August 28, 2013

Tips For Denture Wearers

Just because you wear dentures doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to your oral health.  Many of the patients at Tavomina Dentistry have come to us and become a part of our dental family because they were unhappy or couldn’t function with their dentures.  Many of these people have been helped and had the quality of their lives transformed miraculously with dental implants, some of them were able to be comfortable with a combination of an upper denture and dental implants on the lower jaw (dentures secured to the implants or crowns placed on the implants), and some just needed new dentures to be made that truly custom fit to their mouths.

Hopefully, if you have a denture, you truly have a custom made denture that took at least five visits to the dentist and time between visits to give the dental laboratory technician the time to customize your denture to your satisfaction.  Even if you did have a well made denture with the best dental practices, having a denture means you don’t have teeth, and when you don’t have teeth, there’s no reason for the dental bone to stay.  Nature does its job by dissolving the dental bone when no teeth are present (this process is called resorption).

Resorption is the main reason that you have to periodically make a new denture.  The tissues in the mouth change over time because of this bone loss, and the bone and gum ridges shrink.  This results in ill-fitting dentures that make eating difficult and even painful at times.  The American Dental Association recommends replacing your dentures every 5 to 7 years, but unfortunately, many people hold on to their dentures much longer.

If you notice that you are using a lot of denture adhesive, it might be time for a denture replacement.  If you use more than one tube of denture paste every three weeks, your dentures may not fit properly and should be evaluated for replacement or relining or rebasing.  Relining replaces the denture material that directly touches the gums and rebasing keeps the present teeth and replaces all of the pink denture material.  Usually denture teeth are worn as well and it’s best to get a new denture.

It’s very important to clean your gums to avoid plaque building up under your dentures, and clean your dentures at night to avoid bacteria growth.  Have a dental checkup at least once a year to check the fit of your dentures to make sure the fit of your dentures isn’t accelerating the bone loss process and to have a cancer screening.  A person is dying every hour of mouth cancer.

For information about other dental topics and denture alternatives visit or call us at 973-761-5090.

August 21, 2013

What are All-On-Four Dental Implants?

The technique of All-On Four has taken the dental implant world by storm, but as with any storm, there are dangers.  This technique was originally created to provide a fixed solution to loose fitting or non-functioning dentures for patients who could not afford, or were unwilling to invest time and money for the bone grafting procedures that were required before placing dental implants.

The technique is intended to provide implant supported dentures for people with severe bone loss in the back of the jaw.  This technique is a reaction to the public’s demand for instant gratification, and the desire to spend less and get immediate results.  It represents a departure from established, predictable procedures and compromises the well being of the patients it is supposed to be serving.

When there is insufficient bone to place the necessary implants to support a denture, bone grafting is always recommended.  All-On-Four technique ignores over 25 years of research that indicates the necessity to wait 3 – 6 months for the dental implants to become part of the jaw (this process is called osseointegration) before placing force on the dental implants.  The osseointegration of dental implants is compromised and likely to fail if the dental implants have regular chewing function before the waiting period is complete.

In this technique, four dental implants are placed in the front of the mouth where there usually is more bone.  The back implants are placed at a 30 degree angle, tipping the implants over.  This violates the engineering principle that dental implants function effectively and are stable when forces placed on them are vertical.  With the All-On-Four dental implant technique, the forces are unfavorable for implant survival.  If one of the implants fail in this technique, the entire restoration fails and has to be reconstructed.  Sometimes the loss of bone is so extensive that the patient cannot even wear a denture after this procedure.

Implants are placed only in the front jaw, therefore the jawbone deterioration continues at the back of the jaw, increasing the risk of what is called a facial collapse.  If the jaw becomes too weak, the jaw may fracture due to pressure applied to the front of the mouth when eating.

At Tavormina Dentistry we are all for saving our patients time and money, but not at the expense of their health and happiness.  There are alternatives that might not necessarily cost more than All-On-Four, but which can take more time.

August 14, 2013

Do Your Teeth Come From China?

For several years there has been a problem of some dentists using dental laboratories in India and China.  Why is this a problem?  Because overseas labs are not subject to meeting the requirements established by the American Dental Association.  What does this mean to American patients?  Dangerous levels of lead have been found in crowns, veneers, and dentures coming from China.  Although no one can be exactly sure of the health risks this presents, we all know that lead can be dangerous to our overall health and nervous system.

At Tavormina Dentistry we pride ourselves on using only local and American labs who are quality driven and who do not outsource their work overseas.  This is a choice we make to provide the best care to our patients and to be able to sleep at night.

Dentistry is not an inexpensive healthcare service, but at least let’s have there be integrity in the field and a good reason for the costs involved.  We do pay higher dental lab fees and reduce our profits to be sure that our patients are protected from the practice of outsourcing or directly working with Chinese and Indian dental labs.  Our dental lab costs are 7 – 8 times higher than that of a dentist who jeopardizes their patients’ safety to make a greater profit.

Substandard quality has been documented from some of the overseas labs, too.  Poor fitting crowns can lead to tooth decay under the crowns and eventual root canal therapy or tooth loss.  Some of the overseas work doesn’t look like teeth and the color matching is not up to the standard of good domestic laboratories.  Imports are not checked or required to reach ADA specifications. 

There are choices that dentists make, even if they are using domestic laboratories, that can keep their costs down and profits up.  For example, at Tavormna Dentistry we use precious metals for our crowns instead of nonprecious metals that tend to corrode in the mouth.  Precious metals such as gold and palladium are more expensive for us to use for our patients’ dentistry, but they are what’s best for our patients, so we choose them.  These metals may look the same, but they don’t deliver the same results.

We all want to be cost conscious, but dental care and healthcare are not the place to look for the lowest fee.  You most likely are not getting the same product as the patient who is paying more.  Protect yourself and make sure your dentist is using precious metal and using domestic dental laboratories that don’t outsourse their work overseas.

For information about other dental topics visit

August 7, 2013

Dentistry Is More Specialized Than You May Think!

Most people are aware that there are various dental specialties.  We know there are general dentists, and if you’re very fortunate, your general dentist has invested significant time and money in furthering his/her dental education beyond dental school, as we do at Tavormina Dentistry.  Dentistry is constantly improving with advances in patient comfort, dental procedures, dental materials, and dental equipment.

But did you ever stop to think about the various areas of specialization that are required for producing actual dental crowns, bridges, and dentures?  Dentists are responsible for providing accurate impressions of your mouth so that a dental laboratory technician can fabricate that new tooth or teeth for you.

In a dental laboratory there are several areas of specialization that are responsible for the beautiful end result your dentist is responsible for.  There are technicians that are responsible for the fabrication of dental models and the proper use of dental models in the process of making dental prostheses.  There are dental model technicians and also model technicians that have to expertly segment a model (making what are called dyes), so that each tooth that needs to be worked on can be handled individually.  Then all the dyes have to be put back like a puzzle and fit exactly so that the person’s new dentistry will fit perfectly in the mouth and restore tooth structure and function accurately.

Dental waxers are the technicians who form the metal substructures of crowns and bridges, in wax.  Ultimately, the wax is replaced by being cast with dental metals.  There are lab technicians that specialize in the proper finishing of the metal.  Each step of the process is provided by people who are expert in one small aspect of the final restoration.

There are dental laboratory technicians who areceramists.  The ceramists slowly build a smile with porcelain and provide the artistry that is responsible for the subtle nuances that make the finished crowns and bridges look beautiful and natural.

Some dental laboratory technicians are trained to focus on the art and science of making crowns and bridges, while other dental technicians focus on setting up denture teeth for dentures and focusing on making dentures and partial dentures look as natural as possible and return the patient’s function.

All the steps are very detailed, as are the steps the dentist has to take to make sure the laboratory has what it needs to satisfy the patient’s needs.  The final step is the dentist verifying the accuracy of the final result.  There’s a lot of teamwork that goes into providing dental services to our dental family.

For information on other dental topics visit, or of course,

feel free to call us at 973-761-5090.  We welcome the opportunity to help you.