Top Dentists. The List. 2013.

Four out of five dentists say you should read this list. It represents Fairfield County’s finest practitioners, all highly recommended by peers in the field who know their work best

Choosing a dental professional with the right skills, education and experience, not to mention a light touch, can be as difficult as flossing every night. So we turned to topDentists, a company that surveys dentists listed with the American Dental Association, for its latest roster of leading practitioners for all your checkups, tooth pain, emergencies and more.

To compile the list, top dentists asked each dentist on its database to evaluate peers with attention given to years of experience, professional background, continuing education, patient manner, and use of innovative technologies. Final selections were made after careful vetting of credentials with the state dental board.

We also turned to many of the dentists listed to ask questions about proper care, and boy, did they set the record straight. You are bound to find some helpful advice, and learn a thing or two from what they had to say. So whether you need a checkup, braces for your child or a more specialized procedure, expert dental care is only a phone call away. Meet the 209 top dentists in Fairfield County.

Important Facts

Brushing is good for bleeding gums and gum health. Better brushing results in less bleeding or no bleeding of the gums.
—Gordon Lee, Pediatric Dentist, Westport

Orthodontics is slow and steady, and cases can last eighteen to twenty-four months. Even though the Internet says it can be done faster, biology is the limiting factor in tooth movement, regardless of the method.
—Scott Kesselman, Orthodontist, Riverside

Toothbrushes

It’s time to replace a brush at least every three months, when the bristles start to curl at the end or if you have been sick recently.
—Maryann Lehmann, Dentist, Darien

We like electric toothbrushes because they help prevent hard brushing. For those who do not want to incur the cost of an electric brush, a soft bristle is preferable because it is less traumatic to the gum tissues.
—Barbara Devine, Dentist, Greenwich

Toothpaste

Any ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste [is fine.] Don’t bother with whitening and anti-tartar agents; they can cause sensitivity. Gels tend to cause more sensitivity as well.
—Brian S. Duchan, Dentist, Westport

If you have sensitivity, toothpaste for sensitive teeth is worth the extra expense. The added ingredient, potassium nitrate, works in making your teeth less sensitive, though it can take up to three weeks to take effect.
—Maryann Lehmann, Dentist, Darien

Enamel

Enamel is the hardest structure in the body, and it protects your teeth from trauma and daily wear and tear. When enamel is compromised, teeth are seven times softer and more susceptible to breakdown. Some common causes of enamel loss are tooth grinding, drinking acidic beverages and gastric reflux. Your dentist can make you a custom night guard to prevent grinding. Often the first sign of gastric reflux is lower molar enamel erosion. Early diagnosis is important because gastric reflux can lead to esophageal cancer. This is one of many important cancer screenings performed by your dentist.

—Jeffrey Babushkin, Dentist, Trumbull

Enamel will resist decay if fluoride is applied and incorporated into the structure.
—Barbara Devine, Dentist, Greenwich

Did you know?

Endodontists have at least two additional years of advanced specialty education in diagnosis and root canal treatment, and treat these types of problems every day. They treat difficult cases, such as teeth with narrow or blocked canals, or unusual anatomy. Endodontists may use advanced technology, such as operating microscopes, ultrasonics and digital imaging, to perform special services. Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth but endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant.
—Brian Amoroso, Endodontist, Fairfield

Dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and there are prescription medications that can cause dry mouth. Using a non-alcohol based mouthwash can help decrease the bad breath caused by dry mouth.
—Mark S. DeWaele, Dentist, New Canaan

Brushing and Flossing

Brush for two minutes.There is no shortcut. I once took a survey of fifty people, asking them to time themselves as they brushed. The average was thirty seconds. Most people stop brushing when they feel they have to spit. So I like to tell my patients to brush, rinse and repeat.
—Maryann Lehmann, Dentist, Darien

There is more plaque on the tongue than teeth so scrape your tongue every time you brush and floss.
—Paul Harbottle, Cosmetic Dentist, New Canaan

To get the most benefit from your fluoride toothpaste, do not rinse after brushing. Just spit out the excess. Then don't eat or drink for one half hour. This will give the toothpaste film left on teeth more time to "sink in" and strengthen the enamel.
—Brian S. Duchan, Dentist, Westport

Children

Make a routine of brushing and flossing with your child. It will be easier to get your child to brush regularly if you demonstrate good care yourself. If your child is older, two-minute timers help ensure thorough cleaning.
—Gordon Lee, Pediatric Dentist, Westport

Thumb sucking is a normal infantile instinct and generally, as children get involved in preschool, the desire to suck diminishes on its own. If sucking persists, it may affect the normal development and growth of teeth and jawbones. You can help by offering positive rewards and adding a “helper” as a reminder, such as tape or a Band-Aid on the thumb.
—Commerce Park Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, Bridgeport

Accompanying a friend or sibling to the dentist's office prior to a first visit can be helpful in making a child feel at ease before a consultation.
—Garrick F. Wong, Orthodontist, Cos Cob

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child be seen by a dentist by his or her first birthday to prevent cavities and establish a “dental home.”
—Commerce Park Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, Bridgeport

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