Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

March 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

It is hard to think of a single dental procedure that is more feared, hated, and misunderstood than root canal therapy. Whether your fear of root canalroot canals started with a joke or bit from a famous comedian on t.v. or in the movies, or from a second or third hand account from a friend or relative, misinformation about how root canals really work and how much pain you can expect to feel can get in the way of getting necessary dental treatment, and even put your oral health at risk. Our Macon, GA dentists, Dr. Clinton Watson and Dr. Nicole Jackson, offer root canal therapy and a range of cosmetic and general dentistry treatment options at Northside Family Dentistry.

Root Canal Therapy in Macon, GA

Despite its reputation, a root canal procedure is actually similar to getting a filling for a cavity. After applying a localized anesthetic, the dentist drills a small opening to clean the inside of the tooth of bacteria and damaged tissue and remove the root. Once the tooth has been treated and thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed and bonded. Most people agree that the sensation and levels of discomfort are comparable to getting a filling.

In fact, root canal therapy is actually one of the most effective treatments for the pain associated with an infected tooth.

When is Root Canal Therapy Needed?

Severe tooth decay, trauma or structural damage to a tooth from repeated treatment can allow bacteria to reach the pulp (nerve tissue inside each teeth), causing an infection or inflammation, which can be extremely painful and lead to permanent nerve damage. Your dentist will determine whether a root canal is necessary after performing a dental exam and an X-ray of the tooth.

Find a Dentist in Macon, GA

Fear does not have to get in the way of your oral health. For more information about root canal therapy, contact Northside Family Dentistry by calling (478) 475-1976 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Watson or Dr. Jackson today.

By Northside Family Dentistry
February 04, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  

You probably can’t remember a time without your teeth — and can’t imagine life without them. But now it’s a reality: one by one your teeth have become casualties in a long-standing war with dental disease until now they’re all lost.

Total tooth loss (edentulism) can be difficult in more ways than the loss of function — it can be psychologically traumatic as you must now transition from natural teeth to dentures or other restorations. To add to the stress, you probably won’t be able to obtain your permanent restoration immediately because the extraction sites must heal.

To help you with this transition and provide a means for you to have teeth during the healing period, we may fit you with an appliance known as an immediate denture. With these temporary teeth replacements, you can maintain your smile appearance, chew food and speak unimpaired.

Initially, immediate dentures should fit well, but over time your gums will tend to shrink as they heal. This can loosen the dentures’ fit and make them uncomfortable to wear. If the healing process is still ongoing and you still need to wear the immediate dentures, they can be relined with more denture material to fine-tune the fit.

At some point, though, we must consider creating a new, permanent set of dentures. When your mouth is fully healed, we can make a more accurate impression that we can then use to construct your new set. There are also other options, such as using dental implants to support a denture or a fixed bridge. This option will only be possible, however, if you have sufficient bone available to fully support it, which we might also be able to augment with grafting.

Immediate dentures serve a worthwhile purpose, but only for a temporary period. We’ll be happy to discuss all your options with you to help you find the right permanent solution that fits both your mouth’s condition and your financial ability.

If you would like more information on transitioning to teeth replacement, 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 “Immediate Dentures.”

January 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentists in Macon, GA wants you to know about implant denturesimplant dentures

If you’ve worn dentures for a long time, you’ve probably noticed your jawline isn’t as firm as it used to be. You may have noticed your face beginning to sag. When you wear a denture, the denture puts pressure on your jawbone, causing your level of bone to diminish. You can lose your firm jawline and the youthful contours of your face.

Now, thanks to dental implants, you can save your bone and save your face! Dr. Clinton Watson and Dr. Nicole Jackson in Macon, GA want to share the facts about how implant dentures can help you.

Dental implants are made of titanium, a uniquely biocompatible material that your bone actually fuses to. Treatment begins with a simple in-office procedure to place the implants. Over time, your body will create more bone for the implants to fuse with. After your implants are fully embedded in bone, your denture is snapped in place over the implants.

Most people need between 4 and 6 implants per arch to fully secure a denture. Dr. Watson and Dr. Jackson will discuss recommendations and the results you can expect before treatment.

There are many reasons why people choose implant dentures. These are just a few:

  • Stability, because your dentures are held firmly and securely in place by the implants and won’t move around

  • Natural appearance, because your implant denture will look like natural teeth

  • Satisfaction, because you will be able to chew with strength and confidence, enjoying the foods you love

  • A younger look, because your implant denture helps you retain your firm jawline and youthful facial contours

Don’t put up with an ill-fitting, loose denture ever again. Insist on implant dentures, the revolutionary denture that looks, feels and functions like your natural teeth. It’s time to visit an expert. It’s time to call Dr. Watson and Dr. Jackson in Macon, GA. Find out more by calling today!

By Northside Family Dentistry
January 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

In her decades-long career, renowned actress Kathy Bates has won Golden Globes, Emmys, and many other honors. Bates began acting in her twenties, but didn't achieve national recognition until she won the best actress Oscar for Misery — when she was 42 years old! “I was told early on that because of my physique and my look, I'd probably blossom more in my middle age,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “[That] has certainly been true.” So if there's one lesson we can take from her success, it might be that persistence pays off.

When it comes to her smile, Kathy also recognizes the value of persistence. Now 67, the veteran actress had orthodontic treatment in her 50's to straighten her teeth. Yet she is still conscientious about wearing her retainer. “I wear a retainer every night,” she said. “I got lazy about it once, and then it was very difficult to put the retainer back in. So I was aware that the teeth really do move.”

Indeed they do. In fact, the ability to move teeth is what makes orthodontic treatment work. By applying consistent and gentle forces, the teeth can be shifted into better positions in the smile. That's called the active stage of orthodontic treatment. Once that stage is over, another begins: the retention stage. The purpose of retention is to keep that straightened smile looking as good as it did when the braces came off. And that's where the retainer comes in.

There are several different kinds of retainers, but all have the same purpose: To hold the teeth in their new positions and keep them from shifting back to where they were. We sometimes say teeth have a “memory” — not literally, but in the sense that if left alone, teeth tend to migrate back to their former locations. And if you've worn orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, that means right back where you started before treatment.

By holding the teeth in place, retainers help stabilize them in their new positions. They allow new bone and ligaments to re-form and mature around them, and give the gums time to remodel themselves. This process can take months to years to be complete. But you may not need to wear a retainer all the time: Often, removable retainers are worn 24 hours a day at first; later they are worn only at night. We will let you know what's best in your individual situation.

So take a tip from Kathy Bates, star of the hit TV series American Horror Story, and wear your retainer as instructed. That's the best way to keep your straight new smile from changing back to the way it was — and to keep a bad dream from coming true.

If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.” The interview with Kathy Bates appears in the latest issue of Dear Doctor.

By Northside Family Dentistry
December 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

What's so special about dental implants — and why should you consider one to replace a missing tooth?

Although they've only been widely available for thirty years, dental implants have climbed to the top of tooth replacement choices as the premier restorative option. Since their debut in the 1980s, dentists have placed over 3 million implants.

There's one overriding reason for this popularity: in structure and form, dental implants are the closest replacement we have to a natural tooth. In fact, more than anything else an implant is a root replacement, the part of the tooth you don't see.

The artificial root is a titanium post surgically imbedded into the jaw bone. Later we can attach a porcelain crown to it that looks just like a visible tooth. This breakthrough design enables implants to handle the normal biting forces generated in the mouth for many years.

There's also an advantage in using titanium dental implants. Because bone cells have a special affinity to the metal, they will grow and attach to the implant over time. Not only does this strengthen the implant's hold within the jaw, the added growth also helps deter bone loss, a common problem with missing teeth.

It's this blend of strength and durability that gives implants the highest success rate for any tooth replacement option. Over 95% of implants placed attain the 10-year mark, and most will last for decades.

Dental implant treatment, however, may not be possible in every situation, particularly where significant bone loss has occurred. They're also relatively expensive, although more cost-effective than other options over the long term.

Even so, implants can play an effective and varied role in a dental restoration. While single implants with attached crowns are the most common type of replacement, they can also play a supporting role with other restorative options. As few as two strategically placed implants can provide a more secure connection for removable dentures or fixed bridges.

You'll need to first undergo a thorough dental examination to see if implants could work for you. From there, we'll be happy to discuss your options for using this "best of the best" restoration to achieve a new, beautiful smile.

If you would like more information on 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 “Dental Implants 101.”