Regular Dental Visits
In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is vital to have professional cleanings and regular check-ups. Therefore, you should visit your general dentist twice a year (once every six months). At each appointment, your dentist will examine your teeth and provide an evaluation of existing dental problems and proposed treatment.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is a progressive disease resulting from the interaction of bacteria that naturally occur in your mouth and the sugars consumed in your diet. Sugar causes a reaction in the bacteria, which causes the bacteria to produce acids. These acids break down the minerals in teeth, forming a cavity. Dentists can remove the decay and fill the tooth using a variety of fillings or cover the tooth with a crown. Avoiding unnecessary decay simply requires strict adherence to a dental hygiene regimen: brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental check-ups, diet control and fluoride treatment.
The teeth, bones and soft tissues of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups help minimize and avoid cavities and other dental problems. Consuming sugary and starchy foods should be limited, including candies, cookies, chips and crackers. Healthier foods, such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, help promote stronger teeth.
The grooves that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) are extremely difficult to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria react with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Tooth sealants can protect these areas by sealing the grooves, preventing bacteria and food particles from accumulating. The sealants are made of a resin material that is applied to the back teeth, molars, premolars and any area prone to cavities. Sealants last for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.
Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking fluoridated water and daily brushing and flossing ensures significantly fewer cavities. Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water. Your dentist can evaluate the level of fluoride in your primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements if necessary. There are also many kinds of toothpastes, mouthwashes and even some dental flosses that contain fluoride.
222 12th St. N.E., Suite 1A | Atlanta, GA 30309
Q. How often should I see a dentist?
A. The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year.
Q. What should I expect during my appointment?
A. One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, make X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. If treatment such as a root canal (endodontics), braces (orthodontics) or oral surgery is needed, we will plan to treat you in our office or refer you to a specialist. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.
During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.
Q. What does “painless dentistry” mean?
A. Painless dentistry is a means of ensuring your total experience in our office is as stress-free and pain-free as possible. We will discuss treatment options that may require no local anesthetic and whenever possible, alleviate pain by the means most comfortable to you.
Q. What if I have an emergency?
A. Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number.
Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?
A. Yes. We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. We offer a low interest rate payment plan and also accept most major credit cards.
Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
A. There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth: in-office, overnight or daily. One session of in-office bleaching generally lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read or relax during the treatment. For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a mouthguard that fits your bite. Each day you fill the mouthguard with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for a few hours during the day. The overnight bleaching process takes approximately two weeks.
Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available, but it is important to use any bleaching product only under the supervision of a dentist. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.
Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?
A. We have many different procedures that can help these problems. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Veneers can be positioned to close gaps. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.