4200 Columbia Rd, Martinez, GA 30907
706-868-1322

 

 

Posts for: December, 2018

By Augusta Smilecare
December 27, 2018
Category: Oral Health
AnyTimeAnyPlaceCamNewtonsGuidetoFlossing

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Augusta Smilecare
December 17, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth decay  
DentalVisitsareKeytoDetectingEarlyDevelopingToothDecay

Tooth decay is as relentless as it is destructive, and it makes little distinction between age, gender, ethnicity or social status. Although risk levels vary from person to person, we’re all potentially in the crossfire for this harmful disease. Getting ahead of it early could save your teeth.

Tooth decay begins with oral bacteria. While feeding on dental plaque that accumulates on the teeth, bacteria multiply and produce acid as a by-product. Too much acid softens and erodes tooth enamel, which enables decay to advance deeper into the tooth.

If it isn’t stopped, decay can eventually infect and weaken the roots and bone, and ultimately lead to a lost tooth. By stopping it as early as possible before it reaches the inner pulp and root canals, we can greatly limit the damage.

Regular dental care is crucial for early detection. Here’s how we can stay ahead of developing decay during dental visits.

Visible inspection. There are visible signs a trained dentist may notice that point to tooth decay. Besides an already formed hole or cavity, we might also pick up on other unusual appearances like white spot lesions: these slight blemishes often occur in the areas of contact with other teeth, which we can treat with topical fluoride.

X-rays. This tried and true diagnostic tool has been a mainstay of dental care for nearly a century. The images they produce can indicate decay as darker spots or areas on or within the tooth that may not yet be visible to the eye. And with advances in digital processing and more streamlined equipment, we can effectively do this with a very low dosage of radiation exposure.

Advanced technology. We’ve developed other means for better disease detection that complement x-rays and visual inspections. Specialized microscopes and lasers are now important tools for analyzing suspected areas of early decay.

Even if decay gets a foothold we can effectively stop it and restore a tooth with a root canal treatment or a similar procedure. The best outcome, though, is to not allow this destructive disease to get that far. With dedicated oral hygiene and regular dental visits that uncover early decay, chances are good your teeth can remain healthy for a lifetime.

If you would like more information on fighting tooth decay, 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 “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”


Cosmetic Dentistry ProceduresWhat's more important than your health and self-confidence? A beautiful smile demonstrates you have both. Fortunately, today's cosmetic dentistry treatments, such as those offered at Augusta Smile Care, provide the look you want and the longevity you need. Dr. John Massey invites you to discuss your smile goals and to learn more about the aesthetic procedures he offers.

The goal of cosmetic dentistry in Augusta, GA

Improving upon healthy teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry aims to enhance the color, shape, texture and alignment of adult smiles. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that people notice someone's smile first before seeing anything else.

Additionally, the AACD states that your smile not only reflects your personality, it actually plays a role in shaping it. So, if you are self-conscious about your smile, your confidence diminishes, and those around you perceive it.

So, how would you like your smile to change and project the real you? Some issues commonly addressed by Dr. Massey include:

  • Stubborn dental stains from tobacco, coffee, blueberries, and other dietary choices
  • Chips, cracks, pits, fissures, and other enamel defects
  • Congenital malformations such as a peg-shaped lateral incisor
  • Dark metal fillings
  • Smile alignment, including poor spacing and gaps
  • Dull, worn tooth enamel
  • Missing teeth

Together, you and your dentist will prioritize your oral health needs and cosmetic goals. Then, Dr. Massey will formulate a treatment plan addressing those important aspects of your smile.


Offered cosmetic dentistry procedures
The team at Augusta Smile Care is proficient in many. Their most popular is in-office teeth whitening. It's a safe and practical way to relieve your tooth enamel of years of accumulated stains. Also, whitening is the most economical way to make a bold and dramatic statement with your smile.
Another popular treatment is composite resin bonding. With a unique blend of glass and acrylic, Dr. Massey corrects small defects such as chips, cracks and gaps. Composite resin also strengthens weak enamel, and the repair is seamless, tooth-colored and highly durable. Simple cosmetic contouring, a reshaping and sanding of rough edges, tiny chips and more, often accompanies bonding.
Porcelain veneers cover more substantial flaws with a thin shell of dental ceramic. Along with porcelain crowns, or caps, veneers are used to strengthen weak teeth and prevent further damage. Both services involve two appointments at Augusta Smile Care, and the finished products are realistic and beautiful.
Finally, for great-looking and well-functioning tooth replacement, Dr. Massey often advises dental implant placement. If you're missing one, two or more teeth, implants provide superior biting and chewing and actually strengthen the jaw bone and gum tissue.


Are you ready for a new smile?
Find out more about cosmetic dentistry by calling Augusta Dental Care today. Our number is (706) 868-1322. We look forward to serving you!


By Augusta Smilecare
December 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  
PorcelainVeneersMightnotbetheBestOptionforTeenagers

For chipped, stained, or slightly crooked teeth, dental veneers might be the ideal solution. These thin layers of porcelain bonded directly over the teeth with the perfect blend of color, sizes and shapes, can transform a person’s smile for a relatively modest cost.

But if the teeth belong to a teenager, veneers might not be appropriate. This is because in most cases, we’ll need to remove some of the tooth enamel so that the applied veneers won’t look unnaturally bulky. This alteration is permanent, so the teeth will require some form of restoration from then on.

While not usually a major issue with fully matured adult teeth, it could be with the developing teeth of pre-teens and teens. During childhood and adolescence the tooth’s inner pulp plays an important role in dentin production, and so the pulp chamber is relatively large compared to an adult tooth. This larger size places the pulp closer to the enamel surface than with an adult tooth.

Because of its proximity to the enamel, there’s a greater chance veneer alterations could damage a teenager’s tooth pulp and its nerve bundles. If that happens, we may need to perform a root canal treatment to save the tooth—also not an optimal situation for a developing tooth.

That’s why we need to take into consideration a patient’s age and stage of dental development first, including x-raying the affected teeth to measure the depth of the tooth pulp. If we deem it too risky at the moment, there are other ways to improve dental appearance at least temporarily. This includes whitening externally stained teeth with a bleaching agent, or applying tooth-colored composite resin material to chipped areas. We can also apply a composite material veneer that, although not as durable as traditional porcelain, doesn’t require much if any tooth alteration.

To know your options, have your teenager undergo a thorough dental examination. Your dentist will then be able to discuss with you whether veneers can be safely attempted. And be sure the dentist who may perform the work has experience performing cosmetic procedures on teenagers.

If you would like more information on restoration choices for teenagers, 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 “Veneers for Teenagers.”




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John D. Massey, DMD
4200 Columbia Road
Martinez, GA 30907

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