Posts for: June, 2017

By Smart Family Dental Care
June 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Find out what you should do if this dental issue happens to you.chipped tooth

Oh no! A piece of your tooth just chipped off. As you look at the little piece of enamel in your hand you may be asking yourself, “Now what?” Our Norcross, GA, dentist, Dr. Orson Baek, is here to tell you exactly what you should do if you are faced with a chipped or cracked tooth.

Minimal Damage

No matter how minor the chip may look, it’s still important that you visit your Norcross general dentist. Why? A chip can continue to grow if it isn’t treated. If the chip is small, we may only need to buff out the area to smooth any jagged, sharp edges. In some situations, we may even apply bonding resin over the areas that we had to file down in order to restore the shape of the tooth. In most cases, bonding won’t require us to numb the tooth beforehand, since we only have to apply, shape and harden the resin to your tooth.

Moderate to Severe Damage

If the chip was a bit more extensive than you realized then we will determine whether a dental filling will be able to support the tooth or whether a dental crown will need to be placed over the tooth in order to restore function and strength. A crown may be the best approach if the chip has affected a large portion of the tooth and weakened it. If you do need a crown, it will be custom made to fit over the tooth to protect it from further damage while also restoring its appearance.

How to Treat Your Tooth

While it’s necessary to come in for care, there are certainly things you can do before you come into the office to help ease symptoms including:

  • Eating only soft foods and avoid chewing or using the damaged tooth (try to avoid eating, if possible)
  • Applying sugarless gum to the chip or crack, particularly if the area is sharp and there is a possibility that you may cut your tongue or cheek
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, which can also reduce any swelling. You can also swish saltwater around in your mouth to help provide temporary pain relief

Don’t ignore a cracked or chipped tooth. If you are dealing with this issue, the dental experts at Smart Family Dental Care in Norcross, GA, are ready to help. Call our office today and we’ll make sure to get you in our office as soon as possible for treatment.


Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.├é┬áRecently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.

Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.

A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.

If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.

If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Smart Family Dental Care
June 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

A root canal treatment is a commonly known but often misunderstood procedure. Contrary to popular belief, these treatments aren't painful — in fact, they often stop a toothache. More importantly, a “root canal” can give a tooth on the verge of loss another lease on life.

Still, if you've never experienced a root canal treatment before, you probably have questions. Here are the answers to a few of the most common.

Why do they call it a “root canal”? This is the popular shorthand term for a procedure that removes diseased tissue from a decay-infected pulp, the innermost part of a tooth and the actual root canals themselves. Root canals are the narrow, hollow channels that run from the tip of the root to the pulp and are also involved in the procedure.

Why do I need one? Once infected, the pulp's bundles of blood vessels, nerves and other tissues become diseased. This often results in a painful toothache that can also suddenly disappear once the nerves within the pulp die. But there's still a problem: If we don't clean out the diseased and dead pulp tissue, the infection could spread through the root canals to the bone and endanger the tooth's survival.

What happens during the procedure? After deadening the tooth and surrounding gums with local anesthesia, we enter the pulp through an access hole we create. Using special instruments we remove the diseased tissue and shape the root canals to seal them with a filling material called gutta percha. Sealing the access hole is then necessary to prevent re-infection. Later we'll cap the tooth with a porcelain crown to restore its appearance and add further protection against fracture or cracking of the tooth.

Who can perform a root canal treatment? In many cases a general dentist can perform the procedure. There are some complex situations, however, that require a root canal specialist with additional training, expertise and equipment to handle these more difficult cases. If your tooth is just such a case it's more than likely your general dentist will refer you to an endodontist to make sure you get the right kind of care to save it.

If you would like more information on root canal 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 “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”