Posts for: October, 2016
Staying current with dental appointments can be a difficult task, and it may be tempting to put them at the bottom of your priority list if you're brushing and flossing regularly. However, dental checkups are part of maintaining your overall health, and the dentists at 1st Choice Dental Care in Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA - Dr. Kelly Vaughn, Dr. Emil Orza and Dr. David Wang - are eager to explain why.
While brushing and flossing remove plaque-causing debris from the food consumed that day, calcified plaque, called tartar, can build up over time and cannot be removed with at-home cleaning. That's why visiting 1st Choice Dental Care twice a year is so important; our skilled dental hygienists will use hand-held tools to deep clean your teeth and gums, ensuring that any tartar is cleared away.
By staying current on your checkups at 1st Choice Dental Care, your Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta dentist can easily monitor any changes that might occur between your appointments, as well as stay updated on any ongoing issues you may have with your teeth and gums. X-rays and charts can be compared more easily when there are shorter intervals between them. Being diligent about regular visits can save your family hundreds, even thousands of dollars by addressing any problems in their early stages rather than waiting until they become difficult to treat.
It's well-known that annual cancer screenings from physicians are instrumental in early detection and treatment of cancer. This is also true for oral cancer, which can develop on the gums, tongue or inner cheek tissue without any conspicuous signs or symptoms until it has spread to other areas of the body. While at one time oral cancer was mostly found in older adults who had a history of tobacco use, it is now being found in younger, non-smoking patients. Your Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta dentist will perform a thorough cancer screening as part of your regular checkup, looking and feeling for any unusual changes that may warrant further investigation.
It's easy to schedule an appointment at 1st Choice Dental Care: just give our Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA office a call to set one up with our highly trained dental staff today!
Always wanted that Hollywood smile? Find out how dental veneers can achieve this.
Would you have the perfect smile if it weren’t for those chips in your front teeth? Would your smile be ideal if you didn’t have gray discolorations for all the world to see? It may seem as if your smile is just so close to perfect but not quite. That’s where our Woodstock, Marietta and Kennesaw, GA dentists come in. We can easily improve your smile’s appearance with dental veneers.
Veneers are a great and minimally invasive way to get the more attractive smile you want without having to deal with a lot of tooth preparation, as you would if you got dental crowns. Veneers are made from thin layers of porcelain that are designed to match the shade of your smile. They even reflect light just like natural teeth do, so the only person that will know you have dental veneers is you (of course, unless you want to tell people; we don’t blame you if you do!).
Dental veneers may be as thin as a fingernail but they can still cover an extensive amount of dental flaws including:
- Cracks, chips and breaks
- Small spaces between two teeth
- Discolorations that whitening treatment can’t address
- Minor crookedness and overlapping
- Malformed or oddly shaped teeth
While veneers can easily get your smile brighter and straighter, our Woodstock, Marietta and Kennesaw cosmetic dentists want you to know that veneers aren’t able to hide more severe crookedness or improve major misalignments. Only braces will be able to achieve the results you need for a better, healthier smile; however, veneers are an amazing alternative to braces if you just want to hide that small space between your front teeth or cover a tooth that may be a bit crooked.
Turn to 1st Choice Dental Care in Woodstock, Marietta and Kennesaw, GA for all of your cosmetic dentistry needs. Our goal is to make your smile look and feel its best. If you want to get dental veneers give us a call today!
Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.
“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:
- Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
- Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
- Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.
Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
Oral and facial clefts are among the most common and heartbreaking of birth defects. Clefts make feeding or even breathing difficult and can affect speech development.
But there's one other profound effect: an “abnormal” face caused by a cleft can have devastating consequences for a person's self-image and social relationships.
About 1 in 700 U.S. babies are born with some type of visible gap or “cleft.” It can occur in their upper lip, soft and hard palate, nose or occasionally extending to the cheek or eye region. We typically classify clefts as “unilateral” (affecting only one side of the face) or “bilateral” (affecting both sides).Â We're not completely sure on the root causes, but research so far has uncovered links with the mother's possible exposure to toxic substances, nutrient or vitamin deficiencies, or infections during fetal development.
Taking steps during pregnancy to minimize these exposures is certainly helpful. But what can be done for children born with a cleft?
A great deal, thanks to the development of surgical repair techniques over the last century. The surgical approach relies on the fact that the tissues required to repair the cleft already exist. They're simply distorted by the cleft break.
Even so, the road to restoration is a long and arduous one. Lip repairs usually take place at 3-6 months of age; palate (roof of the mouth) clefts are undertaken at 6-12 months. As the child's jaw and mouth structure develops, further surgeries may be needed to match earlier repairs with development.
Cleft repairs also require a team of specialists including a maxillofacial (oral) surgeon, orthodontist and general dentist. The latter plays an important role during the process, ensuring the child maintains good dental health through prevention and treatment of disease and dental work for at risk teeth.
The road to a normal life is difficult — but well worth it. A repaired cleft vastly improves a child's health and well-being. Moreover, it restores to them something the rest of us might take for granted — a normal face and smile.
Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?
Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?
Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.
Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.
But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?
In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.
Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.
What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.
If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”