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By Mitchell S. Katz, DDS & Associates
June 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

What your dentist in Avon wants you to knoworaal hygiene

A healthy smile helps you feel and look great. A healthy smile also contributes to your overall health. There are some tips and tricks to help you keep your smile healthy. Dr. Mitchell Katz in Avon, CT wants to share the facts about how you can protect your smile.

A vital part of keeping your smile healthy is removing plaque from your teeth, regularly and frequently. There are simple ways to remove plaque including:

Brushing your teeth after meals and before bed; always use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Using gentle circular movements, brush each surface of each tooth and along the gumline. You can also gently brush your tongue, an often-overlooked place for bacteria to hide.

Floss at least once every day; use a single piece of floss or floss picks to go in between each tooth. Flossing works best by wrapping around each tooth as you go. This ensures you reach deep in between teeth and reach the rounded areas of each tooth.

You can also use a fluoride rinse after brushing and flossing. The fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Try not to eat, drink or rinse for several hours afterward to give the fluoride time to work.

Another vital part of keeping your smile healthy is visiting your dentist and hygienist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings. You can’t do it all alone! Many dental issues and diseases can only be found by x-rays and examinations. You should schedule a dental exam at least once each year, and professional cleanings every six months.

There are many ways to keep your smile healthy and these are just a few. For more information about dental health and dental services call Dr. Katz in Avon, CT. A healthy smile is your best defense against dental problems so call today to find out more!

By Mitchell S. Katz, DDS & Associates
May 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Veneers are a great dental treatment option for those with cracked, chipped, worn down or discolored teeth. They also have been veneersproven to be successful for those with gaps between their teeth. Your Avon, CT dentist Dr. Mitchell Katz is well versed in the procedure and how to evaluate a patient and determine whether or not they are a viable candidate.

More about Veneers

Veneers are made of porcelain and are bonded directly to the surface of the teeth. In order to achieve this look, an impression of the tooth must be made. Your Avon, CT dentist Dr. Katz can custom design your veneers in the office using the CEREC equipment and can create the restoration in the same day you’re visiting. Veneers require a small amount of enamel to be removed, so they are non-reversible and permanent.

The process of applying veneers requires preparing the tooth and removing a thin layer in order to allow for the thickness of the veneer itself. Next, the final bonding occurs of the veneers to the tooth. A special curing light is used to harden the cement material to make it secure.

They are custom fitted over the natural teeth to change the length, color or shape of the teeth. They can return function to damaged teeth in the mouth and leave them looking as perfect as they once were. If you are looking to change the appearance of your smile, then veneers may be the right treatment for you.

Another great treatment option for repairing one’s smile are dental implants. These are a great solution for replacing a missing tooth or teeth in the mouth. They can help restore the appearance and function of teeth. They are usually secured into the jaw bone with a titanium implant. After a healing period where the bone grows around the implant through a process called osseointegration, the implant is completed with a lifelike crown that is custom made for each patient.

If either of these procedures sounds like they would work for your tooth issues, contact your Avon, CT dentist Dr. Katz today by calling 860-678-1700.

By Mitchell S. Katz, DDS & Associates
April 15, 2017
Category: Oral Health

At your child's latest dental visit, you found out one of their primary (“baby”) teeth has become decayed and in danger of loss. Of course, you may think, it's only a primary tooth — it's going to come out sooner or later.

But a primary tooth lost “sooner” rather than “later” can create long-term negative consequences for your child's dental health. For the sake of the future permanent tooth, the best treatment strategy could be to put forth the effort and expense to save it.

Besides its role in eating and chewing, a primary tooth's most important function is as a “trailblazer” for the permanent tooth developing below it. A primary tooth doesn't normally loosen and let go until the new permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Until then they hold the new tooth's space in the jaw.

But if the primary tooth is lost prematurely, nearby teeth can drift into and crowd the space so that the permanent tooth comes in out of position. This can result in a malocclusion, or poor bite.

Depending on the state of your child's jaw development, it may be advisable to attempt saving the tooth through a filling or, in the case of deep decay, a modified root canal treatment. If the tooth can't be saved, then placing an orthodontic appliance known as a space maintainer might be necessary. Cemented to a tooth next to the empty space, this appliance has a looped band of metal that butts against the tooth on the other side of the gap, and prevents both teeth from drifting into the space.

Intervening for a decayed primary tooth can seem a waste of time and money since it has a limited lifespan to begin with. But for the health of its companion permanent tooth, as well as possibly avoiding orthodontic treatment, it could be well worth it for your child's long-term dental health.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Importance of Baby Teeth.”

By Mitchell S. Katz, DDS & Associates
March 31, 2017
Category: Oral Health

When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”

Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.

Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.

While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.

There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”

 An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.

Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By Mitchell S. Katz, DDS & Associates
March 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sedation dentistry  

For most people, going to the dentist is as routine as getting their oil changed. But if you're like the one in ten people with severe anxiety, dental visits are anything but routine.

What may have begun as a childhood fear has turned for many people into a lifetime avoidance of dental care.  This absence of dental cleanings, checkups and treatments can have an adverse effect on not only their oral health but their general health too.

But there are ways you can reduce dental visit anxiety, beginning first with finding a compassionate dental provider. A good dentist-patient relationship is important for everyone, but more so for people with anxiety. Building a trust relationship with a dentist who listens and accepts your fears without judging is your first step to overcoming them.

Though finding an understanding provider is important, it may not be enough in the beginning of your return to regular dental care. To help you further relax during visits, we can also provide medicinal therapies known collectively as sedation.

Although it has some similarities, sedation is different from anesthesia. The latter deadens pain sensation; sedation aims to calm your emotions. The most common sedation is taken in oral form, usually a pill (or syrup for children) taken an hour or so before the appointment. Oral sedation is often used in conjunction with gases like nitrous oxide and local anesthesia.

For a more relaxed state (especially during an involved procedure) we may use intravenous (IV) sedation. With this method we deliver the medication through a small needle or catheter inserted into a vein.

IV sedation places you in a reduced state of consciousness. But it isn't a “sleep” state as what's achieved during general anesthesia, but more of a “semi-awake” state. You won't need assistance with breathing or heart function and you can respond to verbal or touch commands. Many drugs used for IV sedation also have an amnesiac affect, so you won't remember many details about the procedure.

Depending on your level of anxiety, we can match the right therapy to induce calm and relaxation. Sedation can help you see dental visits in a more positive light so that it truly does become a life routine.

If you would like more information on sedation therapy during dental visits, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “IV Sedation in Dentistry.”

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Mitchell S. Katz, DDS

Mitchell S. Katz, DDS

Dr. Mitchell S. Katz holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from New York University College of Dentistry. He also is a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. He is an active member of many prominent dental associations, including the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Connecticut State Dental Association, and the Hartford Dental Society.

Read more about Mitchell S. Katz, DDS & Associates

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