When it Comes to Dentures Does Brand Matter?

Are you in the market for a set of dentures? Perhaps you have used them for years but are unhappy with your product and want to switch.

It can be intimidating to shop for something you know very little about, but have such an important effect on your life. Not only is a smile the first thing people notice about you, but more importantly, an ill-fitting or unsightly set of dentures can leave you feeling uncomfortable and anxious.

Types of Dentures and Materials

First of all, it is important to know what type of dentures are out there. Dentures may replace all or only some of the teeth. The dentures that replace all the teeth are known as complete dentures and they rest on the gums that cover the jawbones. The stability and retention of these dentures can be improved by attaching them to dental implants. Dentures that replace some but not all of the teeth are known as partial dentures. They attach to the teeth that are still present and also cover and rest on the gums and bone where the teeth are missing. Dental implants can also be used to restore and stabilize partial dentures as well.

Also, know the different materials in a variety of dentures:

  • Acrylic – not bendable plastic which is usually colored to resemble the oral gum tissues.
  • Metal – chromium cobalt or titanium alloy frame usually combined either with acrylic or flexible material.
  • Flexible – bendable resin, usually used on partial dentures or in combination with metal frames with flexible clasps. Clasps are a metal or flexible arm that extends from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold on to a partial tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.

It is also important to consider exactly what you are looking for. Like a snowflake, no two pairs of dentures will be the same for everybody!

Is Cost Different?

Dentures prices vary significantly across the board and there are many reasons why. The region you live in may have some affect. East coast living is generally more expensive than living in the mid-west, so denturists may need to charge more for their services to maintain higher office space fees.

There is also a price difference between the fees charged by prosthodontists when compared to fees charged by cosmetic denturists which may be as much as 30% lower.

And when it comes down to it, all denture insurance and denture discount plans were not created equally. Denture wearers should do some comparison shopping before they commit to any plan or company. It pays to do your homework!

Which brings us to the price of different types of dentures. To begin, partial dentures may sometimes actually wind up costing more than full dentures because of the precision measuring needed to make sure they fit between existing teeth. And some partial denture plates will be more expensive depending on their method of attachment.

Standard removable type dentures are less expensive than immediate type dentures which are set directly into the sockets once occupied by the natural teeth.

Denture implants are by far the most expensive type of denture, but they make up for it with one of the most secure fits available, and eliminate the discomfort created when dentures rub against the gum ridges.

If you are in the market for dentures, call me, Dr. Maurice Haynes. I am happy to answer your questions with honesty and confidence during a free consultation. If you live in the Washington D.C. area, as well as Greenbelt or Bowie, MD, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, or Anne Arundel County, call 301-302-8395 today.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates September 1, 2017

About the Effects of Gum Disease Over Time

It probably does not come as a surprise that our mouths are full of bacteria. And, of course, any time there is a small area with a large amount of bacteria, it is susceptible to infection and diseases. The bacteria in our mouths, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing or flossing can help get rid of plaque, but plaque that is not removed can harden and form a substance called tartar that brushing doesn’t clean. If untreated, tartar can lead to gum diseases which can have lasting effects.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

When you suffer from gum disease, you will notice these symptoms:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist. At your dental visit the dentist or hygienist should consider gum disease treatment by:

  • Ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
  • Examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation.
  • Use a tiny ruler called a “probe” to check for and measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless.

While gum disease can strike anyone, you are more prone to it by not practicing oral hygiene smoking, or taking certain medications. If it is found that you do have gum disease or are at a higher risk for gum complications, know that gum disease treatment does exist and can help improve your condition.

If you believe you have gum disease or want to learn more about prevention, schedule a conference with me, Dr. Maurice Haynes. University Centre Dental Associates serves Washington, D.C., Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County and Bowie and Greenbelt, MD. Call me and my team at 301-302-8395 today.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates August 15, 2017

How Long will the Pain Last After my Tooth Extraction?

So you had to get a tooth extracted… yikes! The procedure and aftermath of an oral surgery such as tooth extraction is no walk in the park. Following the removal of your tooth, you may feel uncomfortable or irritated while your mouth heals.

Although we would all rather just do without tooth extraction, there are several ways to cope with and manage the pain after a tooth extraction. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling normal and relieved you successfully completed your tooth extraction.

Having a tooth or several teeth extracted may result in various levels of discomfort ranging from minimal to painful and is dependent on several factors. Whether it’s a wisdom tooth 0.or other teeth, the recovery process of a tooth extraction can take some time.

According to Today’s Dentistry, three things will determine the amount of pain:

  1. The amount of damage to the tissues that was required to get the tooth out. Our practice’s approach has been to try and do our treatments slowly, gently and as least traumatically as possible. Research backs up the fact that if you do a procedure this way then patients will have less pain afterward.
  2. The amount of infection that was present. If you leave an infection to progress to point where all the tissues are swollen, there is pus everywhere and the bone is brittle and eaten away, then you’re going to have more pain and more difficulty with healing than you would if the tissues were healthier. This is regardless of antibiotics or the care taken by your surgeon.
  3. The patient: Some people’s tissues are just more sensitive than the next person, some people have a higher pain threshold than others that’s why some women can give birth without drugs and other people there’s just no chance on earth.

Pain Management Options After Tooth Extraction

Most people can get by with Tylenol, but ibuprofen-Tylenol combinations, has been shown to be more effective than when they are taken are separately. This pain management will usually only be required by patients for 24 hours, for others it might be for 72 hours. It really depends on the nature of the extraction and the patient themselves.

We always give our patients a good idea at that time of the extraction how long to expect pain and how to best manage that pain.

When is the Dental Pain Not Normal?

Pain after three days could indicate other problems. A dry socket is when the clot that is forming in the extraction socket is dislodged. If you’re going to have a dry socket, you’re will notice the pain around day three or four.

The cause of a dry socket might be from a number of things:

  • An increase in blood pressure: if you exercise such as going for a run, then the increased blood pressure can push the clot out and it can start bleeding again.
  • Smoking: this is the most common cause as smoking will cause the clot to disintegrate.
  • Rinsing and cleaning the clot: I have heard of people vigorously rinsing a wound like there’s no tomorrow or using a syringe to flush out the area. They may think that they are cleaning the wound and getting all the food out but they’re just flushing all the blood clot out.

University Centre Dental Associates serves the Washington D.C area as well as Bowie, MD and Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Anne Arundel County. If you are looking for a qualified dentist to perform your oral surgery, call 301-302-8395 to schedule your consultation me, Dr. Maurice Haynes.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates August 1, 2017


Sometimes I think the expression “pain is beauty” derived from someone talking about braces. It is no secret that braces can cause abundant soreness, irritation, and pain inside of your mouth. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to combat the pain from braces and ensure that you are undergoing the braces process in the most comfortable way possible. Remember, you are not alone in dealing with the struggles that come with braces; and, you will be glad you invested in them once you see your new, perfect smile.

Use an oral anesthetic

Orajel and Anbesol are a few pain relievers that can be applied directly to your teeth and gums. Use a cotton swab or your finger to apply the numbing gel to the areas of discomfort. The gel may not taste fantastic, but it does help to desensitize the mouth and decrease the pain of shifting teeth.

Take over-the-counter pain relief medicine

Be proactive! If you take pain relief medication an hour before your appointment, it will help ease any potential discomfort during the tightening process. Any over-the-counter pain medication should do the trick, but just make sure to follow the usage directions provided on the container. It’s not recommended to take pain pills regularly, as overuse can be dangerous, but they can be beneficial when the pain can’t be subdued by other remedies.

Use an icepack

Just like with an injury, it’s important to apply cold pressure to the area of discomfort, as inflammation increases pain. An icepack, or a gel-icepack applied to the outside of your mouth will help decrease inflammation and ultimately help to ease the oral discomfort.

Drink cold water

Ice cold water is a great, inexpensive way to ease discomfort after you get your braces tightened. The cold temperature provides a numb sensation in the mouth and decreases inflammation in the sore gums.

Eat soft foods

Your teeth will very likely be sensitive as they shift after your braces are tightened. Avoid crunchy, hard, or difficult to eat foods and opt for more soft foods. Mashed potatoes, smoothies, pudding and soup are good options because they don’t require much chewing and involvement of the teeth.

Dr. Elizabeth Haynes is an experienced orthodontist in the Greenbelt, MD and Washington, DC area (or surrounding counties: Prince George’s, Montgomery, or Anne Arundel County) give her a call at 301-302-8395 to schedule your free consultation today.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates July 15, 2017

How Young is Too Young for Orthodontic Treatment?

When your child grins, does it reveal a mouth full of crooked teeth? Do their permanent teeth seem to be growing in adjacent to one another? Or perhaps your child has an underbite or overbite that causes them pain or insecurity.

Well, breathe a sigh of relief because all of the aforementioned issues — plus many more — are common and easily treatable with orthodontic treatment. While it is always wise to be on top of your child’s healthcare, it is important to note that there is such thing as your child being too young for orthodontic treatment.

Experts have done extensive research on the proper time to begin your child’s journey with orthodontics. While it always varies on a case-by-case basis, there are some general tips to know:

At What Age Should You Begin Your Child’s Treatment?

I suggest you bring your child in for an orthodontic screening by eight years old. I call this “Phase 1 treatment,” and it is used to screen for difficult orthodontic problems that can be corrected BEFORE braces and which can simplify future orthodontic treatment times, cost, and procedures (such as extractions of permanent teeth or even surgery in some limited cases).

While some parents may want to straighten teeth at a young age, the purpose of Phase 1 treatment is to address foundational concerns of jaw alignment and creating space for permanent teeth to come into the arch. After these foundational concerns are met the child should be ready for a fairly straight forward “Phase 2” or comprehensive orthodontic treatment (i.e braces).

Is there Such a Thing as “Too Young” When for Orthodontic Work?

Parents can have braces put in on Phase 1 for two reasons:

  1. To accomplish the above goals (jaw alignment, creating space for permanent teeth); or,
  2. To align teeth for reasons important to those children on parents who would like straight teeth early. A number of factors push some families to straighten teeth early (including but not limited to financial situations, self-consciousness, or just wanting to get treatment over with).

The American Dental Association states that children can begin orthodontic treatments at seven years old. If you believe your child should start earlier, allow me, Dr. Elizabeth Haynes, to evaluate the situation.

If you are ready to begin your child’s journey to a more beautiful smile, schedule your free consultation today at 301-302-8395. Our office serves the Greenbelt and Bowie, MD area as well as Washington, D.C., Anne Arundel County, and Montgomery County.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates July 11, 2017


Do you notice your child sucking their thumb often? Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, or other objects often make babies and young children feel secure and happy and may help them learn about their world. Also, children may use it as a mechanism to soothe themselves and fall asleep.

How does thumb sucking affect my child’s teeth?

Although it is common for children to suck their thumbs, it is not without detrimental effects. After permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth.

Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break.

The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some aggressive thumb suckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth.

When Do Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?

Children usually stop sucking between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking consult your dentist.

How Can I Help My Child Stop Thumb Sucking?

  • Praise your child for not sucking.
  • Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
  • Your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.

If these tips don’t work, remind the child of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night. Your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe a bitter medication to coat the thumb or the use of a mouth appliance.

What to do next?

If the thumb sucking become persistent you can bring it up to Dr. Maurice Haynes during your next pediatric dental appointment. If you live in the Bowie, MD or Washington, DC area, or surrounding counties (Prince George’s, Montgomery, Anne Arundel) give him a call at 301-302-8395

Written by University Centre Dental Associates July 1, 2017


Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth.  The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically.  Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc.  Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Tooth whitening is NOT permanent.  A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

I wanted to whiten my teeth but I was apprehensive about going to a professional because I was unsure what to expect. After playing around with the idea for a while, my friends finally convinced me to visit a professional to get the job done. I am typically very picky about any type of modification, so I was wary. I have had people ask about my experience, so I thought I would lay out this blog in an FAQ-style.

What prompted me to whiten my teeth?

I had for a long time thought about whitening my teeth. After learning how easy teeth whitening was to do, I decided to give it a go. My friend had also had her teeth whitened recently and it looked amazing. I wanted to feel more confident with my smile. I think that the state of your teeth can have a big impact on your overall appearance.

Was it easy to whiten your teeth?

I was amazed at how easy it was to whiten my teeth! My dentist was a big help in explaining exactly how to use my whitening trays and how much whitening gel to apply. I chose the Opalesence Home Whitening kit and had no trouble sleeping with the bleaching tray in and it was so easy to apply.

Are you pleased with the results?

I was really happy with the results! I thought that it made my smile much more stunning and I have gotten some lovely compliments. I really noticed it looking at photos now and in the past. I like it because it is still very natural looking. I couldn’t stop smiling for the first few weeks!

If you live in the Greenbelt or Bowie, MD or Washington, DC area (as well as the surrounding counties: Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s) call Dr. Haynes at 301-302-8395 to schedule your free consultation today.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates June 20, 2017


Everyone wants a beautiful smile they can showcase to the world. For some, the idea of having a mouthful of braces is even worse than the idea of crooked teeth. If this sounds like you, you might be a good candidate for Invisible Braces. Dr. Elizabeth Haynes is a highly esteemed orthodontist who is prepared help you reach your full potential.

Here are some reasons why others have opted for invisible braces over the traditional path:


Invisible Braces are a great option because they are as effective as traditional braces, without the metal in your mouth. Underbites, overbites, overcrowding, and gaps between teeth are all things that can be addressed when using Invisible braces. You will be fitted for several versions of retainers that make slight adjustments to move your teeth over the treatment time.


We all know that traditional braces come with a wide array of food restrictions. Luckily, Invisalign is removable so you do not have to bid adieu to your favorite foods. Do you like candy? Popcorn? Raw carrots? Just pop your invisible braces off and enjoy.


The idea of walking around with metal braces can be anxiety inducing for some, especially adults who work in a professional setting. Some fear that their braces are unsightly, or make them look young. Invisible Braces are so discreet that no one will even know you have them in.


Invisible Braces make brushing and flossing a breeze. This helps maintain proper oral hygiene. When teeth are cooked or cluttered they are harder to clean giving bacteria a playground in your mouth. Once your teeth have moved the instruments the hygienist uses are more effective. You may spend less time in the dentist chair getting your teeth cleaned.


Wearing them while at or participating in sporting activities can give your teeth more protection. Using Invisalign as a protection for the teeth when doing Things Mountain biking playing group sports gives you an added layer of security. You can use your retainer as a mouth guard protecting your teeth from grinding while you sleep. Along with this you can also use your retainers to whiten your teeth.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call today! We are located in Greenbelt, MD, but also serve the Washington D.C. area, Bowie, MD, Prince George’s County, and Anne Arundel County.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates June 12, 2017

Why you need Professional Teeth Cleaning and Dental Exams

Scheduling professional teeth cleanings and dental exams are important in maintaining good health and appearance. However, not only is good oral hygiene important for your smile, but it also contributes to your overall health playing an important part in the prevention of gum disease and other health complications. In a professional teeth cleaning and dental examination, a dental hygienist will apply a fluoride treatment to the teeth. Fluoride is a mineral which restores the enamel of teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. Your dental hygienist will also look for any early signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, or any other signs of problems with the teeth and gums.

A routine professional teeth cleaning and dental exam can play huge parts in preventing gum infections such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. Gingivitis is a form of gum disease which leads to inflamed gums. Symptoms of gingivitis may include gums that are swollen, red, tender, and may bleed easily. People may even experience tooth loss, tooth ache, or ulcers. Periodontal disease may destroy the jawbone, can lead to tooth loss, be a risk factor for heart/ lung diseases and low birth weight. Regularly scheduled dental exams can also help provide an early detection of oral cancer and can be very important to improving the prognosis of cancer the earlier oral cancer is detected. Oral cancer looks like a sore or lump that doesn’t heal and may be tender or painful. Oral cancer may come from heavy alcohol use, tobacco use, and the human papilloma virus.

Improving and maintaining your oral hygiene can be an instrumental part in maintaining your health as you age. If you would like to schedule a professional cleaning, dental exam, or have further inquiries that include professional dentistry please contact Dr. Elizabeth Haynes, or Dr. Maurice Haynes at University Centre Dental Associates. We are conveniently located in Greenbelt, MD and serve the surrounding Washington, DC communities such as Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Anne Arundel County.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates May 31, 2017

How to Fix Gaps in Teeth

A gap tooth, or diastema, are often a worry of appearance for many people. Sometimes they even may grow further, or become a cause of discomfort and pain for people. Many seek treatment to help fix a diastema and the issues it causes. A diastema usually occurs between the two upper front teeth, but can be located anywhere in the mouth. Sometimes a diastema can be a part of several dental issues requiring orthodontic treatment, however, a diastema may also exist on its own. Spaces tend to occur for several reasons: in event of a mismatch between the teeth and the jawbone, missing or undersized teeth, an oversized labial frenum, thumb sucking, an incorrect swallowing reflex, or periodontal disease. Often, patients that simply experience a mismatch in the teeth don’t report pain, discomfort, or any increase in size. However, diastema caused by tongue thrust habits or periodontal disease may lead to discomfort, pain, and the loosening of teeth over time.

Orthodontic treatment may require braces to move the teeth together. If treatment involves the lateral incisors a dentist may suggest widening with the aid of crowns, veneers, or bonding. A diastema caused by a missing tooth may require extensive dental repair. If a gap tooth is from a large labial frenum the patient will require a surgery called a frenectomy to reduce the frenum. Lastly, if the gap stems from periodontal disease the patient will require orthodontic treatment from a periodontist, or gum specialist first. After the patient has healed, in many cases, braces may be used for further orthodontic treatment to shift the teeth into place. A splint may be used to attach teeth together to prevent moving again, also, sometimes a bridge is required to close the spaces.

If you suffer from a gap tooth, also known as a diastema, and have further inquiries for professional dentistry please contact University Centre Dental Associates today to make an appointment with Dr. Elizabeth Haynes or Dr. Maurice Haynes. Our office is located in Greenbelt, MD and we proudly serve patients in the Washington, DC area and surrounding communities such as Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Anne Arundel County.

Written by University Centre Dental Associates May 24, 2017