Cosmetic Dentistry Blog

Media, Newtown Square, Wallingford, Swarthmore and Delaware County, PA

Alexandra H. Monroe Joins Our Practice!

Mon, 10/06/2014
Dear Friends,
It is with great pride and joy that I announce my daughter, Alexandra H. Monroe D.M.D. joined my practice on July 7, 2014.  Ali received her undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University, where she majored in mathematics and graduated magna cum laude in 2009.  In May of 2013, she graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania Dental School, receiving the prestigious Quintessence Award for Clinical Achievement in Restorative Dentistry, given to one graduating senior dental student most recognized for their clinical excellence, as well as the Delta Dental Student Leadership Award.  At the end of June, Ali completed a one year residency program at Bellevue Hospital in New York City where she has received extensive training in dental implant placement and restoration of large crown, bridge and implant cases.

Ali is the fourth generation dentist in our family, all of whom have graduated from the Dental School at The University of Pennsylvania.  As many of you already know, our practice was started by my Grandfather here in Media in 1909 and then run by my Uncle for many years.  I joined my Uncle when I graduated from Dental School in 1985 and took over the practice completely in 1993 when my Uncle retired.  Now Ali, the first woman in our family to become a dentist, will join me in carrying on our family tradition of providing the very best dental care for all of our patients.

Had braces growing up but hate wearing your retainer? Have your lower teeth already begun to shift? Hate to see those years spent in braces going to waste?

Mon, 09/29/2014

Get a fixed lingual holding bar! Lingual bars attach to the inside of each of your lower anterior teeth and prevent them from shifting. They are not visible when you smile or talk. They are very easily applied with tooth colored filling material and require no numbing medication, drilling or pain. They are basically a no-brainer!

If life has gotten busy and you no longer have time to deal with your retainers, a lingual bar will remain fixed to your lower teeth and stop them from shifting back into their pre-braces position.  Even forgetting to wear your retainer for a few nights can allow your teeth to begin relapsing to their original position.  Lingual bars take less than an hour to attach to your teeth – then you can say bye-bye to your stinky lower retainer for good!

Have your teeth already shifted slightly?

Such minimal movement should not require the annoyance and embarrassment of full mouth braces AGAIN. Ask Dr. Hillyard about clear invisalign trays that will shift your teeth back into their correct position without the use of metal braces. After your invisalign regiment is complete and your lower teeth are back in their desires location, a lingual bar will be applied to hold your lower teeth in their new perfect-smile positions.

For more information on how we can help, please contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Have you noticed very flat edges on the tops of your teeth? Do you teeth feel like they are getting shorter and worn down? Do you ever wake up with a headache and sore jaw muscles?

Mon, 09/22/2014

You very well may be grinding your teeth!  The Problems with Tooth Grinding: Tooth grinding causes your natural tooth structure to slowly wear away. This is bad for many reasons, including changing your overall facial appearance. Shorter teeth will appear more square than rectangular and make your smile less aesthetic. It will also eventually make your overall facial length decrease, leading to less facial and lip support for your cheeks.  Loosing facial support greatly ages your appearance. 

Additionally, grinding away your outer protective layer of tooth structure will make your teeth much more susceptible to sensitivity, decay and fractures.  All bad things!

How do you fix ground-down teeth after years of grinding? It is VERY labor intensive and costly. To restore the appropriate height of the teeth and the lost facial support, all of the worn down teeth would require crowns – as long as the teeth haven’t been worn down to a point where they are too short to hold a crown. Don’t let your teeth get to this point!

If you are concerned you may be grinding your teeth, please contact our office immediately. We can make you a simple night guard to wear that will protect your teeth from all of the terrible effects of grinding mentioned above. Night guards are simple, quick and painless to fabricate. We will take an impression of your teeth and have your guard ready for you within a few weeks. The guard will be roughly 4mm thick tray of plastic that fits specifically to your teeth and will stay attached to your upper teeth all night long while you sleep. Having your teeth separated slightly will help to disengage the muscles of your jaw so you are less likely to wake up with sore jaw muscles and headaches. The guard is softer than your teeth, so will prevent further wear to your tooth surfaces.

Don’t grind your teeth any longer! Get a grinding night guard made today!

Dr Gregory A. Hillyard named Top Dentist by Main Line Today

Mon, 06/16/2014
Dr. Gregory Hillyard prides himself on providing the very best dental care to all of his patients.  He has once again been honored by his peers and Main Line Today for his work as a Top Dentist for 2014.
Dr. Hillyard's focus is on his patients maintaining not only a beautiful smile but also a HEALTHY one.  Patients in the Delaware County area who want beautiful smiles praise Dr. Hillyard and his staff for exceeding their expectations.  If you visit Dr. Hillyard's office you can expect:
  • A friendly staff who is committed to your comfort
  • Dr. Hillyard's artistic eye, education and skill focused on your smile
  • State of the art technology including digital X-rays and computerized imaging
  • An improvement and focus your dental heath, which will positively impact your overall health and well being
Dr. Hillyard is a third generation dentist in his family to practice in the Media area. His deep rooted passion for dentistry is shared by his daughter Dr. Alexandra Monroe Hillyard, who joins the practice this summer!
To learn more about Dr. Hillyard please call (610) 355-4154 to schedule a consultation.

Adult Clear Braces Boost Self Esteem and Health

Tue, 05/06/2014

Having a beautiful smile increases self-confidence. Dr. Gregory Hillyard can help you feel great about your smile! When an adult is unhappy with his or her smile it can become a source of embarrassment and poor self-esteem.

To correct this problem Dr Hillyard has helped many patients maximize their smiles with adult clear braces. This simple process can literally change patients lives by helping people feel better about themselves, increase their self-esteem and be more confident in social situations.

Orthodontics has changed greatly over the last couple of years. It is now possible for Dr Hillyard to change your smile with little or no visibility of your braces.

New technology allows Dr Hillyard to take a mold of you current teeth and then provide a series of clear plastic trays that will move your teeth. Dr Hillyard is pleased to offer our patients ClearCorrect™ an aesthetically superior, yet equally effective way to straighten crooked teeth and perfect your bite.

Braces are not just for cosmetic purposes. When teeth are straight they are much easier to clean. Crowded, rotated, out of alignment teeth accumulate plaque, which leads to inflammation of the gums and periodontal disease. New research has demonstrated a direct link between inflammation of the gums and cardiovascular disease. When teeth are straight they are easier to clean and gums are healthier.

Our health and well being are greatly affected by how we feel. When you feel confident about your smile you feel good about yourself!

To see if Clear Braces might enhance your smile contact Dr Hillyard today!

Spring cleaning for your smile

Mon, 03/24/2014

In the northeast we are all ready for spring cleaning after a long winter.  Spring is also a good time to think about your dental cleaning routine.  Here are a few daily habits from Dr. Gregory Hillyard to help keep your teeth and smile healthy:

Use an electric tooth brush:  An electric tooth brush can significantly improve the effectiveness of tooth cleaning. At more than 30,000 strokes per minute versus an average of 100 stokes per minute with a manual toothbrush, electric tooth brushes are working harder for you.  Electric brushes push fluid between your teeth and around the gum line providing a more effective cleaning. Electric tooth brushes by enabling you to do a better job cleaning your teeth helps to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Flossing at night is best:  Flossing once a day is critical to maintain good dental health.  Before bed is the best time to floss because during sleep time less saliva is produced to naturally clean teeth and gums, this allows oral bacteria a chance to do more damage.  Therefore it is important to go to bed with your mouth as clean as possible.  So brush, floss and scrape your tongue before bed each night.

If you can't seem to floss at night, don't give up hope.  It takes bacteria 24 hours to adhere to your teeth and begin the process of bacterial colonization.  Choose a time of day that is best for you to floss your teeth well.  Just be consistent and flossing once a day will be enough to disturb the bacteria and prevent its adherence to your teeth and prevent inflammation.

To keep your smile healthy and sparkling, contact us today for regular cleaning and exams.

Dental Bonding: A Simple Way to Have a New Smile

Fri, 01/17/2014

Nearly half of American adults, 48 percent, believe that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone – more so than the first thing a person says (25 percent). 

You only get one chance to make a positive first impression.  Dr. Gregory Hillyard’s artistic eye can create a new smile for you with dental bonding.

Dental Bonding can be a fantastic way to improve and change your smile, especially if you are ready for a change but not ready to make the commitment to veneers.   Tooth Bonding is most commonly used to repair a broken tooth, but Dr. Hillyard can also use bonding to dramatically change the shape, size or color of any tooth or even all the teeth in your smile.   Particularly on the front teeth bonding can sometimes give a more natural appearance then veneers.

Bonding materials: high-density, modern plastics called composite resin, and porcelain—are more natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match the surrounding teeth making it difficult to discern the tooth has been altered.  Dr. Hillyard uses only the highest quality bonding materials.

Dental bonding takes about 30 minutes per tooth and is completely painless.
The tooth will be prepped with a conditioning liquid and then Dr. Hillyard will sculpt each layer of resin until your desired results are achieved.  The resin is hardened with a curing light.  Upon completion Dr. Hillyard’s bonding is long lasting and will blend seamlessly with your smile.

Click here to check out Dental Bonding images on our gallery page.

Get the smile you have always wanted, contact Dr. Hillyard today and ask about dental bonding.

What can be done to help TMJ?

Tue, 11/19/2013

TMJ discomfort is a frustrating problem for many of our patients.  The TMJ is a joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone at the side of the head.  Many things can cause this complicated joint to become irritated.  Recent research suggests that there are usually multiple causes, among them inflammation/arthritis, traumatic injury, environmental, social or emotional factors.  TMJ affects twice as many women as men.

The most common TMJ problem is called myofacial pain disorder, characterized by a dull aching pain around the ear, tender jaw muscles, clicking or popping noises and difficulty opening or closing the mouth.  Habits like clenching, nail biting, tooth grinding or gum chewing can make the problem worse. Some times TMJ can even make your teeth and /or ear hurt.

So what can you do to find relief??
For starters, rest the jaw and stop harmful chewing or biting habits!  Eat soft foods.  No chewing gum or nail biting.  Sometimes applying cold for 10 to 15 minutes and then massaging the side of the face can help, also taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, for up to two weeks.  Stress management and relaxation techniques have also been found to be helpful.  Try to let those jaw muscles relax.

In many cases Dr. Gregory Hillyard has fitted patients with a mouth guard which when worn at night can help prevent pain and clenching.

Patients with severe cases may need to see a specialist at a hospital.  But before embarking on expensive treatments, contact Dr. Hillyard for an exam and to see if less invasive, non-surgical treatments might be all you need.

The Importance of Flossing

Thu, 07/18/2013
FLOSSING is one of the best things you can do for oral health and your overall health. It can add years to your life.  I tell my patients "If you want to live a longer and healthier life you need to have healthy gums.  I know a lot of 80 year olds with great gums, people in their 70's that have bleeding gums generally do not make it (live into) to their 80's  I don't know many people in their 80's who have gum disease."
The number one area for inflammation in your body is your mouth. Gingivitis (gum disease) is an inflammation of the gum tissues.  This can lead to the gradual and progressive destruction of connective gum tissue and progress to a loss of the bone structure that supports the teeth.  
Over the past 20 years research has clearly connected gingivitis (gum) disease with increased risk of illnesses like coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and the list goes on.  
What is the best way to prevent gum disease?  It’s so simple - FLOSS!
Flossing well and every day is a wonderful and easy way to improve your health.
Flossing helps prevent your gums from becoming inflamed. When your gums are inflamed you have a chronic bacterial infection in your mouth. This harms your arteries in two ways:
  • The bacteria find their way into your arteries and hang out, causing plaques.
  • Your body mounts an immune system response, causing inflammation. This can cause your arteries to narrow making it harder for your heart to do its job. 
Our office is always happy to help you learn the best flossing techniques and 
help you keep your gums healthy!  Get in the flossing habit!  To learn more about the importance of flossing, contact our practice today!


Protect Your Athlete's Smile

Thu, 04/25/2013

Protect your athlete's smile this spring with a custom fitted Under Armour mouth guard. Under Armour offers the latest mouth guard technology and Dr Hillyard can provide a precision, custom fit to your teeth.

Three different models of mouth guards are available and Dr Hillyard can help you decide which is right for you based on the sport you play and the level of contact.

To learn more about custom fitted Under Armour mouth guards, contact our practice today!

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