Lost a Tooth? Don’t Call the Tooth Fairy Yet!

Losing a tooth is an exciting rite-of-passage when you are young, but as an adult it is a cause for concern.  It is also common: most adults will lose teeth to decay, gum disease or injury. Losing teeth not only affects your smile but also impacts your bite and your jawbone. Fortunately, there are options!  Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we can address tooth loss with a dental implant or with bridges. We aim to make every process as comfortable and safe as possible, and we will help you to determine which choice is right for you.  Here is some more general information about these two options.


The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends implants as the standard replacement for missing teeth.  Implants look and feel like natural teeth and are designed to last a lifetime. However, you do need a healthy jawbone and soft tissue to be a candidate for dental implants.

If an implant is right for you, the first step is to place a titanium implant in your jaw.  The implant replaces your tooth root and will naturally fuse to your jawbone over the course of several weeks.  Once that is firmly in place, a titanium post will be added to serve as an anchor for a crown.


A bridge is a good option for replacing a few teeth.  It involves fusing artificial teeth to a metal frame. The frame is then cemented to supports, which are either implants or healthy teeth covered with crowns.  There are limits, however, to how many teeth a bridge can replace. Generally, a bridge is a less-invasive procedure but does not last as long as an implant. The average life of a bridge is 10 years.

The Future

There is also an exciting third option on the horizon!  Researchers have found a way to grow teeth from dental tissue stem cells.  We will delve in to this possibility in our next blog post…stay tuned!

As always, the best way to prevent tooth loss is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.  However, tooth loss happens. If you have lost a tooth or have concerns about your teeth, please give us a call at 207.781.5900.  We are happy to discuss your options as we truly believe that having healthy teeth is an integral part of comprehensive health care.  



*Image courtesy of www.health.harvard.edu

Oil Pulling: Health Craze or Healthy Practice?

In recent years, oil pulling has gained a lot of attention as a natural alternative to traditional oral hygiene.  Proponents claim that it will whiten teeth, reduce inflammation, and help cure gingivitis. As with our exploration of activated charcoal last month, we support natural and holistic approaches to oral hygiene, so we decided to give this practice a closer look.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut or sesame) in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning.  Afterwards, one spits out the oil as one would mouthwash.

Does it Work?

While there are few scientific studies on the efficacy of oil pulling, swishing with oil for twenty minutes a day will certainly do no harm.

“Oil pulling is a good adjunct to regular brushing and flossing to reduce staining on the teeth. We have had a number of patients that have benefitted from adding oil pulling to their home care routine,” says Dr. Brunacini.

Bottom Line

Oil pulling is a practice worth exploring if you are interested in trying something other than mouthwash.  However, it should not be a replacement for your regular oral hygiene practices.  The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that to maintain good dental health you should brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, floss between your teeth once a day, and abstain from using tobacco products.

If you find yourself exploring options for teeth whitening or have questions about your oral health care regimen, please give us a call at 207.781.5900 and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment!

Make Oral Care “Smart” with a Toothbrush of the Future!

Oral care is important and with ever-changing technology, there are more and more options to help make it just a bit easier. In the early ‘90s, the electric toothbrush entered the market, helping to improve oral care for millions of Americans. But in 2018, inventors are setting out to create even more options to make brushing your teeth effortless. We found three toothbrushes that can help make your daily routines faster, cleaner, and more convenient…and can make you feel like you are one of the Jetsons!

Image from http://www.unico-smartbrush.com

Ever heard of Unico? Invented in Italy, this toothbrush looks like a mouthguard and claims to completely clean your teeth in just three seconds! While this might sound crazy, the inventor’s logic isn’t wrong. As you’ve heard since you were a child, we recommend brushing your teeth for at least two full minutes. If you do the math, that comes to spending 3.75 seconds per tooth, or 1.25 seconds for each of the three exposed surfaces of your tooth. The unique design of this futuristic toothbrush allows each surface of every one of your teeth to be cleaned at the same time…meaning your teeth can be brushed in the same amount of time it takes you to spray on cologne or put on mascara.

Aura Clean is the smartphone of the toothbrush world. While it may just seem like a standard sonic toothbrush, this brush delivers up to 40,000 strokes per minute to safety remove food particles and polish your teeth. Like many electric toothbrushes, it has a two minute timer, but what is unique about this brush is that it also features an interval alert every 30 seconds, letting you know when to change “zones.” The Aura Clean Brush also comes with a pod that, using a UV light, cleans your toothbrush head after every use. It also has drying capabilities to get make sure no germs settle in between your bristles.

Quip is another cool toothbrush we have found that can make taking care of your teeth easier. While the technology isn’t quite considered “futuristic” the concept definitely is. We recommend changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months. However, it is easy to forget. With Quip, you don’t have to remember! Every three months, a new toothbrush head (and a new tube of toothpaste) is delivered straight to your door automatically! This ensures your bristles are fresh and working effectively.

Whether you use a “smart” brush or the tried and true manual brush, what we care about here at Falmouth Dental Arts is that you are taking the time to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Due for a new brush? Schedule an appointment today to see your hygienist and get a free manual brush on us!

The Charc(whole) Truth

Recently we’ve been hearing more questions about activated charcoal and its potential to whiten teeth. It’s an intriguing phenomenon in the whitening category and we wanted to share our findings and our verdict on whether it actually helps or harms oral health.

To begin, activated charcoal capsules & toothpaste are part of a larger movement toward natural healthcare. We support natural healthcare, and even recommend certain applications when in patients’ best interests, but our blanket philosophy that we’d like to share is to look at all trends – all-natural or not! – with a discerning eye.

Of course, our eye is drawn to the dental side of things! Here are a few things to keep in mind before jumping on the charcoal bandwagon.

  • It can be messy – Using an activated charcoal capsule instead of the toothpaste could be off-putting to sticklers for cleanliness because the method is messier, requiring you to break a capsule full of the powder open and put it on your toothbrush or straight into your mouth. If you choose charcoal toothpaste, you will find the process more like what you experience now.
  • It’s different from normal toothpaste – Charcoal toothpaste is probably not what you’re used to: in most cases it is black or grey in appearance and may have a gritty texture.
  • It could be abrasive – The ADA is concerned that activated charcoal is abrasive to tooth enamel, which is not good because when enamel is gone it is gone. In addition to that, once your enamel wears down dentin may appear below, and dentin has more of a yellow-white color, which would really put a dampener on whitening!
  • Less fluoride – Generally charcoal toothpastes tend to be formulated with less fluoride content than other toothpastes on the market, and a complete switch to charcoal toothpaste could impact your oral health situation.

With these things in mind, the most important point is that there is no scientific evidence that charcoal toothpaste whitens teeth. Could it? Perhaps, but findings have not been conclusive. Then the question is whether the payoff is worth it. FDA Hygienist Kelly summarizes our thoughts on charcoal well: “We recommend use of charcoal toothpaste for adults only and it is not recommended for daily use due to its abrasiveness.” While charcoal does have a naturally purifying quality, that alone doesn’t mean that we should use it daily, especially when it could roughen tooth surfaces and potentially offer more opportunity for bacteria to grow and cavities to form.

If you catch yourself weighing the options, remember there are many whitening methods on the market that are proven to work! We recommend our professional whitening service because the results are immediate and it’s done professionally, so you can be assured of the best result possible. Just give us a call at 207.781.5900 and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment.

Dancing with the Dentists Season 3

You’ve heard the rumors, you’ve even heard some of the tales… well it’s back again in 2018! That’s right everyone, Dancing with the Dentists Season 3 is May 11th!

Now in its third year, Dancing with the Dentists brings dentists from the Maine community together with a night of dancing, excitement, and fun! Falmouth Dental Arts has a strong tie to this event as it was conceptualized and developed by Falmouth Dental Arts’ own founding dentist, Dr. Glen Knock.

But that’s not the only reason to attend: the evening was developed first and foremost for a good cause and will benefit two local nonprofit organizations: The Root Cellar and Dental Lifeline. Both organizations assist those unable to afford dental treatment by providing donated dental services. All profits from the event will go directly to those two organizations – Dancing with the Dentists Season 2 raised over $40,000, making a huge positive impact on their operations.

The Italian Heritage Center in Portland will serve as the competitive stomping grounds for the event, with the competition kicking off at 5:30 pm on Friday, May 11, 2018. The dental dancers and their professional counterparts will show their best moves to the crowd and a panel of local celebrity judges. Shannon Moss of Code Gratitude and former news reporter/anchor will host the evening.

Our own doctors Dr. Knock and Dr. Brunacini both danced in previous seasons, in fact… Dr. Brunacini won Season 1 of Dancing with the Dentists! “It was such a great experience,” Dr. Brunacini commented. “I actually enjoyed the dancing and performing aspect of it, and couldn’t believe that I won!  The opportunity to raise money and awareness for the organizations while learning a new skill was a lot of fun.”

While we can’t guarantee it just yet, Dr. Karagiorgos has hinted at his own participation in the near future. “I am sad that the timing didn’t work out this time but I really look forward to strutting my stuff at the next Dancing with the Dentists event,” he said. “What a great way to be involved and serve our community! With Glen’s rich history of dance and Brian winning the inaugural competition, the stakes are high and the pressure is on. When it’s my turn to compete in the future I look forward to representing FDA and performing in a way that would make our staff and our patients proud.” We can’t wait!

Have we got your interests piqued? If so, make sure to buy your tickets online today. If you have more questions about the event, please ask us anything during your next appointment! We are happy to help support the greater Maine dental community by sharing this event with others and supporting a great cause.