Sean P. Drower, DMD PC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Educating patients about their dental health is one of our top priorities. Understanding the procedures we perform and why we perform them is an important first step in giving you more control and a greater voice in your own healthcare.

We welcome and encourage questions from our patients. Take a look through our list of questions patients often ask. If your question is not answered here, please give us a call or contact us online so that we may further assist you.


Gold has often been considered the most reliable and long lasting restoration material, especially for molars that absorb a lot of chewing pressure. Gold has its disadvantages, however. Gold crowns can vary greatly in cost because of the volatile gold market.

Additionally, gold crowns can be unattractive because of their color. Often, patients prefer tooth colored crowns so that people do not notice that they have had dentistry and find white crowns and fillings preferable.

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) provides strength, beauty, and longevity for our patients. Studies have shown that crowns created for back molars using CEREC a similar longevity and quality as gold crowns. Because they wear like natural teeth, they can last well beyond that of traditional composite (plastic) fillings.

Because crowns and fillings are necessary to protect your teeth, using quality materials and the latest in technology appeals to many of our patients. We know you want to have your dentistry done only once and to have it done right.

If you are looking for a dentist who is able to provide CEREC restorations and who offers the best dental care in a comfortable and relaxing environment, look no further than Keene, NH dentist Dr. Sean Drower.

Call our office to schedule an evaluation and to discuss your restorative options. We look forward to seeing you.

People choose to have cosmetic dentistry for many reasons. Whether you are self-conscious about your smile or just looking to make a change, our team can help you make excellent decisions regarding the aesthetics of your teeth.

One issue that has always posed a challenge is that cosmetic cases take so long to complete. Because your case needed to be sent to the dental lab to be created, you might walk around in temporaries for weeks before getting your permanent restorations back.

Whether you are looking to replace crowns, want veneers, or need to replace old dark fillings, CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) technology makes the process of having cosmetic work done much easier.

CEREC technology uses a highly advanced scanning technique to accurately create custom dental restorations for your teeth. Because CEREC is so advanced, it is reliable and long-lasting. Dr. Sean Drower is highly trained and skilled in the creation of CEREC restorations so when you trust us with your cosmetic case, you end up with the best results available.

Whether you are looking to make a few small changes or have a dramatic smile makeover, call our Keene, NH office to schedule a cosmetic evaluation today. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain the beautiful smile of your dreams.

Thanks to CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) technology, it is actually possible for you to have a cosmetic makeover, including veneers, in one day. While it is not possible for every case to be done in one day, Dr. Sean Drower offers same day cosmetic dentistry to hundreds of his patients.

Because CEREC utilizes computer assisted design and manufacturing, it provides accurate and fast creation of custom dental restorations. At our Keene, NH office, we realize that high quality and convenience are both important to our patients. When you choose CEREC restorations, you do not have to wait. You can have same-day results.

At your cosmetic consultation, Dr. Sean Drower will talk to you about changes you would like to make to your smile. Dental veneers are one of the most dramatic and effective ways to change the appearance of your smile. Veneers are a thin shell of porcelain that is permanently attached over your natural tooth.

Veneers can help to address aesthetic concerns such as crooked, stained, or shortened teeth. By placing veneers over your natural teeth, you can improve your smile without lengthy treatments like orthodontics.

If you have been thinking of getting veneers, contact our office to schedule a cosmetic evaluation. Dr. Drower will be able to explain all of your options to create the smile of your dreams.

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) restorations utilize the latest CAD/CAM (computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing). CAD/CAM is a special type of imaging technology used to create ceramic restorations in our Keene, NH dental office.

So, whether you need a filling or a crown, Dr. Sean Drower can provide the latest in dental technology to his patients. CEREC eliminates the need for your case to be sent to a dental laboratory to be created. When the dental lab turnaround time is eliminated, it means you are not forced to wait for up to a month to receive your final restoration.

The special imaging utilized by CEREC eliminates the need for impressions. Dental impressions can be distorted and are very sensitive to time and moisture. Air bubbles, handling, and human error can all affect the quality of your dental impression, making it challenging to be completely accurate.

Dr. Sean Drower has received special training to be able to offer CEREC restorations in his office. He knows that convenience and quality are both priorities to his patients and CEREC technology provides both.

The porcelain restorations created using CEREC are strong and long-lasting. Filling made using CEREC have a 93% success rate over 15 years, which is much higher than that in conventional composite fillings.

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) is an advanced CAD/CAM (computer assisted) dental technology for ceramic restorations such as fillings, crowns, onlays, and veneers. Dentists use CEREC in their own offices after receiving special training on the technological procedures necessary to create accurate restorations chairside.

Traditional restorations are made from a variety of materials. Typically, fillings are made from composite (plastic) and crowns are a blend of metal and porcelain or all porcelain. Traditional restorations require the expertise of a dental laboratory to create restorations such as crowns, veneers, and onlays. An impression is made of your teeth at the dental office and sent to the dental lab with your unique shade. Restorations are returned between 1-3 weeks from the dental lab and you will have a follow up appointment to have your permanent restoration placed.

In the hands of a skilled dentist, both traditional and CEREC restorations are excellent options for restoring the health of your teeth. Because CEREC uses computer assisted technology to ensure a perfect fit, it may eliminate some of the room for error when it comes to dental restorations. The main difference between traditional restorations and CEREC restorations is the wait time necessary for procedures to be completed. CEREC technology cuts that time tremendously.

No matter which type of restorations will work best for you, Dr. Sean Drower will make sure you receive the highest quality of dentistry available with great service and a friendly team to make sure your experience is a great one.

Family-Focused Dentistry

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should have their first well visit at their dental office by the age of one year. While that may seem early to some of our patients, the recommendation is based on the concept of early detection of any dental problems. We look for decay, evaluate your child’s bite, and help them become accustomed to the dental office.

Dr. Sean Drower is especially good with children. He has the ability to put them at ease and communicate with them effectively in a way that they can understand. Dr. Drower knows that your child is so important to you and an early exam can not only allow him to detect any early dental problems, but it also allows for the opportunity to discuss home care, brushing, flossing, nutrition, bottle behavior, pacifiers, fluoride and other children’s dentistry topics. An early visit also allows our parents to ask any questions they may have regarding their child’s dental health.

Our family-focused dental office allows your entire family the convenience to have treatment all in one place. Instead of having to make another trip to a pediatric office, Dr. Sean Drower is happy to see the whole family, which makes life easier for our busy patients.

If your child needs a filling, you are not alone. Decay (dental caries) is common among children. While it may be because of poor home care, dental decay sometimes runs more strongly in some families than others. If you have a history of decay, you should be ultra vigilant when it comes to your kids. They may be more susceptible, too.

If your child is diagnosed with decay, you do not need to worry! Dr. Sean Drower works great with children. He is gentle and helps your child to feel at ease for their dental appointment.

Dr. Drower will make sure your child is calm and explain to them, in terms they understand, what he will be doing. He will gently and completely remove the decay from your child’s tooth and sterilize the area. Then he will fill your child’s tooth with filling material called composite. Composite is applied in layers and cured with a special light.

Once your child’s cavity is completely filled, he will make any final adjustments so that your child’s filling is comfortable and functional for chewing. Dr. Drower may recommend additional treatments such as fluoride or sealants to help prevent future decay.

No matter how diligently you brush and floss your teeth, it is practically impossible to remove every trace of plaque, especially from the areas between your teeth or beneath your gumline. Over time, plaque can develop into tartar, which can't be removed with a toothbrush or dental floss. At a professional cleaning, dental hygienists use special tools along with their training to carefully remove the remaining plaque and tartar from your teeth so you can avoid cavities and gum disease. Additionally, these appointments give us an opportunity to check on the overall health of your mouth and watch for any potential problems that may be developing so they can be treated while they are still small.

Call today for a professional cleaning with one of our talented and gentle hygienists!

Most children have the coordination and patience to properly brush their teeth with reasonably good technique by about age 8. Of course, every child is different, so this is only a guideline. We are happy to discuss your child's dental habits and abilities with you and help you determine whether your child is ready to brush independently.

Once your child has made the transition to independent brushing, check up on him or her periodically to make sure that good brushing and flossing techniques are still being practiced.

At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, we offer family-focused dentistry. That means that we welcome your entire family, including your children. We know that our patients are busy and having to take your child to a different dental office can be inconvenient and time consuming.

Dr. Drower works well with children and helps parents create an excellent home care routine for their little ones. Sometimes home care is not quite enough to prevent unwanted decay in your child’s teeth. Dr. Drower may recommend dental sealants to help with further prevention.

Dental sealants are plastic coatings placed over the pits and fissures in your teeth to prevent food particles, sugar, and bacteria from entering and creating an acidic environment conducive to decay. Sealants are painted on to your child’s teeth and hardened with a curing light.

Dr. Sean Drower does not recommend dental sealants unless he sees a compelling reason to do so. If your child’s tooth anatomy could easily trap decay causing bacteria, he may recommend sealants for at least the very back molars or any other teeth that are particularly susceptible.

Sealants are less expensive and less invasive than fillings. They typically last about five years and can be replaced once they wear off.

For most patients, Dr. Drower recommends twice daily brushing and daily flossing. In some cases, a different brushing and flossing routine may be recommended, and Dr. Drower will let you know whether this applies to you.

When your child experiences a dental emergency, it can be especially traumatic. Children are not always equipped to tell you exactly where their pain is or to discuss the severity of their pain. All you know is that your child hurts and that can make any parent feel helpless.

Dr. Sean Drower is experienced with treating children of all ages. His family-focused dental practice has the compassion and ability to comfort your little one and put them at ease.

A Knocked Out Tooth

If your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out, try to find it and if it is in one piece, try to place it back into the socket and call us as soon as possible. Do not unnecessarily handle the tooth. Time is critical in these scenarios, and your little one must see a dentist immediately.

If you are unable to insert the tooth into the socket, place it in a small container with your child’s own saliva or milk and call us right away.

Dental Pain

Sometimes your child might complain of dental pain. You can examine the gums around the tooth to see if anything is lodged in their gums. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly.

Dental pain can come from numerous conditions and it is always better to have a thorough exam. Dr. Drower will be able to uncover the reason for your little one’s pain and get them feeling comfortable again.

With all the recent media coverage surrounding dental x-rays, you may have questions about your safety. Dr. Drower takes your concerns seriously. At our office, we only use digital dental x-rays, which bring your exposure to radiation to the absolute minimum.

Radiation exposure is measured in millirems. An airline flight from New York to Los Angeles exposes you to 4 millirems. A mammogram exposes you to 1000 millirems. A single dental film exposes you to 0.3 millirems. In general, most people agree that the extra radiation exposure is worth the convenience of flying or the opportunity to detect breast cancer.

We feel that the small exposure you get with dental x-rays is more than offset by the benefit of catching the dental disease process in its earliest stages to allow us to treat the condition promptly before it can cause pain and significant damage.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your child should begin to see the dentist by their first birthday. Early detection and intervention of childhood dental conditions can prevent more complex and expensive procedures later in life.

At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, we focus on prevention. That means that our goal is to keep your child’s young and healthy teeth free from decay. In addition, we intercept early gum disease and treat it before it progresses into a more serious problem.

If your child is a small toddler, we may have them sit on your lap to help keep them calm for their dental appointment. We will look at your child’s teeth and gums and even brush them, if they will let us. This helps your child become accustomed to being at the dental office.

Generally, for your child’s first well visit, we just try to help them relax and allow us to look inside their mouths. Dr. Drower will also discuss home care systems and any products that may benefit your child’s dental health. If he sees any issues, this time will give him an opportunity to discuss that with you.

Dr. Drower is excellent with children. He is extremely gentle and excellent at communication and helping kids feel relaxed and at home for their dental exams.

In addition to the significant reduction in radiation exposure digital x-rays allow, this new technology has several other benefits:

  • Digital x-rays are more environmentally friendly since they don't require development, which uses chemicals.
  • You can view digital x-rays almost instantaneously.
  • Digital x-rays allow us to zoom in and enhance for better diagnostics and patient education.
  • We can instantly place digital x-rays directly into your electronic file or transfer to another provider, when necessary.

Our Keene, NH dental office exclusively uses digital x-rays and imaging. Schedule your appointment today to see the difference digital can make!

The American Dental Association recommends that most patients come in for dental cleanings twice a year. In some cases, you may need a professional cleaning more often. Dr. Drower will make a recommendation for you based on your individual needs and goals.

We accept all dental insurance plans. Even if we are not listed in your network, you are most likely entitled to receive benefits at our office. Please call our Keene, NH dental office at 603-357-0230. We will work to make sure you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled.

Our goal is always prevention. Early dental visits can help by saving you time and money in the future. When your child begins coming to our office at a young age, usually having their first well visit by the age of one year, it allows Dr. Drower the opportunity to look for any dental problems.

Some of the more common problems we find in our young patients are cavities (decay), bite issues (occlusion), any problems with their gums, and signs of acid erosion.

Because each child is different, Dr. Drower customizes your child’s treatment based on their dental health. So, if your child has a history of decay, he may recommend sealants, fluoride, or more frequent cleanings to help avoid more extensive treatment later.

Or if your child has some issues with their bite, he may recommend early orthodontics as an intervention while your little one is still growing. Early orthodontic treatment may reduce the time and money it takes to correct your child’s bite later.

Dr. Drower will also examine the quality of your child’s enamel and look for any signs of acid erosion that may need to be addressed by avoiding certain foods or drinks and adjusting home care.

Teeth Whitening

Deciding which type of teeth whitening will work best for you is based on what you want. Many advantages to both in-office and take home teeth whitening exist. Dr. Sean Drower can help you decide what will work best for you based on your specific needs.

In-office teeth whitening works really well for people when they want instant results. In-office teeth whitening improves the way you look in as little as one hour. Because the whitening process is repeated several times, you will see dramatic results in one day. In-office whitening often costs more than take home whitening because of the time and necessary equipment we use to whiten your teeth, but for patients who just want to get the job done, it is a great alternative.

Take home professional dental whitening is still a great alternative and you can achieve the same amazing results over time, in the comfort of your own home. We will make custom whitening trays for you and you get to decide when it works best for you to whiten your teeth. Most systems work at night or during the day, depending on your preference. Take home teeth whitening systems work best for patients who want to whiten on their own time or who want a less expensive alternative.

Our patients are often confused by all of the claims they see in advertising about teeth whitening products. Each one claims to be the best solution for yellow or stained teeth. While you may see some success with over the counter products, results vary greatly from patient to patient and sometimes do not work at all.

Rinses, toothpastes, strips, gels, and trays each claim to be the solution for whiter teeth. Without the expertise of your dentist and the guidance of a dental professional, you may not achieve the results you want and you may end up with results you do not want.

Sometimes whitening products can provide unattractive results by whitening your smile in an uneven way or having a blotchy result. If you have experienced such side effects from over the counter whitening products, we encourage you to call Dr. Sean Drower. He can offer solutions to restore your smile and provide the attractive results you are looking for.

Even though some people have experienced positive results from over the counter teeth whitening products, the most effective method for teeth whitening is still professional systems available at your dental office. With the guidance of Dr. Sean Drower, you could see improvements to the color of your smile in one day.

While dental whitening is considered safe and has very few side effects, some people do experience the most common side effects:

Tooth Sensitivity

Because teeth whitening uses a hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gel to permeate to the lower layer of your teeth called the dentin, some people experience tooth sensitivity. Typically, this occurs when your whitening trays have been left in too long or you have whitened your teeth too many days in a row.

It can be resolved by making sure you only leave your trays in for the recommended period of time. It can also be addressed by making sure you take a day or two off in between whitening sessions.

If you still experience sensitivity, but you would like whiter teeth, call Dr. Sean Drower’s office and he may be able to recommend a product to help keep sensitivity under control.

Soft Tissue Irritation

Occasionally, your gums or tongue may become irritated from the whitening gel. This happens when too much gel is placed inside your custom whitening tray and it oozes out onto your gums, tongue, and down your throat. This can cause irritation, but is easily remedied by using a smaller amount of gel and not overfilling your trays.

Whether you whiten your teeth or not is completely up to you. How do you feel about your smile? Are you proud of the way you look? If you have negative feelings about your smile, it may show through your behavior.

Often when people are self-conscious about the way their teeth look, they avoid smiling, laughing, or talking freely. Teeth whitening is an inexpensive way to boost your self-esteem and confidence when you are in social situations. Not worrying about the color of your teeth can make interacting with others more natural and easier.

People sometimes decide to whiten their teeth when they quit using tobacco. Teeth whitening is a nice reward for those who have kicked the habit because it removes all those old yellow stains that act as reminders of their old unhealthy habit. A teeth whitening gift certificate is a nice gesture to recognize someone who has quit tobacco for good. Plus, having white teeth helps you to stay away from tobacco forever.

If you are considering having restorations like crowns, fillings, or veneers, it is a good time to whiten your teeth. Because we match the shade of your natural teeth to your new dentistry, whitening your natural teeth first ensures a whiter outcome for your dentistry.

If you have questions about the benefits of teeth whitening, call our Keene, NH office and we will be happy to assist you.

Most adult patients with healthy teeth and gums are good candidates for dental whitening. It is necessary that your teeth and gums are in good condition prior to beginning a dental whitening routine.

If your teeth have excess tartar buildup, it will prevent the surface of your teeth from whitening to their brightest. You may need to have a dental cleaning prior to proceeding with whitening, to ensure the gel has contact with the surface of your teeth.

If you have active periodontal disease, it is important to get that under control prior to whitening. Because gum disease causes swelling and pain, your custom whitening trays may not fit properly or cause unnecessary pain during your whitening process.

If you have a lot of dentistry, it s important for you to know that your crowns, fillings, and veneers will not whiten. We can only whiten your natural teeth. Your crowns and other dentistry will remain the same color they currently are. If you would like to talk about replacing your old dentistry with newer, brighter dentistry, Dr. Sean Drower can discuss your options.

If you are ready for a brighter, more beautiful smile, call our office to schedule a whitening evaluation. One of our highly skilled team members can help get you started.

Implant Dentistry

Most people know the benefits of dental implants for tooth replacement, but did you know that when you lose teeth, you could be putting your other teeth at risk? Tooth loss can cause bone loss.

Because your teeth are rooted into your jaw bone, when you lose a tooth the bone in that area can begin to recede, putting your adjacent teeth at risk by compromising their foundations. Your teeth may begin to cave in toward one another, tilting or twisting. This condition can create problems with your gums and your bite by redistributing force in an unhealthy way.

Bone loss can also create cosmetic changes in the structure of your face, since your bone supports your muscle and skin. You have probably seen people with missing teeth who appear older and shriveled around the mouth and lips.

Dental implants may help slow down or eliminate this risk by anchoring to your bone to keep it from receding and also by filling the empty space left by your missing tooth. Both of these benefits may protect your remaining teeth, your gums, and your bite.

To find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, call Dr. Sean Drower’s office. We look forward to working with you to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

If you currently have missing teeth, you know that gaps can take away from your smile and be distracting when you are speaking or eating. Dental implants can improve the beauty of your smile by filling in those gaps. Because dental implant crowns are custom made for each patient, others may never notice that you have them.

Being self-conscious about missing teeth may prevent you from doing some of the things you enjoy like being social, laughing, and going out to eat with friends. Dr. Sean Drower knows how important it is for his patients to remain active and experience life fully. That is why he offers dental implant placement and restoration at his Keene, NH dental practice.

Dental implants provide one of the most convenient and reliable tooth replacement therapies available. Because they are the most like your natural teeth, patients rave about the results. Dental implants are not only attractive, but completely functional, as well. That means that you can chew normally and they are easy to keep clean.

Dr. Sean Drower has helped numerous patients restore their smiles with dental implants. To find out if you are a good candidate for implants, or to discuss all of your tooth replacement options, call Dr. Sean Drower’s office and speak to one of our helpful team members today.

In order to determine if you are a good candidate for a dental implant, Dr. Sean Drower would need to do a complete exam and an evaluation of the area of your missing tooth. Being a good candidate for a dental implant depends on a few factors such as the space between your missing teeth, the location of your missing tooth, your bone level, and your bone density.

If the space between your teeth is insufficient for a dental implant crown, then an implant may not be possible. When you lose teeth, if the space where your tooth once was is not maintained your teeth may tip or shift, leaving inadequate room for a dental implant.

Certain areas of your mouth are not conducive to dental implants. For example, if the implant will sustain too much force from your bite, an implant may not be possible. Dr. Drower will evaluate the area to see if a dental implant will work.

Lastly, if your bone levels or bone density is too low, you may not qualify for a dental implant or you may need to undergo bone grafting prior to the placement of your implant.

Dr. Drower is highly skilled in dental implant procedures. He can answer all of your questions after an implant evaluation.

Fortunately, once your implants are placed and restored by Dr. Sean Drower, caring for them becomes much like caring for your natural teeth. It is extremely important that your gums remain healthy when you have a dental implant. Just like your natural teeth, gum disease can destroy the health of your implant and cause it to fail.

As with all dental care, the majority of the work must be done by you at home. Regular brushing and flossing will help you maintain the health of all of your teeth, including your dental implants.

Proper nutrition that promotes overall health and prevents bone loss can also play a part in the success of your dental implants. Avoiding sugary snacks and sticky junk food that can cause decay will help your other teeth to stay healthy and promote overall wellness.

In addition to impeccable home care, it is important to maintain regular hygiene appointments and exams with Dr. Sean Drower. When you visit his office, he will do an exam to make sure all of your teeth, including your implants, remain completely healthy and stable. If he sees any areas of gum disease, he will tell you right away and help you get it under control so that it does not jeopardize the health or beauty of your smile.

Depending on your dental health and your lifestyle, you may be considering dental implants. Dental implants are replacements for your missing teeth. Typically, they are made of titanium or another biocompatible metal post and topped with a dental crown to provide aesthetic tooth replacement and a stable chewing surface.

While denture technology has improved by leaps and bounds, dental implants do still have some advantages over traditional removable dentures. Most of our patients appreciate the fact that once dental implants are in place, they become a permanent part of your mouth, only requiring the same care as your own natural teeth. They also love never having to worry about whether a certain type of food will cause a problem or that their appliance will slip at precisely the wrong moment.

Dental implants look so natural that other people are unable to tell that dental work has been done. Dr. Drower is especially skilled at creating a seamless smile so that you achieve the greatest function and aesthetics possible.

Having dental implants also helps to retain your bone. That means your facial structure will not change because of missing teeth.

To learn more about dental implants and whether they are right for you, please call our Keene, NH dental office today!

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ/TMD)

Chronic jaw pain is one of the key symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, often abbreviated as TMJ or TMD. Other symptoms of this uncomfortable and serious condition include:

  • Clicking, popping, or grating in the joint
  • A tendency for your jaw to get stuck in one position
  • A sensation of fatigue in your face
  • Swelling near the joint
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder, neck, and facial pain

Jaw pain is often one of the most common first symptoms of TMD. It may start by being intermittent and then worsen over time. Jaw pain, especially when you wake up in the morning, is a good indicator that you are grinding your teeth at night. Teeth grinding can also be a symptom of TMD and is easily treated with appliance therapy.

If your jaw pain lasts for more than a couple of days, gets worse, or returns after it went away, that is a good indication that you should have your jaw joints evaluated. The appointment is relatively easy, non-invasive, and can provide you with the answers you are looking for.

If you are experiencing chronic jaw pain or any of these other symptoms, please call today for an appointment to get your condition diagnosed and treated.

A nightguard can help restore the health and comfort of your jaw joint. When people suffer from TMD (temporomandibular joint disorders), it means that their jaw joints have gotten out of their ideal position in some way. Often times, because of swollen and tense muscles, it is difficult for your jaw to relax.

A nightguard, or splint, may help your jaw to relax into a more comfortable position. This allows the tension and swelling from your muscles to decrease and helps gain more flexibility.

Once your muscles are relaxed, your nightguard can be adjusted in such a way that it holds your jaw in a stable and comfortable position while your sleep. You should wake up feeling more refreshed and rested when your jaw is comfortable throughout the night.

Nightguards also have the added benefit of protecting your teeth from nocturnal bruxism, or excessive clenching and grinding. If you are left to grind your teeth all night, you could cause them to break, crack, split, or get worn down and shortened. Bruxism can also create tooth sensitivity and recession of your gums.

If you experience the symptoms of TMD or bruxism, call our Keene, NH office today to schedule an evaluation. Dr. Sean Drower can help restore your health and comfort through effective treatment of your TMD.

Bruxism, or the excessive grinding and clenching of your teeth, may be related to your TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), though it is not the same thing.

Sometimes patients clench or grind their teeth without ever experiencing full-blown TMD, though it comes with its own risks. Bruxism can cause headaches and damage to your teeth by cracking them or wearing them down.

Often, an appliance is recommended to protect your teeth, just like with TMD. That way, while you are sleeping, your teeth are not pounding together, causing more damage. Because the appliance, or nightguard, is made from a softer material than your enamel, it provides enough cushion and support to protect your teeth. If you clench or grind your teeth, investment in a nightguard now could save you money in the end by helping you avoid expensive crowns and repairs to your damaged teeth.

Caffeine use, alcohol use and stress can all contribute to worsening bruxism. Cutting down on drinking cocktails and coffee is a good start. Learning to manage stress can help you in many ways, including reducing how much you grind your teeth.

If you wake up in the morning with a sore face, headache, or sensitive teeth, contact Dr. Sean Drower and we will schedule a TMD evaluation where we can discuss your symptoms and conditions regarding TMD and bruxism and get you feeling comfortable again.

Numerous factors can affect the health of your temporomandibular joint and cause TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Your jaw joint is a complex system of bone, cartilage, tendons, and muscles. If one part of the system is out of whack, it can create a ripple effect of problems.

If you suffer from malocclusion, or a bad bite, and your teeth cannot come together properly, the inability for your jaw to find its ideal position can create TMD. Dr. Sean Drower can evaluate your bite and make sure that when you close all the way, it is not adding any extra strain to your jaw.

If you are a heavy bruxer, or teeth grinder, you may be doing more damage than you know. Your jaw is incredibly strong and the full force of its power can create damage in your jaw joint, facial muscles, teeth, and cause headaches. If you wake up in the morning with sore teeth or headaches, you should have an evaluation to determine the cause.

Sometimes trauma from a car accident or sports injury can cause TMD. If you suddenly have problems opening or closing your mouth or if your teeth come together differently than before, call our office to schedule an exam with Dr. Sean Drower. His skills and expertise can help restore your health and make you feel comfortable again.

When your jaw joint is not functioning ideally, it can create a number of problems. TMJ is actually your temporomandibular joint. Having a problem with your TMJ is often called TMJD or TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder.

TMD covers a number of different problems. Some of the main symptoms include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling near the jaw joint
  • Clicking, popping or grinding
  • Sounds like sand when you open or close your mouth
  • Locking open or closed
  • Neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Inability to close your teeth together properly

When caught early, the symptoms of TMD are treatable through non-invasive appliance therapy, like wearing a nightguard. A nightguard also has the added benefit of protecting your teeth if you clench or grind while you sleep.

If left untreated, your symptoms and condition may worsen and require a surgery called arthrocentisis, or reconstructive surgery. Leaving your symptoms untreated can also severely affect your quality of life by disrupting your sleep, causing pain, creating dental problems, and causing unnecessary stress.

Dr. Sean Drower has received specialized training to treat your TMD symptoms effectively. If you believe you suffer from TMD, call our Keene, NH office to schedule an evaluation to restore your jaw joint health and bring comfort back to your life.

Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious and sometimes life threatening condition. Two types of sleep apnea exist. At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, we treat the most common kind, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with appliance therapy. OSA is characterized by the obstruction of your airway while you sleep. Because you stop breathing, your brain alerts you to wake up and begin breathing again. The constant need to awaken may happen without you even realizing it.

The diagnosis of sleep apnea must be made by your physician in conjunction with an accredited sleep study clinic.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Abrupt awakening
  • Insomnia

Once you have received your diagnosis, your doctor will recommend treatment for your sleep apnea condition. Usually, the first line of treatment is the CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. While some patients tolerate the CPAP quite well, other patients have difficulty adjusting to it. At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, we offer an alternative treatment to the CPAP machine.

Out nightguards are specially designed and custom made to treat your sleep apnea. They are comfortable and many of our patients rave about their effectiveness.

If you have questions about if a nightguard will work for you, call our Keene, NH office for an evaluation.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can only be diagnosed by a physician at an accredited sleep study center. Continuous positive airway pressure (or CPAP) is the first-line therapy recommended to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

However, if your sleep apnea does not resolve with CPAP or if you have difficulty with CPAP, please call our office. Other treatments for sleep apnea are available, including night guards that help to reposition your jaw to open your airway.

The most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, occurs when your airway is blocked by your own anatomy cutting off the flow of oxygen to your brain for a few seconds or more. When you stop breathing, your brain signals your body to wake up and start breathing again. The result is a poor night’s sleep.

Dr. Sean Drower is trained to treat obstructive sleep apnea by creating custom nightguards. These special nightguards work by gently guiding your lower jaw forward, which opens your airway, allowing you and your partner to get a better night’s sleep.

If you suffer from sleep apnea and would like to know if you are a candidate for this alternative treatment, call our Keene, NH office and schedule an evaluation with Dr. Sean Drower.

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by constriction to your airway that causes you to stop breathing throughout the night. Certain risk factors increase your risk of getting sleep apnea. The most common ones are:

  • Age—You are more likely to get sleep apnea if you are over 60
  • Being overweight
  • Being Male
  • Having a thick neck
  • Regular alcohol use
  • Having a narrow airway
  • Being congested

One of the best ways to get a better night’s sleep is to avoid alcohol. While you may think you get more restful sleep after a couple of drinks, the opposite is true. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in your throat and may worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Another way to avoid sleep apnea is to lose weight. Carrying excess weight puts pressure on your airway and increases the symptoms of OSA by further constricting your airway.

OSA must be diagnosed by a physician and requires an accredited sleep study. The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the first line of defense against OSA, but if you are a patient with mild or moderate OSA and you are looking for an alternative to the CPAP machine, call our office and our helpful team will be able to get you scheduled for an evaluation with Dr. Sean Drower.

The diagnosis of sleep apnea must be made under the care of a physician and usually requires an overnight sleep study. People generally seek a sleep apnea diagnosis because they experience the symptoms of sleep apnea, which include fatigue, forgetfulness, and snoring.

Often people first realize they have a problem because their partner complains of noisy snoring during the night. Couples are often forced to sleep in separate rooms, putting a strain on their relationship. Overnight trips and travel can become an issue. People who have sleep apnea often do not feel rested after a full night’s sleep and have difficulty concentrating, jeopardizing their work performance and productivity.

Your physician will be able to recommend a sleep study program to diagnose or rule out sleep apnea. A positive diagnosis usually means that your doctor will recommend a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to help your condition by opening your airway. Usually, people find that the CPAP machine relieves their symptoms but occasionally, patients do not tolerate the CPAP machine well. They either find it too cumbersome or have difficulty sleeping.

Dr. Sean Drower offers alternative solutions to the CPAP machine by creating a custom nightguard that can open your airway and help you breathe better while you sleep.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and can create a whole host of other problems for your body. Some of the complications that arise from sleep apnea can seriously affect your health and quality of life.

Often, when patients have sleep apnea, their relationship suffers. Because of loud snoring, couples may be forced to sleep in separate rooms, causing strain to the intimacy of heir relationship. Or your partner may have difficulty sleeping for fear that you will stop breathing during the night.

Sleep apnea can also create systemic issues for patients. Sleep apnea causes things like high blood pressure, liver problems, and problems with surgery. Because you are deprived of oxygen, it creates a strain on your internal organs. You may even be at a higher risk for surgeries because your airway could close due to the sedative affects of the anesthetic.

Patients’ suffering does not end during waking hours. Because of the poor quality of sleep that sleep apnea sufferers get, daytime fatigue, attention problems, and mood problems are common. Depression is common among sleep apnea patients as well as feeling irritable due to poor quality sleep.

Sleep apnea can literally affect every aspect of your life. Proper diagnosis through your physician is the first step to treating sleep apnea and restoring the quality of your life.

Periodontal Therapy

In addition to the consequences in dentistry such as tooth loss, scientists have linked periodontal disease to a number of other conditions and illnesses. Because periodontal disease is an infection, it is a serious problem if left untreated.

Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease. While the connection is not yet fully understood, gum disease is a great predictor of heart disease. Both conditions are inflammatory and though it is a chicken and egg dilemma because we do not know which causes which, gum disease is a visible and noticeable risk factor for heart disease and can be a warning of a larger underlying issue.

People with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease and now research is showing that the reverse may also be true. While more studies are needed, the link in undeniable. If you have diabetes, you may need extra care to keep your gums healthy. Be sure to let us know if you are diabetic so that we can help you be extra diligent in maintaining your dental health.

Gum disease has been linked to other conditions such as osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer. That is why is so important to maintain proper dental health and to report any conditions you feel have changed inside your mouth.

Periodontal disease is a serious medical condition involving an infection in your gums and possibly in your bone. The consequences of non-treatment can include tooth loss and even complications of serious systemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Periodontal disease can be reversible if treated early, so it is always our goal to make sure you are getting the right care to keep your gums healthy. If we see something that requires your attention, we will let you know right away.

Treatment of periodontal disease ranges based on the severity of your infection. At Dr. Drower’s office, we provide deep dental cleanings to help your gums heal. Deep dental cleanings, called root planing and scaling, gently removes plaque and bacteria below the gum line and sterilizes the area so that your gums can heal properly.

Occasionally it may be necessary for oral rinses or for an antibiotic agent to be placed in deep pocketing to assist in healing. Your home care also plays an important part in the successful treatment of periodontal disease and Dr. Drower or our dental hygienist will discuss techniques to benefit you.

At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, your periodontal treatment will be tailored to your specific condition. We are committed to helping you get back on track to good health and wellness.

At each of your visits to our office, Dr. Drower or our hygienist will ask you about your medical history and any changes you have noticed in your health. You should include any changes from your last visit such as medications, medical conditions, and any concerns with your teeth or gums.

Periodontal disease can start suddenly or worsen over time, so be sure to mention if you have experienced any of the following:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath that will not go away
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Gum recession
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth

At Dr. Drower’s office, our entire team takes gum disease very seriously. Because it can complicate other conditions, we make it a priority to get gum disease under control and keep it under control.

At your exam or hygiene appointment, we may take measurements of your gums to determine the severity of your gum disease. We take these measurements with a tiny ruler that measures the depth of your gums. Healthy gums stay attached closely to your teeth. Unhealthy gums can be detached from your teeth creating pockets where food and bacteria can get packed.

If you suspect you have periodontal disease, call out office for an evaluation so that we can get you back on the track to excellent health.

While many things can cause bad breath such as medications, medical conditions, tobacco products, and some foods, one of the main causes is periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a condition typically caused by poor dental hygiene. Food can become packed between your gums and teeth, which causes plaque. Plaque is a sticky white bacterial material that can create irritation and an infection, if not removed in a timely fashion.

This infection can create odors inside your mouth. Many times, people do not even know they have bad breath unless someone tells them. You have probably talked to someone and noticed the odor of periodontal disease. Rinses and washes do not treat the problem and only mask the odor.

Since your tongue is not smooth, plaque can become lodged in the rough surface. That is why tongue brushing or tongue scraping is recommended to keep your mouth clean.

The only truly effective way to get rid of bad breath caused by periodontal disease is to allow us to remove the bacteria and infection for you and help you to implement a healthy home care regimen.

Bad breath can be embarrassing and offensive. Effectively treating your periodontal disease begins with a visit to our office for a full evaluation. We are gentle and thorough in our approach and will make you feel comfortable for your appointment.

Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once daily using good techniques is the most important thing you can do to prevent periodontal disease. Additionally, seeing us for regular professional cleanings and examinations as recommended by Dr. Drower will help keep your gums disease free.

For extra preventive power, follow these guidelines:

  • If you currently smoke, quit. Smoking considerably increases your risk of developing periodontal disease. If you need assistance with this, please let us know.
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for a well-functioning immune system.
  • If you have a chronic health condition like diabetes or cardiovascular disease, follow your doctor's instructions for keeping your condition under control.
  • Report any signs of gum disease to us as soon as possible. You may require more frequent cleanings or special products to keep your gums healthy and free from infection.

Early gum disease can be reversible, so be sure to report any changes you notice with your health. At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, we partner with our patients to avoid, diagnose, and cure periodontal disease. By partnering with our patients, we help support your overall wellness and well being.

Call Dr. Sean Drower’s office for a full periodontal evaluation today.

Root Canals

Have you been told that you need a root canal? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people each year undergo a root canal, but many people do not know how the procedure works.

A root canal is actually a pulp-filled cavity in the root of your tooth. A root canal procedure is a treatment where the pulp is cleaned out from the root of your tooth and is replaced with a filling material.

Your root canal procedure will begin my taking an x-ray and determining that your tooth has an infection or trauma that warrants a root canal.

Then, Dr. Sean Drower will make sure that you are completely comfortable for your procedure by using anesthetic to numb the area where we will be working. Dr. Drower will make a tiny hole to access the root of your tooth so that he can remove the infection. Once the area is cleaned out, he will fill it and may place additional medication inside to assist in healing.

The hole in your tooth needs to be filled once your root canal is complete. After a root canal, your tooth can become brittle, so a crown is often recommended to protect your tooth from breaking or splitting.

If you suspect you need a root canal, call our Keene, NH office for an evaluation.

While we always provide the best dentistry available, the fact is that people are biological creatures and we can not make guarantees on specific outcomes. Just like any other dental or medical procedures, inherent risks exist. However, if we believe that a procedure is unwise or risky, we will let you know our honest opinions.

That being said, millions of people have successful root canals each year. Dr. Sean Drower is highly skilled and experienced with root canal procedures. You will be in excellent hands at our office. He has performed hundreds of root canals, creating satisfied and happy patients.

Because a root canal is often the last attempt to save a compromised tooth, we take our time and make sure you are completely comfortable. Dr. Drower’s attention to detail helps ensure the best possible outcome.

Root canals are necessary when the nerve of your tooth is infected. Root canal treatment goes inside the canal of your tooth to remove the infection. As a result, your tooth may become brittle. Because of this, we often recommend a crown to protect your tooth.

If you need a root canal, we welcome you to our office. Our highly skilled and compassionate team will make sure you are treated just like we would treat our own families.

Thanks to advances in dental technology, most uncomplicated root canals are practically painless. You may experience some discomfort as the anesthesia wears off, but this is only temporary and is usually better by the next day. Despite the bad reputation of root canal therapy, this important procedure is crucial in killing off infection and restoring your tooth back to full functionality.

Root canal procedures actually help to relieve pain. Because the pain is really caused by trauma or an infection, removing the source of the problem generally removes the pain. Most of our patients report immediate relief from their symptoms after a root canal.

We want you to be completely comfortable for your procedure. We will use anesthetic to numb the area of your mouth where you will be having the procedure. If at any time you feel discomfort, just let us know and we can make necessary adjustments to your anesthetic to ensure your comfort.

Once your root canal is complete, if you continue having pain for more than a couple of days, please let our office know so that we can investigate and make sure you feel comfortable again as soon as possible. Your health and comfort are always our highest priority.

Root canals are common procedures and one of the main ways we know what type of treatment is necessary is by the level of pain you are experiencing. Many patients who need a root canal procedure experience severe or constant pain. Your pain may worsen when you lie down. We will take an x-ray to confirm that you need a root canal.

Some patients never feel pain and root canals are diagnosed only because they can be seen on x-rays. These patients are the lucky ones because they managed to avoid pain.

Just because your root canal does not hurt right at the moment does not mean you can put it off indefinitely. First of all, a root canal is an infection and infections can flare up or worsen at any time. The longer you go before having your necessary procedure, the more risk you are taking for being caught off guard by severe pain.

Root canal procedures are sometimes difficult to diagnose if no infection is visible on your x-ray, but fortunately they are not difficult to treat and may often be a last effort to save a troubled tooth. The cost, risk, and inconvenience are far lower for a root canal than for tooth replacement therapy.

A root canal procedure is often a necessary treatment to save your tooth. Root canals become necessary when your tooth nerve is infected. Often you will have severe pain when you need a root canal and a root canal procedure may be necessary to relieve your pain permanently.

Some patients want to know why they should have a root canal instead of an extraction. When you extract a tooth, you create further dental health complications because a missing tooth can cause your teeth to shift or tip toward the empty space.

When you leave an empty space in your mouth where a tooth used to be, you run the risk of experiencing bone loss. Because your teeth are anchored to your jaw bones, a missing tooth can cause that bone to recede since it is no longer necessary. This bone loss can put your other teeth at risk.

Missing teeth also create cosmetic concerns when it comes to your smile. Having a missing tooth may make you feel self-conscious about talking or laughing and that can negatively affect your career and social life.

Tooth replacement therapy can be expensive and inconvenient. We always make it a priority to save your natural teeth when possible.

Emergency Dental Care

When your child experiences a dental emergency, it can be especially traumatic. Children are not always equipped to tell you exactly where their pain is or to discuss the severity of their pain. All you know is that your child hurts and that can make any parent feel helpless.

Dr. Sean Drower is experienced with treating children of all ages. His family-focused dental practice has the compassion and ability to comfort your little one and put them at ease.

A Knocked Out Tooth

If your child’s permanent tooth is knocked out, try to find it and if it is in one piece, try to place it back into the socket and call us as soon as possible. Do not unnecessarily handle the tooth. Time is critical in these scenarios, and your little one must see a dentist immediately.

If you are unable to insert the tooth into the socket, place it in a small container with your child’s own saliva or milk and call us right away.

Dental Pain

Sometimes your child might complain of dental pain. You can examine the gums around the tooth to see if anything is lodged in their gums. Make sure to clean the area thoroughly.

Dental pain can come from numerous conditions and it is always better to have a thorough exam. Dr. Drower will be able to uncover the reason for your little one’s pain and get them feeling comfortable again.

At Dr. Drower’s dental office, we never want our patients to be in pain. We know that sometimes emergencies can happen and if that time ever comes, we encourage you to call our office. We can help evaluate your situation and will get you in just as soon as possible.

Sometimes patients put off calling our office because they are not sure if their situation is a real dental emergency. When you put off treatment, you may run the risk of losing a tooth that otherwise could have been saved. In some emergency cases, time is of the essence and early treatment increases the likelihood that we can save your tooth.

Depending on your particular dental situation, your symptoms may vary. Here are some of the symptoms that we consider a true dental emergency:

  • Significant pain or aching in your tooth
  • A broken tooth
  • Injury to your teeth or gums
  • Sudden swelling
  • Something caught in your teeth
  • A knocked out tooth
  • Lost fillings, crowns, or other restorations

Our office puts patients first. We value our patients and want you to be comfortable and pain-free. If you experience a dental emergency, please call Dr. Sean Drower’s office and we will make your dental emergency our priority.

At Sean Drower DMD, we are committed to your health. We would never want one of our patients to have prolonged unnecessary pain. We know that dental emergencies can happen at inconvenient times and that is why we encourage you to call our office anytime to discuss your specific situation.

After we have an opportunity to speak on the phone, we may ask you to come to our office for treatment, depending on your emergency. Some emergencies may be able to wait until the next business day. It all depends on the severity and pain you are experiencing. When you call, please let us know the nature of your emergency so we know how to best assist you.

We know that people stay away from the dentist for a wide variety of reasons. Perhaps you are new to the area or just looking for a new dental home, we are happy to treat emergencies for patients looking to establish themselves in our office.

We welcome you to call with questions and we will help to assess your emergency. Please do not suffer needlessly! At Dr. Sean Drower’s office, our patients are important to us and we look forward to helping to restore your health and comfort.

Sometimes, especially in the case of an accident, patients are unsure whether to go to the dentist or to visit the emergency room. While some gray area exists, we can provide guidelines so that you know when to bypass the dentist for the emergency room.

If you have a dental emergency like a broken tooth or lost crown, we reserve time in our schedules for emergency appointments because we realize that emergencies do happen. However, if you have any of the following conditions, you should go to the emergency room for treatment.

Bleeding That Will Not Stop

If you have severe bleeding that will not stop with time or pressure, you should go to the emergency room, especially if you are on blood thinners such as Warfarin or Coumadin.

If You Suspect A Broken Jaw Or Head Injury

If you believe the injury may have caused a broken jaw bone or head injury, you should go to the emergency room immediately. You may have more severe conditions that need treatment. The emergency room can assess your situation best, especially if it is life threatening.

If The Patient Is Unconscious

If the patient is unconscious, call 911 immediately.

It used to be common practice for dentists to recommend that wisdom teeth be removed in patients’ teenage years. But because of the inherent risks that come along with surgery, wisdom teeth removal is not as commonly done as a preventative procedure as it used to be.

While it is true that a small percent of the people who do not have their wisdom teeth removed encounter some kind of issue with them in the future, it is not necessary for everyone to have their wisdom teeth removed as a preventative measure.

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth in the back of your mouth. They can be challenging to keep clean and may create problems if your teeth are too crowded or if they grown in at an odd angle, become impacted, or acquire a large amount of decay.

Before you rush to judgment regarding your wisdom teeth, make sure you have a compelling reason to have them removed. Dr. Sean Drower will be able to tell you if he sees a good reason to undergo surgery. Wisdom tooth extraction is only necessary when your teeth are partially or fully impacted and cause you discomfort or increase your risk for infection. Dr. Drower will examine the condition of your wisdom teeth and make a recommendation based on the condition of your teeth and gums and any symptoms you may be experiencing.

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Disclaimer: The information throughout this site is not intended to be taken as medical advice.