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

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Posts for: May, 2014

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
May 27, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
GeorgeWashingtonsFalseTeeth

Everyone knows that George Washington wore false teeth. Quick, now, what were our first President's dentures made of?

Did you say wood? Along with the cherry tree, that's one of the most persistent myths about the father of our country. In fact, Washington had several sets of dentures — made of gold, hippopotamus tusk, and animal teeth, among other things — but none of them were made of wood.

Washington's dental troubles were well documented, and likely caused some discomfort through much of his life. He began losing teeth at the age of 22, and had only one natural tooth remaining when he took office. (He lost that one before finishing his first term.) Portraits painted several years apart show scars on his cheeks and a decreasing distance between his nose and chin, indicating persistent dental problems.

Dentistry has come a long way in the two-and-a-half centuries since Washington began losing his teeth. Yet edentulism — the complete loss of all permanent teeth — remains a major public health issue. Did you know that 26% of U.S. adults between 65 and 74 years of age have no natural teeth remaining?

Tooth loss leads to loss of the underlying bone in the jaw, making a person seem older and more severe-looking (just look at those later portraits of Washington). But the problems associated with lost teeth aren't limited to cosmetic flaws. Individuals lacking teeth sometimes have trouble getting adequate nutrition, and may be at increased risk for systemic health disorders.

Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of ways that the problem of tooth loss can be overcome. One of the most common is still — you guessed it — removable dentures. Prosthetic teeth that are well-designed and properly fitted offer an attractive and practical replacement when the natural teeth can't be saved. Working together with you, our office can provide a set of dentures that feel, fit, and function normally — and look great too.

There are also some state-of-the art methods that can make wearing dentures an even better experience. For example, to increase stability and comfort, the whole lower denture can be supported with just two dental implants placed in the lower jaw. This is referred to as an implant supported overdenture. This approach eliminates the need for dental adhesives, and many people find it boosts their confidence as well.

If you have questions about dentures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Removable Full Dentures” and “Implant Overdentures for the Lower Jaw.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
May 22, 2014
Category: Dental procedure

Transform your Dull Smile into a Dazzling, Bright Smile with Veneers

If you are thinking about transforming your smile, there are several options available today thanks to advancements in dentistry. If you are in search of a red carpet worthy smile in Ellijay, veneers are very effective in restoring the normal appearance of your smile when teeth are chipped or broken.  Veneers can also correct minor misalignments, giving you the smile you have always desired. When your smile needs that extra boost in appearance, contact our dentist in Ellijay, GA to learn more about this cosmetic procedure.  In the mean time, lets take a closer look at types of veneers and the procedure so you know what to expect.
 

Porcelain Veneers vs. Composite Resin Veneers

Made from a special bonding material, composite veneers require the artistic skill of the dentist to shape and mold the composite resin to the desired shape of your tooth.  Once this has been done, a special light is used to cure or set the resin.  Composite bonding is a much quicker alternative to porcelain veneers, but they do not last as long and are more susceptible to staining with food and drinks.  Replacement of composite veneers may be needed every couple of years. Veneers
 
Composite tends to be an ideal solution for teeth with small chips and cracks in them or to fill a tiny gap. For more severe cases with large gaps or for a smile makeover, porcelain veneers provide the ideal solution.  Porcelain veneers are a beautiful way to correct stained, chipped, or crooked teeth.  By placing glass-like ceramic porcelain on the surface of teeth, dentists can provide patients with bright, straight, and natural looking smiles. 
 

The Veneers Procedure

A local anesthetic will first be administered and some patients may wish to be sedated during the procedure if they suffer from dental anxiety.  Once you are fully numb, your teeth or tooth will be prepared for the veneer.  A small portion of your natural tooth structure is removed, equivalent to the thickness of the veneer that will sit on top of your tooth. 
 
Once your tooth or teeth have been prepared, an impression or mold of your teeth is taken using a special alginate.  The impression is then sent to a dental laboratory that will fabricate your new veneers to the dentist’s exact specification.  If your dentist has an in-office lab, your veneers can often be placed on one easy visit. As soon as the veneers are fabricated, they will be placed on your teeth and adjusted to give the ideal look before they are permanently placed onto the front surface of your teeth. 
 
Before having any treatment, it is important that our dentist in Ellijay understands what you want from the treatment.  Dental veneers are not for everyone, but with proper consultation from our office we can create an appropriate treatment for restoring your smile.

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
May 22, 2014
Category: Oral Health
TheScareThatMadeIronChefCatCoraBelieveinMouthguards

Cat Cora, philanthropist, author, chef, restaurateur and the first female chef on the Food Network's hit series Iron Chef America is a dynamo driven by a desire to change people's lives for the better. And she is no different when it comes to tackling her most challenging role: caring for the needs of her four active young sons. This includes monitoring the food they eat, their oral hygiene habits and protecting their teeth from injuries.

During an interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Cat describes a backyard accident in which one of her boys, Zoran, was accidentally knocked in the mouth by another child while jumping on the family's trampoline. While her son was not seriously injured, it did cause her to take proactive steps to avoid future injuries. She had her dentist make a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect his newly erupted adult teeth. He now wears the mouthguard while on the trampoline and when playing soccer.

If you and/or your children routinely participate in contact sports — boxing, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, water polo, rugby and basketball, for example — or other forms of vigorous physical activity, you too should consider getting a professionally made mouthguard. A properly fitted mouthguard can help prevent injuries to the jaws, lips and teeth. And unlike those cumbersome “boil and bite” mouthguards you can purchase at a drugstore, the ones we make will stay in place, making it easier for you to breathe and talk.

If you are still not convinced, consider these facts: According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to suffer harm to the teeth when not wearing a mouthguard. And the US Centers for Disease Control reports that sports-related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 visits to the emergency room each year. Furthermore, people who do not have a knocked out tooth properly reserved or replanted may face a lifetime cost of $10,000 to $20,000 per tooth, according to the National Youth Sports Foundation for Safety.

To learn more about mouthguards, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Mouthguards.” Or if you are interested in obtaining a mouthguard for yourself and/or your child, contact us today to schedule an appointment. And to read the entire interview with Cat Cora, please see the article “Cat Cora.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
May 22, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
StrictInfectionControlProtectsDentalPatients

It’s rare now to encounter a news story about an infection spreading among a group of dental patients — a rarity thanks to the development of standards and procedures for infection control. As these standards have improved over the last few decades, the prevention of infection stemming from dental treatment has become more effective and easier to perform.

Like other healthcare providers, dentists are held (and hold themselves) to a high legal, moral and ethical standard to stop the spread of infection among their patients, and both governmental authorities and professional organizations mandate safety procedures. The United States Center for Disease Control regularly publishes recommendations for disinfection and sterilization procedures for all healthcare providers and facilities, including dental clinics. Dental and medical licensing bodies in each U.S. state also mandate control procedures and have made continuing education on infection control a condition of re-licensure.

For both medical and dental facilities, blood-borne pathogens represent the greatest risk of infection. These viral infections spread through an infected person’s blood coming in contact with the blood of an uninfected person, via a cut or a needle injection site. One of the most prevalent of these blood-borne diseases is hepatitis. This disease, which can severely impair the function of the liver and could be fatal, is caused by either of two viruses known as HBV and HCV. Any medical facility that encounters blood through needle injection or surgical procedures (including blood transfusion and surgical centers, and dental offices) must have a high degree of concern for controlling the spread of hepatitis and similar viral diseases.

Infection control protocols cover all aspects of potential exposure, including protective wear for workers and patients, proper disposal of contaminated refuse and disinfection of instruments and facilities. These comprehensive procedures not only keep patients safe from viral exposure, they also protect healthcare providers who experience greater exposure and risk for infection than the patients they serve.

Thanks to this strong emphasis on infection control, your dental visits are reliably safe. If you do have concerns, though, about the risk of infection during a dental visit, please let us know — we’ll be happy to discuss all we do to protect you and your family from infection.

If you would like more information on infection control, 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 “Infection Control in the Dental Office.”