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Posts for: April, 2018

By Highland Dental
April 25, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Discover how dental implants could give you that full, beautiful smile again.demtal implants

Losing a permanent tooth can often feel like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be. Our Smyrna, GA, dentist Dr. Michael Nguyen can help you if this problem happens to you. There is an incredible solution that can give you a confident, complete smile back. The solution is called dental implants, and they are as close as you’ll come to having natural teeth.

Of course, in a perfect world we would all maintain our smiles and never deal with tooth loss; however, when tooth loss does happen isn’t it nice to know that you have a way to replace one or more missing teeth with the next best thing to a real tooth? Dental implants are unique to any other tooth replacement option because they actually take the place of your missing tooth roots. Simply put, implants are metal tooth roots.

Most people don’t realize that tooth roots are actually an important part of your oral health, as tooth roots provide your jawbone with the stimulation it needs to remain healthy and strong. When a tooth falls out the tooth roots go with it and this means that jawbone doesn’t get the stimulation it needs. If tooth loss isn’t treated the jawbone will begin to deteriorate. The only way to prevent this from happening is to place a dental implant.

A dental implant is made from a tough, durable metal (often titanium) that is biocompatible, meaning that the body won’t reject it. Our Smyrna, GA, restorative dentist will surgically place the implant into a small pre-drilled hole in the jawbone where your missing tooth used to be. Once the implant is placed the gums will be stitched back up.

The healing period after placing the implants is crucial because this is where the magic begins. A phenomenon known as osseointegration occurs. This is when the bone and tissue naturally fuse together with the implant to become one. This happens over the course of a couple of months and once the implant and jawbone become one unit this means the implant could last the rest of your life.

Depending on the type of implant you receive, a structure known as an abutment may need to be placed on top of the implant. In some cases, the abutment is already part of the implant. Once the abutment has been placed a dental crown will also be custom-made to fit over your implant to complete your new restoration.

Do you have questions about getting dental implants in Smyrna, GA? Do you want to find out if you are the ideal candidate for this treatment? If so, then it’s the perfect time to schedule a consultation with Highland Dental.

By Highland Dental
April 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Highland Dental
April 14, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) jolted our collective consciousness in the 1980s. The deadly disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had no known cure and, at the time, no effective treatment.

HIV is a retrovirus, a virus with a genetic makeup and reproduction system differing from other kinds. After taking up permanent residency in the body, HIV begins “hijacking” the replication process of cells in the body's immune system and replacing it with a copy of its own. This destroys the cells' ability to protect the body from hostile organisms. As the virus affects more and more cells, the patient's condition ultimately develops into AIDS.

An estimated 35 million people worldwide (1.2 million in the U.S.) are currently infected with the virus. Thanks to new antiretroviral drugs, though, HIV can be kept from accelerating into AIDS. While their condition remains serious, many HIV positive patients can now live long and relatively normal lives. Even so, having the virus requires them to pay close attention to their health, including their mouth.

Even while stalled from becoming AIDS, HIV can still cause oral problems for 30 to 80% of patients. The fungal infection candidiasis (also known as thrush) is the most common of these problems, which appears as lesions, cracking skin or creamy white patches on the tongue or palate that easily bleed. Patients also have higher risks for dry mouth, oral cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.

HIV positive patients must practice diligent daily oral care and see their dentist for checkups regularly. Prevention, early diagnosis and treatment can keep gum disease and other damaging conditions under control. Monitoring oral health is also important because certain mouth conditions could be an early sign the infection is entering a new advanced stage in the body that requires additional attention.

Keeping vigilant in all aspects of health is a way of life for someone with HIV. Such vigilance, though, can help them maintain a healthy mouth and even prolong their life.

If you would like more information on how to manage oral care with HIV, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.