2401 Congress St
Portland , ME 04102

How to treat dry mouth?

April 6, 2017

Xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth, can be very uncomfortable. Many times long-term dry mouth can lead to problems like dental decay and gum disease. Best ways to help dry mouth: Frequent water intake Alcohol free mouth rinses, switch to dry mouth mouthwashes Sugar-free gum or hard candies Limit caffeine Quit all forms of tobacco OTC saliva substitutes Avoid OTC antihistamines and decongestants Humidifier at night time Breathe through your nose Saliva helps prevent cavities. It acts as a buffer to neutralize acids in your mouth. If you experience dry mouth, make sure to: Avoid sugary or acidic food and drink Use Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash Routine 6 month dental visits If symptoms persist, talk to your doctor or dentist. An evaluation of your overall health and medication may be indicated. Certain medications or combinations of medications can cause dry mouth. Work with your doctor or dentist to find the underlying cause of the dry mouth. If you have any questions, call Dr. Kathryn Buss at Portland Smiles...

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No more dentures! Get permanent teeth

January 11, 2017

There are a lot more options to replacing missing teeth than dentures thanks to the amazing advances in technology. Yes, that means you do not have to take your teeth out at night time anymore. You will be able to eat steak and corn on the cob again. No more plastic on the roof of your mouth. No more sore spots.  Amazing, right? So how does this work? A hybrid prosthesis is a permanent worry free option. First, your general dentist will determine if you are a possible candidate.  They will work closely with the oral surgeon and dental laboratory. Together as a team they will rebuild your smile. This can be done for both upper and lower teeth. Records are obtained during the consult. Photos, molds of your teeth and a 3D scan of the jaw will be completed initially. Each patient is unique, both the clinical exam and the records allow the team to plan your specific case.  Many times all three team members are there the day you get new teeth. During the procedure the remaining teeth, if any, are taken out and usually 6-8 implants are placed per arch. Each implant acts like a pillar...

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How to manage dental phobias with sedation?

November 28, 2016

Fear of dentistry is a true, valid reaction that unfortunately many people experience. There is no discrimination when it comes to dental phobia. It can truly affect anyone.  In fact, over 30% of the population avoids the dentist due to fear.  Oral conscious sedation dentistry is a wonderful, safe, pain free option that allows many people to complete their dental needs. Sedation dentistry does not only treat those that are anxious, phobic or fearful, but also helps:                 Severe gaggers                 Patients that have difficulty getting numb                 Patients that have difficulty staying open                 Patients with time constraints                 Patients with a lot of needs                 Patients that experience significant post op sensitivity So how does it work? Oral medications are used to relax the patient. No IVs are involved. These medications result in little or no anxiety during the dental appointment. Patients are aware of their surroundings and can respond physically and verbally when asked.  This is not sleep sedation. One may feel that they slept through the appointment due to little or no memory of the appointment, but that in fact is not true. No need to avoid the dentist any longer. Give Dr. Kathryn Buss...

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Who Needs a Mouth Guard (Athletic Guard)? Why Do You Need a Mouth Guard?

August 25, 2016

A mouth guard, commonly known as an athletic guard, is recommended for both children and adults that play sports. Some examples of these sports are football, soccer, hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, softball, karate, wrestling and boxing. Basically, for any activity that poses a risk to damaging the oral cavity a mouth guard is strongly advised. Mouth guards help prevent broken or chipped teeth, nerve damage to teeth, tooth loss, as well as soft tissue damage around gums, lips and tongue. Accidents do occur while playing sports and it is best to protect your teeth by wearing a mouth guard during a game or practice.   A mouth guard will lower the risk of injuries to the mouth by absorbing shock from an impact. Custom mouth guards made by your dentist allows for the best fit. A dentist will take molds of your teeth, then using the molds and a special mouth guard material, your dentist or a professional lab will create a custom mouth guard that fits perfectly to your teeth. It would be specific to your mouth. Due to the perfect fit custom guards are the most comfortable and provide the highest protection. They are durable, tear...

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Why do I need to replace my back teeth?

August 18, 2016

All teeth are important to replace, but we cannot forget the teeth we don’t see. Back teeth are called molars. They are robust, strong and built to take the brunt of the chewing forces. They also support the cheeks. So what happens when you are missing the back teeth? The forces from chewing are distributed to the teeth in front. It’s like having a house without the support frame. Front teeth are single rooted and not made to endure chewing forces for long periods of time. They tend to wear down faster and get loose over time without back teeth. Also, the cheeks tend to collapse in which can be esthetically unpleasing. Replacement options for missing back teeth are: Implants Bridges Removable partial denture Combination of above treatment   Options for replacing back teeth can vary depending on which teeth are missing. It’s important to have a consult with a dental professional. Call Dr. Buss today for an...

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Why do I need dental x-rays?

May 17, 2016

  Dental x-rays are an essential part of proper dental care. X-rays, also known as dental radiographs, provide your dentist with a picture of teeth and bone that cannot be seen with the naked eye. With this image your dentist is able to make a more informed diagnosis, find potentially dangerous lesions and maintain your dental health; thus provide you with the highest quality of care. Radiographs screen for: Dental decay Periodontal disease (bone loss) Heavy tartar buildup Abscessed teeth Cysts and tumors in the bone Blockage in arteries Abnormal tooth or jaw structure Childhood development Missing teeth Routine dental radiographs aid in early detection and prevention of tooth decay. For example, cavities that have recently formed in between teeth are visible on x-rays but many times cannot be seen in the mouth. Often with early detection, dental decay can be reversed with fluoride treatments instead of fillings, crowns or root canals. Dentists also use x-rays as an early recognition for gum disease which many times has no symptoms. Diagnosing gum disease before significant bone loss occurs can prevent loose teeth and bad breath. With this knowledge, your hygienist can guide you in proper home care. Good oral hygiene at home and routine...

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What are clear braces? Am I a candidate for Invisalign?

March 29, 2016

Do you want straight teeth without a mouth full of metal? Invisalign is a series of clear trays that are custom fit to your teeth and are worn for two week increments.   Invisalign treats a wide variety of malocclusions like spacing, crowding, orthodontic relapse and more! They are comfortable, easy to talk with and barely noticeable. Invisalign does not use metal wires or brackets to move your teeth. Thus, trauma and cuts to your lips and cheek from the metal are avoided. Tooth colored bonding called “buttons” are used as anchors. Using the buttons, the clear trays will gradually move your teeth into the correct position. The trays are worn for at least 22 hours a day. They can easily be removed prior to eating and brushing.  Also, it is advised to remove the trays when drinking anything hot or anything that would stain a white shirt to avoid distortion or discoloring. It is simple as calling your local Invisalign provider for a consult. The dentist will complete a comprehensive evaluation of your teeth, gums and bite. If you think Invisalign may be the solution for you, Call Dr. Kathryn Buss for your free Invisalign consult today! For more...

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How can I understand my dental insurance?

March 15, 2016

  Dental Insurance can be very confusing to understand so let’s try and simplify: Annual Maximum- Insurances will contribute up to a certain amount on the total dental cost per year (on average $1000-2500 depending on the specific plan). Coverage- Insurances will pay a certain percentage (usually 50-80%) for treatment completed. The patient will be responsible for the remaining percentage even if your annual maximum has not been met. Deductibles- An initial annual fee (deductible) required prior to insurance contributing to the expense of dental treatment. Example: Negotiated Crown price $1250 with a $50 deductible Initial patient responsibility is $50 Insurance pays 50% of $1200 (Initial cost minus deductible) = $600 Patients portion is $600 Total Patient Responsibility would be $650 In-Network vs. Out-of-Network In-Network Dental Providers have lower negotiated fees determined by the insurance company. The insurance company will pay a percentage on those fees. Example Insurance fee for a crown is $1200, with 50% coverage Insurance pays $600 Patients responsibility is $600 Out-of-Network Providers use non-negotiated office fees. The insurance company will only cover the percentage of the insurance fees they have set. Thus the patient portion is usually higher Example: Non-negotiated office fee for a crown...

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How Does Straightening My Teeth Help My Smile?

March 8, 2016

Of course your smile will look great once it is straightened and perfectly aligned. But, there are many more benefits to having a properly aligned smile. Less stress on your teeth and jaw. Your teeth are designed to take over 200 pounds of pressure on a daily basis. When teeth are not properly aligned those forces are not correctly distributed, and may increase the chance of breaking or wearing down teeth. Having teeth in the correct position may also reduce the strain in jaw muscles, assist in speech and reduce chewing complications as well. Improvement in gum health and periodontal health. Gums are often swollen and red around misaligned teeth because crooked teeth are much harder to clean. Overlapped areas and poorly angled teeth trap more plaque. Accumulation of plaque leads to a higher incidence of caries and gum disease. When teeth are correctly aligned, the gums properly fit around teeth and bone reducing the risk for periodontal disease. Improved Overall Health. A beautiful smile is not only a confidence booster, but healthy teeth are directly linked to your overall health. Oral infections, including periodontal disease and caries can lead to other serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and...

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