Westminster, MD Dentist
Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry
715 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-3866
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By Office of Dr. Patrick Gallagher
May 22, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Dental Veneers Find out in what ways getting dental veneers in Westminster could help you.

First impressions mean a lot. This can be unfortunate if you are dealing with a less-than-perfect smile. Those who have dental flaws may find themselves less comfortable in social situations or even avoid them altogether. If this sounds like you, then it might be time to talk to your Westminster dentist to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental veneers.

The Purpose of Dental Veneers

There is a reason why dental veneers may become a popular cosmetic treatment option for many patients. These thin porcelain shells are permanently bonded to the front of the teeth to hide imperfections. Each veneer is custom-made to match the rest of your smile’s natural color, so no one will be able to tell that you are wearing veneers. Dental veneers are used to correct these aesthetic smile issues:

  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Overlapping/overcrowding
  • Misshapen teeth

Candidates for Dental Veneers

Each set of veneers are custom-made to work with each patient’s treatment goals. The first step is for your Westminster dentist to evaluate the health of your smile and to talk about your expectations for treatment to make sure that dental veneers are the right fit for your lifestyle and needs. You could be great for porcelain veneers if you fit these criteria:

  • Your teeth are healthy and cavity-free
  • You don’t have gum disease
  • You don’t grind your teeth
  • You have an aligned bite
  • You have enough healthy tooth enamel

If you think dental veneers could finally give you back the smile you want, then it’s time to talk to your Westminster dentist, Dr. Patrick Gallagher. Call him today to schedule an evaluation. Take the necessary steps to get a more beautiful smile!

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
May 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  
RoyalTreatmentforaDamagedTooth

If your tooth sustains damage that compromises its structure — typically through decay or trauma — you have several options depending on the extent of the damage: One of them is a crown. This method saves the tooth and its root and completely conceals the visible portion of the tooth, or crown, under a natural-looking cap made to mimic as closely as possible the size, shape and color of the original tooth.

Crowns also hide imperfections in the original tooth like discoloration, chipping, fractures, excessive wear (from bruxism, or tooth grinding, for example), or abnormalities in the way the tooth formed. And they’re used following root canal treatments, which treat infected pulp at the center (canal) of a tooth root by removing the pulp and replacing it with an inert, rubber-like material.

Saving the natural tooth has long been the goal of dentistry because normal micromovements of the tooth root, which is suspended in its jawbone socket by elastic ligaments, stimulate the surrounding bone to rejuvenate. Without that stimulation, the bone continues to lose old cells, but no longer replaces them. Crowns are also designed to restore tooth function.

The function and location of the damaged tooth can determine what material the crown will be made of. If the damaged tooth is clearly visible when you smile, porcelain, the most realistic-looking material, is almost always used. If the tooth receives significant bite force, a stronger material is considered — either, a gold/porcelain combination, or a high-strength ceramic. If you are restoring a second molar, an all-gold crown may be considered.

With the advent of dental implants, saving a damaged tooth is no longer the only option for preserving the health of the bone surrounding the tooth root. The implant — a tiny biocompatible, titanium screw-like artificial root — is placed in the jawbone and is then capped with a natural-looking crown of course!

If you would like more information about dental crowns, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
April 30, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
MatthewLewissMetamorphosis

Remember Matthew Lewis? You've seen him in all of the Harry Potter movies, where he played the bumbling Neville Longbottom: a pudgy, teenage wizard-in-training whose teeth could best be described as... dodgy. We won't spoil the movie by telling you what happens to him in the end — but in real life, let's just say his awkward phase is over. Today, he looks more like a young Ryan Gosling. How did this transformation happen?

Well, in part it was some “Hollywood magic” that made his teeth look worse in the films than they really were. But Lewis acknowledges that he also had cosmetic dental work performed. If you've ever considered getting a smile makeover yourself, you may wonder: What kinds of “dental magic” might it take to change an awkward grin into a red-carpet smile? Here are a few of the treatments we might utilize.

Orthodontics
It's possible to correct tooth crowding, protrusion, gaps between teeth, and many other bite problems with orthodontic appliances like braces or clear aligners. While some may think orthodontics is just for teens, that isn't so — you're never too old to get the smile you've always wanted! In fact, right now about one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.

Teeth Whitening
This is a popular (and surprisingly affordable) option that can effectively lighten your teeth by six shades or more. We can do in-office whitening for the fastest results, or prepare a take-home whitening kit with a custom-made tray to fit your teeth perfectly and a supply of the proper bleaching solution. How well it will work for you (and how long it will last) depends on various factors, including the original cause of the discoloration, and your preferences for foods and beverages (such as coffee or red wine) that may cause stains.

Porcelain Veneers
Sometimes, even professional bleaching isn't enough to get the kind of permanent, “Hollywood white” smile you'd like; that's where porcelain veneers come in. By placing a fingernail-thin layer of ceramic over the tooth's enamel, veneers offer a permanent, pearly white finish that looks just like your natural teeth — only more dazzling! Veneers, long the first choice of celebrities, are gaining popularity with plenty of “regular” folks.

Tooth Restorations
This category covers a wide variety of different methods and materials — like cosmetic bonding, crowns, bridges, and dental implants — which we use to repair or replace teeth that are damaged or missing. Beginning with the simple repair of small chips or cracks with tooth-colored resins, we can progress to more permanent crown restorations when more of the tooth structure needs replacement. To restore missing teeth, we have the option of using the tried-and-true bridge — or, the current gold standard in tooth replacement: the lifelike, permanent dental implant.

Of course, this is just a bare outline of the many tools and techniques cosmetic dentistry offers. We would be happy to talk with you about which ones are right in your individual situation. Will a smile makeover land you a red-carpet role? Maybe... but one thing is for sure: It will help you get the smile you've always wanted.

If you would like more information about smile makeovers and options in cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Cosmetic Dentistry,” “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers,” and “Dental Implants.”

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
April 15, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   cold sore  
IrritatingColdSoreOutbreakscanbeControlledThroughMedication

Although normally benign, a cold sore outbreak can be irritating and embarrassing. Understanding why they occur is the first step to minimizing outbreaks.

The typical cold sore (also known as a fever blister) is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Type I, medically known as “Herpes Labialis” because it occurs on or around the lips. This virus is not to be confused with HSV Type II, which causes a genital infection. Unlike most viruses, HSV Type I can cause a recurring sore outbreak in certain people. Most viruses tend to occur only once because the body produces anti-bodies to prevent further attack; it’s believed HSV Type I, however, can shield itself from these defenses by hiding in the body’s nerve roots.

These cold sore outbreaks often occur during periods of high stress, overexposure to sunlight or injuries to the lip. Initially you may have an itch or slight burning around the mouth that escalates into more severe itching, redness, swelling and blistering. The sores will break out for about a week to ten days and then scab over and eventually heal (unless they become infected, in which case the healing process may go longer). You’re contagious between the first symptoms and healing, and so can spread the virus to other people.

In recent years, anti-viral prescription medications have been developed that can effectively prevent HSV outbreaks, or at least reduce the healing time after an occurrence. The most common of these are acyclovir and valcyclovir, proven effective with only a few possible mild side effects. They can be taken routinely by people with recurring cold sores to suppress regular outbreaks.

While HSV Type I cold sores are more an aggravation than a health danger, it’s still important for you to see us initially for an examination if you encounter an outbreak. It’s possible for a more serious condition to masquerade as a cold sore or blister. A visit to us may also get you on the right track to reducing the frequency of outbreaks, as well as minimizing discomfort when they do occur.

If you would like more information on the treatment of cold sores, 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 “Cold Sores.”

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
April 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Do you have one or more missing teeth? If so, dental implants from Patrick R. Gallagher DDS in Westminster may be just perfect for you. Get the answers to all of your questions here.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are dental devices that replace your missing or badly damaged teeth. They consist of a crown (which takes the place Dental Implantsof your old tooth), a screw (which anchors the implant into your jawbone) and an abutment (which connects the two together). Dental implants can be used to replace one, several or even a mouth full of teeth.

What are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

Dental implants from Dr. Gallagher in Westminster are strong, durable and dependable. Unlike other tooth replacement options, they will last a lifetime if taken care of properly. Dental implants look and feel completely natural, so no one even has to know you are wearing false teeth. They are easy to clean and take care of, they don't move around, and they can even help you maintain the health and shape of your face and jaw as you age.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Westminster residents considering visiting Dr. Gallagher for dental implants must have good oral health and a jaw bone strong and thick enough to support the implants. They must be healthy enough for surgery and they must commit to taking care of their dental implants for a lifetime.

How Long Do Dental Implants Take to Place?

The process of getting dental implants typically requires around five office visits spread out over the course of three to eight months. This is because each piece of the implant needs to be placed and have time to heal before the next piece is placed. Once the procedure is finished, Dr. Gallagher will want to see you again for a follow-up appointment to check the fit.

If you are considering visiting Dr. Gallagher in Westminster for dental implants, you are making an excellent choice. If you have any more questions or concerns, please call our office. We'd be happy to discuss your options and help you set up an appointment today!





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