Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Murphy Dental Group
January 30, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Porcelain veneers offer a way to achieve the smile of your dreams. They are thin coverings that improve the appearance of your teeth. Ledveneers by Dr. John Murphy and Dr. Patrick Murphy Murphy Dental Group in Milton, MA offers state-of-the-art dental services to the patients they serve. Read on to get answers to frequently asked questions about veneers.

What are porcelain veneers?

They are wafer-thin, custom-made shells that are placed over the teeth to enhance your smile. Veneers can be made from resin composite materials or ceramic. They're routinely used to restore teeth that are misaligned, worn-down, weak, crooked, or cracked. They're also used to close spaces between teeth. These porcelain shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their shape, size, color or length.

What are the benefits of veneers?

They can give you the star-worthy smile you've always wanted. These porcelain shells change the outside appearance of your teeth and can make you look younger. It's a popular procedure among Hollywood stars, your child's teacher, or your next-door neighbor. In other words, anyone that would like to improve their smile.

What is the veneers process like?

You will make a preliminary office visit at which your dentist will take the initial impression of your teeth. The impression is taken then the lab will make a wax up on the study model. You can see the amazing difference the porcelain veneers can make to your smile. Once approved, we begin treatment by slightly reshaping the teeth, taking an impression and placing acrylic provisional veneers on the same day. You then return shortly to have the porcelain veneers permanently bonded into place.

How do I care for my dental veneers?

You must care for your porcelain veneers just as much as you care for your original teeth. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing regularly. Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day. Protect them by not biting on hard candy or objects.

Am I a good candidate?

Porcelain veneers are suitable for most patients. You may be a viable candidate if you have healthy teeth and gums. You must have sufficient tooth enamel to create a strong bonding surface for the veneers.

Get ready for a beautiful smile. Call Murphy Dental Group in Milton, MA at (617) 696-3900 today to schedule a veneers consultation with Dr. John Murphy and Dr. Patrick Murphy Murphy. Transform your look by focusing on your smile. The time is now to get a smile makeover. We can also be reached through our website and emailed with any questions.


As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."

The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"

Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.

Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.

Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.

Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!

If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”


Getting a new smile doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair. If your teeth have minor to moderate chips, stains or tooth gaps, dental veneers could be the answer. These thin wafers of dental porcelain mask tooth imperfections and completely change your smile’s dynamic—and without a huge impact to your wallet.

To achieve that effect, though, your personal set of veneers will require the expertise of both your dentist and a dental lab technician to design and create your veneers. And while there are numerous considerations in achieving a truly life-like appearance with veneers, one of the most important is their color.

We always associate the color white with teeth. And while it is the dominant hue, actual tooth color is more complex. An individual tooth is comprised of multiple shades and tints, that range in variation from its biting edge to the gums. Likewise, tooth color in general can differ from person to person.

Your dentist must take these individual color variations into account while designing your new veneers, especially if you’ll be getting them for some but not for all your teeth. In that case, it’s important for the veneer color to blend seamlessly with the color of your natural teeth without veneers.

Your new smile expectations and desires are also important and should be considered when designing veneer coloring. For instance, do you want a more natural look—or would you prefer a smile with more “dazzle”? This could have an impact on color.

Your dentist takes all of this information (including your input) and communicates it clearly to the dental lab technician creating the veneers. That process is a combination of both science and artistry, using a variety of techniques to achieve an accurate, life-like texture and color result. For example, a technician may paint the edges of the veneers with a ceramic paste that when cured produces a life-like translucency.

This meticulous attention to color detail is necessary to create beautiful veneers that look natural. If the color is right, you’re sure to enjoy the change your veneers bring to your smile for many years to come.

If you would like more information on transforming your smile with dental veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: Your Smile—Better Than Ever.”


While not as prevalent as adults, teenagers can have missing teeth, usually from injury or from never having been formed. Fortunately, life-like dental implants can replace missing teeth. But unfortunately for teens, implants aren't usually a good option—yet.

That's because a teenager's jaws are still growing, and will continue until early adulthood. Dental implants don't adjust to this growth like natural teeth and will eventually look out of place. It's best, then, to consider a temporary restoration for a teenager. And, there are two excellent options: one removable and one fixed.

The first is a removable partial denture (RPD). Like a full denture, an RPD has an acrylic base that resembles gum tissue, to which prosthetic (false) teeth are attached to match the positions of the missing teeth. It's usually held in place with metal or nylon clips that slide under part of the natural teeth at the gum line.

RPDs are versatile and durable. But they're not designed to be worn indefinitely, so they can be damaged if subjected to excessive biting forces like biting into something hard. And, peer-pressured teens may also feel self-consciousness about wearing a “denture.”

The other option is a bonded bridge. It's similar to a traditional bridge, except how it's supported in the mouth. A traditional bridge gains its support from the crowns on each end attached to natural teeth, which must be permanently altered for them. By contrast, a bonded bridge has strips of dental material extending from both sides of its back that are bonded to the back of the adjacent natural teeth.

With the bonding material behind the bridge, it can't be seen—and the natural teeth won't require permanent alteration. But a bonded bridge is usually more costly than an RPD and less secure than a traditional bridge. And not every teen is a viable candidate for one: issues like how the teeth fit together and if the teen has a tooth grinding habit could be strikes against this fixed option.

Your dentist can help you sort out the best of these options for your teen. If cared for and maintained properly, either restoration can buy you time until your teen is ready for dental implants.

If you would like more information on restoring a teenager's 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 “Temporary Tooth Replacement for Teens: What Are the Options?

By Murphy Dental Group
December 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  

How a root canal can relieve pain.

If you are suffering from tooth pain, you may feel helpless. The truth is, there is a way to relieve tooth pain and still keep the tooth. It’s Root_Canalcalled root canal treatment, and it can save your smile. Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. John Murphy, and board-certified endodontist Dr. Natalie Shlosman at Murphy Dental Group in Milton, MA offer root canal treatment to relieve pain and keep your smile.

Pain is often the first indicator of needing a root canal. Some of the signs and symptoms you may experience include:

  • Increasing tooth pain when drinking or eating hot or cold foods or beverages
  • Sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down or chew your food
  • A red or white bump appearing on the gums next to a tooth root
  • Blood or pus coming from the bump on your gums

Sometimes there may not be tooth pain, but a root canal may still be necessary. When you need a root canal, it means that the innermost layer of a tooth, an area known as the pulp, has become infected. The pulp contains the nerves and blood supply to a tooth. When the pulp is damaged, inflammation, fluid, and pressure build-up inside a tooth causing pain.

The only way to relieve this pain is to start a root canal. Your dentist will remove the inflamed tissue. A sedative material is then placed inside the tooth which helps to eliminate inflammation. Once the painful symptoms are gone, the sedative material is removed and replaced with an inert material that stays inside the tooth. The opening is sealed up and the root canal is complete. Thanks to modern techniques, root canals are often completed in a single visit. After a root canal a crown is the usual and customary treatment in order to support the tooth in function.

A root canal can relieve pain and save your smile. If you are dealing with tooth pain, talk with the experts. Call Dr. John Murphy, Dr. Patrick Murphy, and Dr. Natalie Shlosman at Murphy Dental Group in Milton, MA today.