Category: Dentistry

Is Being Vegan Bad for Your Teeth?

11 Aug 2020 by  admin in Dentistry

Veganism is a diet and a lifestyle that eschews all animal products, including the consumption of meat, eggs, honey, and milk, and the wearing of leather and fur. There are many compelling reasons to become a vegan. Some are drawn to the low-cholesterol diet, while others are concerned about animal welfare and the environmental impact of consumer choices.

Following a vegan diet can be very healthy. However, it’s not without its challenges. For instance, it may sometimes increase the risk of oral health issues. Fortunately, it’s still possible to maintain good oral health on a vegan diet—you simply need to be aware of the potential problems and be dedicated to avoiding them.

The effects of veganism on oral health

When planned properly, a vegan diet can be very healthy. In fact, consuming a diet high in vegetables and fruits may help guard against certain cancers. However, any time a person cuts out an entire food group, there is the potential for nutritional deficiencies. Some of these nutritional deficiencies can adversely affect oral health, as the teeth need important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

Another risk to be aware of is the nutritional content of meat substitutes. A vegan diet can sometimes be high in grains and other starchy foods. A high consumption of these starchy foods can increase the risk of tooth decay. To combat this issue, dentists recommend that vegans (and everyone else!) brush their teeth after each meal for at least two minutes. Floss at least once daily (although more often is beneficial) and see your dentist for a professional cleaning and check-up at least every six months. If you do have a history of tooth decay, however, your dentist might recommend more frequent appointments.

The importance of arginine

Regarding nutritional deficiencies, there are workarounds if you plan your diet carefully. One issue to be aware of is the role of arginine in a standard diet. Arginine is an amino acid that is naturally present in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. Unfortunately, many vegans don’t get enough arginine, and this amino acid is important for breaking down dental plaque and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

Lesser amounts of arginine are available in certain vegan-friendly foods, namely black beans, soybeans, and bean sprouts. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts, chickpeas, lentils, and spirulina also have arginine. In addition to incorporating these foods into your diet on a regular basis, consider asking your dentist about toothpaste and mouthwash products that contain arginine.

Taking a closer look at calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is essential for building strong, healthy teeth that are resistant to tooth decay. For non-vegans, dairy products are a common source of calcium. However, there are also vegan-friendly sources of calcium, such as broccoli, leafy greens, and soybeans. In addition to eating these, you might consider taking a calcium supplement.

Not all of the calcium you ingest may be absorbed properly by the body. You’ll also need vitamin D to aid in the absorption. Vitamin D is commonly found in fatty fish and dairy products. Vegans can look for vitamin D-fortified milk alternatives, such as almond, soy, or rice milk.

Schedule a dental consult in Huntington, Long Island

At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we work with a diverse population of patients. Our experienced team will customize your dental care to suit your unique needs and concerns. We focus on preventive care, as well as restorative treatments and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule a one-on-one consultation with our dentist in Huntington, LI, by calling today!

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Why Am I Getting Gaps Between My Teeth?

22 Jul 2020 by  admin in Dentistry

If you have a gap in your smile, you’re not alone. Diastema, or spacing between the teeth, is a relatively common dental concern that can occur in both children and adults. Most instances of Diastema occur between the two front teeth, leaving a gap between the left and right side of the upper arch of teeth. Still, gaps can occur anywhere in your smile and can be caused by a variety of factors.

Causes of Diastema

There are many reasons why people might have extra space between their teeth—from age and genetics to facial trauma or dental procedures.

Here are some of the most common causes of gaps in teeth:

Baby teeth

It is completely normal and quite common for kids to have gaps between multiple teeth. It is usually due to the small size of baby teeth in comparison to the jaw bone. If your child has not outgrown Diastema after they have received all of their adult molars, you may need to visit an orthodontist.


Just like kids may grow out of Diastema, older adults may grow into it. As we age, our teeth naturally shift, occasionally causing gaps or other cosmetic dental issues to occur.

Bad habits

Thumb Sucking, long-term use of bottles and pacifiers, improper chewing techniques, and even irregular swallowing and mouth breathing can put pressure on teeth and cause them to separate over time.

Large Frenum

Each person has a strip of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gums. This tissue is called the maxillary labial frenum. Sometimes, the frenum can be too large and grow between the two front teeth, preventing them from closing and creating a gap. Surgery is usually needed before other treatments to remove the extra tissue.

Small teeth or large jaw bone

When your teeth are too small to fill your jaw bone, it can create extra space and prevent your teeth from coming together.

Missing tooth

If a tooth is knocked out or pulled, it opens space on the jaw bone. Eventually, surrounding teeth will move into the open space, creating gaps between teeth. To prevent your teeth from shifting and Diastema from occurring, you should always replace missing teeth (even back teeth) with a bridge or dental implant.

Gum Disease

As gum disease progresses, the gums recede, and your jaw bone begins to lose density. Without a supportive base for your teeth to root into, they can be easily moved. If you have gum disease, something as simple as hitting the back of your teeth with your tongue can push teeth forward and create gaps and other deformities.

How to treat Diastema

There are many ways orthodontists and dental surgeons are closing the gap for their patients. Finding the procedure that will work best for you depends on the cause of your Diastema, personal preferences, budget, health, and other factors.

Some common ways to treat Diastema, include:

  • Traditional Braces
  • Invisalign
  • Veneers or Bonding
  • Dental Bridges
  • Dental Implants
  • Frenum Surgery
  • Breaking Bad habits

Your treatment plan may include one or more of these. To determine your best option, schedule a free consultation with LI Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry, and discuss your gap with an experienced and specialized cosmetic dentist.

Are crowns better than veneers?

dental veneersThe options can seem endless when it comes to replacing damaged or missing teeth. Ideally, the best way to select which option is best for you is by talking to a dental team in an individual one-on-one session. After examining your teeth and listening to other needs and concerns, Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry will be able to recommend either crowns or veneers.

Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantage of each:

Dental Crowns

Crowns, or dental caps, can be used to correct a variety of tooth issues. Typically, the crown is molded to match the original structure of your tooth and is then adhered to the remaining root of your original tooth. Crowns can be used to improve the appearance of oddly shaped or broken teeth, repair teeth after root canals, protected weakened teeth, correct gaps, repair decaying teeth, and as a base for dental bridges.

Pros and Cons of Crowns

While traditional crowns can usually take several visits to complete the process, new technology has now allowed for same-day crown placement. Using digital mapping technology, custom-sized CERC crowns are molded in minutes to match the space, color, and look of your other teeth. The advantages of this procedure are that it is relatively quick, painless, can last up to 15 years, and is often covered by insurance. One of the major downsides of crowns is that it requires a tooth root. If this is severely damaged, dental implants may be a better option.

Dental Veneers

Patients concerned with a myriad of factors in their smile may opt for veneers. Veneers consist of a very thin (yet durable) material that is bonded to the visible portion of your teeth. This procedure can help correct the appearance of gaps, uneven and misaligned teeth, irregularly shaped or broken teeth, and discoloration that cannot be corrected with teeth whitening.

Pros and Cons of Veneers

Veneers are a great, easy way to correct a variety of problems and give you a full, bright smile you love. They also leave more of your original tooth intact, making it a less invasive procedure over crowns. Some of the disadvantages are that you may need to be a bit more cautious about how you treat them. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, you should avoid chewing on ice, pens, nails, and other hard objects that may damage the thin veneers. It may also be difficult or impossible to correctly adhere veneers to teeth that are too damaged or missing too much enamel.

Finding the best fit for you

There are many pros and cons to crowns and veneers and choosing the right one is unique to each patient. If you are ready to correct your smile and increase your confidence, schedule an appointment Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry today. We can discuss crowns, veneers, implants and other dental options with you to create a customized treatment plan that works for your specific needs.


What is Better – Veneers or Invisalign?

gray haired woman smiling because of her veneersA smile is the most memorable feature of a person. In fact, 48 percent of adults think this is even more powerful than appearance or even smell. Because this is so important–for those with even minor imperfections–gaps, crookedness, or stains–it can be intimidating.

If you are looking to make enhancements to your smile– porcelain veneers or invisible alignment treatments will help you reclaim your confidence. When deciding, you’ll want to evaluate the cost, timing, and specific needs for treatment in the Huntington, Long Island-area. Below is a quick guide to help you understand whether porcelain veneers or Invisalign is a better option for your smile.

Understanding veneers

Veneers are a thin porcelain structure that is bonded to the front of the teeth. The sole purpose of them is to improve overall appearance, including color, size, spacing, chips or cracks, and surface smoothness. Veneers do little to improve function, yet they can deliver a big boost of confidence to the patient. In as little as three visits, a patient can walk away with a more uniform and whiter smile.

The first visit is an initial consultation to determine if veneers are the right approach for you. The second will help the dentist to prepare the teeth and develop a model.  Finally, it’s time to apply the veneers. While the process is not complex, it’s helpful to have a solid understanding of the application process. Once a person undergoes treatment for veneers, it is irreversible, as it requires filing away of the original tooth to make space for the veneer.

The Veneer Bonding Process

Before attaching the veneer to the tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on the tooth to ensure proper fit, color, and size. Once the veneer has been appropriately matched for the mouth, the dentist will prepare your tooth with a thorough cleaning and polishing. From there, they will utilize a technique called etching–a process that allows a strong bonding between the original tooth and its veneer.

The dentist will apply a custom cement to the veneer and position it accordingly on your tooth before applying a light beam that activates the chemicals in the cement—so it quickly hardens and sets. Finally, the dentist will remove any excess cement, evaluate the fit and bite, and make any final adjustments for comfort and function. With proper care, veneers can last up to 15 years. Additionally, while the cost can change depending on the number of teeth, a person can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 for each tooth.

Understanding Invisalign

While veneers can be great for instantaneous cosmetic assistance, Invisalign can help improve appearance, function, and health.  Many people contend with crooked teeth, crowded smiles or poorly aligned bites. Crowded teeth can be difficult to clean, making tooth decay and gum disease more likely. Invisalign, an alternative to traditional bracket braces, uses clear trays to help correct misalignment, straighten teeth and improve the overall look of someone’s smile. These invisible trays are custom-made and work by applying pressure and slight force to the teeth to slowly align them into the desired position.

It’s a discreet treatment that allows adults to correct their smiles without the embarrassing look of metal braces. Plus, the removable trays allow a person to eat without food restriction, along with easy cleaning of the teeth and trays.

The Invisalign Process

After consulting with your Invisalign-trained doctor, they will map out a customized digital treatment that demonstrates the step-by-step smile and mouth transformation.

From there, customized aligners will be created and changed out after one to two weeks. While the total length of treatment varies per patient, the average time for alignment is 12 to 18 months.  Once the teeth have reached the desired look, you can continue to wear the clear tray to maintain teeth position.

Depending on the extent of your plan, these treatments can go upwards of $6,500, but this will reshape the structure of the mouth for less than traditional braces– in most cases.

Making the Decision 

Talking with an experienced cosmetic dentist can help you determine which option is better for you. Seek out the best dental health professionals in the Huntington, Long Island-area, to help you. The Huntington, Long Island award-winning doctors of Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry can meet with you to review your specific goals, treatment options, and affordability.

Schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot in Huntington Station, Long Island. Get on the path to a more confident, healthier you.

Additional Resources


3 Things to Know Before Getting Dental Implants

15 Nov 2019 by  Lillian Slugocki in Dentistry, General Dentistry Resources

Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth, and many people consider them to be more aesthetically pleasing and convenient than dentures. Whereas dentures are removable, dental implants are permanent—and they look just like natural teeth. If you’ve been thinking of talking to a cosmetic dentist about implants, here’s what you should know.

Dental implants can replace a full arch of missing teeth

Dentists often place implants to replace one, two, or three missing teeth in the same patient. In fact, they can replace all of the teeth on the upper and lower jaws, and you won’t necessarily need one post implanted for each crown. Your dentist will determine if you’re a good candidate for either the all-on-4 or all-on-6 techniques.

The above refers to the practice of fabricating a custom dental bridge with enough crowns to replace each missing tooth. The bridge is then affixed to either four or six dental implant posts, which are placed directly inside the jawbone. Thanks to this approach, patients can walk out of the dental office with brand new teeth in far less time than it would take to fabricate dentures!

You must be a non-smoker or willing to quit smoking

Smoking is problematic for many reasons. Not only does it cause oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth discoloration, it can also cause your dental implants to fail prematurely. This means they’ll have to be removed. In addition, smoking increases your risk of complications from oral surgery (along with every other type of surgery). It inhibits proper healing after surgery, as well. Furthermore, smoking causes the loss of bone mass, which may mean you lack sufficient jawbone density to support dental implants.

If you currently smoke, you could potentially still be a candidate for dental implants, but you absolutely must quit smoking first. Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation options.

Your dental implants don’t require special care

Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanently secured within the jawbone. They don’t require any special care. You’ll simply take care of them just as you would care for your natural teeth. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. Even though crowns can’t develop cavities, it’s still possible to develop gum disease if you don’t practice good oral hygiene—and this may lead to the failure of your implants. In addition, don’t forget to see the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and exam!

Schedule your consult for dental implants in Huntington

At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we strive to make dental implants affordable and accessible to all. We believe everyone deserves a beautiful, complete smile that they aren’t afraid to show off. If you’re missing one or more teeth, or you’ve been told that you’re going to need an extraction, you’re invited to come talk to Dr. Nick or Dr. Elliot at our office in South Huntington, Long Island. Schedule your one-on-one consultation today!

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