My Blog

Posts for: July, 2020


Even in the 21st Century, losing most or all of your teeth is still an unfortunate possibility. Many in this circumstance turn to dentures, as their great-grandparents did, to restore their teeth. But today's dentures are much different from those of past generations—and dental implants are a big reason why.

The basic denture is made of a gum-colored, acrylic base with artificial teeth attached. The base is precisely made to fit snugly and comfortably on the patient's individual gum and jaw structure, as the bony ridges of the gums provide the overall support for the denture.

Implants improve on this through two possible approaches. A removable denture can be fitted with a metal frame that firmly connects with implants embedded in the jaw. Alternatively, a denture can be permanently attached to implants with screws. Each way has its pros and cons, but both have two decided advantages over traditional dentures.

First, because implants rather than the gums provide their main support, implant-denture hybrids are often more secure and comfortable than traditional dentures. As a result, patients may enjoy greater confidence while eating or speaking wearing an implant-based denture.

They may also improve bone health rather than diminish it like standard dentures. This is because the forces generated when chewing and eating travel from the teeth to the jawbone and stimulate new bone cell growth to replace older cells. We lose this stimulation when we lose teeth, leading to slower bone cell replacement and eventually less overall bone volume.

Traditional dentures not only don't restore this stimulation, they can also accelerate bone loss as they rub against the bony ridges of the gums. Implants, on the other hand, can help slow or stop bone loss. The titanium in the imbedded post attracts bone cells, which then grow and adhere to the implant surface. Over time, this can increase the amount of bone attachment and help stymie any further loss.

An implant-supported denture is more expensive than a standard denture, but far less than replacing each individual tooth with an implant. If you want the affordability of dentures with the added benefits of implants, this option may be worth your consideration.

If you would like more information on implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

By Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry
July 21, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Root canal treatment relieves dental pain and saves infected teeth. Dr. Edward Yates performs root canals when a tooth's pulp becomes inflamed, causing pain, and increases other teeth and soft tissue becoming infected as well. Dr. Yates offers his patients' root canal therapy at his Norwich CT office, Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry, so read on to learn more about the procedure and what to ask him before or during your appointment.

More About Root Canal Therapy With Your Norwich Dentist

A tooth consists of several layers: enamel (the white protective outer layer), dentin (soft yellow layer), and pulp (the inner-most layer rich in nerves). You need root canal therapy when bacteria decay teeth. Acid-producing bacteria left behind on teeth after eating or drinking destroy the enamel and dentin. When bacteria reach the pulp, this results in pain and inflammation because the pulp has nerves. This infection, if not dealt with immediately, may spread to other teeth and soft tissue.

Root Canal Therapy

Your Norwich dentist specializes in treating infected teeth. He cleans and disinfects the root canal by removing the pulp and using antibiotics. Dr. Yates then seals the canal to prevent bacteria re-entering the canal and then, depending on how much of the tooth has decayed, Dr. Yates may need to buildup the tooth first and place a crown over it, or simply place a crown over the tooth. The crown provides support and reinforces teeth.

How to Care for Teeth

To make sure you don't need a root canal, it's best to take preventative care. You have to brush and floss every day to remove food and prevent bacterial proliferation.

Whom should you contact?

If you would like to learn more about root canal therapy, then you should contact Dr. Edward Yates of Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry in Norwich CT by calling (860) 889-6445 today!

By Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry
July 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health

Aside from delivering balance and harmony to your teeth and face, orthodontic treatment also offers crucial health benefits. These types of treatments do not only give you a beautiful and straight smile but can improve your overall oral health and general well-being as well. Your dentist, Dr. Edward Yates, here at Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry in Norwich CT, plays a crucial role to ensure that you experience the health benefits orthodontics.

In general, orthodontic treatment can align the upper and lower jaws based on the spacing of your teeth. But as stated above, it could likewise provide health benefits such as:

Reduced Risk of Developing Oral Disease With Norwich, CT Orthodontics

With an aligned jaw and teeth, the incidence of oral disease is lowered. This is because the deep crevices that host harmful bacteria in your mouth are minimized. In turn, this limits the production of plaque and potential for tartar, which causes cavities and periodontal disease.

By addressing periodontal disease, you likewise minimize the possibility of swollen, red, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and pain associated with chewing. Lower risk of periodontal disease also limits the possibility of linked diseases like high blood sugar, heart disease, and preterm deliveries.

Fixing Jaw Issues

The importance of ensuring that the bite fits together properly cannot be neglected. Yes, it may allow Norwich, CT Orthodontics to finish faster but it may sacrifice the intended results from the procedure. So straightening the teeth and aligning the jaw bite must still be the focus.

By focusing on the correction of the misaligned teeth, stress on the jaw is alleviated. This minimizes the potential for TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint). Malocclusion, the misalignment of the teeth, are likewise fixed to improve bite patterns and prevent uneven wearing down of the teeth. This results in stronger teeth that are less prone to breaking off or chipping and translates to less oral infections and lower incidences of tooth extractions.

Prevention of Injuries and Health Risks

Protruding or buck teeth is a common problem especially among young people. If not properly corrected early on, it could result in health risks particularly for children involved in sports. Aside from the high risks during sports activities, the protrusion could also cause improper chewing.

This condition could even prevent children or even adults from properly absorbing the nutrients from the food they eat, which leads to poor digestion and malnutrition. Swallowing larger bites can also be prone to reflux that affects both the tooth enamel and the lining of the stomach.

Norwich, CT Orthodontics come in different types, from conventional braces to newer treatments like Invisalign. Talk to your dentist in Norwich CT to learn which one will suit your needs best.

For Questions and More Information on Our Orthodontic Treatments, Call Us

Dial (860) 889-6445 to book an appointment with Dr. Edward Yates here at Norwich Aesthetic Dentistry in Norwich CT.


So…you faithfully brush and floss your teeth every day. Kudos to you! Along with regular dental visits, daily hygiene is the best thing you can do to keep your teeth and gums disease-free.

Dental plaque, that thin film of bacteria and food particles that builds up on teeth, is the number one cause for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Thoroughly removing it daily through brushing and flossing drastically reduces your chances for disease.

But just the acts of brushing and flossing aren’t enough—both are skills requiring some level of mastery for truly effective plaque removal. Otherwise, any leftover plaque could be an invitation for infection.

So, how can you tell if you’re getting the job done? One way is a quick swipe of the tongue across your teeth after brushing: If they still feel gritty rather than smooth, chances are you left some plaque behind.

A more comprehensive method, though, is with a plaque disclosing agent, a product found in stores that sell dental care items. These kits contain liquids, tablets or swabs that when applied to the teeth right after brushing or flossing temporarily dye any leftover plaque a particular color. You’ll be able to see the results for yourself in the mirror.

A plaque disclosing agent can also reveal patterns of remaining plaque that indicate where you need to improve your hygiene efforts. For example, a scalloping effect along the gum line could mean you’re not adequately reaching high enough in these areas with your brush as well as your floss.

The dye effect is temporary, but it might take a few hours for the staining to fade away. You should also avoid swallowing any solution and avoid getting it on your clothes. And while disclosing agents can help improve your hygiene skills, your dentist or hygienist is still your best resource for dental care advice—so keep up those regular dental visits.

If you would like more information on best hygiene practices, 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 “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”


Basketball isn't a contact sport—right? Maybe once upon a time that was true… but today, not so much. Just ask New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. While scrambling for a loose ball in a recent game, Smith's mouth took a hit from an opposing player's elbow—and he came up missing a big part of his front tooth. It's a type of injury that has become common in this fast-paced game.

Research shows that when it comes to dental damage, basketball is a leader in the field. In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) found that intercollegiate athletes who play basketball suffered a rate of dental injuries several times higher than those who played baseball, volleyball or track—even football!

Part of the problem is the nature of the game: With ten fast-moving players competing for space on a small court, collisions are bound to occur. Yet football requires even closer and more aggressive contact. Why don't football players suffer as many orofacial (mouth and face) injuries?

The answer is protective gear. While football players are generally required to wear helmets and mouth guards, hoopsters are not. And, with a few notable exceptions (like Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry), most don't—which is an unfortunate choice.

Yes, modern dentistry offers many different options for a great-looking, long lasting tooth restoration or replacement. Based on each individual's situation, it's certainly possible to restore a damaged tooth via cosmetic bonding, veneers, bridgework, crowns, or dental implants. But depending on what's needed, these treatments may involve considerable time and expense. It's better to prevent dental injuries before they happen—and the best way to do that is with a custom-made mouthguard.

Here at the dental office we can provide a high-quality mouthguard that's fabricated from an exact model of your mouth, so it fits perfectly. Custom-made mouthguards offer effective protection against injury and are the most comfortable to wear; that's vital, because if you don't wear a mouthguard, it's not helping. Those "off-the-rack" or "boil-and-bite" mouthguards just can't offer the same level of comfort and protection as one that's designed and made just for you.

Do mouthguards really work? The same JADA study mentioned above found that when basketball players were required to wear mouthguards, the injury rate was cut by more than half! So if you (or your children) love to play basketball—or baseball—or any sport where there's a danger of orofacial injury—a custom-made mouthguard is a good investment in your smile's future.

If you would like more information about custom-made athletic mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”