What is Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery? 

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specialists trained to recognize and treat a wide array of diseases, injuries, and defects in the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region, including teeth, as well as the head, neck, face, and jaws. They are also trained to administer anesthesia and provide care in an office setting.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are oral surgeons, but the additional training they have undergone allows them to address more complex dental and medical issues. After acquiring a dental and medical degree, an oral and maxillofacial trainee must also complete resident surgical training for four to six years. Many pursue fellowships in specific areas such as craniofacial trauma or cosmetic facial surgery. 

Below are examples of both oral surgery and maxillofacial surgery.

When You May Need Oral Surgery

Oral surgeons treat conditions that are confined within the mouth such as:

  • Impacted teeth removal
  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Improve fit of dentures
  • Dental implants and bone grafting
  • Gum graft

When You May Need Maxillofacial Surgery

Maxillofacial surgery may be necessary if a patient requires advanced treatment beyond the mouth such as:

  • Oral Cancer
  • Reconstructive Jaw Surgery
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) 
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Orthognathic Surgery
  • Sleep Apnea Surgery

 

Contact Lindner Dental in Bedford, NH

Contact Lindner Dental today to book an appointment and have your situation accessed by our team of experts. Give us a call at 603-624-3900 or fill out a contact form on our website, www.LindnerDental.com.

What is the Difference Between Amalgam and Composite Fillings?

Certainly, no one wants to hear they have a cavity, but substantial advancements in dental technology have assured cavities can be treated quickly and effectively.  There are two main options for restorative materials to choose from, both very effective but can differ slightly in terms of budget and lifestyle requirements.  Read on to learn more about what those options are and how to choose the right one for you.

What are Fillings

Fillings are needed to repair cavities that occur in the teeth. Cavities are formed when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth. Eating or drinking sugary foods allows the bacteria in the plaque to attack tooth enamel and the stickiness of the plaque helps the acids adhere to teeth for a long period of time. As the enamel wears, bacteria can get in and eat away at the tooth. This forms a hole in the tooth, otherwise known as a cavity or tooth decay. In order to prevent the decay from going deeper into the tissue and root, it is necessary to fill up the hole so no more bacteria can get through. 

Before this can happen, the cavity must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any traces of bacteria and/or damaged tissue. This step ensures the bacteria will not be trapped inside the tooth and cause more harm. The filling is then inserted into the cleaned hole where it will protect the affected tooth from further decay or bone loss.

Types of Fillings

As dental technology advances, patients have more choices in their treatment than ever before. When it comes to fillings, there are two main options that have proven to be popular. Both are very good and durable options

Amalgam –Otherwise known as “the silver filling”. Amalgam fillings are actually made from a combination of metals that make it the most effective and popular filling material used in dentistry for the last 150 years. The combination includes silver, mercury, tin and copper. Sometimes amalgam includes small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium.

“Why is mercury in amalgam” has been a question for many years. Mercury is used in amalgam because it helps make the filling material flexible. Since mercury is a metal that occurs naturally in the environment, everyone is exposed to mercury in some form, whether through the air, drinking water, soil or food. So, having some contact with mercury through amalgam isn’t all that much different from other daily exposures. As with most substances, harm caused by mercury in the body is related to the amount ingested. Very low levels of mercury don’t cause any adverse effects. But at higher levels, mercury is known to cause several unfavorable symptoms. With amalgam, minimal amounts of mercury in the form of vapor can be released and absorbed into the body as the filling wears.

Research has concluded that the low level of mercury absorbed from amalgam fillings is not enough to create any toxic effects. In fact, studies have shown the amount of mercury you are exposed to in your daily environment or in the food you eat is more than what you could be exposed to from an amalgam filling.

Composite– Composite fillings are technically “composite resin” fillings. The resin is made from a combination of acrylic and ceramic that can be custom-mixed to match the individual tooth color. 

Factors To Consider

  • Color: Amalgam is noticeably dark, due to its metallic materials, so it can be obvious in the mouth when you are smiling or talking. Composite resin, on the other hand, can be matched specifically to your tooth color so it won’t be seen when you smile. 
  • Affordability: Both Amalgam and Composite fillings are usually covered by insurance but the covered percentages may differ. Composite can be more expensive to create due to a longer treatment time. 
  • Durability: Amalgam is extremely durable and long-lasting. If amalgam fillings are properly cared for, they could last up to fifteen years. Composite, while still durable, is not as hardy as amalgam and may have a lifespan of 7-10 years. The permanence of either option is dependent on how you care for it. Good oral hygiene and diet are important factors that contribute to the longevity of both materials

Which Should I Choose?

When considering which type of filling to choose, the important question to consider is where the filling will be located. Amalgam fillings may be best to use in the back of the mouth where they won’t be as easily noticeable. However, if your cavity is in one of your front teeth, you might opt for a composite filling, which won’t be visible when you smile. 

Schedule a visit with one of our dentists at Lindner Dental to discuss your options in more detail. We have the latest technology to help you determine what is right for you or your child!

Is Fluoride Safe?

Though fluoride has been a common water and toothpaste additive in the United States since the 1940s, there is still some misconception surrounding whether or not the fluoride is harmful or helpful to humans. Here’s what we know about fluoride, its effectiveness, and whether it’s safe.

Fluoride: What Is It and What Does It Do?

Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in many of the Earth’s elements as well as in the human body, most of which is stored in the teeth and bones. Fluoride research began in 1901 by a dental school graduate named Frederick McKay. His findings coupled with over 70 years of research have since proven fluoride has the ability to help strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. There are two types of fluoride- Systemic and Topical. Systemic refers to the fluoride that is ingested such as consuming fluoridated water. Topical refers to fluoride that is applied to your teeth by either brushing with fluoride toothpaste or having a fluoride treatment at the dentist.

Where Can You Find It?

There are many sources of fluoride but is most commonly present in the following places:

  • Groundwater – Most groundwater around the world contains a very small amount of natural fluoride. Some locations may have very high levels, which can cause problems over time.
  • Supplements – In the form of liquid drops of tablets, fluoride supplements are especially useful for babies and children that live in a location without fluoridated water.
  • Public Water Supplies – The UK, Australia, and the US all add certain amounts of fluoride to the public water supplies so the population can benefit from the oral protection fluoride gives.
  • Food – Tea leaves, grape juice, shrimp, coffee and raisins are among the top fluoride-containing food and drinks.
  • Oral Care Products – Fluoride is often added to mouthwashes, rinses, and other dental products to strengthen tooth enamel.

Potential Problems?

Even before teeth break through the gums, fluoride ingested from foods, beverages and dietary supplements help harden teeth and resist tooth decay. So why do we hear discussions about whether or not to use fluoride?

There are potential disadvantages with the presence of too much fluoride.

  • Dental Fluorosis – This occurs when there is too much fluoride present in children, usually under two years old. It is harmless but can cause white spots to show up on the teeth.
  • Skeletal Fluorosis – Similar to dental fluorosis, the skeletal type occurs when there is too much fluoride building up, this time in the bones of the body instead of just the mouth. It can happen over the course of many years and leads to joint pain and stiffness.

The Bottom Line

Given the evidence from substantial amounts of research and case studies as well as years of practical implementation, most dental professionals agree that a moderate amount of fluoride is a necessity for good oral health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. For questions regarding the amount of fluoride, you and your children should be consuming, be sure to consult with your dentist or visit our website www.LindnerDental.com.

Is it Safe to Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

With the continued presence of COVID-19, many of us are concerned about how risky we should be when it comes to where we go and what services we partake in. And as most states in the US are beginning to loosen regulations and restrictions, a lot of us are looking to get back to our normal lives. Work, sports, and yes, even going to the dentist are slowly becoming more common. But is it really safe to go to the dentist yet? Or are we rushing things? Here’s what you need to know about how safe it is to go in for a dental procedure.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Disease: coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Virus: severe acute respiratory virus syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that spreads through respiratory droplets – tiny drops of water and fluid that you breathe, sneeze, or cough into the air. The virus attaches to the droplets until they land on something. If the droplets land on a surface, the virus will most likely remain there. If the droplets are inhaled by another person, or land in their mouth, nose or eyes, that person could become infected. The spread of COVID-19 can occur even if the person sneezing is asymptomatic, as they may not be exhibiting any signs of the illness.

Safe for Patients

Because the virus moves through respiratory fluid, wearing a mask is key in preventing the spread. Masks keep the microscopic droplets from reaching others. An N95 Respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The edges of the respirator are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth. Surgical N95 respirators are used in healthcare settings and are not recommended for public use.
At an appointment at Lindner Dental, you will notice your dentist, hygienist, and assistant will be wearing a surgical mask and an N95 respirator, face shield, head covering, and eye protection to prevent any illness from being transmitted to you. Because of the increased PPE (personal protection equipment), patients remain very safe during dental visits. The CDC reports there is “no data available to assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during dental practice.”

Dental Precautions

The American Dental Association and the CDC are providing practical guidance on how practices should proceed with dental procedures while limiting face-to-face interactions. But it is important to remember that dentists have always been accustomed to think about infectious-disease risk. Because they work closely with the human mouth and are exposed to bacteria and viruses on a daily basis, they are known for maintaining strict hygiene practices in the office well before the COVID-19 pandemic. Dental office standards for cleaning and disinfecting tools and surfaces regularly as well as wearing protective gear such as masks, gloves, and eyewear, have become ubiquitous in these recent times.

Now, there are even more safety precautions being implemented by many dental offices. They are screening patients for symptoms prior to entering the office, limiting the number of appointments in a day, implementing stringent sanitation protocols, strictly enforcing social distancing among patients and employees, and wearing more protective equipment to guard against the respiratory disease. Many dental offices have also removed waiting room materials like magazines and toys to reduce the number of surfaces the virus could cling to.

Final Thoughts

Your next visit to the dentist may look a bit different and there will be protocols that may seem inconvenient. But keep in mind these extra requirements have been put into place for your safety and the safety of the clinicians. Dentists are adapting how they work in and around a patient’s mouth to account for this complicated reality while ensuring patients’ dental procedures are safe and effective. Dentists and other public health experts have expressed concern that postponing routine cleanings and other necessary procedures could compound health issues in the months or years to come. Therefore, it’s important to keep up with your appointments, adhere to your dental office’s safety guidelines and make sure to inform the office of any symptoms you are either currently experiencing or have experienced within 10 days after your appointment.

If you have any questions about what to expect at your appointment, visit the COVID-19 page on our website. There is also a brief video to watch with your kids to help prepare them for the changes. Or, call us with any questions at (603) 624-3900.

 

Helpful Links:

Marvin The Molar Visits the Dentist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=risMfVh0E6w

Lindner Dental Safety Protocols
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y431pGp1HNo 

Are X-Rays Safe for My Child?

Dental X-rays are typical during most routine visits to the dentist. X-rays can assist the dentist in diagnosing surface problems or underlying decay in a person’s mouth. While many adults are accustomed to receiving these scans, parents often wonder if they are safe for children since patients are exposed to small amounts of radiation during the process.  Below you will find helpful information on the purpose of dental X-rays and whether or not they are appropriate for children.

Why X-Rays?

Simply put, X-rays allow dentists to get a better view of the patient’s mouth, especially in areas that aren’t readily visible. These areas might include underneath the gums where adult teeth are forming and inside the teeth themselves. Dentists need to see these areas in order to perform preventive treatments and to deduce where potential problems might occur in the future. X-rays also assist dentists in locating cavities in hard-to-see areas, like between the teeth. With these pictures, dentists can locate the cause of oral pain and swelling, check to see if teeth are healing after trauma, identify how many teeth are present (especially important in children), and view teeth that might be impacted or even missing entirely.

Are X-Rays Safe?

The safety of X-rays is no doubt a concern for some parents due to the exposure to radiation. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) states the radiation that recipients are exposed to is minimal.  In addition, recent dental technology has advanced X-ray machinery in such a way that dentists are able to take precautionary measures against undue radiation exposure. For example, the latest equipment allows the dentist to focus the X-ray beam directly onto the oral area in question. This tight focus limits excess radiation exposure to other parts of the body. Furthermore, heavy lead aprons are often used to protect the patient from further radiation.

Final Thoughts

X-rays are safe for both you and your children. The benefits of X-rays far outweigh any concern over the amount of radiation patients are exposed to. Ensuring your child’s teeth are well taken care of is the best way to limit radiation exposure.  Since X-rays are used to identify decay or other oral issues, brushing twice a day for 2 minutes and flossing could help prevent your child from requiring X-rays more often.  At Lindner Dental, not only do we follow strict X-ray protocols, but we also limit the number of X-rays taken. Routine cavity checking X-rays are often taken every 6 months at cleanings. We find this to be excessive. While still following the guidelines of the ADA and AAPD and basing our decisions on each individual’s needs, our typical X-ray schedule tends to be every 12-18 months.  If you have further questions or concerns about the safety of X-rays, our dentists will be happy to address

What Causes Bad Breath?

Perhaps one of the greatest fears of anyone who engages with others on a regular basis is having bad breath. We see remedies and preventative measures in the form of gums, candies, mints, sprays, and other products at virtually every cashier stand in the nation. The problem with this is we are simply covering up the symptoms of a deeper issue without treating the issue itself.  If you’re suffering from bad breath, below are several possible causes and what you can do about it.

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath, otherwise known by its scientific name, halitosis, is defined simply as an unpleasant odor originating in the mouth. You may not even know you have bad breath unless someone tells you. Fortunately, by taking preventative measures, you can keep bad breath from becoming an embarrassing, ongoing problem. Here are a few popular causes of halitosis:

  • Food – This is the most obvious cause of bad breath. Our mouths are naturally filled with bacteria. Food particles that linger in the mouth throughout the day encourage the spread of bacteria, which can cause can cause an unpleasant odor. Solution: Brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes and floss at least once a day.
  • Dry Mouth – In a healthy mouth, saliva is produced throughout the day and helps rinse out the mouth, moving food particles and bacteria out. However, a lack of saliva production can lead to dry mouth, an environment that encourages foul bacteria to grow. You may notice the existence of “morning breath”, even if you don’t normally have bad breath throughout the day. This could be caused by sleeping with your mouth open, inhibiting saliva production. Solution: Drink plenty of water throughout the day and choose a healthy diet consisting of foods that encourage saliva production like celery. Your dentist may suggest purchasing an over-the-counter rinse or spray to help stimulate saliva glands or a product containing artificial saliva.
  • Not Brushing Regularly – With all the food and liquids we consume, it is so important to brush regularly to get rid of the bacteria leftover food can produce. Without brushing, plaque can form on the teeth, getting stuck under gums and trapping bacteria. Solution: Brush and floss regularly.
  • Medications –Many medications leave a foul taste in your mouth which is an indication bad breath may also be a side effect. Certain ingredients/chemicals in medications are metabolized in the body and filter to the bloodstream, which causes that unpleasant taste to occur. Solution:  Ask your dentist what you can use to combat this side effect.
  • Infections – If you are experiencing bad breath unrelated to the causes mentioned above, you might have an infection due to tooth decay, gum disease, sores, or recent surgery. Infected or damaged tissue in the mouth encourages the growth of bacteria and can ultimately lead to bad breath. Solution: Make an appointment with your dentist right away. Infections can lead to other serious situations if left alone.

Final Thoughts

Bad breath can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.  Determining the root cause of halitosis versus relying on sugary gum and mints to cover it up allows you to treat the source of the problem.  Practicing excellent oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly will help prevent bad breath as well as other dental related issues.

Do Electric Toothbrushes Make a Difference?

We all want to take the best care of our teeth as possible, but sometimes it can feel overwhelming. From brushing to flossing to mouthwash and braces, our teeth can be quite demanding. We’ve come a long way to make tooth-care easier for the general population to maintain. Recent technologies are quickly gaining popularity with mainstream consumers and electric toothbrushes are at the head of the line. But are they really all they’re cracked up to be?

Manual vs. Electric

Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes will make the biggest difference in your oral health. Brushing reduces tartar and plaque build-up and helps prevent gum disease and periodontitis. Regular brushing also lessens our chance of cavities and gives us whiter teeth and a prettier smile.

Now that we have established the importance of brushing, let’s look at the pros and cons of each toothbrush type to see what we should be brushing with.

Manual Toothbrush Pros

The modern, manual toothbrush is the most commonly used toothbrush, and with good reason. After all, it’s been around since 1938! What else does it offer?

  • They’re cheap. You can buy a decent basic toothbrush for as little as a dollar in a lot of places. If you want a better one, you might pay up to five dollars.
  • They’re everywhere. If you’ve ever forgotten your toothbrush while on vacation, you know that a replacement isn’t hard to find.
  • They’re easy to take care of and replace.

 

Manual Toothbrush Cons

While the manual style is easy to find and easy to use, it does have a couple of downsides that could have a negative impact on your teeth.

  • They’re too In fact, studies have shown people tend to brush their teeth too hard and with too much pressure while using a manual brush. This can cause your gums to bleed, recede and can eventually remove tooth enamel.
  • Often manual toothbrush users don’t brush for the full recommended two minutes. Without a built-in timer, users often overestimate the time they’ve spent brushing.
  • They can be hard to handle for people with arthritis or other dexterity difficulties

 

Electric Toothbrush Pros

Although electric toothbrushes have been around since the late 1930s as well, they were not available to the general public until the last decade or so. Here are some benefits of using an electric toothbrush:

  • They’re more effective, especially those with a rotating brush head, in eliminating plaque and tartar build-up which can lead to gingivitis and decay.
  • They’re easy to handle. Electric toothbrushes have proven especially useful for those with limited mobility, like arthritis.
  • They have built-in timers allowing for the 2-minute mark to be hit with each brushing.
  • Plain and simple…They’re just more fun. Kids are much more likely to brush and develop positive habits when they don’t consider brushing a chore.

Electric Toothbrush Cons

When considering an electric toothbrush, it’s important to take the following things into account:

  • They can be expensive. A new brush could cost anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on several factors. Brush heads will wear out and replacements can cost $15-$50 each.
  • Replacement heads are not as easy to find. There are many brands of electric brushes, so finding a particular replacement in a pinch could be tough. It’s best to have a replacement for your brush on hand.
  • They need electricity or batteries to work, unlike a manual toothbrush you can use anytime and anywhere.

What’s the Verdict?

Over and over again, studies confirm maintaining good oral hygiene is vital to your overall health for so many reasons.  And properly brushing 2x/day for 2 minutes is the most important way to make sure this happens, more so than your choice of toothbrush. But investing in an electric toothbrush may make this process easier. Especially as we try and teach our children proper brushing techniques they will hopefully continue for their lifetime. So often, we rush through the brushing process without even realizing it. Using an electric toothbrush will not only ensure recommended brushing times are adhered to but will also help prevent overbrushed, receded gums and damaged tooth enamel.

If you have more specific questions or you’re looking for individualized professional advice, schedule an appointment at Lindner Dental Associates.

Why Your Oral Health Is So Important During Cold and Flu Season

With winter just around the corner, cold and flu season is upon us. With all of the discomfort, pain, and inconvenience that these illnesses bring, it’s easy to forget how they can affect our oral health. However, how we treat our teeth and mouth at these times is crucial to keeping our bodies healthy. Here are a few tips for maintaining good oral health during this season to help prevent illness or recover more quickly.

 

Stay Clean

 

If you have the flu or a cold, your body contains lots of germs that could infect others. It is particularly important to wash your hands and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. When it comes to oral health, your approach should be about the same: brush regularly and use an antiseptic mouthwash. Don’t forget that viruses can remain on surfaces for up to 3 days in some cases, so never share oral hygiene products. When you are over your illness, toss your toothbrush and get a new one. This should be done once a month, regardless of your health status. 

 

Go Sugar-Free

 

There are lots of substances that can help us feel better when we are sick. Cough drops and throat lozenges can be an excellent help for soothing soreness. However, these drops are made mostly from sugar, just like regular hard candy. Eating several in succession means that your teeth are essentially soaking in sugar, which will cause them to rot quickly due to the acid created by mouth bacteria that feed on the sugar. Instead, opt for sugar-free varieties and limit your consumption. 

 

You should also be careful with your fluids. It’s critical to stay hydrated during an illness, so make sure to get lots of fluids. The best option, of course, is plain water. It hydrates and will not harm your teeth. Sports drinks, however, are made of mostly sugar and are best avoided. Don’t be mislead by the “electrolytes” hype – you can get the same rehydrating effect by adding a little salt to some water. 

 

If you need something other than water, choose unsweetened tea and leave out the lemon as well. A sugar-free soda can be used if you need something to settle your stomach. 

 

After-Vomit Care

 

The stomach flu or other stomach bugs can create the nasty side effect of vomiting. While it may seem a good idea to immediately brush your teeth after being sick, this can actually harm your teeth. When you vomit, you bring up acids from your stomach, which can soften tooth enamel. Brushing right away means that you are more likely to lose some of that protective layering on your teeth. Instead, swish with lukewarm water mixed with a bit of baking soda, then spit. This will help remove the acid from your teeth and help with any unwanted aftertaste. Brush your teeth at least 30 minutes after. 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Taking care of your oral health while you are sick may seem like just another thing you need to think about, and it can be hard when you are in pain or experiencing discomfort. To prevent the need for this, take the time now to prepare yourself for the winter and focus on staying warm, dry, and cozy. A cup of tea and a good book go a long way to make you feel better! If you do come down with a cold, don’t neglect your mouth. By doing so, extra bacteria can accumulate and your recovery period may be longer. For more tips and professional advice, feel free to contact your dentist at Lindner Dental Associates!

4 Signs it’s Time to Visit the Dentist

Visiting the dentist is just as crucial as visiting any other doctor. Your oral health plays a role in your overall health, not to mention the effect it has on your appearance and confidence! If any of the following items apply to you, it’s time to schedule your next checkup. 

 

Toothache

Tooth pain can be frustrating and uncomfortable. If you are experiencing a toothache or increased tooth sensitivity, call to schedule a visit. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the cause, and come up with a treatment plan to get you feeling better!

 

Dry Mouth 

Saliva is beneficial for many reasons. It promotes a healthy oral environment as well as helping to make it easier to chew, swallow and speak. If you are not producing enough saliva, you may be at a higher risk for oral infections, gum disease, and tooth decay. There are several ways to combat dry mouth but without discovering the underlying cause, you can be left vulnerable to health issues. Visit your dentist to find a solution that not only treats but prevents dry mouth.

 

It’s Been More Than 6 Months 

If it’s been more than six months since your last visit to the dentist, it’s time to go! Even if you have not been in years, your dentist would rather see you now than continue to wait because of fear or embarrassment. If fear is what’s been keeping you away, choose a dentist that is able to offer a light sedative such as nitrous oxide before a procedure.  A six-month dental schedule is so important for your overall health, even for infants that have just one tooth! Visiting a pediatric dental specialist is a great way to ensure your infant is off to a healthy start.

 

Bad Breath

Bad breath is expected sometimes, but there may be an underlying reason if it seems to continuously linger. You could be experiencing gum disease, tooth decay, or a variety of other dental conditions. Talk with your dentist about your persistent bad breath, so the cause can be determined and a solution found.

 

The best way to maintain healthy oral hygiene and help prevent future dental problems is to schedule your visits to Lindner Dental Associates every six months. If you are suffering from any of the above issues or something just doesn’t seem right in your mouth, give us a call. We will work to get you scheduled as soon as possible! Even if symptoms are not present but you know a dental visit is overdue, call us today. Delaying dental treatment may not only prolong discomfort but extend a treatment plan beyond what could have been a minor procedure.