Dental News & Updates

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Dentistry for Midtown
December 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
DontBreakItLikeBeckham

During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.

Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.

For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.

When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.

But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.

Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.

So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…

If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”

By Dentistry for Midtown
December 06, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

You're contemplating orthodontic treatment. You've waited so long for a straight, healthy smile, and now is the time. But, with so many orthodontic options out there, you may be wondering which type of braces is right for you? At Dentistry for Midtown, orthodontics is a treatment option for patients of all ages, and when you visit, Drs. Laura Koch, Sunny Patel, and Andrew Soulimiotis will help you decide on the best path to a new smile!

Why people need braces

While most orthodontic patients in Midtown (and across the country) are children between the ages of 11 and 14, older teens and adults still benefit from treatment, as well. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists says that people may be treated at just about any age for bite, alignment, and jaw problems—for good reason too! These treatments create smiles that more comfortable, healthier, easier to clean, and better looking.

In general, braces work by exerting physical pressures on teeth, moving them into better positions and improving how they come together when you eat, smile, talk, and simply close your mouth. A well-aligned smile reduces earaches, headaches, facial pain, and jaw joint dysfunction (TMJD), while also enabling your teeth to wear more evenly and experience less decay/gum disease.

Common orthodontic problems include:

  • Overbite
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Openbite
  • Overject (protruding front teeth)
  • Gaps
  • Crowding
  • Tooth tipping
  • Tooth rotation

Your dentist will do a complete oral examination, complete with an X-ray screening and other specialized imaging to diagnose your smile problems and to determine what may help. Treatment with conventional braces (metal, ceramic, or lingual) typically takes 2 to 2-1/2 years or more to complete, and clear aligners, such as Invisalign, take half that. Children often benefit from simple palatal expanders which leverage the fluidity of young jaw bones and make room for proper eruption and alignment of adult teeth.

After completion of your treatment plan, your dentist may recommend you wear a removable or bonded retainer. This appliance keeps your teeth in their new, healthy positions.

Other considerations...

As you contemplate braces, remember that good oral hygiene keeps your teeth and gums healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Conventional braces require very strict oral hygiene habits and some dietary changes as well. Clear aligners are removable and smooth, cause no real oral irritation, are simple to maintain, and are totally unnoticeable.

Finally, it's important to keep all your progress-check appointments at Dentistry for Midtown so that your treatment plan stays on track. In addition, be sure to get your six-month check-ups and cleanings as usual.

Ready for a consultation?

Learn what braces are right for you! Call Dentistry for Midtown for a consultation appointment with Dr. Koch, Dr. Patel, or Dr. Soulimiotis, and anticipate wonderful results! We have early morning hours for your convenience, just phone (404) 249-1716.

By Dentistry for Midtown
October 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
RegeneratingLostBoneCanMakeDentalImplantsaReality

Every day the forces you generate when you bite or chew can exert enormous pressure on your teeth. And day after day your teeth remain stable and secure, thanks to an intricate system of periodontal ligaments, attaching gum tissue and bone. The latter element is especially important — healthy bone makes healthy teeth.

And vice-versa — the same biting forces are transmitted through the tooth root to the bone via the periodontal ligament to stimulate new bone growth to replace older bone that has dissolved (resorbed). If a tooth’s missing, however, the bone doesn’t receive that stimulation, and the resorbed bone isn’t replaced at a healthy rate. In fact, you can lose up to a quarter of bone width in the first year alone after tooth loss.

And this can cause a problem when you’re looking to replace that missing tooth with what’s considered the best restorative option available: dental implants. Known for their life-likeness and durability, implants nonetheless need sufficient bone to anchor properly for the best outcome. Without it, implants simply aren’t practical.

But that doesn’t have to be the end of the story: it’s quite possible to regenerate enough bone to support implants through bone grafting. Bone material from the patient (or another donor, human, animal or synthetic) is placed under the gum at the missing tooth site to serve as a scaffold for new growth. The new bone growth will eventually replace the graft material.

The size of the graft and extent of the procedure depends of course on the amount of bone loss at the site. Loss can be kept to a minimum, though, if the graft is placed immediately after a tooth extraction, a common practice now. After a few months, the bone created through the graft is sufficient for supporting an implant and gives you the best chance for a beautiful outcome.

If you’re considering an implant for a missing tooth, you should schedule a consultation appointment with us as soon as possible. After a thorough dental exam, we’ll be able to tell you if bone grafting to support implants is a good idea for you. It adds a little more time to the overall implant process, but the results — a new, more attractive smile — will be well worth it.

If you would like more information on bone regeneration, 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 “Can Dentists Rebuild Bone?

By Dentistry for Midtown
September 25, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry can subtly repair a damaged tooth or overhaul your smile. However, the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you may get lost in the shuffle of all the treatments available at your dentist’s office. Luckily, you and your dentist can work together to ensure that you find the best cosmetic treatments for you. Find out more about cosmetic dentistry and its benefits with Dr. Laura Koch, Dr. Andrew Soulimiotis, and Dr. Sunny Patel at Dentistry for Midtown in Midtown, GA.

What is cosmetic dentistry? 
Cosmetic dentistry focuses on making your smile beautiful more than improving the functionality of your teeth. Many of these procedures often also fall under the restorative dentistry umbrella.

Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures in Midtown, GA

  • Crowns and Bridges: Crowns help protect a damaged or decayed tooth while bridges replace a missing tooth above the gum line. These restorations are made from porcelain and blend into your natural smile.
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants replace a missing tooth and its root both above and below the gum line. Implants are a permanent tooth replacement option and remain anchored into the mouth.
  • Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers cover a tooth to mask its appearance. A dental laboratory customizes the veneer and your dentist bonds it permanently onto your tooth.
  • Orthodontic Treatments: Orthodontics use braces to straighten the teeth and correct bite issues. Orthodontic devices range from traditional metal braces to clear plastic aligner trays. Your dentist can help you make the best decision for you.
  • Bonding: Dental bonding repairs slightly damaged teeth such as those with chips or small cracks. Bonding can also renew the appearance of a stained or yellowed tooth.
  • Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening is a fast, efficient procedure that provides obvious, even dramatic results in just an hour-long session. Your dentist can change the intensity of the treatment to cater to your wishes.

For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Laura Koch, Dr. Andrew Soulimiotis, and Dr. Sunny Patel at Dentistry for Midtown in Midtown, GA. Call (404) 249-1716 to schedule your consultation with your dentist today!

By Dentistry for Midtown
September 22, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
ADifferentKindofChipShotforProGolferDanielleKang

While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.

“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.

Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.

Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).

For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.

Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.

If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”