Riverwalk Dental

If you seek children’s dental care, you are fortunate to be living in Massachusetts

massachusetts stateHave you ever considered how fortunate you are to live in Massachusetts?  If you’ve been down and out about living in the Bay State for any reason, here is some great news for your children and their teeth – Massachusetts is by far one of the best states for children’s health care.

According to Wallet Hub, Massachusetts receives a total score for “Best States for Children’s Health” behind only Vermont by a mere one-tenth total score, with Vermont scoring 65.65 and Massachusetts scoring 65.55.  Rhode Island comes in much further behind with a score of 61.28, 4.27 points below Massachusetts’ total score.

Wallet Hub compared every state in the Union with 33 key indicators of the cost, quality, and access to children’s health care.  Of these key indicators, those most important to parents and children throughout the Merrimack Valley, MA area include:  Share of Children Aged 0 to 17 Years with Recent Medical & Dental Checkups, Presence of School-Based Dental-Sealant Programs, Dental Treatment Costs, and Dentists per Capita.

Starting off life with a bright and healthy smile is an important part of a happy and successful life.  Parents and all adults in Massachusetts are fortunate to live where we do, and to have the access to important health services, such as effective dental services.

Yet it is incumbent upon you to take the first step.  The team at Riverwalk Dental is here to serve you with the newest technology that makes a visit to the dentist a pleasurable and comfortable experience.  Contact us today!

What’s new in tooth polishing? Expert advice for your smile.

Polishing one’s teeth is imperative to a healthy smile.  Yet as dental professionals, we see in our travels throughout Lawrence and really anywhere in Massachusetts and throughout New England people consuming products that reverse the work they do to keep their teeth bright and healthy.  According to WebMD.com, tomato sauces, soft drinks, coffee, tea, wine, as well as fruits and berries create stains on our teeth that can be stubborn to remove, although too much of what can remove these stains can be harmful as well.  The important information that follows will help address these issues.

How does a person who wants to eat the food they love but also wants a wonderful smile achieve the best of both worlds?  New information is available to help our patients in the Merrimack Valley area understand the latest techniques and products available.

In an article written by the Indian Society of Periodontology titled, “Tooth polishing: The current status,” there is a concern that overzealous use of polishing procedures can, and often does, wear the surface tooth structure over time.  Doing this correctly is very important.

First, though, it is important to identify the type of stain one has on their teeth, due to the fact that some stains simply cannot be addressed through polishing alone.  Endogenous stains are those that are acquired during tooth development and are caused by factors that cannot be addressed by polishing alone.  Exogenous stains, on the other hand, are those that are caused by our habits that discolor our teeth and can be addressed over time by way of conscious and deliberate polishing.

Make an appointment with Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi for help understanding this determination.

Image provided with permission by Pixabay

Choosing the right toothpaste:  Prophylaxis paste

A prophylaxis paste is one that has a mild abrasive to help polish teeth.  These polishers are effective at removing exogenous stains from teeth, but need to be considered carefully due to their abrasive nature and how that can change one’s teeth over time.  In fact, according to the Society of Periodontology article, “excessive abrasion scratches the enamel, resulting in a less polished appearance and ultimately, contributing to an increased rate of exogenous stain reformation and bacterial plaque retention.”

Therefore, using such toothpaste should be done sparingly and with an understanding of the particle size used in the paste.  Raabe Family Dentistry out of Denver, Colorado published an excellent index of the abrasiveness of common toothpastes which can help patients vary the products they use based upon need and effectiveness.

Choose the right polisher:  Traditional toothbrushes and mechanical toothbrushes

Traditional toothbrushes are affordable and easy to use.  There is no concern over batteries running out and they can be taken and used just about anywhere.  As long as these brushes are replaced periodically, they are sufficient for general use, although they do have their drawbacks.  In particular, one needs to be conscious of how they are brushing and make an effort to do it correctly.  Generally speaking though, one should hold the brush at a 45 degree angle and brush for at least two minutes.

Mechanical toothbrushes definitely have their advantages.  These toothbrushes are typically more effective at removing plaque and gingivitis than traditional toothbrushes.  According to Healthline, electronic toothbrushes reduced plaque by 21 percent and gingivitis by 11 percent when compared to a normal toothbrush.  Over time, this could mean a world of difference in one’s oral health.

Patients should speak to Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi about their concerns regarding the effectiveness of their polishing efforts and choose the right product and tools to meet their needs.  Contact us today for an appointment.

Is your mouth really a reflection of your overall health? Riverwalk Dental cares about their patients’ total well-being

Image by NIAID of FlickrMany of Riverwalk Dental’s patients are aware that a simple saliva swab test can tell a lot about our DNA and today, even our ancestry.  We also recognize that annual checkups prevent tooth decay and the sometimes painful affects caused when our teeth are neglected over a period of time.  But what about our overall health, and how important is that to a healthy and well maintained smile?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), “[T]he mouth is the center of vital tissues and functions that are critical to total health and well-being across the life span.”  Yet the report also states that overall, people perceive oral health as less important than other factors that reflect their general health.  This often leads to people postponing care and maintenance of their oral health, causing greater harm and expense over time than necessary.

Consider the fact that one’s mouth is truly the most important gateway into one’s body.  According to Dr.  Kara Fitzgerald, ND of The Sandy Hook Clinic, the microbes in the mouth are a significant contributor to digestive microbiome (the totality of microorganisms and their total genetic material present in our bodies) and every individual is swallowing upwards of one-trillion bacteria in a single day!

Oral disease and disorders do affect one’s overall health throughout our lives.  Oral hygiene and dental checkups are key to ones overall health and well-being.  Occasionally, patients that visit our office in Lawrence Massachusetts will discuss with our staff not just the issues they are experiencing in regard to their teeth and oral care, but also other medical issues they are undergoing.  It can be a surprise for them to learn how the care of their teeth and mouth can be a factor in the health challenges they are facing overall.

According to the NIDCR’s Surgeon General report on Oral Health in America, there is strong evidence linking issues affecting oral care and infectious disease such as periodontitis  to increased  risk  for  cardiovascular,  cerebrovascular, and lung disease, as well as  exacerbation of diabetes, and early indications of osteoporosis.

Sound impossible?  Consider the fact that so much of what enters one’s body comes from one’s mouth.  Bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens (disease-producing agents) often originate from our mouths and enter our bodies every day.  In an article written in Harvard Magazine out of Cambridge Massachusetts, chronic stomach and intestinal problems may begin with what is in everyone’s mouth. In a study published in Science Daily Magazine, an international team of researchers reported on strains of oral bacteria, when swallowed in average quantities a day, can lodge in the gut and even trigger inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The message we wish to communicate to our patients is; keep up on your visits to our office and continue to maintain a healthy smile!  Not only will you feel and look great, you will also be doing the right thing for your overall health and well-being.

The doctors at Riverwalk Dental understand the importance of oral health and its affect on everyone who visits our office.  We hope this article will help our patients understand the importance of consistent and continued care of their oral health to live a long and healthy life.

$500 Towards Mom’s Smile this Mother’s Day!

Image by alessandrarecco of pixabay.com Nothing warms the heart more than a mother’s smile.  If you’re a mom, or you know a mom who has been considering an improved smile, Riverwalk Dental has a promotion for Mother’s Day you do not want to miss. Moms or those they love all across Merrimack Valley Massachusetts now have a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of this huge savings from Riverwalk Dental toward the Invisalign® alternative to traditional braces.

For a limited time, moms all over Lawrence, Andover, Lowell, and all surrounding towns throughout Massachusetts have an opportunity to save $500 on the most effective and safe alternative to traditional metal braces to straighten teeth.

What are some of the advantages of Invisalign®?

Invisalign® is virtually invisible

Traditional wire braces are unsightly.  Moms, especially professional mothers, need to be concerned about their smile and want to show their confidence every day.  Invisalign® is the perfect match for everyone seeking the right solution to align their teeth, while also maintaining a professional appearance.

Invisalign® offers comfort and safety

Unlike traditional wire braces that can chafe or even damage the tender tissue along the walls of our mouth causing discomfort and sometimes even pain, Invisalign® is very different.  Invisalign® clear braces are removable and do not cause the damage often seen with metal braces.

Invisalign® treatments take a fraction of the time to produce great results

Today’s moms are busy, very busy.  Traditional wire braces could take 4 to 5 years to straighten teeth.  With Invisalign® treatments most often take only a year to a year and a half.  For moms looking to improve their smile while being on the go, Invisalign® is the right solution.

Invisalign® is modern technology

Forget about the trial and error of wire braces.  Invisalign® is a computer driven solution that accurately and effectively guides the professionals at Riverwalk Dental to the best solution in the shortest time to make your smile the best it can be.

Riverwalk Dental wants to make all Massachusetts mothers’ smiles shine at an affordable price.  Contact us today at 978-685-1499 or [email protected].

Riverwalk Dental Lawrence MA Logo

Riverwalk Dental joins the Clean River Project to help make the Merrimack River beautiful once again

Riverwalk Dental Lawrence MA Logo


Media Contact:
Joseph Beninato
[email protected]
Office:  978-685-1499
Fax: 978-837-6657


March 16, 2018

Riverwalk Dental joins the Clean River Project to help make the Merrimack River beautiful once again.

Lawrence, MA:  Riverwalk Dental, located in the heart of the Merrimack Valley in Lawrence Massachusetts, joins Rocky Morrison, a patient of Riverwalk Dental, in his quest to clean up the Merrimack River.  The effort, dubbed the “Clean River Project,” started in 2005 and continues today.

“The effort Rocky and his family have put into this project inspired the team at Riverwalk Dental to get involved” stated Joseph Beninato, partner at Riverwalk Dental.  “We believe in giving back to the community and what better way to do that than to help make the Merrimack River a great clean and safe place for everyone.”

The clean River Project presently needs to buy equipment to continue effectively making a difference in cleaning the Merrimack River.  Specifically, the team wishes to purchase a conveyor belt boat which quickly, efficiently and safely grabs and removes debris from the water.  Over the last thirteen years, hundreds of tires, nearly 100 cars, and countless needles are among some of the major pollutants removed by the Clean River Project over the years.  Although such progress has made a huge difference to the area, much more needs to be done.

“Everyone benefits from the efforts put forth by Rocky and his team.  We are proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people doing the right thing for the children and families throughout the Merrimack Valley area” stated Dr. Beninato.

Riverwalk Dental is collecting donations at their office located at 354 Merrimack Street, Suite 334 Lawrence MA 01843.  Patients and members of the community are encouraged to help us help the Clean River Project achieve its goal to acquire a conveyor belt boat.  100% of all proceeds go to the project.


Eagle Tribune cites Riverwalk Dental for “Operation Gratitude” Candy Buyback Program

Image courtesy of http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

“Riverwalk Dental P.C. said they collected and shipped 135 pounds of candy last year and hope to continue their program’s growth and increase candy donations” states the Eagle Tribune in its article titled Cash for candy: Local dental offices collect Halloween candy and ship it to deployed soldiers overseas.

Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi are proud to take part in this important program for both our children and our troops!

Also, please see our article in the Eagle Tribune showing Dr. Patsi and her daughters delivering over 300 pounds of candy in support of our brave men and woman overseas:

Photo article courtacy of the Eagle Tribune

This program will continue through this week and will end on Friday, November 1oth.  Please bring your unwanted candy today for cash and save a healthy smile all year long.

Our office is located at 354 Merrimack Street, Suite 334 in Lawrence, MA.


Rivewalk Dental featured in the “CHIPPS Moms’ Night out” event

We are happy to announce that Dr. Patsi took part in the Nancy Chippendales’ “CHIPPS Moms’ night out” event that took place on Friday, October 6th.

Once again, we set a table for Riverwalk Dental and Dr. Patsi was there to highlight the different services we offer to you, from simple fillings to complicated full mouth rehabilitation.

Many of you that visited her table, were especially interested in learning what we have to offer about tooth straightening.  A lot of you have young kids that need a little “help” with keeping their teeth straight or you, yourself, have had braces in the past and now your teeth have shifted again…  We are pleased to say that both of our doctors are Invisalign certified.  As a result, you can get the perfect smile without the annoyance of wearing traditional braces.  Invisalign is an easy way to move teeth without the unsightly brackets and just by wearing clear plastic trays for the duration of the individuals’ treatment.

Feel free to contact our office for further information on Invisalign and how it can help you achieve the smile you always dreamed of!  Both Dr. Patsi and Dr. Beninato are just a phone call away from answering all your questions and concerns.

Riverwalk Dental is located in the Riverwalk complex

(on the third floor above Salvatore’s restaurant).

354 Merrimack St.

Building 1, Entrance C, Suite 334

Lawrence, MA


Riverwalk Dental installs Planmeca FIT Intraoral Dental Milling Machine in Lawrence MA Office

In the interest of better serving Riverwalk Dental’s patients, Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi recently made the investment into a state of the art milling machine.  Now at a patient’s choosing, nearly all dental prosthetics can be fitted and restored in a single day, right in the comfort of our office in Lawrence Massachusetts.  Whether a patient desires same-day crowns, inlays, onlays, bridges or veneers, Riverwalk Dental can provide exactly what is needed, when it is needed.

“Our patients today do not have the time for multiple office visits going from either Andover or Lawrence MA to another part of Merrimack Valley just to address the cosmetic issues and pain associated with a damaged tooth,” stated Dr. Joseph Beninato when discussing the new equipment.  “We want our patients to be comfortable with their smile quickly, and our new milling machine truly accomplishes this goal.”

Although convenience for patients was high on the priority list, none of the precision and quality is sacrificed by bringing this procedure in house.  The Planmeca FIT intraoral scanner technology is one of the newest advancements in restoration dentistry.  Dr. Patsi stated, “The restorations that it produces, whether an inlay/onlay or a crown have the best margin fit that a dentist could ever want or dream of.”

Should Patient’s Fear Getting a New Crown?

The process of utilizing the new milling machine to restore crown teeth is simple and effective.  First, the tooth needs to be professionally cleaned, much like what a patient experiences on a typical checkup.  Next, any decay lingering on the tooth needs to be removed and the tooth needs to be shaped to fit into the crown.

Once the preparation of the tooth is complete, then a digital impression is taken with an intraoral scanner.   No more messy impressions.  The scan is then processed in the computer software and the restoration is made by our doctors.  It’s verified the perfect fit on the tooth and is sent electronically to be milled.  “We want our patients to leave the office with a smile that looks and feels natural, the proper restoration of a smile takes years of experience,” stated Dr. Beninato.

While the patient waits, Riverwalk Dental’s new milling machine goes to work forming a perfect match to the patients tooth.  In only hours, not days or even weeks, the patient leaves excited to show off his or her new smile.

Riverwalk Dental Takes Part in the Andover/North Andover YMCA Healthy Kids Day!

Riverwalk Dental Lawrence MA at the Andover YMCA Healthy Kids DayCharge into summer!  This is the inspirational call to action by the members of the Andover/North Andover Massachusetts YMCA as they inspired children to get outdoors and enjoy the up and coming beautiful weather throughout the Merrimack Valley area.  This event took place last month on April 29th and Riverwalk Dental was there to offer giveaways and healthy smile advice to the children as they enjoyed all of the wonderful activities offered.

From storytelling to obstacle courses to advice on healthy food and snacks, it was truly a fun and educational day for everyone.  Dr. Beninato and members of the Riverwalk Dental team participated in this three-hour event.

“I very much enjoyed spending the afternoon speaking to all the children who participated.  So many healthy smiles!  The Merrimack Valley YMCA is doing a great job promoting healthy lifestyles for our children in Massachusetts” stated Dr. Beninato, “We are looking forward to participating again next year.”

Riverwalk Dental would like to thank all the volunteers and congratulate them on a wonderful day for everyone.

Better access to dental services: A new mid-level dentistry occupation?

Riverwalk Dental is a strong and unwavering advocate for extensive, affordable, and safe availability to dental care for everyone in Massachusetts.  We would like to take some time to offer our thoughts on the newest initiative in the Bay State to make this a reality.

Child tooth examin in Andover MAOver the years, on and off again the Massachusetts legislature considered a mid-level dentistry occupation that would be similar to nurse practitioners and physician assistants, opening the door to more people to practice dental procedures.  In a nutshell, the conundrum revolves around the cost and time to be educated and experienced enough to practice dentistry legally, and how that translates to the cost to administer the service.  As requirements become more stringent, the debt in time and education a dental practitioner must invest increases significantly, and therefore must charge for services once they are legally capable of doing so.

The Problem Defined by the Experts

According to MassLive.com, there are over 60 areas in Massachusetts designated as having a dentist shortage, creating a serious access problem to both adults and children.  According to the Lowell Sun, a bill proposed by Senator Harriette Chandler of Worcester, MA in 2016 would allow dental hygienists to perform tooth extractions and other procedures, but “ignores the fact that more than half a million people live in areas with a shortage of dentists and doesn’t acknowledge the national standards for these providers that ensure they will practice safely and effectively.”

Furthermore, on February 15th of this year, Dr. Raymond Martin, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society was quoted by the Boston Globe as saying “We just don’t think it’s safe enough, when you consider that they’re doing irreversible procedures,” procedures that are part and parcel of at least one of the bills being considered on Beacon Hill.

These concerns are real, but death from lack of dental care has happened.  An article written for WGBH/Frontline titled “Tragic Results When Dental Care Is Out Of Reach,” cites two cases over the last 10 years in which death has resulted from dental infections.  The article quotes Dr. Bill Calnon, the president of the American Dental Association, as saying “The vast majority of dental disease is preventable,” and “totally unnecessary.”

Could such tragedies increase if less experienced people are allowed to practice dentistry?  Or would the availability of health services due to the new mid-level occupation prevent such tragedies from happening?  It is hard to say.

Riverwalk Dental MassachusettsRiverwalk Dental’s Position

Dr. Beninato and Dr. Patsi believe strongly in safe and affordable care for everyone in the Merrimack Valley area and beyond.  With so many areas throughout Massachusetts underserved with such a critical need like oral health, improved access is an absolute necessity.  An underlying concern often expressed by caregivers of all types is the reality that when policy makers set medical standards, patients can sometimes be mislead to believe that sanction by public officials equals trust and quality service.  Although this is often the case, when it comes to one’s health, caution is strongly recommended.

No matter the results of this effort to broaden the occupational levels of the dentistry profession in order to achieve the goal of better access to oral health care, patients must always trust but verify all procedures are safe and necessary.   Once a tooth is altered or removed, it is that way forever.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Whether a mid-level dentistry occupation is successfully implemented in Massachusetts or not, remember to brush and floss every day while getting a checkup every six months!  Teeth can last a lifetime with only a very small amount of time dedicated every day.