All About Teeth

Teeth Whitening at Nathanson Dental

February 28th, 2018

Nathanson Dental offers several different whitening options! Click here to learn more about it! Or give us a call at 443-275-9641 to schedule today.

Restoring A Smile With Porcelain Crowns

February 20th, 2018

At Nathanson Dental, porcelain crowns are part of our every day routine. Check out this patient's testimonial and her experience in our office with crowns.

If you need dental restorations, and are near Hunt Valley, MD, give our office a call at 443-275-9641.

Give Your Child Every Chance for Success with Healthy Start

February 14th, 2018

Does your child act out in school, or display signs of a behavioral disorder? Do they snore or mouth breathe? If so, your child may be suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing. Call us today and ask about Healthy Start. 443-275-9641

It's never too early to think about giving your child the best possible advantage in life.

Toothaches Are a Serious Warning Sign of a Problem

February 10th, 2018

cracked tooth

A toothache or a pain deep in your gums should always be taken as a warning sign of a serious problem. Pain from a fall or blow to the face might indicate damage to the root of the tooth, periodontal ligaments that anchor it or damage to the socket.

A toothache without any obvious trauma associated with it is often a sign of infection or tooth decay. In a situation like this, early diagnosis and treatment is critical to resolving the problem before it gets worse!

It’s important to call your dentist as soon as possible for advice on how to manage the tooth pain and to schedule an appointment. If you can’t for some reason, contact your dentist immediately there are a few things you can do to manage the situation.

If the toothache was caused by an obvious trauma you can try to rub your gums with a topical oral analgesic. If the trauma causes swelling in your lip or cheek you can hold a cold compress to your face for 15 minutes at a time.

If you suspect the pain is related to tooth decay or infection, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible. If you have a toothache you should call us at (443) 275-9641 to schedule an appointment.

Invisalign: A Patient Testimonial

February 7th, 2018


Check out this patients review of Nathanson Dental, and her experience with Invisalign. Call Nathanson Dental to schedule your Invisalign Evaluation today! 443-275-9641

When Should You See Your Dentist?

February 5th, 2018

Manual toothbrush

Taking good care of your oral health starts with attention to the daily details. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash to reduce bacteria all help keep the environment in your mouth healthy. Having professional dental cleanings every six months is also vital to sound oral health. But what if you are having symptoms in between visits? You should see your dentist if you experience any of the following:

Gum Inflammation

Gums that are chronically inflamed or infected are signs of gingivitis, or gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Bad Breath

If you are persistently experiencing bad breath no matter how much you clean your mouth, or notice a metallic taste in the mouth, you may have the early stages of gum disease.

Sensitive Teeth

If you feel brief, sharp pain whenever you ingest something hot or cold, you may have a cavity or even gum recession, which allows the sensitive layer of dentin (and the tubules leading to the nerves) under the tooth enamel to be exposed. This pain normally arises during temperature extremes.

Tartar Buildup

Oral bacteria cause plaque, and plaque which mineralizes is hardened tartar. Tartar develops along the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums, and requires removal by your dental team using scaling tools.

Morning Headaches

Waking up with chronic headaches is a sign that you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Also called bruxism, this unintentional habit can wear down tooth enamel if left unchecked over time. Wearing a night guard (a mouth guard worn at night) can not only prevent these headaches, but will protect your teeth against further erosion or cracks.

Canker Sores

These oral ulcers can be triggered by trauma to the mouth, emotional stress or even illness. These mouth sores, or “canker” sores, usually heal on their own, but if they persist or are unusually large, this may indicate something more serious.

White Spots

If you can see white spots on a tooth, this may be an indication of dental decay. It is not uncommon to have a cavity even if you aren’t feeling pain or showing any symptoms (pain upon biting, visible holes, etc.).

Ice pack for Tooth PainTooth Pain

If you are experiencing sudden tooth pain that just won’t go away, you may have a cavity. This is a hole in your tooth that may reach the tooth pulp where the nerves are exposed, causing pain.

Dr. Joel Nathanson and Dr. Leah Romay are both happy to help keep you smiling in between cleanings and exams. To restore your healthy smile, you can schedule a visit with our Nathanson Dental team in Hunt Valley, Maryland by calling (443) 275-9641 today!

Invisalign: The Clear Solution to Straight Teeth

January 31st, 2018


Is Fluoride a Good Choice for You?

January 30th, 2018

[caption id="attachment_151" align="alignleft" width="424"]Painting on Fluoride Child receiving fluoride treatment[/caption]

Many people worry if their current oral hygiene routine is doing them any good. Nobody likes a cavity. One common concern is about fluoride. Is it safe to use? If so, how can it be used best?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. It appears in water we drink and food we eat. It is also known as nature’s cavity fighter, because of the strengthening impact it has on tooth enamel. And when used in proper doses, it is safe for children and adults to use to protect their teeth.

It is important to protect your teeth from corrosion. Acid both from your diet and that is produced by bacteria in your mouth attacks tooth enamel, causing it to corrode over time. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and cavities. Fluoride strengthens enamel and resists the effect of acid.

There are two main ways to get fluoride. One is by drinking fluoridated water. Nearly 75% of Americans have access to fluoridated water through their municipal water systems. Communities have been adding fluoride to their water for decades, and it has been directly linked to a significant drop in cavity rates in children and adults.

You can also get fluoride by using a fluoride toothpaste. Not all toothpastes contain fluoride, so be sure to look for an ADA Seal of Acceptance. Fluoride toothpaste is safe to use on children, even from the time that teeth begin to appear. And always brush twice a day, of course.

We want to help everyone in the Hunt Valley, Maryland, area have the healthiest possible smile. Please call Dr. Joel Nathanson at Nathanson Dental for an appointment today! 443-275-9641

When Should You See Your Dentist?

January 29th, 2018

dental floss between teeth

Taking good care of your oral health starts with attention to the daily details. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash to reduce bacteria all help keep the environment in your mouth healthy. Having professional dental cleanings every six months is also vital to sound oral health. But what if you are having symptoms in between visits? You should see your dentist if you experience any of the following:

Gum Inflammation

Gums that are chronically inflamed or infected are signs of gingivitis, or gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis is the major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Bad Breath

If you are persistently experiencing bad breath no matter how much you clean your mouth, or notice a metallic taste in the mouth, you may have the early stages of gum disease.

Sensitive Teeth

If you feel brief, sharp pain whenever you ingest something hot or cold, you may have a cavity or even gum recession, which allows the sensitive layer of dentin (and the tubules leading to the nerves) under the tooth enamel to be exposed. This pain normally arises during temperature extremes.

Tartar Buildup

Oral bacteria cause plaque, and plaque which mineralizes is hardened tartar. Tartar develops along the gum line, where the teeth meet the gums, and requires removal by your dental team using scaling tools.

Morning Headaches

Waking up with chronic headaches is a sign that you might be grinding your teeth in your sleep. Also called bruxism, this unintentional habit can wear down tooth enamel if left unchecked over time. Wearing a night guard (a mouth guard worn at night) can not only prevent these headaches, but will protect your teeth against further erosion or cracks.

Canker Sores

These oral ulcers can be triggered by trauma to the mouth, emotional stress or even illness. These mouth sores, or “canker” sores, usually heal on their own, but if they persist or are unusually large, this may indicate something more serious.

White Spots

If you can see white spots on a tooth, this may be an indication of dental decay. It is not uncommon to have a cavity even if you aren’t feeling pain or showing any symptoms (pain upon biting, visible holes, etc.).

Toothache Pain

If you are experiencing sudden tooth pain that just won’t go away, you may have a cavity. This is a hole in your tooth that may reach the tooth pulp where the nerves are exposed, causing pain.

Dr. Joel Nathanson and Dr. Matthew Farzin are both happy to help keep you smiling in between cleanings and exams. To restore your healthy smile, you can schedule a visit with our Nathanson Dental team in Hunt Valley, Maryland by calling (443) 275-9641 today!

Mouthwash: Is It Really Worth the Rinse?

January 23rd, 2018

When it comes to getting your teeth super clean, ADA-approved toothpaste and floss do a great job, but they don’t always get rid of all the plaque in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash removes any leftover bacteria and leaves your mouth with a fresh sensation.

In today’s world of dental care, you can choose between two different types of mouthwash:

Therapeutic mouthwash: This rinse can help improve your oral health. It reduces the plaque growth on your smile, which can ultimately prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Therapeutic mouthwash can also freshen your breath, remove food particles from your teeth, and strengthen your teeth with extra fluoride.

Cosmetic mouthwash: This rinse can beautify your smile and give you fresh results. Some washes successfully whiten your teeth throughout time, while others freshen your breath and give you a pleasant taste in your mouth.

Both types of mouthwash will help you achieve a healthier, brighter smile. Swish them around in your mouth for thirty seconds at least once a day and you’ll begin to see results.

If you’re shopping for mouthwash in Hunt Valley, Maryland, feel free to contact Nathanson Dental at (443) 275-9641 for a professional recommendation. Dr. Joel Nathanson is more than happy to discuss which brand and type of mouthwash is best suited to your specific needs.

Are Dental Veneers Right for You?

January 10th, 2018

Dr. Nathanson and Dr. Romay at Nathanson Dental are pleased to offer porcelain dental veneers and Lumineers® for our patients in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. Our veneers are perfect for correcting minor smile issues. These shells are custom made to cover the front surface of your teeth. So why would veneers be a good fit for your needs?

— If your teeth have gaps between them

— If your teeth are chipped

— If your teeth are misaligned or have a disfiguring shape

— If your teeth are worn down

At Nathanson Dental, our custom veneers are compatible with gum tissue, they resist staining, and are bonded to the front of your teeth to mimic the color and translucence of tooth enamel. Our veneers can change a tooth’s color and shape without invasive treatment. In addition, our veneers can last anywhere from 5-10 years. Best of all, there is no extra care required to maintain your veneers, just care for them as do your teeth with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a mouthwash, if needed.

Dr. Nathanson and Dr. Romay along with our team in Hunt Valley, Maryland are happy to enhance your smile with our custom porcelain dental veneers and Lumineers®. If you would like more information, or to schedule a visit, please call us at (443) 275-9641 today!

*Actual patient photographs.

Your New Dentures

January 3rd, 2018

A new set of dentures provided by Dr. Leah Romay at Nathanson Dental are designed to effectively restore the function and appearance of your compromised teeth. By including them as an important part of your daily oral hygiene regimen, you can ensure that that it will serve you for many years to come.

Denture adhesive is a popular way to help many denture wearers to secure their dentures in place while also serving to block out food particles. If you do have food particles come between your dentures and your gums, you should thoroughly rinse them and any residual adhesive away. You can then reapply more denture adhesive to the clean surface.

When you take your dentures out at the end of each day you need to thoroughly rinse them to remove any plaque buildup as well as wash away any residual adhesive. This should be followed by brushing all of the surfaces of the dentures with a soft bristled toothbrush and denture polish. You should then soak the dentures overnight in water and keep them in a safe place.

It’s also a good idea to brush and clean your tongue. This can help loosen bacteria from the rough surfaces to help freshen your breath and reduce plaque buildup.

If you have questions about how to take care of your new dentures, please feel free to call Nathanson Dental at (443) 275-9641 to set up a consultation.

Take the Time to Protect Your Smile for the New Year

December 27th, 2017

Take the time to protect your smile for the new year. With the new year comes new possibilities for a bright future for yourself and your smile. Take care of your oral health now to ensure that your smile will remain healthy and bright for many years to come.

If you suffer from a missing tooth, our amazing team of dentists at Nathanson Dental is highly skilled in replacing them with alternative treatment options that bring you the smile you desire.

With the addition of a dental implant, your smile and appearance can improve. Tooth loss often creates an indent in your jawline, which can make your face look sunken in and older. Dental implants may be able to remove years off your look as well.

Eating with missing teeth can be an arduous task, especially with hard and chewy food. Using dental implants to fill in those missing gaps can not only remove any food restrictions you may have, but also make eating healthier, easier, and less painful.


Dental implants can vastly improve your speech abilities depending on the location of the bridge. Even some misalignment issues can be corrected or minimized to prevent further damage, drifting teeth, or other misalignment issues.

If you would like to schedule an oral exam with Dr. Joel Nathanson, stop by our office in Hunt Valley, Maryland, or contact our team at (443) 275-9641. Don’t let missing teeth ruin your life, come in now and see what dental bridges can do for you!

Sleep Apnea Q+A with Dr. Nathanson

November 26th, 2017

What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is one form of what is a series of disorders of people’s breathing while they sleep. The overarching term is Sleep Disordered Breathing; we use Sleep Apnea because that’s the term people are most familiar with. Sleep apnea is just one type of sleep disordered breathing. Basically, it's a limitation, or sometimes a complete stopping, of breathing while a person sleeps. As you might imagine, if you’re not breathing you’re not getting oxygen, and that’s really dangerous.

What are the risks of sleep disordered breathing?
Sleep apnea has been linked to all different kinds of disorders, most notably high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Risk factors even encompass things like migraine headaches, erectile dysfunction, and diabetes, which have been linked to sleep apnea. Any disorder where the body is not getting enough oxygen is going to react in different ways. Usually we see that in the cardiovascular system with heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders. The body is a very complex mechanism, we need oxygen to do just about anything. Sleep apnea is linked to just about any disorder where having a lower level of oxygen in the blood can be a danger.

What kinds of sleep apnea are there?
There are two different kinds of sleep apnea. The most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), that ranges from mild to moderate to severe. As the name implies, OSA is a result of obstruction of the breathing apparatus. OSA can be caused by many things, but usually it’s because the structures at the back of the throat fall against the back of the airway. Most often it’s the base of the tongue causing the blockage, but it can also be the soft pallet, if a person still has their tonsils it could be their tonsils, anything that could cause an obstruction has the potential to cause sleep apnea. There’s another type of sleep apnea called Central Sleep Apnea, which is less common, and it’s more neurological disorder. Our brain tells our body what things it needs to do to keep us alive, in central sleep apnea the brain is not telling the body to breath properly when we sleep. With obstructive sleep apnea a person can’t breathe, and with central sleep apnea a person won’t breathe.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
The single most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. Snoring is caused by the rattling of the tissues in the back of the throat. The reason the tissues rattle is because the air can’t get through all the way. Usually there’s a partial obstruction causing the rattling in the throat. So if a person’s snoring, particularly loud snoring, it's very indicative of sleep apnea.

It’s been estimated that about 70% of loud snorers have sleep apnea. Many of the patients that we treat come in for treatment for snoring. When they talk about their snoring it’s loud, it’s keeping the spouse out of the room, it can be heard in adjacent rooms even with the door closed, and that’s a big sign that a person might have sleep apnea. Another very common symptom is being tired all the time (excessive daytime sleepiness). One of the screening forms we use is called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, which has the patient gauge how sleepy they are at various times of day, while driving, or if they’ve had lunch and need to nap or relax a little bit. The degree of tiredness can be a big indicator that there’s something going on with obstructive sleep apnea.

Also having some of the conditions that are caused by sleep apnea can be a sign; if a person is diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, they don’t necessarily say they have OSA, but if they have those conditions, especially together, there’s a very high probability they have some degree of sleep apnea.

Another very important factor is neck size. The degree to which a person will develop sleep apnea depends on how flexible the airway is. Even someone in great shape, with well developed muscles on either side of their neck and a flexible airway will have a very high risk of sleep apnea. OSA is very common among professional football players and basketball players for example. Most people associate sleep apnea with the overweight man with a large neck. And while that’s common among sleep apnea patients, it could also be someone with very developed musculature in their neck or even a petite woman. Someone who is very slender often has a flexible airway and if their head goes down even just a little bit their risk for sleep apnea goes up. There’s some generalizations that can be made, but we really can’t say there’s a “typical” sleep apnea patient. So if you have any of the symptoms we’ve discussed (the sleepiness, the snoring, high blood pressure, diabetes), if you’re an older male or a post-menopausal female, you could be at risk for developing sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
After a person is screened, and we can predict the likelihood of a person having sleep apnea, the only way to get a diagnosis is to get a sleep test. Whether it’s in a lab or at home, a sleep test can be performed one, two, or three nights, and should be performed by a certified sleep physician. Once complete, the sleep doctor will review the results of the sleep test and give a diagnosis.

How is sleep apnea treated?
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). It blows air, very gently in most cases, dependent on degree of severity of sleep apnea. The machine generates the air pressure, the patient wears a mask or nasal device, and blows air into the airway and keeps the airway open so the person can breathe.

Another option, although it’s not normally recommended, is surgery. If a person has a very long soft pallet for example, or if the tonsils are very large, sometimes a surgical approach would be appropriate.

The treatment we do here in our office is oral appliances. These devices bring the lower jaw forward thus bringing the tongue forward and keeping the airway open. When we are awake we can hold our airway open consciously, but when we sleep those muscles relax. Using the oral sleep appliance can develop the muscles to help keep the airway open.

There are of course pros and cons to each approach. The cpap is 100% effective when it’s worn consistently. The problem is that a lot people can’t use them. They find the masks uncomfortable, sometimes they just don’t like the feeling of the air blowing in the throat, some don’t like the sound of the machine, or the bed partner doesn’t like the sound of the machine. Even though the CPAP is a very effective treatment, depending on the study, it’s estimated that 40%-50% of CPAP users find they can’t use it, or won’t use it.

The next step to consider would be the oral appliance. Oral sleep appliances are somewhere between 70%-80% effective at treating OSA, however the compliance rate is much higher when using the oral sleep appliance vs the CPAP at an estimated 80%-90% compliance rate. At Nathanson Dental and Healthier Sleep Solutions, we use the TAP appliance, that consists of two parts: a top arch and a bottom arch. The top arch has an adjustable hook that most patients adjust at home a half turn a couple times per week to move the hook forward. The hook then fits into the slot on the lower portion moving the lower jaw forward and the tongue will be raised away from the back of the throat and the patient will be able to breathe better.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, snores, or has trouble breathing, give our office a call at 410-527-9237.

Peer Pressure and Its Effect on Your Smile

November 5th, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great if more often than not we were pressured by our peers to do things that would be beneficial instead of harmful? In some instances, it’s more important to take the safe choice, rather than the popular choice. When it comes to pressures teens feel every day, many can have lasting effects that could be irreversible. Consider the following:


Many teenagers are actively involved in sports, which is a leading cause of oral injury to teens. Despite its awkward appearance, it’s always a good idea to wear a mouth guard and facemasks (when applicable). Take pride in your smile and wear safety equipment.


Smoking has devastating effects on a teenager’s oral health. Smoking can have immediate negative effects beyond increased risk of many cancers; such as bad breath, stained teeth and gums, as well as the lingering smell on clothing, furniture, and even nearby friends.

Mouth jewelry

Mouth jewelry can be considered stylish and popular for many reasons, yet they can also wreak havoc on your oral health. Even tongue rings can have dangerous consequences, such as oral inflammation, cracked teeth, choking, and they can even lead to infectious diseases, such as hepatitis or endocarditis.

Don’t ever be afraid to take care of yourself, and your oral health. If you would like to discuss possible solutions or to make an appointment, please call Nathanson Dental at (443) 275-9641 to talk to a member of our team. Call us, or stop by our office in Hunt Valley, Maryland, and let’s conquer adulthood with a sparkling smile!

How Crowns Help Your Smile

November 1st, 2017

Does your smile need a pick-me-up? Is it suffering from numerous cracks, chips, or stains so deep in the enamel that you can’t erase them via whitening? If so, then it’s time you come in to pay our team here at Nathanson Dental a visit.

We’ll show you what crowns can do for your smile, your self-confidence, and how they can restore your smile to what it used to be.

How do crowns work?

Crowns are actually some of the simplest cosmetic dentistry options available. They’re essentially what they sound like – a crown, or “cap” that covers a damaged or decayed tooth.

Dr. Joel Nathanson will first take a look at the tooth (or teeth) in need of a crown. Then, he will take a mold of other teeth to make your crown match the other teeth in your mouth.

The affected tooth is then ground away to remove the damaged part of it, leaving a bit of tooth left called an abutment. The crown, usually made from a ceramic material, is then cemented on top of the abutment.

Do they look and feel real?

A common question asked about crowns is how they’ll look, feel, and function in your mouth. Crowns are designed to replicate real teeth. However, since they’re designed like real teeth, you do need to remember to keep your crowns clean just like your normal teeth. This will ensure they last as long as possible.

Don’t delay any longer – call us at (443) 275-9641 to get started with crowns for your teeth!

The Tricks You Need to Keep Your Child Excited About Visiting the Dentist

October 30th, 2017

Our Nathanson Dental dental team wants your child to have the best and most successful dental experience possible. We never want them to be afraid of the dental chair. However, we won’t be able to accomplish this goal without your help. So, if you want your child to have a positive dental experience like we do, we encourage you to do these things:

  • When you come into Nathanson Dental for a checkup, bring your child with you. This will help them get used to our office and dental team.
  • Try not to use negative words when going to the dentist. The words to avoid are “hurt,” “needle,” “pain,” etc.
  • Instead of playing “house” at home, play “dentist.” This will familiarize your child with a dental visit.
  • Talk to your dentist, Dr. Joel Nathanson, and ask him how he explains dental treatments to children. The warm, comforting words will help you explain treatments to your child.
  • When your child asks you questions about dental appointments and treatments, answer them honestly and sensitively.

These tips will help your child become more familiar with the dental office, dentist, and dental treatments. If you would like to learn more about how to help your child feel more comfortable with their dentist in Hunt Valley, Maryland, please call our office today at (443) 275-9641 when you can. Our dental team will be more than happy to help you!

A Wonderful Smile Requires Attention and Care

October 20th, 2017

A wonderful smile requires attention and care. Sadly, our teeth and gums cannot care for themselves, so it is up to us to protect and clean them so that they can continue doing the jobs for which they are intended. The first step in maintaining your oral health is as easy as waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth.

To enhance your smile, consider making your oral health care a priority in your lifestyle. Everyday habits can affect your teeth and potentially cause oral accidents, so stay safe and your treatment will remain effective. Here are some other tips to help you:

– Limit your intake of foods and snacks that can speed up plaque decay or damage your teeth.
– Visit your dentist regularly at Nathanson Dental in Hunt Valley, Maryland for your oral exams and professional cleanings.
– Avoid snacking all throughout the day and limit any between-meal snacks.
– Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once daily.
– Consider using a cleaning product after eating a meal, such as sugarless gum, to wash away harmful bacteria and food particles and to limit the effect of harmful acids on your teeth.
– Keep your meals well-balanced and nutritious for optimum health.
– Avoid chewing or smoking tobacco, and avoid recreational drugs or medications that can cause mouth dryness.

The first step in maintaining your oral health begins with you, but we are here to help. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Joel Nathanson, you are welcome to call us at (443) 275-9641 to speak with a member of our fantastic team. Call us today and get back on track to a healthy and happy smile!

Save Your Smile with Invisalign®

October 15th, 2017

Is your smile losing its luster? Are you afraid no matter how well you take care of your teeth and gums, you cannot help your smile due to alignment issues or biting problems with your jawline? If so, there is help on the way. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our expert team at Nathanson Dental, and the cutting-edge technology of Invisalign® orthodontic aligner systems, we can once again craft for you a straight smile you can be proud of.

Save your smile with Invisalign. Here are some FAQ’s you should know about:

Question: What are the benefits of Invisalign?
Answer: Invisalign aligners can be removed during treatment, allowing normal eating habits with no food restrictions. Because they are removable they are much easier to clean and care for.

Question: Are there any metal brackets or wires used with Invisalign?
Answer: No, there is no metal present. Invisalign is made with a patented clear thermoplastic material, which is safer for your teeth and gums. The clear design also makes the aligners very hard to detect, even for close family, friends, or peers.

Question: Where can I go to get Invisalign?
Answer: You can visit our office in Hunt Valley, Maryland by booking an appointment with us at (443) 275-9641.

Question: Can anybody get Invisalign?
Answer: Invisalign orthodontic treatment many not be the best option for each patient. Ask your orthodontist at Nathanson Dental to ensure you are getting the best orthodontic care available to you.

The Invisalign aligner system is a great way to fix and correct smiles. To learn more about Invisalign, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Joel Nathanson give us a call today and see what Invisalign can do for you!

Tooth Sensitivity Problems Require Accurate Assessment for Treatment Success

October 10th, 2017

Tooth sensitivity problems can limit your food and beverage choices and also hamper your quality of life. Identifying the underlying cause of your tooth sensitivity problems and any ancillary factors will significantly help Dr. Joel Nathanson determine a course of treatment.

In many cases, tooth sensitivity symptoms are linked to some degree of enamel erosion. This can happen when poor oral hygiene allows the bacteria in your mouth to create a chronic acidic environment. This can then be exacerbated by the regular consumption of acidic foods and beverages. In time, this can form microscopic channels through the enamel to the sensitive dentin layer of the tooth.

To treat the enamel erosion, your dentist might advise having a fluoride treatment followed by the daily use of prescription fluoride supplements.

Tooth decay on multiple teeth is also a common cause of sensitivity issues. If you procrastinate having them treated at Nathanson Dental, the sensitivity will persist. In time, it could even lead to tooth loss or a gum infection

Another potential source of tooth sensitivity could be something as mundane as a chronic sinus infection. The pressure in the sinus cavities can apply unnatural pressure to the nerves of your upper teeth. To treat this, you may need to have a prescription decongestant from your primary physician.

If you are struggling with tooth sensitivity in Hunt Valley, Maryland, you should call (443) 275-9641 to schedule an appointment at Nathanson Dental.

Reviewing Your Basic Oral Hygiene

October 8th, 2017

Developing the habit of properly caring for your teeth is one of the most important things people should practice for their oral health. Whether you’re an adult who needs to be reminded of the fundamentals of brushing and flossing, or a child who’s just beginning to learn, it’s good to brush up on your knowledge of oral health.

The daily habit of brushing and flossing will help you prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a bacteria that feeds off of food and sugar left over in your mouth after eating. If plaque is left untreated, it can form an acid which eats away at the enamel of your teeth. The acid can cause black pits, called cavities, to develop in your teeth.

After a period of time, the plaque will turn into a hard substance called tartar that can feel like it’s actually the surface of the tooth. A tartar build-up can lead to detrimental effects like gingival disease and even bone loss. Brushing your teeth will not remove tartar once it is in place.

This is why it is important to develop daily habits of brushing and flossing to avoid plaque and tartar build-up before they happen. You should also see Dr. Nathanson and Dr. Romay every six months for a cleaning and checkup.
Please call Nathanson Dental in Hunt Valley, Maryland to set up an appointment with our dentists today in order to brighten your smile!

Gum Disease and Your Teeth

October 3rd, 2017

[caption id="attachment_154" align="alignleft" width="270"] Healthy Gums[/caption]

You’ve probably heard that gum disease is a fairly serious problem, but would you be surprised to learn that many people could have gum disease without ever recognizing it? This is one reason we recommend scheduling regular appointments with our team. You see, our team is trained to recognize the symptoms of gum disease.

If you have gum disease, your gums will swell. Sadly, if you don’t treat gum disease, you may have to cope with a number of issues. When you eat, plaque will form around your teeth. If you don’t remove this plaque, it can form into tartar. If you don’t brush or floss well, plaque could harden. Sadly, you won’t be able to remove tartar from home without damaging your teeth. If you notice bleeding or swollen gums, you could already have gum disease. To make matters worse, if you notice these problems, your gum disease may be more advanced than you think.

Furthermore, if you have gum disease, the tissue that holds your pearly whites in place could be damaged. In other words, if gum disease isn’t addressed quickly enough, you could ultimately lose your teeth or need to have your teeth extracted.

If you’d like to learn more about the care you can receive from our team, or have more questions about gum disease in Hunt Valley, Maryland, please feel free to give Nathanson Dental a call at (443) 275-9641. Our dentist, Dr. Joel Nathanson, and the rest of our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We’re excited to receive your call soon.

Preventing Tooth Decay Is Possible with a Fluoride Treatment

September 29th, 2017

Tooth decay is often the result of poor oral hygiene habits enabling the bacteria in your mouth to exploit otherwise healthy tooth enamel.In many cases, this is the result of demineralization in the tooth enamel.

Increased fluoride exposure from multiple sources helps remineralize the surfaces of your teeth. If municipal water and fluoride toothpaste aren’t sufficient for maintaining the mineral density of your tooth enamel, Dr. Nathanson and Dr. Romay might recommend a fluoride treatment.

Our dentists will administer the treatment by pouring a small amount of concentrated fluoride gel into a tray that is held in your mouth for a few minutes. Afterward, you should avoid eating or drinking for up to an hour to allow the fluoride to deeply penetrate the microscopic areas of your tooth enamel.

You might want to also consider cutting back on acidic foods and drinks in the future. It’s also worth the effort to brush your teeth with a toothpaste that includes fluoride additives. Maintaining or improving your oral hygiene practices will also go a long way toward maintaining strong tooth enamel.

If you’re concerned about cavity prevention and you’re interested in fluoride in Hunt Valley, Maryland, you should call (443) 275-9641 to schedule a checkup and fluoride treatment at Nathanson Dental.

Does Sugar Really Hurt Your Teeth?

September 12th, 2017

Everyone knows eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but few are aware of exactly how that happens. It's not the sugar itself that does the damage, but rather the chain of events that takes place after you eat that piece of cake. Your children may be more inclined to heed your warnings about the effects of sugar on teeth if they know about the continuous tug-of-war taking place inside their mouths. Here's how taking certain actions can prevent tooth decay from hijacking your family's oral health.

How Cavities Develop

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NICDR), the mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to the oral ecosystem. However, certain harmful oral bacteria actually feed on the sugars you eat to create acids that destroy the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective outer layer of the tooth. Cavities are a bacterial infection created by acids, that cause your teeth to experience a hole in them. Without treatment, cavities can progress past the enamel and into the deeper layers of the tooth, causing pain and possible tooth loss.

A Constant Battle in the Mouth

Your teeth are frequently under attack by acids, but the good news is this damage is constantly being reversed. Acids leech minerals from the enamel through a process called demineralization. Fortunately, the natural process of remineralization replaces those minerals and strengthens the teeth all over again – and your saliva is a key player. Saliva contains minerals such as calcium and phosphates to help repair the teeth. Fluoride is another mineral that helps repair weakened enamel. However, replacing lost minerals can only do so much to prevent the effects of sugar on teeth if you eat lots of sweets and starches throughout the day. Limiting your sugar intake is vital if you want to give your mouth a fighting chance to fix the damage.

Ways to Remineralize Tooth Enamel

Experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center offer several tips for preventing cavities. In addition to cutting down on sugar, stimulating saliva flow is recommended to help bathe the teeth in minerals. Chewing sugarless gum and incorporating fibrous vegetables and fruits into your diet are good ways to salivate. Cheese, yogurt and other dairy products also contain calcium and phosphates to strengthen the teeth, and are much better choices for snack time than sugary or starchy treats. Additionally, green and black teas contain substances that help suppress harmful oral bacteria, so adding a few cups to your daily routine – without sugar, of course – can help maintain a healthy balance in the mouth.

Finally, fluoride is a mineral that not only prevents tooth decay, but also reverses it in its early stages, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). So drink plenty of fluoridated water and brush regularly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste such as Colgate Total®, which cleans out sugar-dependent germs for up to 12 hours. The ADA also recommends professional fluoride treatments from a dentist.

Constant vigilance is the key to preventing the negative effects of sugar on teeth. Encourage your kids to limit their sugar intake, brush away bacteria-filled plaque regularly and consume healthy foods that strengthen the teeth. Add regular dental visits and fluoride treatments to the mix, and you and your loved ones have the best shot at winning the battle against tooth decay.

Blog courtesy of Colgate.

Advanced Dental Technology

August 21st, 2017

Dr. Nathanson has always wanted to provide patients with the best dental experience possible. That’s the reason he became a dentist. One of the exciting things about having Dr. Romay on our doctor team is that she is going to be doing a lot more of the restorative and general dentist procedures so the practice can start expand more of our work in orthodontics, such as Six Month Smiles and Invisalign, and dental sleep medicine, treating sleep apnea with oral appliances. This is where Dr. Nathanson will be spending more time with patients. "I will of course still be doing the general dentist side of things, because I love that as well," he says, "but having the opportunity to devote more of my time to these two areas is something I find very exciting." They’re both very challenging fields; dental sleep medicine is really expanding and more people are really learning about oral appliances as an alternative to CPAP. There are many sleep apnea patients who use the cpap because they think it’s the only option. There are alternatives and we are happy to be able to provide one for them which has changed the lives of many of the patients we’ve worked with.

The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine has what they call a Qualified Dentist Designation. Any dentist can join the academy, but there’s certain criteria that needs to be met to named a Qualified Dentist in dental sleep medicine and we am happy to say that Dr. Nathanson just got the letter making this my first step to achieving Diplomate status! For patients who really need this service, this designation gives them a credential to look for when they’re on the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine website. "It’s a way for me to set some higher standards for myself," according to Dr. Nathanson. "I need to do more continuing education to become a diplomate, documenting more cases. It’s a very exciting process and I really feel like I’m going to learn a lot and become a much better practitioner."

Dr. Nathanson is committed to providing the best for his patients, and part of that is use of our dental technology. Aside from expanding the practice in orthodontics and dental sleep medicine, use of the dental laser and the CEREC one day restoration system that we have here at the office really adds to the patient's experience. With the Waterlase dental laser, there are many procedures we can do without anesthetic. The things that make a tooth hurt during treatment, such as using a conventional dental hand piece that causes friction, vibration, and what are called micro-cracking, don't happen with use of the laser. In many cases we can do procedures for fillings and certain surgical procedures without anesthetic and it’s also a much more conservative way to treat teeth and gums where the healing is a lot faster. We use the Waterlase here on a daily basis. The other device that comes to mind is the CEREC – one day crowns and one day porcelain fillings. For anyone who’s out there that’s ever had a crown, they know there's a lot of time involved. First is the preparation - getting a temporary plastic crown that stays a couple of weeks; sometimes it stays on and sometimes it doesn’t, and then come back in for the delivery of the actual permanent crown. The nice thing about CEREC is that we can do the whole treatment in one day. One of the exciting things about having Dr. Romay here is that she’s really going to be taking on a lot of that work and really utilizing our technology to the fullest, making it available to more patients.

Sharing Some Big News!

August 17th, 2017

We are so happy to introduce Dr. Leah Romay to our practice! Dr. Romay is originally from Pennsylvania, near Reading, and grew up near the country side. Ever since high school she was really into science and really into art and decided to combine those two passions together and pursue dentistry. All throughout her school career she has been working towards that goal to use her abilities to help people. "It’s really been a great journey and I’ve really been enjoying all of it," says Dr. Romay.

Dr. Romay completed her undergraduate degree at University of Pittsburgh, majoring in biology, and minoring in studio arts and chemistry. She went on to dental school at University of MD (the first dental school in the world); they have a great curriculum integrating digital aspects of dentistry. After graduating from dental school, Dr. Romay completed a one year residency program in prosthodontic techniques gaining a lot of information about dental implant placement.

Prosthodontics is a branch of dentistry that involves placing crowns, bridges, and any type of prosthetic tooth. All dentists are trained in prosthodontics, but, with her residency, Dr. Romay was able to get a little extra time practicing these techniques. Prosthodontics also involves implant work ranging from placing implants and putting a crown on the implant, to more complex situations where someone might need a smile makeover for function or aesthetics. It can also involve removable prosthetics like dentures and partial dentures and incorporates them with implants to make it more functional and at times a better option for patients.

In addition to prosthodontics, Dr. Romay is excited to use all of the technologies already in use at Nathanson Dental. "These technologies are one of the great reasons that someone would want to be a patient here," according to Dr. Romay. We can offer the same day crowns - a great service to be able to come in and have the crown done in one visit. "I’ve had a lot of training on the CEREC system," says Dr. Romay, "and in addition I’ll be offering implants for patients here in the office adding a lot of treatment options for our patients."

To help patients understand their treatment options, we’ll use models and photos to help things make sense for patients. It’s always like a foreign language and Dr. Romay is here to explain everything, even if it has to be explained a few different ways. There are several uses for implants: the implants are the part in the bone and then we can put things on top like a tooth or a snap attachment for a denture, or a tooth for a bridge.

One of our goals here at Nathanson Dental is being able to have patients get all of their dental care in one place. Although Dr. Nathanson did place some implants, as a general rule we would refer them to a prosthodontist, oral surgeon, or other specialist to perform the surgery. Being able to offer these services to our patients is very exciting for the practice.

Next time you're in the office be sure to say hi to Dr. Romay! And don't forget about us if you're in need of dental implants. 410-891-8547.

5 Ways Poor Dental Care Makes You Sick*

July 31st, 2017

Failing to brush your teeth or floss regularly not only leads to bad breath and gingivitis, but it's also linked to more serious health problems. Here's how to keep your mouth healthy.

Even if you brush your teeth daily, you may still have dangerous bacteria growing inside your mouth. Not only could that lead to periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease that comes with symptoms such as bleeding when you brush and gum pain), but studies also find a link between poor oral hygiene and major health issues. Here are some ways that missing the mark on oral care could harm your health.

It may hurt your heart

People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease compared to those who don't have periondontitis. Researchers aren't exactly sure of why this might be, but one theory is that harmful bacteria from your mouth enters your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart's blood vessels, leading to inflammation and upping your risk of clots that can trigger heart attacks.

Your memory may suffer

Some research suggests there may be a tie between poor oral health and an increased risk of dementia. One study that followed 118 nuns between the ages of 75 and 98 found that those with the fewest teeth were most likely to suffer dementia. Experts think oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw or through the bloodstream, and may contribute to the type of plaque that's been linked to Alzheimer's.

It might worsen your body's control of blood sugar

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than those without diabetese. While this may be because diabetics are more susceptible to infections, thre's also been research that finds gum disease could make it harder to control our blood sugar, and that treating it helps improve diabetes symptoms.

It may affect your breathing

Gum disease my increase your risk of getting respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia, according to the Journal of Periodontalogy. The infections might be caused when bacteria from the mouth are inhaled into your lungs, possibly causing your airways to become inflamed.

It could make it harder for you to have a baby

Women of childbearing age with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant, two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to coneive, discovered researches in Western Austrailia. Other research finds that pregnant women with gum disease might have higher odds of miscarriage.

Expert Teeth-Cleaning Tips

How can you tell if you're hitting the mark when it comes to good oral care? "If your teeth and gums look good, feel good, and function well then you know you're on the right path," says Dr. Nathanson. "If your gums aren't bleeding when brushing or flossing, or if you have bad breath shortly after brushing, then you may want to come see us." One of the easiest ways to prevent gum disease is to clean your teeth properly, so try these tricks for a healthier mouth:

1. Rinse your mouth

According to Dr. Nathanson, "If mouthwash is used - and mouthwash doesn't take the place of brushing and flossing - rinsing once per day is usually enough."

2. Floss first

Dr. Nathanson recommends flossing before you brush, as it loosens the plaque that sticks to the teeth, allowing it to then be brushed and rinsed away.

3. Get the right toothbrush

Toothbrushes with soft bristles are ideal. Brushes with medium or hard bristles can damage the gum line and expose the root of the tooth. Nathanson Dental recommends using toothbrushes that are ADA endorsed, and we especially love quality electric toothbrushes!

4. Brush smart

Dr. Nathanson recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes. Using an electric toothbrush can help ensure you do so, as many have built in timers. Brushing your tongue and cheeks as well can help remove harmful bacteria that can build up in the crevices. To get kids to brush for two minutes, we love the brush your teeth song from Little Baby Bum on YouTube. Replace your toothbrush about every three months, and make sure to visit Nathanson Dental regularly to maintain optimum oral health.

* Article provided by ABC Living.

Stained Teeth Hiding Your Smile?

July 13th, 2017

Who is teeth whitening for?

There are several types of patients that are candidates for whitening. If you have a lot of staining habits such as drinking coffee, tea, wine, smoking (it’s great for someone who’s just quit smoking and would like to treat themselves), or someone who has tetracycline staining (which comes from certain medications) you could be considered a candidate for whitening. If teeth are stained yellow, brown, or blue-gray (from tetracycline) then teeth whitening could definitely be for you.

We do two different types of whitening at Nathanson Dental: both take home trays and in office whitening with Zoom! by Phillips. Take home trays are created here in our office and then whitening gel is given to the patient for strictly at home use. We also offer in-office whitening, which takes about an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and half, and is used in conjunction with the take home trays.

We recommend doing both the take home and the in-office whitening for maximum results. In office Zoom! Whitening offers immediate gratification for anyone who would like a bright smile for an event or special occasion while the at home whitening maintains the brightness that was achieved, and sometimes even improves the whitening that is done in our office.

What about the stuff I buy in the store?

Any over the counter whitening product is not endorsed by the ADA (the American Dental Association). The dangers, in general, can range from tooth sensitivity to gum irritation and/or burns from the gel to use of potential exposure to cancer causing ingredients. Charcoal, for example, is well known to be carcinogenic despite the recent trend of using it in toothpaste for tooth whitening effects. Our staff at Nathanson Dental would not recommend using a charcoal based product for tooth whitening.

So how does it work?

When you come in we evaluate them by taking the initial tooth shade so we can see the before and after results, we talk about your whitening goals (how white you want teeth to be afterwards), evaluate your smile to make sure you're a good candidate for whitening – restorations in the front of the mouth, such as crowns, don’t whiten so those patients would not be good candidates for whitening. If it’s determined you are a good candidate we’d then get their custom tray impressions, whether you are doing in-office or take home whitening. Afterward, the we will send you home with a high fluoride toothpaste to use one to two weeks prior to your in-office whitening appointment. The toothpaste helps to cut down on the sensitivity that some patients experience after having their teeth whitening. Once the custom trays are made and the you have been using the fluoride toothpaste, we will have you come back in the office for your service. We begin the service by placing barriers over the soft tissue to protect from discoloration or irritation. Then we’ll place gel on the teeth and shine the Zoom lamp on the gel for fifteen minutes and we’ll do that for three sessions. After the three sessions the we will do a fluoride treatment for thirty minutes to help with any sensitivity you may be experiencing. The hygienist will show you how to use the take home trays with the at home whitening gel and that’s it!

Why Nathanson Dental?

We take precautionary measures when it comes to teeth whitening including toothpaste to reduce sensitivity and barriers to protect fragile gum and lip tissue from burns or irritation. We follow a specific whitening protocol and we do so with our patients’ comfort in mind. Also, we offer a very special program for our whitening patients called Forever White. Every patient that gets in-office whitening is automatically enrolled in the program that gives them at home whitening gels at every hygiene visit for no additional cost.

Ready to schedule?

Click here.

CEREC: Same Day Crowns. It's Possible!

July 10th, 2017

CEREC® is an in-office crown making process. It’s done with a computer, a milling chamber, and an oven. It's a different type of restoration that we can do in our office, rather than sending it out to a lab, through a series of pictures. The photos are uploaded into the computer first, from the computer it’s then digitally transferred to the milling chamber, and then it makes the crown out of a little block of porcelain. The porcelain block is a light purple shade at first which is then glazed to match your tooth color.

Why CEREC® over a traditional crown? While they are both equally important options to have in our dental repertoire, some benefits include:

  • All the work is completed in the office so you don’t have to come back for another visit,
  • the durability is roughly the same, dependent on where the restoration is being put into the mouth; in the back part of the mouth there is a lot of force so sometimes a traditional crown is still preferable,
  • although the same day appointment may take a little longer, we have different amenities that we like to offer to all of our patients: Netflix, massage pads on the chairs, and we also give patients a series of breaks during their CEREC® procedure. We let them get up, use the restroom, get something to drink if needed. Depending on where the restoration is in the mouth it could take up to 2.5 hours.
  • Perhaps the best benefit of all is that you can eat right away after your CEREC® restoration!

Regardless of if you have a CEREC® or a traditional crown, routine cleanings and daily brushing and flossing is recommended to maintain your overall oral health. With flossing just be sure to pull down and pull through with your floss, rather than pull down and pull up, as the force may cause the crown to become loose.

Concerned about new technology? Never fear! Here at Nathanson Dental we are continually learning and growing with our technology. We have a lot of representatives that come to our office and show us what's new, and any updates we need to do to the CEREC® computer, since it is all digital and connected to the milling chamber. There are also a multitude of out of office continuing education classes that Dr. Nathanson attends to stay up to date on all of our advanced dental technology.

If you need a crown, give our office a call to get your appointment scheduled.

Helping Children Breathe Easier

July 7th, 2017

For some parents, life with their child is nothing but stress. What if my child acts out in public? What if my child acts out in school? What if, what if, what if?

What if I told you that we may be able to help? I know what you're thinking: You're a dentist office, how can you possibly help me with my child's crazy behavior? I have two words for you: Healthy Start.

While Healthy Start is not a new program, it is new to the Baltimore area. It utilizes removable mouth pieces that children can start wearing as young as two years old. There are two incredible benefits to using Healthy Start. First, it guides the growth of the jaw. Research on this particular system has shown that in 80-90% of the cases the child’s jaw grows properly and he or she ends up not needing braces.

It can also work with helping to treat children’s sleep apnea. There are studies that show that up to 90% of children have some degree of difficulty breathing when they sleep. A lot of that is because the airway of the child is so flexible that if their head tilts to the side it can actually restrict the airway and the child can have trouble breathing. If the child breathes through their mouth when they sleep, parents should definitely consider getting their child screened. A child should be breathing through his or her nose when they sleep and if they can’t then that’s something we can help them with. And it’s something we want to treat at a young age because the longer a child has difficulty when they sleep, it can affect growth and interfere with their ability to have a social interaction with other people. If children aren’t sleeping properly and they’re tired all the time they may act out. Wouldn't you if you never got a good night sleep? Some children have actually been misdiagnosed with ADD when in reality they were just tired and not sleeping properly. We are very excited to be the first practice in Maryland to be offering Healthy Start.

You don't even have to just take our word for it. This powerful video is the testimonial from a mom who was at the end of the rope with her son. He was acting out and she just new that something was going on with him. This is the reason we provide this service to our patients and their children. We work closely with you to ensure Healthy Start is the right fit for your child, whether it's to guide jaw growth, or to help breathe easier. Click here to request your complimentary consultation.

*Edit to add: Join us for a FREE educational event on October 25, 2017. Click Here to reserve your seat.

So You Think You Know About Dentistry

June 29th, 2017

What on earth is dentistry?

The simple answer is: the branch of medicine that helps people to take care of the mouth, teeth, and gums. The more thorough answer, according to Dr. Nathanson, is that it is the branch of medicine that helps people stay healthy over all by keeping their mouths healthy and by looking for signs and symptoms of conditions that might be going on elsewhere in the body. There are many illnesses, conditions and diseases that show up first in the mouth as far as symptoms are concerned. A dentist is a vital part of keeping a person healthy and making sure that not only he or she can eat well and speak well and smile, but guarding their overall health as well. The mouth is the gateway to the body.

What to look for when choosing a dentist

The most important thing is to find someone who will actually listen to you. You don’t get that a lot in healthcare these days. Patients should feel comfortable asking their doctors questions and getting the answers they need, not only to feel comfortable and understand what’s going on with their health, but to really feel that their dentist has their best interest at heart, to make sure they are getting the answers they need to get healthy and stay healthy. We do a lot of talking around Nathanson Dental. Dr. Nathanson won’t even look into a patients mouth until he's found out a little bit about them. "I don’t work on teeth, I work with people," he says.

Why visit the dentist?

Eating, speaking, and smiling are the three things we most do with our teeth. First of all, everybody has to eat, and to keep your teeth and gums healthy and help you eat the foods you love, you have to visit the dental office. Dentistry and dental hygiene also improves appearance, makes sure you can speak properly. Dental care is part of overall healthcare. Dentistry has actually expanded beyond just taking care of the mouth. We are doing a lot with what’s called dental sleep medicine for people who have varying degrees of sleep apnea, other difficulties breathing while they are asleep, or if they can’t get used to a CPAP, and about half of people who need a CPAP are intolerant. For all of these issues there are solutions that are geared toward dental sleep medicine. At Nathanson Dental we make mouth appliances that help people breath at night and these appliances are often very successful. We screen all of our patients for this issue, so that’s one of many things that people can get by coming to the dentist on a regular basis.

There are many diseases that show up in the mouth before showing up anywhere else and getting regular dental check ups is not only important for the mouth but it’s important for the over all health of the entire body.

What can you do to maintain your health between visits?

The old standbys of brushing and flossing for decades has been the gold standard and still is. Making sure that at least twice a day, once in the morning before breakfast and once in the evening before going to bed, that you’re brushing for two minutes, and flossing once a day. You should also consider using an electric toothbrush such as SoniCare or Oral-B. The research has shown that these particular toothbrushes really remove plaque more effectively than traditional manual brushes. A word of advice: don’t use a $5 knock off brand from any old drug store, etc.; it's worth it to spend the money on a name brand like the SoniCare or the Oral-B.

Another consideration to your dental health is watching what you eat, making sure that the foods that you eat don’t have a lot of refined carbohydrates and a lot of sugars. Years ago Dr. Nathanson did talks at children’s groups and schools and talk about the ABC’s of dental health: the A: Avoid sugar as much as possible, B: Brush your teeth, and C: “C” your dentist at least twice a year. It may sound silly, but these are still the basic things that help people keep their teeth healthy.

Regardless of your dental needs, Nathanson Dental will take care of you! Click here to request an appointment.

Crowns: They Aren't Just for Royalty!

June 19th, 2017

Yes, we know. Crowns sound fancy. But we aren't talking about the kind of crown you wear on your head. We're talking about the kind that go in your mouth!

A dental crown is something that replaces a tooth structure that is missing. It could be due to decay, a large filling, or maybe a root canal. Regardless of the reason, a dental crown will increase the stability of the tooth, preventing further decay and potential fractures of the affected tooth.

So, let's talk about why the doctor would choose a crown for you, over a different type of restoration. First and foremost, is simply because of the stability and structure that’s missing from the anatomy from the tooth. We can also use it to replace anything that might be missing in your teeth, whether it's a bite that is off or if you’ve had a root canal (which replaces the tooth's pulp with an inert material). If you've had a root canal you’re definitely going to need a crown to increase the stability and strengthen the tooth structure again. If you have a large filling it’s usually recommended to get a crown to prevent an eventual fracture in the tooth.

There’s various materials that many doctors use. At Nathanson Dental we only use full zirconia, which is a synthetic substitute for diamonds (i.e. cubic zirconia). We previously used PFM, which is porcelain fused to metal, however switched to full zirconia crowns because they are a lot stronger, and it’s one full structure, as opposed to porcelain on top of metal, which could easily break or fracture later on.

The whole process of getting a crown may take some time, but there's nothing to worry about. We walk you through the procedure and ensure your comfort every step of the way. At your first appointment we’d diagnose which tooth needs the crown, affordability options, and take a preliminary impression that would make the temporary crown that you’d have in place when you leave that day. We’d give you an anesthetic to get the area numb, then prep the tooth, do a build up to make a strong foundation kind of like a house (removing all tooth structure and decay and then building up using tooth colored composite material). A strong foundation is imperative so you have the stability and strength in your teeth later on. From there we'd make the temporary crown, cement it on, pack some cord to push the gum tissue away, and you’d leave with a temporary crown. In two weeks you’d return to the office for delivery of your new permanent crown.

From beginning to end our wonderful staff along with Dr. Nathanson's amazing skill will have your teeth looking great in no time! Click here to request an appointment.

Gum Disease - Risk factors and Treatment

June 16th, 2017

Gum disease an infection of the supporting structures of your teeth. It can be limited to just your gum tissue, or it can also involve the bone around your teeth and supporting structures.

There are two types of gum disease. Gingivitis, which is reversible and only involves your gum tissue. If gingivitis is left untreated it will continue to get worse can become periodontal disease involving the supporting structure around your teeth. Bone loss and overall structural loss can occur and may cause your teeth to become loose. Causes of gum disease include poor home care and not having regular cleanings which can result in a lot of buildup of a certain type of bacteria.

Depending on the level of gum disease will dictate how we treat it. Gingivitis requires a 2-step cleaning. First to remove as much plaque and tartar buildup as we can to make the gums healthier and then proceeding to what patients are used to with regular cleanings – polishing, etc. Patients with periodontal disease will always have to battle against it. Treatment includes scaling and root planing – cleaning a little bit more below the gums and having more frequent cleanings, generally every 3 months.

Stress, age, genetics, obesity, and smoking are all risk factors for developing gum disease. The best prevention is really good home care, brushing and flossing every day, and being regular with your dental checkups.

At Nathanson Dental, with patients who have periodontal disease we really try not to do an injection to get people numb for scaling and root planing. Se are very gentle, and we use Oraqix here in the office, which is topical anesthetic.  Oraqix dispenses as a liquid, then sets as a gel in the periodontal pocket. Our patients love it!

If you are concerned that you may have gum disease, click here to request an appointment.

Half of All Americans Unhappy With Their Smile

June 13th, 2017

Did you know that 52% of people don't like their smile? We at Nathanson Dental have found the solution! Read on to learn about all of our cosmetic dentistry options.

Nathanson Dental offers a full range of cosmetic dental services, everything from teeth whitening to veneers, cosmetic crowns to cosmetic orthodontics. The solution really depends on what kind of cosmetic issue a patient has and what the don’t like about their smile. Once we know what the problem is we can help them fix whatever it is that they don’t like.

The two most common issues that people complain about when it comes to their smile are that their teeth aren't white enough, or that their teeth aren't straight enough. Teeth whitening treatments can make teeth considerably whiter in a lot of cases. If there’s difficulty actually whitening the natural tooth structure, for example if the teeth have a lot of old filling, sometimes we may recommend doing porcelain veneers or crowns on the teeth. However, if color is the issue then whitening is usually the answer. When the issue is the fact that the teeth are either crooked, too crowded, or too far apart usually we’ll look at some kind of orthodontic treatment - either Invisalign or Six Month Smiles. We've gotten some really great results with our patients with crowded, spaced, or crooked teeth. For some patients with crooked teeth it can take just a few months.

At our dental office we do a lot of teeth whitening, we do some cosmetic crowns, but Invisalign is very, very popular among our patients; especially patients that had orthodontics when they were younger, didn’t wear their retainer (which is most of us, so you’re part of a very big club if that describes your situation), and then their teeth relapsed. Even as adults we can help get your smile back. Invisalign is a great option because it doesn’t use braces at all; there are no brackets or wires. It’s a set of clear aligners that can be taken off to eat, as well as to brush and floss their teeth. It’s very easy to maintain. Patients can see what their teeth are going to look like in advance when we do what’s called a Clin-Check. The Invisalign company has a computer simulation of where the teeth are going to move with the Invisalign treatment and can also give an approximation of how long the treatment is going to take.

The other treatment system we offer is Six Month Smiles and although they are brackets and wires, they are clear brackets with tooth colored wires, so it’s very difficult to see them from a distance. The advantage of Six Month Smiles over Invisalign is that it works a little bit faster and also there’s some situations that we can treat better with Six Month Smiles than we can with Invisalign.

To maintain your cosmetic procedures, make sure to have your regular dental visits here at the office, either 3 months or 6 months, that’s the main thing. Of course brushing and flossing at home, which we’ve been talking about for decades, is still the go to maintenance treatment for any dental situation, including cosmetic dentistry. If the teeth were just whitened then you are going to want to do a whitening touch up at least once a month. At our office we offer a system that includes both in-office whitening and take home trays that you can use either for a few hours or overnight once a month. We also offer a program that's quite unique for our whitening patients called Forever White. With this program, as long as you maintain your regular hygiene visits, you'll get two tubes of whitening gel for free! Be sure to ask us about it at your next visit!

At Nathanson Dental we always put the patient first. We want to make this the best dental experience you’ve ever had in your life. We’ve got a lot of perks: we have massage pads on the chairs, we have TVs in the ceiling where you can watch Netflix movies and listen through earbuds, we’ve got freshly baked chocolate chip cookies every day. If you come in the morning you’ll smell chocolate chip cookies instead of a dental office. But the thing that really makes us unique and different are the people. Everyone here really goes out of their way to make this the best dental experience that a patient has ever had and that’s our focus. That’s one of our core values; it’s our most important core value. I realize people have a lot of choices when they choose a dental office for their care and for their family’s care and we want to make this a special place where they feel they can come here and get the best dental experience from people that really care about them.

We love seeing a person smile when they haven’t been able to smile for years. Whenever we do a cosmetic case, that’s the reaction that we most often get. The patient will look in the mirror, a lot of times they’ll start crying, and we’ll start crying, too, because they’re seeing themselves with a smile they really like for the first time possibly ever in their lives. We’ve had people where it’s completely changed their lives. People have been able to get new and better jobs because their not hindered by their appearance; they can smile, they can show their teeth. Dr. Nathanson once did a set of veneers for a young woman who was getting married and her mother was looking at the pictures and she said to her, “you really look different in these pictures.” And she said, “You can see my teeth, mom. I’m smiling showing my teeth for the first time.”

Click here to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services.

Invisalign Ins and Outs

May 25th, 2017

May 25, 2017

Invisalign Clear Aligners

Invisalign is a type of orthodontics that people get when they want to straighten their teeth. It uses a series of aligners instead of traditional brackets and wires that most people are used to.

There a quite a few benefits of getting Invisalign over traditional braces. First, purely for cosmetic reasons - you don’t have the metal brackets or the wires. There are clear aligners with small "bumps" on some of your teeth, which are barely noticeable unless someone is looking for them. Maintaining your dental hygiene is another big benefit because it’s much easier to keep your teeth clean while you’re at home and you don’t have to worry about what you and and can’t eat because all you do is take out your aligners. As long as you clean afterwords you’re good to go.

As you can imagine, straightening your teeth can be quite a process. While the actual amount of time varies patient to patient, Invisalign Express can take as short as 6-8 months while comprehensive cases can take up to 2 years.

A malocclusion is when the bite does not come together properly. Invisalign can correct all malocclusions that traditional orthodontics can. It makes sure your bite comes together properly making sure you can eat and clean your teeth and gums the way that you should to maintain proper oral hygiene.

If you're interested in Invisalign the first step would be to come in for a consultation. The next step would be to take impressions and photographs and send them to Invisalign. From there Invisalign is great with being able to take impressions and photos we send them and create a treatment plan that will show you where you're starting and where you can end up. If the end results look favorable then we would proceed with the treatment.

At first, you would visit our office approximately every 2 weeks for the first couple aligners – those will switch every two weeks. Once you get used to the aligners and are able to take them in and out without any problem, then we can extend the office visits out to about a month or two.

To make sure Invisalign is successful it's important to follow your treatment plan that was set out, making sure that you’re coming in for your appointments, and are wearing your aligners every day (except when eating or drinking). Another key factor is making sure to come in for all your regular hygiene appointments throughout your treatment.

At Nathanson Dental we are not just there for Invisalign, we are also a full service dental office, so for any dental problems that may arise you can still give us a call we can get you in, figure out whats going on, and get you treated so that it doesn't impact the progress of getting those perfectly straight teeth you've always wanted!

What is a Dental Bridge?

May 18th, 2017

May 18, 2017

A bridge is a type of restoration usually with at least three teeth. If you’re missing a tooth, Dr. Nathanson would recommend putting a bridge in place especially if the adjoining, or abutting, teeth have some type of restoration on them already.

Here at Nathanson dental we do full zirconia bridges, and we’ve done a lot of these recently! We just switched from a PFM bridge which is porcelain fused to metal, so it’s metal underneath and porcelain on top. A full zirconia bridge is a lot stronger which is why we would recommend using that over the PFM.

You may have heard of dental implants to replace a missing tooth and are wondering what the difference is. The difference being that the bridge is usually three units, where as an implant is just one. It would replace the missing tooth just like an implant would, but it would be more stable if the adjacent teeth had existing restorations, for example a crown next to a missing tooth, or if the abutting tooth had a filling, Dr. Nathanson would recommend a bridge over an implant.

If a bridge has been recommended it might sound scary, but don't let that get in the way of your perfect smile! For your initial appointment you will be here for about 2.5 hours, during which time you can enjoy our massage pads on the chair and Netflix movies or television. The day after you may have some tenderness, but you’ll have a tooth when you leave with a temporary bridge. So if you’ve been missing a tooth for a while you’ll be replacing that and getting a temporary tooth the same day and you’ll get your permanent bridge in a couple weeks.

Once you have your bridge it is still important to maintain proper oral hygiene. Most importantly you should continue to floss on either side of the bridge where it connects. Another important thing, that a lot of people don’t do, is to floss underneath the bridge with floss threader, super floss, or floss loops.

Why should you get your bridge done with Dr. Nathanson? Well, the spectacular customer service! We are so patient-centric here. You'll get your lavender towelette at the end, you’ll have the massage pad, you’ll have Netflix if you’re here for a few hours, and we just recently started using a flavored impression material that patients are loving. Plus fresh baked chocolate chip cookies! Give us a call at 443-275-9644 and we will get you scheduled for your no charge consultation.

The Importance of Brushing and Flossing

May 15th, 2017

May 15, 2017

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Kim, our hygiene team leader, and ask some questions about brushing and flossing. I learned some great tips!

Brushing and flossing is extremely important, there are health benefits to both. The main goal is to remove plaque, which is filled with bacteria, off of your teeth. There are two types of bacteria: the kind that cause cavities and the kind that cause gum disease. Brushing and flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease by removing this bacteria from the surfaces and in between your teeth, which is where most cavities and gum disease begin.

Kim recommends brushing with an electric toothbrush (she loves Sonicare) twice a day for two minutes, once in the morning when you wake up and once at night before bed. Electric toothbrushes have the advantage over manual toothbrushes for a couple of reasons - they time you to make sure you get your full two minutes of brushing and they accomplish one month's worth of manual brushing in just one use! Since most people only brush for less than a minute, you can see why our hygienists are big fans of electric toothbrushes!

While Kim isn't particular about what time of day you floss, she does recommend flossing at least once per day, and you should floss before you brush and follow that up with a good mouthwash.

Kim's favorite moment with a patient is when she explains the what, when, and how of brushing and flossing and it just clicks. They understand the information, take it home, and continue with a solid oral hygiene routine for glowing reviews on their next visit!

Toothpaste Guide

May 9th, 2017

May 9, 2017

There are so many brands and types of toothpaste on the market today. With various flavors and claims to do different things, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the choices in the toothpaste aisle. We put together a few key items to consider the next time you’re staring at a wall of toothpaste boxes.

Toothpaste comes in gel, paste, and powdered forms. When it comes to the type of toothpaste, the choice is more a matter of preference.

Basic Ingredients

  • Abrasive Agents – Abrasive agents are the scratchy substances added to toothpastes to help in the removal of food particles, bacteria, and minor stains. Calcium carbonate is one of many abrasive materials, and arguably the most common.
  • Flavor – When toothpastes are flavored, they almost always have artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of the toothpaste and increase the likelihood that you’ll use it. Flavors run the gamut from traditional mint to cinnamon that may appeal to adults, and bubble gum or lemon lime – flavors to target children.
  • Humectants – Humectants are moisturizing agents that keep paste and gel toothpastes from drying out. Glycerol is commonly used as a humectant.
  • Thickeners – Thickeners are used to give toothpaste its distinctive consistency, and to make it maintain a uniform consistency and come out of the tube easily.
  • Detergents – Sodium lauryl sulfate is the most common detergent used in products that foam up, like toothpaste does in your mouth.

What to Look For in Toothpaste


Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is the most important ingredient to look for in a toothpaste. Although there are people who argue against using fluoride toothpaste, dental professionals like Dr. Joel Nathanson emphasize that the incidence of tooth decay has decreased so significantly in the past 50 years is because of fluoridated toothpaste.

The suggestion that fluoridated water gives you enough fluoride to protect your teeth is wrong. Fluoride toothpaste is the best cavity protection there is. In addition to strengthening tooth enamel and protecting teeth from acid erosion (from acidic foods and drinks,) it remineralizes the surfaces of teeth that are suffering from early acid damage and may prevent developing tooth decay from worsening.

Tartar Control

Tartar is the result of hardened plaque buildup on the teeth. Good oral hygiene and regular cleanings from a dental hygienist are the best defense against plaque buildup. Plaque turns to tartar when people neglect their oral hygiene. Over time, tartar can build up on teeth and under the gums, increasing the risk of gum disease.

Your best bet is to use a toothpaste that has a combination of anti-plaque agents. Products containing more than one plaque reducer may be more effective than products that only one. Common ingredients to look for are zinc citrate or pyrophosphates. Triclosan is an antibiotic that is believed to kill bacteria in the mouth, and it can be found in some anti-plaque toothpaste.

Look for toothpaste that bears the seal of the American Dental Association. That seal is an endorsement of the ADA – and it means that many dentists agree that that particular toothpaste does what toothpaste is designed to do. We can also recommend toothpaste to meet your specific oral health concerns at your next visit to our Hunt Valley, MD office.

American Dental Association Academy of General Dentistry Invisalign WCLI Institute Nathanson Dental is a BBB Accredited Dentist in Hunt Valley, MD
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