Astoria Dentist Answers: What is a Dental Implant?

dental implantsKnowledge is power, especially when it comes to your dental health. For instance, if you lose a tooth, then you may instinctively know that replacing it is important, but knowing the full effects of tooth loss can help you understand the benefits and shortcomings of your tooth-replacement options. As a dedicated dentist in Astoria, Dr. Leibowitz often recommends securing replacement teeth to one or more dental implants, which are the only option that can help preserve the longevity of your jawbone following tooth loss.

Tooth Loss—More than Meets the Eye

How much do you know about tooth loss? The gaps left in your smile aren’t the only influence that missing teeth have on your oral health. (more…)

Your Choice of Dentures at Your Astoria Dentist’s Office

happy middle age couple smilingAlthough many patients benefit from the use of dentures to restore their smiles after significant tooth loss, every dental prosthetic is custom-designed to address each case specifically. At your Astoria dentist’s office, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz offers a variety of dentures to match the severity of your tooth loss, whether you’ve lost all of the teeth on one or both of your dental ridges, or if some of your healthy teeth still remain. Today, we explore the difference between partial and complete dentures, and how dental implants can improve whichever one you need.

Partial and Complete Dentures

Restoring your smile’s ability to operate is a top priority when addressing significant tooth loss. For patients who’ve lost a significant amount of teeth, but retain some healthy teeth that don’t require extraction, a partial denture can be crafted to replace the teeth you’ve lost while fitting around existing health teeth. (more…)

Astoria Dentist: What You Should Know About Tooth Loss

blonde woman ponderingYour smile doesn’t grow spare parts. Therefore, if you lose something, like a tooth, replacing it is of vital importance to the continued good health and function of your smile. To help motivate you to seek prompt treatment for the loss of one or more teeth, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, explains what tooth loss means for your remaining teeth, as well as for your oral health as a whole.

How Remaining Teeth React

The camaraderie of a full set of teeth is about more than making your smile beautiful. All of your teeth work together to balance the power of biting and chewing, evenly displacing the pressure among all of your teeth. When you lose a tooth, its absence can disrupt the balance and your remaining teeth may shift to try and take up the slack. Unfortunately, while noble, this attempt to cover for their lost brethren can lead your teeth to an increased risk of dental disease, as well as exposing them to a host of other dental issues. (more…)

Learn Why Your Breath Smells, and How to Defeat It in Astoria

beautiful woman with bad breathBad breath can offend even the most polite people, and when you’re aware that your breath is offensive, your confidence can suffer a significant setback. Most people experience bad breath at least once in a while, usually in the form of morning breath immediately after waking. Sometimes, however, morning breath can tend to linger long after it should have dissipated. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, understands how chronically offensive breath, or halitosis, can affect your daily life. Today, we explain a common source of persistent bad breath and a few ways for you to defeat it.

Tracing the Source of Chronic Bad Breath

Most instances of bad breath, including common morning breath, are caused by an excessive buildup of oral bacteria (which, consequently, is the same reason tooth decay and gum disease develop). Some of these germs release volatile sulfur compounds—the same kind of compounds that lend rotten eggs their stench—as they metabolize protein and other nutrients. Poor oral hygiene or a lack of saliva can allow these germs to multiply exponentially, overwhelming your breath with the sulfuric gases they release. (more…)

Astoria Dentist: Is it Smart to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

removing wisdom toothWisdom teeth are an interesting phenomenon in the world of permanent teeth. As the last teeth to erupt, they often don’t have the room they need to grow comfortably and must be extracted for the sake of your smile’s good health. Unlike your other teeth, however, wisdom teeth don’t need replacement if they must be extracted. Your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, explores why wisdom teeth follow a different set of rules than the rest of your permanent teeth, and whether or not you should have yours extracted.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Officially, wisdom teeth are known as third molars and typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. This period was once known as the age of wisdom, hence the nickname wisdom teeth. Although a typical, healthy human mouth can comfortably accommodate 28 permanent teeth, the addition of your wisdom teeth brings the total count to 32. Your existing teeth may impede the progress of these molars, but they won’t stop your wisdom teeth from continuing to grow.   (more…)

Astoria Dentist Explains Possible Causes for Your Toothache

woman toothacheA toothache can result from a number of different causes, none of which should be ignored. Before you can find relief from your discomfort, however, you must know what’s causing it. After a thorough examination to determine the source of your toothache, your Astoria dentist can prescribe an appropriate treatment plan to resolve the issue and ease your aching tooth. Today, we explain how some of the most common causes of toothaches, like tooth decay and gum disease, can compromise your teeth until they hurt, hopefully prompting you to seek immediate treatment.

Compromised Tooth Structure

A cracked, fractured, or cavity-afflicted tooth often hurts due to exposed sensitive tissue. The crowns (top, visible parts) of healthy teeth are comprised of layers—the protective outer shell of enamel; dentin, which forms the majority of your tooth’s structure underneath the enamel; and a chamber in the middle called the pulp, where your tooth’s nerves and blood vessels are housed. When enamel and dentin are compromised, the soft tissues at the center of your tooth can become exposed to hot and cold temperatures, food debris, bacteria, and other irritants. If not treated and sealed promptly, your tooth can become severely infected and require a root canal treatment or tooth extraction to prevent the spread of infection. (more…)

Oral Cancer and Your Astoria Dentist’s Role in Screening & Defeating It

checking inside mouthDr. Jeffrey Leibowitz has spoken extensively about the importance of your mouth’s wellbeing to the state of your overall systemic health (known as the oral-systemic connection). For instance, studies have shown a significant correlation between the mechanisms of severe gum disease and other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and dementia, among many others. However, your Astoria dentist warns that travelling mouth germs aren’t the only threat that can originate in your mouth and prove disastrous for your physical health. Today, we explore the silent but deadly phenomenon of oral cancer, and how regular screenings are the cornerstone of successfully defeating it.

Things You Should Know About Oral Cancer

One of the greatest tragedies of oral cancer is that it doesn’t garner as much attention as others, such as lung or breast cancer, leading many people to believe that oral cancer is rare. The truth, though, is that approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. alone are newly diagnosed a year, which equals more than 100 new patients a day. Oral cancer isn’t hard to detect, but mainly because of the lack of awareness, most cases of oral cancer are discovered as late-stage cancers. The survival rate five years after a late-stage diagnosis is less than 57%. When detected early, however, the survival rate jumps drastically to about 90%. (more…)

Protect Your Teeth AND Enjoy Your Favorite Summer Treats!

family enjoying ice cream in summerIce cream, iced tea, lemonade, fruit smoothies—all of these treats and more help make summer an enjoyable experience for most people. Unfortunately, they can also damage your teeth and undo all of the hard work you put into your dental hygiene routine when consumed carelessly. With a little advice from your dedicated Astoria dentist, you can enjoy all of your summer favorites while still protecting your smile from their destructive dental influences.

A Little Foresight

The first step to protecting your teeth is understanding the dangers they face. Iced tea, lemonade, most ice creams, sodas, and even fruit juices and smoothies contain excessive amounts of sugar and acid. While sugar isn’t directly dangerous to your teeth, it feeds certain oral bacteria that convert it into more acid, which erodes your tooth’s protective layer of enamel and saps your teeth of essential minerals. (more…)

Dr. Leibowitz Explains How to Treat Tooth Decay with a Dental Filling

closeup tooth checkTreating tooth decay is an intricate but common practice, and one that may be vital to your continued good oral health. Unlike the common cold, tooth decay doesn’t resolve itself with rest and relaxation; like most dental diseases, tooth decay is progressive, and time is its greatest ally in the destruction of your teeth. Luckily, your Astoria dentist, Dr. Leibowitz, has the tools and expertise to effectively remove decay from your tooth and reinforce it with a dental filling against further decay and damage.

Choosing the Right Material

When it comes to your dental filling, you have options. Generally, Dr. Leibowitz will utilize white composite resin, which closely resembles your tooth’s natural color and can be bonded to your tooth’s structure for an enhanced protective seal. White fillings offer a discrete solution to treating tooth decay, though in some cases, Dr. Leibowitz may recommend an amalgam filling, which may be better suited for certain teeth that absorb the brunt of your biting pressure. (more…)

Your Astoria Dentist Explains Life After Tooth Extraction

confident businessman smileKnowing that one or more of your teeth must go for the good of your oral health probably doesn’t make the process any easier to accept. Your permanent teeth have been with you for most of your life, and you’ve probably looked forward to having all of them for much longer. Unfortunately, some extreme cases may require the extraction of a severely damaged or diseased tooth, or you risk compromising the remainder of your oral health. Luckily, tooth extraction doesn’t have to be the devastating event that you might fear it to be. Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, an experienced and dedicated dentist in Astoria, can help you regain your smile and quality of life after tooth extraction with your choice of innovative, lifelike tooth replacement options, depending on your specific needs.

When a Tooth Must Go

An accidentally knocked-out tooth is difficult to prevent, but not impossible. Apart from not engaging in whatever activity caused the accident, you can also be sure to wear a protective mouthguard during contact sports to reduce the risk of dental damage. Aside from sudden severe accidental trauma, invasive tooth decay and severe gum disease can also render your tooth inoperable, useless, and a liability to your remaining smile. If your tooth is consumed by disease, or if there is a risk of infection spreading from your tooth to surrounding tissues, then tooth extraction may be your best option. (more…)