The Importance of Regular Oral Cancer Screenings

When is the last time you were screened for oral cancer?  If it has been a while, or, if you have never been screened, now is the time.  Most dentists, including Dr. Justin Scott of Pure Dental Health, offer oral cancer screenings as a part of a comprehensive dental examination.  Screening patients for oral cancer every year helps to detect it as soon as possible so that the disease can be caught before it is too late.  Early detection of oral cancer facilitates early and aggressive treatment and can lead to better outcomes and survival rates.  Early detection is especially important when dealing with oral cancers because the mortality rates for these types of cancers are higher than with other types of cancer.  In fact, of the approximately 37,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone, 8,000 will die.  Eighteen thousand of these Americans will die within five years of their diagnoses.

In addition to receiving regular oral cancer screenings, it is important to communicate with your dentist or a physician if you notice continued changes in your mouth or throat.  This could include swelling, sores (ulcers), numbness, or difficulty swallowing or chewing.  However, it is important to note that oral pain does not always occur with oral cancer.  This is another reason why it is important to get screened regularly, even if you are not having any symptoms.

Smoking and excessive alcohol use have both been linked to oral cancer.  Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation can go a long way in reducing your risks of developing this aggressive and potentially deadly form of cancer.  For more information about the risks and symptoms of oral cancer or to schedule an oral cancer screening, schedule an appointment with a qualified dentist today.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

 

 

 

The Anatomy of a Dental Implant

You may have heard commercials about dental implants and how they can be life-changing for people who are missing teeth, but do not really understand what all is involved in this dental procedure.  Dental implants are comprised of three parts:

1.  The titanium implant or screw that is placed into the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots and fuses with the bone in a process known as      Osseointegration,

2.  The abutment which fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes the gum line, and

3.  The crown, which is created by a restorative dentist or prosthodontist and fitted onto the abutment to take the place of a missing tooth

Dental implants are considered by most to the be gold standard in tooth replacement and allow for a fixed solution to missing teeth that provides for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.  A dental implant can be used with a crown to replace a single tooth.  Dental implants can also be used to provide additional support for complete dentures.

Although the cost of dental implants is higher than the cost of other tooth replacement options like bridges and complete and partial dentures, this system holds many advantages over other solutions.  Most bridges needs to be replaced after about fifteen years, however, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care.  Dental bridges can cause damage to the adjacent teeth (abutment teeth) while dental implants do not.  Dentures that rest on the gum line can cause bone loss and other dental health problems when they are worn over a period of time.  They are also at risk for slipping or falling out.  Dental implants are actually placed into the jawbone and become fused with the bone so they provide a fixed solution that will not slip or fall out during talking, eating, etc. and do not cause bone loss.

If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and are looking for a fixed solution that is comfortable to wear and natural in appearance, talk to your dentist about dental implants.  There are very few medical rule outs for dental implants and most people with missing teeth are candidates for this revolutionary tooth replacement system.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

 

 

Avoiding Cracked, Chipped or Broken Teeth

Your teeth were built to be strong and to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life and are meant to last a lifetime, with proper care.  However, Americans are living longer than they did in the past and many Americans over the age of 65 are missing some or all of their teeth.  One of the biggest threats to your dental health is chipped, fractured or broken teeth.

Although it can happen, it is rare for a tooth to crack, chip or break as a result of biting down on something hard.  However, teeth with fillings or root canals are more susceptible to this type of damage.  If you have teeth that have fillings or if you have had root canals, it is a good idea to avoid biting down on things like hard candies, popcorn kernels or ice to avoid damaging these already weakened teeth.

In most cases, cracked, chipped or broken teeth are caused by traumas such as car accidents, assaults and participating in contact sports such as wrestling, boxing, basketball and karate.  If you participate in these types of sports, it is important to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth from trauma.  You can find mouth guards in most sporting goods stores.  You can also get a custom-made mouth guard from your dentist.  A custom-made mouth guard is made specifically to fit your mouth and may be more comfortable to wear and effective in preventing trauma to your teeth.

If you do have teeth that are cracked, chipped or broken, there are several dental solutions that can be used to restore the form and function of your smile.  Depending on your particular situation, your dentist may recommend a dental inlay/onlay, a crown, porcelain veneers or some other type of restorative treatment.  In some cases, teeth that have been damaged beyond repair need to be removed to protect the health of your remaining teeth.  In this case, there are several tooth replacement options available including dentures, bridges and dental implants.  Your dentist will be able to help you decide the best solution to suit your particular situation as well as your budget.

Pure Dental Health in Buckhead offers a full range of restorative dental services as well as the most advanced tooth replacement options available in Atlanta.  If you have teeth that are cracked, broken or chipped, schedule an appointment with Dr. Justin Scott today so we can get you on the road to a healthier, more beautiful smile.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

 

Finally, A Cosmetic Dental Solution That Fits Your Lifestyle

Have you always wanted to achieve straighter teeth and more beautiful smile? Have you been hiding behind your smile because of teeth that are crooked or misaligned? If you are an adult and did not have the opportunity to correct your smile with traditional braces as a child, you  you may be a good candidate for Six Month Smiles®. Six Month Smiles® is a revolutionary system that  enables you to achieve straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile utilizing clear braces. This short-term orthodontic system combines proven orthodontic techniques, modern materials, and innovative thought to provide adults with a cosmetic dental solution that fits their lifestyles as well as their budgets.

Six months miles works by focusing primarily on the teeth in the front of your mouth that show when you smile. Many dental professionals refer to this area as the  “aesthetic zone.”   The system utilizes patented Lucid- Lok® clear brackets and colored wires that are barely visible to gently move teeth into the desired position. Six Month Smiles® offers many advantages over traditional metal braces. By focusing primarily on the aesthetic zone and not making major changes to your bite, Six Month Smiles® can help you achieve straighter teeth in an average treatment time of just six months. The low forces and short overall treatment times associated with this system serve to increase increase its safety, comfort and hygiene. One of the biggest advantages of Six Months Smiles® is the fact that this treatment typically costs less than other orthodontic solutions including traditional metal braces, veneers, or aligner therapy.

Pure Dental Health in Midtown Atlanta is pleased to offer Six Month Smiles® to the residents of the  greater Atlanta metropolitan area.  You do not have to continue to hide behind your smile. If you  looking for an orthodontic solution that makes sense for your life, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Justin Scott to find out if you are a candidate for Six Month Smiles®.

Posted on the behalf of Pure Dental Health.

Sedation Dentistry: Is It For Me?

If your fear and anxiety about going to the dentist (dental phobia) is keeping you from getting the dental treatment you need to achieve and maintain optimal oral health, you may be a good candidate for Sedation Dentistry.  Sedation Dentistry involves the use of medications to help patients relax during dental procedures.  It can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple dental cleaning.  How and when it is used depends on the severity of the dental phobia.

Many people use the term “Sedation Dentistry” to mean different things.  Some use this term to refer to the administration of Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas).  Nitrous Oxide, when inhaled, causes you to become more relaxed, yet you are still conscious.  The effects of Nitrous Oxide wear off quickly and that is why this type of sedation is the only type where you can actually drive yourself home afterwards. Most of the time, when the term “Sedation Dentistry” is used, it refers to the use of oral sedative medications.  These medications cause you to become drowsy and you may even fall asleep, but, you can still be wakened.  With oral sedative medications, you may not even remember your dental treatment.  If you are having a dental procedure that causes pain, you will also be given a local anesthetic or numbing medication that is applied at the site where the dentist is working in your mouth.

Sedation Dentistry is a great option for patients with dental phobias.  It may also be used for patients who have a low pain threshold, can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair, have a severe gag reflex or who have extremely sensitive teeth.  It may also be a good option for patients who need to have a large amount of dental work completed at one time.

If your fear of the dentists is keeping you from getting the dental treatment you need, ask your dentist today about Sedation Dentistry.  Many dental practices, including Pure Dental Health in Atlanta, offer this important service for patients with dental phobias and other issues that make it difficult to receive dental treatment.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

 

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

It is estimated that more than 75% of American Adults have some form of gum disease.  However, according to a major survey, only 60% are aware that they have this problem.  If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious dental health issues including tooth loss.  That is why it is important to be aware of the factors that increase your risk for developing gum disease and to visit your dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings and examinations.

The biggest factor that will increase your risk for gum disease is lack of good oral hygiene.  Brushing your teeth thoroughly at least two times per day and flossing your teeth at least once per day can go a long way in preventing gum disease.  An a high level of acidity in the mouth can also increase your risk for gum disease as it provides an environment where bacteria thrive. Eating sugary foods can cause your mouth to become more acidic.  It is a good idea to rinse your mouth with water and follow up with brushing your teeth after consuming sugary foods and beverages to prevent harmful bacteria from forming in the mouth.

It is a little known fact that poorly contoured restorations such as crowns and fillings can also increase your risk for gum disease.  If restorations are not properly contoured, they can provide traps for debris and plaque.  Anatomical tooth abnormalities can also provide traps for debris and plaque.

Your third molars, often referred to as “wisdom teeth” can also increase your risks for gum disease.  The wisdom teeth usually try to erupt in late adolescence (18-20 years).  Whether they have erupted fully into the mouth or they are impacted, your wisdom teeth should be checked by a dentist for signs of periodontal disease.

Lastly, female hormones can increase your risk for developing gum disease.  Fluctuations in hormones that occur as a side effect to birth control pills or as a result of pregnancy or your menstrual cycle can cause changes in your mouth that make you more susceptible for periodontal disease and other dental health problems.  For this reason, if you are pregnant, your dentist may recommend that you visit the dentist more often than usually to monitor for signs of an problems.

Your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease during your regularly scheduled dental exams.  However, if you notice any of the warning signs such as red, swollen gums or gums that bleed easily, you may want to schedule a dental appointment so that your dentist can properly diagnose the problem and if appropriate, prescribe an effective treatment to protect your long-term dental health.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.