21 Westbrook Court, East Ellijay, GA 30536, (706) 635-2218

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Posts for category: Oral Health

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
July 02, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
AcidRefluxCouldLeadtoToothDamage

Your tooth enamel’s main nemesis is oral acid: normally produced by bacteria, foods or beverages, acid can dissolve enamel’s mineral content and cause erosion and decay. But acid might be a bigger problem for you if you also have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

GERD is a digestive condition in which stomach acid backs up into the digestive tract. Normally, a ring of muscle at the end of the esophagus prevents stomach acid from coming up into it. But if it weakens, this powerful acid can splash up into the esophagus and irritate its more delicate lining and result in a burning sensation known as heartburn or acid indigestion.

The problem for teeth, though, is that GERD could cause stomach acid to potentially come up into the mouth. Because of its high acidic pH (2.0 or less), stomach acid can cause major erosion in tooth enamel, leaving them pitted, yellow and sensitive. If not caught and treated early, some of your teeth could be damaged to the point that they have a questionable prognosis.

There are some things you can do to minimize GERD’s effect on your dental health. First and foremost, see a doctor about managing your symptoms, which might include medication. Be sure you also inform your dentist that you have GERD and what medications you’re taking.

One way to lessen the effect of higher acid in the mouth is to stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acid. You can do this by drinking plenty of water, taking a saliva booster or chewing xylitol-sweetened gum. You can also rinse with plain water or water mixed with baking soda (1/2 teaspoon to a cup of water), or chew an antacid tablet to help balance your mouth’s pH level.

And don’t forget to look out for your enamel. Be sure you’re practicing daily brushing and flossing and using fluoride hygiene products to strengthen it. Your dentist can also apply topical solutions or prescribe special rinses with higher concentrations of fluoride.

GERD can be an unpleasant experience that escalates into major problems. Don’t let it compromise your dental health.

If you would like more information on managing oral health with acid reflux disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
June 24, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

These days, thanks to advancements in dental technology, we have more options than ever before. And when it comes to replacing missing teeth, we no longer have to rely on traditional dentures. Now you can fill in the gaps with dental implants, a more comfortable, permanent solution. Dr. David Settel, Dr. Cindy Hall Sosebee, and Dr. Wesley Burke are dentists at East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in East Ellijay GA. They provide full dental implant services. To learn more about your dental implants Ellijay specialists, contact their office today.

What Are Dental Implants?

Whether you’re missing one or two teeth or a whole arch, dental implants Ellijay can restore your smile with a perfectly natural look. Titanium posts are implanted into the jawbone. Over the next few months, as the bone grows around the titanium, it secures the posts, giving them a firm foundation, just like the roots of your natural teeth. Dentures are then attached to the posts, restoring your full smile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

There are several advantages to getting dental implants from our East Ellijay dental practice. These include:

  • Giving you back a bright, confident smile
  • A comfortable alternative to dentures that will not move when you eat or speak
  • Teeth that function just like your natural teeth
  • Enjoy eating all your favorite foods
  • Care or them just as you would your natural teeth

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

You can benefit from dental implants no matter how many teeth you have missing. During your initial consultation, one of our dental implants Ellijay dentists will X-ray your teeth and discuss which type of dental implants are best for you.

If you live in East Ellijay and you would like to find out more about how dental implants can work for you, contact East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (706) 635-2218. Dr. David Settel, Dr. Cindy Hall Sosebee, and Dr. Wesley Burke are happy to discuss your options.

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
June 02, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gummy smile  
WhyIsYourSmileGummyHereAre4Possibilities

What makes a beautiful smile? Beautiful teeth, for sure. But there's also another component that can make or break your smile, regardless of your teeth's condition: your gums. Although their primary function is to protect and stabilize the teeth, your gums also enhance them aesthetically by providing an attractive frame.

But just as a painting displayed in an oversized frame can lose some of its appeal, so can your smile if the size of your gums appears out of proportion with your teeth. Normally, a smile that displays more than four millimeters of gum tissue is considered “gummy.”

There are some things we can do to improve your gum to teeth ratios. What we do will depend on which of the following is the actual cause for your gummy smile.

Excess gum tissue. We'll start with the obvious: you have excess gum tissue that obscures some of the visible tooth crown. We can often correct this with a surgical procedure called “crown lengthening,” which removes some of the excess tissue and then reshapes the gums and bone to expose more teeth length.

Teeth that appear too short. The problem may not be your gums — it could be your teeth appear too short. This can happen if the teeth didn't erupt fully, or if they've worn down due to aging or a grinding habit. One option here is to “lengthen” the tooth cosmetically with veneers, crowns or other bonding techniques.

Higher lip movement. Rather than your teeth and gums being out of size proportion, your upper lip may be rising too high when you smile, a condition known as hypermobility. One temporary fix is through Botox injections that paralyze the lip muscles and prevent their movement from overextending. We could also use periodontal surgery to perform a lip stabilization procedure that permanently corrects the upper lip movement.

Overextended jaw. Your gums may seem more prominent if your upper jaw extends too far down and forward. In this case, orthognathic (jaw straightening) surgery might be used to reposition the jaw relative to its connection with the skull. Setting the jaw up and back in this way would reduce the prominence of the gums when you smile.

As you can see, treatments range from cosmetic techniques to moderate surgical procedures. A full dental exam will help determine which if any of these measures could reduce gumminess and improve your smile.

If you would like more information on correcting gummy smiles, 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 “Gummy Smiles.”

April 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: White Smile  

Are you looking to get a whiter smile? The answers may be found either at home or through cosmetic dentistry options such as veneers

Is your smile a little lackluster these days? Are you noticing that coffee is taking its toll, leaving your smile a little dingy and perhaps even a bit yellow? No problem—this is an easy fix. While our Ellijay, GA, dentists, Dr. David Settel, Dr. Cindy Sosebee, and Dr. Wesley Burke, can provide everything from teeth whitening treatment to dental veneers to get a whiter smile here are some simple steps you can take at home first,

Try at-home teeth whitening

Many people turn to their local drugstore to find whitening kits and strips that may help to lighten mild stains. If your stains are superficial then you may see visible results after about 1-2 weeks of continued use with these over-the-counter products. Make sure you read directions carefully before using any and all whitening products.

Use a whitening toothpaste

Along with your at-home whitening kit, you may also choose a whitening toothpaste, which contains polishing abrasives that can prevent new stains from forming while also buffing away newly formed stains. While toothpaste won’t actually change the color of your teeth like whitening products can, if they are combined with whitening products, they can offer some wonderful results.

Watch what you eat and drink

There are a lot of foods and drinks that we may consume regularly that are also known for causing stains. While we won’t tell people that they have to completely get rid of all of these things (because it’s quite an extensive list), it is highly recommended that you limit your consumption of:

  • Sports drinks
  • Sodas
  • Red and white wine
  • Black tea and coffee
  • Tomato sauce
  • Dark condiments and sauces (e.g. balsamic vinegar; soy sauce; ketchup)
  • Berries and dark fruits
  • Citrus (which can wear away tooth enamel)

Ditch smoking for good

Smoking is one of the biggest culprits for causing nasty, dark stains on teeth. These stains can be challenging to remove, especially in long-term smokers. Ditching the habit as soon as you can will go a long way towards improving your oral health and the appearance of your smile over time.

Prioritize your smile

If you are interested in learning more about teeth whitening or dental veneers for improving your smile our Ellijay, GA, cosmetic dentists are here to answer your questions and help you decide which treatment is right for your smile. Schedule a consultation with the team at East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling (706) 635-2218.

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
April 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: sedation dentistry  
SedationTherapyCanHelpAnxiousPatientsGettheDentalCareTheyNeed

Dental visit anxiety is a serious problem: Half of all Americans admit to some level of dental fear, while 15% avoid dental care altogether due to acute anxiety. The harm this can cause to dental health is incalculable.

But dentists have a number of sedation techniques that can relax anxious patients and allow them to receive the care they need. Although often used together, sedation is slightly different from anesthesia, which aims to deaden pain sensation. The aim of sedation is to calm the emotions and state of mind.

Sedation isn't a new approach: Physicians have used substances like root herbs or alcohol to relieve anxiety since ancient times. Modern dentistry also has a long history with sedation, dating from the early 1800s with the first use of nitrous oxide gas.

Modern dental sedation has expanded into an array of drugs and techniques to match varying levels of anxiety intensity. At the milder end of the scale are oral sedatives, taken an hour or so before a dental appointment to produce a calmer state. This may be enough for some patients, or it can be used in conjunction with nitrous oxide.

For those with more intense anxiety, dentists can turn to intravenous (IV) sedation. In this case, the sedative is delivered directly into the bloodstream through a small needle or catheter inserted in a vein. This causes a quicker and deeper reaction than oral sedatives.

Although similar to general anesthesia, IV sedation does differ in significant ways. Rather than unconsciousness, IV sedation places a patient in a “semi-awake” state that may still allow them respond to verbal commands. And although the patient's vital signs (heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, etc.) must be monitored, the patient doesn't need breathing assistance as with anesthesia.

There's one other benefit: The drugs used often have an amnesic effect, meaning the patient won't remember the treatment experience after recovery. This can be helpful in creating more pleasant memories of their dental experience, which could have its own sedative effect in the future.

Whether oral, gas or IV, sedatives are a safe and effective way to calm dental fears during treatment. That could help someone with anxiety maintain their oral health.

If you would like more information on reducing dental anxiety, 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 “IV Sedation in Dentistry.”