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

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Posts for: December, 2017

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
JulianneHoughSharesaVideo-andaSong-AfterWisdomTeethComeOut

Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.

That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!

Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.

Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”

One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.

Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”  Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: air abrasion  
AirAbrasionCouldbeaMorePleasantAlternativetotheDentalDrill

While it may not be one of your favorite features in the dental office, the dental drill is nevertheless necessary for treating problem teeth. It’s used primarily for removing decayed or damaged structure and preparing a tooth for fillings or other restorations.

Dental drills have been used for decades and are quite effective — but they have their drawbacks. Their rotating burrs often remove portions of healthy tooth structure along with decayed material. Friction from the drill action can cause discomfort, so local anesthesia is usually needed. Drills can also emit a high-pitched machine noise that’s unsettling to many patients.

There’s a growing alternative to the drill, known as air abrasion. Although the technology has been around since the 1950s, the development of new suction pumps that capture the resulting dust from its use has made it more palatable as an option to the traditional drill.

Also known as particle abrasion, the technique uses a pressurized stream of fine particles (usually aluminum oxide, an abrasive powder) directed at teeth to wear away (abrade) the tooth’s structural surface. We can be quite precise in the amount of surface material removed, so it’s useful for diminishing stains or roughing the surface for bonding materials like composite resin. We’re also able to remove decayed material with very little impact on surrounding healthy structure, and you may not need anesthesia during the procedure.

While this quiet alternative to the noisier drill is quite versatile, it does have its limitations. It’s not that efficient for preparing larger cavities for restoration or for removing older amalgam fillings. The teeth to be treated must be carefully isolated to prevent the fine particle dust produced from being swallowed by the patient or spread into the air. High-volume suction equipment is a must or the procedure will create a “sandstorm” of particles in the room.

Still, for situations suited to it and with proper isolation measures, air abrasion can be effective and comfortable. If the technology continues to improve, the dental drill may soon become a relic of the past.

If you would like more information on procedures using air abrasion, 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 “Air Abrasion Technology.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   Veneers  

Find out how dental veneers could finally turn your smile’s appearance around for the better.veneers

Do you envy the Hollywood stars and their beautiful smiles? Do you wish your smile was as perfect as theirs? What if we told you that it’s completely possible to have this same beautiful smile and you don’t even have to go to Hollywood to get it? Our East Ellijay, GA, cosmetic dentists are here to tell you why dental veneers might just be the best cosmetic treatment you could ask for.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are designed to cover the front of one or more teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. Whether you want to alter the overall shape or size of your teeth or you want to get a whiter smile, this thin, tooth-colored restoration may be the easiest way to get the results you want and to achieve that Hollywood smile.

In order to get traditional veneers, we will need to prepare your teeth first. This is where our East Ellijay, GA, dentists will remove less than one millimeter of enamel from the front of your teeth so that there is enough room to bond the veneers. Once this is complete, we will take molds of your mouth. A lab will use these molds to create veneers that will perfectly cover your teeth and give you the look that you want. Once your veneers are ready, you will come back into our office so that we can bond them to your smile.

Am I a good candidate for veneers?

You could be a great candidate for dental veneers if you have teeth that are discolored, misshapen, chipped or cracked. Any issues that affect the appearance of your smile may easily be improved with dental veneers. Do you have a slightly misaligned smile? Do you have small gaps between teeth that you want to close? Veneers can make smiles appear straighter without the need for braces. If you want to change the shape, size or color of one or more teeth then it’s time to chat with us about getting veneers.

If you are interested in getting cosmetic dentistry in East Ellijay, GA, then it’s time you called us to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to help you determine whether dental veneers or other treatment options could finally give you the smile you’ve been looking for. Call East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today.