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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

LocalAnesthesiaTakesthePainOutofMostDentalWork

Long ago dental work could be painful and stressful—often for both patient and practitioner. Thankfully, that time is long past: today, most procedures are painless in large part due to local anesthesia.

Local anesthetics are numbing substances applied to specific areas of the body like the teeth and gums to temporarily block pain during a procedure. And because they only affect a localized area of the body, you remain conscious and alert throughout the procedure.

To achieve the level of numbing necessary for dental work, we often need to deaden the gums using a needle to deliver the anesthetic. But then this poses a secondary pain concern—the needle stick itself.

Again, topical anesthesia comes to the rescue in the form of a swab, patch or spray applying an anesthetic directly to the top layer of the gums at the injection site. This numbs the area and prevents you from feeling the needle stick. It's highly probable, therefore, that from start to finish you won't feel any discomfort during your dental work except perhaps for a little pressure.

Local anesthesia truly is a game changer for dental care—and not just for the patient. A dentist who's concerned about their patient's comfort level may work hurriedly to complete a procedure. But if their patient is relaxed, the dentist can work calmly and methodically. The result is better, more focused care.

For all its improvements in the patient experience, though, there has been one consistent complaint—the numbness that often lingers for a while after the procedure is over. But there have been advances in recent years that have helped reduce this irritation: new anesthetic agents (even some that can reverse the anesthetic effect) and fine-tuned dosages can help keep residual numbing to a minimum.

Not all procedures like routine teeth cleanings or enamel shaping require anesthesia. But when it's appropriate, local anesthesia can make your next dental visit much more pleasant.

If you would like more information on how anesthesia benefits your dental care, 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 “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”

By Highland Dental
February 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: wisdom teeth   extractions   Molars   Toothache  

Molar Tooth ExtractionHow tooth removal from your dentist in Smyrna, Georgia can save your smile

Sometimes having a tooth removed is the best choice for the health and beauty of your smile. So, how do you know if a tooth extraction is needed? You should talk with an expert. Dr. Michael Nguyen at Highland Dental in Smyrna, Georgia offers a full range of dental services including extractions, to help save your smile.

Pain is often a reason to have a tooth extracted. If your tooth is badly decayed, broken, or damaged and it can’t be restored with a filling or crown, you may need to have the tooth removed. Sometimes a tooth is so badly damaged that there is not enough tooth structure to restore the tooth. Your dentist can help determine the best course of action if you are suffering dental pain.

You also may need to have a tooth extracted for non-painful reasons. Many people don’t have enough room to accommodate a full set of teeth. Orthodontic treatment is an excellent choice to bring teeth and jaws into proper alignment, but sometimes teeth have to be removed. Tooth removal can make orthodontic treatment more effective and speed up the process.

The most common tooth extraction is removal of third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth. Most people don’t have room for three sets of molars and the wisdom teeth put pressure on your jaw and your other teeth. Often, wisdom teeth don’t erupt fully, or they erupt out of position or sideways. They can also stay completely surrounded by bone and never erupt all. If wisdom teeth are left in place, they are very difficult to keep clean and may decay. They can also have cysts form around them, which can destroy bone.

If you do need a tooth extracted, don’t worry. At Highland Dental, you will be treated by highly skilled professionals dedicated to your comfort. To find out more about tooth extractions and other dental services, call Dr. Michael Nguyen at Highland Dental in Smyrna, Georgia. Call today!

By Highland Dental
February 19, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: bonding  
3AdvantagesforImprovingYourSmilewithCompositeResins

Are you embarrassed by your front teeth? Maybe it’s just moderate defects—a chipped tooth here, an irregularly shaped tooth there—but it’s enough to make you less confident to smile.

There are a number of ways to transform your teeth’s appearance like porcelain veneers or crowns. But a relatively inexpensive method that’s less involved is to bond dental material called composite resin to your teeth to correct defects. Made of synthetic resins, these restorative materials can mimic your own natural tooth color. We can also artistically shape them to create a more natural look for an irregular tooth.

If you’re looking to change the way your front teeth look, here are 3 reasons to consider composite resins to restore them.

They can be applied in one office visit. Although effective, veneers, crowns and similar restorations are typically outsourced to dental labs for custom fabrication. While the results can be stunning, the process itself can take weeks. By contrast, we can colorize, bond and shape composite resins to your teeth in just one visit: you could gain your “new smile” in just one day.

They don’t require extensive tooth alteration. Many restorations often require tooth structure removal to adequately accommodate them, which can permanently alter the tooth. Thanks to the bonding techniques used with composite resins, we can preserve much more of the existing tooth while still achieving a high degree of artistry and lifelikeness.

Composite resins are stronger than ever. Over the years we’ve learned a lot about how teeth interact with each other to produce the forces occurring during chewing and biting. This knowledge has contributed greatly to the ongoing development of dental materials. As a result, today’s composite resins are better able to handle normal biting forces and last longer than those first developed a few decades ago.

Composite resins may not be suitable for major cosmetic dental problems, but you might still be surprised by their range. To learn if composite resins could benefit your situation—even a large defect—see us for a complete examination.

If you would like more information on composite resin restorations, 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 “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”

JanetJacksonEvenpopstarsgetinsecureabouttheirsmiles

Multi-platinum recording artist Janet Jackson has long been known for her dazzling smile. And yet, Jackson admitted to InStyle Magazine that her trademark smile was once a major source of insecurity. The entertainer said, “To me, I looked like the Joker!” It was only after age 30 that the pop icon came to accept her unique look.

Jackson is not alone. A study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists found that more than one third of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with their smile. But there’s good news—modern dentistry can correct many flaws that can keep you from loving your smile, whether you’re unhappy with the color, size, or shape of your teeth. Here are some popular treatments:

Professional teeth whitening: Sometimes a professional teeth whitening will give you the boost you need. In-office whitening can dramatically brighten your smile in just one visit.

Tooth-colored fillings: If you have silver-colored fillings on teeth that show when you smile, consider replacing them with unnoticeable tooth-colored fillings.

Dental bonding: If you have chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth, cosmetic bonding may be the fix you’re looking for. In this procedure, tooth colored material is applied to the tooth’s surface, sculpted into the desired shape, hardened with a special light, and polished for a smooth finish.

Porcelain veneers: Dental veneers provide a natural-looking, long-lasting solution to many dental problems. These very thin shells fit over your teeth, essentially replacing your tooth enamel to give you the smile you desire.

Replacement teeth: Is a missing tooth affecting your self-confidence? There are several options for replacing missing teeth, from a removable partial denture to a traditional fixed bridge to a state-of-the-art implant-supported replacement tooth. Removable partial dentures are an inexpensive way to replace one or more missing teeth, but they are less stable than non-removable options. Dental bridges, as the name implies, span the gap where a tooth is missing by attaching an artificial tooth to the teeth on either side of the space. In this procedure, the teeth on both sides of the gap must be filed down in order to support the bridgework. Dental implants, considered the gold standard in tooth replacement technology, anchor long-lasting, lifelike replacements that function like natural teeth.

After coming to embrace her smile, Jackson asserted, “Beautiful comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors." If you don’t feel that your smile expresses the beauty you have inside, call our office to schedule a consultation. It’s possible to love your smile. We can help.

For more information, read Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”

By Highland Dental
December 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Root CanalIf you need a root canal, we can help at Highland Dental. Some people thing a root canal is something to fear, but root canal treatment is similar to having a cavity filled so there is nothing to fear at all. Root canal treatment can strengthen and restore infected or damaged teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted so you can keep your natural teeth. At Highland Dental, Dr. Michael Nguyen is your dentist for root canals in Smyrna, GA.

What is a Root Canal?

Root canals are more commonly referred to as root canal treatment by dental professionals because the procedure is actually a method for treating damaged or infected teeth. Root canal treatment is sometimes needed when an infection develops in the soft pulp at the center of a tooth. As the infection spreads down through the canals of the tooth into the root, it can cause an abscess to develop below the tooth. Without treatment, the infection can continue spreading to other areas of the mouth and infect other teeth.

Root canal treatment is used to remove all signs of infection from inside the tooth, as well as strengthen and restore the tooth so it can resume normal biting and chewing functions. The procedure for root canal treatment is quite similar to that of having a cavity filled. The dentist drills into the tooth and removes infected pulp from the center of the tooth, as well as from inside the root. After removing all signs of infection, the interior of the tooth and root is cleaned. Dental filling is then used to fill in the tooth and seal it.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

There are a few different signs you might need root canal treatment, which can help you avoid tooth extraction. Signs you need root canal treatment include:

  • A persistent or severe toothache
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold items
  • Sharp pain when biting and chewing food
  • Constant pressure or pain in the mouth

Benefits of a Root Canal

Root canal treatment offers several benefits. It saves teeth from being extracted, which means you get to keep your natural teeth rather than replacing them with artificial ones. Root canal treatment also prevents infection from spreading further and eliminates toothaches and mouth pain associated with the infected pulp. Finally, root canal treatment restores infected teeth and strengthens them so they can resume normal biting and chewing functions. In Smyrna, root canal treatment can be performed by Dr. Nguyen at Highland Dental.

Help is available if you need a root canal. Dr. Nguyen can examine your problem tooth to determine if it can be preserved and restored through root canal treatment. For root canals in Smyrna, GA, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen by calling Highland Dental at (678) 305-9916.