Screening for oral cancer
This month a question was raised regarding how Dr Mattie screens
for oral cancer.
Oral premalignant and malignanat lesions can take on various forms
ranging from lateral leisons on the tongue and under the tongue to
areas of the back of the throat (oro-pharynx) and palate. Periodic
examination for these lesions are done each time you present for
your check up. Many times slight changes in the mucosal
surfaces can be further diagnosed with vital dyes like methylene
blue and observed for dye retention (a sign of active biological
Fortunately, most lesions can be treated if caught early. Biopsies
are sent to oral pathlogy laboratories where final diagnoses are
determined based on histological findings and clinical presentation.
Over the years, Dr Mattie has identified many granulomatous
growths and squamous cell carcinomas; the overall risk factors
being but not limited to tobacco use (both smoking and smokeless),
heavy alcohol use (including excessive mouthwash use that contain
alcohol) and betel quid.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
In office dental benefits plan
Several people have asked me what they should do if they don't have
dental insurance. Well, I along with my team of gurus have
created what I would consider a dental plan which very closely replicates
how dental insurance works (without actually being dental insurance).
For an agreed upon annual membership fee, our practice will cover you
as if you had dental insurance and give you additional discounts as
Please click here for more information.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Plans for re-opening our practice
As many of you know, Connecticut plans to reopen the state to certain
business sectors on May 20, 2020. While dentistry has abbreviated the
scope of its practice to emergency care only for the past 2 1/2 months,
there are some new protocols that we have adopted from the CDC, ADA
and OSHA to allow us to fully open for elective care. Please visit our
COVID19 section of our website for details and for our video on the
protocols for dealing with the Corona virus.
As for now, you may rest assured that neither Tina our manager nor I
Dr. Mattie have been sick or have changed in our health profile. God
has most graciously blessed us !!
We have been praying very hard for many of you who are unemployed
or have been adversely affected by the COVID19 pandemic (especially
So you may feel confident in our practice in returning to us for elective
care procedures. We want to urge you NOT to neglect your teeth as
that will cause further dental problems to occur in the future. Our phone
is 203-239-9427 and we will be happy to welcome you back and set up
some time to spend with you.
Friday, May 15, 2020
COVID-19 - An Update
We are seeing some progress with the slowing of the spread of
According to MSN, one study finds Remdesivir, an
antiviral drug used to treat the Ebola virus has some promise.
However, larger clinical trials need to be performed for further proof.
People who have heeded the recommendation to wash hands, to limit
group engagements, and to telecommute have helped to slow the
progression of the disease. While these functions help to limit exposure
to the virus, people still need to understand that viruses in general
DO NOT "go away".
A virus is not a bacterium, fugus, protozoan or anything that resembles
a living creature;they are simply a chemical molecule that most times
resembles a protein that spacially attach to our own cells via receptors
and cause our own cells to generate other chemicals that interfere with
normal cellular functions and life cycles. For this reason, the body's own
immune system needs to develop specialized cells (antibodies) from a
weakened or dead copy of cells that have been infected with the virus
(antigens) otherwise known as a vaccine. Vaccines can be derived
from blood plasma of people who have fully recovered from their viral
infection. Vaccination is currently being tested in patients with
COVID -19 as a last case senario in which nothing else will help
Friday, April 24, 2020
COVID-19 ******* Reasons NOT to panic************
Here are several reasons why we should not panic regarding the
COVID-19 outbreak; we can best understand the virulence/mortality
of the current Novel COVID-19 virus only if we put it in prospective
with past virus outbreaks-
According to Heathline.com, in the 1918 flu epidemic the death rate was
0.1%. Each year the seasonal flu death rate is 0.1%. In 2002-2004, the
SARS virus death rate was 9% (considerably higher). In 2009, the H1N1
virus death rate was 0.02%. In 2014-2016 the Ebola virus death rate was
50% (the highest death rate of all these viruses listed). In 2019, the
COVID-19 virus death rate is ONLY estimated to be 3%.
Citing Healthline.com, the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild.
Approximately 82% of those infected with the COVID-19 virus will
develop cold like symptoms only and will not die. Another 15% will
develop flu like symptoms which makes up 97% of those infected with
The remaining 3% is what everyone in the media are presenting on TV;
by and large the minority of cases.
In the interests of better hygiene, here are some helpful suggestions for
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap or use a hand
sanitizer that contains alcohol.
Sneeze and cough into tissues. If you get mucus or spit on your
skin, clean it off right away.
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially
people exhibiting respiratory symptoms and fever.
Stay home when you' re sick.
Regularly and thoroughly clean surfaces, such as counter tops and
doorknobs, with a disinfectant.
As an essential business, our dental office will remain open for
service or if you have questions please call us at (203) 239-9427.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Flossing and Brushing --OR--Brushing and Flossing
This month a question was raised
regarding which should be done FIRST; Flossing OR Brushing.
With the onslaught of new hygiene products
becoming commerically available almost daily,
many of us can become confused regarding the
"order of operations" for hygiene. In essence, our objective
for proper hygiene is to debride the teeth of plaque, food
particles and bacterial inhabitants thereby allowing us to better
access the surfaces of teeth for polishing and sealing. This is
accomplished by a gross removal of debris FIRST followed by a
finer polishing to flush away debris and to smoothen the tooth
surfaces. Ultimately, fluoride is applied to the tooth surface as
a final step to reduce decay producing ability of bacteria
and to remineralize teeth from acid attacks by food or bacterial
So, the technical answer to the question is to FLOSS first then BRUSH
A much better way of debriding teeth of gross debris is to use an oral
irrigater FIRST. It not only debrides the teeth, but actually goes further by
flushing debris away from the teeth/gums as well as physically
conditioning our gum tissue to stay healthy (see oral irrigation).
Sunday, January 05, 2020
Gum diseases can enable Alzheimer's development
The Conference on prevention of dementia have recently presented
research that suggests that exposure to inflammation such as gum
diseases can increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's
disease by 400%. There are many conditions that produce
inflammation in our bodies over the course of our lives so our objective
is to reduce inflammation. Since the dental environment is the MOST
subject to bacterial attack and inflammation, it is important to keep it
as clean as possible with a minimum of 2 prophies (cleanings) per
year at our office.
Friday, January 10, 2020
The question of tooth sensitivity was posed by several people this month.
While tooth sensitivities can be a normal part of tooth maturation,
persistant sensitivity can be indicative of other issues. It can be caused
by decay, loose fillings, loose teeth, related to the gum, or even
secondary to certain types of trauma to the teeth. Trauma can be bruxing,
or clenching of the teeth, incorrect brushing, or sudden impacts to teeth.
Proper diagnosis and treatment is essential to resolving prolonged
sensitivity. Treatments vary depending on the conditions present.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Holiday sweets and care of our teeth
To a question about eating sweets-
Today's world is replete with temptations, not the least of which is
our desire for sweets. Studies have shown that it is NOT the amount
of sweets that we consume that does our teeth the most potential
harm but the frequency with which we consume these items that does
the teeth the most harm.
After the consumption of sweets, it is the subsequent oxidation of
these sugars to acid compounds that facilitates the acid dissolution
of our enamel and development of tooth decay.
So by example if I were eat 2 candy bars within a 15 minute period this
would not be as bad for the teeth as if I were to eat 1 candy bar over a
15 minute period and another candy bar 15 minutes after the first one.
This is due to the fact that over 30 minutes, I am exposing the teeth
only once to sugar in the first case; as opposed to exposing the teeth
twice to sugar in the second case.
So it is the frequency of exposure to sweets that is the most potentially
harmful to the teeth and not the amount of sugar exposed.
Of course tooth brushing immediately after eating sweets can
statistically minimize enamel dissolution in both cases.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Gum disease may enable Alzheimer's development
According to Knapton et. al. "gum disease may play a pivotal role
in the development of Alzheimer's disease, scientists believe." In the
article, researchers said they now have conclusive evidence that the
bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis which is the primary cause of gum
disease and tooth loss in humans produces an enzyme which destroys
neurons in the brain leading to memory loss.
The findings were published in Science Advances.
So to summarize, it is very important to come in for period check ups
and cleanings (every 4 to 6 months) as the brain as well as the other
organs of the body can suffer from enzymatic attacks over time.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
I was asked by a gentleman of concern that he would prefer
a conventional cemented bridge to a single tooth implant to replace
one missing tooth. To answer this you have to remember that every
patient's case has different parameters to consider. In his case, due to
a weakened state of his lower front teeth,he would need to use all of the
lower front teeth to support a bridge that would replace a single front tooth.
While this is possible, it's not very practical Also, by doing this you can
accelerate bone loss around the remaining front teeth. So imparting
knowledge and insight is part of my profession and I indicated to him
that a single tooth implant would be the better choice for his case.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Charcoal toothpastes may HARM teeth
A question was raised this month regarding the efficacy and safety of
activated charcoal toothpastes.
Recent studies have shown several disappointing factors regarding
these pastes. One being that most of them DO NOT contain flouride
which can make us more prone to tooth decay. Secondly, they can
strip enamel off of our teeth with frequent use causing needless
sensitivity and loss of tooth structure. Thirdly, manufacturer claims
that cleaning and whitening of the teeth have not been demonstrated
with normal use.
The best bet on toothpastes is to look for the ones that display the ADA
seal of acceptance.
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Intra oral camera technology
The recent advancements in digital camera technology has
given dentistry the ability to show patients various oral conditions. You,
the patient can now see and better understand what is going on in your
own mouth. Not only that but insurance companies can better
acknowledge visual description rather than verbal description.
Communication and telereferencing are now possible to approve
treatment and motivate patients to prevent these conditions from getting
worse. Please see our new office overview video for more information.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
For almost 30 years, our practice has been instrumental in the
enhancement of dental X ray film to display such things as elusive
cracks in teeth, stress fractures in root canaled teeth and potential
microleakage of restorations. In fact, Dr. Mattie recounts his efforts
of doing this going all the way back to the early 1990s using
Windows 3.1, and a early graphics program called Publishers Paintbrush
to convolve X-ray images, apply Boolean digital subtraction and apply
customized 256 colored palettes to X-ray images to show various density
levels of hard tissue including our teeth.
Recently, scintillation crystal resolution in digital X-ray sensors has
supassed that of the resolution of X-ray film making it a suitable
alternative to using X-ray film. Also, computer speeds/memory
have gotten fast/large enough to support a realistic display of an X-ray
image on a computer monitor in as short as 3-4 seconds. We now offer
digital X-rays at our practice.
As well as the increased speed of image display and enhanced detail,
the advantages of digital X-rays are a 90% reduction of radiation
exposure, they do not require photochemical development (a plus for
our environment), and are easily stored on a computer for future
reference. Please click here for more information.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Saving teeth with infection - Root canal therapy
Many of you have asked me about whether or not root canaled teeth
may release toxic bacteria or cause 'septicemia' which is a bacterially
mediated infectious disease somewhere else in the body; my answer
to you is NO. Here's why -
If causative infecting bacteria were still alive and still causing problems in
our bodies, they would be mostly manifested in and around the area of
the offending zone of primary infection first (which would be the previously
root canaled tooth). This means that the previoulsy root canaled tooth would
be the first area that symptoms would be present.
And as far as toxic substances released by infectious bacteria, this may
be true only if the bacteria were still alive and going unchecked; which
would also produce pain and symptoms around the previously root
canaled tooth. For an infection to be going unchecked, would mean that
the patient would have to be deliberately ignoring him(her)self to the pain
or symptoms of the tooth in question.
THAT is HIGHLY unlikely.
Secondly, the previously root canaled tooth is under the constant super-
vision of our immune system.
Thirdly, most bacterial reinfections of root canals occur because patients
do NOT follow up with an adequate restoration of the tooth (permanent
filling or crown). So when the dentist recommends to you to crown your
root canaled tooth, you need to follow his(her) directions.
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Concerning flossing vs alternatives
Many of you have come into the office with concerns that flossing
may not be doing much to debride the teeth in between other teeth. My
thoughts have gone into this as well as several of my own empirical
experiments over the years. My conclusion was and still is that flossing
does not do the job of debriding the teeth or bridgework or orthodontically
anchored teeth at all well.
With today's modern adjuncts for home oral care, flossing can essentially
be limited to removing foods that may have become jammed in between
our teeth only. Oral irrigation far exceeds the ability of flossing to debride
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Regarding lack of dental hygiene and coronary disease
Studies have shown that patients who do NOT attend to periodic dental
hygiene visits are 3 times more likely to have coronary artery disease
than patients who have do have health teeth. This study suggests that
harmful bacteria around teeth may spread to other parts of the body
causing infection. So keeping up with brushing twice daily and
regular dental hygiene visits will minimize these effects.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
A question was raised this month regarding a more esthetic and
realistic looking material compared to traditional metal based porcelain
In recent years, with the advancement of dental materials, a new material
has become the more well recognized cosmetic alternative to traditional
metal based crowns. Zirconia dioxide (ZrO2) is a silica-free, acid-resistant,
polycrystalline ceramic that has an opaque "frosted" appearance. It has
great fracture resistance and allows us to mask over different tooth
discolorations as well as have high flexural strength for longer spand
applications like fixed dental bridgework.
It has garnered great support from the dental community as opposed to
earlier experimental materials which fell short on strength and
fracture resistance and were therefore not suitable for dental use.
A recent smile makeover that I had done shows the Before picture of
traditional metal based crowns gray gumline "shadow" and the
After picture of the zirconia based counterparts.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Recently, several of you have asked questions about financing.
As an additional convenience for financing, we do participate with a
special healthcare credit card company called CareCredit. So now
we can offer you the best treatment that you desire and taylor the
financing to your specific needs. We've had several of you use this
credit card already with successful results.
Click CareCredit and then click "APPLY" on the upper left menu bar.
Or call to apply at CareCredit at 1-800-677-0718
Sunday, February 25, 2018
I was recently asked what the best method for tooth whitening is that is
While there exist many such systems (both over the counter and those
systems which are applied by a dentist) you need to be careful to
consider side effects of these procedures.
Tooth whitening done in a controlled dental office environment represent
the best results for whitening while minimizing gum and tooth related
sensitivity and damage. They also have the longest lasting results.
While over the counter whitening systems do work, care should be taken
to follow directions and not to over apply or over expose teeth and gums
to these agents. I have routinely seen younger people severely strip off
enamel and tooth structure in an effort to get white teeth. While that
result is certainly attainable in some cases, permanent tooth damage
does result in most cases as whitening was never designed to get teeth
perfectly white in every case.
If you want perfectly white teeth, veneers and crowns are a good
alternative for those whose teeth are not amenable to whitening.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
Patient of the Month
Every month our practice rewards those who help us to help other
people. Education and communication are paramount to good dental
health and well being. So by acknowledging your good work, we
hope to better serve you and others as well. To win, please
click here for qualifications.
Friday, August 25, 2017
A guy with the strangest car
For a change for the summer, I thought I would recognize an
interesting automobile design put together by Mike Valentino. Now, grant
it this is a kit car that is built strickly for fair weather and needs to be treated
with respect both by the driver and by the motoring public around it. Without
that respect you can get into trouble very quickly.
So Mike graciously brought over his engineering masterpiece- a 1931
Ford pickup ratrod with a 350 Chevy V-8 and automatic transmission.
Believe me, this is quite an undertaking both with his time and talent
and research. See the video of it by clicking here.
We are very grateful to Mike for sharing his fantastic abilities and his
car here with us. So thank you so much Mike for showcasing your
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Smile Makeover- a patient's prospective
During the past month, a patient decided to begin a smile makeover,
With time and forethought and quality work, we were able to deliver a
beautiful result. He had this to share-
"It gives me back confidence, self-esteem, and an optimism that
I haven't had in years."
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Our latest success story
This conversation came to us after our patient was done with the
treatment; it is being reprinted with her approval.
" I had a front tooth that was broken that was in need of a crown but at
the time I couldn't afford it. " said Candy Torello. "That's when Dr Mattie
introduced me to CareCredit. After applying online, I began to feel
better about things because I was approved in a short time. The best
part was they even let me finance the work INTEREST FREE. So now
that Dr Mattie was skillful enough to fix the tooth, I can rest easy
knowing that I can break up the payments in a manageble fashion.
Thank you so much to everybody for helping me out of an otherwise
difficult situation. "
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Our Mission Statement to you:
Our practice established in 1963 has grown successfully since that time. We have
the privilege of seeing each of you through your lives to give you the best
results as suits your individual needs and desires. It has always been our
belief to treat you to the best of our ability using up to date techniques and
to educate you as to the importance of dental prevention. To help better serve
you in this information age, our practice participates with the American Dental
Association forum and other professional dental forums on the Internet to take
advantage of the worldwide dental community and its vast resource of
Monday, August 29, 2016
To help, we have several administrative assistants to answer your
insurance and scheduling needs. Tina will help you in a timely and
friendly way. She is our front desk authority and will listen to your
needs. Also, our insurance claim coordinator is our authority on
insurance issues who often times contacts insurance companies
on your behalf.
Monday, August 29, 2016