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

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Posts for: December, 2021

By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 25, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
ImplantsStreamlineDentalWorkUpgradesforGradualToothLoss

One day, you lose one… followed by another…and then another. And then, after years of dental disease, you finally lose all your remaining teeth.

But between the first tooth lost and the last, years or even decades could pass. Individuals in the past caught in this downward spiral often decided the cost of continually upgrading their restorations with each lost tooth was simply too much. Instead, they opted at some point to have their remaining teeth extracted, even relatively healthy ones, to make way for full dentures.

That's still an option you might one day want to consider. Today, though, you have another alternative: With the help of dental implants, you can easily update your restorations with gradual tooth loss and keep more of your natural teeth longer. And keeping them longer is often the best scenario for maintaining optimum oral health.

Most people are familiar with dental implants as single replacements for individual teeth. It's a straightforward application. A dentist imbeds a titanium metal post into the jawbone at the missing tooth site, to which they later attach a life-like crown.  Over time, the titanium post attracts new bone growth, resulting in enhanced durability for the implant, while also helping to reduce the bone loss that typically occurs after losing teeth.

But implants can also be used to support more traditional restorations like bridges or partial dentures. When used in that manner you only need a small number to support a restoration for multiple teeth, a much more affordable method than an individual implant for each tooth. And with planning and forethought, earlier installed implants could be incorporated into the next phase of restoration.

This helps make the process of updating restorations more manageable and affordable, while also prolonging the life of your remaining teeth. And should the time come when you lose all your teeth, implants can support a full fixed bridge or a removable denture. Including dental implants in your ongoing treatment strategy can pay dividends toward maintaining your best oral health.

If you would like more information on the many applications for dental implants, 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 “Replacing All Teeth But Not All at Once.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 20, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Veneers  

Those who seek veneers in the Ellijay, GA area will often have a number of questions about the ins and outs of the procedure. At East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, these patients can receive all of the answers that they need and then some. The permanence of veneers is one of the more commonly discussed aspects, rightfully so.

There are a number of ways that they can improve a patient’s smile. For answers about the permanence of this decision and other frequently asked veneer questions, please be sure to consult with the following guide:

Will Veneers Function As a Permanent Solution?

As veneers become more and more popular, a more sizable number of patients in the Ellijay, GA region want to know if they are going to function as a permanent solution. If teeth have become stained, chipped, decayed, or crooked, this is one of the more commonly suggested solutions. While veneers are typically not considered permanent, they will last for a long period of time with the proper care and maintenance.

How Long Can Veneers Last?

They are probably going to require a replacement procedure at some point in the distant future but veneers can last for decades if the patient is truly dedicated to their care. In fact, there are some instances where the patient may never need to replace them at all. There is one point of contention that must be discussed more openly before the patient makes any final decisions on veneers in Ellijay, GA.

The procedure is not reversible. The patient’s teeth must be filed down in order for the veneers to properly fit in their mouth. Enamel does not regenerate once it has been filed away, which is something that patients would do well to remember. Crowns or veneers will always be needed for the teeth that have been affected.

What Are Some Basic Care Rules To Follow?

For starters, patients will always want to show up to their biannual checkups. This allows any potential problems that are brewing to be nipped in the bud. Basic oral hygiene is also a must. Brush twice a day, floss your teeth and try to avoid tooth decay if possible. Veneers have to be known to fall or break under pressure, which is important to remember.

The teeth cannot be used as a tool, either. Breakage and slippage are much more likely if the patient is using the teeth to open packages or chomp on ice. A little bit of common sense goes a long way when it comes to the basic care concerns associated with veneers.

Contact East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at 706-635-2218 to find out more about the benefits of veneers. Any patient seeking veneers in the Ellijay, GA area will benefit immensely from the expertise that they have to offer.


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 15, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   gum recession  
GumRecessionCouldHaveLong-RangeConsequencesForYourDentalHealth

We're all familiar with optical illusions, which our brain visually perceives in a way different from the actual reality. A kind of optical illusion may also happen in your mouth: Your teeth appear to have gotten "longer." They haven't actually grown—instead, the gums have shrunk back (or receded) to reveal more of the tooth.

Unfortunately, this isn't an amusing visual trick! Gum recession isn't healthy, and it could endanger your teeth.

Receding gums occur for a variety of reasons. Some people are simply more genetically disposed to recession because they've inherited thinner gum tissues from their parents. You can also damage your gums through over-aggressive brushing.

But the most common cause for gum recession is periodontal (gum) disease, caused by bacteria inhabiting a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces called dental plaque. The more plaque present on your teeth, the more plentiful the bacteria, which can sharply increase your risk of infection. Unless treated, gum disease can eventually weaken the gums' attachment to teeth that can then cause the gums to recede.

Normally, the gums cover and protect the tooth roots from bacteria and other hazards, similar to the way enamel protects the tooth's visible crown. But teeth lose this protection when the gums recede, exposing them to disease-causing bacteria and other oral hazards.

Fortunately, there is hope for receded gums. The primary way is to first treat the gum disease that caused it: If the recession has been mild, this may help the tissues regain their former coverage. More severe recession, however, may require highly technical grafting surgery with donor tissue to promote new tissue growth at the site.

But the best approach is to avoid recession in the first place by preventing gum disease. This requires removing bacterial plaque daily through brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental visits for more thorough cleanings. Dental visits are also important if you have a higher risk profile for gum recession like thinner gum tissues.

Gum recession isn't just an inconvenience. It can put your oral health at long-term risk. But you may be able to avoid its occurrence by practicing daily oral hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly.

If you would like more information on gum recession, 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 “Gum Recession.”


By East Ellijay Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
December 05, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
4ThingsYouCanDotoFosterBetterOralHealthforaPersonWithDisabilities

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion people around the world have a disability. That's one in eight individuals of all ages who may need assistance managing their daily lives. One area in particular that often requires caregiver attention is oral health, which isn't always easy.

Depending on the disability, addressing a disabled individual's health needs can be overwhelming—and such concerns may be even greater now due to COVID 19. In light of all these and other pressing issues, caring for a disabled person's teeth and gums could easily take a back seat.

But oral health has a far greater impact on a person's health than just their mouth. Inflammation related to gum disease, for example, could worsen other systemic diseases like diabetes or heart disease. And, unhealthy (or missing) teeth could inhibit a person in meeting their nutritional needs.

But you can effectively manage their oral health by keeping your focus on a few principal items related to dental care. In recognition of International Day of People with Disabilities this December 3rd, here are some practical guidelines for ensuring your friend or family member maintains their oral health.

Stay consistent with daily hygiene. Brushing and flossing can be very effective toward preventing dental disease, but only if it's consistently practiced every day. Someone with a disability may need help maintaining that consistency, so be sure you set a regular time and place for them to brush and floss to help reinforce the habit.

Make brushing and flossing easier. These twin hygiene tasks may also pose challenges for a disabled person who has issues with physical dexterity or cognitive function. You can help ease those challenges by making sure they have the best tools to help them perform the task at hand, like large-handled brushes, flossing picks or water flossers.

Brush and floss together. For some individuals with a disability, a caregiver may need to perform their hygiene tasks for them. But even if they're able to do it for themselves, it may still be overwhelming for them on their own. In that case, brushing and flossing with them, and injecting a little fun into the activity, can help positively reinforce the habit for them.

Accompany them to the dentist. If you're heavily involved in a disabled person's daily oral care, you may want to go with them and sit in on their regular dental visits. This is a time when you and their dentist can "exchange notes," so to speak, to better be in sync with what needs to be done to improve your loved one's oral care.

If you would like more information about disabilities and oral care, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Aging & Dental Health.”