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Posts for: May, 2015

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
May 23, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  

Have you started orthodontic treatment recently? Are you having a little trouble getting used to your braces? If so, you are not alone: Everybody goes through an adjustment period during which they momentarily wonder if they’ll really ever get used to this. Don’t worry — you will! And we’ve never heard anyone say, on the day their braces come off and their new smile is revealed, that they aren’t glad they went the distance. Just ask Houston Rockets all-star center Dwight Howard, who discussed his own orthodontic treatment in a recent interview.

“I’m sure I was no different than anyone else who has ever had braces,” he told Mediaplanet. “At first I hated them so much… That changed once I got used to them and I actually grew to love them.” What’s Howard’s advice? “Do exactly what your orthodontist says and know that the outcome is well worth it in the end.” We couldn’t agree more! Here are some tips for wearing braces comfortably:

  • Hard & Chewy Foods: If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s great; there’s no reason to give them up, just the really hard ones. You don’t want to bite into an apple or carrot or any other hard foods like bagels and pizza that have any “size” to them. Small pieces may be ok as long as they can’t bend your wires. Chewy, sticky candy should really be avoided completely. Same with soda, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks because they contain acids that promote tooth decay and can cause a lot of damage around the braces.
  • Effective Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth clean is more important than ever, but also more challenging than ever. It’s easy for food to get stuck under wires and around brackets, but failing to remove it can cause tooth decay, gum irritation and soreness. Therefore, the cleaner your teeth and your braces are, the healthier you will be. Use interdental cleaning brushes and/or a floss-threader to get behind your wires. A mouthrinse can also help strengthen teeth and keep bacteria in check. If you have any questions about how to clean between your teeth, please ask for a demonstration at your next visit.
  • Pain Relief: Some soreness at the beginning of orthodontic treatment is normal. To relieve it, you can use an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or a warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw. If brackets or wires are rubbing against the inside of your cheeks or lips, try applying wax to these areas of your braces. If this does not offer enough relief, we may be able to trim the end of a poking wire. Call us if you need help with this.

Our goal is to make your orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible on the way to achieving your all-star smile. If you have questions about adjusting to braces, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
May 14, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canals  

If you have a root canal scheduled at your South Atlanta dentist, this article could help cure any anxiety about it.

A recent survey of dental patients confirmed what many dentists already knew - 60 percent of those people were more fearful of a root canal than any other dental procedure. The survey also found that most people who have that fear of root canals never haven't actually experienced one; they're relying on rumors based on old, outdated techniques, put out of practice decades ago. In truth, root canals are helpful procedures that alleviate pain and prevent future problems. Dr. Travon Holt and the rest of the Dentistry at Camp Creek staff wants their patients to have the most up-to-date and accurate information about root canals.

Why do I need a root canal?

Root canals - also called endodontic therapy - are performed to remove an infection that has damaged the innermost part of the tooth. This section, called the pulp, extends down into the roots. It can sustain damage from decay or an accident. Root canals stop the infection at the source by removing the nerves and tissue inside the affected tooth.

What does a root canal feel like?

Most commonly, people think root canal procedures are going to be extremely painful. Actually, for almost all patients, the most painful part happens before the root canal is even scheduled. The untreated infection inside the tooth can be very uncomfortable and cause abscesses to form along the gums. In extreme cases, the infection can even spread to the jawbone or other areas.

Have you ever had a cavity filled? Most patients report that a root canal feels very similar. Dr. Holt thoroughly numbs the area with local anesthesia. When no feeling remains, the nerves and tissue are removed and the inside of the tooth is disinfected. A strong and safe organic material fills in the space, and the outside of your tooth will be strengthened with a temporary restoration, to be replaced later with a more long-lasting crown by your South Atlanta dentist. This entire process typically takes less than an hour.

With anesthesia and removal of the damaged nerves, the root canal procedure itself is practically painless and the healing process is easy. Patients who are still feeling a little hesitant can be given a mild sedative. 

Don't delay in contacting Dentistry at Camp Creek if you've had pain and think one or more of your teeth might need a root canal. With early detection and rapid treatment, most dental issues are very easy to solve and have little discomfort. You'll likely agree with the surveyed patients who said that root canals were no big deal once they'd actually had them done.

By Dentistry at Camp Creek
May 08, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental anxiety  

Although we’ve made great strides over the last century making dental visits more pleasant and comfortable, many people still feel a little apprehension about them at one time or another. For a few, though, this apprehension escalates into high anxiety — so high they may even avoid important dental treatment altogether.

If you have a significant phobia regarding dental visits and treatment, here are some things you can do to reduce your anxiety and feel more comfortable when you undergo treatment.

Let us know about your feelings of anxiety. We’re conditioned by society to regard such fears as irrational or “silly,” and so we tend to hide our negative emotions. Dentists, however, have been trained to work with fearful patients to reduce their anxiety levels. Being honest with us about your fears and nervousness is the first step to developing an anxiety-reducing strategy that will make your visits more pleasant.

Counteract bad experiences with good. For most people the fear they have during dental visits stems from earlier unpleasant experiences at the dentist. The fear can be so ingrained that simply trying to convince yourself or to be told “there’s nothing to be afraid of” will have little to no effect. Instead, build a memory collection of positive and pleasant dental visit experiences that serve to counteract the unpleasant. To do this we might first get you acclimated to routine visits and then gradually transition to more invasive procedures. This may increase the normal time for dental treatment, but the reduction in anxiety is worth the extra time.

Consider sedation therapy. In addition to modifying your experiences, you may also benefit from sedation medications that reduce anxiety, especially in the early stages of treatment. Depending on your medical history and current status, we can prescribe a sedative for you to take an hour or so before your appointment to help you relax. We can also increase the level of anesthesia (from local to intravenous or gas anesthesia, for example) if your anxiety is especially acute.

Taking proactive steps to minimize dental visit anxiety will increase the probability that you’ll obtain needed dental care. Your teeth and gums will be healthier for it.

If you would like more information on coping with dental visit anxiety, 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 “Overcoming Dental Fear & Anxiety.”