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Posts for: July, 2015

ClearAlignersProvideaLessEmbarrassingOrthodonticChoiceforTeens

For decades, traditional braces were the only orthodontic choice for moving misaligned teeth. Although they’re quite effective, they can cause discomfort and, for teens especially, embarrassment due to their noticeable metallic appearance.

In recent years, though, technology has produced an alternative to braces that’s proven effective for many types of patients. Besides being less cumbersome and disruptive to everyday life than braces, clear aligners have another advantage that appeals to teens — they’re much less visible.

Introduced in the late 1990s, clear aligners are a system of individual trays made of nearly invisible polyurethane plastic worn over the upper teeth. The trays are computer-generated based on the patient’s individual mouth structure captured in photographs and x-rays. Each tray in the sequence is incrementally smaller in size; the patient begins wearing the first aligner in the series for about two weeks, 20 to 22 hours a day. They then switch to the next tray in the series for about the same amount of time, and continue in this fashion until they’ve worn each aligner in the series.

Besides their improvement in appearance, aligners also have another advantage: unlike traditional braces, aligners can be removed from the mouth for eating or on a limited basis for rare important social occasions. Brushing and flossing are also much easier with aligners, which don’t pose the same access problems as traditional braces.

Clear aligners were once only effective with select types of orthodontic patients, which didn’t always include teens. Over the last decade, however, significant changes to design and additional implements have widened their application to more patients, especially teens. For example, we can now add tiny “power ridges” to the aligner design that give greater precision over desired tooth movement to create a more controlled and efficient force on the teeth. More recent aligners are also being produced with a thinner, more comfortable material.

A thorough orthodontic exam will tell whether your teen is a good candidate for clear aligners. If so, they’ll benefit from a more comfortable and less embarrassing experience while gaining a new smile for life.

If you would like more information on clear aligners, 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 “Clear Aligners for Teens.”


By Dentistry at Camp Creek
July 22, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: VELscope  

VELscopeAccording to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 45,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and only 57 percent of those individuals will still be alive in five years. Don't leave your health up to chance and risk becoming a statistic. Make today the day you call your trusted dentist, Dr. Travon Holt at Dentistry at Camp Creek in South Atlanta, GA, to set up an appointment with a VELscope today.

What is a VELscope?

A VELscope is a handheld oral cancer screening device that helps your South Atlanta, GA dentist more accurately spot cancerous and precancerous lesions that might otherwise be missed. A VELscope is not a diagnostic tool, so if your dentist does spot a troubling area, further testing will be needed. With a VELscope, however, your dentist will be better able to see suspicious areas that would not be visible otherwise.

How Does a VELscope Work?

When Dr. Holt uses the VELscope to shine a blue light within the mouth, the soft tissues react with the light and emit various colors. Healthy tissues will emit a green light, while tissues with suspicious lesions will block or alter the light. These colors help dentists better distinguish between healthy and unhealthy tissues.

What are the Benefits of a VELscope?

With a VELsope, your South Atlanta, GA dentist can find and identify suspicious tissues in the mouth much more quickly, easily and accurately. VELscope is non-invasive and quite safe. With VELscope, not only is your dentist more likely to discover your oral cancer earlier, but he can even spot precancerous cells before they break through the surface - something that was simply not possible before. This early identification directly leads to better treatment outcomes.

When it comes to your oral health, you never want to leave it up to chance. Don't visit a dentist who doesn't have the tools and knowledge needed to spot oral cancer right away. Make sure your next appointment is with Dr. Holt at Dentistry at Camp Creek in South Atlanta, GA so you always know you're in good hands.


By Dentistry at Camp Creek
July 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
AToothlessTiger

Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?

Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?

Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.

Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.

But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?

In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.

Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.

What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.

If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”


















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