Posts for: May, 2019

By Smart Family Dental Care
May 29, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Tooth Loss  
ToothLossAHealthRiskforOlderAdults

Tooth loss is a problem that affects many seniors—and since May is Older Americans Month, this is a good time to talk about it. Did you know that more than a quarter of adults over age 75 have lost all of their natural teeth? This not only affects their quality of life but poses a significant health risk.

According to a study in The Journal of Prosthodontics, significant tooth loss is associated with increased risk for malnutrition—and also for obesity. If this seems like a contradiction, consider that when you have few or no teeth, it’s much easier to eat soft, starchy foods of little nutritional value than it is to eat nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables. If all of your teeth are missing, it’s especially critical to replace them as soon as possible.

There are several ways to replace a full set of missing teeth, including removable dentures, overdentures, and fixed dentures:

Removable dentures are the classic replacement teeth that you put in during the day and take out at night. (However, if you suffer from sleep apnea, research has found that keeping dentures in at night may help keep the airway open, so if you have this condition, be sure to mention it to your doctor and dentist it). Dentures have come a long way in terms of how convincing they look, but they still have some disadvantages: For one thing, they take some getting used to—particularly while eating. Also, wearing removable dentures can slowly wear away the bone that they rest on. ¬†As that bone gradually shrinks over time, the dentures cease to fit well and require periodic adjustment (re-lining) or a remake.

Overdentures are removable dentures that attach onto a few strategically placed dental implants, which are small titanium posts placed in the bone beneath your gums. Strong and secure, implants prevent the denture from slipping when you wear it. Implants also slow the rate of bone loss mentioned above, which should allow the denture to fit better over a longer period of time. The ability to maintain hygiene is easier because you can remove them for cleaning.

Fixed implant-supported dentures are designed to stay in your mouth all the time, and are the closest thing to having your natural teeth back. An entire row of fixed (non-removable) replacement teeth can usually be held in place by 4-6 dental implants. Dental implant surgery is an in-office procedure performed with the type of anesthesia that’s right for you. After implants have been placed and have integrated with your jaw bone—generally after a few months—you can enjoy all of your favorite foods again without worry or embarrassment.

If you would like more information about tooth-replacement options, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures” and “Removable Full Dentures.”


By Smart Family Dental Care
May 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  
VivicasVeneerstheMakingofaHollywoodSmile

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Smart Family Dental Care
May 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Gum Surgery  

Gum problems? Gum surgery can help your dentist improve the appearance of your gums and restore oral health. There are many Gum_Diseasedifferent types of periodontal surgery procedures being practiced, but your dental provider will help you determine the treatment that is suitable for you based on the condition of your smile and your desired outcome. Led by Dr. Orson Baek, Smart Family Dental Care (located in Norcross, GA) offers gum surgery services to the patients they serve. Here are 5 reasons to have gum surgery.

1. You want to have your gums reshaped. By reshaping your gums, your dentist can completely revitalize the appearance of your smile. Gum contouring, also called a gum lift, is a surgical cosmetic procedure for people who are unhappy with the size and proportion of their gums. Your dentist can reshape your gums with a laser or scalpel to help your teeth appear more prominent and restore balance to your smile.

2. You want to reverse periodontal disease. While traditional gum surgery can help you achieve healthier gums, many dentists now offer laser gum surgery. Laser surgery is a breakthrough in the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Laser surgery removes diseased gum tissue through the use of laser light. Laser surgery offers better clinical results while reducing the need for invasive therapies. Laser surgery doesn’t cut into your gums like traditional surgery. Most people find laser gum surgery to be a lot less painful than traditional gum surgery.

3. You need to expose a tooth's surface for a crown. If you need a dental crown, but don't have enough tooth surface to attach the crown, your dental provider may recommend crown lengthening. This procedure can be accomplished with a scalpel or laser by your dentist in Norcross and can help your teeth appear longer and more prominent. Patients with severe decay may also need crown lengthening before their tooth can be restored.

4. Your gum tissue has pulled away from your teeth. Soft tissue grafting, also called gum regeneration or gum graft, may be a viable option for people who have receding gums as a result of periodontal disease. During this procedure, your dentist will take a piece of tissue from a part of your mouth to restore it around the tooth. Soft tissue grafting can prevent further deterioration of the gums, while improving the appearance of your smile.

5. You need to have a tooth surgically removed. A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the jawbone. There are a number of reasons why dental extractions may be needed. A dental extraction may be necessary if your tooth is so damaged that it cannot be fixed. Additionally, if your wisdom teeth don't have room to grow, you'll likely need to have them pulled. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in inflammation, pain, and a gum infection.

If you think you may need gum surgery, call Smart Family Dental Care at (770) 446-5700 today to schedule a dental consultation in Norcross, GA. Whether you have gum surgery to improve aesthetics or function, you will receive the benefits of both: improved periodontal health and a beautiful smile – your keys to smiling, eating, and speaking with confidence!


ConsideranEffectiveandAffordableRPDforTeethReplacement

If you have a few missing teeth but can't afford dental implants or fixed bridgework, consider a removal partial denture (RPD). Although implants may be the superior choice aesthetically and functionally, an RPD can still effectively give you back your teeth.

RPDs are designed to replace one or more missing teeth but not a full arch like a full denture. Considered a permanent restoration, RPDs are also more durable than transitional "flippers," denture appliances that are flexible and light enough to be flipped out of the mouth with a flick of the tongue.

The key to both their affordability and durability is vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy most often used in their frame construction. To it we attach artificial teeth usually made of porcelain or glass-filled resins that occupy the precise location of the missing teeth on the gum ridge. The artificial teeth and frame are surrounded by gum-colored plastic for a more natural look.

Each RPD is custom-made depending on the number and location of the missing teeth. Its construction will focus on minimizing any rocking movement of the RPD during chewing or biting. Too much of this movement could damage the adjacent teeth it's attaching to and cause the appliance to be uncomfortable to wear. We can stabilize the frame by precisely fitting it between teeth to buttress it. We also insert small rests or clasps made of vitallium at strategic points to grip teeth and minimize movement.

RPDs do have some downsides: their unique attachment with teeth encourages the accumulation of dental plaque, the thin bacterial film that's the leading cause of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. These diseases can affect your remaining teeth's health and stability, which could in turn disrupt the fit of the RPD. Also, too much movement of the appliance can make the teeth to which it's attached become more mobile. It's important, then, if you wear a RPD to remove it daily for cleaning (and to thoroughly brush and floss your natural teeth), and to remove it at night to give the attaching teeth a rest.

A RPD can give you back the teeth you've lost for many years to come—if you take care of it. Maintaining both your RPD and the rest of your teeth and gums will help extend the life and use of this effective and affordable replacement restoration.

If you would like more information on teeth replacement options, 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 “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”