Cosmetic Dentistry Blog of Dr Sussman & Pogal

Providing better smiles to Rochester, Webster, Greece, Fairport & Nearby Areas of New York

December 13, 2018

Person using a computer screen that says "dental benefits" on it

Does your dental insurance expire at the end of the year or in Spring, 2019? If so, now is a great time to call our office and schedule an appointment. Your dental insurance basically provides discounted dental care, so that you can save money while also preventing cavities, gum disease and other oral health problems.

Plans vary widely, but yours may include coverage for:

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Annual x-rays
  • Checkup with the dentist
  • Dental fillings and other basic dental work
  • Major dental work

Refer to your policy for specifics.

One thing to consider is your yearly maximum. This is the maximum amount that your policy will pay in a fiscal or calendar year. $1,000 is not an uncommon maximum. These maximums do not typically roll over if you renew your policy, so you should exhaust the maximum before your plan ends. Otherwise, there's money on the table for necessary dental care that could go to waste!

The same goes for your Flexible Spending Account, or FSA. If you have an FSA and if your contributions to that account may be used for approved dental work, then you should use that money before it expires. FSAs are use-it-or-lose-it accounts, so the contributions don't roll over.

The Importance of Prevention

If you and your employer each pay for a portion of the dental insurance premium each month, you want to make sure you take advantage of that income deduction. After all, it's money out of your paycheck! Even if you don't need major dental work or even simple dental work like fillings, you can always benefit from routine, preventive care:

  • Cleanings, usually covered by insurance once every six months of your policy
  • Exams performed by the dentist, also every six months
  • Routine x-rays, usually partially or completely paid for once in the lifetime of your policy

Many dental insurance plans cover 100 percent of what they deem routine preventive care, such as cleanings and checkups. That means you can get this important care basically for free, other than paying into your premium.

Taking care of dental problems sooner than later is always a good idea. In fact, it's necessary to save time, money and hassle. A good example is a tooth cavity: In early stages, decay can usually be treated with a filling. If the decay is allowed to progress, then root canal therapy may be necessary in order to treat infection that has spread to the pulp of the root canals. Treatments tend to be less invasive, expensive and time-consuming for early stage issues.

Arrange Your Next Appointment

If you are ready to schedule your next checkup and cleaning, or think you may need some dental work completed, please call our office at 585-227-4390 to schedule the next available opening. If it is too late to take advantage of your current plan, you should still schedule your next appointment! Routine care prevents dental problems, and the sooner you get on track, the better.

October 31, 2018

Surgical device made by PIEZOSURGERY for implant dentistry proceduresDr. Paul Sussman has incorporated a new device into his implant dentistry procedures. Made by PIEZOSURGERY®, this device enhances surgical precision and patient comfort, and ultimately we feel is a benefit to our patients.

This surgical device utilizes ultrasound technology in the form of high frequency micro-vibrations. When cutting bone for dental procedures, Dr. Sussman gets maximized precision from this instrument. It also reduces bleeding, which means less discomfort for you. Two procedures Dr. Sussman uses PIEZOSURGERY® for are:

  • Lateral sinus augmentation: Also called a sinus lift, this procedure augments the bone in the upper jaw where implants are being placed. This procedure is necessary for some dental implant candidates who have insufficient bone in that area.
  • Ridge splitting: Sometimes the boney ridge beneath the teeth is too narrow for successful placement of dental implants, in which case a ridge splitting procedure may be recommended to widen that area.

Because this device is highly precise and targeted, it cuts only the bone without affecting the surrounding soft tissue.

When you call us for more information, we are happy to tell you about the technologies, techniques and treatments offered at our practice. Our dentists are personally committed to helping our patients achieve great oral health and beautiful smiles.

Interested in learning more or finding out if you are a good candidate for dental implants in Rochester, New York? If so, please call the dental practice of Dr. Paul Sussman and Dr. Meredith Pogal at 585-227-4390. We proudly provide care to people from throughout the region, including Fairport, Greece and Webster.

October 18, 2018

Halloween candy bucket upturned with candy spilling outWith a few tips from our experienced family dentists, you can prevent all that Halloween candy from decaying your children's teeth. And, let's face it, maybe prevent cavities in your own teeth because what parent doesn't partake at least a little in the All Hallows' Eve sweets?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Which Candies are Worst for Teeth?

Some candies are worse than others when it comes to dental health. Some of the worst offenders are:

  • Sticky candies
  • Chewy candies
  • Hard candies

Sticky candies stay on the teeth longer, increasing the amount of time enamel is exposed to cavity-causing sugar. Things like taffy, gummies and lollipops, or any chewy and sticky sweet, tends to latch onto tooth enamel.

Hard candies may chip or crack a tooth if bitten into or chewed. Remind your little trick-or-treaters that lollipops and similar sweets are supposed to dissolve slowly in your mouth and shouldn't be bitten into. Our teeth are really strong, but they can break with the right amount of pressure.

Some sweets that are friendlier to teeth are:

  • Chocolate
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies

Nevertheless, Halloween is a once-a-year event. Like all holidays, we think Halloween is a great reason to enjoy sweet treats and goodies! Below, we discuss some ways you can keep your teeth clean without missing out on your favorites candies.

Tips for Fighting Cavities

The following tips and advice help you fight cavities not only at Halloween but 365 days a year:

  • Resist snacking on candy throughout the day. You want to limit the frequency of contact between sugar and your tooth enamel. Eating candy throughout the day means your teeth are exposed to sugar throughout the day, giving bacteria multiple opportunities to feast on the sweets and cause cavities as a result.
  • Eat candy as part of a meal. When you eat sweets with a meal – as the dessert, for example – your mouth will be better equipped to neutralize the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth. You'll have more saliva in your mouth when you eat a meal. This saliva helps dilute cavity-causing acid and to rinse away food particles on your teeth.
  • Rinse with water. Rinse after eating candy. It helps to wash the candy off your teeth.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Another way to stimulate saliva is by chewing gum. The gum also picks up candy leftovers from your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, studies have shown that chewing gum for 20 minutes after a meal reduces tooth decay.
  • Wait 30 minutes, then brush. Brushing your teeth is, of course, a great way to prevent cavities. But it's best practice to rinse with water after candy, then wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Certain foods, especially acidic foods, soften your tooth enamel for about a half hour. While soft, the enamel will be especially sensitive to toothbrush bristles. The surface of your teeth will harden again about 30 minutes later.

Cleanings are Essential to Good Dental Health

Is it time to schedule your next checkup and cleaning with our experienced Rochester dentists? At the practice of Dr. Meredith Pogal and Dr. Paul Sussman, we are enthusiastic about helping our patients achieve and maintain great dental health. To schedule your appointment, please call our experienced staff at 585-227-4390. For years we have proudly provided dental care to people from across the region, including the cities of Fairport, Webster and Greece.

September 12, 2018

Rochester NY father and daughter brushing teeth

Healthy teeth and gums are the foundation of a gorgeous smile. Oral health starts with your at-home hygiene routine, and is supported and maintained by our skilled hygienists. To learn more, and to arrange your next cleaning and checkup in Rochester, New York, please call the practice of Dr. Meredith Pogal and Dr. Paul Sussman at 585-227-4390.

We all know that cleaning your teeth in the morning and again at night is important. Below, we outline some tips and specifics for those routines.

When You Wake Up

While you sleep, your saliva production slows, and your mouth can get dry. This environment gives bacteria an opportunity to flourish on your teeth and the surfaces of your mouth. It is these bacteria which cause cavities by producing an acid as they break down food and beverages on your teeth. Brushing disrupts the film on your teeth that contains these bacteria. That film is known as dental plaque.

So, it is very important to brush when you wake up. If you choose to brush after eating breakfast, you should wait about 20-30 minutes after your meal. In that time, your enamel is a little softer and more vulnerable to the abrasiveness of toothbrush bristles. Your enamel is softer because of the acidic components of food and drinks, especially orange juice and fruit. But the enamel will re-harden in the half hour or so afterward.

Brushing after Lunch?

Some people choose to brush three times a day, which is perfectly fine. It can freshen your breath and brush away cavity-causing food debris. After breakfast, try to wait about 30 minutes before cleaning your teeth. If you are brushing this often, be extra careful to use light pressure. You don't want to overdo it and scrub your teeth, which wears your enamel. Use feather-light pressure that is more like massaging your teeth than scrubbing them.

Nighttime flossing routine in Greece NY

Before You Go To Bed

Brush and floss before going to sleep. This breaks up the filmy buildup of food, saliva and bacteria that has formed on your teeth from lunch and dinner. It also bathes the teeth in cavity-fighting fluoride.

Brushing and flossing should be the very last thing you do. Don't clean your teeth if there is a chance you'll have a snack or a non-water beverage before bed.

The Importance of Visiting the Dentist

No dental hygiene routine is complete without regular visits to the dentist. For most people, these visits should happen every 6 months. During these appointments, our hygienists will clean your teeth, including polishing and flossing. We take x-rays once a year so that we can see any cavities or other problems that are developing. Our dentists perform an exam of your teeth and gums to look for signs of any dental problems.

It's important to go to these appointments regularly to prevent dental problems. Prevention saves you time, money and hassle in the long run when compared to treating advanced dental conditions.

Schedule Your Next Cleaning in Rochester

Ready to schedule an appointment with our dentists? We proudly provide dentistry to patients from throughout our region of New York, including Webster, Greece and Fairport. Our experienced and gentle dentists provide a one-stop shop of preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services to serve your needs. To arrange your next checkup, please call our team at 585-227-4390.

August 28, 2018

boy and girl going back to schoolBack to school is a hectic time. Many parents are racing to schedule appointments with the dentist before the first day, while for others the next visit will be here before they know it.

For young patients with developing teeth, dutiful dental hygiene and prevention of problems are the best way to start the school year. Our dentists suggest the following tips to help your children maintain a healthy mouth.

To schedule your family's next appointment or to learn more about our general dentistry services, please call the Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry at 585-227-4390 today. Dr. Sussman, Dr. Pogal, and our entire dental team serve patients in and around Rochester, Greece, Webster, Fairport, and nearby areas of New York.

Pack Healthy Snacks

Bringing an apple for teacher on the first day of school has fallen out of fashion, but don't hesitate to pack them for your young student. Good choices include:

  • Apples, bananas, grapes, orange slices, and other fruits
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Baked snack crackers
  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese snacks

The key with any snack is to avoid products with lots of sugar. Even seemingly healthy foods and drinks will negatively impact your child's teeth if they are rich in sugar. When you're shopping, be sure to check the label, as many brands try to hide the sugar content of their products.

If your child has braces, modify your choices accordingly. Instead of a whole apple, opt for apple slices. Select carrot sticks or baby carrots instead of large chunks. And, instead of raisins, go for fresh grapes. Modifying nutrious snack choices will keep your child's braces free from damage.

Invest in a Mouthguard

A mouthguard is a must if your child is involved in afterschool sports. Football, basketball, and other activities all carry a risk of injury to the teeth and gums. But, you can avoid an emergency appointment by getting your child fitted with the right equipment.

Mouthguards are available at most sporting goods stores, but these are one-size-fits-all. The better option is to visit the dentist and get an athletic mouthguard that is precisely fabricated to your child's teeth.

Maintain Scheduled Brushing & Flossing

If you have established a routine for morning and nighttime to make sure your child brushes his or her teeth, be sure to keep the schedule in place once school starts. Structure is key to help kids become responsible for their own dental hygiene. As you help them become more independent, regularly check their teeth and gums, especially when they lose a tooth.

You can also teach your children to take steps toward good dental health while they are at school. Rinsing with water from the drinking fountain is a quick and easy way to wash away the bacteria that cause cavities.

Schedule Your Appointment with Dr. Sussman and Dr. Pogal Today

The Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry has been serving patients for over 35 years. Our family dentistry services include flexible scheduling that accommodates adults and kids during a single office visit.

Call 585-227-4390 to schedule a dental appointment for you and/or your child today. Our dentists serve patients in and around Rochester, Greece, Fairport, Webster, and nearby areas of New York.

August 21, 2018

Dentures in 2018Missing one or more teeth? Dentures may be a great option for replacing them. Better yet, implant-supported dentures have optimum durability and a secure hold in your jaw. Consider the benefits of combining dental implants and dentures:

  • Anchored to the bone beneath your teeth
  • Replaces an entire upper row and/or an entire bottom row of missing teeth
  • Will not slip or dislodge
  • Preserves the density of the bone beneath your teeth
  • Allow you to laugh, smile and speak with confidence

Implant-supported dentures look just like all other dentures, but they are attached to a series of dental implants. Other dentures are supported by the gums alone.

Dental implants are small, titanium posts. Many people liken their appearance to a small screw, but these restorations are state-of-the-art. During a procedure, the implants are embedded in strategic locations in the boney ridge beneath your gums. Over time, the implants fuse with the bone, forming a durable bond. It is this bond that makes implant dentures such a secure option. To replace the visible portion of missing teeth, dentures are attached to the dental implants.

The only way to know if this tooth replacement option is right for you is to consult a dentist experienced with such options. Our dentists will examine your teeth and mouth, review your oral health history and chat with you about  what you want out of your teeth replacement. Then they can recommend the range of options that may work for you. To arrange a consultation in Rochester, New York, please call us at 585-227-4390.

July 26, 2018

Dentures supported by dental implants offer maximized durability and comfort. At the Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry, our experienced restorative dentists want to help you find the best way to replace your missing teeth. To arrange a FREE consultation in Rochester, New York, please call our staff at 585-227-4390.

What are Implant Dentures?

To understand how these dentures work, it might help to first understand how a dental implant works. A dental implant looks like a small post:

It is made of durable, medical-grade titanium. The post is implanted in the bone beneath your gums, where it acts as a replacement for the tooth root. The visible portion of your missing tooth – called the crown – is replaced with a tooth crown, a dental bridge or a denture.

A single tooth crown may be placed atop an implant to replace a single tooth. To replace multiple teeth or all of the teeth, a denture is often ideal. Modern dentures are nothing like the artificial-looking, slippery dentures common in the past. Today, they look like natural teeth. And when affixed to implants, dentures stay in place and don't slip. That means you can speak, chew, smile and laugh confidently, without fear of the appliance coming dislodged.

Implant dentures are capable of replacing several missing teeth, as well as a full "arch" of teeth, which is all of the upper or all of the lower teeth. The dentures are supported by several implants placed strategically along the boney ridge beneath the gums.

The only way to know if you are a good candidate is to visit us for a consultation. Our experienced dentists can tell you all of the tooth replacement options available, and then help you choose the one that is the best match for you.

How Affordable are these Dentures?

Couple on the beach smiling with implant-supported dentures from Rochester NYWhen you visit us for your consultation, we will provide you with a cost estimate for the service you are interested in. The dentists must first examine your teeth and recommend your full range of options before we can make that estimate.

When restoring teeth, most patients consider cost as one of the deciding factors. We'll discuss cost with you, as well as any payment options available to you. We accept payment plans through a few different financing companies. Talk to our staff about all of your options at the time of your consultation.

We want each of our patients to enjoy optimum function and aesthetics from their tooth replacements. A healthy smile is an attractive smile, and we offer those restorations that achieve both aesthetics and health.

Get Custom Dentures for Your Missing Teeth

Whether you are missing a single tooth or multiple missing teeth, or all of your teeth, our experienced dentists in Rochester can help you decide if dentures or another type of tooth replacement is the best match for your goals. To arrange your FREE consultation, please call the practice of Dr. Paul Sussman and Dr. Meredith Pogal at 585-227-4390.

June 05, 2018

Pregnant Rochester woman brushing her teeth in the bathroomRoutine dental care is an essential component of a healthy pregnancy. Below, we've covered some of the basics of dentistry as it relates to your growing baby. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call our Rochester dentists at 585-227-4390.

Great dental hygiene stays the same.

Continue to brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Let the dentist know you are pregnant, and we will determine if there are any ways you can improve or tailor your dental hygiene routine, but for most women, sticking to the standard at-home routine is adequate.

Swish with water after a morning sickness episode.

Nausea and vomiting can occur at any time of day or night while you're pregnant. The acid in vomit is bad for your teeth. It can erode the enamel, and it makes the enamel softer for a while. Because the enamel is softer and vulnerable to toothbrush bristles right after vomiting, you should swish and rinse with water and brush your teeth later, once the enamel has hardened up. You may want to mix baking soda in with the water to fight odor and neutralize acid.

Stick with those scheduled dental appointments.

Some women skip their regular dental appointments until after their baby is born. It's perfectly safe to receive cleanings and exams while pregnant, and it is in fact recommended. These appointments help us prevent and detect any signs of gum disease or other dental problems, which could affect your pregnancy. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Although there is some association in the research, we do not want to cause any undue stress or fear! Many women don't visit the dentist while pregnant and enjoy a healthy pregnancy nonetheless. But by visiting our dentists, we can make sure your oral health is in tip-top shape, which will not cause harm to the baby and may even be good for the course of the pregnancy.

You may experience gingivitis.

Woman with pregnant belly in the New York afternoonThe rise in hormones while you're pregnant can make your gums softer, and therefore more vulnerable to bacteria and inflammation. It's normal to have mild gingivitis, including bleeding, red and irritated gums. Visit our dentist for tips tailored to the gum issues you are experiencing.

Getting dental work while you are pregnant.

The American Dental Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that necessary dental treatments, such as fillings and tooth crowns, are safe to receive during pregnancy. They also encourage women to get these treatments if they need them during pregnancy, since delaying them may lead to bigger dental problems.

The second trimester tends to be the ideal time for getting dental work. During your third trimester, lying down for treatment may be really uncomfortable.

Unnecessary procedures, such as teeth whitening or possibly even replacing a missing tooth, may be delayed until after the birth of your child. For procedures that don't make a difference to your immediate dental health, it is oftentimes easier to delay them and avoid any stress, anxiety or issues they may present.

Our dentists can help you decide which treatments to pursue and which to delay. We're with you every step of the way.

Arrange Your Appointment

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment at our Rochester, NY dental office, please call the practice of Dr. Meredith Pogal and Dr. Paul Sussman at 585-227-4390. We proudly care for expecting moms, families, individuals, children and all of our guests who visit us from across the area, including Greece, Webster and Fairport.

May 16, 2018

Wedding couple cosmetic dentistry in Greece New YorkYour wedding day will be a cherished memory for the rest of your life, plus the party of a lifetime on the day of! Even after the reception is over and all your loved ones have gone home, you'll soon have photos to remind you of the day forever. With all the significance and permanence involved, it's no wonder brides, grooms and wedding guests want to look their absolute best on the Big Day! With cosmetic dentistry provided by our experienced dentists, your smile can look glamorous in time for the wedding.

Here are the top treatments to consider:

Porcelain veneers. Looking for a glamorous, Hollywood smile? Veneers may be the way to go. These thin, beautiful, shell-like restorations are placed over the front surface of your teeth, to conceal the flaws beneath. Veneers are lifelike and realistic, and look like natural tooth enamel but without any of the natural imperfections of teeth. Veneers address:

  • Stains
  • Discoloration
  • Chips
  • Worn teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Gaps between teeth

After your consultation, your porcelain veneers can  be placed over just 1 or 2 appointments at our office. Depending on scheduling at our office at the time, this means you can get porcelain veneers even if your wedding is right around the corner. Call our office for more information.

Bride and groom porcelain veneers for wedding in RochesterTeeth whitening. For wedding photos, and any important photos, teeth whitening can make a big difference. Dull, yellowed teeth tend to be quite apparent in photos, and teeth whitening brightens your tooth enamel by as much as 8 or 10 shades. Our cosmetic dentists use Zoom! LED teeth whitening. The device completes the treatment in about 45 minutes to an hour, and you'll walk out the door with your whitened smile ready to be shared. We also offer Opalescence, which is a whitening gel applied to the teeth with customized trays you wear over your teeth.

Complete smile makeover. If you have a few months or longer, and if you want a total revamp of your smile, then a complete makeover may be right for you. A makeover simply means two or more cosmetic treatments may be built into the plan for your smile. So, for instance, porcelain veneers may accompany restorations to repair a broken tooth or replace a missing tooth. The point is to customize it to your individual goals.

Gummy smile re-contouring. For some people, an excess of gum tissue shows when they smile. This can make the teeth appear shorter than desirable. Or, others experience an uneven gum line, in which too much gum shows in certain areas of the smile. Our dentists use one of several approaches depending on your unique smile and goals. Veneers may be the right way to address the gum tissue issues, or laser treatment of the excess tissue. They may be combined for optimal results.

Talk to Our Dentists about Timing

 If you are interested in rejuvenating your smile for the big day, we encourage you to arrange a free consultation with our experienced cosmetic dentists. Let us know the date of your wedding, and we'll see which treatments can be completed before that date.

Get Started on Your Cosmetic Dental Plan

Our experienced cosmetic dentists are passionate about what they do. They want to help you enjoy the smile of your dreams on the day of your nuptials. To arrange a FREE consultation with us in Rochester, New York, please call the practice of Dr. Paul Sussman and Dr. Meredith Pogal at 585-227-4390. We proudly provide care for people from across the region, including Greece, Fairport and Webster.

April 30, 2018

Sleep apnea is a condition in which the body's natural breathing mechanisms are interrupted during sleep. This causes people who suffer from sleep apnea to awake numerous times during the night, which leads to chronic sleep deprivation as well as greater and even more problematic health problems.

Many Rochester-area residents may be among the roughly 20 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea,and may choose to treat the condition by wearing a type of ventilator while they sleep known as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, CPAP.

But the CPAP is not comfortable or feasible for all sleep apnea suffers. That's why our dentists feel strongly about educating the public regarding sleep apnea signs to watch for as well as the availability of alternative sleep apnea treatments.

How Do You Know if You Suffer From Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea causes daytime fatigue for this Rochester NY professionalBefore considering the breadth of sleep apnea symptoms, it's important to understand the different ways in which this condition may manifest.

Sleep apnea sufferers generally experience one of the following three varieties of the condition:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the throat muscles relax so excessively that they partially or completely block the airway. This is the most common diagnosis among the three types of sleep apnea.
  • Central sleep apnea means the victim's brain fails to effectively communicate with the throat and craniofacial muscles; impaired breathing is the result.
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a mixture of both types.

There also are conditions that may signal the emergence of sleep apnea. These other common sleep apnea symptoms include:

  • Loud, consistent snoring
  • Frequently awaking during the night
  • Waking to the feeling of breathlessness, and the sensation that air is stuck in one’s throat
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Frequent headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic sleepiness during waking hours
  • Attention deficient
  • Marked moodiness or irritability

These symptoms alone can make life difficult. Even more disturbing is the fact that sleep apnea, when left untreated, can contribute to the emergence of such life-threatening afflictions as heart disease and diabetes.

How Do Our Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

Cosmetic and restorative dentists are uniquely suited to help treat sleep apnea because the condition involves the craniofacial muscles and systems with which these doctors are so familiar. Not only can our dentists help diagnose sleep apnea, they also can help patients secure and become accustomed to a tailor-made dental appliance that facilitates breathing and subsequently enables the restorative rest that sleep apnea sufferers so desperately require.

The MicrO2® dental appliance is custom-fitted for you and manages to position the jaw in such a way that establishes an open, clear airway during sleep. Our dentists prefer the MicrO2® because this device is customized for each patient, and because wearers report that it is both comfortable and easy to wear.

If you live in or around Rochester, Webster, Greece or Fairport and are ready to talk with an experienced dentist about whether our unique sleep apnea treatment might be right for you, please dial 585-227-4390 to schedule your appointment with the experienced dentists at the Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry.