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How to Clean Dentures

Published on February 7, 2016

When you receive removable dentures from Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Alpha Dental, it is very important that you commit to keeping them clean. That being said, many patients are unsure of how to do this and ask our staff how to clean dentures. Although it will take some practice to get into a routine, it won’t be long before cleaning your dentures will become second nature.

Best Practices for Cleaning Dentures

One of the major benefits of dentures is that they allow you to chew your food normally again. To keep them in good condition, remove your dentures from your mouth after every meal and run them under sink water. If you’re concerned about breaking your dentures, place a towel in the sink or fill it up with water first and rinse them that way.

Be sure to brush your dentures at least one time each day. You will need a toothbrush and a non-abrasive denture cleanser to complete the cleaning. This removes food particles, plaque, bacteria, and adhesive glue from your dentures. Be sure to rinse the dentures thoroughly before you put them back in your mouth.

Never sleep with dentures in your mouth as they could fall out and get damaged. You could even choke on them in your sleep. Before bed each night, place your dentures in a glass of water with a denture cleansing tablet. It’s important to do this for cleanliness as well as to help your dentures keep their shape.

When cleaning your dentures, avoid using hot water, bleaching gel, whitening toothpaste, or any type of abrasive material. All of these could cause significant damage that will require replacing your dentures too soon.

Contact Dr. Ahmed with Additional Questions

Dr. Ahmed is happy to answer your questions regarding how to clean dentures. He is also available for a consultation if you are still considering all of your options for permanent tooth replacement. Please contact Alpha Dental at your convenience.

What is a Root Canal Procedure?

Published on January 7, 2016

Tooth decay, dental disease, and trauma to the face are just some of the reasons a tooth may become infected and require a root canal. Indications that you have developed an infection include:

  • One or more of your teeth causes constant throbbing pain
  • The pain worsens when you drink a beverage not at room temperature or bite into your food
  • The pain worsens when you stand up or lie down
  • You notice swelling of your neck or face
  • You have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth despite brushing and using mouthwash regularly
  • The painful tooth looks darker than your other teeth
  • You notice a pus-filled sac formation on or near your gum line

The last point is especially important because pus leaking from underneath a tooth can damage the supporting bone and cause a tooth abscess. This extremely painful condition is a dental emergency requiring prompt treatment. We encourage you to contact Alpha Dental about any new, unusual, or worsening symptoms so we can evaluate the problem right away. Because some patients have an infected tooth without experiencing pain or any other symptoms, it’s also important to keep up with your bi-annual cleaning appointments. Dr. Pasha and Dr. Ahmed occasionally spot tooth infections during a routine exam and schedule a root canal to treat them.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Some patients feel anxious about getting a root canal because they have heard that it’s painful. They may also feel confused and ask, “What is a root canal procedure?” First, we’d like to put your mind at ease by letting you know that most people who have had root canals say they didn’t find them especially uncomfortable. Dental technology has advanced rapidly to make having a root canal as fast and pain-free as possible.

To prepare you for the process, your dentist numbs the affected tooth and surrounding gums. Removing the infected pulp from the tooth root comes next. Once this is complete, Dr. Pasha or Dr. Ahmed cleans your tooth from the inside and then surrounds the tooth with a sealant to prevent bacteria from invading it. The last step involves having a crown placed on the tooth that received the root canal. This helps to keep it strong as well as acts as an additional guard against infection. It also allows for normal chewing once the procedure is complete.

Types of Dental Fillings

Published on December 7, 2015

When your dentist at Alpha Dental discovers that you have tooth decay, removing it as soon as possible preserves the structure of the tooth. Once Dr. Ahmed has successfully removed the decay, the next step is to apply a dental filling. The materials to create the different types of dental fillings include:

  • Ceramic Fillings: Porcelain is the main component of these types of fillings. Although ceramic fillings are typically more expensive than all but gold fillings, they are durable and aesthetically pleasing. One downside is that they are more brittle and bulky so your dentist must reduce the tooth size to fit them comfortably. Fillings made from ceramic are highly resistant to staining.
  • Glass Ionomers: The ingredients in this filling type include glass and acrylic. Longevity averages five years, which makes them the least durable of all filling materials. Glass ionomers are most appropriate for children whose teeth are still growing and changing. One major advantage is that they release fluoride to protect the tooth against further decay.
  • Gold: Gold fillings are not common because they are much more expensive and difficult to place. One benefit is that gold is non-abrasive when used as a dental filling.
  • Silver Amalgam: This is the most popular type of dental filling. It contains a mixture of mercury, copper, zinc, tin, and silver. However, mercury accounts for at least half of the total mixture. Silver amalgam fillings are durable and can last for decades with proper care. They have fallen out of favor with patients in recent years due to not being aesthetically pleasing and concern about the mercury breaking free and causing an infection. This situation is extremely rare.

Composite Fillings Make a Superior Choice

Composite fillings, also called tooth colored, are extremely popular with patients for good reason. Of all filling types, they match the shade of your teeth most closely. This allows you to disguise the fact that you have cavities at all. The primary materials are resin and plastic. Since Dr. Ahmed use a curing light when placing a composite filling, it hardens almost immediately. You typically have to wait up to several hours for other types of fillings to harden in place. Composite fillings help you feel more confident about your smile as well.

Request a Consultation to Learn More about Dental Filling Options

With so many choices available, patients need more information about each option to make the right choice. We encourage you to ask questions of your dentist at Alpha Dental to ensure that you choose the right type of filling for your situation.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Published on November 22, 2015

dental implants
Dental implants provide patients with permanent, non-removable replacement teeth attached to small rods in the jawbone and gums. This procedure has become increasingly popular over the past several years because it makes an attractive alternative to traditional removable dentures. Although most patients are excited about the benefits, they don’t quite understand how they go about getting dental implants. In fact, one of the most common questions we hear about this procedure at Alpha Dental is “How do dental implants work?”

The Process of Receiving Dental Implants

The first step of the process is to complete an oral exam with Dr. Ahmed. Your dentist inspects your entire mouth to make sure that the area receiving the implant is strong enough to support it. In some cases, your dentist may need to remove bone from another area and place it in the implant area to strengthen it. This is called a bone graft. After the exam, Dr. Ahmed places small titanium rods called abutments. These act as replacement tooth roots. You then need to allow up to several months for your gums and jaw to heal before your dentist attaches the non-removable dentures.

Getting dental implants sometimes requires several appointments so your dentist can check on the condition of the implant area. The process is complete once your new replacement teeth are in place. However, you need to come in for regular follow-up care.

Dental Implants Offer Several Advantages

Typical dentures disguise tooth loss, but they can also be uncomfortable and make it difficult to enjoy your favorite foods. Some patients have difficulty speaking clearly with dentures. None of these issues is a problem with dental implants. Additional benefits you can expect include:

  • Dental implants allow Dr. Ahmed to replicate the shade of your remaining teeth.
  • Dental implants won’t cause embarrassment by slipping out of place or falling out of your mouth. They also don’t require special cleaning.
  • Having implants in place prevents your other teeth from shifting into the spots left empty by the missing teeth.

Please contact Alpha Dental at your convenience to learn more about dental implants in addition to whether you are a good candidate to receive them.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Published on November 7, 2015

cosmetic dentistry
Many people feel dissatisfied with certain aspects of their smile, such as having a large gap between teeth, stained teeth, or misshapen teeth. If you can relate, you may feel hesitant to smile due to a fear of how others will perceive you. This response is often automatic and not something that people consciously choose to do. Fortunately, you do have the option of enhancing the appearance of your smile with an elective cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Understanding Cosmetic Dentistry

“What is cosmetic dentistry?” is a common question that we hear at Alpha Dental. Patients may have heard of certain procedures while not feeling certain of what the term means collectively. Cosmetic dentistry refers to any elective dental service for the primary reason of improving aesthetics. However, people also opt for a cosmetic dentistry procedure after losing or breaking a tooth in an accident. In this case, the procedure is reconstructive as well as cosmetic.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Available at Alpha Dental

Dr. Ahmed is pleased to offer several popular cosmetic dentistry procedures here at Alpha Dental. Teeth whitening is among the most requested service because it is a simple and non-invasive way to improve the brightness of your teeth and your overall appearance. When you have teeth whitening performed at our clinic, the first step is for us to prepare customized mouth trays. These trays hold a bleaching gel that can brighten the shade of your teeth by several times in under an hour.

Some of the other cosmetic dentistry options you might want to consider include:

  • Composite Fillings: These clear tooth colored fillings protect your teeth from further decay while allowing you to remain discreet about your dental treatment.
  • ClearCorrect Braces: Your dentist provides you with several clear plastic aligners that you switch at regular intervals throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment. Like composite fillings, this alternative to metal braces is clear and unnoticeable to others.
  • Dental Crowns: These make an excellent option to provide support for weak teeth as well as to disguise cosmetic problems. Crowns constructed from porcelain tend to be the most durable and comfortable.
  • Fixed Dental Bridges: A fixed dental bridge is a permanent attachment to conceal one or more missing teeth on the same arch. The teeth on either side of the missing tooth support the non-removable appliance.
  • Porcelain Veneers: This procedure covers minor tooth imperfections with an extremely thin piece of ceramic affixed to the front of your tooth.

Please contact Alpha Dental with additional questions or to request a personal consultation with one of our dentists.

What Kinds of Braces Are There?

Published on October 7, 2015

Dental braces come in a few different forms, with a few different names. At Alpha Dental, we offer dental braces tailored to your preferences and needs. There are a more options other than the traditional metal braces that most people wear in their teens as well. When people come in for dental alignment, they often ask about what kinds of alignment treatment they can get. It begs the question, what kinds of braces are there?

metal_bracesMetal Braces

The bread and butter classic braces, metal braces use metal bands and wires to pull teeth into proper alignment from the outside. These tend to take some getting used to at first, and can be tough to clean. They are readily visible when you open your mouth, and carry the unfortunate stigma of being for kids. However, they are the braces of choice for more extreme dental conditions, as they are durable and more forceful, taking a shorter time to complete treatment of seriously misaligned teeth.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are like metal braces, only with ceramic tooth-colored bands to make them less visible. Otherwise, they are much the same as metal braces in their functionality, usable for more serious alignment problems. However, they require a little more care to use in order to avoid staining.

ClearCorrect AlignmentClearCorrect Alignment

Though not a traditional set of braces, the ClearCorrect alignment system serves the same purpose as metal braces. They are far less noticeable than metal braces and provide a gentler alignment process that is virtually painless. In general, this system will correct alignment quicker than metal braces, except in the case of extreme misalignment, in which case you may not be able to use ClearCorrect. These need to be adjusted every few weeks, and are freely removable, though they should only ever be taken off when eating and brushing.

To find out what braces you need for your dental alignment, call or make an appointment with Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Alpha Dental in Nashua to discuss your options.

Teeth Whitening: A Starter Guide

Published on September 22, 2015

Teeth whitening is a particularly hot topic in dentistry, and likely always will be. Everyone wants their pearly whites to be, well, pearly white. But with all the products out there advertising teeth whitening, it’s difficult to really understand what works and what doesn’t. We here at Alpha Dental Family Dentistry in Nashua can help you prioritize your options for teeth whitening.

Talk to Your DentistTalk to Your Dentist

You need to find out what it is that’s affecting your tooth color first, be it enamel degradation or staining through drinking caffeine or eating dyed foods. Starting with the right diagnosis is crucial to finding out what you need to eliminating that unsightly yellow color, or just making sure your teeth are as bright as possible. Dr. Saeed Ahmed with the team at Alpha Dental in Nashua will be able to give you specific recommendations and prescriptions on products that our knowledgeable team has proven to work with results over the several years of practice. We will be able to give you insightful recommendations for practices and products specific to your mouth’s needs.

Understand Why Your Teeth Are Yellowing

Teeth become yellow primarily because of changes to the enamel surrounding your teeth. The enamel layer is naturally white; you’ll notice that kids’ teeth are bright white when they first come out, coated in plenty of undamaged white enamel. Over time, naturally, the protective enamel will degrade to reveal the under layer, dentin. Dentin is, depending on heredity, naturally yellow or bluish grey, and will discolor the look of your teeth if too much enamel is degraded. You can slow this degradation at home by avoiding highly acidic foods like sodas that react with the enamel cause it to thin.

Very many foods and drinks, like wine, coffee, candies, and curries can stain your tooth enamel and dentin. This is especially true if hard candies are left in your mouth for an extended period of time. You might note that all of the above normally leave lasting stains on your clothes or your carpets when spilled on them, and this is a good indicator for what you should try to avoid eating too often.

Another serious cause of teeth yellowing is unfortunately something that should be the easiest to solve: bacterial plaque. Plaque is a thin, slimy film of bacteria on your teeth and gums that feeds off of both your enamel and the food you eat, especially simpler sugars. Plaque builds up when your brushing schedules are irregular and not thorough enough, often in places your brush might not be able to reach.

Brush Regularly Yes, We’re Serious

Unfortunately, many people may not take brushing their teeth as seriously as other alternatives, or might just not have the time to have a rigid and consistent schedule. But if you care about the whiteness of your teeth, and overall oral health (which everyone should!), establishing a disciplined and thorough brushing schedule at least once after every meal is the best practice for keeping your teeth shiny. Brushing teeth after meals helps quickly and thoroughly wash away any potential corrosive food particles that will damage your teeth if left in your mouth all day.

Flossing is also extremely important for getting rid of plaque, especially in places where brushes can’t reach. This doesn’t have to be done nearly as often as brushing, but should still be done at least once per day to ensure you’re getting all of that plaque out of your gums and teeth.

Dr. Ahmed and our team can suggest different brushes, toothpastes, and other products to help with this based on your situation. Don’t go blind into caring for your teeth. Ask us for help, it’ll make things easier.

Consider Zoom Teeth WhiteningConsider Zoom Teeth Whitening

Sometimes, when you’ve tried all your home remedies for teeth whitening and established all your good practices, your teeth just aren’t shining the way you want them. If this sounds like you, Dr. Ahmed and his team might recommend the Zoom Teeth Whitening system to get your teeth positively glowing. This is a cutting edge new cosmetic whitening technology with lasting results, though it’ll require repeated visits and regular checkups at the office. Zoom whitening more often directly produces visibly whiter teeth within just one session at the office.

Feel free to call or make an appointment to discuss more strategies for whitening your teeth with our team at Alpha Dental in Nashua, NH, and our friendly and professional team will make sure you’re happy with how your teeth shine. Just remember to brush your teeth before coming.

Dentures vs. Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Published on September 7, 2015

The Two Players

In modern dental medicine, you have two options to fill in for missing teeth: the traditional dentures, and the newer technology, dental implants.  These are both distinct in their construction and positioning within your mouth. However, perhaps the most intimidating thing about this choice is the projected cost of either procedure. To help make this decision easier for you, we’ll try to explain the pros and cons of either procedure. Remember, however, every mouth is different, and your best bet is to contact us for an appointment before making your final decision.

Why Consider Dentures and Implants?

Before you make a decision, it’s important to understand how urgent it is for you to replace your teeth. When you’ve lost teeth, it’s not only a cosmetic concern for your smile. Missing teeth could cause adverse effects with your speech and food consumption. Missing teeth also drastically changes some of the necessary natural pressure on teeth in your mouth. This change in pressure of the teeth may begin the slow loss of bone density in the mouth. Therefore, it’s critical that you make a decision about replacing your missing teeth as soon as possible.

Why Dentures?Why Dentures?

Dentures are a tried and true method of tooth replacement that serves as an affordable and easily replaceable option for missing teeth. Dentures work by resting a replacement tooth on top of existing gum and fastening them to adjacent teeth or onto a precision-crafted crown that you wear in your mouth. While they can in some cases restrict diet options, they are easy to clean and replace if damaged. They are also the accepted solution for multiple tooth replacements, as the increase in cost for one tooth to multiple teeth is far less expensive than for dental implants. The procedure for getting a pair of dentures requires no surgery, and can be as short as a single session with Dr. Ahmed.

  • Pros: Affordable, easily replaceable, no surgery, good for multiple teeth
  • Cons: Diet restrictive, need to be replaced more often, may need to be adjusted occasionally

Why Dental Implants?Why Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a relatively new technology for tooth replacement that tends to have a longer longevity than dentures. These implants work by having titanium anchors surgically placed into the jaw to mimic natural tooth roots onto which the artificial teeth are fastened. These can either be fixed or removable, and are subject to less dietary restrictions than are dentures. While this procedure is a solid choice for tooth replacement, it’s not as feasible for multiple tooth replacement as dentures are.

  • Pros: Durable, good for single teeth, stable teeth setting, look more like natural teeth, long-term
  • Cons: Requires surgery, multiple visits to the dentist

Missing teeth can be an eye sore, or even a tooth sore if you wait too long. If you need to fill in for missing teeth, Dr. Saeed Ahmed and his team at Alpha Dental in Nashua, NH can help point you in the right direction for your needs with fair and informed advice. We know how important your teeth are to you. Call or make an appointment online, and ask us about our restorative procedures including bridge dentures and implant restoration.

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