Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By NORTHSIDE FAMILY DENTISTRY
August 13, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  

How porcelain veneers from your dentists in Macon, GA, can improve your smile

Chances are that you don’t quite have a perfect smile yet—after all, most people have at least one issue they would like to change about dental-veneerstheir teeth. Fortunately, if you have a smile that is less than it could be, you can upgrade it with the help of porcelain veneers! Here at Northside Family Dentistry in Macon, GA, your dentists, Drs. Clinton M. Watson and Nicole L. Jackson, offer porcelain veneers, along with a wide variety of other dental services, to improve your smile. Read on to learn more!

 

What veneers can do for you

Veneers are thin porcelain laminates that are cemented on to the front surfaces of your teeth to hide any possible flaws or discolorations and leave you with a spectacular smile. Being a light-reflective material that looks virtually identical to tooth enamel, porcelain makes an excellent choice for this treatment.

Porcelain veneers are a popular, versatile cosmetic choice for they can hide:

  • Broken or damaged tooth structure from an accident or injury
  • Cracks or fracture lines from trauma or bad habits
  • Excessive wear or erosion from aging or other causes
  • Blotches or discolorations from genetics or medications

You can also make the small gaps between teeth disappear by allowing the veneers to fill in the spaces. Porcelain veneers can also minimize the look of tooth overlap by making teeth appear straighter.

Porcelain veneer treatment offers many benefits including:

  • Quick results, because you can have a new smile in as little as 2 to 3 appointments here at our Macon office
  • Natural beauty, because porcelain veneers look just like natural teeth, without the damage
  • Conservative treatment, because minimal tooth structure is removed, just enough to compensate for the thickness of the veneers
  • Long-lasting beauty, because porcelain resists stains, so your new veneers will stay beautiful for years

 

Interested? Give our dentists a call

If you want to change your smile, renew it with porcelain veneers. For more information about how porcelain veneers can improve your smile, schedule an appointment with the dentists here at Northside Family Dentistry in Macon, GA, today by dialing (478) 475-1976.

By Northside Family Dentistry
July 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
ADifferentKindofChipShotforProGolferDanielleKang

While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.

“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.

Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.

Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).

For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.

Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.

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

DiabetesDoesntHavetoStopYouFromGettinganImplant-ifitsUnderControl

You would love to replace a troubled tooth with a dental implant. But you have one nagging concern: you also have diabetes. Could that keep you from getting an implant?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes, it might: the effect diabetes can have on the body could affect an implant's success and longevity. The key word, though, is might—it's not inevitable you'll encounter these obstacles with your implant.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases that interfere with the normal levels of blood glucose, a natural sugar that is the energy source for the body's cells. Normally, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin as needed to regulate glucose in the bloodstream. A diabetic, though either can't produce insulin or not enough, or the body doesn't respond to the insulin that is produced.

And while the condition can often be managed through diet, exercise, medication or supplemental insulin, there can still be complications like slow wound healing. High glucose can damage blood vessels, causing them to deliver less nutrients and antibodies to various parts of the body like the eyes, fingers and toes, or the kidneys. It can also affect the gums and their ability to heal.

Another possible complication from diabetes is with the body's inflammatory response. This is triggered whenever tissues in the body are diseased or injured, sealing them off from damaging the rest of the body. The response, however, can become chronic in diabetics, which could damage otherwise healthy tissues.

Both of these complications can disrupt the process for getting an implant. Like other surgical procedures, implantation disrupts the gum tissues. They will need to heal; likewise, the implant itself must integrate fully with the bone in which it's inserted. Both healing and bone integration might be impeded by slow wound healing and chronic inflammation.

Again, it might. In reality, as a number of studies comparing implant outcomes between diabetics and non-diabetics has shown, there is little difference in the success rate, provided the diabetes is under control. Diabetics with well-managed glucose can have success rates above 95%, well within the normal range.

An implant restoration is a decision you should make with your dentist. But if you're doing a good job managing your diabetes, your chances of a successful outcome are good.

If you would like more information on dental care and diabetes, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Northside Family Dentistry
June 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
ViggoMortensensRed-CarpetSmile

The Golden Globes ceremony is a night when Hollywood stars shine their brightest. At the recent red-carpet event, leading man Viggo Mortensen had plenty to smile about: Green Book, the movie in which he co-starred, picked up the award for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. But fans looking at the veteran actor's big smile today might not realize that it once looked very different. A few years ago, an accident during the filming of The Two Towers took a major chip out of Mortensen's front tooth!

That might be OK for some movies (think The Hangover or Dumb and Dumber)—but it's not so great for everyday life. Fortunately, Mortensen visited a dentist promptly, and now his smile is picture-perfect. How was that accomplished? He didn't say…but generally, the best treatment for a chipped tooth depends on how much of the tooth's structure is missing.

If the tooth has only a small chip or crack, it's often possible to restore it via cosmetic bonding. This procedure can be done right in the dental office, frequently in a single visit. Here's how it works: First the tooth is cleaned and prepared, and then a tooth-colored resin is applied to the area being restored. After it is cured (hardened) with a special light, additional layers may be applied to build up the missing structure. When properly cared for, a tooth restored this way can look good for several years.

For a longer-lasting restoration, veneers may be recommended. These are wafer-thin shells made of durable material (most often porcelain) that cover the front (visible) surfaces of teeth. Strong and lifelike, veneers can match the exact color of your natural teeth—or give you the bright, high-wattage smile you've always wanted. No wonder they're so popular in Hollywood! Because veneers are custom-made for you, getting them may require several office visits.

If a chip or crack extends to the inner pulp of the tooth, a root canal procedure will be needed to keep the tooth from becoming infected—a situation that could have serious consequences. But you shouldn't fear a root canal! The procedure generally causes no more discomfort than filling a cavity (though it takes a little longer), and it can help save teeth that would otherwise be lost. After a root canal, a crown (cap) is generally needed to restore the visible part of the tooth.

When a damaged tooth can't be restored, it needs to be extracted (removed) and replaced. Today's best option for tooth replacement is a dental implant—a small, screw-shaped post inserted into the bone of your jaw that anchors a lifelike, fully functional crown. Implants require very little special care and can look great for many years, making them a top choice for tooth replacement

If you have questions about chipped or damaged teeth, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

By NORTHSIDE FAMILY DENTISTRY
May 31, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Find out why a toothache is never just a toothache.

Root CanalWhile needing to get root canal treatment is never something that anyone is thrilled about, it’s also important that you don’t postpone treatment due to fear, a busy schedule or other excuses. In fact, delaying the inevitable could actually cause more harm than good for your smile. This is why it’s important that if our Macon, GA, dentists Dr. Clinton Watson and Dr. Nicole Jackson have told you that you need a root canal that you don’t put it off.

Will the problem go away by itself?

While we would love nothing more than for teeth to be able to repair and fix their own issues we also know that this just isn’t realistic. While our bodies can fight off a common cold or flu without treatment, infections or damage to our teeth and gums almost always require treatment.

The most obvious and common sign that someone needs a root canal is a toothache. In fact, dental pain is usually the reason people come into our Macon, GA, dental office to find out what’s going on. By taking a simple set of X-rays we can easily see that the dental pulp is infected or inflamed. Luckily, since your tooth doesn’t need the pulp in order to thrive, we can easily remove the source of infection and prevent the bacteria from spreading further into the tooth’s root canals.

If the infection is left untreated, the bacteria will not only completely destroy the tooth, which will require us to extract the tooth, but it can also permanently damage the jawbone, gums and surrounding teeth. This is why you should always get the dental treatment you need as soon as possible.

But doesn’t a root canal hurt?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of negative beliefs and myths surrounding this procedure, but it’s important that our patients understand that this treatment is not only imperative for preserving the long-term health of their smiles but also that this procedure is designed to remove the source of your dental pain, not cause pain.

This procedure is no more invasive than getting a dental filling performed, and we will even fully numb the area around the tooth with local anesthesia to ensure that you don’t feel anything during your root canal. Once the pulp has been removed many people even report instant toothache relief.

Are you dealing with a toothache in Macon, GA? Have questions about your upcoming root canal treatment? Whatever the case may be, don’t hesitate to turn to the dental experts at Northside Family Dentistry for the answers or dental care you deserve.