My Blog

Posts for: March, 2017

By Steven F. Hinchey, DMD
March 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentist in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, wants you to knowMercury Free Dentistry

Metal fillings, also called amalgam fillings, have been a mainstay of restorative dentistry for years. One of the substances used in metal fillings is mercury, a known toxin which can cause problems with your central nervous system.

Now, thanks to modern dental materials and techniques, you don’t have to settle for old, mercury-laden metal fillings. Dr. Steven Hinchey at Glastonbury Center For Dental Medicine in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, wants to share what mercury-free dentistry can do for you.

Metal fillings give off mercury vapor, especially when the fillings leak or when the fillings are removed. At Glastonbury Center For Dental Medicine, we use a safe method of removal which guarantees you minimal exposure to mercury as the fillings are removed. For more information about mercury-free dentistry in South Glastonbury, please visit the website at

Before your metal fillings are removed, Dr. Hinchey offers the Clifford Materials Reactivity Test, or CMRT, which determines any sensitivity you may have to dental materials and which material is best for you. For more information about this test, please visit

There are many mercury-free options to restore your teeth, including:

  • Tooth-colored fillings, which are made of composite, a resin material that is color-matched and shaped perfectly to your teeth; the material is hardened with a bright light. As a finishing touch, your composite fillings are polished perfectly, resulting in a seamless, virtually invisible restoration.
  • Another possible option is beautiful same-day crowns, veneers and onlays using revolutionary CAD-CAM technology. CAD-CAM uses 3-D imaging and precise computer measurements to fabricate your crown, veneers or onlays the same day, while you wait.
  • CAD-CAM is so precise, your new restoration fits perfectly the first time, with few adjustments. The best part is you don’t have to wait weeks for your restoration to come back from the dental laboratory! This means less time out of your busy schedule. For more information about CAD-CAM, please visit the website at

Don’t settle for leaking, crumbling metal fillings when beautiful, state-of-the-art, mercury-free restorations are just a phone call away. Call Dr. Steven Hinchey at Glastonbury Center For Dental Medicine in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, today to find out more about mercury-free dentistry!

By Steven F. Hinchey, DMD
March 30, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

Tooth decay is one of the world's most prevalent diseases — and one of the most preventable. We've known the primary prevention recipe for decades: brushing and flossing daily, and dental cleanings and checkups at least twice a year.

But consistent oral hygiene isn't enough — you should also pay attention to your overall health, diet and lifestyle habits. Each of these areas in their own way can contribute to abnormally high mouth acid, which can soften enamel and open the door to tooth decay.

Lower saliva production is one such problem that can arise due to issues with your health. Among its many properties, saliva neutralizes acid and helps maintain the mouth's optimum neutral pH level. But some health conditions or medications can reduce saliva flow: less saliva means less neutralization and chronic acidity.

You can also inhibit saliva flow with one particular lifestyle habit — smoking. Tobacco smoke can damage salivary glands. Nicotine, tobacco's active ingredient, constricts blood vessels, leading to fewer antibodies delivered by the blood stream to mouth tissues to fight disease.

A diet heavy on acidic foods and beverages can also increase mouth acidity. It's not only what you're eating or drinking — it's also how often. If you're constantly snacking or sipping on something acidic, saliva doesn't have a chance to complete the neutralizing process.

In addition to your daily oral hygiene practice, you should also make changes in these other areas to further lower your risk of tooth decay. If you're taking medications that cause dry mouth, see if your doctor can prescribe a different one or try using products that stimulate saliva. Quit smoking, of course, as much for your mouth as for the rest of your health.

On the dietary front, reduce your intake of acidic foods and beverages, especially sodas, energy or sports drinks. If you've counted on the latter for hydration, switch to water instead. And limit acidic foods to mealtime rather than throughout the day.

It's all about maintaining a healthy pH level in your mouth. Doing so along with good oral hygiene will help you better avoid destructive tooth decay.

If you would like more information on preventing tooth decay, 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 “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”

By Steven F. Hinchey, DMD
March 15, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”

With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.

Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.

But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.

In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.

So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”