Tag Archives: Newton dentist

Re-doing All Crowns to Match ONE?

I have 17-year-old crowns on my front arch. There are six of them One of them developed decay which caused it to come loose. I knew that meant a filling and a new crown, but didn’t know that meant I’d have to replace EVERY crown. Why can’t he just match the one crown instead of re-doing all of them? Do I need a cosmetic dentist or is this standard procedure?


Dear Brooke,

porcelain crown being placed on a tooth

It sounds like your dentist doesn’t have a lot of experience with cosmetic dentistry. If he was a skilled cosmetic dentist, he’d be able to match a single crown to the rest of them. He’s not able to and I wouldn’t push him. The results would not be what you’re hoping for.

Instead, you’ll need to see a dentist who’s invested time in training as a cosmetic dentist. It’s hard to know who is skilled and who isn’t. Plus, who has the time to search through dozens of dentists credentials and artistic results? Not most people.

Finding a Skilled Cosmetic Dentist

In your case, I’d look on the mynewsmile.com website. They screen cosmetic dentists who ask to be listed. They can’t just purchase their way onto the site.

In order for a cosmetic dentist to get a listing, they have to show their technical knowledge and skill, as well as provide photographic evidence of cases they’ve done showing they also have artistry in their work and can create beautiful smiles.

Replace One or All?

All that being said, your crowns are seventeen years old. They’re going to start failing you. At least you know the dentist who placed them did a good job because they’ve had a great lifespan. In this situation you have two choices:

  • Replace all the crowns at once to save multiple trips to the dentist.
  • Replace them one at a time, as needed, to save paying a large amount of money at once.

Whichever decision you choose, I’d still make sure you did it with an artistic cosmetic dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Invisalign and the Flu

I have the flu. I know I have to throw away my toothbrush. Do I also have to throw away my aligners? I would really hate to do that. They’re way pricier than my toothbrush. Is there a way to disinfect them? If I have to throw them away do I just go to the next set?


Dear Lucy,

Invisalign Aligner

I’m very sorry you have the flu. You probably feel miserable right now. At least I have some good news for you. You do NOT have to throw away your Invisalign aligners. Your body is already developing antibodies to the strain of the flu you’ve developed. Simply cleaning your aligners as you normally would is sufficient.

If you’re worried about it anyway and want to disinfect them or if you’ve been vomiting, then you can let them soak in vinegar for about ten minutes and then rinse them out thoroughly afterward. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant.

Hydration and Invisalign

It’s always important to stay hydrated. That becomes even more essential when you are sick. Often, when people have a virus they purchase electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade. It makes sense. You need to replenish those nutrients, especially if you’re vomiting.

A word of warning, though. These type of drinks often have sugar in them. You’ll need to immediately rinse out your aligners after drinking them. Otherwise, the drink will pool in your aligners and eat away at your tooth enamel. That will quickly lead to decay.

While it’s okay to drink Gatorade, make sure you are mostly drinking water while your aligners are in. This way you won’t have to worry about it getting in your aligner and causing damage.

When an Aligner Goes AWOL

You brought up a good question when you asked what aligner you’d go to if you had to get rid of one. Sometimes an aligner will get damaged or lost. Once a patient accidentally put hers in the dryer and it became completely warped.

If you lose an aligner, you can go ahead to the next pair. Just be certain you don’t do that too often. The reason for the two-week duration is to give the bone time to reform around the teeth roots in their new position. Without that, the teeth will eventually become loose. You want to straighten your teeth, not lose them.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

My Wife’s Worried I’m Going to Die in My Sleep

Can you help put my wife’s mind at ease? She’s convinced I’m going to die in my sleep because she says I stop breathing. Obviously, I’m not or I wouldn’t be alive, but I can’t convince her. The last two nights she didn’t sleep because she kept watching me breathe and shaking me awake when she thought I’d stopped. I can’t keep going like this and neither can she. She wants me to see a dentist for sleep apnea but I think I’d know if something like that was going on.


Dear Alan,

man snoring keeping wife awake
One of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea is snoring

Let’s pause a second and think about the fact that our wives love us so much they’re willing to lose sleep out of fear we’re not okay. Though, their worry can drive us what my daughter calls “banana balls”, the intent is something to be grateful for.

As to whether or not you can stop breathing in your sleep without realizing it, you actually can. In fact, patients with sleep apnea can do that many times a night without knowing.

Here’s what happens. When someone lays down, especially on their backs, the muscles in the back of their throat can sometimes relax, partially blocking the airway. This often results in snoring because you end up vibrating the muscles. You may ask your wife if you sometimes snore. Though, I’m pretty sure she’d have complained about that by now so you’d know.

What you’re likely dealing with is something known as obstructive sleep apnea. This is when those muscles completely block the airway. You stop breathing, but your brain realizes that and then jolts you awake. Though, you don’t wake up all the way, which is why you don’t realize it’s happening. Instead, you wake up just enough to adjust your mouth and thereby your throat and start breathing again.

Treatments for Sleep Apnea

mandibular device

Many patients have found relief from sleep apnea by using a CPAP machine while they sleep. But, they’re loud and bulky so just as many patients hate them. Instead of a CPAP, I prefer to start with using a mandibular advancement device, such as the one pictured directly above. They fit a lot like a sports mouth guard and have much better patient satisfaction.

It gently glides your lower jaw into proper position while you sleep, thereby keeping your airway unobstructed giving you a great night’s sleep. If this works for a patient, there’s no reason to try something else.

So, while you don’t feel there’s a problem there could be. It wouldn’t hurt to have a sleep study done because as you’re not likely to die in your sleep from it, sleep apnea does cause heart problems.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Worried about Porcelain Veneer Repair

I had porcelain veneers done. I like them, but once I got home I noticed one had a scratch on it. I called the office because I was worried it would break. He told me not to worry but come in the next morning and he’d smooth out the scratch. I did and he fixed it right away. I think I may be panicking but now it seems dull to me where he repaired it. Am I imagining things? Am I being too picky?


Dear Jessica,

Porcelain veneers being placed on a tooth

Sadly, you’re probably not imagining things. It sounds like your dentist smoothed out the scratch but didn’t polish the glaze back up. This tells me he’s not a dentist who’s invested a lot of time learning cosmetic dentistry.

It’s important you get this repaired right away. He’s removed the glaze on your porcelain veneer. This is what gives your porcelain veneers their shine. Even more importantly, it’s what keeps them from picking up stains. Soon, that dull spot will start to become stained and will be an obvious blight on your teeth.

Repairing Porcelain Veneers That Lost their Glaze

You have two choices. There is a diamond polishing kit which can work to repair the glaze on your damaged veneer. Unfortunately, I don’t think your dentist is aware of this procedure, nor will he have the equipment needed to perform it. If you want to go this way, you’ll likely need to find an expert cosmetic dentist.

Look on the mynewsmile.com website to see what cosmetic dentists they recommend in your area. Anyone on their list will be able to do a good repair.

Your second option is to have your dentist just redo another veneer for that tooth.

Whichever you decide, you’re within your rights for him to pay for the repair or replacement. Just make sure you let him know as soon as possible. Otherwise, he could try to blame you for the problem. This way his “repair” is still fresh on his mind.

Cleaning Porcelain Veneers

One other thing to note. As your dentist isn’t an expert cosmetic dentist, his staff is not likely well trained on how to deal with them during cleaning. Whatever you do, do not let your hygienist use any type of power polishing equipment, such as a Prophy Jet.

That will take the glaze completely off every veneer you have.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Will invisalign work if I am missing teeth?

If I’m missing two teeth, will that mean I can’t have invisalign? I don’t want braces, especially at my age. Will I need to replace the teeth first?

Sonya M. – Michigan


It’s not likely the missing teeth will be a problem with Invisalign. But that depends on a couple of things.

First, which teeth are missing

Second, how many are missing.

It’s possible you won’t even have to replace them, depending on which teeth they are.

The key will be to see a few general dentists who place invisalign. Orthodontists, tend to lead toward wires and brackets, which is where their training is.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Pregnancy Induced Sleep Apnea

I’m 28 weeks pregnant, and often times when I sleep I get a shortness of breath which wakes me suddenly gasping for air. I’ve never had a problem like this before. It sounds like the symptoms of sleep apnea. Can I get pregnancy induced sleep apnea?

Melissa A. – Utah


You are right in your idea of what sleep apnea is. It is a sleeping disorder, where there are pauses in your breathing. Instead of breathing in and out normally, you will spontaneously stop breathing and start back up again.

This can happen several times during the night. The incidence of sleep apnea in women of childbearing age is somewhere between one to ten percent. Lots of people may have sleep apnea without even knowing it. Women in particular, are more likely to develop sleep apnea during pregnancy and after menopause. Shortness of breath, along with restless sleep are very common in pregnancy, and alone aren’t indicative of sleep apnea.

It is actually quite rare in an otherwise healthy woman with an uncomplicated pregnancy. It is more common in women with high blood pressure, preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. However, do keep in mind that during pregnancy, the physical changes you experience may contribute to the development of sleep apnea. Also, pregnancy hormones can congest the mucous membranes of the upper airway; that congestion can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea.

It’s advisable to keep your weight gain within the recommended limits (not easy in pregnancy, I know), and talk to your doctor about any symptoms you are having. They can do further testing, such as a sleep study, which is the best way of getting an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis.

This blog is brought to you by Newton Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.



Does a snoring device just mask sleep apnea symptoms?

I believe my husband has sleep apnea. He thinks the problem is just snoring. I’d like him to see a dentist to get treated. He thinks all he needs to do is get a noring device. I’m afraid that will just mask the problem.  What should he do?

Reina H. – New Mexico


Honestly, either scenario could be right. For mild to moderate sleep apnea an anti-snoring device will be just fine.  But, if he has a more severe case of sleep apnea, then he’ll likely need a breathing machine.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition.  Getting treatment is important.He may be waking up regularly  because he’s not breathing. Some patients don’t even realize that it is happening.

This can lead to daytime sleepiness as well as many other, more serious, health conditions.

The sooner he gets treatment, the quicker his symptoms will fade, and you’ll both feel more rested. If he’s already got an appointment scheduled with the dentist soon, it’s probably ok for him to speak to the doctor about it then. However, if he’s booked more than a couple weeks out, it’s worth checking to see if he can be seen sooner.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.