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Learn More About Dental Implants

For millions of Americans who have suffered tooth loss primarily because of periodontal disease, decay, or injury, dental implants are an effective alternative to bridgework or dentures, which often don’t fit well. With tooth loss, people can experience challenges such as rapid bone loss, defective speech, or changes to chewing patterns that result in discomfort. 

Using a dental implant can significantly improve one’s quality of life and overall health.

While a dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into one’s jaw to hold a prosthetic tooth or bridge, when most people refer to dental implants, they are often talking about the entire system, which is the combination of the artificial tooth root and the prosthetic tooth. 

While this process requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant and may take several months, the biggest benefit of dental implants is that they create solid support for new teeth. Patients can also enjoy these additional benefits:  

  • Improve / restores the ability to chew
  • Enhance cosmetic appearance
  • Helps keep the jawbone from shrinking due to bone loss
  • Preserves the health of the surrounding bone and gums
  • Helps keep adjacent (nearby) teeth stable
  • Boost your overall quality of life and confidence 
  • Implants can last a lifetime
  • Allows for an active lifestyle
  • Have up to a 98% success rate

What does dental implant surgery entail?

When a tooth root is damaged beyond repair, dental implant surgery uses metal, screwlike posts placed in the jawbone where they act as the roots for missing teeth. Implants are made of titanium, which eventually fuses with the jawbone, meaning they won’t slip, make noise, or cause potential bone damage like bridgework or dentures. Additionally, the materials used in dental implants are so strong they can’t decay. 

Dental implant surgery may also involve multiple procedures and varies per patient depending on the implant type and jawbone condition. This approach also offers an alternative when a lack of natural teeth roots won’t accommodate denture or bridgework tooth replacements.

Structure of the dental implant system, illustrating crown, abutment, and implant body

A typical dental implant system consists of a:

  • Implant body: Surgically inserted in the jawbone in place of the tooth’s root  
  • Abutment fixation screw: Attached to the implant body and extends through gums into the mouth to support the attached artificial teeth
  • Crown: Artificial tooth 

Is dental implant surgery right for you?

Dental implants are highly effective and can significantly improve one’s quality of life and overall health. Dental implants may be appropriate for you if…

  • You’re missing one or more teeth
  • Your jawbone has reached full growth
  • Your have adequate bone to secure the implants or can have a bone graft
  • Your oral tissues are healthy
  • You’re in good general or oral health 
  • You’d prefer not to or can’t wear dentures 
  • Your speech is compromised by dentures or bridgework
  • You’re able to commit to the process, which may take several months 
  • You are a non-smoker of tobacco 

Count on Wilton Smiles for your dental implant needs

Whether you’re looking to get a single-tooth dental implant or have multiple teeth that need replacing, we’ll provide you with thorough information for the best possible treatment plan. 

We’ll discuss your health history, lifestyle, and situation to determine if you’re suited for dental implants. 

Here at Wilton Smiles, we pride ourselves on providing our patients with the highest level of expertise and service when it comes to implant surgery, as well as a wide range of dental services

If you’re curious about dental implants as a means of improving your oral and overall health, let’s talk! Contact us at (860) 397-6693 or click here to schedule a virtual appointment.

Sources:

American Academy of Periodontology
Mayo Clinic
US Food & Drug Administration
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Invisalign Versus Braces – Which Option is Right for You?

If you or a loved one are about to embark on orthodontic treatment, you’re likely weighing all your options. Thankfully there are several teeth-straightening options available, with metal braces and Invisalign being two of the most common.

Both Invisalign and braces are highly recommended and effective methods for transforming smiles, but what are the most significant differences?

  • Metal braces are more traditional and use a series of brackets and wires attached to the outside of the teeth. 
  • Invisalign hit the market in the late 90s and has since become a very popular alternative to braces. This approach uses a series of clear, customized aligners that move teeth in stages.   

Here are some things to consider when deciding which option is best suited for you or your loved one:

Metal versus clear plastic

Perhaps the biggest difference between metal braces and Invisalign is how they look, or in the case of Invisalign, how they don’t. Metal braces are highly visible, while Invisalign is much more discreet. The clear aligners are almost invisible so some may not even notice you’re wearing them. This makes Invisalign an incredibly popular choice for both adults and teens too!

Invisalign can be removed

Metal braces and wires may be inconvenient for some patients, as eating overly sticky or crunchy foods such as hard candy, popcorn, nuts, and caramel is discouraged. Alternatively, because Invisalign aligners can be and should be removed when eating, patients are free to eat as they wish without fear of breaking or damaging any hardware. Invisalign also proves convenient for various moments such as photo taking or big events when one doesn’t want to be self-conscious about their smile.

Oral hygiene is easier with Invisalign 

Because Invisalign can be removed, it’s easier for patients to brush and floss as they normally would. Though metal braces may take some maneuvering, patients have to be extra cautious and diligent about maintaining good oral health. Failure to do so can result in several issues such as permanent tooth discoloration/staining, tooth decay, and gum disease. Brackets on the teeth can trap food and plaque against the tooth, which can then break down enamel. For many younger patients, the ease and convenience of removing Invisalign makes it easier to maintain good oral hygiene habits.

Invisalign requires fewer appointments 

Appointments to adjust and check braces can be time-consuming for both teens and their parents. Invisalign liners are computer generated, so much of the work happens at the very start of the process. Appointments are less frequent and more efficient, as they typically just call for receiving a new set of aligners. No adjustments are needed! 

Comfort is key

While any orthodontic work will be slightly uncomfortable because teeth are being shifted, metal braces do cause more mouth and gum problems than Invisalign. Because the aligners are custom fitted and made of plastic there are usually no cuts on a patient’s mouth or inside their cheek. 

Pricing is comparable

Contrary to what some may think, the cost of Invisalign can be similar to that of metal braces. Advancements have been made in the technology and material production of Invisalign, which has made it more affordable. Talk to your dentist about various pricing options relative to your desired treatment plan, as the cost comparison may surprise you!

Let’s discuss your options!

Here at Wilton Smiles, we’re here to provide you with comprehensive information regarding all your orthodontic options. 

Rest assured that you have a collaborative partner here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

Connect with us at (860) 397-6693 or click here to schedule a virtual appointment.

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How to Combat Dental Anxiety

Does going to or just the thought of going to the dentist stir up feelings of uneasiness, panic, or fear?

Fear of going to the dentist, also known as “odontophobia,” is very common and has been diagnosed under specific phobias according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.

According to WebMD, dental phobia can be a more serious condition than anxiety. “It leaves people panic-stricken and terrified…they exhibit classic avoidance behavior; that is, they will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist. People with dental phobia usually go to the dentist only when forced to do so by extreme pain.”

In fact, anxiety prevents between 9% and 20% of Americans from going to the dentist altogether.

Those who suffer from a dental phobia may experience the following:

  • Trouble sleeping before their dental exam
  • Escalating feelings of nervousness leading up to and while in the dental office waiting room
  • Feeling overly emotional or crying at the thought of going to the dentist
  • Nausea, feeling physically ill, or difficulty breathing
  • Intense uneasiness thinking about and when dental instruments are placed in your mouth

What Causes Dental Phobia?

Dental anxiety may be caused by discomfort or fear of the following: 

  • Pain, which may stem from a previous unpleasant dental experience
  • Shots, needles, or worry that the injections won’t work
  • Anesthesia or possible anesthetic side effects such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea
  • Helplessness or loss of control during their dental exam 
  • A loss of personal space 
  • Discomfort with the physical closeness/proximity of the dentist or hygienist to their face
  • Feelings of self-consciousness about the appearance of their teeth

Afraid of going to the dentist? Here’s what you can do!

Thankfully, there are ways to manage anxiety so that it doesn’t prevent you from visiting the dentist to maintain proper oral health. Whether you suffer from odontophobia or some minor feelings of nervousness, we’ve got some tips to help combat your fears.

Communicate openly with your dentist.

If you’re a new patient or have been going to the same office for years, it’s important to discuss any anxiety with your dentist beforehand. Knowing your fears ahead of time will make them better equipped to make you more comfortable. A good dentist will take your feelings seriously!

For example, if your dentist knows that you have tremendous anxiety due to a lack of control, they can take extra measures to explain what’s happening throughout the entire procedure.

Find a family-friendly office environment.

It’s easier for patients of any age to feel more comfortable at the dentist when surrounded by a caring staff in a warm and welcoming environment. 

  • Are you greeted with a smile? 
  • Do you feel more at ease because the dental team has a great demeanor? 

Office atmosphere and energy matters, especially for those that are nervous.

Determine pain prevention/management strategies.

One of the most common reasons for fearing the dentist is pain. Talk to your dentist about various ways to manage the pain during and after treatment. Many dentists may use topical and local anesthesia or anxiety medications, followed by recommendations to minimize pain and swelling afterward such as ice, over-the-counter pain medication, or prescription medication. 

Find ways to relax and take comfort.

It’s also recommended that those with dental anxiety explore ways to relax and decrease stress and emotion leading up to and during dental exams and procedures. This might include:

  • Not scheduling appointments during overly stressful moments or periods during the day
  • Practicing deep breathing and meditation techniques to relax your mind and body
  • Bringing distractions such as headphones for music, podcasts, or books on tape while at your appointment
  • Having a family member or friend keep you company

You can also speak to your dentist or another healthcare professional about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), another approach used for other phobias and is geared at changing negative thoughts and actions.

Opt for a more tech-savvy dental practice.

Advancements in dentistry have resulted in far less painful and even pain-free dental procedures. Find a practice that uses cutting-edge dental technology, which can help shorten visits and make exams and treatment more comfortable. 

An experienced dentist matters.

Put your oral health and any feelings of dental anxiety in the hands of a highly-skilled dentist with experience. Particularly for those with dental anxiety, having comfort with your dentist is key. And, who better to trust than one who has years of experience and a great background? 

Ask family and friends who they recommend, and read online reviews. You’ll get a good sense of a dentist’s expertise and personality by doing your research.

Be a regular!

The best way to have a positive experience at the dentist is to make regular visits. Like anything, the more you go, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your dentist—avoid complex, stressful, and costly treatments by getting checked out at least two times a year.  

Good oral health is representative of your overall health, so make it a habit to see your dentist regularly!

Be at Ease at Wilton Smiles

Here at Wilton Smiles, we go the extra mile to ensure the comfort and well-being of our patients. We provide a friendly, warm, and professional atmosphere, making the experience pleasant from start to finish.

It is our greatest privilege to meet the oral health needs of so many families in the Wilton area. Whether you’ve been putting off your next visit because of dental anxiety or are avoiding that toothache for fear of potential pain, consider us your partner in oral health, here to put your mind (and mouth!) at ease.

Call us at (860) 397-6693 or click here to schedule a virtual appointment.

 

Sources:

WebMDNational Library of MedicineHarvard Health Publishing

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  • young girl showing teeth for dentist wilton smiles family dentist CT

Tips for Choosing a Good Family Dentist

It’s common for both children and adults to have some feelings of stress or overwhelm when visiting a dentist. Whether they have had a negative experience in the past or simply fear the unknown, put everyone’s minds (and mouths!) in the hands of a carefully chosen family dentist.

Choosing a good family dentist is important, and one that should not be taken lightly. In fact, the right dentist will be the one to guide you and your family through proper dental health practices and hygiene, both of which are foundational to good overall health.

Some helpful tips to find and choose the best dentist for your family.

 

1. Get recommendations from family and friends

We ask our family and friends’ opinions when it comes to things like restaurants and movies, so asking your trusted inner circle for dentist recommendations is no different. If anything, it’s more important! They will give you honest opinions about who they like best and their personal experiences with certain dentists/dental practices. It’s likely that your friends and family will also be able to gauge whether or not their dentist would be a good fit for your family.

2. Read online reviews

In addition to the feedback you get from family and friends, check out reviews on online sites such as Google or Facebook. With so many local dentist options, these reviews are just another way to make informed decisions about which dentist/dental practice is right for your family. It’s recommended that you read reviews on several sites or social media platforms so that you have feedback from a range of patients.

3. Research the dentist’s credentials and experience

Your family’s dental health and well-being are very important, and should be put in the care of those with proper dental training, skills, and experience.

Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Board certification – one of the most important and necessary credentials for a family dentist!
  • Dental school, training, and other certifications
  • History of any malpractice claims or disciplinary actions—check out healthgrades.com and state websites to learn more
  • Special approaches (i.e. how he/she handles anxious patients or experience with specific conditions)

4. Asses the services needed for your family—both now and in the future

Finding a top notch practice that can accommodate a full range of dental needs is important. Routine dental care such as regular check-ups and cleanings will help maintain your family’s good overall dental health, however some family members may need more in-depth care such as root canals or dental implants. Braces and other orthodontic correction may also be things you’d prefer to have done at the same dental practice.

5. Location matters!

Life is busy, so why not make yours easier by choosing a dentist with a conveniently located office? Scheduling and getting to appointments closer to your home or office will save gas, time, and will ultimately be better should someone have a dental emergency and need to get to the office quickly.

6. Visit the dentist office and meet the staff

Once you’ve narrowed down the options and if your schedule permits, pay a visit to the dentist’s office and do a quick meet and greet before bringing your family for the first time. Take note of the dentist’s demeanor, personality, and communication skills, as well as the culture and atmosphere of the office. Does the environment feel kid-friendly and do you think your child/children will feel comfortable in the care of the dentist? This quick trip will set the stage for all of your relationships moving forward.

 

7. Make sure the dentist accepts your insurance plan

Dental care can be very expensive, but thankfully, it’s easy to determine what family dentists accept your insurance plan. Simply check out the dentist’s website, call their office, or do a search on your insurance company’s website to find out what dental plans are accepted.

Looking for a family dental practice in the Wilton Area?

Your family’s oral health is so important and finding a dentist that is both experienced and trustworthy are key. If you and your family are looking for the right partner in oral health, look no further than Wilton Smiles!

Our modern and friendly dental office located in Wilton prides itself on the highest level of professionalism and service when it comes to your family’s dental needs. From x-rays and emergency dental services to cleanings and cosmetic dentistry, Wilton Smiles offers affordable, reliable, and trustworthy care for all our patients.

It is our privilege to serve so many families in the Wilton area, and a job we don’t take lightly. We’re proactive in working with our young patients to establish good dental hygiene practices early, and always ensure that your dental experience is as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Wilton Smiles has both the experience and qualifications, alongside a friendly and enjoyable environment, sure to make all members of the family look forward to each and every dental visit.

Here at Wilton Smiles, we welcome the opportunity to meet you either in-person or virtually to see if our office is the right fit for your family. Call us at (203) 762-9907 or click here to schedule a virtual appointment.

We can’t wait to meet you soon!

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Understanding the Technical Side of Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry continues to be a very popular choice for patients. Able to treat many dental conditions such as gum disease, hypersensitivity, and tooth decay, laser dentistry provides a faster and more comfortable experience for many.

Whether it’s anxiety over pain or general dental phobia, research shows that more than 10% of Americans skip the dentist completely. As a convenient, efficient, practical, and generally pain-free approach, many people are now opting for laser dentistry.

A few benefits of laser dentistry include:

  • Precise and accurate treatments
  • Minimized bleeding due to high-energy light, which helps coagulate blood, thus reducing bleeding
  • Faster healing time due to sterilization from the laser
  • The need for anesthesia is reduced because lasers often replace painful drilling and incisions
  • Lasers are quiet and thus avoid the discomfort and anxiety that can result from the sound of a conventional drill often makes patients very uncomfortable and anxious. When using lasers, our patients are more relaxed and comfortable in general

If you’re curious about whether or not laser dentistry is right for you, here’s some technical information to help you understand how the procedure works. 

What does laser dentistry involve?

As the name suggests, laser dentistry uses lasers for its procedures. LASER means:

Light

Amplification by the

Stimulated

Emission of

Radiation

A laser is a piece of equipment that emits an extremely narrow, yet intense beam of light, able to concentrate on a very focused area of the mouth. These beams can improve the treatment by vaporizing diseased tissue and harmful bacteria. No strains of bacteria can survive the power of lasers.

Dentists use two main types of lasers during these procedures – hard and soft tissue lasers. Depending on the specific type of tissue, each laser uses a different wavelength of light in different ways. 

Hard Tissue Lasers

This type of laser is used primarily for your teeth. The wavelength of the lasers can cut through both water and bone, in particular the calcium phosphate found in your bones and teeth. These lasers can accurately cut or reshape teeth or prepare one for certain procedures.

Hard tissue lasers are generally used for finding cavities, managing tooth sensitivity, and getting teeth ready for dental fillings. 

Soft Tissue Lasers

Conversely, the wavelength used in soft tissue lasers is lighter, and thus more easily absorbed by hemoglobin and water. Hemoglobin is the molecule found in blood, making soft tissues ideal for gum work.

Lasers minimize bleeding and speed up healing, and soft tissue lasers specifically can cut into soft tissue and seal exposed blood vessels at the same time. Soft tissue lasers are also ideal for cosmetic procedures, as well as:

Deleted:

  • Crown lengthening
  • Addressing restricted tongue movement
  • Reshaping the gums
  • Removing folds in oral soft tissues is often a result of wearing dentures 

Find out if laser dentistry is right for you!

From comfort to convenience, it’s no wonder that laser dentistry offers a wide range of benefits for patients.

Here at Wilton Smiles, we specialize in laser dentistry. We look forward to connecting with you soon to determine if this modern approach is suited to your needs.

Call us at 203-762-9907 or click here. Let’s talk about laser surgery today!

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Importance of Dental Checkups with X-rays

While the old saying may go, “Your eyes are the window to your soul,” it is your mouth that is the window to your health.

The state of your oral health can provide clues about your overall health. Problems with your mouth can result in disease-causing bacteria entering the digestive and respiratory system tracts. In fact, there has been a link to oral health and various diseases and conditions including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and birth complications and pneumonia.

The body’s natural defenses alongside good hygiene habits such as daily flossing and brushing help preserve your oral health. It is equally important to have regular dental checkups accompanied by x-rays as part of your oral health care routine.

The basics of dental checkups

A typical dental visit typically involves seeing both a hygienist and a dentist. The hygienist cleans and polishes your teeth and reviews good oral health care practices, while the dentist conducts oral exams, orders x-rays and makes treatment recommendations.

Dentists often say that a checkup is 20% visual and 80% x-rays because many issues that occur within the tooth and gums can’t be seen with the naked eye. Pain only happens when the problem is more severe, and when this happens, it may be too late to save the tooth. X-rays enable dentists to check for problems that can’t always be seen or felt.

It’s recommended that patients have two dental visits a year (every six months), with the main purposes being cleaning and detecting any problems such as decay or gum disease. However, the actual frequency of exams will depend entirely on your age, oral health, history and needs. For example, an individual with previous dental conditions that need monitoring may require more frequent x-rays. Generally, the sooner an oral problem is found, the more manageable it is.

All about x-rays

Dental x-rays or radiographs, are images of your teeth, which dentists use to assess your oral health. Using low levels of radiation, dentists can view images of the interior of your teeth and gums to detect issues such as:

  • Decay under a filling or not visible
  • An abscess on a tooth root
  • Bone loss
  • Alignment problems
  • Emergence of wisdom teeth

To establish a baseline of oral structure, new patients can expect X-rays to be part of their first exam, while young children whose teeth are still developing may need them once a year. X-rays are also helpful for dentists in various procedures such as implants, fittings, bone grafts, jaw treatments and more.

According to RadiologyInfo.org, “the amount of radiation from one adult chest x-ray is about the same as 10 days of natural background radiation that we are all exposed to as part of our daily living.” While dental X-rays involve radiation, the levels are considered safe for children and adults. A woman who is pregnant or believes that she may be pregnant is the only exception to this rule. To prevent any unnecessary radiation exposure, a lead “bib” is placed over your chest, abdomen and pelvic region.

Take control of your oral health

From regular checkups to dental x-rays, it’s critical to be proactive and consistent with your oral health routine…your overall health depends on it!

The American Dental Association (ADA) encourages dentists and patients to talk collaboratively about dental treatment recommendations, including the need for x-rays, to make informed decisions.

If you’re looking for an experienced and reliable dentist office to partner with you in maintaining your oral health, connect with Wilton Smiles Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in CT here.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Root Canal Therapy

Request an in-person or virtual appointment today.

Root canals are no longer the complicated procedure they once were and should be seen for what it offers – a valuable, pain-relieving solution.

Root canals have long been one of the most feared procedures in dentistry.

Today, dentistry has evolved to the point where root canal therapy is no longer the complicated procedure it once was. It’s time to look past the bad reputation of the root canal and see it for the valuable, pain-relieving solution it is.

Root Canal Therapy

The root canal is the area of the tooth that houses the pulp and the nerve. Sometimes this part of the tooth can become infected.

When this happens, not only is the tooth extremely painful and sensitive, but the infection can also spread to other areas of the mouth and other teeth. The most effective way to treat the infection is root canal therapy.

Once the anesthetic takes hold, and you are completely numb, we will create a small hole in your tooth. Working through the hole, we drain the infected material along with the pulp and any other debris. We thoroughly clean the interior of the tooth, and we may place an antibiotic medication inside the tooth to prevent further infection.

Your tooth will then be filled, and a cap or crown will be placed. This is necessary because the structure of the tooth will be weakened, and a dental restoration will protect the tooth from breakage and allow you to chew comfortably.

Do I Need a Root Canal?

If you have been experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, call our office immediately. You may have an infection and could require treatment.

  • Severe pain in one or more teeth
  • Pain that is aggravated by chewing or other pressure
  • Pain and sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Darkening of one or more teeth
  • A raised bump on the gums
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums that may radiate to the cheek

Call our office to make an appointment. Root canal therapy may be necessary to get rid of your pain and reduce your stress.