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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

Helping you to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible is every dentist's goal. With preventive dentistry, good oral hygiene habits, Dental-Implantsand a healthy lifestyle, more and more people are keeping their teeth well into old age. But tooth loss is still a big problem for millions of American adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of American adults over age 30 are missing at least one tooth, and over 40 million are missing all of their natural teeth. While the risk for gum disease related tooth loss increases with age, young people are not immune. Whether you have lost teeth due to an accident, sports injury, or oral health problems, you have options and don't have to live with a damaged, incomplete smile. Dr. John Burns, a dentist in Hingham, MA, recommends dental implants for healthy adults looking for a long term solution.


Invest in a Beautiful, Healthy Smile with Dental Implants in Hingham, MA

There's more than meets the eye when it comes to good oral health and a beautiful smile. What's happening behind the scenes in your gums doesn't get as much attention as what you see when your smile, but it's equally important. When you lose a tooth, the bone tissue in your gums starts to erode. Over time, this can increase your risk of periodontal (gum) disease, infections, and affect the general stability of your teeth.

An implant replaces the root of the missing tooth in the socket, so in addition to acting as a stable and secure anchor for a cosmetic crown, it also helps to prevent bone loss. Some of the benefits of dental implants include:

  • Look and feel just like a natural tooth
  • Can be used to replace a single tooth, or to support an entire set of dentures if you suffer from full tooth loss
  • Don't require adhesives or constant adjustments - once they're in, you won't even remember that it's not your "real" tooth
  • Offer a long term solution when properly cared for

If you are in good health, can commit to a dedicated oral hygiene routine and follow up dental care, and have enough bone density to support an implant, you may be a good candidate for dental implants!


Find a Dentist in Hingham, MA

For more information about dental implants and how they can help you get your smile and oral health back, contact our office today by calling (781) 749-6750 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Burns.


The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.

"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")

Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)

Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).

Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.

Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.

What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”

By John M Burns DDS
May 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

No two smiles are alike, nor should they be. Your smile expresses your unique personality. However, if stains, gaps, cracks or other flaws mar that smile, you feel self-conscious. Improve your smile with porcelain veneers from Dr. John Burns in Hingham, MA. He recreates smile aesthetics with these thin, tooth-shaped laminates, producing amazing results.

What are porcelain veneers?

Bonded to the front of chipped, cracked, discolored or poorly spaced teeth, veneers change healthy, but flawed smiles, into smiles patients love to show off. Created according to digital X-rays, oral impressions, photos, and specific instructions from your Hingham, MA, dentist, porcelain veneers permanently strengthen and beautify teeth.

These shells of dental-grade ceramic bond directed to the front sides of teeth-typically front teeth which show when you speak, smile or laugh. Mild enamel resurfacing creates a solid and permanent bond, along with a strong, tooth-colored adhesive. Maintained with diligent at-home oral hygiene and in-office care, veneers last a decade or more, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

Are they right for your smile?

Cosmetic dentistry involves several important elements:

  1. True artistry and skill on the part of your dentist and dental lab
  2. Good communication regarding smile goals (what the patient wants and what is actually achievable)
  3. The foundation of a healthy smile (no gum disease, active decay or extensive restorative work)

Veneers in particular can be colored realistically to blend in with the rest of your smile. Also, they can be varied and shape and size to achieve a look appropriate for your age, gender and facial structure. Your dentist will guide you through the consultation, giving you options to ponder so you'll love your finished smile.

Keeping veneers in place

After final placement, you'll adjust to your new smile--how it looks, feels and bites--within a couple of weeks. Carefully avoid anything that could damage your veneers--teeth clenching and hard foods, as examples. Also, keep your veneer margins clean with twice daily brushing and daily flossing. At your routine check-ups, your hygienist will show you ways to care for your dental laminates.

Time for a change?

Who wouldn't want to improve their smile aesthetics? Why not call the office of Dr. John Burns and arrange a cosmetic dentistry consultation? He can tell you all about porcelain veneers and the other state-of-the-art treatments he offers. Phone our Hingham, MA, office at (781) 749-6750.


Every year U.S. dentists perform around 25 million root canal treatments and save countless teeth from the ravages of decay. But if you search "root canal" on the Internet, you might encounter an unsettling charge against this tooth-saving treatment—that it causes cancer.

Root canal treatments are routinely used when tooth decay has infected the pulp, the innermost layer of a tooth. During the procedure, we access the pulp and remove all the infected tissue. We then fill the empty pulp and root canals, seal the access hole and later crown the tooth to prevent further infection. Without this intervention, the decay can continue to advance toward the roots and supporting bone, putting the tooth in imminent danger of loss.

So, is there any credibility to this claim that root canal treatments cause cancer? In a word, no: there's no evidence of any connection between root canal treatments and cancer—or any other disease for that matter. On the contrary: root canals stop disease.

As with other types of urban legends and internet hype, the root canal-cancer connection may have arisen from another discredited idea from the early 20th Century. A dentist named Weston Price promoted the notion that leaving a "dead" organ in the body led to health problems. From his perspective, a root canaled tooth with its removed pulp tissue fit this criterion.

In the mid-1950s, dentistry thoroughly examined Dr. Weston's theory pertaining to treatments like root canals. The Journal of the American Dental Association devoted an entire issue to it and found after rigorous scientific inquiry that the theory had no validity in this regard. Another study in 2013 confirmed those findings. In fact, the later study instead found that patients who underwent a root canal treatment had a 45 percent reduction in oral cancer risk.

Given the freewheeling nature of the Internet, it's best to speak with a dental professional about your oral health before trusting a post or article you've found online. Not only are they more informed than an unverified online source, they would certainly not knowingly subject you to a procedure to save a tooth at the expense of your health.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Canal Safety.”


A loose adult tooth isn't normal. It could be loose because it's been subjected to high biting forces like those that occur with a tooth grinding habit. Or, it could be the result of periodontal (gum) disease or some other infection that has weakened some of the tooth's supporting gums and bone. Whatever the underlying cause, we'll need to act quickly to save your tooth.

Our first step is to find out this exact cause—that will determine what treatment course we need to follow. For a tooth grinding habit, for example, you might need to wear an occlusal guard or have your bite (teeth) adjusted. With gum disease, we'll focus on removing dental plaque, the thin film of bacteria and tartar (calculus) fueling the infection. This stops the infection and minimizes any further damage.

While we're treating the cause, we may also need to secure the loose tooth with splinting. This is a group of techniques used to join loose teeth to more stable neighboring teeth, similar to connecting pickets in a fence. Splinting can be either temporary or permanent.

Temporary splinting usually involves composite materials with or without strips of metal to bond the loose tooth to its neighbors as the periodontal structures heal. Once the tooth's natural attachments return to health, we may then remove the splint.

There are a couple of basic techniques we can use for temporary splinting. One way is to bond the splint material to the enamel across the loose tooth and the teeth chosen to support it (extra-coronal splinting). We can also cut a small channel across all the affected teeth and then insert metal ligatures and bond the splint material within the channel (intra-coronal).

If we're not confident the loose tooth will regain its natural gum attachment, we would then consider a permanent splint. The most prominent method involves crowning the loose tooth and supporting teeth with porcelain crowns. We then fuse the crowns together to create the needed stability for the loose teeth.

Whatever splinting method we use, it's important to always address the root cause for a tooth's looseness. That's why splinting usually accompanies other treatments. Splinting loose teeth will help ensure your overall treatment is successful.

If you would like more information on treating loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”

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