Our Blog

Posts for: October, 2015

By Countryside Dental
October 27, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Transforming your smile can be a huge undertaking. And while we have the technical skills, experience and understanding of aesthetics to perform a smile makeover, your input is just as necessary to achieve a satisfying result.

Your part really has to do with expectations — what do you see when you look in the mirror — and what do you want to change?

Here are 3 questions to help guide you in shaping your expectations for that new, beautiful smile.

What do you dislike about your teeth? This is really about specifics and not just a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Are your teeth misshapen, chipped or missing? Are they discolored or stained? Is the spacing off or do you have a poor bite (malocclusion)? Getting a sense of what you perceive as unattractive will help us formulate a plan to improve the appearance of those problem areas.

Are you concerned with how much your gums show when you smile? Your teeth may be perfect, but if your gums seem to steal the spotlight when you smile (known as a “gummy” smile), you may need some remedy like veneers, crowns or even corrective surgery. Which procedure depends on whether the crowns of your teeth are too short in proportion to the gums, or the muscles in your upper lip are allowing the lip to rise too high when you smile. A dental examination will tell all.

Do you want a “Hollywood Smile” — or just a more attractive, natural you? Smile makeovers aren’t just about clinical alterations — it’s just as much about your personal perceptions of beauty. Some patients want the perfectly shaped, aligned and dazzlingly white smile that’s the epitome of Hollywood. Others want only to enhance their smile, perhaps even keeping a few unique imperfections they’re comfortable with. It’s important to know which person you are, and to communicate that with us when we’re putting together your makeover plan.

Changing your smile is a big step in your life. You can help make the process more satisfying and successful if you understand what you want to change — and why.

If you would like more information on smile analysis and makeover, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Great Expectations.”

By Countryside Dental
October 14, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Toothpaste  

Find out if there is a certain kind of toothpaste that will be more effective for your smile.

When it comes to caring for your smile at home, you’ve already heard from your Chatham, NY dentists Dr. Domenic Riccobono and Dr. Toothpaste Vicki Cohn about how important it is to brush at least twice a day to prevent cavities and gum disease. But the tools you use to clean your teeth are often just as important as how you brush. Find out what kind of toothpaste is right for your smile, and what could offer you a better clean.

Types of Toothpaste

Whitening Toothpaste

If you're looking to get their smiles a bit whiter—or if you’ve already had professional teeth whitening in Chatham and are looking to maintain your results longer—whitening toothpaste might be your best option. While they don’t actually contain bleach, they do contain abrasive ingredients to improve surface stains. Of course, whitening toothpaste will never be able to come close to the results of professional, in-office whitening.

Fluoride Toothpaste

From children to adults, fluoridated toothpaste is a great way to provide additional protection against decay. Furthermore, this toothpaste is a great way to remove plaque, which forms along the teeth and gums. Since plaque is known to cause decay and gum disease, using fluoride toothpaste will actually help to strengthen tooth enamel and remineralize tooth decay.

Tartar-control Toothpaste

Whether we’ve told you that you have tartar buildup or if members of your family have been diagnosed with gum disease, this toothpaste contains plaque fighters, which can reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and potential tartar buildup. If you are at risk for gum disease, ward against it with tartar-control toothpaste.

Tooth Sensitivity Toothpaste

If you find that your teeth are more sensitive to extreme temperatures like hot or cold there are sensitivity toothpastes out there to help ease your symptoms. Most people find some relief after about four weeks of using this toothpaste every day.

What Toothpaste to Choose

Here are some things you should consider before purchasing your next tube of toothpaste:

  • Trust the Seal of Approval: It’s always best to opt for toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval. This means that it’s been evaluated and tested and is both safe and effective. Better yet, all toothpastes that have the seal of approval also contain fluoride.
  • Factor in you and your family’s needs: Aside from choosing toothpaste that contains fluoride, which can help protect against decay, the best toothpaste for you will cater to your specific needs and preferences. If you are focused on getting your children to brush their teeth more consistently, then you’ll want to choose toothpaste that boasts fun flavors to get your little ones to brush. If you are looking to brighten your smile, then opt for toothpastes that contain hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to get a squeaky clean.

While incorporating the best tools for the job will go a long way to improving your oral health don’t forget the importance of seeing your Chatham dentist every six months for a professional cleaning. If it’s time for your checkup, call Countryside Dental today!

By Countryside Dental
October 12, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?

“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.

How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.

With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.

In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.

While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.

Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”


You’ve been concerned for some time about your child’s bite, so you’ve visited an orthodontist for an evaluation. Even though your child is quite young and still with primary teeth, the orthodontist recommends they begin wearing a retainer device, with the possibility of braces in a few years.

That may at first sound like an overly extensive treatment plan. For certain bite problems, however, undergoing an early stage of orthodontic treatment could reduce or even eliminate the need for more advanced and costly treatment later.

An example of such a problem is a crossbite, also known as an underbite. With this type of malocclusion (bad bite) the lower front teeth bite in front of the upper front teeth rather than behind them as in a normal bite relationship. Because the teeth and jaws are still in development (including the primary teeth, which are preparing the path for the permanent teeth erupting later), wearing a retainer device could exert just enough pressure to influence the teeth toward a better alignment.

In essence, the goal of early orthodontic treatment is to intercept a bite problem ahead of time and prevent it from becoming a more serious one later. If early treatment isn’t undertaken or delayed until after the eruption of the permanent teeth, it will be much more difficult, if not impossible, to correct the malocclusion. Even if the initial treatment doesn’t correct the problem it could at least lessen its severity so that future treatment like braces or clear aligners can correct it with less difficulty and cost.

By getting an early start on bite problems, you’ll increase the chances your child will achieve an optimum bite when they reach adulthood. Not only will this enhance their appearance, it will greatly benefit their overall health and mouth function. In these cases, early orthodontic treatment could make all the difference in the world.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment for children, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Preventative & Cost Saving Orthodontics.”