My dentist told me to back off of booze so I won’t need dental implants


My dentist told me to back off of booze. I have some perio issues with loose teeth and she said that my drinking habits can be a contributing factor. Yes she told, not asked me to cut back on booze. I was almost going to be insulted but I figured if she is right, she is saving me money on dentures or dental implants. Then the thought occurred to me that she might have just been getting to try me to stop drinking so much because a few times she asked me if she smelled alcohol on my breath. Does alcohol have anything to do with gum disease? Thanks. Ron


Ron – Your dentist is looking out for your best interests. A recent (September 2015) article in the Journal of Periodontology Online, Alcohol Consumption and Periodontitis: Quantification of Periodontal Pathogens and Cytokines, reports the findings in a study that included non-drinkers, occasional drinkers, and regular drinkers.

Among regular drinkers, there were more instances of sensitive gums that bleed easily, and the need for periodontal (gum) disease care. Another symptom of periodontal disease is that gums start to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets between the gums and teeth. Even regular drinkers without periodontal disease exhibited deeper pockets than occasional drinkers and non-drinkers.

Why the difference between regular drinkers and occasional or non-drinkers? Alcohol consumption dries the mouth. A dry mouth contributes to plaque buildup, which inflames the gum tissue. Sensitive, inflamed gums bleed, and if left untreated, can separate from the teeth and in time result in full-blown gum disease.

If gums don’t properly adhere to your teeth, the teeth lack support and can loosen. Left untreated, loose teeth will eventually fall out, and yes, some form of tooth replacement, perhaps dental implants, will be recommended.

If you are a regular alcohol drinker, your dentist’s recommendation is correct. Consuming less alcohol can improve the situation.

It’s important for all patients to speak openly about their drinking habits with their dentist. This will help your dentist correctly advise you and assist you with preventive dental care and help you avoid the need for tooth replacement.

This post is sponsored by Lowell dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

How do I find a cosmetic dentist for 3N no-prep veneers?


I have been doing a lot of research on no prep veneers other than Lumineers. I wanted to have information on more than just one brand. I found out from an acquaintance on social media about 3N which I had never heard of. Now I know why because it doesn’t look like they are U.S. based. I found the 3N veneers website but I don’t see anything about how to find a 3N U.S. cosmetic dentist. I really like the way they look, much more so than Lumineers. How do I find a cosmetic dentist who uses 3N? Thanks. – Shona

Shona – Although 3N veneers are not familiar to us, through an Internet search, we found that 3N Veneers Limited is based in the United Kingdom. Other websites that reference the brand indicate that this brand of veneers is used in the Middle East.

Although we don’t have information on U.S. cosmetic dentists who use 3N, we can assure you that the results you get from porcelain veneers depend significantly on your choice of cosmetic dentist and his or her choice of laboratory to makes the veneers.

The laboratory that makes Lumineers is often criticized for the pasty, bulky look of the veneers. But the same results can occur with any other brand—unless you have a skilled, artistic cosmetic dentist who also uses an artistic master ceramist.

Dental patients get great results from porcelain veneers, not by choosing their own brand of porcelain veneers, but instead, by choosing an artistic dentist who knows what brands are best for your case. And who understands how to the manipulate color, translucency, and shape of the veneers to produce lifelike results.

Find a cosmetic dentist who is an artist. How? Start by locating an accredited cosmetic dentist. If there isn’t one in your area, find one who is a member of a cosmetic or aesthetic dentistry organization, and who is participates in on-going training. Check the dentist’s credentials. Schedule a consultation and ask to see before-and-after pictures of smile makeovers the dentist has completed. Let the dentist know your concerns about porcelain veneers and the smile you want to achieve. Watch and listen closely to how the dentist addresses your questions. Then you can decide if this is the dentist for you, or if you want to have a consultation with a second or third cosmetic dentist before making a decision on your provider.

It’s the artist in the dentist—not solely the brand he or she uses—that will produce beautiful results you want.

This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.