Posts for: January, 2017
X-rays revolutionized dental care in the 20th Century. The same could happen in the 21st Century as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) becomes a fixture beside the traditional x-ray machine.
CBCT made its debut in dental offices about a decade and a half ago. It utilizes the same invisible energy as traditional x-rays to create images of the face and jaw. But unlike traditional x-rays, which can only depict structures in the two dimensions of width and height, CBCT can create three-dimensional images in amazing detail.
The CBCT's x-ray projector rotates around a patient's head. As it emits a cone-shaped beam of x-rays, the device simultaneously collects anywhere from 150 to 599 distinct image views. It transmits these views to a computer that assembles them into three-dimensional images that can be viewed on a computer display.
From the data file of images, dentists can re-format a variety of views and angles of teeth, jaws and other facial bones at various levels of magnification. Because of this wide range of views, all in striking detail, CBCTs are highly useful among other things for diagnosis of malocclusions (bad bites), the size and location of infections, obstructions at possible implant sites, or jaw problems prior to surgery.
Because they expose a patient to higher doses of radiation than a standard x-ray machine, they're normally limited to more complex oral situations. That means you'll still undergo standard x-rays for most of your dental treatment needs. CBCT radiation levels are lower, however, than medical CT scans, which use a fan-shaped beam that can expose a patient to ten times the radiation of a CBCT. For dental care, a CBCT machine also produces greater image detail than an MRI.
Depending on your needs, CBCT may one day be a part of your dental care.Â With their range and accuracy, it could play a major role in helping you attain good health.
If you would like more information on cone beam diagnostics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Getting the Full Picture with Cone Beam Dental Scans.”
Braces are no longer seen as a rite of passage for teenagers. Adults with gaps or crookedness are now investing in braces to improve the look of their smiles and their dental health. One of the most amazing breakthroughs in orthodontic technology is Invisalign, a straightening treatment used frequently by your dentists at 1st Choice Dental Care in Woodstock and Kennesaw, Georgia. We believe in giving our patients accurate and comprehensive information about the dental treatments they offer. Here's more information about the advantages of choosing Invisalign to straighten your teeth.
Advantages of Invisalign
One of the main reasons people choose Invisalign is in its name: the aligners are practically invisible when you're wearing them. They are made from a lightweight, transparent plastic that is molded to the shape of your teeth. This makes them not only an inconspicuous way to have straight teeth; they're also much more comfortable than traditional metal braces. They also allow you much more freedom to eat what you enjoy, as the aligners are designed to be removed during meals. They're also much easier to maintain than traditional braces: since they're removable, a simple rinsing, soaking and brushing is enough to keep them clean. This also allows you to brush your teeth more thoroughly.
Points to consider about Invisalign
While Invisalign has many advantages, certain situations might lead you and your Woodstock and Kennesaw dentist down a different path for straightening your teeth. If you have severe crowding and tooth loss, for example, you may need to have more intensive treatments first and then utilize Invisalign to "fine-tune" the alignment. Because of the responsibility involved with wearing and cleaning the removable aligners, Invisalign works best for patients over the age of 18. The aligners are small and lightweight and can be easily misplaced, leading to extended treatment time or costly replacements. They also must be worn between 20 and 22 hours each day; for some younger patients, it may be tempting to remove them more frequently.
If you'd like to learn more about how Invisalign can help you, contacting 1st Choice Dental Care in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA is a great place to start! We look forward to hearing from you!
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
With a 95%-plus success rate, dental implants are an effective and durable replacement for lost teeth. But we can't place them and forget them: if you don't clean and maintain them they could fail as a result of disease.
The inorganic materials that make up the implant aren't in danger of infection. But the living gums and bone that surround and support the implant are at risk. In fact, there's a particular periodontal (gum) disease involving implants called peri-implantitis (“peri” – around; implant “itis” – inflammation).
Peri-implantitis begins when the gum tissues around the implant become infected and inflamed. This happens most commonly because plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, builds up on implant surfaces. Another less frequent cause is a buildup of excess cement used to bond the crown to the implant. We need to remove the built-up plaque or the excess cement during your dental visit.
If the infection isn't treated or you don't keep up effective, daily hygiene practices, the infection can grow and extend deeper into the tissues and finally the bone. This can destroy the all-important integration of bone and metal titanium post that has created the implant's strong hold. When that support becomes compromised the implant can lose its attachment and, if untreated, eventually fail.
It's important to keep an eye out for any indications you may have a gum infection around an implant. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding or pus formation. If the implant feels loose, this may mean that extensive bone loss has already occurred. If you encounter any of these signs, see us immediately for an examination.
The best approach, though, is to prevent peri-implantitis in the first place. So, brush and floss daily around your implant as you do your natural teeth. And be sure you keep up regular dental cleanings and checkups.
With proper care and maintenance you can avoid problems with disease that could affect your implant. Healthy gums and bone will ensure your implant will last for many decades to come.
Cosmetic dentistry not only makes your teeth look better but improves your dental health as well. At 1st Choice Dental Care in Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA our dentists - Dr. Kelly Vaughn, Dr. Emil Orza and Dr. David Wang - take pride in offering cosmetic dental procedures to our patients as a way of improving the way they view themselves and the way they eat, smile and talk. A few of the treatments we offer are listed here.
Your teeth can become dull and discolored over time, especially if you're a coffee drinker or tobacco user. Brightening your teeth to a whiter shade is the most popular cosmetic dental procedure worldwide, and it's easy to see why: it's quick, affordable and makes a noticeable difference in your smile. While you can buy over-the-counter whitening products, visiting your Marietta dentist for a half-hour whitening treatment ensures long-lasting and effective results.
In addition to discoloration, teeth can also become chipped or worn down. They can also be naturally misshapen or have gaps in them. All of these cosmetic issues can be resolved with veneers, which are thin tooth-shaped sections of porcelain that are attached to the front of your teeth by your Marietta dentist. Veneers are often what Hollywood stars use to give them the natural-looking but flawless smiles you see on the covers of magazines.
When teeth are missing, dental implants can turn back the clock, giving you a full and beautiful smile. They are a permanent tooth restoration that is affixed into your jawbone. Not only do they look exactly like natural teeth, but their maintenance is the same. Just regular brushing, flossing and visits to your Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta dentist will keep your implants and the rest of your teeth in great shape for decades to come.
There are several more options for improving your dental health available at 1st Choice Dental Care. We'd love to meet with you and discuss them further. Contact our office in Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA to find out more!