacco also leads to cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. And it’s so 1960.

OK, we didn’t mean to make you feel bad, but the team at Kalil & Kress wants you to care as much about your teeth as we do. And now you know some of the ways you’re mistreating them! Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your next appointment.


Leave the Pits to the Peaches

dental sealantsPits are the pits, to be less than creative in word diversity. Pits in peaches and avocados need to be worked around. And what about Poe’s pit in the Pit and the Pendulum? Creepy.

But those pits have nothing on the pits in your molars. These pits harbor bits of food particles that if left to their own devices will likely begin the process of decay. But no matter how diligent the brusher, pits in the molars usually can’t be fully cleaned with a toothbrush.

That’s where sealants from the team at Kalil & Kress come in.

What are sealants?

It’s easy to think of sealants in terms of summer road work. We’ll all soon see too many road crews out on the Nashua streets filling potholes with asphalt. Sealants are used to fill the pits in the molars of our patients. We use a strong resin or glass ionomer that we paint onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant is cured with a special light and fills in the depressions and grooves in the molars, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth. Now, food can’t get down into the pits and attract bacteria.

Who should get sealants?

We recommend that children and teenagers with even moderate grooves in their teeth should get sealants. Why? This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed any decay and are without fillings.

How are sealants applied?

Applying sealants is simple.

  1. First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
  3. An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
  4. This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
  5. Sealant is painted onto the tooth and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during the cavity prone years.

Sealants are awesome preventative care. Call us at 603-880-7004 for your next appointment and, if you have children, let’s discuss applying sealants.


I Won’t Take Periodontitis for $500, Alex

Periodontal Disease Your gums are tough hombres. They may look pink and soft like a wad of Double Bubble, but they are strong. Remember, their job, after all, is to be the bodyguard for the roots of your teeth.

But prevention is key with these pink workhorses. Treat your gums well and do the required home dental care and they will take care of your teeth. Treat them with indifference and you won’t like the future.

Periodontal disease is the medical term for gum disease, periodontitis if you want to get downright clinical. It involves infection of the gums that can end up with tooth loss and an extra spot in the next season of Duck Dynasty.

But gum disease is totally preventable. It all begins with dental plaque, the sticky film that forms on your teeth throughout the day. Plaque has lots of bacteria in it. Dental plaque is easy to remove with daily brushing and flossing. In fact, a good home dental hygiene program of brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing once a day is usually enough for most people to never have to deal with gum disease.

But if you treat home hygiene as a passing fancy, and if you throw in lifestyle choices such as smoking, plaque can have its way with your mouth. When plaque isn’t removed it hardens into calculus, also known as tartar. Tartar can only be removed by Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress or one of our hygienists.

First comes gingivitis, then comes periodontitis

Now this isn’t like a disease where you wake up one day and there it is. With gum disease there will be plenty of signs it is coming. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums. Irritated gums are not happy gums, and they become red and bleed easily. Plus, the tartar that has formed gradually makes its way below the gumline, leading to more irritation. This irritation is called gingivitis.

You may have let things go, but at this point you can still reverse things with a professional cleaning from the team at Kalil & Kress and more diligent home care. But if you don’t opt for this route, the gum irritation worsens and the gums begin to pull away from the teeth causing pockets to form. These pockets hold all the bacteria from the plaque and that bacteria begin to attack the roots of the teeth. You can see where this is leading — tooth loss and jawbone deterioration.

Now, a trip to our office will be necessary just to keep your teeth. Dr. Kalil or Dr. Kress will need to do things such as gum planing and scaling. You may receive an antibiotic prescription if infection has taken hold. A root canal could be required to save a tooth or teeth.

And to think, all of this could have been prevented with simple brushing and flossing at home, combined with twice-yearly visits to Kalil & Kress for professional cleaning and exams. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make your next appointment.


Taking the Edge Off with Sedation

Sedation DentistrySome people aren’t scared of anything. Scary movies? No. Haunted houses? Don’t believe in them. Scary people? Haven’t met one.

But tell them they have a dentist appointment in the morning and now they’re petrified!

And, while we know everyone at Kalil & Kress is friendly and nice, we also know that some people are simply scared of the dentist. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry, to take the edge off for those patients.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry basically provides our anxious patients with a way to overcome their fear and uneasiness. It involves the use of medications to help patients relax during dental procedures.

What are the different medications used for sedation?

At Kalil & Kress, we offer different levels of sedation using either oral sedatives or nitrous oxide gas.

  • If the patient prefers to be minimally sedated with gas, nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is used. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and the patient inhales it through a mask placed over the nose. The gas wears off quickly and the patient usually can drive himself home following the procedure.
  • Oral sedation is the most common form of dental sedation and it can be minimal to moderate. The patient takes a pill usually about 30 minutes before the procedure. The pill makes the patient drowsy. We offer a few different sedatives, including benzodiazepine drugs such as Valium and Xanax.

The team at Kalil & Kress is expert in delivering the correct dosage for your medical history, desired level of sedation, and body weight.

There’s no need to miss dental appointments because of anxiety and fear. Call us at 603-880-7004 and ask us about our sedation dentistry options.


Just Like Your Regular Teeth, But Maybe Better

dental implantsDental implants have become pretty commonplace in the last decade or so. Actually, dental implants have been around for a long time. They’ve been used for tooth replacement in modern dentistry for the past 50 years. But implants have been around even longer than that. At Kalil & Kress, we believe implants are far and away the best solution for missing teeth. Here’s some background on these titanium stand-ins.

Think 50 years is a long history? Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Maybe it was the gloss of the seashells (some of which do look like your canine teeth, when you think about it) that made people try implanting them.

The modern implant, non-seashell version, dates back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break, but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.

At Kalil & Kress, we believe dental implants are the best solution to replace a missing tooth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone, or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.

Most people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. After all it’s just a gap in your teeth, right? But your adjacent teeth don’t get the memo and they try and move over to occupy the open space. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment. Your jawbone tends to degenerate under missing teeth as well.

Here are some other facts about dental implants:

  • An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
  • 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
  • Dental implants are basically a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
  • Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
  • Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
  • Implants now have a 98% success rate.

The great thing about implants is that once in place they behave exactly like your natural teeth. You can eat whatever you want and you care for them exactly as you do your natural teeth.

If you’re missing a tooth or have a badly decayed tooth that may need to be extracted, let’s replace it with a dental implant. Call us at 603-880-7004 and let’s take a look.


Your Trusty Friend the Toothbrush

Toothbrush. These little bristly dudes or dudettes wield great power when you think of what they do for your dental hygiene. People take them for granted. But you do so at your own peril and the peril of your mouth.

Because we’re all about our patients having the best teeth in Nashua, at Kalil & Kress we’re going to give you a little class in Toothbrushology.

Take care of your bristly friend

brushThe easiest thing about toothbrush health is to let it dry fully between uses. This is an important deal because toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus, and bacteria. In a continually damp toothbrush, these little meanies build up to levels that you don’t even want to know. Letting your toothbrush dry out, kills most of those germs. When you’re finished brushing, let tap water run through the bristles, then store the toothbrush in an upright position so that the air can dry it out.

And while we’re all for getting along, the toothbrush of you and your partner don’t need to be on a first name basis. This is because cold and flu viruses can jump easily from the bristles of one brush to another, if they are touching. Leave the romance to Valentine’s Day, not your toothbrushes.

How often to change your toothbrush

You’ve been to someone’s house who has truly abused their toothbrush, and you see the results hanging there in the bathroom. The poor toothbrush looks like an armadillo on the road outside Amarillo. Flattened. That kind of overuse of a toothbrush is a bad idea. The team at Kalil & Kress advises that you change your toothbrush every three months. Studies have shown that after three months of normal use, toothbrushes are no longer nearly as effective at removing plaque. The bristles bend and break down, losing their effectiveness when getting into the tough spots.

And if you’re just getting over a cold, the flu, or a mouth infection you should change your toothbrush because the germs can lurk down in the bristles leading to reinfection.

How long should I brush?

If you’re a cursory brusher (you know who you are), this next bit of toothbrush advice can seem like an eternity. You should brush your teeth for two full minutes twice each day. To the speed brushers, anything over a minute feels like watching C-Span reruns. But two minutes is the goal. If you want to make it easier, think just 30 seconds for each quarter. If you want to fill out that time, make sure to brush your tongue, the roof of your mouth, the pockets down along your upper gums.

Have more questions about basic oral hygiene? Ask your pals at Kalil & Kress anything you want. Call us at 603-880-7004 and ask away, or schedule your next checkup.


Dental Emergencies and What to Do

If you’re old enough, you remember that lame TV show, Emergency!, where they went around every week zapping hapless victims with the defibrillator for any conceivable injury. Heart attack. Zap! Indigestion? Zap! Hangnail? Zap!

At Kalil & Kress we’re not prone to overreacting, but we do want our patients to take dental emergencies seriously because by not doing so, it can make the problem worse.

Here are some typical dental emergencies.

Knocked out teeth
You were playing a game of touch football and someone else misunderstood the word “touch.” Now you have a knocked-out tooth. First, retrieve it and rinse if off with water. Don’t scrub it or remove any tissue fragments; they may help save your tooth. Try and put the tooth back in place, but if you can’t, put it in a glass of milk or water with a pinch of salt. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you see us within the first few hours, so call us because we always have a dentist on call, 603-321-8052.

Chipped or broken teeth
chipped toothBite into a sandwich with something more than a slice of tomato? If you’ve chipped or broken a tooth, try and save any pieces that you can. Just as with a knocked-out tooth, rinse your mouth out with warm water and rinse the tooth pieces. Gauze will stop the bleeding, and a cold compress held outside your mouth or cheek will help with pain. Again, call us immediately.

Loose fillings or lost crowns
Lose a filling or a crown? Call us right away. You can temporarily fill the gap with sugarless gum or dental cement. Don’t use sugared gum; it will cause pain. If a crown is off, find it and bring it with you. Reattach it is possible and you can keep it in place with over-the-counter dental cement or denture adhesive. Clove oil (in the drug store or spice aisle in the grocery) can alleviate the pain and sensitivity in the area.

Toothaches
If you have a throbbing toothache, first rinse your mouth with warm water to make sure it’s clean, and floss to remove any food lodged between your teeth. There are brush-on over-the-counter toothache relievers, but don’t get the substance on your gums. That will burn the gum tissue. If the toothache lasts more than a day or two, call us.

Objects stuck between your teeth
Try and floss them out. If they don’t come out, call us. Don’t use sharp objects to try and dislodge them. This can damage the teeth and gums.

At Kalil & Kress, we are serious about dental emergencies. If you have one during regular hours, call us at 603-880-7004. If it’s after hours, call the dentist on call, 603-321-8052


Lasers Aren’t Just for Star Wars

These days if you hear someone talking about lasers, there are good odds they’re talking about Han Solo using a blaster on a stormtrooper. But at Kalil & Kress, we use lasers all the time. It’s called laser dentistry, and there isn’t a Wookie in sight.

Laser dentistry is used in combination with traditional dental treatments to reduce patient discomfort and provide more precise results. We use different lasers to reshape enamel and gum tissue, and to enhance the effectiveness of tooth whitening gel.

Cavity preparation

Laser DentistryWe frequently use dental lasers to remove decayed tooth tissue and prepare cavities for filling. Here are some of the benefits of this use of lasers:

• Less tooth sensitivity
• Quicker treatment
• No annoying drilling noise
• Preservation of more healthy tooth structure
• Less risk to the pulp at the tooth center

Sometimes, we utilize lasers to limit the amount of drilling needed. Sometimes we can eliminate the need for anesthesia. But occasionally, we can’t use lasers: when teeth already contain filings, for cavities located between the molars, to prepare a tooth for a crown or bridge.

Lasers and gums

Lasers are very effective for addressing issues with the gums.

Periodontal disease — We use lasers for root planing and scaling, the removal of bacteria and infected tissue from periodontal pockets, surgical reshaping of the gums to reduce the size and depth of periodontal pockets, and to promote reattachment of the gum to the tooth root.

Gum recontouring — We use lasers to fix gummy smiles, to create a more symmetrical gum line, and to prepare the gum line for a crown. These are some of the benefits to using lasers in gum treatment:

• Less bleeding and swelling
• Less pain
• Quicker healing
• Reduced infection risk
• Ability to work on multiple areas of the mouth in a single session
• Greater precision in tissue removal

We also use lasers in root canals, some TMJ procedures, to biopsy potential oral cancer growths, to remove benign tumors and other lesions, and to reduce cold and canker sore pain.

Is it time for your next appointment? Call us at 603-880-7004 to schedule your appointment.


Seeing Straight Teeth is Clear with Invisalign

It’s amazing to think that the Invisalign clear tooth straightening system has been around since 1998 because many people have only heard about it in the past few years. Invisalign is an alternative to traditional metal braces, utilizing clear plastics trays to move the teeth. The Invisalign system is excellent for mild to moderate orthodontic treatment.

Who’s right for Invisalign?

Invisalign does a good job on mild to moderate cases of crooked teeth. Because the trays are virtually invisible when worn, this system is a great option for self-conscious teens, of course, but also for adults who don’t want the stigma of metal braces in the workplace and social circles. Wearing the aligners and caring for your teeth is much easier with Invisalign.

invisalignInvisalign is not the right solution, however, for more severe orthodontic issues. For instance, patients with severe bite problems can’t use Invisalign, as more aggressive movement with braces and possibly headgear could be required.

What can Invisalign work on?

Invisalign can correct these issues:

• Crooked teeth
• Unevenly spaced teeth
• Overcrowding
• Mild to moderate bite problems

Advantages of Invisalign

There are three true advantages to Invisalign. First, since the aligner trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible when you wear them. Second, there are no brackets or wires to poke your cheeks or tongue and rub on your lips. Third, the trays are removable when eating and for brushing and flossing. This means that you can eat anything you want (such as corn on the cob) and cleaning is the same as teeth without braces.

How it works

Invisalign treatments usually last from six to 18 months. The process starts with a visual exam and consultation. Then photos, x-rays, and computer imaging are used to create a treatment plan, mapping out the amount each tray will need to move your teeth. Molds of your teeth are sent to the Invisalign lab for creation of your trays.

When they arrive, you simply slip the first tray onto your teeth. The idea is to wear your Invisalign trays at least 22 hours per day. Then every two to three weeks you discard the current trays and replace them with the next trays in succession. Your teeth are gradually moved into the correct, straight position. When this is accomplished, you will then be fitted with a retainer until your teeth no longer move.

Interested in Invisalign? Call us at 603-880-7004 and let’s talk about it.


Professional Cleanings at Kalil & Kress

Some people think that if they do a good enough job brushing and flossing at home that they don’t really need to head to our offices at Kalil & Kress on a regular basis. After all, what can a professional do different than what you’re diligently doing at home, right?

In reality, good dental hygiene is a partnership between home care and professional cleanings. And those professional cleanings (we use a fancy term, prophylaxis) should happen twice each year.

Here’s why you need prophylaxis twice yearly.

Tartar is the real culprit

dental cleaningProfessional cleaning by our Kalil & Kress hygienists removes plaque, calculus (tartar), and stains from the teeth. Can’t this happen at home? While you can, and do need to, remove plaque with your home hygiene, it is almost impossible to remove it all. What you don’t/can’t get at slowly turns into tartar. This is the hard light-colored stuff that builds up particularly on the inner bottom teeth. Tartar cannot be removed with home care. No matter how well you brush or floss, once tartar has taken hold it can only be removed by a professional hygienist or dentist. That’s where dental picks come into play.

What’s the big deal with a little tartar? Once formed, tartar keeps growing because brushing doesn’t remove it. If you let it keep expanding, it will eventually begin to expand down under the gumline, causing irritation. This irritation is called gingivitis and is the precursor of gum disease.

What professional cleaning does that you can’t

So, what does a prophylaxis at Kalil & Kress involve? First is a scaling and polishing procedure that removes normal plaque buildup, calculus, and stains. What’s scaling? That’s where the hygienist chips away the layer of tartar that has formed in your usual spots in your mouth. Various picks have different characteristics that help the hygienist break the grip of the tartar. Once the grip is loosened, the tartar releases and can be removed.

Once the tartar is removed, the teeth are professionally polished. We utilize a special paste with more grit than typical toothpaste that helps remove stains and polishes the teeth. This polishing also makes the tooth surfaces more smooth and difficult for plaque and debris to adhere to, at least for a couple days.

Twice each year

People wonder why we recommend twice yearly cleanings at Kalil & Kress. It’s not just arbitrary — six months is the time it takes for tartar to take hold in your usual build-up locations. And once it builds up it needs to be removed.

Is it time for your cleaning? Call us at 603-880-7004 for an appointment.


Bonding, Just Not James Bonding

With the latest release of a blockbuster 007 movie, whenever anyone says Bond, they think James not Kalil & Kress. Or maybe they think of the bonding that goes on between a mother and a baby.

And then there’s the resin that is put on your teeth to cover certain dental issues. Dental bonding.

dental bondingDental bonding uses resin, a plastic-like material, to cover or fill dental problems. Bonding is an alternative to more expensive treatments such as porcelain veneers. At Kalil & Kress, many of our patients have had great success addressing cosmetic issues with dental bonding.

Dental bonding can be used to:

  • Restore decayed teeth
  • Fill large cavities
  • Fill tooth cracks and chips
  • Brighten heavily discolored teeth
  • Protect the tooth root when gums recede
  • Improve the symmetry of the teeth
  • Fill gaps between the teeth
  • Hold veneers and crowns

The benefits of bonding?

  • Cost — Bonding can be an alternative to more expensive procedures such as veneers, crowns, or certain large precious metal fillings. Talented dentists such as Drs. Kalil and Kress can achieve similar results with dental bonding at a lower cost.
  • Ease — With bonding, there is no waiting for fabrication of veneers or a crown. Bonding is done in the office, usually in a single visit.
  • Painless — Since bonding involves placing the bonding material onto your teeth, there is no need for any anesthesia.

Ask us about dental bonding next time you’re in our offices. Or, if you have questions, give us a call at 603-880-7004.


Don’t Put Out an Amber Alert on Your Missing Teeth — Replace Them

For most people it would seem odd to have a number of missing teeth. But a recent survey by the National Institute of Health found that in the U.S. people between the ages of 20 and 64 are missing and average of three teeth.

Many don’t see a problem with this. What’s the big deal if I’m missing a tooth or two? I can just tell everyone I play hockey! And in New Hampshire, that excuse could fly.

But at Kalil & Kress we want out patients to know that delaying replacing a missing tooth or teeth can have serious consequences down the road.

dental implantsMigrating teeth
When there is a gap in your teeth, the teeth on both sides of the gap tend to try to move into the gap to fill it. This makes the teeth misaligned and can create problems with chewing and even speaking. In some cases, it can affect what foods the person can eat, leading to nutritional problems.

Jawbone erosion
Jawbone erosion is another possible consequence of tooth loss. In normal conditions, the biting and chewing pressure produced by a tooth stimulates the underlying jawbone to continue regenerating new bone mass. The absence of pressure caused by a missing tooth can lead to loss of significant bone mass in the underlying jaw. As jawbone atrophy progresses, it can affect the appearance as the lower third of the face can collapse inward, a characteristic you’ve seen in older people with tooth loss. Jawbone atrophy will also affect the eventual replacement of the tooth with a dental implant, as the jawbone will need a bone grafting procedure to regain enough mass to support the implant.

Dental implants for your tooth loss replacement needs
At Kalil & Kress, we prefer dental implants for replacing missing teeth. A titanium implant is placed into the jawbone in the root hole from the former tooth. The bone is then allowed to re-grow around the implant. Then a titanium post is attached to the implant and an artificial tooth is attached to the post. The false tooth then feels and functions exactly like the natural tooth that was there before.

If you’re missing a tooth, ask about implants next time you’re in for your regular checkup. Call us at 603-880-7004 to make an appointment.


Forget the Listerine Commercials — What is Gingivitis?

GingivitisIn New Hampshire, we’re not easily hoodwinked. But like anyone, we’re susceptible to messages in advertising. That’s true of the word gingivitis. Most of us have heard the term, but it’s not likely from our extensive knowledge of oral hygiene issues. It’s more likely from the latest Listerine TV ad warning of the dangers of gingivitis, and the valiant work Listerine does to beat it!

But what actually is gingivitis? At Kalil & Kress, we want our patients to be knowledgeable about their dental health, so here’s a little primer on gingivitis.

Gingivitis, beyond its scary name

Gingivitis is an ad man’s dream. The word sounds scary. Actually, its meaning is fairly benign — the term gingivitis simply means gum inflammation. And, like a pesky little brother, plaque is the main irritant of the gums. Plaque is the film that forms on the teeth throughout the day consisting of bacteria, bacterial waste products, food residue, and saliva. When you brush and floss you remove the plaque. Then it starts to rebuild, only to be removed again when you brush. But if you neglect your oral hygiene the plaque can develop beneath the gumline, where it is very irritating to your gums. If allowed to stay there, the plaque hardens into tartar, causing more persistent irritation. And this is where things get dicey. Because while the term “irritation” sounds innocent enough, if this irritation is allowed to continue and progress, it leads to gum disease, clinically known as periodontitis. And periodontitis is not where you want to go with your gums.

What are signs of gingivitis?

Now that you’re an expert in all things gingivitis, how do you know when you have it? Said gum irritation is easy to spot. Your gums should be pink all over. Any bright red patches show irritation. Your gums should also lie flat against the teeth; inflamed gums tend to recede and pull away from the teeth. Your gums will also be prone to bleeding and this shouldn’t normally happen if you’re using a soft toothbrush. Bleeding is a sign of inflammation. And finally, as in the commercials, your breath will reek. The commercials get this part right — your bad breath is caused by bacteria that is being left to its own devices by your poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis treatments

To keep your gums healthy and keep gingivitis at bay, it all starts with good home hygiene. However, since we can’t be there to nag you about home hygiene, at Kalil & Kress we still see the results of gingivitis. Here’s how our team treats it.

  • Prophylactic cleaning

This is a fancy sounding term for your regular twice-yearly cleanings at Kalil & Kress. Why twice a year? That generally is the time it takes to start forming tartar and other issues that lead to decay. During these cleanings and checkups, not only will those problem areas receive a thorough cleaning, but we will also point them out to you for more attentive care at home.

  • Scaling

If you have a fair amount of tartar built up under your gumline, we will scrape it off with dental tools. This is called scaling. Why? Because “scraping with dental tools” sounds pedestrian. Depending how much we have to do, we may give you a local anesthesia.

  • Root planing

In root planing, any tiny grooves or pits are removed from the tooth roots to make it easier for the gums to adhere and stop receding. This is done in multiple appointments with local anesthesia.

So, there you have it. You’re an expert at gingivitis, and you didn’t even have to study! If you have any of the above signs, or just to schedule your regular checkup, call us at Kalil & Kress, 603-880-7004.


The Facts of Fluoride

Fluoride Treatments Everyone has heard of fluoride and how it is supposed to help the teeth stay strong and resist decay. For that reason, fluoride is available in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and the like. It is also added to most municipal water supplies (it also occurs in water naturally). Occasionally, crazed fringe groups think fluoridated water is a government conspiracy and they push to have fluoride removed. But, those people need to be careful about what they are pushing for — fluoride is keeping many of those same people’s teeth in their mouths.

Here’s some info on this ubiquitous dental mineral.

What is fluoride and how does it protect the teeth?

Your mouth every day is like a mine, with minerals coming and going. Minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. Therein lies the ongoing battle — too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.

When is fluoride the most beneficial?

It was thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.

Fluoride treatments at Kalil & Kress

So, now you know that fluoride is one of your mouth’s best friends. We provide fluoride treatments at Kalil & Kress to give our patients a more concentrated occasional fluoride application. We apply fluoride varnish topically at each appointment of our younger patients. Call us at 603-880-7004 and set up your appointment.


Periodontal Disease

Periodontal DiseaseIf people really thought about what they’re possibly messing with when they neglect their home dental hygiene, it’s as scary as any Halloween movie. So that you know, here’s an overview of just what periodontal disease entails from your friends at Kalil & Kress.

What is periodontal disease?

It all starts with the gums. If the teeth don’t receive the proper attention, eventually problems will work their way down into the gums. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or periodontitis, involves inflammation of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth — the gums. In its most advanced stages periodontal disease can also affect the jawbone.

Periodontal disease usually grows out of gingivitis, which is the baterial infection and inflammation of the gums. Bacteria found in plaque, if left unchecked by innattentive normal hygiene, can attack the gums, causing irritation and inflammation. When bacterial infection spreads to the gum pockets found in between teeth, the condition becomes more difficult to treat. Periodontitis is progressive, advancing from inflammation to destruction of tissue and bone. If left untreated, the end result is severe jawbone deterioration, resulting in loose teeth or teeth that fall out on their own or require extraction due to severe decay.

What happens when periodontal disease is not treated?

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, but this ending can be avoided with early detection and treatment. Without intervention, gingivitis can spread to areas below the gum line. Once the gums become irritated by bacteria, the body triggers a chronic inflammatory response that allows the breakdown and destruction of the soft tissues, as well as bone. As the condition progresses, patients will notice the teeth detaching from the gum tisssue. These deepened pockets between the teeth and gums are a sign that the gums and bone are slowly being destroyed by the disease.

What are the different types of periodontal disease?

There are different types of periodontal disease; the most common types are the following:

  • Chronic periodontitis. The most common type of periodontal disease, chronic periodontitis involves the gums and teeth detaching at a sometimes rapid pace.
  • Aggressive periodontitis. This type of disease rapidly progresses, as gums detach and the bone begins to be destroyed.
  • Necrotizing periodontitis. This type of periodontal disease commonly occurs in patients with systemic conditions, like immunosuppression, HIV, and malnutrition. It is characterized by necrosis, or tissue death, in the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues, and alveolar bone.
  • Periodontitis due to systemic disease. This condition usually starts at an early age. Common co-factors of the disease include diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory conditions.

All of that sounds fun, right? Even though it’s a big part of our business, at Kalil & Kress we’d rather have our patients avoid any hint of periodontitis. Call us at 603-880-7004 and set up your next checkup.


Save the Scares for Halloween, not a Visit to Kalil & Kress

Sedation DentistryFor many people, the thought of a visit to the dentist, even if it’s just for a routine cleaning, conjures of feelings of abject terror. It’s as if they instantly put themselves into that scene from Marathon Man where Lawrence Olivier, playing the role of the former Nazi doctor, drills Dustin Hoffman’s teeth to try and extract the secret location that he thinks Hoffman knows.

“Is it safe?” he says sinisterly.

At Kalil & Kress, we think the scary stuff should keep itself tied to Halloween. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry to make visiting our office scare-free!

What is sedation dentistry?

With sedation dentistry medications are used to help patients relax during dental procedures. Patients are not under general anesthesia, just sedation, which enables them to overcome most, if not all, of their anxiety.

Are there different levels of sedation?

There are four levels of sedation because different people have different levels of anxiety:

  • Minimal sedation — With this level of sedation, the patient stays awake but feels relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation — Patients under moderate sedation may slur their words when talking and not remember most of what occurred during the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — In deep sedation, the patient is on the edge of consciousness but can be awakened.
  • General anesthesia — A patient under general anesthesia is completely unconscious.

What are the different medications used for sedation?

  • If the patient prefers to be minimally sedated with gas, nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is used. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and the patient inhales it through a mask placed over the nose. The gas wears off quickly and the patient usually can drive himself home following the procedure.
  • Oral sedation is the most common form of dental sedation and it can be minimal to moderate. The patient takes a pill usually about 30 minutes before the procedure. The pill makes the patient drowsy.
  • Compared to oral sedation, IV sedation works more quickly. The sedative medication is delivered through a vein. The method allows the dentist to adjust sedation levels continually.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia are delivered intravenously, as well. A patient under general anesthesia cannot be awakened easily until the anesthesia wears off or is reversed using a different medication.

See, that’s not so scary! If you get anxious at the thought of visiting us for your checkup, let’s talk about sedation dentistry. Call us at (603) 880-7004 to schedule your appointment.


Porcelain Veneers — a Cover-Up Worth Investigating

Porcelain VeneersNot many people have perfect teeth. Just about everyone has something wrong: stains, chipped teeth, gaps between teeth, or uneven teeth. Fixing this assortment of issues structurally can be a daunting and expensive task. But they can be addressed cosmetically with porcelain veneers.

Unlike Watergate, this is a cover-up with value!

What are porcelain veneers?

Just like a veneer on a piece of furniture, where a higher quality shell covers up lesser wood beneath, veeners do the same thing on teeth — covering up imperfections. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are bonded onto the front surfaces of the teeth to cover up any imperfections and dramatically improve the patient’s smile. At Kalil & Kress, we provide porcelain veneers to completely reshape and beautify a patient’s smile.

What are the benefits of porcelain veneers? 

If the patient’s teeth are in overall good health, porcelain veneers offer a solution to various dental imperfections without extended treatment times and at a far lower cost. Veneers are used to conceal crooked, chipped, misshapen, or severely stained or yellowed teeth. And they can do all this in just two visits to our offices.  

What can I expect during my porcelain veneer procedure?

During your first visit to Kalil & Kress, your teeth are prepared for the veneers. About ½ millimeter of enamel is removed from each tooth that will receive a veneer. This is needed to make room for the veneers. This also makes a good adhesive surface for the veneers to attach to. Impressions are then taken of your teeth with the removed enamel; these will be the blueprint for the dental laboratory to create your veneers. It usually takes one to two weeks to fabricate your veneers. If your teeth look very unsightly after we remove the enamel, we can place temporary veneers.

When your veneers are ready, you return for your second office visit. We then check each veneer for size and color match with the adjacent natural teeth. Some trimming may be necessary. Once satisfied with the fit, the veneers are bonded onto your teeth.

Veneers usually last up to 10 years, at which time they then need to be replaced with a new set.

Don’t let an assortment of dental issues like chips and stains make you think you’ll have to spend months and a bank full of money to address them. Call us at Kalil & Kress and let’s talk about veneers, (603) 880-7004.


Why We Use Panoramic X-Rays

Panoramic Dental X-ray | nashua nhAt Kalil & Kress, we employ a variety of diagnostic tools to help us see the underlying causes of the dental issues faced by our patients. One of those tools is the panoramic dental x-ray.

Panoramic x-rays, like any other x-ray, are pictures of the teeth, bones, and soft tissues in the mouth. They give us a more extensive picture of the health of your mouth and teeth, providing things we can’t see with the naked eye. But unlike close-up x-rays such as bitewings, panoramic x-rays give us a much broader view of the jaws, teeth, sinuses, nasal passages, and the temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) joints.

What can we see with panoramic x-rays?

We don’t use panoramic x-rays to find areas of dental decay. We use them to find these conditions:

  • Impacted teeth
  • Cysts
  • Bone abnormalities
  • Infections
  • Solid growths (tumors)
  • Fractures

Panoramic x-rays are the only way to identify certain oral health issues. For instance, they are basically the only way to see lesions in the sinus cavities of the cheeks, the soft tissue of the neck, and the upper portion of the jaw.

How are they taken? And how often?

Unlike the x-rays you’re used to having with us most of the time, our digital panoramic x-ray machine doesn’t require film to be placed in your mouth (as with bitewings, for instance). Instead, the machine moves in a semicircle around the exterior of your mouth, face, and neck. We recommend doing a panoramic x-ray every two to five years.

Panoramic x-rays are just one way we are staying ahead of the curve at Kalil & Kress.


Crevasses are Nice in Glaciers, Not Your Molars

Dental SealantsSome people, due to genetics, have great big canyons/crevasses/depressions/grooves in their back teeth, the molars. And if they are deep enough, no amount of brushing and flossing can get all of the food particles out of them. That’s where dental sealants from Kalil & Kress can save the day.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of the molars. The sealant is cured with a special light and fills in the depressions and grooves in the molars, bonding to the teeth and forming a protective shield on those teeth.

Who should get sealants?

At Kalil & Kress, we recommend that any of our patients who are children and teenagers with even moderate grooves receive sealants. This protects the teeth during the most cavity-prone years, ages six to 14. Adults can also get sealants on their molars that haven’t developed and decay and are without fillings.

How are sealants applied?

Applying sealants is simple.

  1. First, the teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  2. Each tooth to be sealed is dried.
  3. An acid solution is put on the chewing surface of each molar to create a rougher surface for the sealant to bond to.
  4. This is then rinsed and the teeth again dried.
  5. Sealant is painted onto the tooth and a curing light is used to harden the sealant.

How long do sealants last?

Sealants usually last 10 years or so, but they can last far longer. The important thing is to have them on the teeth during youth.

Call us at Kalil & Kress and let’s get sealants on the teeth of your children.


Dentures and Missing Teeth

DenturesPeople can lose their teeth due to a variety of factors — poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, gum disease, severe tooth decay, or injury/trauma. Options for replacing those teeth range from dentures to bridges to dental implants. Which option you choose can be dictated by the overall health of your mouth, just how many teeth are missing, your general health, and your finances.

What if you choose dentures?
Dentures are removable appliances that can be partial (where teeth still remain) or full. A better scenario is if the patient still has at least a few natural teeth left; they will help keep the dentures in place and retain the jaw’s natural shape. Implant-supported dentures make it possible to have dentures that are permanently in place.

Pros and cons of dentures
Here are the benefits and drawbacks of dentures as a tooth replacement option:

Pros

  • Protect remaining teeth from further wear and tear
  • Prevent facial muscles from sinking further and avoid bone loss in the process
  • Cost-effective when compared with other tooth replacement options
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved chewing and nutrient absorption
  • Improved speech

Cons

  • Dentures are not fixed appliances
  • May potentially lead to gum problems if not properly cleaned and cared for
  • It will take time to get used to dentures
  • Dentures can break

Would you like to learn more about dentures and other tooth replacement alternatives? A personal consultation with the Kalil & Kress dental team is in order! Call at (603) 880-7004 to schedule an appointment today.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T Your Teeth

oral-screeningFor some reason, people take their teeth for granted. They open bottles with them. They chew ice and hard candy with them. They only give them cursory attention when brushing. And flossing… you would think it was as painful as being put on the rack! Plus, when it comes to regular checkups, many people are more likely to take their car in for its oil changes than keep regular dental checkups.

But heading off more extensive dental problems is really quite easy. All you need is a little consistent hygiene at home, and gum disease and most issues with decay will stay away. It’s simple. Spend a little time daily and avoid some serious time in the dentist’s chair later

Here’s how to brush and floss your teeth properly.

Brushing

  • Choose a soft-bristled brush. Brushes with firmer bristles will make your gums recede.
  • The goal is to hit all the tooth surfaces. An overlapping circular motion works well, beginning in the back and working your way to the front.
  • The order you choose is yours, but be sure to cover everything — molar tops, inside of all the teeth, outside of all teeth, gumline, roof of the mouth, and the tongue.
  • How long? Two minutes. Come on, you can give each quarter of your mouth 30 seconds!
  • Have a soft touch; overly firm brushing can wear down your enamel.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. You’ll know when the bristles start to fan out.

Flossing

  • Start with 18 inches of floss wrapped around either your index your middle finger on each hand. Leave a two-inch span for the flossing.
  • Go between every tooth and the back of the back molars. Hit both sides of each tooth. Go down just below the gumline with the floss.
  • Flavored floss is fine. If a hint of mint will make you actually floss every day, mint away!
  • Waxed, unwaxed, no difference.
  • Use regular floss, dental tape, ribbon, or floss picks. Each has a little different feel, but all work well.
  • If you’ve been remiss in your flossing, you’ll likely get a little bit of blood. Don’t worry, that’s normal, and it will go away as you floss regularly.

Crime and Punishment: the Risks of Periodontal Disease

The crime: not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly or well. The punishment? Much worse and much more than you probably imagined.

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is hardly ever taken seriously. Maybe your teeth will turn a little yellow from not brushing. Maybe you think that your gums might get a little red or irritated. What’s the big deal? It’s just a small case of gingivitis. That is a drastic understatement. Here are some of the risks of periodontal disease.

At the Beginning
If you miss a day or two of brushing, or if you’re not brushing well and thoroughly, plaque will start to accumulate along your gum line—and then under your gum. This causes irritation and infection. Your gums might swell and be very tender and painful. If this happens, start brushing and flossing. See your dentist. Don’t put it off. Because if you do wait. . .

Stage Two
Next, your gum will start to pull away from your tooth. This means that the longer it goes untreated, the more junk like bacteria and food can get into your gums and the deeper it will go. This can lead to not only a lot of pain in your mouth, but large pits of infection in your gums that spread to your jaw. Your bone will even start to erode. Soon, your jaw bone will be very thin and porous. Your teeth will start to loosen, as the jaw is no longer there to hold them in place.

Final Results
No one wants to get to the final stages of periodontal disease. Not only can it be extremely painful with infection, but your teeth start to fall out. But loosing teeth is actually the least of your worries. Periodontal disease is actually linked to serious health conditions beyond your mouth, such as strokes and heart disease.

Your oral health affects more than your teeth and your personal life. It affects your entire body. As such, like many other serious health concerns, it affects everyone who loves and cares about you. Don’t put it off. If you think you’re developing gum disease, come talk to us. Dr. Donna Kalil can help treat your gums and teeth, all while teaching you how to better care for your mouth.


Correct Your Smile Without All the Metal

Whether you’re getting braces for oral health reasons such as misalignment or simply want teeth that look straighter and nicer, you are probably thinking you need braces. However, it is possible to solve all of those problems without the look of braces—or even without the uncomfortable metal. Here’s how.

More Than Invisible.
If it’s just the fact that you don’t want to be caught wearing unseemly metal brackets on your teeth, there are actually quite a few options for invisible braces. There are brackets that are ceramic colored or even braces that go on the back side of your teeth (called lingual braces as they are close to the tongue). However, each of these options still requires your mouth to be full of metal, even if it is invisible.

But Invisalign changes that. Because it is a clear tray, it is completely metal-free and fully invisible. It might alter your speech pattern a bit, but once you get used to talking with it in, even that goes away. There are no metal parts that stick into your mouth, nothing visible for anyone else to see. Your “braces” become your secret.

Convenient and Healthy
Just as the no-metal component makes the device essentially invisible, it also makes it more more comfortable and healthy. You will not need to go in the orthodontist every few weeks to have your braces tightened. Instead, you will simply receive new trays that are personally molded to your teeth. There is still some pain, as your teeth are moving, but it is significantly reduced—especially as you will no longer need to worry about your braces poking and jabbing your tongue, cheek, and gums.

In addition, you can remove the trays at any time. This means you don’t need to change your diet at all to accommodate for your straightening. You don’t have to change your brushing or flossing style. This keeps your teeth healthier and you happier.

It doesn’t matter your age or your situation, if you want straighter teeth, but are hesitant about filling your mouth with metal, Invisalign might be the right choice for you.


What’s So Bad About a Root Canal?

If you’re one of the lucky people who hasn’t needed a root canal treatment, you’re probably wondering how in the world they could be as bad as people make them out to be. This blog is here to tell you—hopefully to help motivate you to prevent a root canal infection, and also to help push you to get treatment if you need it.

First things first, however. A root canal treatment in and of itself is not what is so painful. It is in fact what will put you out of your pain! However, most people just remember the intense pain that comes from the infection, therefore associating it with the treatment. However, the treatment itself is simple. You will be under some form of anesthesia, whether it is just local numbing or something more akin to sedation, and so you won’t feel anything, and it will put you out of your misery.

Why Does It Hurt So Much?
If tooth decay goes too far, the root canals in your teeth can become infected. Yes, your root canal is actually a part of your tooth! When the tooth becomes infected, it seriously affects the pulp and the nerves in it, which causes all the pain. The only way to stop it is to then remove the infection from the tooth’s root canals.

The Procedure Itself
If you have a hard time at the dentist, a root canal might be difficult for you, even if it is not painful. In many ways, a root canal is like a cavity filling on steroids. Your tooth will be hollowed out so that your dentist can access the canals. Then the infection will be removed, and your tooth will be refilled with medication and a filling, very similar to a cavity.

There is nothing inherently terrible about this procedure. In fact, it is simple and easy and harmless; in fact, it is very beneficial and will make your life better and pain-free! However, if you have a fear of the dentist, talk to him about how you can make this procedure work for you. As mentioned above, sedation can be used to help calm you.


Kiss Your Way to a Better Smile

Although kissing does boost your endorphins and make you happier, it takes more than true happiness for a smile to be great—although that is the most important part. If you really want a good smile, your teeth need to be in tip-top shape. And you might be surprised to find that there’s no better way to do that than to pucker up and smooch your beau!

The Good and the Bad
You probably already know that kissing is really great for transferring bacteria from one person to another. But while you may think that this is a prime way to catch a cold, there is also a lot of good bacteria that is transferred. Or, more correctly, the bacteria in your mouth that are unique to you are transferred in small amounts to other people—and their unique bacteria is transferred to you. This helps you gain access to special bacteria that you wouldn’t have otherwise! Although that may sound like a bad thing, it really means that you will be able to build up antibodies against these foreign bacteria.

But you do need to be careful. Just as you can get sick from kissing, you can also contract gum disease if you kiss someone who has it. Just as those foreign bacteria can be passed, so can the bad bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Just remember that kissing should never be a substitute for kissing, and if your partner or family member has gum disease, you should get screened for it as well.

Wet Your Whistle
Perhaps the best thing about kissing is that it gets your saliva flowing. The more saliva you have in your mouth, the less likely you are to develop cavities. This is because saliva helps wash out the mouth and gets rid of all that extra food and bacteria. The minerals in bacteria can also help remineralize your teeth, which helps your enamel “self-heal” before the cavity gets too big.

As you can see, kissing can be great for your oral health and help keep your smile nice and bright—hopefully getting you even more kisses.


How Can You Get Your Daily Fluoride Dosage?

233_2655384There’s a lot of controversy about fluoride, but for the most part professionals agree that it’s good for your teeth, but bad in excess. Still, how can you get enough fluoride to protect your teeth? Chances are you already are, but here are some tips for you to double check and apply.

Check Your Diet

Fluoride is a lot like calcium, in that it is found in many of the foods and drinks that you ingest every day. Cucumbers, grapes, spinach, and tomato products are especially high. There isn’t a specific group of foods that contains more fluoride than others. It’s just scattered throughout your food, so if you’re eating a balanced diet, you’re probably getting enough through your food.

Drink It Up

Different areas have different levels of fluoride in their water naturally, and the United States has fluoridated water through central water systems expressly for the purpose of preventing cavities. These levels should be pretty stable, giving you a good amount, but not too much.

Tea is also seen as a good source of fluoride.

Put On the Paste

As fluoride is a huge deal in the dentistry world, it is a component of many toothpastes and mouthwashes. If you’re worried about your fluoride intake (whether you’re getting too much or not enough) talk to your dentist about what type of toothpaste you should be using. Always check the labels, as they’ll tell you the ingredients used.

Other Sources

If you’re looking to get your fluoride for cavity prevention, there are fluoride tablets available. And while the US has central, fluoridated water systems, many other countries don’t have central water systems to easily distribute fluoride. In some of these countries, fluoride is added to table salt.

You should pay careful attention to your fluoride levels. Chances are you’re getting enough, but you should chat with your dentist about it anyway. Make sure to always brush your teeth, and if you need more fluoride or start seeing signs of fluorosis (where your teeth start getting mottled due to too much fluoride), see your dentist as soon as possible.


What Happens During a Root Canal?

A young caring doctorWe’ve all heard about root canals. I remember going to the dentist with my mother when I was young. She needed a root canal and she was not happy. I’m sure most people have similar memories, and so even if they haven’t had a root canal themselves, there is still a very negative association with this dental procedure.

So what exactly happens during a root canal procedure? More or less, your tooth is completely hollowed out, emptied of infection, medicated and filled. Because the infection is in the canals in your tooth, your dentist will drill in and clean out the canals so there is no more infection. After the inside is filled, a crown will often be placed.

Is There Any Pain?

The thing with a root canal is that the pain actually usually comes before the procedure, and the root canal surgery is simply helping alleviate the pain. The pain comes from the decay and infection that is deep in the pulp and nerves of the physical root canals of your teeth. The procedure itself shouldn’t be painful, as you will have local anesthesia in the area. However, there many be some sensitivity and pain afterward, but it won’t be nearly as bad as before.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Root Canal?

Even if it does alleviate and not cause pain, what are some other benefits of having a root canal? For some people, it just seems like it will cost a lot of money and not actually do much. The thing is, if you don’t treat your tooth infection, it will spread into the jawbone and other teeth. It could become a very painful abscessed tooth. Not only does it stop the pain, but it prevents more serious problems. It is helpful to remember if you’re having a root canal, your tooth is already dead. Think of it as a zombie tooth. You can’t save it, but you can try to keep the problem from spreading.

No matter how scared you are of having a root canal, it will be better if you have one. Root canals are expensive and associated with pain, yes, but you will be able to enjoy your life again after a root canal.


What Should You Expect in an Oral Cancer Screening?

A young caring doctorOral cancer can be tough to diagnose. But as with all cancers, oral cancer is most effectively treated when caught early. Consequently, most dentists incorporate basic oral cancer screenings into routine exams. Preventative dental care is vital to your overall health and should be considered at least on an annual basis.

Risk Factors

The first step of an oral cancer screening entails disclosing information about specific risk factors associated with related cancers. For patients with one or more risk factors for oral cancer, regular screenings are particularly important. Consider incorporating a thorough screening at your next dental appointment if any of the risk factors below apply to you:

  • Tobacco use (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chew, or other) presents the highest risk of developing oral cancer. Consider quitting if you’re a smoker or have a habit of chewing tobacco.
  • Alcohol use in regular, large quantities also contributes to higher oral cancer risk. Be sure to limit your intake.
  • Extended sun exposure can lead to lip cancer. If you spend time outdoors often, use a lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Presence of the human papillomavirus can lead to oral cancer. Vaccinations against the virus are available to certain populations.
  • Previous oral cancer diagnoses should be considered in the possible case of recurrence.

Exams (Internal and External)

Next, the dentist will perform a mouth, head, and neck exam in search of any bumps, growths, lesions, discoloration, texture changes, or other anomalies.

The external exam includes palpating the jaw, neck, thyroid, and lymph nodes. Checking the lymph nodes is especially important as they can cause cancer to spread.  Some dentists may also check eye movement and vocal vibrations.

The internal exam includes the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and the areas in between. The most common spot for oral cancer to develop is at the base of the tongue, so your dentist may need to pull your tongue forward to thoroughly examine the area.

Kalil & Kress also utilizes the VELscope® to help identify unhealthy cells against normal cells in the mouth. Healthy cells glow bright green, while unhealthy tissue shows a bit darker.

Contact us for an appointment!

We’re always looking out for our patients and the best ways to treat your dental issues. Please feel free to reach out with any questions regarding oral cancer!


8 Tips for Effective Home Dental Care

iStock_000008235598SmallWhether you realize it or not, your teeth can do wonders for your confidence! They’re a big part of how you show the world when you’re happy by smiling and laughing, and they’re a good indication of how well you take care of yourself.

Good oral hygiene starts at home and at an early age, so we’d love to give you some solid tips to keep your family’s teeth sparkling. You may have heard about some of these before, but it’s always helpful to have a quick reminder.

Brush twice a day – First thing in the morning and right before you go to bed are the best times to brush. Be sure to brush thoroughly, including the tongue and roof of your mouth. Don’t think that simply because you’re an adult you’re exempt from getting cavities.

Floss daily – A toothbrush doesn’t reach between your teeth where plaque tends to build. Use disposable dental floss or a plastic flosser to completely clean your teeth. Doing so at night ensures that you remove most of the buildup from throughout your day.

Use mouth wash – Not only with your mouth taste minty fresh, your teeth will be thoroughly fluoridated. This daily ritual is particularly helpful if you’re prone to cavities.

Change your toothbrush regularly – Replacing your old toothbrush with a new one three to four times a year maintains the effectiveness of your teeth brushing efforts.

Eat healthy foods – Some foods are particularly good for your teeth. Such foods include milk, yogurt, cheese (especially mozzarella), meat (especially chicken), and peanuts.

Avoid sugary foods – Sugary foods and drinks cause cavities, especially when the above home dental care routine is neglected. Soda and hard candies are common culprits as the sugar tends to linger on your teeth.

Don’t smoke – On the less severe end of the tooth health spectrum, smoking causes stains on your teeth. But smoking also leads to oral and throat cancer, which can be life threatening.

Visit your dentist – Biannual checkups are the best way to maintain long-term dental health. Your dentist knows best! And you’ll be sure to either catch dental problems early or avoid them altogether.

Happy brushing!


The Benefits of Laser Dentistry

A young caring doctorTechnology has paved the way for laser technology to be used in almost every type of surgery. Today, lasers are widely used and accepted as an effective solution to aesthetic problems. From removing unwanted hair to eliminating hideous spider veins to delivering precise outcomes in dental procedures, lasers have delivered.

Introducing laser dentistry

Dentistry has found various ways to incorporate laser technology. Whether cutting and reshaping gum tissue, activating bleaching agents in teeth whitening, or removing tooth decay, lasers have become valuable dental tools. The accuracy of lasers also makes them useful when removing small growths and pieces of tissue in the mouth.

The benefits of laser dentistry

When procedures utilize lasers, patients can expect few stitches, less anesthesia, and a shorter recovery periods. Since no wounds are involved, there is little bleeding and the chances of infection are lowered. Why? The high-energy light beam emitted by the laser helps coagulate blood, minimizing the need to close incisions with sutures. This also means less recovery time for the patient.

Experience the wonders of laser dentistry. Request a consultation with our laser dentistry experts at Kalil & Kress by calling us at 603-880-7004 today.

 


Do You Need Oral Cancer Screening?

affirm-laser-treatmentNo one wants to deal with cancer, and so it is important to catch it before it progresses too far. For this reason, it is important that everyone have oral cancer screenings at your dentist’s office. While you might not think you are at risk, screening is still very important. Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Screening Important?

At the very least, oral cancer is a very painful experience. And by the time you have caught it by noticing symptoms, it could already be spreading or even too late to really do anything. Screening helps catch cancer before any symptoms appear, giving you the most possible options for treatment.

Because screenings occur before any symptoms appear, it is important to remember that if your dentist suggests a screening, do not freak out. Screenings are suggested for many different people at many different times and are in no way indicative that you actually have cancer. Often, oral cancer screening can be done during a regular oral examination.Your dentist is not basing his recommendation on anything except a general need to catch cancer early on. Chances are nothing will come from the screening.

You should only worry if the screening comes back with abnormal results. Then, more diagnostic tests will be done. Your dentist will work with you to diagnose and treat any illness.

Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?

If one of the following applies to you, you might want to talk to your dentist about a screening if you haven’t already. Those at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco smokers or chewers.
  • Heavy drinkers or alcoholics.
  • Those subjected to intense and/or prolonged sun exposure.
  • People over the age of 55.
  • People suffering from HPV.
  • Those who are genetically predisposed (have suffered before or have relatives with oral cancer).

There are many other risk factors, too. Some even speculate that mouthwash and dentures could cause oral cancer, but that is not proven in the least.

If you are worried about oral cancer (and quite frankly, even if you’re not), you should talk to Dr. Kalil about oral cancer screenings. We can help you beat it before symptoms start to show.


When Should You Get Dental X-Rays?

affirm-laser-treatmentAlthough some people still argue that radiation from x-rays is dangerous, you should not listen to them. X-rays do not provide nearly enough radiation to harm you, and dental x-rays can save you so much time, money, and pain by discovering dental problems before they become serious. While you should be grateful for dental x-rays, you are probably wondering some questions, such as:

  • How often do you need a dental x-ray?
  • How many x-rays will you need to get?
  • Do I need to worry about the timing?

This article hopes to answer these questions and more. And if you still have questions, and even if you don’t, we encourage you to come in and talk about the procedure with Dr. Kalil.

Step In Time

You shouldn’t have to worry about when you need x-rays, as your dentist should be keeping great records about the x-rays you’ve had and their results. They will know when you need an x-ray. However, if you are worried about it, feel free to ask your dentist is it is time for an x-ray.

It is hard to say how often it will be between x-rays, as this will vary from person to person and mouth to mouth. If you have no known problems and have a healthy mouth, you might need an x-ray only every couple of years. On the other hand, if you are suffering from excessive decay or some kind of oral disease (such as gum disease), you might need one as often as every 6 months.

As a general rule, x-rays are taken in healthy children and adults about every year or two to make sure that everything is still healthy and sound, especially with development, wisdom teeth, and decay.

There are two types of dental x-rays: those inside the mouth and those taken outside the mouth. The kind of x-ray that you need will be determined by your dentist. He or she won’t mind at all if you ask questions and want to know what is going on. That’s why they’re there—to help you take care of your mouth.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kalil today, and see your mouth like you’ve never seen it before.


Your Dental Bridges Appointment in Nashua

affirm-laser-treatment | nashua nhTooth loss can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Many people think that once a permanent tooth is lost that the corresponding gap in their smile is permanent. That’s not true, as that gap can be bridged.

Bridge the gap in your smile…literally.

Dental bridges are dental devices that are placed on the teeth to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A bridge will restore your complete set of teeth, helping you speak and chew properly again. By filling the gap(s) in your teeth, this prevents bone loss in your jawbone, which can lead to a loss of volume in your face in that area. Bridges also even out bite force that may have been changed by your missing teeth. Finally, bridges keep your remaining teeth from moving and trying to fill in the gap created by your missing teeth.

Discuss things with your dentist.

During your initial appointment with your dentist, the abutment teeth will be prepared. This will be done by removing a portion of the enamel on surrounding teeth to make room for the dental crowns that will be placed on them. Impressions of the teeth will be made, serving as a model when creating the dental bridge, pontic, and the tooth crowns. You will be given a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums, which will be left in place until the final bridge has been made by the laboratory.

During your second appointment, the temporary bridge will be removed and replaced with the permanent one. It will be adjusted to fit and ensure comfort and effectiveness. You may have to return to your dentist’s office to adjust the metal framework of the dental bridge and to assess your bite.

Dental bridges in Nashua

Get rid of that unattractive tooth gap. Call 603-880-7004 to request a consultation with us at Kalil & Kress Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We look forward to your visit!


Dental Laser Procedures Can Pay Off

A young caring doctorWhen it comes to our teeth, we have to be particularly careful. If they break or fall out, they will never grow back. In addition, all kinds of bacteria and sediments accumulate in our buccal cavity. Our mouth has the perfect conditions for cultivating several different germs and sicknesses. Because of this, we need to take good care of our dental hygiene. You know this. Fortunately, there are many ways of enjoying a shining smile, free of unpleasant smells and any hazardous bacteria or virus—even if you forget to brush every once in a while.

You might want to consider a dental laser treatment, especially if you find the dentist’s chair uncomfortable. Laser treatment effectively reduces patient discomfort, sometimes even completely. It also provides better results than more conventional practices. Since the 1980s, this method has fully developed, to the point where now it has been widely adopted by dentists all over the world. It is used for various treatments, from cleaning to removal.

Although drilling methods are still required in order to perform a number of operations, laser treatment is a good alternative in many cases. Some of those are:
• Performing a frenectomy for tongue-tied patients.
• Reshaping cartilage or bone.
• Erasing benign tumors.

Most patients requiring dental laser procedures need to go through one of two processes: the vaporization of mouth tissue or generating a chemical reaction. The chemical reactions produced by laser procedures are caused by the emisson of a very specific light wavelength. This makes it possible to remove decayed tooth tissue, gums or bone.

Dental laser treatments have many benefits that attract a large number of patients. These include:
• Reduced dental sensitivity.
• Preservation of correct jaw structure.
• No drillings.
• Less pain after the procedure.
This makes laser procedures perfect for those who dislike or fear their traditional visits to the dentist. Although the usual drilling methods are nothing to be afraid of, lasers can make your visit much more comfortable.

In the end, whether with your natural teeth or dentures and implants, you need to take good care of your mouth and visit the dentist. You might as well make it more enjoyable and comfortable for you by using laser procedures!


Pyorrhea with a “P” is Trouble with a “T”

cosmetic dentistHas anyone ever suffered from periodontitis? Periodontal disease, also named pyorrhea, is a dental sickness that can start out as a simple case of gingivitis. It is the most frequent cause of tooth loss in the United States, which is a pity considering it is not too hard to prevent.

Most cases of pyorrhea have their origins in incorrect, daily dental care. Patients generally don’t brush their teeth enough or adequately, leaving sediment plaque that accumulates along and below the gum line. As this plaque grows, the area gets increasingly irritated. Soon a small cut in your mouth will hurt and become infected, as bacteria infiltrates your body through the wounds. This will eventually damage the gum and jaw irreversibly, leading to tooth loss if not treated correctly and promptly.  If the patient doesn’t take action, the process accelerates, deepening the scars until the gum erosion is too great to hold in the teeth. Pyorrhea has been also linked with more serious health problems, such as heart disease. What big consequences for such small, bad hygienic habits!

Signs that might indicate you are suffering from pyorrhea are:

  • Bleeding and redness when brushing your teeth.
  • Sore and swollen gums.
  • Bad breath.
  • Teeth loosening.

If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to a dentist as soon as possible, even if you take good care of your mouth. Unfortunately, there are also people (perhaps even good brushers!) who are more prone to contracting a periodontal disease. These include:

  • Chronic smokers and drinkers.
  • People over the age of 60 (Mouth gum inevitably degenerates until most people start having these problems).
  • Those who grind their teeth, especially while sleeping (This condition is called Bruxism).
  • People with an inappropriate diet (Too much sugar, for example, leads to rotting teeth)
  • Those who suffer from dry mouth.
  • People dealing with other sicknesses, such as diabetes or osteoporosis.

Whether you are prone to teeth problems or simply don’t take proper care of your teeth, the problem is just as serious. Work with your dentist to take important measures against pyorrhea today!


Meet a Cosmetic Dentist and Say Goodbye to Your Gummy Smile

A toothache can make life hell. Sometimes, your teeth aren’t the problem, your gums are. Do you feel embarrassed to smile only because your upper lip stretches up so high that your pinkish gums are exposed? It’s called ‘gummy smile’, and you’re not the only one with this genetic cosmetic dentist condition.

You may have a gummy smile because your upper lip is relatively shorter than the teeth or you have excessive gum tissue. When your gums are longer than your teeth, it affects the overall dimensions and exposes that pinkish ribbon of gums every time you smile. The experts believe that a person has an ideal smile if only 2mm of gum is exposed while smiling. Anything over 4mm of gum showing will go into the category of gummy smile. However, the dentists believe that about 7% of men and 14% of women have excessive gingival exposure when they smile. The solution is not that difficult though, especially with new technologies being introduced in the world of cosmetic dental surgery.

Actually, what treatment option works for you depends on your unique condition. Sometimes, a cosmetic dentist believes that surgery is the only option. This is when your dentist will sever the muscles to elevate your upper lip a bit to ensure that it doesn’t go so high to expose your gum line. They may also suggest a crown lengthening procedure that involves getting rid of some gum tissue to make the crown look longer.

At Kalil & Kress, we can help you correct your gummy smile in a hassle-free way. We can remove excess gum tissue to resolve the issue, and as we use a dental laser, you don’t have to worry too much about pain, which is an obvious concern for many patients. We explain all treatment options with their risk factors and success rate, and then perform the procedure in our certified facility in Nashua, NH. Remember, if it is a dental issue with a solution buried in cosmetic dentistry, you can always trust us for the best results.


How Often Should I Visit My Dentist?

If you haven’t seen a dentist in years, it’s about time you do. It’s never too late to take better care of your dentistteeth, but this doesn’t mean you can keep on postponing your plans of visiting your dentist. Dental cleanings in Nashua are recommended by our dentists here at Kalil & Kress. We would love to see our patients keep a healthy and beautiful smile for life, and dental cleanings play an important role in making that happen.

How often do I have to see a dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that you see a dentist every six months. Even if you practice proper oral hygiene, you still need to visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will check for problems that you may not have seen or felt. A lot of dental problems are not visible or do not cause pain until they have reached an advance stage. By visiting your dentist regularly, dental problems can be identified early on and treatment can be provided right away.

Who needs to see the dentist more often?

Although most people need to see their dentist twice a year, others may have to do it more often. Those who have a high risk of developing dental diseases may have to see their dentist every three to four months.

Smokers, diabetics, and people who have an existing gum disease need to see a dentist more often than others. Furthermore, if you have a weak immune system or you tend to have cavities or build up of plaque, it is best to see your dentist every three to four months.

There is no hard-and-fast rule as to when you should see your dentist, although twice a year works well for most people. The schedule can change during a lifetime. Naturally, the presence of dental problems requires more dental visits.

To know the schedule that best suits you, be sure to see your dentist soon. Call us today at 603-880-7004 to book an appointment with one of our dentists and know the state of your oral health as well as receive treatment for any dental problems. We look forward to your visit!


Your Step-by-Step Guide to Dental Implants

Missing teeth ruin your smile. At Kalil & Kress, we provide patients with dental implants to help restore their smiles and their confidence. Although the end result is rewarding, it is important to note that getting dental implants is not an easy process. The patient has to undergo a series of steps over a period of time to achieve new, permanent artificial teeth.dental implants | nashua nh

1. The implant is buried underneath the gum to serve as a replacement for the tooth root. 

With the implant under the gum, it is protected from any type of force during recovery. Once the site has completely healed, the implant may have to be exposed again through surgery by removing a portion of the overlying gum.

2. The abutment stage involves connecting a post to the implant under the gum.

Once the area has completely healed, the post, also known as the abutment, is then connected to the implant. The abutment is allowed to penetrate through the gum in the process. When the gum around the abutment heals and forms a collar, it will be much easier for your dentist to access the implant during the final restorative stages.

3. The final restorative steps take place.

Once the implants and abutment have properly and successfully integrated, prosthetic teeth or dental crowns are then fabricated and connected to the implants.

Dental Implants in Nashua, NH

Although the process may take some time, the results are certainly worth your efforts. To learn more about dental implants and what to expect during the entire process, call us today at 603-880-7004 to request a consultation with one of our dental experts. We look forward to giving you the complete smile you deserve!


Is It Time to Get Dentures?

A lot of people avoid the idea of getting dentures, thinking that they don’t need one because they take proper care of their teeth. You are not alone in this situation. But the reality is that there are quite a number of women over 40, 20 million approximately, who already wear full or partial dentures.

Although your chances of having to get dentures are not inevitable, especially if you practice good home dental care and visit your dentist regularly, it is essential to know if you’re likely to get one in the future.

  1. You are not fond of the dentist.
    To maintain good dental health, it is recommended to have dental checkups every six months. This is to prevent any dental problems or treat them while they are still minor.
  2. You have red, swollen, bleeding, or tender gums.
    These symptoms indicate gum inflammation, which is an early stage of gingivitis. However, it can lead into more serious periodontal diseases and make you lose your teeth.
  3. You have loose or shifting teeth or have gaps in between them.

This could be an indication of bone loss from gum disease – and it’s called a “silent killer” for a reason. This could need extensive periodontal treatment and require tooth extraction.

Full and Partial Dentures in Nashua, NH

There’s nothing to fret about getting dentures as long as you get them from the experts. Call us today at 603-880-7004 and request an appointment with our dental experts here at Kalil & Kress Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.


Enjoy the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Get over your fear of dental visits! Sedation dentistry is a new approach in dental care that has saved a lot of patients from the fear and anxiety that they get during their dental visits. Any tooth damage that is left untreated could lead to more serious complications in the future, which is precisely why you have to deal with this simple act of fear. Sedation dentistry could be your shot at finally improving your dental health!

Overcome your phobia and anxiety.

The fear that starts to devour you the moment you enter a dental office can cause your dental treatment to be delayed. Dental sedation will help in getting you relaxed during dental procedures, enabling you to cooperate fully with your dentist.

No pain – but with gain!

Sedation can provide patients with an increased pain threshold, which gives the dentist the freedom to perform procedures using only little to no anesthesia. This does not only save you from all the stress of painful procedures, but from the additional costs as well.

Undergo longer procedures.

Because you are under sedation, you will more likely endure dental procedures that require long hours to complete. The good thing is that as you are able to do so, you are less likely to feel any exhaustion or discomfort while you keep your mouth open for hours. This allows the dentist to perform the procedure smoothly.

Sedation Dentistry in Nashua, NH

We have sedation dentistry experts who can make your dental treatments as comfortable as possible! Call us today at 603-880-7004 to book an appointment.

 


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