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Posts for category: Dental Procedures


The Golden Globes ceremony is a night when Hollywood stars shine their brightest. At the recent red-carpet event, leading man Viggo Mortensen had plenty to smile about: Green Book, the movie in which he co-starred, picked up the award for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. But fans looking at the veteran actor's big smile today might not realize that it once looked very different. A few years ago, an accident during the filming of The Two Towers took a major chip out of Mortensen's front tooth!

That might be OK for some movies (think The Hangover or Dumb and Dumber)—but it's not so great for everyday life. Fortunately, Mortensen visited a dentist promptly, and now his smile is picture-perfect. How was that accomplished? He didn't say…but generally, the best treatment for a chipped tooth depends on how much of the tooth's structure is missing.

If the tooth has only a small chip or crack, it's often possible to restore it via cosmetic bonding. This procedure can be done right in the dental office, frequently in a single visit. Here's how it works: First the tooth is cleaned and prepared, and then a tooth-colored resin is applied to the area being restored. After it is cured (hardened) with a special light, additional layers may be applied to build up the missing structure. When properly cared for, a tooth restored this way can look good for several years.

For a longer-lasting restoration, veneers may be recommended. These are wafer-thin shells made of durable material (most often porcelain) that cover the front (visible) surfaces of teeth. Strong and lifelike, veneers can match the exact color of your natural teeth—or give you the bright, high-wattage smile you've always wanted. No wonder they're so popular in Hollywood! Because veneers are custom-made for you, getting them may require several office visits.

If a chip or crack extends to the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal procedure will be needed to keep the tooth from becoming infected—a situation that could have serious consequences. But you shouldn't fear a root canal! The procedure generally causes no more discomfort than filling a cavity (though it takes a little longer), and it can help save teeth that would otherwise be lost. After a root canal, a crown (cap) is generally needed to restore the visible part of the tooth.

When a damaged tooth can't be restored, it needs to be extracted (removed) and replaced. Today's best option for tooth replacement is a dental implant—a small, screw-shaped post inserted into the bone of your jaw that anchors a lifelike, fully functional crown. Implants require very little special care and can look great for many years, making them a top choice for tooth replacement

If you have questions about chipped or damaged teeth, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

By John M. Burns, D.D.S.
January 23, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Teeth Whitening ResultsWhat Teeth Whitening Can Do for You

Want a sparkling smile? Professional teeth whitening can help you achieve the bright-white smile you've always wanted. Professional teeth whitening removes years of teeth stains and the process is very safe and hassle-free. John M. Burns, D.D.S., which is located in Hingham, MA, offers professional solutions for patients who want a white smile. Dr. John Burns is one of the top dentists in Hingham, MA. Read on to find out what teeth whitening can do for you.

1. You will have a bright smile.

Dental stains can ruin a beautiful smile. A professional teeth whitening treatment will enhance your smile and make you feel better about yourself. Take-home teeth whitening involves custom dental trays filled with a whitening gel that you can use at home. For in-office teeth whitening, your dentist will combine a whitening gel with a dental light.

2. You will get better results.

You will get fantastic results in less time if you have your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. Many OTC teeth whitening products are available including whitening pens, mouth rinses, gels, strips, and toothpastes. Not everyone will see great results with OTC products. The bleaching solutions dentists use are much stronger than OTC teeth whitening kits.

3. You will see results quickly.

You can whiten your teeth in a flash with a professional in-office whitening treatment. In-office teeth whitening will give you a white smile in about 45 minutes. Professional teeth whitening treatments produce very effective results. Still another popular dental procedure is one that you complete entirely at home. A take-home teeth whitening treatment provides great results in one or two weeks.

4. You will look years younger.

Despite our advancing age, many of us want to look younger. According to a recent study, a healthy-looking smile makes adults look younger. Teeth bleaching is effective in restoring a youthful appearance. Who doesn't want to look younger- or better?

Get a celebrity smile today! Call Dr. John Burns at 781-749-6750 today to schedule an appointment for a professional teeth whitening treatment in Hingham, MA.


A baby’s teeth begin coming in just a few months after birth—first one or two in the front, and then gradually the rest of them over the next couple of years. We often refer to these primary teeth as deciduous—just like trees of the same description that shed their leaves, a child’s primary teeth will all be gone by around puberty.

It’s easy to think of them as “minor league,” while permanent teeth are the real superstars. But although they don’t last long, primary teeth play a big role in a person’s dental health well into their adult years.

Primary teeth serve two needs for a child: enabling them to eat, speak and smile in the present; but more importantly, helping to guide the developing permanent teeth to erupt properly in the future. Without them, permanent teeth can come in misaligned, affecting dental function and appearance and increasing future treatment costs.

That’s why we consider protecting primary teeth from decay a necessity for the sake of future dental health. Decay poses a real threat for children, especially an aggressive form known as early childhood caries (ECC). ECC can quickly decimate primary teeth because of their thinner enamel.

There are ways you can help reduce the chances of ECC in your child’s teeth. Don’t allow them to drink throughout the day or to go to sleep at night with a bottle or “Sippy” cup filled with milk, formula, or even juice. These liquids can contain sugars and acids that erode enamel and accelerate decay. You should also avoid sharing eating utensils with a baby or even kissing them on the mouth to avoid the transfer of disease-causing bacteria.

And even before teeth appear, start cleaning their gums with a clean, wet cloth right after feeding. After teeth appear, begin brushing and flossing to reduce plaque, the main trigger for tooth decay. And you should also begin regular dental visits no later than their first birthday. Besides teeth cleanings and checkups for decay, your dentist has a number of measures like sealants or topical fluoride to protect at-risk teeth from disease.

Helping primary teeth survive to their full lifespan is an important goal in pediatric dentistry. It’s the best strategy for having healthy permanent teeth and a bright dental health future.

If you would like more information on tooth decay in children, 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 “Do Babies Get Tooth Decay?


Dental implants are all the rage. And why not — not only are these tooth replacements life-like and highly functional, they have an amazing 95% ten-year success rate.

Some of that success is due to their unique design. Technically a root replacement, an implant's metal titanium post is surgically placed in the jawbone, where bone grows and adheres to it over time. This creates a strong connection that stands up well to the forces created by biting and chewing.

But there's more to their longevity than design. Success also depends on a careful, planned process that begins long before surgery.

It starts with a detailed oral examination to determine the best placement for the implant. Besides regular x-rays, we may also perform CT scans to create a three-dimensional view of your jaw. With this we can locate and avoid nerves, sinus cavities or other structures near the implant site.

The examination also helps us determine if you've experienced any bone loss, a normal occurrence after tooth loss. Implants require an adequate amount of bone to achieve the best position. A good position ensures future bone integration and the best appearance result.

The same attention to detail extends to the actual surgery to place the implant. We fashion the site to receive the implant by sequentially drilling larger tapered channels until we achieve the right size fit for the implant. During drilling we avoid overheating the bone, which could ultimately weaken and damage the implant's stability.

We'll also need to provide protection for the implant while it integrates with the bone. In most implantations, we do this by suturing the gum tissue over the implant. We take a different approach with a “Tooth in a Day” procedure where we attach a crown (the visible portion of the tooth) right after implant surgery. In this case we'll install a crown (which is actually temporary) that's a little shorter than the adjacent teeth. The natural teeth around it will absorb the forces produced while chewing and not the implant crown.

Focusing on these and other factors will greatly reduce the risk of implant failure. Paying careful attention to them helps ensure your new smile is a lasting one.

If you would like more information on dental implants to restore your smile, 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 “Dental Implants: A Tooth Replacement Method That Rarely Fails.”

By John M. Burns, D.D.S.
November 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantTooth loss is a widespread problem that affects close to half of all American adults according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over 40% of adults are missing at least one tooth, and approximately 40 million are missing all of their natural teeth. These problems increase the risk of a number of oral and general health problems while also creating a wealth of cosmetic issues. To combat this, Dr. John Burns, your dentist in Hingham, MA, offers dental implants, a restoration option that most closely resembles the structure of a natural tooth. If you are an adult experiencing full or partial tooth loss, read on to discover the benefits of dental implants.

More About Dental Implants

Dental implants replace both the root and the crown of the missing tooth, which helps to make the restoration permanent and secure. This also prevents bone loss in the gums, which can lead to additional oral and general health problems over time. In the first step of treatment, you will visit our Hingham office where our staff will surgically place the implant in the socket of the missing tooth. The implant then slowly begins to fuse with the surrounding bone tissue, which anchors it in place through a process known as osseointegration. After the implant has healed, the cosmetic crown is attached and the restoration is complete. With good oral hygiene and regular follow up visits to the dentist (generally every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning), implants have a very high success rate and will look, feel, and function much like a natural tooth.

Interested? Call Today!

For more information about dental implants and to find out if they are the right type of dental restoration for you, contact our Hingham, MA, office by calling 781-749-6750 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Burns today.

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