5 Questions to Ask at Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Visit

School will be back in session before you know it. Send your child off to class with a new bookbag, fresh pencils and a healthy smile.

Some schools require a back-to-school dental exam. Still, it’s always a good time of year to schedule one of your child’s regular visits. “We can help spot and take care of any issues so your child doesn’t have to miss class once school starts,” says Dr. Friscia. “It’s also a great time to help get back on track if some of your child’s dental habits fell away during summer, when normal routines can go out the window and there are a lot more treats around.”

Here are a few questions to ask at your child’s appointment:

How Is My Child’s Overall Dental Health?

The dentist will be looking at the big picture of your child’s mouth, including teeth and gums. “We will check to make sure teeth are lining up correctly, your child’s bite is in good shape and to keep an eye out for any [orthodontic] issues that may show up later,” Dr. Friscia says. “We’re also making sure baby teeth are going to the Tooth Fairy like they should.”

Will My Child Get a Cleaning Today?

This is a must, no matter how well your child brushes. “Even if your child—or you, for that matter—brushes twice a day, it’s not possible to get rid of all the bacteria that can lead to cavities,” Dr. Friscia says. “And on the other hand, you may have a child who goes off to camp and never opens their toothbrush.”

That’s why a professional cleaning goes a long way. “It removes more of the cavity-causing bacteria and helps to keep gum tissue healthy,” he says. “It can also remove most or many stains from teeth.”

Does My Child Need an X-Ray?

X-rays help your dentist see how your child’s teeth are developing and make sure the tooth roots are healthy. They also are used to see if there is any tooth decay between your child’s teeth. “The decay process can move very, very fast, so the earlier we can catch it, the better,” Dr. Friscia says.

Your child won’t need an x-ray at every visit. “We do them only when necessary,” she says.

Can You Check My Child’s Mouthguard?

If your child plays sports year-round, make sure you bring his or her mouthguard along so your dentist can check for wear, tear and fit. “If your child is having a growth spurt, losing teeth and getting new ones, the mouthguard might need to be redone,” he says.

What Are Sealants?

Sealants can be another way to keep your child from getting cavities, but they’re no substitute for brushing and flossing. A sealant is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that your dentist can place on the chewing surfaces of your child’s permanent back teeth (called molars). Once they’re on, sealants work to keep cavity-causing bacteria and bits of food from settling into the nooks and crannies your child’s toothbrush can’t reach. This helps keep cavities from forming and tiny existing spots of decay from getting worse.

In fact, having sealants on your permanent molars reduces the risk of cavities by 80%. It’s best to get sealants as soon as your child’s permanent molars come through their gums (usually at age 6, then again at age 12). “It doesn’t hurt to put on or apply a sealant,” Dr. Friscia says. “When permanent molars start coming in, parents should ask if sealants are recommended.” Most last for years, and your child’s dentist will make sure they’re holding strong at every regular visit.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Dr. Friscia:   Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that’s not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia.

The levels of sedation used include:

  • Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — you typically do not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious.

What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?

The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:

  • Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
  • IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious — deeply asleep — during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

If you wish to learn more about sedation dentistry offered by Dr. Friscia please contact us at 732-970-0900 or fill out our form below.

Bridges & Crowns

Overview

Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, by Dr Friscia. Crowns are used most commonly to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth or cover an implant. Dr. Friscia may recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant;
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to shift resulting in a bad bite. This can also lead to gum disease and TMJ disorders. Bridges are commonly used if you’re missing one or more teeth. They cover the space where the teeth are missing and are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space.

Benefits

In addition to strengthening a damaged tooth, bridges and crowns can be used to improve a tooth’s appearance, shape, alignment and dental occlusion (bite).

Procedure

A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for normal oral function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain fused to metal is often used because it is both a strong material and attractive in its appearance.

A bridge is mounted onto a space where teeth are missing and is attached onto a tooth or implant. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutment. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which is best for you, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost.

Want to Learn More?

Schedule a consultation today with Dr. Thomas F. Friscia D.D.S. F.A.G.D. at our Morganville NJ Location  or fill out the form below

Dental Implants Are they an option for you?

Dental implants replace natural missing teeth

Dental implants are posts surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone. They replace one or more teeth that are next to each other. Implants are an effective way to replace missing natural teeth. When teeth are lost because of disease or an accident, dental implants may be a good option. You may want to choose dental implants if:

• You hide your smile because you have missing teeth
• Your dentures are not comfortable
• You are not happy with your removable partial dentures
• You do not have or do not want your other teeth to anchor a bridge restoration

People may choose implants to replace a single tooth, more than one tooth, or to support a full set of dentures.

Dental implants are made of titanium (a strong, lightweight metal) and other materials. Millions of implants are placed by dentists every year in the United States, which makes them a very common and popular option for replacing teeth.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Implants offer firm support to natural teeth and have many benefits, including these:

•Implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth. This is very important for eating and speaking normally.
•Implants feel more natural than removable partial or conventional complete dentures because of their secure fit.
•A single tooth implant is a stand-alone unit and doesn’t involve treating the teeth next to it.
•Implants help to preserve the bone after teeth are lost or removed.
•Implants are a good value. They may seem like a more expensive option at first, but they can last a lifetime if you take good care of them.

How long does it take to replace teeth using dental implants?

Each patient is different. After an initial consultation with Dr. Thomas F. Friscia D.D.S. F.A.G.D., provide you with a treatment plan including the estimated amount of time to complete the process. Total treatment time depends on your needs, medical and dental history, jawbone condition, and the technique and materials used. It can be as short as a few months, or more than a year for more complex conditions.

Want to Learn More?

Schedule a consultation today with Dr. Thomas F. Friscia D.D.S. F.A.G.D. at our Morganville NJ Location  or fill out the form below

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Proven safe and effective at replacing missing teeth when provided by Dr. Friscia, contemporary dental implants have been in use for more than 30 years.

Dental implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material that is accepted by the body and serves as a strong and sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Your natural bone locks the implant into place by fusing, or attaching itself, to the implant. This process, known as osseointegration, gives teeth replaced using implants the stability and strength to support replacement teeth, withstand daily use, and function like regular teeth.

Dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry when performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist like Dr. Friscia. A dental implant is the strongest device available to support replacement teeth, and it allows your replacement teeth to feel, look and work naturally. In addition, dental implants are the only restoration method that stimulates your natural bone underneath the missing tooth.

Keep in mind that while dental implants have been in use for quite a while, they are very sophisticated devices, and technology changes quickly. For your peace of mind, be sure to only use a credentialed implant dentist like Dr. Friscia located in Monmouth County NJ who has demonstrated key levels of education, experience, and skill.

Instant Confidence Ramp up your smile with Zoom Whitening.

Scientists say our brains are zapped with an instant mood boost when we smile, and that boost is reinforced when others smile back. Further, whiter teeth can have a direct effect on our social and professional interactions, and they’re now easy to achieve through our Zoom!  Whitening procedure. In study results transcending gender, age, income, education, employment and marital status, 58 percent of participants were more likely to be hired after whitening their teeth, while 53 percent received higher salary offers. Sixty-one percent were deemed more confident, and 54 percent generated more interest from others in terms of further interactions or dating.

What Is Zoom! Whitening:

Zoom! teeth whitening is a process that uses a gel that is activated with a special UV light. Your eyes, lips and gums are completely covered and protected throughout the entire procedure. The procedure consists of three 15-minute sessions. A fresh layer of whitening gel is applied after each session as the old gel is removed from your teeth.

What results can you expect?

Dr. Friscia will measure your initial shade and final shade after the procedure. There’s no real way to predict how many shades lighter your teeth will get as many factors can effect the whitening process. Typical results are 7.3 shades lighter with some patients seeing 15 shades lighter teeth after the Zoom! process.

Whatever the reason, professional teeth whitening is one of the most affordable and noticeable ways to transform your smile – in just one appointment.  It’s not surprising that so many people choose to have their teeth whitened at our office.

CALL TODAY: 732-970-0900 Or Fill Out Form Below:

tmj treatment options

The Guide to TMJ Treatment Options

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction – commonly called TMJ – is a problem with the chewing muscles and joints in the jaw. People who experience jaw pain or frequently grind their teeth may suffer from this condition. Any time pain is a factor, it is important to see a doctor or dentist. He or she can determine whether TMJ might be a concern and work on a treatment plan. For those who have been diagnosed with TMJ, a good understanding of the condition can put you at ease and help you understand what to expect.

Overview of TMJ

It is not fully known what causes TMJ. The condition is more common in women and other dental concerns, such as clicking or a bad bite, have not been found to be connected. The condition sometimes involves inflammation, which may link it to arthritis and similar health conditions. Some individuals who suffer from anxiety, depression, and tension are susceptible.

Symptoms of TMJ include the following:

  • Pain in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Clicking or grating when the jaw opens and closes

Home Care for TMJ

For many people TMJ goes away on its own over time. Symptoms may be eased by the application of hot or cold packs. It may be helpful to eat softer foods and avoid anything exceptionally sticky or hard that requires more aggressive chewing. Because TMJ is commonly associated with anxiety, relaxation techniques and stretching exercise can also be helpful.

If TMJ lasts for a long period of time, it is important to see a dentist or doctor for evaluation. He or she can rule out other health condition and help create a treatment plan that is more effective.

Treatment for TMJ

Diagnosing TMJ will include a combination of observation from a dentist and tests. This may be an x-ray to detect dental problems, a CT scan to observe the bone structure, or an MRI to get a closer look at the joint disk.

Treatments for TMJ start with pain relievers, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants. Often medication is enough to ease the tension and resolve the problem. If it persists, bite guards and physical therapy may be beneficial.

Surgical Procedures for TMJ

Some patients may need surgery to treat TMJ. Less-invasive methods can be appropriate for certain conditions, but TMJ surgery is an option as a last resort. It is used when the joint is damaged or has structural problems. Other procedures include the following:

  • Arthrocentesis involves irrigating the joint to remove debris and reduce inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid injections can encourage healing and help muscles relax.
  • Botox and similar injections may be used to relieve pain.

Choosing a TMJ Specialist in NJ

Residents of New Jersey can contact Thomas F. Friscia, DDS for an evaluation. Find out more about TMJ and treatment options that work for your lifestyle. If other dental work is needed, sedation dentistry is an option that reduces the anxiety that many adults face during dental procedures.

Invisalign Reviews: What You Can Expect

Invisalign has become a popular alternative to traditional metal braces for those considering teeth straightening. It is often chosen by adults who are in need of an option that is not so noticeable. Before beginning a procedure that will take a good bit of time and come with a hefty price tag, it is important to read many Invisalign reviews to determine whether this is the right procedure.

What to Expect: Cost

The overall cost of Invisalign is similar to traditional braces. This means that the price can vary greatly, however. The office location, condition of the teeth, and the number of appointments will factor into the total. This can range from $3,000 to $10,000 and the average in the United States is around $5,000.

Insurance may cover a portion of the cost for minors, but usually does not apply to adults. Flexible spending accounts may also be used toward Invisalign treatments.

What to Expect: Comfort

The procedure begins with creating a mold of the patient’s teeth. A pair of aligners is custom made to fit over the teeth and gradually move them into place. Invisalign is made from BPA-free plastic. It is intended to be much more comfortable than traditional metal braces because it does not scratch and irritate the inside of the mouth.

The aligners are removed to eat, drink, and clean the teeth daily. It is important to maintain good hygiene, but there is no limitation on what a person can eat. Because the aligners are removed for brushing and flossing, there is no need to clean around metal attachments as with traditional braces.

What to Expect: Time

The patient will see the dentist every two weeks to receive a new set of aligners. With each new aligner set, the teeth move closer to their desired position. The full amount of time will depend on how crooked the teeth were initially, but most patients find that the process takes about 12 months.

What to Expect: Side Effects

Invisalign is not right for everyone. For some people, traditional metal braces are more appropriate. If teeth are only slightly crooked and a quick fix is preferred, veneers may be preferred.

Side effects of Invisalign are mild and usually just take some time to adjust to how the aligners feel. Common complaints include:

  • Dry mouth
  • A slight, temporary lisp
  • Sensitive teeth as they start moving
  • Sore teeth with new aligners

A very small number of patients have had an allergic reaction to Invisalign aligners. People who grind their teeth may damage the aligners or experience headaches associated with grinding.

Choosing an Invisalign NJ Expert

Patients in the New Jersey area can contact Thomas F. Friscia, DDS to talk about options for teeth straightening and other cosmetic dentistry procedures. Schedule an appointment to find out if Invisalign is right for you or another teeth straightening procedure might be more appropriate.

If finances are a concern, ask about payment plan options for your procedure. There is no reason that you cannot have a great smile.

The Cost for Different Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

For many people, it is the cost of cosmetic dentistry that keeps them from calling a dentist. While money is always a factor in health procedures, it should not keep a person from receiving the care they need or want. The cost for any procedure varies by patient. Many factors go into a procedure’s costs, including the following:

  • The specific procedure being done
  • The severity of damage to teeth
  • The number of teeth being treated
  • How many appointments are necessary
  • The location of the dentist’s office

Here are a few estimates on the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures.

  1. Porcelain Dental Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a thin material that covers the teeth. They are applied through a non-invasive procedure and leave the teeth looking straight and white. Veneers are often applied to the front teeth when the condition does not warrant braces. The procedure ranges from $500 to $1,300 per tooth.

  1. Dental Implants

Dental implants are synthetic teeth that can be put in place of a missing tooth or teeth. The procedure involves putting metal anchors into the jaw bone and connecting a crown, or replacement tooth. Implants may cost as much as $1,500 to $7,500 per tooth.

  1. Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening is a procedure that uses chemicals to remove stains and give teeth a clean, white appearance. It can be done in a dentist’s office or as a take-home procedure. The average cost is $650 when done in an office or $400 if done at home with a dentist’s supervision.

  1. Dental Bonding

Dental boding corrects a chipped tooth or a gap between teeth. This procedure is quick and involves applying a thin layer of material over the area of concern. The bonding looks just like a tooth and can be used to replace metal fillings as well. Bonding costs range from $100 to $400 per tooth.

  1. Teeth Straightening

Gone are the days when metal braces were the only option for crooked teeth. Non-invasive methods like Invisalign are almost invisible and much more comfortable. Prices can vary widely depending on the type of straightening procedure and the number of teeth involved. It can be as low as $1,500 or as much as $10,000.

Insurance and Cosmetic Dentistry

Most dental insurance plans do not cover cosmetic procedures. If a procedure has been deemed beneficial for oral hygiene, a portion may be included. Braces and other tooth straightening are often partially-covered for minors, but not adults. Always talk to your insurance provider to determine the precise costs associated with a procedure that you are considering.

Cosmetic Dentistry NJ

There are many choices for cosmetic dentistry in New Jersey. Thomas F. Friscia, DDS serves patients with dental implants and sedation dentistry. If you have been dreaming of a bright, new smile but worry about the procedure, this office can provide methods for helping you relax.

When costs are a factor, talk with a representative who can help you understand payment options. Call to schedule an appointment for a free evaluation.