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Philadelphia Dentistry
Dr. Ken Cirka & Dr. Jessica Meier
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Philly Dentistry

Category: General Dentistry

April 16, 2018
3 days ago

There are so many ways to give back to the community, especially when you live in the great city of Philadelphia. Philly Dentistry loves to stay connected with the community by giving back and volunteering whenever we can. Recently, some of our staff volunteered at the MANNA Organization which helps deliver nourishing, healthy meals to those battling life-threatening illnesses.

History of MANNA
In 1990, MANNA was founded with a mission to help relief people battling with the terrible disease of AIDS. Often times, people dealing with this awful disease had no where to go because of the stigma that went along with AIDS. When there was nowhere else to go they could always count on the love, care, and nourishing meals that went along with MANNA. In 1997, MANNA wanted to help more people fighting critical illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and cardiac disease so it moved to a 10,000 square foot office with a commercial kitchen. In 2008, MANNA received a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a $500,000 check from Steven Korman who is a philanthropist and business leader, and other gifts and donations from the community of Philadelphia. Today, MANNA is generating three meals a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year in its state-of-the-art facility located on 20th Street in Philadelphia. They now have a staff of more than 30, along with a full commercial kitchen and a convoy of trucks to deliver nourishing food to people battling serious illnesses in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.

Volunteering at MANNA
When you first arrive at MANNA you are welcomed right away with a smile and taken back to watch an introduction video about the history and mission of MANNA. After watching the video, you then go to the kitchen where the MANNA staff explains to your group who is responsible for each specific duty. The duties include, each person placing a different food into their designated space on the plate and then moving it along the line to the next person to place more food, and so on, until it is sealed shut and stacked to be transported to the trucks to be delivered to patients. Our team at Philly Dentistry helped to make over a thousand meals for MANNA. Each year MANNA has over 4,200 volunteers who donate over 40,000 hours to help those in need and get the nourishment they deserve.

MANNA

How to get Involved?
There are different ways to get involved with MANNA either if it’s with a group or individually. To get all the information you need or to answer any questions you may have you can visit http://www.mannapa.org/volunteeratmanna/ call at 215-496-2662 ext. 100 or email at volunteers@mannapa.org and be part of the “MANNA Miracle” and help those in need.

March 5, 2018
1 month ago

If your teeth are weak, chipped, cracked, fractured, decayed, aged, discolored or misshaped then you are a perfect candidate for dental crowns. What exactly is a dental crown? Dental crowns are strong natural looking dental solutions that are used to seal a tooth after a root canal procedure. When your teeth are badly damaged you develop more of a risk for bacteria to travel through your mouth because chipped and cracked teeth create easy paths for plaque and harmful bacteria to move around. Do not wait if you are experiencing any oral health problems because the longer you wait the worse it will become and will result in either a root canal or even a tooth extraction.

The benefits of dental crowns are great, especially at Philadelphia Dentistry where our doctors use the latest advanced dental technology to create and bond dental crowns. The number one benefit of dental crowns and most importantly is to relieve any discomfort you may be experiencing from your damaged teeth by placing a crown on the tooth to protect it against any future damage and prevent any sensitivity.linda b. before and after

Many times, people assume getting dental crowns is a complex procedure that takes an immense amount of time. In fact, it is actually straightforward. Once the enamel of your teeth is clean and healthy one of our accomplished doctors will shape your tooth. This shaping of your tooth allows it to firmly hold the crown. After our doctors take an impression of the tooth it is then sent over to our trusted lab where expert technicians will create your custom crown. Once the crown is ready Dr. Cirka, Dr. Meier, or Dr. Jeon will place it over your tooth with the best bonding cement money can buy.

Dental crowns are custom made specifically for your smile. You’ll feel confident when your crown is made to the shape, color, fit, and size that matches your smile for an all-natural look. Another benefit is that dental crowns can enhance the appearance of your teeth. Since the crown actually goes over the tooth it can instantly fix problems such as, discoloration, misshapen teeth, chips, fractures, crookedness, and much more. These problems can be fixed promptly and look 100% natural which is why some people tend to get crowns just for the appearance much like porcelain veneers.

With the proper care such as, brushing, flossing, and routine checkups and cleanings your dental crowns can last for decades, typically 10-20 years sometimes 30 years. The porcelain material that the crown is made of is extremely strong and durable and will protect your tooth from any future re-treatments.
If you are experiencing any type of discomfort in your oral health and think that a dental crown or crowns could be the right fit for you, give us a call today at 215-568-6222 and if you’re a new patient you’ll receive a free consultation that includes an exam and cavity detection X-Rays.

February 19, 2018
2 months ago

You should be visiting the dentist on a regular basis every 6 months for checkups and cleanings, but if you haven’t been to the dentist in some time, here are 5 signs that you need to visit a dentist as soon as possible.

1. If your teeth are in any pain at all you should never ignore it. Whether it’s a toothache or tooth sensitivity this could be the first signs of a cavity. It is important to get this taken care of right away because it can result in a larger cavity causing more problems to your oral health and costing you more money in the long run.

2. Gums that are red, swollen, or bleeding should not be a normal occurrence in your oral hygiene and should be checked out by a dentist right away. This could be signs of periodontal disease. We know sometimes gum bleeding could be caused by aggressive brushing and if you think this may be the case you should still see a dentist just to make sure it’s not gum disease. If you notice a “pimple” like absence on your gums it is a dying nerve which could cause you extreme pain. Other times, it could be completely symptom free. So, if you see anything that looks like a “pimple” on your gums you need to see a dentist immediately.

3. If you notice hard, crusty deposits on the surface of your teeth that means you have tartar build up from not brushing or flossing as often as you should. By not visiting the dentist on a regular basis can cause tartar build up as well. The bacteria in your mouth builds up creating tartar which then is calcified to your teeth and could lead to future tooth loss. So, if you notice any tartar build up on your teeth, schedule a cleaning to get it taken care of right away.
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4. Do you notice you have bad breath even if you brush, floss, and use mouth wash? Well this could be a sign of something more serious, such as advance gum disease or even tooth infections. If that embarrassing odor or bad taste doesn’t go away you should schedule an appointment with us as soon as you can to get it checked out

5. When you wake up in the morning does your jaw hurt? This might be a sign that it’s time to come to Philadelphia Dentistry for an evaluation. The reason your jaw is hurting could be from teeth grinding during the night, temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ, an abscessed tooth, or even a misaligned bite. If you are experiencing any of these signs please feel free to reach out to our dentistry to schedule an appointment. If you are a new patient your exam and cavity detection x-rays are on the house. So don’t hesitate if you are experiencing any of these 5 signs give us a call at 215-568-6222 and we’ll get you scheduled as soon as possible.

January 30, 2018
3 months ago

Reason 1: When brushing your teeth people often forget it’s also just as important to brush your tongue. When you eat and drink, little particles of bacteria stay on your tongue just like your teeth. So your tongue needs the same care to maintain great dental hygiene. By not brushing your tongue is almost like not brushing your teeth at all, so you can see how crucial your tongue is to your oral health. A layer of bacteria forms in your mouth after you eat or drink anything causing you to have bad breath. You may think just using mouthwash instead of brushing your tongue will have the same results, it doesn’t. If you wake up with “morning breath” or have a thin white layer on your tongue, but you brush, floss, and use mouthwash on a daily basis you should see your dentist as soon as possible because you may have something more serious like periodontal disease or tooth decay rather than just bad breath.

Reason 2: When you have a layer of bacteria on your tongue it blocks your taste bud receptors causing you to not taste as well as you should. So yes, by cleaning your tongue your food will taste so much better!

Reason 3: Brushing helps your immune system. The bacteria left on your tongue from not brushing can go directly to your stomach causing you to get sick. Think about when you wake up in the morning, sometimes you have a “weird” taste in your mouth. Now, think about after eating your breakfast sometimes you may feel a little sick. Well, this could be from the bacteria from your tongue going down to your stomach with the food you’re eating. This could also lead to an upset stomach or even a stomach ulcer. This is just another reason why it is very important to keep your tongue clean from harmful bacterial.

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Now you’re probably thinking what is the proper way to brush your tongue? It’s pretty simple; brush side to side, back and forth, and then finish with rinsing with water. Tip: Make sure you don’t over brush or brush too hard on your tongue because it could break the skin. Another important tip is to buy a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner on the back of the toothbrush. Dentist’s recommend this because the brush is specifically used for your teeth, not the tongue, but if you don’t have a tongue cleaner on your brush you could use your toothbrush until you get a tongue cleaner. Just be sure to clean your toothbrush thoroughly to get the bacteria off. If you are not a fan of the toothbrush with a tongue cleaner you could find inexpensive tongue scrapers at most drug stores.

If you have any questions please feel free to call us at 215-568-6222 and schedule an appointment with our great doctors who can answer all your questions and get you back to being happy and healthy.

January 12, 2018
3 months ago

Everyone knows that they have to keep their teeth healthy, but many people don’t know that the health of their gums is just as vital. To maintain healthy gums here are some signs of healthy vs. nonhealthy gums. Healthy gums should be firm and pink (differs with complexion) and fit tightly around your teeth. They should also hold teeth securely in place with no wiggling of permanent teeth. Healthy gums should not be swollen, tender, and do not easily bleed.

Unhealthy gums are bright red, swollen, and can feel painful or tender to touch. When brushing, flossing, or even eating your gums should not bleed and if they do that is a sign of unhealthy gums. Another sign of unhealthy gums is if your gums look pale, thin, and are receding.

before and after

Here are some tips you could do on a daily basis to prevent gum disease and maintain healthy gums.

  1. Brush 2 times a day. Preferably, you should brush after every meal, but twice a day is the minimum requirement. When you brush you should use a soft brush and use gentle, circular motions when brushing for about 2-3 minutes. Don’t brush too hard because that could aggravate your gums even more. It is also important to replace your brush every three to four months.
  2. Floss once a day. It is important to floss the right way to remove hard-to-reach plaque missed by brushing. The goal is to scrape plaque off the sides of your teeth while not digging into your gums causing them to bleed. Using a gentle sawing motion work the floss up the side of one tooth and then down the side of the other tooth to make sure any food or plaque was not missed.
  3. Rinse every day. Rinsing with mouth wash kills bacteria that can stick to your teeth and gums, and it flushes out any leftover food or plaque that brushing and flossing might have missed. Tip: If your gums look swollen or red, try rinsing with salt water a couple times a week to help a natural and affordable healing process.
  4. See your dentist on a regular basis. You should be making trips to your dentist every 6 months for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  5. Stop smoking. People who smoke or use smokeless tobacco have twice the risk of developing gum disease. When using tobacco, it causes your mouth to dry which leaves sticky deposits on your teeth making the perfect environment for plaque build-up and bacteria.

If you are noticing any signs of unhealthy gums, contact your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will help determine if you have gum disease or periodontists and develop a treatment plan to get you back to being healthy. The quicker you pursue treatment, the better. In the initial stages, gum disease is still reversible, but once it becomes worse, it’s more painful, difficult, and expensive to treat.

November 5, 2017
5 months ago

It is recommended by the American Dental Association to change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Instead of discarding them immediately, we wanted to give you some ideas for
uses for the old toothbrushes that come very much in handy!
Not only will the old toothbrushes be useful in and around the house, they will help you
save some money on cleaning products too. Before reusing the toothbrush be sure to soak
it in a sink full of hot water and 1 cap of household bleach, or alternatively you can soak
it in a combination mix of ½ water and ½ vinegar for a few hours to disinfect the brush.
A good way to stay on track with replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months is to write
the date on the brush when you start using it and this will help you remember when it
needs replaced.

Here are 10 examples of good uses for your old toothbrushes:

1. D14keyboardusty keyboards- the toothbrush is great getting in all those nooks and crannies
2. Muddy shoes- use the toothbrush to get in the treds on sneakers
3. Exfoliating- the old toothbrush can be used to scrub off any rough or dead skin
4. Tiles- getting stains and dirt out of the grout with the toothbrush will help
bathroom tiles and kitchen tiles look much cleanertoothbrush2-1
5. Jewelry- slightly damp old toothbrushes are perfect for cleaning necklaces,
bracelets, and other jewelry
6. Blinds- an old toothbrush will work good for cleaning slatted blinds and curtain
rings and rods
7. Bike chains- cleaning these can be tricky and believe it or not the toothbrush will
work and make this a lot easier
8. Fish tanks- use your old toothbrush to clean the fish tank and any furniture in the
tank to help things statoothbrush-beauty-hacks-eyebrow-groomingy clean and bright
9. Make-up brushes- these brushes can be especially pricey. Using an old toothbrush
to brush your eyebrows and use as a grooming tool works well and saves you money
10. Nail brush- old toothbrushes make great nail brushes. This comes very much in
handy after gardening and cleaning

Of course, before using it in any of these ways, be sure to get good use out of your toothbrush by brushing 2-3 times a day.  This will help you maintain good oral health in conjunction with regularly flossing and visiting Dr. Cirka, Dr. Meier, and your Dental Hygienist.  Call us today at 215-568-6222.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

September 26, 2017
7 months ago

Composite Veneers vs. Porcelain Veneers: What Is the Difference?

Cosmetic dentistry offers many solutions to improving your smile. At Philadelphia Dentistry, Dr. Ken Cirka and Dr. Jessica Meier will sit with you and evaluate your smile and find the best option for you. In our office we help patients by giving them a beautiful smile that improves confidence and everyday life.

A great way to achieve a perfect, bright, white smile is with veneers. A veneer is a thin coating that is placed over top of your own teeth.

There are two different materials that Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier use to do veneers. The two materials are porcelain and composite. Porcelain is a ceramic material that is strong, beautiful, and translucent in a way that is very similar to the enamel of natural teeth. Composite is a plastic and glass mixture that is tooth colored and used to improve smiles by reshaping teeth and also for improving the color of the teeth.

There are differences to both of these materials that Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier will review with you at your cosmetic consultation in detail. Below are a few of the major pros and cons of these two materials to give you more information about them:

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are applied in layers and directly bonded to natural tooth structure. The clinician will sculpt the material and be able to match the shade perfectly by blending the material with the teeth. Minor chips in front teeth can expertly be hidden with a composite veneer. Composite tends to stain as time goes on and may need to be changed. The composite resin is at risk to chip and your clinician will go over ways to prevent this from happening by reviewing motions to avoid, such as biting your nails. With the proper home-care and maintenance, composite veneers can provide a very natural and long-lasting result to improve your smile and confidence. From a financial perspective composite veneers are generally less expensive than porcelain. Since composite veneers are reversible and can be removed and replaced as needed, patients often opt to begin with composite veneers due the lower cost. Then once able they will have the composite changed to porcelain. Each case is different and it is important to have your personal consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier to determine the best course of action for you.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are an ultra-thin layer of porcelain that is cemented onto your own teeth. With porcelain Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier are able to drastically improve the color, size, and shape of their patient’s teeth. Keep in mind with composite veneers we are limited with how white in color we can go since the material must blend into the tooth color. By using porcelain we are able to choose shades much lighter than natural composite veneersteeth and still achieve a natural smile without the veneers having a fake appearance. Another great benefit of using porcelain as a material is its high resistance to stains. This is an advantage over composite veneers which do pick up stain as time goes on. Porcelain is also much stronger and tends to last much longer than the composite veneers with the proper care.

How Do I Choose?

Both composite veneers and porcelain veneers offer a beautiful result. There are many factors that make a difference when choosing between materials and at your free cosmetic consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier they will review these factors with you. Sometimes a combination of materials work best for patients, it depends on your specific case and situation and what you are looking to achieve. The most important thing is for you to be informed and involved in each step of the process and we guarantee it will be well worth it!

Call us today to schedule your cosmetic consultation at 215-568-6222. We look forward to meeting you soon!

September 16, 2017
7 months ago

Recently at Philadelphia Dentistry we began using an iTero digital scanner that allows us to do impressions for our patients without impression material and trays. It has been great for our staff and also for our patients as there are many advantages to digital impressions over traditional impressions.

An important advantage to note is the efficiency of workflow. The production is streamlined from the laboratory back to us because the digital scan is sent immediately to the laboratory and they are able to review the case within 24-48 hours. What this translates to for patients is less time in their itero scanner1temporary acrylic crowns which is great for the patients.

An additional benefit dentistry gains from digital impressions is the fact that they can be repaired. This is not the case for traditional impressions. With a traditional impression if there is ever an air bubble or a distortion in it, the patient must go through another impression again. For a digital impression, the dentist and assistant are able to easily pinpoint the area that needs redone, scan that specific spot again, and the scanning software is able to stitch it together with the previously captured data.

When a digital scan is sent to the lab it also allows the dentist and the lab technician to communicate directly with each other about the case. If there are any issues then they can be handled immediately and patients do not have to wait.

Another great thing about digital impressions is the ability to show fine details that the naked eye can miss. This precise level of accuracy will aid in the dentist’s work and create a better product for the patient.

Finally, perhaps the BEST part about taking digital impressions, is how much easier it is for patients! No more gagging, strange tastes, or messy faces full of impression material.

Call us at 215.568.6222 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka and Dr. Jessica Meier. They can talk to you more about your dental health in addition to digital impressions. We look forward to meeting you soon!

September 5, 2017
8 months ago

Exercising has numerous positive impacts on your health. It helps with stress relief, muscle strength, combating health conditions, and loads more. What many patients do not know is how exercising can affect their dental health. Believe it or not, exercising can cause problems with your teeth that you may not be aware of.

During intense exercise people will often be breathing through their mouths. When people are mouth breathing, it will dry out the mouth and reduce the flow of saliva. A dry mouth is an environment where bacteria will increase and grow. People that suffer from dry mouth are very much at risk for cavities and so heavy exercise can put you more at risk for tooth decay if you are breathing through your mouth.

Additionally, when people are exercising heavily they often are drinking sports drinks. Many sports drinks can erode the teeth and cause major damage. If you are not careful, your mouth may need a makeover. They will erode the teeth not only if there is sugar in them but also because they are very acidic. Anytime the mouth is an acidic environment it creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause cavities.Woman-drinking-sports-drink

What’s more is that while working out, most people tend to take sips throughout the workout. This is constantly bathing the teeth in sugars and acids, which will make the teeth more vulnerable to decay. If you are going to enjoy a sports drink it is much better if you drink it and be done with it, do not continuously take small sips. After you finish the sports drink, be sure to drink some water to neutralize the acidity level in the saliva to protect your teeth from cavities and other damage.

While the above details negative impacts on your teeth that can happen while exercising, keep in mind there are significant health benefits to your teeth and your entire body from the action of exercising. A study in the Journal of Dentistry found that exercising regularly can actually lower the risk of gum disease for people. Also by having a healthy body mass index (BMI), the mouth is a lot healthier. This is because the higher the BMI, the more likely you are to have hypertension and diabetes which both are known to put you at risk for poor oral health.

While exercising, be downloadsure that you are drinking water in addition to any sports drinks. Another alternative to water and sports drinks is coconut water. Coconut water has anti-inflammatory properties and also helps to balance insulin and glucose in the blood stream. By being aware of how your dental health is affected by exercise, you can avoid risk factors and keep your mouth happy as well as your body.

By keeping up with a regular dental routine you will be able to stay on track with your oral health. This means brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

Call us today to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka and Dr. Jessica Meier at 215.568.6222. We look forward to meeting you soon!

August 26, 2017
8 months ago

Many patients when starting orthodontics wonder why they need to continue seeing their general dentist for check-ups and cleanings regularly since they are seeing the orthodontist every month. Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier stress to each and every patient that is seeing us or seeing the orthodontist for braces or for Invisalign that it is extremely important to continue with regular check-ups and cleanings.

The most important reason to see the dentist regularly is so that the hygienist can remove the plbracesaque and tartar that builds up. With orthodontic brackets and wires, there are loads more nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide. Not to mention there are areas harder to reach to clean too. The bacteria that stick underneath the gums as well as on the teeth themselves also physically stick to these brackets and wires. These bacteria can cause cavities, gingivitis, and even lead to patients developing infection that affects the jaw bone and overall health of your entire body.

Another important motivation to see the dentist regularly while you are in braces is to protect the teeth from forming white spots on the surfaces. These white spots are called “decalcification” and happen as a result of the teeth losing Calcium, an important mineral that keeps the teeth healthy. These white spots are not only unsightly but they are also weaker and can transform into cavities more easily than other areas of enamel.

By seeing the dentist regularly for cleanings it will also ensure that you stay cavity free. If cavities develop during orthodontic treatment they can significantly delay the treatment time and patients can end up in braces a lot longer than initially expected. When cavities arise during orthodontics, often the dentist must ask the orthodontist to take off all of the wires and metal bands so the dentist can properly access the teeth and clean the bacteria. At regular check-ups and cleanings your dentist and hygienists can provide fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and many preventative measures that help keep the teeth strong and cavity free.

Portrait of a happy patient with braces on the teeth, sitting in the dental chair, in the background a young doctor dentist

Keep in mind that for patients in clear aligner trays like Invisalign it is equally as important to see the dentist and have your check-ups and cleanings done regularly. Bacteria can build up around the attachments on the teeth as well as in addition to the areas where the orthodontist or dentist created space to help the teeth move.

See your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings both during orthodontics and afterwards to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.

Call us to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier at Philly Dentistry at 215-568-6222 today! Hope to see you soon!

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