Posts for: June, 2015

By Smart Family Dental Care
June 18, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gum Surgery  

Gum SurgeryWhile most people think of straight, white teeth when they think about the perfect smile, the truth is that having a beautiful smile takes more than that. It also requires beautiful, healthy gums.

Are your gums too big, too small, uneven or discolored? If so, it is completely natural to feel embarrassed by or discontent with your smile. Thankfully, however, you don't have to feel that way any longer. Everyone deserves a smile they can be proud of, and you can find yours by calling Dr. Orson Baek, D.D.S., M.S. at Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross for gum surgery.

Why Gum Surgery?

Gums that are too small can make your smile look toothy. Gums that are too big can make your smile look gummy. Gums that swollen, infected or discolored can ruin your smile altogether. The truth is, your gums can have a dramatic effect on your smile's appearance.

With gum surgery from Dr. Baek at Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross, you can make sure that the effect your gums have on your smile is a good one. Dr. Baek can fill in gums that are too small, trim back gums that are too big, and remove any discoloration or unevenness you might have. He can cover your exposed tooth roots to reduce pain and sensitivity. He can even go in and clean out any infection or decay you might have along your gum line as well.

Is Gum Surgery Safe?

Yes, gum surgery is very safe and effective, especially when you visit a qualified Norcross oral surgeon such as Dr. Baek. As long as you are healthy enough for minor surgery, you have no reason to worry.

A healthy smile involves more than just white teeth or perfect alignment. If your gums are getting in the way of the beautiful smile you've always wanted, you deserve to do something about it. Call Dr. Baek at Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross to set up a gum surgery consultation today.

By Smart Family Dental Care
June 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!

It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?

Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.

Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.

For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.

IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.

Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”

If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”

By Smart Family Dental Care
June 01, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

If your tooth sustains damage that compromises its structure — typically through decay or trauma — you have several options depending on the extent of the damage: One of them is a crown. This method saves the tooth and its root and completely conceals the visible portion of the tooth, or crown, under a natural-looking cap made to mimic as closely as possible the size, shape and color of the original tooth.

Crowns also hide imperfections in the original tooth like discoloration, chipping, fractures, excessive wear (from bruxism, or tooth grinding, for example), or abnormalities in the way the tooth formed. And they’re used following root canal treatments, which treat infected pulp at the center (canal) of a tooth root by removing the pulp and replacing it with an inert, rubber-like material.

Saving the natural tooth has long been the goal of dentistry because normal micromovements of the tooth root, which is suspended in its jawbone socket by elastic ligaments, stimulate the surrounding bone to rejuvenate. Without that stimulation, the bone continues to lose old cells, but no longer replaces them. Crowns are also designed to restore tooth function.

The function and location of the damaged tooth can determine what material the crown will be made of. If the damaged tooth is clearly visible when you smile, porcelain, the most realistic-looking material, is almost always used. If the tooth receives significant bite force, a stronger material is considered — either, a gold/porcelain combination, or a high-strength ceramic. If you are restoring a second molar, an all-gold crown may be considered.

With the advent of dental implants, saving a damaged tooth is no longer the only option for preserving the health of the bone surrounding the tooth root. The implant — a tiny biocompatible, titanium screw-like artificial root — is placed in the jawbone and is then capped with a natural-looking crown of course!

If you would like more information about dental crowns, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”