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Poor Oral Health May Increase Risk of HPV – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Poor oral health, including gum disease and dental problems, was found to be associated with oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which causes about 40 percent to 80 percent of oropharyngeal cancers.

“Poor oral health is a new independent risk factor for oral HPV infection and, to our knowledge, this is the first study to examine this association,” said Thanh Cong Bui, Dr.P.H.

“The good news is, this risk factor is modifiable — by maintaining good oral hygiene and good oral health, one can prevent HPV infection and subsequent HPV-related cancers.”

The researchers found that among the study participants, those who reported poor oral health had a 56 percent higher prevalence of oral HPV infection, and those who had gum disease and dental problems had a 51 percent and 28 percent higher prevalence of oral HPV infection, respectively. In addition, the researchers were able to associate oral HPV infections with number of teeth lost.

Similar to genital HPV infection, oral HPV infection can be of two kinds: infection with low-risk HPV types that do not cause cancer, but can cause a variety of benign tumors or warts in the oral cavity, and infection with high-risk HPV types that can cause oropharyngeal cancers.

The researchers found that being male, smoking cigarettes, using marijuana, and oral sex habits increased the likelihood of oral HPV infection. They also found that self-rated overall oral health was an independent risk factor for oral HPV infection, because this association did not change regardless of whether or not the participants smoked or had multiple oral sex partners.

Because HPV needs wounds in the mouth to enter and infect the oral cavity, poor oral health, which may include ulcers, mucosal disruption, or chronic inflammation, may create an entry portal for HPV. There is, however, currently not enough evidence to support this, and further research is needed to understand this relationship.

Although more research is needed to confirm the causal relationship between oral health and oral HPV infection, people may want to maintain good oral health for a variety of health benefits. Oral hygiene is fundamental for oral health, so good oral hygiene practices should become a personal habit.

For more information, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Sedation Dentistry Takes Fear Out of Dental Visits – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 04, 2014

So many patients need and want dental treatment, but the just can’t face the needles, the sounds, and the general experience itself. Odontophobia, dental anxiety or fear of the dentist is a genuine phobia with no logic to it. The patient knows the pain will be bearable and they will be fine, but still can't handle it.

This is where sedation dentistry comes in. Patients are treated with an intravenous drug similar to valium. They are still awake, but don't really know what's going on.

It's much safer than general anesthesia, however the patient needs to qualify medically, we look out for things like serious heart problems or uncontrolled diabetes. Together with the dentist the patient decides what form of sedation dentistry will best fit their needs.

It really is the perfect solution to maintaining dental health for those who have a serious fear of the dentist. People can come in and get as many treatments as they need in one go, without discomfort.

There are a few dentists practicing sedation dentistry. It can be offered for any procedure, not just the big procedures like wisdom teeth extractions and dental implants.

It is far better to fix a cavity under sedation than have dental cavity ignored because of fear, which will inevitably result in a larger problem over time. Sedation dentistry becomes a more cost-effective approach in the long term.

For more information on sedation dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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Are Clear Braces Better for Teens? Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sometimes clear braces are a better option than traditional braces.

Traditional metal braces aren’t always the best option for older teens, who may be sensitive about their appearance. They want straighter-looking teeth, but not at the “social” expense of wearing traditional braces in high school.

Clear braces for teens use  clear, thin, plastic aligners to shift teeth into place. Teenage patients get new custom-made clear aligners about every two weeks. The beauty of clear braces is that teens can remove them to eat, brush, and drink, which makes it easier to keep their teeth cleaner than if they have regular braces. While the invisible aligners usually go unnoticed by friends and family, they can be removed for special occasions like an important stage performance or a first date.

The cost is comparable to traditional braces, but they may be a better option for those students who may have needed braces in middle school yet, for whatever reason, did not get them. Once students reach high school age, they are far happier with the invisibility clear braces. Studies have shown that parents should not ignore displeasing elements that adolescents bring to their attention, including things like dark, blotchy, or crooked teeth. The psychological and aesthetic component is often as important as the health of the teeth and the beauty of the smile. Invisible braces have proven to be an excellent choice for teens with busy after-school schedules who desire hassle-free orthodontics. They are also a preferred choice for adults who need braces, and treatment usually takes a year or less.

For more information on clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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Clear Braces or Metal Braces for Adults– Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 15, 2014

Everywhere, image matters. As an adult, when you want a straighter smile, you usually want to achieve it as discreetly and as quickly as possible. Luckily, adults in the market for dental braces will find more than just clunky metal.

Clear braces are one of the most popular options for straightening teeth for adults.  Note that every case is different and not everyone is a candidate for each method. Here are some of the pros and cons of both clear braces and traditional braces.

Clear Braces

These braces are clear, removable plastic trays which straighten teeth. Every two weeks, the patient receives new trays that are closer to the teeth’s ideal position. Most patients who are candidates choose clear braces.

The pros: Clear braces are nearly invisible to the naked eye, and trays can be removed for cleaning the teeth and for meals—eliminating worries about what you eat or about food stuck in the braces. Dental appointments are relatively short because the system is easy to apply and requires little maintenance. There’s also less discomfort compared with other options. Clear braces, or clear aligners, are going to become the standard for adults. The ability to remove the trays occasionally is good for gum health.

The cons: The big one is compliance. Patients have to wear the aligners for up to 22 hours a day. Anything less will result in a longer treatment time—treatment averages one year.

Visible Metal Braces

Anything fixed on the front of the tooth. This could mean traditional metal wires with stainless-steel brackets, metal wires with clear plastic brackets, or metal wires with tooth-colored ceramic brackets.

The pros: Traditional braces are often suggested to fix more severe alignment problems, such as a turned tooth, because they have a better grip on it.

The cons: These braces are completely visible. The brackets can cause discomfort and irritate the inside of the mouth for the first week or so until a patient adjusts. There are also issues with eating certain foods and keeping the teeth and braces clean. Clear brackets can stain. Treatment time for metal braces is typically longer, an average of 20 months, because cases tend to be more severe.

For more information about if you are a candidate for clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.


Sedation Dentistry Explained - Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 08, 2014

The American Dental Association estimates that as much as 10% of the American population have dental phobia. Dental phobia is a severe anxiety or dread of making a trip to the dentist. This fear causes patients to cancel appointments or avoid going to the dentist at all, which can lead to serious oral health problems. To help relieve these fears dental offices are now offering offers patients sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry is an approach that involves using medications and anxiety-relieving techniques to help a patient relax during a dentistry appointment.

Sedation is necessary if the patient becomes extremely nervous before going to the dentist, feels tense during and after the appointment or has a sensitive gag reflex. Some patients are extremely afraid of choking or losing control while sitting in the dentist's chair.

Sedation dentists perform a consultation to find out how the patient feels when coming to a dentist's office. This allows the doctor to identify areas where they can intervene to enhance the patient's dental experience. One solution is to prescribe a one-time dose of a medication intended to relax a patient before the appointment.

Another option is inhaled conscious sedation, such as using nitrous oxide to reduce anxiety. Nitrous oxide is considered a very safe form of sedation dentistry and will quickly wear off. The solution may extend beyond medication -- it might include bringing an MP3 player into the room so that the patient can enjoy classical music.

Patients who experience severe anxiety related to dental visits may opt for intravenous conscious sedation. This method helps patients achieve the greatest level of anxiety relief and has some short-term memory-blocking capabilities, meaning the patient won't have to remember a dental procedure after it is over.

For some patients, dental anxiety fears are so intense that they don't even want to remember what happened. Sedation dentistry makes the difference because they can go to the dentist without fear or stress of experiencing or remembering the procedure.

For more information on sedation dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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Reviews on Pediatric Dentists, Today’s Dental of Boxborough – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

If you have children who need to see a dentist, it is important to find one who will meet their needs, create good oral hygiene habits and who will help them look forward to their appointments. Mainly, it is important to understand that pediatric dentists differ from general dentists, and if you are searching for a new dentists, ask around and consider pediatric dentist reviews.

At Today’s Dental of Boxborough, here is what a few of our patients are saying:

Dr. Anna Kalmanovich was amazing to work with. My six year old daughter is a bit of a complicated case due to a jaw injury. Dr. Anna educated us very well on the process and what her treatments would entail. When it came to our first real visit after the consultation, Dr. Anna made my daughter feel warm and relaxed. She has a very kind mild mannered personality which is probably why she works with kids. She did a great job on the first day of my daughters visit and I plan to continue working with her for the next few years on my daughter's treatment program. The best part was, I ran into my regular dentist who brings her kids there! You know you are in good hands there!

A Wonderful place for children. I was ecstatic when my son had his first dentist visit today. The waiting room was so inviting that I think he felt like home, then the dental room was so cheerful with the wall mural, and the staff were so friendly!! He got to view his cleaning in a mirror, both my husband and I were able to be with him the entire time, which is so important to me. Just FUN :)

I could not be more pleased with our experience with Dr. Anna! When we first went to her seven years ago, my oldest son had had a very bad experience with a previous dentist. She and her staff calmly and pleasantly did everything they could to make the experience positive for him. All three of my boys are relaxed and even look forward to going to Dr. Anna's. She uses all of the very latest techniques, always seeking procedures and timelines that cause minimal to no discomfort to ensure a positive experience. My kids teeth are fantastic! I am always impressed with Dr. Anna's knowledge and thoughtfulness! Her staff is wonderful, too!

For more information on Dr. Anna or to make an appointment, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Pediatric Dentist or General Dentist for Your Kids – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This blog will hopefully give you a better idea of how pediatric dentists differ from general dentists.

For starters, pediatric dentists have the option of doing postgraduate work in children's hospitals. During their training, they learn about kid-specific issues such as sedatives specifically for children, treating children under general anesthesia and "behavior guidance," which focuses on winning patients' trust and adapting to a child's behavior: It can be pretty challenging for a 3-year-old who has a cavity and needs local anesthetic to sit still to get that tooth fixed.

Pediatric dentists in training also do research projects. A typical project, for example, could look at cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth and how the amount can be determined.

Pediatric dentists have to have the right personality for treating children. The people who get into this profession ... they don't get burned out on kids who are crying or stressed out.

Pediatric dentistry places great emphasis on prevention. Parents are now advised to take their children for a well-child dental exam by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting. That first exam consists mainly of talking about prevention, which includes factors such as hygiene, diet and nursing, he said.

Pediatric dentistry also takes a whole-household approach to cavity prevention because a family's lifestyle affects a child's dental health.

For more information on pediatric dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Clear Braces are Becoming More Popular with Teens and Adults- Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Friday, July 11, 2014

If you’ve always dreamed of having the perfect smile, braces can not only fix misaligned teeth, but also correct non-cosmetic issues such as TMJ and sleep apnea, as well as prevent gum disease. Clear braces, or clear aligners, are a revolutionary system of treating crooked teeth. They have changed the way patients are treated - long gone are those uncomfortable metal braces, now replaced with clear braces.

With clear braces patients can see the beginning of their new smile within the first few weeks of treatment. It is the ideal treatment for children and teens. More comfortable than traditional braces, clear braces are effective at treating mild to severe crowding.

If you are a teenager or adult, it’s not too late to have your teeth aligned. In fact, more and more patients are adults. Invisible braces are the ideal treatment for those whose teeth have fully erupted and whose jaws have stopped growing. Clear braces work as a series of clear removable aligners to straighten teeth without metal wires or brackets. Little by little, results are accomplished, and there is no mouth irritation.

The removable braces means you can eat and drink what you want during treatment as well as brush and floss normally.

Clear aligners are one of the fastest growing treatments in orthodontics. Treatment with clear braces is a clear way to straighten teeth without braces using aligners which offer high level of comfort, convenience and flexibility in comparison to traditional braces. These aligners are also cost effective and take less time to complete the teeth straightening procedure. Continuous innovation in technology and increasing awareness for oral health among individuals are influencing the demand for clear aligners. 

Increasing consumer awareness for oral health and the increasing emphasis we put on straight, white teeth are just a couple reasons clear aligners are increasing in popularity. For more information on clear braces, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

Dental Problems that Can be Fixed with Clear Braces – Boston, Boxborough

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Straight teeth can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Though you may only be concerned about how you look, there are often health benefits to straight teeth, too. However, most teens and adults are never too excited about the prospect of metal brackets in traditional braces. Here are a few dental problems that may be solved with clear braces.

Crowded or crooked teeth

Often this makes it difficult to floss and clean in between your teeth, leading to increased incidence of cavities and gum disease. As you age, crowded teeth often get worse. Clear braces and aligners work invisibly to move your teeth into the appropriate spaces and eliminate overcrowding.

Spaces between teeth

Severe spacing is when you have gaps between your teeth. If these gaps go untreated, they may eventually lead to periodontal or gum-related issues as you age. Braces are a great solution for closing gaps in teeth, whether it's from sucking your thumb as child or if you have a missing tooth.


An overbite is when the upper teeth cover the lower teeth more than is normal when you bite down. If left untreated, you may grind down your teeth and experience painful jaw problems. Braces gently guide your teeth into a new, more normal position.


An underbite is when the lower teeth extend out more than the upper teeth when you bite down. Without treatment, you may suffer painful jaw problems. Clear braces move your teeth to assist in correcting your underbite and provide you with a smile to make you proud.


A crossbite occurs when the upper teeth are not aligned to the lower teeth and can appear either in the front or sides of the mouth. Braces apply gentle pressure to your teeth to move them into the correct position.

Open Bite

An open bite means there is an opening between the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed. This opening can be either in the front or the back of the mouth. Biting and chewing can sometimes be difficult with an open bite.

No matter what your treatment problem, if you need a minor adjustment, contact Today’s Dental fo Boxborough for an efficient and cost-effective solution to a perfect smile.

Questions About Losing Baby Teeth – Boxborough, Boston

Joseph Coupal - Friday, June 20, 2014

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears or no later than their  first birthday. Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to help take care of kids’ teeth and to ensure that they have healthy teeth for life.

Once baby teeth arrive and begin to fall out, we have found that parents have some very common questions.

How many teeth do children have?
Kids have 20 baby teeth. Adults grow 32 teeth, so eventually your child will grow 32 teeth. This usually happens by the teenage years, though everyone has a different timeline. Sometimes adults have their wisdom teeth removed. If they are all removed, adults have 28 teeth.

When do kids lose their teeth?
Kids typically start losing baby teeth around age 6. Girls often start to lose baby teeth before boys. Most kids will have lost all their baby teeth by age 13.

Baby teeth usually fall out in the order that they first appeared: two bottom front teeth, two top front teeth, lateral incisors, first/front molars, canines and second/back molars.

How many teeth do kids lose?
Kids will lose 20 teeth — all of their baby teeth — over the course of about seven years.

For more information on baby teeth and pediatric dentistry, contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.

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