Westminster, MD Dentist
Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry
715 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-3866
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Posts for: June, 2016

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
June 20, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
SpiceUpYourTeeth

As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.

What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.

For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.

Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.

Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.

So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”


By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
June 12, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: braces   oral hygiene  
EffectiveHygieneisKeytoPreventingEnamelWhiteSpotsWhileWearingBraces

Finally — your braces are off! A look in the mirror reveals a straighter, more attractive smile. Unfortunately, it may also show something not so attractive — tiny, chalky spots on your teeth.

These “white spot lesions” are created by acid remaining too long in contact with the enamel, causing it to lose minerals at those places. The acid comes from plaque (a thin film of bacteria and food particles) that brushing and flossing fail to remove. Snacking on foods and beverages with added sugar or high acid content may also make it worse.

Besides their unattractiveness, these spots can lead to tooth decay — so it’s important to try to prevent it. Limiting sugar-added snacks and acidic beverages to mealtimes will help, but the main key to preventing lesions is more thorough brushing and flossing.

Because of the braces, this can take longer to do than if you weren’t wearing them. It’s also more difficult maneuvering your toothbrush or floss around the orthodontic hardware. You can improve thoroughness and access by using a powered brush or one specially designed for use with braces. And, a water flosser that removes plaque between teeth with a pulsating spray of water is an effective alternative to string floss.

Even if (despite your best efforts) some lesions form, we can still treat them. Resuming normal hygiene practices after braces may take care of it — if not, we can strengthen the affected areas of the enamel with pastes, gels, or other topical fluoride applications. We can also use a technique called caries infiltration that injects tooth-colored resin (often used for cosmetic dentistry) beneath the white spot to harden it, and leave it more translucent in resemblance of normal enamel. If these fail to produce satisfactory results, we can use cosmetic bonding that permanently covers the tooth with resin or veneers.

It’s best, though, if you can prevent the lesions while you’re wearing braces. Besides daily hygiene, be sure to keep up regular dental visits for teeth cleaning. Your efforts will go a long way toward keeping your newly aligned teeth bright and blemish-free.

If you would like more information on dental care and hygiene while wearing braces, 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 “White Spots on Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”


By Gallagher and Eden Dental
June 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

While looking into replacement options for your missing tooth or teeth, you may have run across dental implants. These implants, which use a biocompatible titanium post called a fixture to replace a tooth’s root and the tooth itself, can completely overhaul your smile. But are dental implants right for you? Find out the answers to some commonly asked questions about dental implants with help from your Dental ImplantsWestminster, MD dentist.

What can dental implants do for me? 
Dental implants are a versatile procedure which can replace one, many or all of your teeth. Single tooth replacement uses one implant to replace one tooth. Multiple tooth replacement allows your dentist to use several implants to hold a row of prosthetic teeth in place. Your dentist can also strategically place implants throughout the arch to hold an implant-supported denture in place to replace all of the teeth on an arch.

How long do dental implants last? 
The implant’s fixture is implanted into the jawbone beneath your missing tooth. Over time, the fixture integrates with the bone, becoming a permanent part of your smile. While the prosthetic tooth itself may require maintenance over time, your implant will last a lifetime with the proper care.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants? 
If you are missing one or more teeth, you could benefit from dental implants. However, untreated missing teeth no longer stimulate the bone underneath them. This lack of stimulation causes the bone to degrade. Good candidates for dental implants have healthy enough bone for implantation and integration and can undergo general anesthesia and the recovery time required by the procedure.

What is the procedure like? 
The procedure for dental implants usually takes place in two parts. The first part involves an initial consultation with your Westminster dentist to determine if implants are right for you. Surgery involves implanting the implant’s fixture into the jawbone. During recovery, the fixture begins to integrate into the bone. After successful integration, the second part of the procedure begins. At this point, your dentist works with a dental laboratory to create the prosthetic teeth. Then, your dentist affixes the replacement teeth to your implant, completing the procedure.

Caring for Your Implants
Dental implants require a strong at-home oral care routine in order to remain healthy. Brush at least twice daily and floss at least once. See your dentist at least twice a year to maintain both your natural teeth and implants alike.

For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Patrick Gallagher III at Gallagher and Eden Dental in Westminster, MD. Call (410) 848-3866 to schedule your consultation for dental implants today!


By Patrick Gallagher DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
June 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Flossing  

Learn more about why your should floss regularly from your East Lansing dentist.

Have you ever wondered if flossing is really worth the effort? Dr. Thomas G. Faiver, your East Lansing, MI dentist, explains why flossing is such an important part of your oral hygiene routine and shares a few flossing tips.Flossing

Why should I floss?

The benefits of flossing include:

  • Fresher breath: Flossing removes small bits of food that can become trapped between teeth. If the food particles aren't removed, they begin to decay, causing bad breath.
  • Healthier teeth: Although brushing your teeth is a very effective way to remove plaque from your teeth, your toothbrush bristles can't penetrate the areas between your teeth. Flossing gets rid of plaque in hard-to-reach areas and reduces your risk of developing cavities between your teeth.
  • Reduced risk of gum disease: Plaque turns into a hard deposit called tartar if it isn't removed. When plaque forms at your gum line, it can cause painful gum disease. Flossing helps prevent the formation of tartar.

How should I floss?

Follow these three flossing steps once each day:

  1. Wrap an 18" length of dental floss around your middle fingers on each hand. Use your thumb and index fingers to control the movement of the floss.
  2. Gently rub the floss up and down between each tooth.
  3. Curve the floss around the base of each tooth to remove plaque from your gums. Use very gentle pressure, not a sawing motion, when you floss around your gums.

What kind of floss is best?

Any type of floss is effective in removing plaque, although you may find some types more comfortable than others. If you have wide spaces between your teeth, it might be easier to clean your teeth with floss tape, while waxed, string-like floss may be a better choice if your teeth are close together.

Brushing and flossing, in addition to regular dental exams, are the key to good oral health. Call Dr. Faiver, your East Lansing, MI, dentist, at (517) 351-7222 to schedule your next dental appointment. Keep your teeth strong and healthy with flossing!