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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
July 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Filling  

Could a dental filling be in your future? Visiting your dentist as soon as you notice signs of a possible cavity can help you maintain your healthy smile. Your South Atlanta, GA, dentists, Drs. Travon Holt and Lola Oh of Dentistry at Camp Creek, offer fillings that restore and protect decayed teeth.

4 signs that may occur if you have a cavity

One or more of these signs or symptoms may happen if you have tooth decay:

  • Toothache: Severe pain in a tooth is an obvious sign that something is wrong, but milder pain is also a sign of trouble. If your pain isn't that bad or the ache comes and go, you'll still need to schedule a dental appointment. By the time you experience constant pain, your cavity has grown very large. If the decay is extensive, a filling may no longer offer a good restoration solution. Crowns or inlays or onlays that cover the entire biting surface or extend beyond the cusps of the teeth may be needed. Visiting your South Atlanta, GA, dentist as soon as you notice any pain can limit the damage to your tooth.
  • Sensitivity: Irritation caused by decay can make your teeth sensitive to heat, cold, and sugary foods. If your tooth starts to hurt after you eat or drink these foods or beverages, you may have a cavity.
  • Changes in the Appearance of Your Tooth: Your tooth may look a little different if you have a cavity. Brown or black spots or holes in teeth may occur due to decay. These signs generally appear when the decay is fairly advanced. Failing to treat large cavities can increase the risk that the decay will reach the pulp in the center of your tooth and cause a painful infection.
  • No Signs: Treating cavities when they're small can minimize the damage to your teeth. Since tiny cavities rarely cause pain or sensitivity, you may not be aware that there's a problem unless you visit the dentist every six months. During those checkups, your dentist will look for signs of decay and other problems that can affect your oral health.

Protect your smile with fillings! Call your South Atlanta, GA, dentists, Drs. Travon Holt and Lola Oh of Dentistry at Camp Creek, at (404) 629-9290 to schedule an appointment.


Your child's permanent teeth come in gradually, starting just as they begin losing their primary ("baby") teeth and not ending until late adolescence or early adulthood. That's when the third molars or "wisdom teeth" close out the process.

Because of their late arrival, wisdom teeth have a high potential for dental problems. With a greater chance of crowding or obstruction by other teeth, wisdom teeth often get stuck fully or partially below the gums and bone (impaction) or erupt out of position. In one study, 7 in 10 people between the ages of 20 and 30 will have at least one impacted wisdom tooth at some time in their lives.

It's not surprising then that wisdom teeth are among the most extracted teeth, to the tune of about 10 million per year. Besides those already diseased or causing bite problems, many are removed preemptively in an attempt to avoid future problems.

But wisdom teeth usually require surgical extraction by an oral surgeon, which is much more involved than a simple extraction by a general dentist. Given the potential consequences of surgical extraction, is it really necessary to remove a wisdom tooth not creating immediate problems?

That's not an easy question to answer because it's often difficult to predict a wisdom tooth's developmental track. Early on it can be disease-free and not causing any problems to other teeth. But as some researchers have found, one in three wisdom teeth at this stage will later develop disease or create other issues.

For many dentists, the best approach is to consider extraction on a case by case basis. Those displaying definite signs of problems are prime for removal. But where there are no signs of disease or other issues, the more prudent action may be to keep a watchful eye on their development and decide on extraction at some later date.

More than likely, your dentist will continue to have an ongoing discussion with you about the state of your child's wisdom teeth. While extraction is always an option, wisdom teeth that aren't yet a problem to dental health may be best left alone.

If you would like more information on treating wisdom teeth issues, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
June 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implants have soared in popularity thanks to their life-likeness, functionality and durability. But these prized qualities have also created an ironic downside—people are much more likely to replace a tooth with an implant rather than go through the time and effort to preserve it.

We say downside because even though an implant is as close to a real tooth as we can now achieve in dentistry, it still can't rival the real thing. It's usually in your long-term health interest to save a tooth if reasonably possible. And, there are effective ways to do so.

Most dental problems arise from two common oral diseases. One is tooth decay, caused by contact with acid produced by bacteria living in dental plaque. We can often minimize the damage by treating the early cavities decay can create. But if we don't treat it in time, the decay can advance into the tooth's pulp chamber, putting the tooth in danger of loss.

We can intervene, though, using root canal therapy, in which we drill into the tooth to access its interior. We clean out the decayed tooth structure, remove the diseased pulp tissue and fill the empty chamber and root canals to seal the tooth and later crown it to further protect it from re-infection.

Periodontal (gum) disease also begins with bacteria, but in this case the infection is in the gum tissues. Over time the ensuing inflammation locks into battle with the plaque-fueled infection. This stalemate ultimately weakens gum attachment, the roots and supporting bone that can also increases risk for tooth loss.

We can stop a gum infection through a variety of techniques, all following a similar principle—completely removing any accumulated plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. This stops the infection and starts the process of gum and bone healing.

You should be under no illusions that either of these approaches will be easy. Advanced tooth decay can be complex and often require the skills of an endodontist (a specialist in root canals). Likewise, gum disease may require surgical intervention. But even with these difficulties, it's usually worth it to your dental health to consider saving your tooth first before you replace it with an implant.

If you would like more information on how best to treat a problem tooth, 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 “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
June 07, 2019
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 Dentistry at Camp Creek
May 29, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canals  

A toothache is never a fun experience, especially when it has a fast onset. In the past, a toothache probably meant you’d need to have Root_Canalyour tooth extracted. Luckily, this is no longer the case and your dentist can preserve your natural tooth and restore it to its full functionality with a root canal. Find out more about a root canal, how it works, and why it may benefit your smile with Dr. Travon Holt and Dr. Lola Oh at Dentistry at Camp Creek in South Atlanta, GA.

What is a root canal?
A root canal is a restorative dental procedure which restores a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Though a cavity that has not yet infected the tooth’s inner pulp chamber may require a simple filling, more advanced decay requires a root canal. This procedure takes about an hour and begins with your dentist administering a local anesthetic — meaning that you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort during your procedure.

How does a root canal work?
Your dentist numbs your mouth then begins working on the tooth in question. They will first create a small access hole in the crown of the tooth. Using specialized tools, your dentist removes the tissue and nerves from within your tooth’s inner pulp chamber and scrubs the inside of the tooth to remove the decay. Then, they will fill the tooth using composite materials. In most cases, a crown placed over the tooth’s large filling protects it from everyday use.

Root Canal Therapy in South Atlanta, GA
If your dentist suggests a root canal, you can rest assured that this procedure’s reputation is more daunting than the treatment itself. With help from your dental team, you can repair your compromised tooth to restore it to its full functionality. A consultation with your dentist is the best way to learn more information about this important restoration dentistry procedure.

For more information on root canal therapy, please contact Dr. Travon Holt and Dr. Lola Oh at Dentistry at Camp Creek in South Atlanta, GA. Call (404) 629-9290 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Holt today!