Cosmetic Dentistry Blog of Dr Sussman & Pogal

Our Rochester office provides smiles to Rochester, Webster, Greece, Fairport & Nearby Areas of New York

November 14, 2019
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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.

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August 14, 2019
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Dental implants are a top choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth. The experienced dentists at our Rochester, NY practice can help you decide if they're right for you.

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July 15, 2019
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Reality vs. Myth typed on paper with the word "Myth" circled by a red pencilAre you attempting to make an informed decision about dental implants? If you are, we applaud you! There are many options out there for replacing missing teeth, and we believe it's important to do your homework. After all, it's your smile and your dental health, and you deserve results you are satisfied with in all of the years ahead. Dental implants have the potential to last decades, even a lifetime, so it's a good idea to make sure they are a good match for your expectations.

MYTH: Dental implants are really expensive.

The real story: It's true that the up-front price of dental implants tends to be more expensive than the upfront price of dentures or dental bridges. When comparing costs, it's helpful to also compare longevity, durability, appearance and quality. With proper dental hygiene, dental implants are likely to last longer than a denture or bridge, so the cost of dental implants continues to pay dividends in the decades ahead. You may also have some coverage from your dental benefits, which we will help you determine. There is also financing available. Talk to our patient coordination team to determine if the cost of dental implants is worth it for you.

MYTH: Dental implants are a hassle to maintain.

The real story: Dental implants require the same great dental hygiene as your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist every 6 months is the extent of maintenance, unless there is a special circumstance or an issue with the implant that requires special care, but such situations are uncommon.

MYTH: A dental implant looks fake in your smile.

The real story: Dental implants are designed to look like natural teeth, and the design is quite successful. Under the supervision of our experienced dentists, the implant will be made to fit seamlessly into the color and appearance of your other teeth. No one will be able to see the dental implant in your smile.

MYTH: Dental implant surgery is painful.

The real story: It's true that any dental procedure involves pressure on the teeth. Because all the tissue is numbed, the procedure is not painful for our patients. Some patients are more nervous than others, and we'll do everything we can to make you feel more comfortable. Any post-surgical pain following surgery can be managed with medications, which we will advise you about beforehand.

MYTH: Dental implants require dietary restrictions.

The real story: Dental implants – once fully fused with the bone in which they are embedded – make it possible to continue to enjoy all of your favorite foods, even the crunchiest. Dental implants offer a stable, secure chewing surface because they are embedded within bone. It is true that you will need to stick to soft foods in the days following surgery, but we'll make sure you have complete instructions beforehand.

MYTH: Only an oral surgeon can determine if a dental implant is right for you.

The real story: A dentist with experience and training specific to dental implants can advise you about these restorations. It's important to choose a dentist who has been providing dental implants routinely, for years. Our dentists can determine whether implants will work for you, and foresee any challenges, risks or issues you should know about.

Your Consultation with Experienced Implant Dentists

At the Rochester, NY, practice of Dr. Paul Sussman and Dr. Meredith Pogal, we provide a complimentary consultation with one of our dentists! This way, you can meet us, get to know your options and decide if dental implants are right for you. We are proud to serve our region, including patients from Greece, Fairport and Webster. To arrange your appointment, please call our staff at 585-227-4390.

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June 19, 2019
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Do you think you may be suffering from a disorder related to the temporomandibular joints? Your jaw joints are involved in biting, chewing, speaking, smiling, and otherwise opening and closing your mouth. When they are strained, stressed, or when unbalanced pressure is exerted upon them, that's when you may notice some of these symptoms. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to consult our experienced dentists. We have been practicing in Rochester, New York, for many years, and our entire team wants you to love your smile and to enjoy a comfortable, healthy bite. To arrange a consultation to discuss TMJ treatment, please call us at 585-227-4390.

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May 23, 2019
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Calculating the cost of dental implantsComparing dentistry options usually involves comparing prices. If you are like most people, you probably want to find the absolute best way to replace your missing teeth, but are also looking for a budget-conscious option that fits with your expectations.

Implant dentistry provides an effective, aesthetically pleasing and optimally durable way to replace teeth. You may have heard that dental implants are expensive. The cost varies by patient. There's no way to provide you with a cost quote prior to an exam and consultation. For some people, though the upfront cost of dental implants may end up being higher than their quote for dentures, they love the long-term benefits of implants. In the long run, you may decide the cost is well-worth the value of these durable teeth replacements.

Determining Your Specific Cost

The exact cost is influenced by several factors, including:

  • How many dental implants are needed
  • The location where teeth are being replaced
  • Type of implant
  • Additional procedures to prepare the tissue for dental implants

At the time of your consultation, you'll meet with one of our experienced and friendly dentists, Dr. Paul Sussman or Dr. Meredith Pogal. After looking at your teeth and seeing which teeth need to be replaced, they will let you know if tooth implants, dentures or a dental bridge are options for you. We discuss the pros of each option so that you can decide. If you are interested in implants, we provide you with a cost estimate and discuss payment options. If you are interested in financing, you may qualify for a plan through CareCredit, Lending Club, iCare Financial or Wells Fargo Health Advantage.

Cost vs. Value

For many people, dental implants end up being the right choice because of the tremendous value they add:

  • Long-lasting. It's possible your dental implants will last a lifetime. With proper care and good dental hygiene, they should last for decades. Dentures and dental bridges typically require replacement, sometimes within several years to a decade. Therefore, consider that the upfront cost of dental implants will probably not be repeated. You'd have to pay to replace your dentures or dental bridge.
  • Highly durable. Once placed and completely healed, the dental implants are unlikely to break or move around in the bone. The implant fuses with the bone in which it is placed, so it is very durable. You'll be able to chew, bite, smile and speak with the confidence of a lifelike tooth replacement.
  • Jawbone benefits. Normally, the bone below the site of a missing tooth will begin to deteriorate. It needs the presence of a tooth root to sustain it. An implant literally replaces the missing root with a titanium post, so it will keep the bone there healthy.

As with any dentistry procedure, it's useful to consider the return on the investment. Weigh these benefits of dental implants as you consider their expense. As experienced implant dentists, Dr. Sussman and Dr. Pogal can help you weigh the advantages against the cost. They are fully committed to helping you choose a tooth replacement that you will be happy with for years to come, dental implants or otherwise.

Discuss Costs at Your Consultation

We want to tell you about all of the ways you can replace missing teeth. You deserve a healthy, bright and complete smile that you feel good about. To learn more about implant dentistry and teeth restoration, please call our practice in Rochester, NY, at 585-227-4390.

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February 13, 2019
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Man using a calculator to plan for dental costs in RochesterExpecting an IRS refund for 2018 taxes? Maybe you have already filed and know exactly how much you're getting back. There are many things you could do with a refund, from shopping to utility bills, to savings and paying down debt. Some people use their refunds to invest in a cosmetic, restorative or general dentistry procedure they've been planning to get.

Although the average refund is down about 8 percent so far this year, some people – especially married filers with children – may get a bigger refund this year. You should obviously make the choice that feels right to you, but we want to discuss what you will get back in return for investing your refund in dentistry. Please give us a call if you have any questions about dental care, financing and insurance.

How Dentistry can be a Practical Financial Investment

Like any responsible saver, you probably want to maximize what you are able to do with your IRS refund. If you've been delaying dental treatment while you save up for the co-pay or down payment, your refund may be the perfect opportunity you've been waiting for.

You could use your refund to pay for all or part of any dental procedure, such as:

Dentistry provides benefits well into the future, especially those treatments that rehabilitate your dental health and dental function. Opting for a dental implant, for example, pays you back both immediately and in the decades ahead. Replacing a tooth makes it possible to chew, speak, laugh and smile like you did before tooth loss.

Why Dentistry and Oral Health is so Important

Man smiling and looking at his dental results with a handheld mirror at the dentist's officeTax refunds aside, maintaining good dental health – which includes routine cleanings and checkups – is important. If there is a treatment you know you need because a dentist has recommended it, or if you are due for a cleaning and checkup, you deserve those things. If you have dental insurance, call your insurer or log in to your account to verify what is covered and what your co-pays are. When you visit us for a consultation, our experienced staff can help to verify your coverage, although ultimately the patient is responsible for payment at the time of service, even if the insurer changes their coverage estimate. We can help you sort out those details when you visit us.

Our office also works with several financing companies. Offering varying terms, these financing plans can be applied for online. They'll make it possible for you to pay in monthly installments for the dentistry you want. Ask our office for more information.

Dentistry and oral health is important for so many reasons, including that effective dental care will:

  • Reduce the risk of dental maladies. Gum disease, gum recession, tooth decay, tooth abscesses, bad breath – these dental problems are often completely preventable with proper care. Staying on top of your dental health keeps your teeth and gums healthy, which is a worthwhile investment.
  • Promote lifelong teeth retention. The average lifespan is longer than previous generations, and today's adults don't assume they will get dentures at some point. Instead, modern dentistry focuses on maintaining teeth so that they have the best chance of lasting a lifetime. By investing in the dental restorations and treatments you need today, you'll continue to reap the benefits well into the future.
  • Help you feel good about the way you look. Feeling good about your smile and your oral health can positively influence many areas of your life. You'll probably feel more confident and may experience a lift in self-esteem once you've gotten the dental rehabilitation you've been saving for. This is good for your mental health, and may even be good for job promotions, getting hired at a new job, making new friends, connecting with your current friends and loved ones. When you like your smile, it can result in being more open and approachable.

Of course, the only way to weigh the costs against the benefits of a recommended treatment is to visit our experienced dentists. After examining your teeth and mouth, the dentist will help you plan the most effective path toward rehabilitating your smile and oral health.

Call Today to Learn More

If you are searching for experienced, compassionate dentists to provide effective, gentle care, please call the practice of Dr. Meredith Pogal and Dr. Paul Sussman at 585-227-4390. Our dentists are located in Rochester, New York, and our patients visit us from across the region, including Fairport, Greece and Webster.

January 15, 2019
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Young woman smiling and pointing at her flawless teeth after porcelain veneer placementIs 2019 the year you finally get porcelain veneers? If so, there are some items you should consider. Below, we've provided 6 tips and pointers as you arrange consultations with dentists in the area. You may want to compare dentists before choosing. At the Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Rochester, we hope you'll call us to arrange a complimentary consultation! Our experienced dentists offer a full array of cosmetic dentistry options, and they can help you decide if porcelain veneers will produce the smile of your dreams. To arrange your consultation in Rochester, NY, please call us at 585-227-4390.

In the meantime, please consider these pointers:

1. You should choose an experienced practitioner.

Find a dentist – like our dentists – who provide porcelain veneers routinely. Our dentists are experienced with evaluation of teeth for veneer suitability, designing the right smile for you, and placement of the veneers on the teeth. Our dentists are also committed to achieving the results that make you happiest.

2. Know that porcelain veneers are customized to you as an individual.

You have a smile that is the most flattering for your facial shape, your facial expressions and the way you smile. Let us present your veneer design options that will be the most flattering.

3. Spend some time beforehand identifying the aspects of your teeth you are unhappy with.

Our cosmetic dentists will be able to see cosmetic flaws in your teeth that can be masked with veneers, but they also want to hear from you. Let us know which issues you would like to change and point out specifics.

4. Ask how many teeth need to be veneered to get the desired results.

While placing veneers on all or most of the teeth is possible and not at all uncommon, it may be that you need only several teeth veneered to get the results you want. Sometimes the four front, upper teeth can be veneered and the others left alone, or a couple teeth each on the upper and lower arches. Of course the ultimate goal is to provide you with a beautiful, symmetrical smile. We'll be able to discuss all of your options, and suggest which teeth should receive veneers, after meeting with you and examining your teeth.

5. Be prepared to talk about which shades will be the most flattering.

Most people want the whitest-white shade when inquiring about veneers. Our dentists do in fact want you to have the stain-free, beautiful white smile that you want. We also want to discuss how different shades of veneers will appear in your smile. Our cosmetic dentists will show you which shades will look the most naturally white with your skin tone. On the other hand, some people prefer the look of a dazzling whitest-white smile, regardless of skin tone. We are happy to provide the tooth color you want after discussing your options with you.

6. Maintain your veneers to make them last as long as possible.

Porcelain veneers are an investment. With proper care, they should last for many years, potentially decades, without needing to be removed and replaced. Good maintenance includes:

  • Brush 2-3 times per day
  • Floss once every day
  • Visit the dentist for a cleaning every 6 months

It's the same dental hygiene you are already doing! Taking care of your teeth is the same way to take care of your veneers. These hygiene steps help you prevent decay around the veneers, stains and gum inflammation. You should also exercise caution related to breaking the veneers – so don't chew on ice cubes or use your teeth to open packages.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Cosmetic Dentist

To find out if you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers, please call to arrange a consultation with our experienced cosmetic dentists in Rochester: 585-227-4390. We have been caring for this community for many years, and it makes us proud that people visit us from across the region, including Greece, Webster and Fairport.

December 13, 2018
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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.

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October 31, 2018
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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
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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.

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