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



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Posts for: March, 2015

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
March 25, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

If you were a well-known actor, how far would you go to get inside the character you’re playing in a movie? Plenty of stars have gained or lost weight to fit the role; some have tried to relate to their character by giving up creature comforts, going through boot camp, even trying out another occupation for a time. But when Jamie Foxx played a homeless musician in the 2009 film The Soloist, he went even further: He had part of his front tooth chipped out!

“My teeth are just so big and white — a homeless person would never have them,” he told an interviewer. “I just wanted to come up with something to make the part unique. I had one [tooth] chipped out with a chisel.”

Now, even if you’re trying to be a successful actor, we’re not suggesting you have your teeth chipped intentionally. However, if you have a tooth that has been chipped accidentally, we want you to know that we can repair it beautifully. One way to do that is with cosmetic bonding.

Bonding uses tooth-colored materials called “composite resins” (because they contain a mixture of plastic and glass) to replace missing tooth structure. The composite actually bonds, or becomes one, with the rest of the tooth.

Composite resins come in a variety of lifelike tooth shades, making it virtually impossible to distinguish the bonded tooth from its neighbors. Though bonding will not last as long as a dental veneer, it also does not require the involvement of a dental laboratory and, most often, can be done with minor reshaping of the tooth.

Cosmetic Bonding for Chipped Teeth
A chipped tooth can usually be bonded in a single visit to the dental office. First, the surface of the tooth may be beveled slightly with a drill, and then it is cleaned. Next, it is “etched” with an acidic gel that opens up tiny pores. After the etching gel is rinsed off, the liquid composite resin in a well-matched shade is painted on in a thin layer, filling these tiny pores to create a strong bond. A special curing light is used to harden this bonding material. Once the first layer is cured, another layer is painted on and cured. Layers can continue to be built up until the restoration has the necessary thickness. The bonding material is then shaped and polished. The whole procedure takes only about 30 minutes!

If you have questions about cosmetic bonding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
March 10, 2015
Category: Oral Health

If you’ve noticed a small sore in your mouth, it’s possible you have a non-contagious disease known as lichen planus. Although usually benign, it’s still a good idea to have it examined and monitored.

The condition is so named because its lesions are similar in appearance to lichen, the algae and fungi organism often found on rocks and trees. It’s believed to be a type of autoimmune disease, in which the body treats some of its own cells as foreign and reacts adversely to them. Certain medications and substances may also cause a lichenoid reaction. Besides the inner cheeks, gums or tongue, lichen planus may also appear on other skin or mucous surfaces on the wrists, legs or fingernails.

When it appears inside the mouth it usually resembles a lacy pattern of white lines or ulceration. Gum tissues may become red and inflamed, with some soreness after brushing or eating. Although there’s no known cure for lichen planus, it rarely causes serious problems — in fact, you may not even be aware you have the condition unless pointed out during a dental exam. It may, in time, fade away.

If the lesions do become bothersome (painful, itchy or overly-sensitive), there are some ways to ease discomfort: brushing with a soft toothbrush (to minimize irritation), flossing, and avoiding acidic or spicy foods and beverages which have been known to cause flare-ups. Managing stress is also helpful, and a topical steroid may be prescribed for more severe outbreaks.

Perhaps the greatest concern with lichen planus, though, is it may resemble more serious conditions, particularly oral cancer. The only way to be certain that it is a benign condition is to perform a biopsy on some of the affected tissue. If you notice a problem, be sure to visit us for a complete examination. And regardless of whether you have the condition or not, regular oral cancer screenings, as well as limits on alcohol consumption and stopping use of tobacco, will also reduce your risk of oral cancer.

Odds are if you have a case of lichen planus it isn’t causing you any problems. If it does cause you discomfort, though, you can take steps to ease your symptoms.

If you would like more information on lichen planus and similar oral conditions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By East Ellijay Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
March 09, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  

The thought of dentures can easily conjure up unnerving images of bent over old men and women depending on canes or walkers to get around. The thought of wearing dentures is even worse. It can make you shudder...perhaps, that image could actually be you!

Fear not, concerned friend. Dentures can actually make you look younger! And when you are ready to make that transition from crooked or missing teeth to dentures, the experienced doctors at East Ellijay Family and Cosmetic Dentistry are ready to assist you.

How Can Dentures Make You Look Younger?

Dentures can make you look younger because of the advanced technology of today's dental paradigm. Improved techniques have brought false teeth a long way from the distorted handiwork of our grandparent's day. The one-size-fits-all mold of the past often resulted in acceptable-looking choppers for some, but unnatural-looking one for others. Cosmetic dentistry has changed that whole picture. Today's teeth are constructed from a mold made from the patient's mouth. This method allows for teeth that can be adjusted for a better fit, creating a more natural, youthful appearance as well as providing a greater level of comfort for the wearer.

Dentures Provide Physical as Well as Emotional Support

Custom-made dentures also help with bone loss and muscle displacement, two mishaps that often develop with the occurrence of missing teeth. A wrinkled, sagging face will undergo a youthful transformation with the right support mechanism in place. Dentures can provide that physical support. They can also provide emotional support. Confidence is built because of the regained ability to chew, eat, and interact with others. This confidence will, in turn, restore a healthy, beautiful smile. That beautiful smile will also help you look years younger.

Don't be afraid to make that step towards getting dentures. They will give you the appearance and confidence you need to move forward in life. Need a second opinion? Visit East Ellijay Family and Cosmetic Dentistry and speak to one of our dentists. We are sure to put your mind at ease! Give us a call today at (706) 635-2218 to schedule a consultation.