Buckhead dental care FAQ

FAQ

What can be done to improve the appearance of my teeth?

Today in the field of dentistry, there are so many options on improving the appearance teeth. Many times, simply having your teeth whitened will make all the difference in the world. We can straighten teeth and make them look even with Invisalign clear aligners in a matter of months, bonding can be done to repair chips, close gaps, or improve the shape of teeth. For dramatic changes to the teeth, veneers either made of porcelain or composite resin can be made which will transform a smile. In our office, I provide easy consultation appointments to review improvements patients may want to consider and provide options on how to achieve the results.

What is the best toothpaste to use?

Fluoride does help reduce tooth decay, therefore fluoride is the most important ingredient in tooth paste. Most toothpaste contains fluoride, however there are a few "natural" brands that do not contain fluoride. Besides fluoride, toothpaste will contain abrasives, flavorings, whiteners, and detergents. There are tooth pastes that are marketed for reducing tooth sensitivity, and they can be effective after use for four to six weeks. The whitening toothpastes will generally be more abrasive and will remove more surface stains over time, but they may also be too abrasive on your teeth if used indefinitely. I would select a brand that has fluoride and has a flavor that is pleasing to you, or choose a sensitivity toothpaste if you tend to have cold sensitivity in your teeth.

What is the safest and most effective way to whiten my teeth?

I have been whitening teeth since the early 1990's and we have had great results with minimal complications. Short term tooth sensitivity historically has been the one complication that affects some people, however we have figured out how to manage this to keep it to a minimum. I have found that the most effective whitening treatment involves a combination of in-office and home whitening. The in-office whitening takes a little over an hour and provides a quick start to the whitening process, but most people will still benefit from additional whitening with home trays. We provide these to our whitening patients and instruct them on how to use them daily for about two weeks. These trays are important to have so you can do whitening touch ups periodically. The over the counter whitening treatments are safe to use, and usually have the same active ingredients we use, however they are not as concentrated and often have limited effect, but I never discourage people from trying them. They seem to work well for some people.

When should I bring my children in for their first checkup?

You will hear different opinions on this question. I am happy to see children at any age, sometimes parents will have a specific concern that would bring a child to me at a very young age. Outside of this situation, I recommend to parents to bring their children for their first dental checkup sometime between their third and fourth birthday. They will have all of their baby teeth by this time and the adult teeth will be a couple of years away from beginning to erupt. Fortunately we do not see a high rate of tooth decay in children, but they still do get cavities and therefore should have regular checkups.

What type of fillings are the best for my teeth?

I have been using tooth colored composite resins for fillings for over 20 years and I have found they are very effective, durable, and they look great. There has been much publicity regarding the question of the safety of silver fillings (amalgams) the past few years. To date, there has not been enough scientific evidence to support many of the claims such as increased risk of autoimmune disorders. For this reason I do not support the notion that all silver fillings should be removed and replaced. I generally replace silver fillings with tooth colored fillings as the silver fillings wear out. I have in some instances replaced silver fillings at the request of a patient for cosmetic reasons.

Are implants a safe way to replace missing teeth?

Implants have become the preferred choice for replacing missing teeth. I use implants to replace single missing teeth routinely and in some cases I have replaced entire arches of missing teeth. They are lasting longer than any other methods previously employed by dentists. I would strongly urge anyone who needs teeth replaced to consider dental implants. All of our patients who receive implants have a treatment plan that is developed in collaboration between myself and an oral surgeon. I cannot emphasize enough that proper planning ahead of time ensures a safe and effective outcome.