Westminster, MD Dentist
Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry
715 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-3866
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Supermodel Christie Brinkley has a one-in-a-million smile, but she is just one of millions who have benefited from today's preferred tooth-replacement technique: the dental implant. In a wide-ranging interview, Brinkley told Dear Doctor magazine about a helicopter accident she suffered while back-country skiing.

“I fractured two molars in the back of my mouth and I had to get two dental implants,” Brinkley told the magazine. “I am grateful for the dental implant technology that feels and looks so natural.”

You might think it serves little purpose to replace a missing back tooth that was barely visible in your smile to begin with — especially if you don't spend a lot of time posing for magazine covers. But this is actually not the case. Your molars are extremely important for chewing and even for maintaining a more youthful appearance.

Dentists generally agree that losing posterior (back) teeth can have many consequences for the remaining teeth and their surrounding structures, i.e., bone and gums. If back teeth are missing, the front teeth end up bearing more stress than they were built for. And there are certain things that happen when any tooth is lost, whether front or back, that can affect function and appearance.

For one thing, when a tooth is lost the adjacent teeth tend to drift into the empty space or tip towards it. This can adversely affect your bite. Too much shifting can render a tooth basically useless and also leave it more vulnerable to gum disease.

Another complication is the loss of tooth-supporting bone that inevitably occurs when teeth are lost. When a tooth comes out, the bone under it actually begins to melt away. Since back teeth support the vertical dimension of the face, their loss can cause what's known as “bite collapse” — a reduction in facial height that becomes increasingly noticeable over time and can make you look older.

A dental implant can prevent all of these things, while providing you with a replacement that looks and feels just like the tooth you lost.

If you are interested in learning more about implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Christie Brinkley, please see “The Secret Behind Christie Brinkley's Supermodel Smile.” Dear Doctor magazine also has more on “Replacing Back Teeth.”

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
April 17, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   jaw surgery  

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of misaligned teeth, or malocclusions. The goal is to help patients achieve better long-term oral health by improving teeth alignment. Sometimes, though, the misalignment is much more involved than the position of the teeth — it may be that the jaw structure is also misaligned. In that case, the skills of an oral surgeon may be in order.

The jaws are similar in shape to the arch of a horseshoe, hence the referral to either upper or lower sets of teeth as dental arches. In a normal jaw structure, the lower arch fits just inside the upper arch when you bite down and the teeth are able to function correctly. In some individuals, though, the lower arch closes in front of the upper arch, commonly known as an underbite. If the underbite is only slight, the malocclusion can be corrected by repositioning the teeth only, as with braces. If, though, the underbite is more severe it would require a surgical procedure to realign the jaws, also known as orthognathic surgery.

Orthognathic surgery can help relieve a number of functional complications caused by jaw-related malocclusions: difficulty chewing and swallowing; chronic jaw or head pain; or sleep apnea. It can also enhance the patient’s facial appearance by correcting an imbalance between the two lateral sides (asymmetry), or by minimizing a receding chin or protruding jaw.

Its primary benefit, though, is its effect on the patient’s bite and tooth alignment. For this purpose, the orthodontist and oral surgeon work together to achieve the best result possible. In some cases, the orthodontist may perform his or her work first by moving teeth into the proper position. This sets the stage for the oral surgeon to perform orthognathic surgery to complete the correction of the misalignment.

Each individual patient’s case is different — the best plan of action must begin with a full examination by an orthodontist, and a consultation with an oral surgeon if necessary. It may require time and the expertise of two specialties, but the final result will be better health and a better look.

If you would like more information on various orthodontic procedures, 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 “Jaw Surgery & Orthodontics.”

We thought this article from MSN would be a good read!

How much should the tooth fairy give?

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
April 02, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

Is there anything that radio and TV personality (and self-proclaimed “King of All Media”) Howard Stern doesn’t want to talk about in public? Maybe not — but it took a caller’s on-air question to get the infamous shock jock to open up about his own dental work.

When he was directly asked if his teeth were capped, Stern said no. “I redid ‘em [some time] ago… I had bonding and um… veneers… over my real teeth. But I don’t get that ‘Hollywood white’ though,” he said, before adding his uncensored opinion on the subject of proper tooth shades.

As we’re sure Stern would be the first to point out, everyone has a right to their own opinion. But we’re pleased that Howard brought up an important point about veneers: They are custom-made in a whole range of different shades, from a more ‘natural’ tooth color to a brilliant white shine. Which one you select depends on what look is right for you — and that’s your choice.

In case you aren’t familiar with veneers, they are fingernail-thin coverings made of porcelain, which are bonded onto the surfaces of the teeth. This enables them to hide a number of defects — like chips, discoloration, and even small irregularities in spacing. They can also be used to lengthen teeth that seem out of proportion to the gums, lips or other facial features.

Veneers are among the cosmetic dental treatments most favored by Hollywood stars… as well as regular folks who want a dramatic improvement in their smile. Unlike crowns (caps), which generally require extensive reshaping of the tooth, standard veneers require the removal of just fractions of a millimeter of tooth surface. That makes them a minimally invasive method of smile enhancement that can make a big difference in your appearance. In fact, veneers are often a major part of a complete “smile makeover.”

Dental veneers are custom made in a laboratory from a mold of your teeth. They are designed to fit your teeth perfectly — and to be just the shade you want. When you come in for a consultation, we will discuss what you like and don’t like about your smile, and how we might improve it. Will you opt to get the brilliant “red-carpet” smile you always wished for… or go for a subtle, more natural tooth color? Only you can decide.

Howard Stern’s veneers may be the most restrained thing about him… but we’re just glad that veneers helped him get the kind of smile he wanted. You can, too. If you would like more information on dental veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Patrick R. Gallagher III, D.D.S
March 24, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Prescription medications can be stolen from medicine cabinets. They can be flushed down the toilet, potentially contaminating the ground and waterways. They can be accidentally ingested by children and pets.

That’s why Carroll health and law enforcement officials worked to add another prescription medication drop-off box in the county at the Maryland State Police Westminster barrack, bringing the total to five safe disposal spots around the county. And these boxes really fill up, according to Linda Auerback, the substance abuse prevention supervisor at the Carroll County Health Department.


The box was placed in the lobby at MSP’s barrack last week, where it will be available to the public 24/7. The box is extremely heavy, making it nearly impossible to steal, said Detective Sgt. Padraic Lacy, who was instrumental in starting the disposal program at the Westminster barrack.

Carroll’s year-round medication disposal program launched in 2009, and collection sites are sprinkled throughout the county in Taneytown, Sykesville, Westminster and Greenmount, according to the program’s flier. About 4,240 pounds of medication have been netted in total, according to Jessica Bullock, a Carroll County Sheriff’s Office crime scene specialist.

More than three out of four people who misuse prescription painkillers use drugs prescribed to someone else, and about 55 percent of those who abuse pills obtain them for free from a friend or relative, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from a 2010 study.

Exploring the expansion of prescription drug drop-off sites was a goal stated in Carroll’s Opiate Overdose Prevention Plan.

As Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene officials looked at 2012’s fatal overdose statistics, they noticed a 54 percent rise in heroin deaths in the state from 2011. Prescription painkiller deaths decreased during that same time frame but still were at 293 in the state in 2012.

Heroin and prescription pills are both opioids, and health and law enforcement officials have stated that a prescription painkiller addicts sometimes turn to heroin when the pill supply runs low because it produces a similar high.

Fatal heroin overdoses rose from two in 2011 to 13 in 2012 in Carroll. Prescription painkiller deaths in Carroll rose from five in 2011 to 17 in 2012, according to the latest statistics from DHMH. More updated data is not available at this time, according to DHMH spokeswoman Karen Black.

The high number of fatal overdoses in both categories prompted the state to create a Maryland Opioid Overdose Prevention Plan released in January 2013. And the state mandated each jurisdiction craft one as well.

The goal of the drop-off sites is to ensure medication is disposed of properly.

The collection sites have certain guidelines, according to a Maryland State Police news release: Over the counter and prescription medications are accepted as long as they are sealed in a container; an original container is preferred. Narcotics and illegal drugs are prohibited, as are syringes, needles, diabetic waste and sharp objects.

Auerback said it’s best to utilize these sites to ensure pills don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“If they’re at your home, they can be abused or misused — not just by teens, but by anybody who it’s not prescribed for, “ she said.

Drop-off sites

Source: http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/local/msp-adds-prescription-medication-disposal-box-at-westminster-barrack/article_d6af0b47-fe99-5bef-b11e-0d6981d67e04.html

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