Martin S. Spiller, DMD, Family Dentistry in Townsend, MA

Martin S. Spiller, DMD, Family Dentistry in Townsend, MA

An Encyclopedia of Dentistry










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Healthy teeth thumb

Start here!

Start here!

Tooth anatomy for patientsNice Teeth--Why do some people have such nice teeth? Read about the five factors that determine whether or not you will have trouble with your teeth! Click on the icon to the right to see a diagram of how teeth are built

Understanding Fees and Dental Insurance How dentists set their fees, and how dental insurance works. 
What if you don't have dental insurance?  Don't write to me and ask what I charge! Read this instead to really understand how dentists set fees and how dental insurance works
biography Meet Dr. Spiller
(an autobiography) 
Offic and Policies Our office and office policies

Please read this page if you want to become a patient or make an appointment at my office.


What is bonding?

Click the image to the left to see an introduction to direct and indirect bonding and an explanation of veneers.

LumineersĀ® represent a new, revolutionary way to have the smile you always wanted without shots and with minimal changes to your natural teeth.

In most cases, a simple impression is taken and sent to the laboratory.  Within two weeks, the new veneers are cemented to your existing teeth to create a new smile with straight, white teeth.  No matter how seriously deformed or discolored your own teeth were beforehand, you can have the perfect smile.
Toothless smile
Mini Implants


Partial Dentures Removable partial dentures
The least expensive way to replace missing teeth. Click on this icon to find out about them
Implants Implants
The best (but more expensive) way to replace missing teeth. What are they?
How are they done? Why would you want them?
How much do they cost?
Bone Resorption Why can't Granny wear her lower denture?
Bone resorption of the lower jaw
Bone resorption Bone resorption and bone grafting
A look at the image to the left might stimulate an interest in keeping your natural teeth
Bone grafting and socket preservation
A way you can keep your skull from looking like this.
Tooth Decay

 "Why do I have soft teeth?"

Tooth Decay (Dental caries); its causes and how it is repaired. 

Do drugs such as Ecstasy and narcotics cause decay?  What about the effects of other drugs such as tetracycline, Dilantin, hormone therapy, and blood pressure medication on the teeth and gums?  Does Xylitol prevent tooth decay?

Meth Mouth Meth Mouth
What is Meth mouth?   What actually causes it?
Can it be treated?
Tooth Wear What causes teeth to wear down?
Attrition, Erosion, Abrasion, and Abfraction
There are five habits which can cause teeth to wear.  Eight pages, geared for dental professionals.  Find out how to recognize the signs of each habit.   This is an important part of dentistry and can really help you to help your patients.

What is the least expensive way to repair a broken or decayed tooth (types of fillings)? This page also discusses the tooth pain you may experience after a filling is done.

Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth Syndrome (Xerostomia)

Chronically dry mouth causes tremendous suffering for millions of people.  Click on this icon to find out what causes it and what you can do about it.


Bad breath   

What it is, how it's treated, and what you can do about it.  You will be surprised at how many types there are!

Does it really work?
Periodontal disease icon

What is Gum disease?
What causes it and how can it be prevented?

Treatment of Gum Disease

How is Gum Disease treated?

 Click this icon for a full discussion as well as for information on many of the prescription products you may have read about in health magazines.


Five minutes once a day. 
How to clean your  teeth properly

Oral image section (in white)

Oral anatomy thumb

Normal Oral anatomy
with sections on the tongue, throat, tonsils and Burning Mouth Syndrome

Oral Cancer Thumb

Oral Cancer

The different kinds, what it looks like, and who is likely to get it.

Sores, Lumps and bumps thumb Lumps, bumps growths and discolorations 
If it's not normal, oral cancer or commonly associated with disease states, maybe you'll see a picture of it here.
Cold Sores

Abnormalities in the oral cavity due to disease processes

Graphic images here

kaposis_sarcoma_face.jpg (7601 bytes) AIDS:
A frank discussion of the what it is, its epidemiology (who is likely to get it and how it spreads), its diagnosis and its oral manifestations.  Here you will see images of oral disease processes that are associated with AIDS
Tooth anatomy for professionals

Detailed tooth anatomy

Two pages which show the detailed anatomy of a tooth and its supporting structures.  Tooth anatomy for patientsWritten and illustrated for students studying to become dental professionals. 

People who want a good, simple overview of dental anatomy should click on the icon to the right instead.

Children's Dentistry CHILDREN'S DENTISTRY--
Every question you want to ask about children's teeth including when they are supposed to erupt, why baby teeth should be repaired (when they are only going to fall out anyway), and why the dentist wants to do that procedure to your child.
Avulsed Teeth

Avulsed teeth

What to do if you or your child accidentally knocks a tooth out of the mouth---Also, detailed procedures for dentists

Dental Materials section (in white)
Course in Dental Ceramics

A course in dental ceramics
This is a five page course in dental ceramics written so anyone can understand it.  It covers all aspects of ceramics, from its beginnings in the potter's studio, progresses through the invention of the porcelain jacket crown and finishes with advanced ceramic cores.  
CE Credits for this course are issued by an ADA CERP recognized provider.   See course for details

A course in dental composites A Course in Dental composites and cements
This is a technical course in how dental cements and composites are formulated.  Written so that anyone can understand it, this is essential reading for general dentists who are mystified by the jungle of different composites competing for your attention.
CE Credits for this course are issued by an ADA CERP recognized provider.  See course for details
A course in Dental Alloys A course in Dental Alloys
A five page course written so anyone can understand it.  It deals with the microscopic structure and content of dental alloys.  You will learn why gold is soft, alloys are hard and wrought wire is springy.  
CE Credits for this course are issued by an ADA CERP recognized provider.
 See course for details.
Is the mercury in your teeth killing you?

Mercury in dental amalgams
Are your fillings killing you?

Crowns What are crowns and why do people need them?  Click the image to the left for a discussion of preparation and fabrication of custom crowns, as well as the types and uses for prefabricated crowns.  Discussion of metal allergy in dentistry.
Bridges Bridges
What if you want to replace one or two teeth, but don't want a removable appliance and can't afford implants?
Instant Orthodontics

Instant Orthodontics

Click on the images to the left to see how teeth can be "straightened" using a mix of judicious extractions, crowns, bridges and implants rather than an extended  period in braces (orthodontics).

Understanding Pain

Understanding pain 

 Includes a discussion of neural anatomy and Referred pain  Trigeminal Neuralgiaand  Tic douloureux

Root Canals

What is a Root Canal,
and why would anyone want one?  Click the image to the left to find out.  (5 pages of information)
Can bad teeth cause arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, autoimmune problems or other systemic disease

Post and core What is a post and core
Click the image on the left to find out.
Extractions Extractions
Click on this icon to see how the dentist decides when to pull a tooth as opposed to saving it?   All about wisdom teeth and Complications including dry socket, osteonecrosis and BRONJ


How dentists straighten teeth, and the criteria they use to diagnose a case.

X-Ray Thumb Dental X-RAYS (for patients)
The different types and why we need them.  How dangerous is the radiation? Click on this icon to understand dental x-rays.
A course in dental X-rays A course in dental radiology
Designed for radiology technicians, dentists, hygienists and assistants, this course tells the secrets of getting less distortion in your images as well as all other aspects of x-ray technology.  Here you will learn how CAT scans and Cone Beams create their images. CE Credits for this course are issued by an ADA CERP recognized provider.  See course for details.

Dental headaches
What is TMJ and TMD?
(Dental headaches, jaw pain, neck stiffness & sensitive teeth). 


This is a companion page for the discussion of TMD.  It details the relationship between the way the teeth meet and the way the joint is configured.  It is geared for dental students, hygienists and dental assistants and helps to clarify an otherwise bewildering subject.   Read about my patient, Popeye. 

Snoring appliances Anti Snoring and Sleep Apnea devices
Click on this icon to learn how Sleep Apnea can be treated without a cumbersome CPAP ventilator and stop snoring to boot!
A course in anesthesia

Local Anesthetics.
 A seven page course. All about the history, chemistry, toxicity and longevity of the various common local anesthetics used in dentistry and medicine.  Also complications arising from getting the shot.  
Can local anesthetics cause false positive drug tests?  

See a list of all drugs that can cause false positive drug tests

Find out why you can't seem to get numb at the dentist's office

The Gow-Gates

The Gow-Gates block
Dentists click here to learn about An alternative to the standard mandibular block

Alzheimer's Disease
Can you get Alzheimer's disease from root canal files or other dental insturments. This is a technical page where you can learn about prion mediated diseases.


Is it safe?
How does it work? What does it do?  Click on this icon to find out.

Click here to read my Dear "Doctor Dumb Ass" letter from an anti-fluorodationist along with my reply

Cracked teeth Cracked teeth:
When it hurts to bite, but there's no cavity or abscess
ADA CERP Get Continuing Education Credits Here

CE Credits for several courses offered on this website are issued by an ADA CERP recognized provider.  Dentists and allied dental professionals (assistants, hygienists, lab techs etc.) may apply for  continuing education credits to fulfill their CE requirements for re-licensure  by following the directions provided on this page.