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Dr. Ken Cirka & Dr. Jessica Meier
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Philly Dentistry

Category: Preventative Care

January 8, 2018
21 hours ago

woman in painIn the winter time many people suffer from sensitive teeth. There are many reasons why this may happen for different people. Often when very cold air comes in through the mouth the teeth will contract and then expand again once back to regular body temperatures. Sometimes these contractions and expansions can even put teeny cracks in the teeth and while these cracks are not visible, they can cause sensitivity.

If the sensitivity does not go away and it is lingering around, definitely go and see your dentist to make sure that everything is OK.

Below are 10 reasons why your teeth may be sensitive to cold weather in the wintertime:

  1. Fillings are chipped and the inside of the tooth is exposed – Sometimes these fillings need to be repaired. See your dentist to evaluate the fillings and treat as needed
  2. A crown or bridge is failing and has an open gap where food and acids damaged the tooth underneath – Your dentist may need to remove this work and redo it so the teeth are protected
  3. A cracked tooth – Sometimes cracked teeth need fixed and sometimes they may be OK. See your dentist for an evaluation to determine if something needs done
  4. Gum recession – If your gums have receded, the root of the tooth may be exposed. Root surfaces do not have enamel that protects from sensitivity. There are treatments for root sensitivity- be sure to ask your dentist if you suffer from this at your next check-up
  5. A Bad Bite – If the teeth are not lined up properly and you are biting harder in certain areas than others, the nerves inside those teeth may be inflamed. This can lead to sensitivity in cold weather
  6. Grinding and clenching your teeth – Patients that clench and grind their teeth are much more likely to experience sensitivity to the cold weather
  7. Infection – If there is any infection in the gums or in the teeth patients may suffer from extreme sensitivity to the cold. Make sure to see a dentist ASAP if you believe you have an infection
  8. Cavities – When bacteria that cause cavities have invaded the teeth it makes them more sensitive, especially to temperature
  9. Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease – Patients that suffer from gum disease often have a lot of sensitivity
  10. Large metal fillings – Sometimes patients that have large metal fillings experience more sensitivity to temperature when it is cold outside. Ask your dentist if these fillings need replaced

If you are experiencing sensitivity to the cold it is best to visit your dentist. They may only suggest you begin using prescription sensitivity toothpaste; however, they may find infection or tooth decay.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka and Dr. Jessica Meier call our office at 215.568.6222 so that we can help you. We look forward to meeting you soon!

September 26, 2017
3 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
4 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
4 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!

July 17, 2017
6 months ago

There are many benefits to using floss and to using a WaterPik. Patients often ask me about which is better and if one replaces the other.

My answer to patients is always this: you should use what works best for you and what you feel most comfortable with. It really is a case by case basis depending on many factors that will be addressed below.

I do not believe that a WaterPik is a replacement for dental floss; however, for patients that admit to me that they hate flossing and won’t do it, I do tell them to invest in a WaterPik.41bC+NCHvrL

For patients that floss daily and are managing to keep their gum tissue healthy, I do not think a WaterPik is always needed. As long as the tissue remains healthy and I do not see changes, these patients can continue on with daily flossing.

There are things to consider when deciding whether to take up daily flossing or use of a WaterPik that I will review below:

Cost: Keep in mind that the WaterPik will be more expensive than floss. They range between $30-$100 and are easily purchased either in store or online. Ask your dental hygienist and doctor if they have a specific recommendation of which to use. It is important to note that the plug-in Waterpiks will have more power and better attachments to use than the battery-operated travel Waterpiks.

Ease and Dexterity: Though string floss is easy for some to use, it can take a long time to perform properly. There are also patients that have trouble positioning their fingers properly in order to reach each area of their mouths. For these patients I will often suggest trying a Waterpik to see if it is easier as an alternative solution.

Electric Outlet Availability: I think string floss is great because you do not need an electrical outlet. I keep my floss in my purse so that if I have a free moment I can easily grab it. It’s also great in case I’m out and have something stuck in between my teeth. For the WaterPik most require an electrical outlet to work. As mentioned above, there are travel ones available that are battery-operated; however, they are not as powerful and do not come with as many attachments.

46267108 - teeth with orthodontic brackets. dental health care.

Patients in Braces: For patients in braces a Waterpik is a great tool. Since it is difficult to floss while wearing braces, it is common for the gums to become inflamed as plaque and food debris stick to the wires, brackets, and can be tough to clean. The motion of the Waterpik dislodges much of the food debris and plaque around the gums and brackets which help keep patients in braces healthier throughout orthodontic treatment.

Flossing Quality: In order to get the full benefit of the string floss, it is important for patients to use it properly. Below I will go over some tips for flossing; however, make sure to ask your dentist or dental hygienist for flossing tips next time you are in for a check-up and cleaning.

Flossing Tips from a Pro:

While flossing I find it easiest to use satin floss called Glide which is made by Oral-B. This floss never shreds or tears and it is gentle so I am not damaging my gum tissue.

Be sure thousandoaksfamilydentistryto wrap each side of the tooth fully, making a “c-shape” with the floss. This will allow you to get the floss underneath the gum line which is where the plaque starts to build. By moving the floss string up with a rotating movement and steady pressure, the plaque can be dislodged and removed.

Keep in mind you do not want to move the floss directly down into the tissue. This can not only damage the tissue it can also shove food particles and plaque deeper under the gums, making it harder to reach and more of a problem.

Hopefully these tips help! If you have further questions come see myself and Dr. Cirka for a free consultation where we check the health of your teeth and your gums. Hope to see you soon!

-Dr. Jessica Meier, D.M.D.

December 26, 2016
1 year ago

Dental caries (cavities) is the most common disease in children 6-11 years old and adolescents 12-19 years old. This disease is largely preventable, yet it remains more common than asthma among adolescents.

Tooth decay has significant consequences. Children with severe dental problems can have trouble eating and sleeping, paying attention to parents and concentrating in school.

To combat this major public health epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented fluoridation of community water supplies.

istock_000007558591xsmallThis has been ongoing for more than 60 years now and research has proved that fluoridation of the community water is not only safe but very effective.

Water fluoridation has been proclaimed by the CDC as one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. The overwhelming research that supports this proves that water fluoridation has been effective in reducing dental decay by 20-40%.

In fact, for most major metropolitan areas it is estimated that every $1 spent on water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment. The CDC also estimates that without water fluoridation there would be an estimated 51 million school hours lost every year due to dental issues in the US.

In the United States more than two-thirds of the population is fluoridated properly and this is greatly benefiting the country. In just the past five years alone more than 125 communities in 36 states voted to 12866469_safluoridate the water supply.

Fluoridation is a tried and tested technique and has proven to improve public welfare. Be cautious when reading information on the internet or listening to non-reputable sources like junk science. Keep in mind the most widely respected sources for information are the American Dental Association and the CDC. Both of these institutions fully support the use of water fluoridation and have proven time and again the overwhelming benefits of water fluoridation for the country.

If you have any questions about the use of fluoride and its benefits be sure to ask your dentist and dental hygienist at your next check-up and cleaning.

November 27, 2016
1 year ago

Nutrition is key when it comes to the health of your teeth. If your diet is full of sugary and acidic foods then you bet your teeth will be full of cavities. On the other hand if you are eating foods rich in certain nutrients you can protect your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria.

Here are seven foods that you should be eating that can help you keep your teeth strong and healthy:

Carrotsbeautifies-skin-1

Carrots are great because they are full of fiber and vitamin A. If you eat a few raw carrots after a meal it will stimulate the salivary glands and this increase in saliva is protective and will help to prevent cavities.

Almonds

Eating almonds is a great addition to your diet. They are rich in protein and calcium which help both your teeth and your overall body to stay healthy. By adding a quarter cup at dinner time or lunch time you can make a difference.

Leafy Greens

These greens are not only low in calories, they are also full of minerals and vitamins. Foods like kale and spinach are also great sources of calcium which enriches oral health. What’s more is they contain a B vitamin called folic acid which has lots of benefits for your health. Try making a fresh juice or smoothie with them to ensure you get these benefits.

woman-eating-apple-depositphotos-optApples

Fruits like apples have a high water and fiber content. Like carrots they are also great at producing saliva which reduces the risk of cavities. The fiber in the apples will help the gums too by stimulating the areas acting as a natural toothbrush. This is not a replacement for using a toothbrush however it will help give the teeth a good scrub after eating.

Cheese

Research shows that when you eat cheese the pH level in your mouth will rise. The pH level is important because the lower it goes when we eat acidic foods, the more the bacteria are able to grow and multiply. Cheese also contains calcium and protein which are nutrients that strengthen the enamel.

Celery

Celery can seem annoying to eat because of all the strings it contains, however these fibers bristles will act like a natural toothbrush similar to an apple. They will scrap the particles of what you eat and this action removes bacteria too. Celery is a source of vitamins A and C which will boost the health of your gums since they are powerful antioxidants. The high water content is also good for your general health.

imgresYogurt

Similar to cheese, yogurt has calcium and protein which make the teeth stronger and healthier. The probiotics in yogurt also will benefit the gums because these bacteria will try to take over from the bad bacteria which can help avoid cavities. Make sure to check the label however because some brands will add sugar.

Your diet makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy smile. If there is something you are eating that you are not sure is protective or harmful, be sure to ask your dentist at your next checkup and cleaning. In addition to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, Dr. Cirka and Dr. Meier can answer nutritional questions for you.

Be sure to schedule your next appointment with us!

October 2, 2016
1 year ago

The American Dental Association recommends using floss once a day. Patients will often ask if this should be done in the morning or at night. What we find is that as long as you are flossing around the same time each day, then you will be less likely to forget to do it. It’s more about forming a habit and once it is part of your routine you are much less likely to forget.woman-flossing-close-up-oral-health

Without being given proper instructions, it can be tricky to know if you’re doing a good job flossing. Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts about flossing that will help you stay on track: (more…)

September 19, 2016
1 year ago

 Have you even been in the dental aisle at the drug store and completely overwhelmed by all of the different choices of toothpaste there are? It can be tricky knowing which toothpaste is People at the gymthe best for your health when there are so many options!

This article will help you navigate the dental aisle more easily in order to make the best decision possible. Here are 9 tips for picking the best toothpaste for you: (more…)

June 26, 2016
2 years ago

What are the warning signs of Gum Disease?

Often patients are suffering from Gum Disease and they do not even know it. Gum Disease, also know as Periodontal Disease, is infection and chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues. Since it is painless in the majority of cases, patients are unaware of what is happening until they are in late stages of the disease.
(more…)

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or contact us today for a free consultation with Dr. Cirka or Dr. Meier in our Center City, Philadelphia office.

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