My Blog

Posts for: April, 2016

Your teeth are incredibly durable, able to withstand the test of time and everyday use. However, their durability does not save them from damage throughout the course of your life. Chips and stains are bound to happen, no matter how great your at-home oral care routine is. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry from your Englewood, NJ dentist can repair these imperfections to give you back your smile.


What is cosmetic dentistry? 
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on using dental procedures to make your smile beautiful. These procedures are aimed at improving your smile’s appearance and, in some cases, its functionality as well. Whether your smile is compromised by decay, trauma or simple wear and tear, your cosmetic dentist has a procedure for you.


Professional Teeth Whitening: A surefire way to brighten and renew your smile, teeth whitening is a fast, effective procedure. Chemical reactions break up your teeth’s stains, giving them a whiter appearance. Most professional whitening sessions last about an hour, resulting in dramatic results.


Dental Veneers: Veneers cover the surface of your teeth to produce a whole new smile. Each veneer is custom-sculpted from porcelain by a dental laboratory technician. Veneers usually take two dental appointments to complete: one to prepare the teeth and one to place the veneers after the lab completes the permanent restorations.


Tooth Contouring & Reshaping: Contouring and reshaping makes subtle changes to the teeth to produce big results. In this procedure, your Englewood dentist shaves tiny bits of enamel from the bottom of the teeth to even them out. Many people with “pointy” incisors or one tooth which is longer than others benefit from contouring.


Crowns/Bridges: Dental crowns sit over the top of a tooth to protect and strengthen it. The restoration completely changes the appearance of a tooth, making crowns a good option for covering a misshapen or discolored natural tooth. Bridges replace a missing tooth using a row of porcelain restorations. A crown on either side of the bridge attaches it to the teeth surrounding the gap.


Dental Implants: Dental implants are a small, titanium post, called a fixture, which are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace a tooth’s root. Implants are the most secure and permanent way to replace your missing teeth. A dental crown attached to the fixture takes the place of the missing tooth, providing a natural appearance and a functional replacement.


Braces: A rite of passage for teenagers everywhere, orthodontic treatment does more than just straighten the teeth. Braces also resolve bite issues like overbite, underbite and crossbite.


For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Mark H. Docktor at Dental Arts of Englewood in Englewood, NJ. Call (201) 894-9998 to schedule your appointment today!


While cigarette smoking has been linked with lung cancer and heart disease, it, can also contribute to dental disease. You can reduce these risks by doing one thing — quitting smoking.

But that’s easier said than done: forty-six percent of smokers try to quit every year, but only one in ten are successful long term. The difficulty is tied to tobacco’s active ingredient, nicotine, an addictive substance that triggers chemical and behavioral dependence. Nicotine “re-wires” the brain to feel pleasure when it encounters the chemical, and to feel bad when it’s deprived. Social, occupational or recreational activities can further reinforce the habit.

Many smokers try to quit through sheer willpower or “cold turkey.” Because of nicotine’s addictive properties, this rarely works — instead, you need a comprehensive strategy tailored to you.

You should begin first with trying to understand your individual smoking patterns: when do you smoke, how frequently, or during what activities? To help with this you can use a “wrap sheet”, a piece of paper you keep wrapped around your cigarette pack. Each time you take out a cigarette, you would record how you feel on the sheet. This also slows down the action of taking out a cigarette and lighting it, which can help you become less mechanical and more mindful of your habit.

You can also break your dependence by gradually introducing restrictions to your smoking: smoke only in certain locations or at certain times; substitute other stress-relieving activities like a walk or other physical exercise; or gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke. You can do the latter by setting a goal, say to smoke 20% fewer cigarettes each successive week; this will force you to increasingly make choices about when you smoke.

Finally, don’t try to go it alone. You can benefit greatly from professionals, including your dentist, to help you kick the habit through Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NTR) with prescription medication, counseling or smoking cessation support groups.

Quitting smoking isn’t so much stopping a behavior as it is “unlearning” one and establishing new, healthier ones. The first step, though, is accepting you need a change, one that will benefit your whole life.

If you would like more information on quitting smoking, 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 “Strategies to Stop Smoking.”


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.”