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

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Posts for: June, 2017

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
June 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
JimmyFallonCanrsquotCatchaBreak-ExceptinHisTooth

Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
June 14, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Almost half of American adults over 30 have some stage of periodontal disease according to the CDC. If you have gum disease, you will gum diseasebe able to identify the symptoms before you even visit your dentist for an official diagnosis. Learn the signs of periodontitis that should prompt you to see your Ellijay, GA, dentist immediately.

What is Periodontal Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is a breakdown of the health of the gums and bone tissue due to the growth of bad bacteria beneath and around the gumline. Poor oral hygiene is usually the cause. These are also factors that may play a role in the development of periodontal disease:

- Heredity (dentists are researching whether it may run in families)
- Lack of flossing for long periods of time (food gets trapped between the teeth, turns into plaque and feeds bad bacteria)
- Smoking or chewing tobacco (the tar makes it more difficult for the gums to heal and fight infection)

What Are the Signs?
When you brush in the morning, you can tell if your gums are healthy or if they may be affected by periodontal disease. Here are a few signs of periodontitis to look for:

- bleeding when you brush or floss
- painful, tender gums
- problems chewing your food
- dark colored or red gums
- teeth that are very sensitive to cold or hot foods
- loosening teeth
- pockets around the teeth
- really bad breath that doesn't fade (distinct from morning breath)

Treatment Options
Gum disease is treated depending on its stage and severity. The goal is to save your teeth from extraction and your gums from further infection. Here are the most common periodontal therapies:

- scaling and root planing
- medication to control bacteria
- periodontal surgery
- periodontal laser treatment
- gum/bone grafting
- dental implants when necessary

Your Gums Matter
The health of your gums matters to the overall health of your teeth. If you think you may have some of the symptoms of periodontal gum disease, call (706) 635-2218 today for an examination with a dentist at East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Ellijay, GA.


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
June 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health
TakeStepstoSaveanIncomingToothsPlacetoAvoidaPoorBite

At your child's latest dental visit, you found out one of their primary (“baby”) teeth has become decayed and in danger of loss. Of course, you may think, it's only a primary tooth — it's going to come out sooner or later.

But a primary tooth lost “sooner” rather than “later” can create long-term negative consequences for your child's dental health. For the sake of the future permanent tooth, the best treatment strategy could be to put forth the effort and expense to save it.

Besides its role in eating and chewing, a primary tooth's most important function is as a “trailblazer” for the permanent tooth developing below it. A primary tooth doesn't normally loosen and let go until the new permanent tooth is ready to erupt. Until then they hold the new tooth's space in the jaw.

But if the primary tooth is lost prematurely, nearby teeth can drift into and crowd the space so that the permanent tooth comes in out of position. This can result in a malocclusion, or poor bite.

Depending on the state of your child's jaw development, it may be advisable to attempt saving the tooth through a filling or, in the case of deep decay, a modified root canal treatment. If the tooth can't be saved, then placing an orthodontic appliance known as a space maintainer might be necessary. Cemented to a tooth next to the empty space, this appliance has a looped band of metal that butts against the tooth on the other side of the gap, and prevents both teeth from drifting into the space.

Intervening for a decayed primary tooth can seem a waste of time and money since it has a limited lifespan to begin with. But for the health of its companion permanent tooth, as well as possibly avoiding orthodontic treatment, it could be well worth it for your child's long-term dental health.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Importance of Baby Teeth.”