Posts for: May, 2016


When designing your new smile, we have a lot of options for changing how individual teeth look: from whitening discolored teeth to replacing missing teeth with life-like dental implants. But the problem may not be how your teeth look — in fact, individually they may look perfect. If they’re not straight, though, your smile won’t be as attractive as it could be.

We can address a poor bite (malocclusion) through the dental specialty of orthodontics. By moving misaligned teeth we may be able to transform your smile without any other dental work, or it could serve as a more solid foundation for other cosmetic enhancements. To find out if orthodontics can make a difference for you, you should begin with an initial visit to your general dentist. A thorough dental examination will enable them to tell you if correcting your bite could be a good option for you. If it is, they’ll most likely refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in treating malocclusions.

The orthodontist will also perform an evaluation and get as complete a picture as possible of your particular bite problems. This examination will also include checking jaw growth and development in younger patients, how the affected teeth align with other teeth, and if your current bite is having any effect on the jaw joints. This will provide a good overview of not only the malocclusion but how it affects the rest of your mouth.

With this detailed analysis, they can then advise you on the best course of treatment. Most malocclusions can be corrected with braces or, increasingly, clear aligner trays. In certain situations, though, more specialized approaches may be needed, such as isolating only certain teeth for movement.

While orthodontic treatment takes time and can be expensive, the end result can be amazing: an improved bite that not only enhances your appearance but improves function and long-term health. Along with other cosmetic enhancements to your teeth and gums, orthodontics can give you a new sense of confidence in your smile.

If you would like more information on improving your smile with orthodontic treatment, 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 “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Smart Family Dental Care
May 13, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Smart Family Dental Care
May 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: smoking  

If you smoke or chew tobacco, you likely know the common risks associated with the habit: lung cancer, heart disease and diabetic smokingcomplications. Your dental health is no exception; it can be greatly impacted by the chemicals contained in tobacco products. At Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross, GA, Dr. Orson Baek wants his patients to understand the implications that smoking has on your smile and your overall health.

Teeth problems

Regardless if you smoke or not, it's probably no surprise that a longtime smoker's teeth become discolored due to the yellow-tinged tobacco. Chronic bad breath, called halitosis, often affects smokers as well. The combination of these things make your smoking habit hard to hide. Even regular cleanings with your Norcross dentist may not be able to erase these signs.

Gum disease

Smoking attacks the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to develop gum disease as those who do not smoke. This can lead to recession of the gums and infections that may not respond as well to treatment due to reduced oxygen in the blood, which is necessary for healing. Due to the the constant exposure to bacteria, untreated gum disease can also become systemic, which experts believe can contribute to heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.

Oral cancer

Like other cancers in the body, the risk of oral cancer increases with tobacco usage. For current and former smokers, oral cancer screenings from your Norcross dentist can be life-saving evaluations. Pre-cancerous lesions called leukoplakia can appear on the tongue or inside of the cheeks and may alert your dentist to the possibility of oral cancer developing; these chalky-white patches are usually painless but may feel rough or firmer than the tissue that surrounds them. Oral cancer symptoms often mimic that of a cold or toothache, which is why screenings are extremely important for early detection.

If you would like more information on smoking-related issues, please contact Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross, GA. Give us a call today to set up an appointment!