The Practice of Dr. Michael Koumas

Should I Consider Tooth Bonding?

Dentist Office

Tooth bonding is a simple cosmetic procedure that enhances the look of your smile and is usually performed to repair chipped, decayed, or discolored teeth.

Tooth Bonding Procedure

First, by using a plastic resin, the dentist chooses a color that best matches your teeth. Next, the tooth you are bonding to will be etched lightly and coated with a liquid. This liquid conditions the tooth to allow the resin to stick properly. After the resin is molded and shaped to the tooth, an ultraviolet laser bonds and hardens the resin to the tooth. This procedure may be completed in one visit or over the course of several visits depending on how many teeth need to be bonded.

What Happens Next

For the first 48 hours, it is important to avoid foods or drinks that are known for staining teeth, such as coffee and chocolate. Keep in mind that the material used for teeth bonding is not as strong as enamel, making it more susceptible to chipping from chewing on hard substances like ice. The benefits of tooth bonding can last for several years before needing to be redone depending on your dental hygiene rituals and how much bonding was completed.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth bonding, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: Colgate

Why Mouthwash Matters

animated picture of tooth

While mouthwash is only used for about 30 seconds twice a day, its impact can be significant. All mouthwashes contain alcohol and detergents. The alcohol is used to kill germs and the detergents are used to loosen plaque and debris which contributes to excellent oral health.

Matching Mouthwash with Dental Needs

Although saliva is our own natural mouthwash, professionally crafted mouthwash is designed to go the extra mile by filling in the gaps in your oral hygiene needs. Not all mouths are prone to the same issues which makes mouthwash a great way to cater to specific oral problems.

  • Dry mouth – Alcohol-free options are recommended because of drying agents that may make mouths even drier.
  • Sores and cuts – Salt water rinse is the most natural option. It is great for temporarily disinfecting and reducing swelling.
  • Tooth sensitivity – Mouthwash with extra fluoride coats teeth and makes them stronger to prevent further tooth decay.
  • Gum disease – Oral rinse that contains chlorhexidine has powerful antibacterial properties to better control mouth bacteria.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your dental hygiene, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Source: National Dental Care

Implant Crowns: Types and Benefits

process of installing and implanting a crown step by step

Implant crowns look, feel, and function like natural teeth, giving you your beautiful smile back. Implantation involves placing posts into the jawbone in place of the missing tooth. It will take three to six months for the bone to bond to the post and once completed, the implant can be connected to the post. Learn about the different types of implant crowns and their benefits below.

Screw-Retained Crown

The main benefit of a screw-retained crown is retrievability. This means it can be recovered and no damage occurs when the crown Is removed. The crown can also be easily removed if loosening or fractures occur. Many dental professionals will recommend a cleaning and screw replacement each year.

Cement-Retained Crown

Though retrievability is the main advantage of a screw-retained crown, cement-retained crowns can also be recovered when the correct cement is used. Some cements can be softened with a water-soluble gel to make it easier to retrieve the crown. The advantage of a cement-retained crown is that it eliminates the sight of unaesthetic screw holes and provides better resistance to porcelain fractures.

Both types of implant crowns have their benefits and drawbacks. Consulting with your dentist about the best option for you is recommended.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth sensitivity, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.


Glidewell Laboratories

Signs, Causes and Treatments for Dental Abrasion

Couple brushing teeth together

Dental abrasion occurs when tooth enamel wears away from an excessive external force. When enamel is lost, risk of tooth sensitivity or decay increases. So, when taking care of your teeth, you must do so gently and with care.

Types of Dental Wear

There are three types of tooth wear to be aware of. They are:

  1. Abrasion– Dental abrasion occurs when an external force wears away your tooth’s enamel.
  2. Erosion- Dental erosion occurs when acid from food or your stomach break up the enamel on the surface of your teeth.
  3. Attrition- This occurs when your teeth rub together, wearing away the actual structure of your teeth. This most commonly occurs if you grind your teeth.

Signs & Causes of Dental Abrasion

Dental abrasion occurs over time as the enamel wears away. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush, aggressively brushing, and biting your nails can all lead to dental abrasion. Over a period of time, the abrasion can cause notches in your teeth. You may notice that this area is a darker color than the rest of your tooth, this is because the enamel has worn away. Another sign of dental abrasion is tooth sensitivity. As the enamel wears away and the dentin is exposed, your teeth may become more sensitive.

Treatment for Dental Abrasion

Untreated dental abrasion may lead to cavities and tooth decay. In the beginning stages of dental abrasion, treatments to protect and cover up the exposed dentin may be possible. If part of the tooth is exposed, a veneer can be placed over the tooth to protect it.

The bad news is that once enamel wears away, it doesn’t grow back. To help prevent dental abrasion from occurring, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride or calcium-based toothpaste to help strengthen your enamel. If you brush your teeth with too much force, bite your nails, or chew on hard objects, do your best to stop those habits. Last but not least, receive regular checkups from your dentist to make sure your teeth are happy and healthy!

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth sensitivity, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.



Porcelain Veneers: Lifespan, Pros, and Cons

before and after photos of patient who got porcelain veneers

Dental, or porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front surfaces of your teeth. They give you an instant, beautiful smile that lasts for years, which is why they have become so popular.

Pros of Porcelain Veneers

When bonded to the teeth, porcelain veneers are practically undetectable, this is one of the major benefits of having them. They are ultra-thin and stain resistant to things like coffee and cigarettes. (It is important to note, however, that this does not mean smoking is okay. Smoking can still seriously impact your mouth’s health and case oral cancer or gum disease.) When compared to other restorative options, porcelain veneers resemble healthy, white tooth enamel almost identically.

Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can be pricier than other dental restoration options. Alternatives to veneers can include crowns or bridges. Aside from the price, some people are wary about the fact that once porcelain veneers are bonded to the teeth, this process cannot be reversed. To avoid a chip or crack, or the entire veneer falling off, avoid using your veneers as a tool to open something or to bite your nails.

Durability of Porcelain Veneers

With proper care, porcelain veneers can last for well over a decade. This means taking care of your teeth by brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouth wash. Continuing to visit your dentist regularly is also encouraged. At Dr. Koumas’ office, we only craft porcelain veneers from the highest quality porcelain and use the most advanced and proven material available to bond them to your existing teeth.

For more information, or to make an appointment, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

The Benefits of a Dental Crown

dental crown

Dental crowns are a reliable solution to major dental problems caused by disease, accidents or poor habits over time. Fortunately for those who need them, a dental crown can look, feel and function like your natural tooth.

Key Benefits

Dental crowns can give you back your beautiful smile. They replace missing teeth, offer support to broken teeth, and can act as a long-term solution. When a tooth has a root canal, a dental crown can protect the tooth from future breakage. A dental crown is usually made out of either high-grade porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metal.

It is common for people to feel pain in teeth that have fillings in the back of their mouth, usually caused by a hairline crack. Placing a dental crown over the tooth with relieve the tooth of pain and allow you to chew and put pressure on it without causing any pain. For the front of the mouth, teeth that have become weakened by fillings or are chipped or discolored can be fixed with a porcelain crown or bridge.

The Procedure

In most cases, fitting a dental crown will require at least two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, your dentist will remove any decay that’s still present in the gum, then shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary crown. On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the final crown, after fitting and adjusting it. The dental crown will be held in place with cement to make it look as natural as possible.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about dental crowns, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Causes and Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

person biting into anchocolate ice cream bar with sensitive teeth

Nothing is worse than biting into an ice cream bar on a hot summer day and feeling sharp, sudden tooth pain. If you have experienced this before with cold or hot foods and liquids, you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when your enamel becomes worn or you have exposed tooth roots.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

In some cases, tooth sensitivity may be minimal, and you will be unbothered by it. In other cases, tooth sensitivity can be severe and will cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Tooth sensitivity is caused by the wearing of enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the protective layer on your teeth. Not only can hot or cold foods and liquids trigger pain, but sweet and acidic foods have the tendency to do so too.

Keep in mind the following factors that may be contributing to your tooth sensitivity:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Forceful brushing
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities, cracked or chipped teeth

Solutions for Sensitive Teeth

Depending on the cause and severity of your tooth sensitivity, there a few solutions to consider. Keep in mind, enamel doesn’t naturally grow on your teeth, so once it’s gone, it’s not coming back. To save the enamel that is still present, consider using a softer bristled tooth brush and not using so much force when brushing. Additionally, choose a toothpaste formulated to protect enamel.

The most obvious solution to sensitive teeth is to avoid the foods that cause pain. This can be ice cream, candy, soda or juice and instead, replace it with snacks like yogurt, cheese and vegetables. Next, if you know that you grind your teeth at night, consider wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth. Most importantly, if you think you have a cavity or you have a cracked tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist at your earliest convenience.

If you would like to schedule a dental appointment to learn more about your tooth sensitivity, contact local dentist in Newburgh, Dr. Michael Koumas.

Tooth Fairy Ideas and Planning

little girl with missing front teeth

As a parent, you have a big job. Once your not-so-little one turns five years old, you should be prepared to begin your duties as the Tooth Fairy. In the United States, it is common to leave money under the pillow when your child loses a tooth. Have some fun with it and get creative, consider these ideas that will have your child excited to tell their friends at school:

Outside-the-box Ideas

While leaving money under the pillow is the norm, consider leaving something else!

  • Small toys
  • A healthy snack
  • A new toothbrush

Along with the item, write a note from the Tooth Fairy that explains what is going to happen with the tooth and encourage your child to keep taking care of their teeth. Here are some fables of what the tooth fairy does with teeth:

  • Use as bricks to build her castle
  • Send them into the night sky to become stars
  • Share them with babies who are growing new teeth (great for kids with little siblings)

Be sure to use creative handwriting so your child doesn’t suspect a thing!

Purchasing a special tooth pillow or making one is another great idea. These “tooth pillows” have a special pocket for the lost tooth, so the tooth fairy knows just where to find it.

If you’re worried about waking your child while performing Tooth Fairy duties, consider going the Scandinavian route. In Sweden and Norway, children put their tooth in a glass of water, so the Tooth Fairy can find it more easily. In the morning, children wake to find the glass has been emptied of water and replaced with coins.

Tooth Fairy Missing in Action

Sometimes, the Tooth Fairy becomes extra busy or is short-handed a few bucks and can’t make a visit the same night. Letting your child know that thousands of other kids lost their teeth on the same day will help them understand, and just make sure the Tooth Fairy visits the night after to pick up the tooth.

Unexpected Tooth Loss

For times when a tooth unexpectedly gets knocked out or a dental procedure requires a tooth extraction, the Tooth Fairy can play a part in these situations as well. Leaving a note that congratulates the child for being brave and strong is a great way to let them know they did a great job at the dentist.

To schedule your child’s first dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.



Is Gum Disease Contagious and How Do I Prevent It?

normal tooth vs periodontitis also known as gum disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is much more common than you may think. To put it in perspective, one out of two American adults over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 64.7 million Americans. Now, you might be concerned and asking yourself, is gum disease contagious? Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Cause of gum disease

Gum disease develops when bacteria finds its way below the gum line and the tooth and gum become detached from each other. Unfortunately, gum disease is often painless and silent, which means you can have it and may not even know it. When left untreated, a mild form of gum disease (gingivitis) can eventually become severe and result in tooth loss and infection.

Is gum disease contagious?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is not technically contagious because it is an inflammatory reaction to the bacteria under your gums. On the other hand, if a friend or family member has gum disease, it is recommended that you avoid contact with their saliva as the bacteria can be contagious. This means avoid sharing utensils, using the same dental equipment, and kissing to keep you away from risk of coming in contact with their saliva.

How do I prevent gum disease?

Taking care of your mouth is the first step. This includes brushing, flossing and using mouth wash daily, and getting regular checkups at the dentist. Next, look out for warning signs of gum disease which include red, swollen or bleeding gums and bad breath. If you notice any of these signs, make it a point to schedule an appointment with your dentist soon. Afterall, treating gum disease in its earliest stages can save you a lot of time, money and pain in the long run.

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.


What are the Oil Pulling Side Effects?

oil used for oil pulling

Interestingly enough, oil pulling has roots in ancient India as a traditional remedy that could cure over thirty diseases in the body, not just the mouth. Due to the millions of microorganisms and bacteria that live in the mouth, it is believed that the mouth is a “mirror” to the body’s overall health.

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is the process of swishing around about two teaspoons or so of oil to collect and pull the bacteria from your body and mouth. Oil pulling is intended to whiten teeth and remove plaque, as well as help keep gums healthy.

The Process of Oil Pulling

Common household oils such as sunflower oil, coconut oil and sesame oil are often used for oil pulling. The oil is believed to activate salivary enzymes which absorb harmful toxins in the blood streams and are removed through the tongue. In the past, we discussed the use of coconut oil for oil pulling and while not much research exists that can back the potential benefits and risks, it has become widely popular. A handful of studies do exist and have reported positive results from oil pulling. The results include a decrease in plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.

Oil Pulling Side Effects

When it comes to oil pulling, there are a few things to consider. The first thing is that you should avoid swallowing any of the oil because of the high amount of bacteria it may contain after being swished around in the mouth. The American Dental Association has warned in the past that oil pulling could potentially cause an upset stomach and diarrhea if swallowed, and even lipid pneumonia if the oil finds its way into the lungs. Currently their stance is that since there is no scientific consensus on the idea that oil pulling reduces cavities, so it does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice. A side effect oil pullers commonly experience is that other more effective dental habits fall off their radar, which can cause issues down the line.

It has been argued that oil pulling is not effective because the mucous membrane lining does not allow the harmful toxins to pass through. A proven way to whiten your teeth at home is using a toothpaste infused with hydrogen peroxide or just leave it up to your dentist to give you a professional whitening treatment. In terms of having a clean mouth, brushing, flossing and using mouth wash daily is the recommended process, as well as regular professional cleanings at your dentist.

To schedule your dental appointment, contact local Newburgh, NY dentist Dr. Michael Koumas.