Featured Interview with Dr. Timothy Chase, D.M.D.
Carlos: What are the key fundamentals to maintaining a healthy smile?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Basically it comes down to two areas – home care and professional care. They have to start with a good professional examination and professional tooth cleaning. A professional tooth cleaning creates the baseline from which we work. The dentist will make sure you don’t have any periodontal disease. Clean bill of health. Then it shifts to the individual must use a soft brush, 2-3 times a day, using a toothpaste with fluoride and floss every day. Diet and certainly limit soda intake.
Carlos: There are a lot of at home whitening kits on the market today. How can we distinguish from what works and what’s ultimately safe?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Its always safe to go with a name you recognize – Crest, Colgate, an easy way to weed out what has been tested and proven safe. The basic ingredient is pretty much the same – some form of peroxide. I would steer clear of names you haven’t heard of. Stay away from bargains that come off of the internet or infomercials because you don’t know where they are coming from. Simple, successful whitening has been proven – peroxide + time. Whitening gum, mouthwash, etc. are good stain removers, but in order to really get your teeth white, you need to have trays or strips to hold the peroxide on your teeth for some period of time. Everybody’s coming up with a new fast whitening product, and unfortunately it just doesn’t work.
Carlos: If you have sensitive teeth, whitening of the teeth can sometimes cause extreme sensitivity and can even be painful when drinking or eating anything cold. What are the new advances in whitening that dentist’s our offering to reduce discomfort and sensitivity in whitening?
Dr. Timothy Chase: There are new materials that dentists can use, they are called desensitizers, either before or before and during whitening, some products actually have desensitizers in them, that have been clinically proven to reduce sensitivity and still allow for effective whitening.
Carlos: Those who weren’t a candidate for Invisalign, now there is hope for those who have a more severe case of misaligned teeth. What are the new series of aligners and how are they different from Invisalign’s first series?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Though trial and error, Invisalign has been able to create stronger trays and better “buttons or attachments” that are able to move teeth that are more crooked. Invisalign is continuously making changes, making advancements in their aligners based on their dentists’ feedback. One such advancement is PowerRidges™ which allow us to have greater control over tooth movement.
Carlos: Can most dental procedures be done using laser without going under sedation?
Dr. Timothy Chase: There are many procedures in dentistry that can be done using a laser that require little to no local anesthetics.
Carlos: Tell us more about today’s improvement with veneers and how your 3-D model technology works?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Today’s porcelain’s can be thinner, requiring less tooth reduction, they are stronger, allowing them to last longer, the glue that we use to hold them on is better, the porcelain is more life-like because we use, in a lot of cases, digital imaging they can be computer-fit. The 3-D modeling technology – before we do a case, on a patient, we do it on their model – we fabricate a series of guides, so that we only reduce the minimal amount of tooth needed to save tooth structure and achieve the most beautiful result.
Carlos: Can TMJ problems affect the way someone chews their food? If so, would an adjustment to the jaw line fix this problem?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Yes, TMJ dysfunction can be very painful and can be affect the way a person chews, speaks, it can cause headaches, and it ranges from mild to severe. Can be intermittent to constant in frequency. Treatment for TMJ dysfunction should start with an examination by a dentist who is familiar with TMJ to find the possible causes. Treatment of TMJ dysfunction can range from modifying diet, using anti-inflammatories & ice, all the way up to surgery based on the findings. TMJ pain is a lot like back pain, with a lot of people responding episodically, much like back pain, with some anti-inflammatories and rest, it will get better on its own. Some people suffer chronically from it, and treatment can range from modifying all the way up to surgery if something is dramatically wrong. The dentist can outfit patients with a night-guard, to ease tension created by grinding teeth in sleep.
Carlos: What are the best ways to prevent cavities and tooth decay?
Dr. Timothy Chase: It’s recommended to brush at least twice a day. If you are unable to brush your teeth after meals, swish with water. Also, maintain a healthy diet.
Carlos: Its recommend to brush your teeth at least 2 twice a day, but what can we do to prevent plaque from building up besides from everyday flossing?
Dr. Timothy Chase: According to some studies, chewing Xyletol gum may help fight tooth decay and cavities if they are unable to get to a toothbrush.
Carlos: What are some things that cause depletion in tooth enamel?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Depletion of tooth enamel if you are talking about cavities is called ‘stremutans.’ These bugs break down the enamel and cause cavities. There is abrasion – you can brush too hard and wear the enamel away. You can grind your teeth and wear the enamel away. Some people eat a diet very high in grains and they can actually eat the enamel away. Chemical attrition – you can wear away enamel – high citrus, soda, gastric reflux and bulimia.
Carlos: If a tooth abscess goes untreated, what could the long term effects be and what usually triggers this infectious condition?
Dr. Timothy Chase: A tooth abscess is usually caused by the infection of the nerve a tooth or the gum surrounding it. Left untreated the bone around the tooth will become involved and the tooth will become loose and eventually fall out. A greater risk is for the infection to grow in size possibly causing many other problems from visible swelling and pain, to the closing of a person’s throat so they can’t breathe, or even systemic infection leading to hospitalization or death.
Carlos: Bleeding gums are one symptom of periodontal disease. What are some other signs to look out for and how can we better take care of our gums?
Dr. Timothy Chase: Periodontal disease is the silent tooth killer. Symptoms includes bad breath, bleeding gums, receding gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, moving teeth, pain or even abscesses. Gum care is easy, regular dental cleanings and great home care, including floss!
Carlos: Eating healthy is not only important for our overall health but our teeth as well. What are 10 foods that will keep your smile healthy and beautiful?
Dr. Timothy Chase: First of all, drink a lot of water. Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt – Fresh vegetables, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, carrots and kale.
Timothy Chase, D.M.D., is a practicing partner in SmilesNY, a leading cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City. With more than 15 years of experience in both traditional and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Chase concentrates on cosmetic dentistry while also ensuring that the optimal oral health of his patients is closely monitored during all phases of their treatment. He is a strong advocate of individual treatment plans that provide preventative and comprehensive restorative dentistry in combination with the benefits of cosmetic dentistry.