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Alaa AlWazzan D.M.D. P.C.

580 Hancock St.     |     Quincy, MA 02170

Happy Holidays from the office of Dr. Alaa AlWazzan

Christmas Eve SceneWe at the practice of Dr. AlWazzan would like to take this chance to wish all of our staff and loyal patients a wonderful holiday season. This time of the year is special, filled with twinkling lights, beloved traditions, and time away from work. We hope that each and every one of our staff members and patients has the chance to get together with family, serve their fellow man, and enjoy the magic in the air during the holiday season.

We also want to express our gratitude for another incredible year at Quincy DMD. We’ve enjoyed meeting so many new patients and seeing those we’ve grown so close to. We hope to enjoy many more years of exciting, effective dentistry with all of you.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy This Holiday Season

At the office of Dr. AlWazzan, we are here for you during the holidays because we know that dental emergencies aren’t always convenient. From chipped teeth to toothaches, we hope that you will give our office a call if you experience a problem this holiday season. But even more, we hope that you can avoid the discomfort of dental emergencies by following these holiday dental health tips.

Proper Oral Hygiene

You might be busy buying gifts for loved ones and preparing big meals, but don’t forget to take care of your teeth. Focus on brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing every night before bed.

Limit Hard or Sugary Foods

During the holidays, people typically enjoy treats from neighbors, holiday feasts, and seasonal snacks. Unfortunately, some of these foods can be hard on your smile. Try to limit foods that are high in sugar, such as candy, bread, pie, and soda, which can encourage dental decay. Also stay away from foods that are hard to chew, such as unshelled nuts, hard candies, and ice cubes. It only takes a single misplaced popcorn kernel or unshelled nut to land you in the dental chair with a broken tooth or a damaged filling.

Schedule Your Preventive Care

Nobody likes sudden dental problems, which is why scheduling preventive care before the holidays is so important. Make an appointment today with your favorite dentist in Quincy, MA to have your teeth inspected and treated before the holidays arrive.

Once again, have a wonderful holiday, and please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make this season better.

Dr. Alaa AlWazzan
Dr. Kevin Xiao Dong
Dr. Christopher Mirucki
Dr. Sam Lee
Jennifer O’Brien, RDH

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re looking forward to enjoying time with our families, great football games, holiday shopping, and of course, a scrumptious meal that will keep us full for days. Although the holidays can be great for bonding with family members and getting a little well-deserved rest, they can be hard on your teeth. Here are a few tips from your dentist in Quincy, MA on how to protect your teeth during Thanksgiving.

Schedule Preventive Care

As they say in football, one of the best defenses is a healthy offense. If you want to keep your teeth clean, white, and healthy during Thanksgiving, schedule preventive care to give those teeth the upper hand over dangerous bacterial acids. During your exam, our clinicians will carefully evaluate your teeth for damage, gum inflammation, and underlying decay, keeping your teeth comfortable during that big holiday meal.

Avoid Hard Foods

Although Thanksgiving dinner might seem like it is filled with soft foods that are easy to chew, a single surprise could land you with a chipped tooth or a painful cracked molar. Watch out for turkey bones, tough toasted breads, and nutshells that could damage your teeth and existing dental work.

Watch the Sugar

The bacteria that lives inside of your mouth feeds off of sugar, and when it does it produces acids that erode dental enamel. If you want to fend off acid erosion, try to limit your sugar exposure as much as possible. Skip sugary drinks and go with water instead, which can dilute these acids while rinsing away food particles. When it comes to enjoying dessert, try to limit your teeth’s exposure by not grazing throughout the day. Repeated exposure to sugar extends the time bacterial acids spend attacking your teeth.

Keep an Eye Out For Starches

Starchy foods like stuffing and rolls can become sticky when they are wet, allowing them to cling to your teeth where they create plaque and tartar. To avoid plaque accumulation, watch out for simple starches and opt for more turkey and veggies instead. In addition to protecting your teeth, those kinds of foods can also protect your waistline.

For more information about keeping your teeth pristine during the holidays, make an appointment with Dr. Alaa AlWazzan and his associates. We are currently accepting new patients, and we would love the chance to get to know you and your family.

About Dental Sealants

Preventive dental care is the best way to maintain a healthy, brilliant smile, which is why we recommend a consistent routine of flossing and brushing. However, in addition to at-home care, there’s more you can do to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Quincy dentist Dr. AlWazzan and his associates provide dental sealants to both children and adults, because sealants are one of the most effective ways to stop cavities from ever starting.

Dental SealantsMost people associate dental sealant treatments with adolescents, since it is common for kids to get this treatment when their permanent molars come in. However, dental sealants are important for adults as well. Sealants work as a barrier against food particles, bacteria, and acid. They protect some of the most vulnerable places in your mouth: the chewing surfaces of your molars.

The molars are naturally full of pits and crevices which can trap food and provide a haven for bacteria. Without protection, your enamel is easily damaged and your teeth start to decay, which is why a huge percentage of tooth decay begins in the molars. Dental sealants protect against all of this. Once sealants have been applied, food particles, sugar, and bacteria cannot get through, and the new surface created is smoother and easy to clean. That is why the American Dental Association Council on Dental Therapeutics considers dental sealants to be an essential preventive treatment against cavities.

Dental SealantsAs with any other service, we offer state-of-the-art techniques and work hard to ensure your comfort. Receiving dental sealants is a quick and painless process. After your teeth have been cleaned they will be prepared with a conditioner to allow your teeth to receive the sealant, which is made of a plastic resin. Your teeth will then be dried so that the sealant can bond to your teeth. The sealant is applied with a small brush to your back teeth. After the sealant is painted on your teeth, we use a special light to seal the resin to the enamel so that it hardens completely. You won’t be able to feel it on your teeth after it has hardened. It also dries white, so the sealant blends in with your natural teeth.

Dental sealants generally last between three and five years. Dr. AlWazzan will monitor your sealants when you come in for check-ups. When the sealants start to wear out, Dr. AlWazzan can reapply them. In this way you can be consistently protected against tooth decay and achieve a healthy smile. Contact us today to find out more about how your dentist in Quincy, MA can improve your dental health and quality of life.

Are You a Dental Implant Candidate?

dental implants

Dental implants are truly a life-changing procedure, offering patients the ability to restore form and function to their smiles. In addition to looking completely natural and preventing problems like bone loss and adjacent tooth failure, dental implants are also easy for patients to take care of since they operate just like your natural teeth.

Although many patients worry that they might not be a candidate for dental implant surgery, the vast majority of patients can successfully get implants. In order to determine your candidacy for the procedure, Dr. AlWazzan will start your dental implant consultation by screening you for gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other existing health problems that need to be addressed before dental implants can be placed. Here are some of the things that all dental implant candidates should have, and a few things that could prevent the procedure.

Ideal Dental Implant Candidates Should:

Be Committed to the Timeline

Dental implant surgery is typically a multi-stage procedure that can take between 4 and 12 months. In order to be a candidate for implant surgery, you need to understand and be willing to go through the process, including any prerequisite procedures.

Maintain Good Oral Health

Although dental implants themselves can’t develop cavities or get infected, the gum tissue around implants and the bone tissue below them can develop problems if patients aren’t committed to maintaining good oral health. Dental implant patients should be brushing, flossing, and rinsing properly in addition to seeing Dr. AlWazzan regularly to have their dental implants in Quincy inspected. Patients with ongoing periodontal disease will need to have underlying problems addressed before receiving dental implants.

Be Generally Healthy

Dental implant surgery is a complex procedure, which is why patients who are thinking about dental implants should be generally healthy. Also, since periodontal disease has been tied to other health problems, patients should have clearance from their normal doctors before undergoing dental surgery.

Factors That Can Prevent Successful Implant Replacement

Certain Medications

Some medications can change the way that bone tissue heals, which is why patients who have taken bisphosphonates or undergone certain kinds of chemotherapy may not be candidates for dental implant surgery. These medications can put patients at risk for serious complications, including osteonecrosis.

Insufficient Bone Mass

Dental implants are only as strong as the bone used to support them, which is why patients with insufficient bone mass may need preparatory procedures such as bone grafting before receiving dental implants.

Smoking

Smoking can affect how the oral tissues heal, which is why patients who can’t stop smoking may not be eligible for dental implant surgery.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

For more information about receiving dental implants in Quincy, MA, contact the office of Dr. AlWazzan to schedule your consultation!

What is a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontists specialize in restoring and replacing missing teeth to improve the smile aesthetically and functionally. After dental school, prosthodontists receive an extra three to four years of specialized training to learn more about the bite, oral anatomy, and the proper placement of dental implants. As one of only nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, the field of prosthodontics truly requires experience, artistic ability, and the finesse of a professional.

Services Offered By Prosthodontists

Replacing Missing Teeth

Prosthodontists help patients who have lost their own natural teeth due to injury or illness. In addition to constructing crowns, bridges, partial dentures, or dental implants, prosthodontists also evaluate how those replacement teeth will stand up during normal eating, talking, and other activities, so we can design prosthetics that will let you go about your life with as little inconvenience as possible. Prosthodontists also manage your follow-up care, addressing things like fit issues and problems with jaw pain, infection, or other complications tied to your replacement teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry

As prosthodontists, we are artists. Dr. AlWazzan, Dr. Mirucki, and Dr. Lee understand the complexities of a beautiful smile, which is why we are uniquely qualified to handle cosmetic dentistry concerns. We can help you with things like placing ceramic crowns and veneers, or using composite resin to repair and reshape your teeth.

Management of Complex Cases

Oftentimes, patients have complex oral reconstruction needs, ranging from maxillofacial injuries to genetic facial defects. Because of our broad understanding of the oral cavity and the management of dental issues, prosthodontists are typically called on to handle complex care management.

Contact Dr. Alaa AlWazzan DMD PC Today!

As accomplished Quincy dentists, Dr.  Alaa AlWazzan, Dr. Christopher Mirucki, and Dr. Sam Lee are dedicated to helping you to restore your smile to its natural beauty. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

The Dental Implant Process

If you are considering dental implants in Quincy, MA, you should know not only the long-term benefits and cost, but what to expect from the treatment process as well, so that you can be comfortable and confident with the procedure. At Alaa Alwazzan DMD PC, we are dedicated to helping you receive the very best in dental care. We’re here to answer your questions so that you can find the perfect solution for your tooth loss.

Timeline

Depending on the situation, dental implants can be placed in a day or take several months. On the first visit, we will perform an initial exam to determine whether implants are the best option for you. We will assess the state of your mouth, both visually and with X-rays, to determine what needs to be done to prepare for the procedure, and will work with you to determine a care plan. If your jawbone is healthy and there are no health conditions that would affect your likelihood of implant failure, you may be able to receive your implants right away. Otherwise, we’ll work on getting you to that point.

Procedure

The installation of dental implants is a minor surgery, so it will be performed under anesthesia. Titanium posts are inserted into the jawbone where your original teeth used to be, and the bone is allowed to heal around them, fixing them firmly in place. This process can take several months, and you may need to wait until it has been completed before your implant can be topped with a permanent crown; but if you are eligible for immediate load implants, you’ll be able to replace your missing teeth the same day.

If you are not receiving immediate load implants, then we’ll wait until the bone and post have fused before attaching an abutment which will connect the crown to the implant. Then, the restoration or crown can be attached to the abutment. If your customized crown is not ready during the second visit, a temporary crown will be used until your next procedure (usually four to six weeks later).   

What if my jawbone isn’t healthy enough?

After  you have lost a permanent tooth, your jawbone starts to deteriorate. If we find that your jawbone lacks the density and size to support implants, you’ll need to prepare for the implant process with a bone graft. During a bone graft procedure, bone material from another part of your body or another source is added to your jawbone. After a recovery period to allow the graft to integrate with your jaw, implants can be placed.

For more information on dental implants, you can visit our implants page or schedule an appointment.

When to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most popular ways to improve your appearance. From whitening your teeth to shaping your gumline to closing unwanted spaces between your teeth, the options for cosmetic dentistry are seemingly endless. But how do you know when it’s the right time for you to look into cosmetic dentistry? Let’s take a look at a few of the signs.

You’re dissatisfied with your current smile

Obviously, it’s time for some cosmetic work when you’re unhappy with the smile you have.  Whether it’s yellow teeth, an irregular gum line, or gaps between your teeth, if you don’t like the way your smile looks you should get in touch with Dr. AlWazzan and his associates today. Teeth whitening in Quincy, MA is more accessible and affordable than you’d think, and other procedures are not far behind.

You have tooth damage

If you have any sort of tooth decay, chipped teeth, or other cosmetic issues with your teeth, then you should look into cosmetic dentistry. Dental crowns are a great option to fix teeth that don’t look quite right, as are dental veneers; both are made of porcelain.

You’re missing teeth

If you’re missing teeth, like quite a few Americans above the age of 30, then you’re a candidate for cosmetic dentistry. Dental implants are far and away the most popular method for replacing missing teeth, for a number of reasons: implants last longer than dentures, are far more comfortable, and they look, feel, and act just like normal teeth.

You have unsightly fillings

If you’ve had a cavity in a tooth that’s prominent in your smile, and it wasn’t done in the past decade or so, then chances are it’s a dull gray color that doesn’t match the rest of your tooth. Luckily, the days of ugly gray filings are gone. Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentists can offer tooth-colored fillings if you need them in teeth that show in your smile. If you currently have gray filings, you can get them changed to tooth-colored ones.
At the end of the day, cosmetic dentistry is up to you and your desires. If you want to learn more about the process, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist in Quincy, MA today. Call or visit our website to learn more!

What Are Dental Implants?

dental-implantsFor people missing teeth, or with advanced periodontitis (gum disease), dental implants are one of the best options to help restore a smile to its former greatness. Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss, but they shouldn’t have to. Here at Quincy DMD, we specialize in helping our patients achieve the smile they desire, and we offer some of the best dental implants options in Quincy, MA.

There’s just one problem with implants: quite a few people still don’t know exactly what they are and why they’re so beneficial. So in the interest of education, let’s take a look at dental implants and why we recommend them so highly.

What are implants?

Implants consist of three parts:

  • The post: this is a cylindrical object surgically placed into your gums, connecting directly with your jawbone. When the post is anchored in the jawbone, it will fuse with the bone and create an incredibly sturdy foundation.
  • The abutment: This is placed on the post to connect the post to the crown.
  • The crown: This is the actual covering that goes on top of the abutment, hiding the post. It looks and functions like a real tooth.

Why implants?

When there are other options, why would you go to the extra expense – and discomfort – of getting a dental implant? There are several good reasons.

  • They look, feel, and function like normal teeth: The best part about implants is the way they imitate your natural teeth. In fact, they look so real that the only people who will be able to tell your teeth are fake are dentists.
  • Little maintenance: Unlike dentures, the only thing you have to do in order to keep your implants looking great is to take care of them as you would your normal teeth.
  • Longevity: Implants will last as long as you’re willing to take care of them, unlike almost all other dental restorations.
  • Oral health: Dental implants are generally the healthiest option for replacing missing teeth. In addition to helping other teeth stay in position, they also stimulate the jawbone and help maintain bone density.

Implants may cost a bit more up front than a crown, or even some dentures, but they offer far more value than other tooth replacement procedures. Between improved oral health, easier eating, higher self-esteem, durability, comfort, and appearance, implants are tough to beat.

If you think you’re a candidate for implants, or have more questions for Dr. AlWazzan, please contact us today. We’re here to help and want to give you the smile you deserve.

The Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

With so many options available for do-it-yourself teeth whitening (including toothpaste with added whitening ingredients) it’s a fair question to ask why you should go visit a professional for a whitening session. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with over-the-counter options, there are some distinct advantages to having a professional teeth whitening session. Dr. Alwazzan goes over some of those benefits here.

Professional whitening is quicker

A visit to your local cosmetic dentist in Quincy, MA, will produce results at a much quicker pace than if you buy over-the-counter whitening products. This is due to the fact that there are some whitening gels that only dentists, or other trained dental professionals, are licensed to use. You can’t buy these extra-powerful whitening solutions over the counter.

We are experienced in whitening teeth, and perform sessions frequently. They’ll work more quickly and efficiently to whiten your teeth than you will on your own at home, trying to figure out how to use the whitening strips you just bought.

Professional whitening can be done at home or at the office

The other big benefit to professional whitening is that it can be performed either in the dentist’s office, or at home. When you visit our Quincy office, we’ll apply a strong whitening gel to your teeth and leave a fan on them for about an hour. Lasers may be used to speed up the whitening process.

We can also create whitening trays, formed from casts taken of your mouth, which you can take home. You’ll be told how much gel to put in the trays and how long to wear them, depending on the amount of whitening you need.

There is less risk with professional supervision

Over-the-counter options offer a cheaper, more accessible form of teeth whitening. But it can be worth it to pay for the help of someone certified. Over-the-counter products can be applied improperly, causing patchy or uneven lightening. They can also be applied too often, causing the teeth to grey. With our help, you can be sure to avoid these outcomes.

If you’re looking to get a white smile but still aren’t sure whether or not you need a professional’s help, you should contact Dr. Alwazzan, your local cosmetic dentist in Quincy, MA, to schedule a consultation. We’ll be able to recommend the best course of action for you and your whitening needs.

Foods to Avoid for Perfect Teeth

What you eat is a huge determining factor in the appearance of your teeth. The right foods will leave you with healthy, pearly whites, while the wrong food choices can cause wear, chips, staining, and an increased susceptibility to decay. Below are some of the worst offenders, foods which will contribute to damaged and unhealthy teeth. While not everyone is willing to avoid these foods entirely, you can be smart about when and how you consume them to save your teeth from the worst danger. To maintain your best dental health, Dr. Alwazzan offers the following food tips:

Soda

This has to be at the top of any list of foods bad for your teeth. The combination of acidity and sugar is a real tooth-killer. Even diet sodas are bad for your teeth, and should be consumed only in moderation.

Tips: Limit your soda intake. When you do drink it, use a straw, which reduces its exposure to your teeth. Drink your soda quickly rather than in many small sips, limiting the time that your teeth are exposed. Try confining soda to mealtimes, when your salivary glands are at peak production; or rinse your mouth with water afterward.

Coffee and tea

While they don’t suffer from carbonation, coffee and tea have their own drawbacks: notably, a dark color which can easily stain teeth. Add sugar, as many people do, and your beautiful teeth may not look so bright a few years from now.

Tips: The same as soda. Limit your intake, drink slowly, use a straw, and rinse afterward to prevent beverage residue from sitting on your teeth.

Sugary snacks

We’ve already mentioned sugar as something to avoid. When you eat sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth feast and multiply—and as they do, they secrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Avoid sugar and other carbs, and you’ll prevent a bacteria population explosion.

Tips: Eat your sweet treats as part of meals rather than snacking on them throughout the day. Brush and floss afterward to remove trapped food particles that could feed bacteria.

Bright dyes

We are at a point in history when available foods are more varied than ever before. They compete for our attention with aesthetic packaging, catchy slogans—and eye-catching colors in the foods themselves. While this may be great for your appetite, it’s bad for your teeth. Like tea and coffee, any food with strong dyes in it risks staining your teeth. Children’s foods especially are likely to appear in bright, appealing colors—making this a problem for kids and parents alike.

Tips: When choosing your food and your family’s, pick less colorful alternatives over strongly-dyed foods.

Hard candy

Aside from its sugar content, hard candies present another danger: chewing them can chip or crack a tooth. This applies to any hard food, but candies are the most common culprit.

Tips: Suck on your candy rather than chewing. For kids who are likely to chew, choose a soft alternative, or forego the candy in favor of fruit or nuts.

Ice

Chewing ice is an unfortunately common habit. Just like hard candy, it can crack your teeth. But ice is a special case, because unlike candy which has a role in most people’s diets, there’s no reason to eat ice at all. The urge to chew ice often indicates an iron deficiency, so by addressing that problem, you may reduce or eliminate the urge to risk your teeth.

Tips: Increase your iron intake with red meats such as beef and lamb, dark leafy greens such as spinach, and nuts, beans, and seeds.

If you have already suffered tooth damage, come to our office for cosmetic dentistry in Quincy, MA. We’ll help return your teeth to their full beauty and give you a new reason to smile.