Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Today's Options for Tooth Loss Would Leave George Washington Biting into an Apple

Tooth Loss- One in Four Adults Will Lose a Tooth During Their Lifetime.

Today's options for tooth loss would leave George Washington biting into an apple.  Many suffers of tooth loss are left with the complicated decision of which option to choose, dental implants or the more common and least expensive option of dentures.  For those who are missing teeth, both lower and upper, the research shows the least expensive option may not be the best.  The inconvenience of a denture isn't the only side effect.. bone loss and the compilations thereof play a significant factor in why your dentist may recommend dental implants. 

Custom dentures, carefully crafted by a qualified dentist may be the only option for some patients but, those numbers are being reduced as further advances in implant dentistry is making huge strides in the use of dental implants.  Careful impressions, digital X-rays and fittings are initially made as your dentist and dental laboratory design your denture. When a denture is first placed, the fit is fairly secure since it’s designed to conform to the gum ridge and jaw bone arch that exists at the time the procedure is done.  But over time the absence of the natural tooth root may cause problems.
Without the presence of tooth roots the bone begins to ‘resorb,’ or shrink in height and width. This is  accelerated by the pressure of wearing dentures. For those who sleep in their denture, resorption is a 24/7 process. This is why dentures that fit well when they were first made begin to slip, causing uncomfortable rubbing or sore spots on the gums. Relines may help at first, but eventually, so much resorption occurs that there is too small of a ridge for the denture to ‘grip.’
Those complications and the inconvenience of dentures are factors many adults consider as they face their options.  Eating becomes difficult with a denture that slips and shifts against the gums. Uncomfortable rubbing occurs and many people resort to a diet of soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. Denture adhesives and pastes only help for brief periods but have to be reapplied frequently.Most adults are selecting Dental Implants for tooth replacement.  Dental Implants recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw bone, halting (or greatly minimizing) bone loss. They provide dependable biting and chewing stability and are designed to last a lifetime.  Dr. David Zelby usually ask a final questions as he explains the pros and cons of a patients options, "Do you want to eat a steak?"  Interview a denture wearers and you will hear the embarrassing stories of slippage, clipping and the insecurity of not knowing what will happen as you smile, chew and talk.  Dentures are becoming an artifact of history and pleasantly so when patients place their dentures on the shelf for good.

When thinking of a dental implant consider that it is acting a natural tooth root for the missing tooth.  The implant is actually a small titanium alloy screw that is permanently anchored into the jawbone.  After placement your prosthodontist will place the newly crated "tooth."

For long-term, lifelike replacement of missing teeth, dental implants are the most technologically advanced solution.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Assists in proper chewing for a healthy and improved diet.
  • Allows for a comfortable, secure and radiant smile.
  • Improves speech pronunciation and supports natural facial contour.
  • Eliminates the need to grinding healthy teeth nearby
  • Decreases bone loss and gum recession.
  • Proven long term history of success.

Discuss the benefits of tooth replacement options with Dr. David Zelby in a private consultation.   The dental implant procedure at his office incorporates a team of specialist doctors.  Dr. Zelby is a prosthodontist, which is a speciality in dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association® which focuses on complete restoration of damaged or missing teeth.  a prosthodontist is a "true cosmetic dentist," with advanced education and skills.   At your consultation the dental professionals at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta will answer your questions and assist you as you make the best decision for your individual needs. Call (770) 955-0559 or visit our website at Dentures are becoming an artifact of history and pleasantly so when patients place their dentures on the shelf for good.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are there risks involved in Dental Implants?

 Dental implant surgery does include risk, although they are rarely serious.  As with any surgery, there is always the possibility of infection.  Surgery on the jaw carries a slight risk for nerve damage or bruising, which may affect the sensation of the lower lip.  While most nerve damage does heal, there are incidences in which the nerve damage is permanent.  When an implant is placed next to a natural tooth, it is possible that the root of the natural tooth could be affected.  If the natural tooth is affected it may heal naturally or your doctor may suggest  root canal treatment.

Most dental implant treatment is successful.  Dental implants with today's technology and modern techniques are the treatment of choice for people with missing teeth.  Your dental implant specialist will  perform a variety of test and medical screenings to determine if you will be a successful candidate.  The trend toward dental implants is growing rapidly.  David Zelby, DDS, a prosthodontist at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta, works in tandem with an oral surgeon.  The dental implant is placed into the bone by the surgeon and Dr. Zelby constructs and correctly places the "crown," for the implant.  We have achieved a much better success rate when you have actual specialists joining together and taking a team approach to dental implant therapy," says Dr. Zelby.  You, as the consumer, should be well educated and research the treatment with your dentist.  After your consultation, you should have your questions answered fully and understand what to expect and the complications that can occur.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Keep your teeth safe this summer: Avoid dental injuries when playing sports

Summer is the time for enjoying the great outdoors. However, some popular summer sports – such as swimming and softball – can expose your teeth to danger. Here are several seasonal activities that could lead to dental injuries and ways to keep your smile safe:


Frequent swimmers may be at risk for developing yellowish-brown or dark brown stains on their teeth.
Those who swim more than six hours a week continually expose their teeth to chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives, which give the water a higher pH than saliva. As a result, salivary proteins break down quickly and form organic deposits on teeth. These hard, brown deposits, known as "swimmers' calculus," appear most frequently on the front teeth.
Swimmers' calculus can normally be removed by a professional dental cleaning.


Scuba diving, a sport enjoyed by more than 4 million people in the U.S., can lead to jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems or "tooth squeeze" – pain in the center of the tooth.
All of these symptoms add up to what's called "diver's mouth syndrome" (also called barodontalgia), a condition caused by the air pressure change involved in scuba diving and by divers biting too hard on their scuba air regulators. Tooth squeeze is caused by the change in air pressure, particularly if a diver has a big cavity, a temporary filling, gum disease, periodontal abscess or incomplete root canal therapy.
The best way to avoid these problems is to visit your dentist before scuba diving and make sure your dental health is tip-top. Ask your dentist's advice about fitting the mouthpiece of an air regulator. Sometimes dentures can be inadvertently swallowed during a dive, so denture-wearers should consult with dentists before diving to discuss any potential problems.

Contact sports (soccer, softball, basketball, etc.)

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), soccer players are more likely than football players to sustain a dental-related injury – and these statistics do not include people playing pick-up games with friends.
Soccer is a sport where mouthguards and face masks are not mandatory, upping the odds for mouth and face injuries. Softball, basketball and pick-up games of touch football involve similar risks. In addition to causing injuries during contact, these sports also may be costly for people who have had extensive dental work, especially people who wear braces.
When participating in such sports, a mouthguard is your best ally. The AGD estimates that mouthguards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year. Using a mouthguard can prevent damage to braces or other orthodontic work, as well as prevent mouth cuts, jaw injuries and tooth damage.
There are several types of mouthguards. Ask your dentist for advice about which mouthguard solution is best for you.
  • Stock mouthguard: The lowest cost option is an item that can be bought "off the shelf" from a drug or sporting goods store. This type of mouthguard offers the least protection because the fit adjustment is limited. While better than nothing, a stock mouthguard is not considered acceptable as a facial protective device.
  • Mouth-formed protectors: These mouthguards come as a shell-liner and "boil-and-bite" product from sporting goods stores. The shell is lined with acrylic or rubber. When placed in an athlete's mouth, the protector's lining material molds to the teeth and is allowed to set.
  • Custom-made mouth protectors: The best choice is a customized mouthguard made by your dentist. This is the most expensive option (and may not be covered by your dental plan – check your Evidence of Coverage booklet), but a custom mouthguard offers the best protection, fit and comfort level because it is made from a cast to fit your teeth.
Some information courtesy of the Academy of General Dentistry.Some information courtesy of the American Dental Association..

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year! A New You!

Happy 2012 to you! With the first week of the year coming to a close it’s time to talk about those resolutions! Some are kept faithfully and others seem to fall by the wayside after a few weeks. It’s OK. It happens to everyone. If getting healthier was at the top of your list, be assured that you are not alone! When it comes to health, diet and exercise are the key factors to getting and staying in shape (along with a positive attitude!). Looking and feeling good take work and dedication. If you are looking for a healthier and happier you in 2012, keep in mind that your dental health is just as important as the rest of you! Here are a few tips to get you started with “Dental Resolutions” you can incorporate into your 2012 healthy living goals:

1. Healthy teeth depend on good dietary habits!

In order to maintain good oral health,  you need to eat properly! What you eat and how often you eat are important factors. Foods such as milk, cheese, chicken, and nuts are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing calcium and phosphorous needed to remineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are redeposited into tooth enamel after being removed by acids).

Other choices include firm, crunchy fruits such as apples and pears, as well as vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain and helps to stimulate the flow of saliva, this helps get rid of anything that may stick to your teeth!

2. Stay away from sodas and sweetened snacks throughout the day.

Poor food choices, such as sodas, candies, french fries, dried fruits, cakes, cookies, are harmful to your teeth and your waistline! These foods are full of sugars and acids that strip the tooth enamel and feed bacterial infections. If you are one of those people who enjoy sipping beverages throughout the day, switch to water or unsweetened teas. Sodas will stick to your teeth and slowly wear away the enamel on the outer layer - and once it’s gone you cannot get it back! This goes for snacking too. Limit the type of snacks throughout the day and you will maintain a healthy smile and weight.

BONUS TIP: Hydrating with water will make your skin supple, youthful, and bright! If you’re not a water drinker, add a cucumber for a refreshing flavored drink!

3. Cutting back on your vices.

One of the most listed New Years Resolutions is to quit smoking/ drinking/ etc. These vices, left unchecked, can create serious consequences to our health and the health of those around us. Smokers increase their risk for lung cancer as well as oral diseases, such as cancer of the gums and throat. Spit tobacco contains lots of sugars and causes rapid decay of the tooth and gum structure.

Studies have also shown that persons who abuse alcohol are at a high risk of having seriously decayed and infected gums and teeth. Additionally, drinking has joined smoking as an increased cancer risk. (Dentistry Today, p. 23, June 2003)

4. Good oral health improves not only your teeth, but your whole life!

Studies have shown that your overall health is directly connected to your oral health! Examples of this include:
  • Endocarditis. Gum disease and dental procedures that cut your gums may allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. If you have a weak immune system or a damaged heart valve, this can cause infection in other parts of the body — such as an infection of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis).
  • Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria, possibly due to chronic inflammation from periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease.
  • Pregnancy and birth. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. In addition, people who have inadequate blood sugar control may develop more-frequent and severe infections of the gums and the bone that holds teeth in place, and they may lose more teeth than do people who have good blood sugar control.
  • HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — may be associated with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
  • Alzheimer's disease. Tooth loss before age 35 may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
  • Other conditions. Other conditions that may be linked to oral health include Sjogren's syndrome — an immune system disorder — and eating disorders.
IMPORTANT!: Be sure to let your dentist know if you have had any changes in medication or a change in your overall health - especially if you have had any recent illnesses or have a chronic condition.

5. Stay on top of your health with regular check-ups!
Whether it’s your physician, optometrist, cardiologist, physical therapist, shrink, or dentist - it is important to be checked regularly by a professional so you stay free and clear of any problems that may not be detected or treated without their professional knowledge or equipment. Don’t put off going to the doctor if you suspect an issue. Those “instinctual” or “gut” feelings can be right sometimes.

REMEMBER: Finding the right health care provider for you is important! Check with your insurance provider, ask your friends for referrals, or search doctor review sites. If you do not feel comfortable with your doctor it can make your yearly office visits much less productive. Being able to ask honest questions is very important in the doctor/patient relationship!

Here’s to you in the New Year! May you achieve things great and small - and take a little time for yourself in the process. Keep an eye out for more posts in the coming weeks (my resolution is no less than two posts a month!). Upcoming topics include budgeting for your dental health, Sedation Dentistry, and much more. Keep smiling and visit our website for information on the types of services we provide for our patients!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Halloween is almost here! If you're giving away candy, sugar-free lollipops may be the way to go!

recent study, published by the European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, demonstrated that sugar-free lollipops containing licorice root extract significantly reduced the bacteria that causes tooth decay, specifically in pre-school children with high-risk of tooth decay.

The study, funded by the Research and Data Institute of the affiliated companies of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Mexico and North Carolina, analyzed 66 preschool students ages 2 to 5 enrolled in the Greater Lansing Area Head Start Program. Each student received a lollipop for 10 minutes twice daily for three weeks.

"Dental decay is one of the most common childhood diseases with more than half of children ages 5 to 17 having had at least one cavity or filling," said Jed J. Jacobson, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., chief science officer at Delta Dental. "We are working to find simple, effective regimens that will encourage prevention and control of dental disease. While the results of this pilot clinical trial are encouraging, more research is needed to confirm these early findings."

Results showed a significant reduction in Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), the primary bacteria responsible for tooth decay, during the three-week period when the lollipops were being used and lasting for an additional 22 days before beginning to rebound.

Using a saliva test, the amount of S. mutans in the patient's mouth was measured before and during the three-week period where lollipops were used, as well as for several weeks thereafter.

"The use of the licorice root lollipops is an ideal approach as it will stop the transfer and implantation of the bacteria that cause dental decay from mothers to their infants and toddlers," said Martin Curzon, editor-in-chief, European Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. "It also has the merit of being a low cost-high impact public dental health measure."

"This study is important not only for dental caries prevention research, but also demonstrates the feasibility of a classroom protocol using a unique delivery system suitable for young children," said Jacqueline Tallman, R.D.H., B.S., M.P.A., principal investigator of the study. "Early prevention is key for lifetime oral health and effective innovative protocols are needed."

The investigation was a collaborative effort of the Greater Lansing Area Head Start Program, the University of Michigan and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Delta Dental's Research and Data Institute provided the grants as part of its mission to remain on the cutting edge of finding solutions to oral health problems.

"Our Head Start program was excited to participate in the Lollipop project," said Teresa Spitzer, R.N., Health Programs Manager, Capital Community Head Start Inc. Head Start and Early Childhood Programs. "Staff and parents were intrigued by something as simple as a special Lollipop having the ability to decrease the incidence of dental caries in children. The outcomes only reinforced the value the parents placed on the project."

The lollipops, manufactured by Dr. John's Candies of Grand Rapids, Mich., were developed using FDA-approved materials by Dr. Wenyuan Shi, a microbiologist at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and C3 Jian, Inc., a research and development company in California. The orange-flavored, sugarless lollipops contain extract of licorice root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis), which targets and is thought to kill the primary bacteria (Streptococcus mutans or S. mutans) responsible for tooth decay.

About Streptococcus mutans

There are approximately 700 types of bacteria in the human mouth. While most are harmless, Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) is considered the primary culprit in tooth decay. They live in a biofilm (plaque) that adheres to the teeth, consume sugar and release acid that erodes tooth enamel, causing decay. Regular brushing and flossing, along with dental checkups, can help to keep S. mutans and Lactobacillus casei in check.

Source: Delta Dental of Michigan

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Help keep your smile a beautiful pearly white!

We all want to have a nice smile, which includes beautiful white teeth. When we have yellow teeth, sometimes we don't feel like smiling as much. Or we'll sport that closed mouth smile more often. 

Some people have naturally white teeth, and others' are naturally more of a yellow hue. And as we age, we may find our teeth changing a bit too.

Causes of yellowing teeth can be attributed to:
-Foods/Drinks: berries, curry, soy sauce, colas, wine, coffee and even dark beer can stain teeth.
-Chewing or smoking tobacco can make teeth yellow.
-Medication: Some antibiotics are known to stain teeth especially in young children. 
-Antihistamines, medications for high blood pressure and some anti-psychotic drugs can change tooth color.
-Iron containing supplements
-Over use of prescription mouthwash (containing compounds such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride).
-Excess fluoride ingestion, either from unusually high content in drinking water (rare) or from using excessive amounts of fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.

A few ways to prevent the yellowing of teeth are:
-Avoid or reduce your intake of foods or drinks that tend to stain your teeth.
-Brush your teeth after meals or after drinking coffee or other staining culprits.
-Don't smoke or chew tobacco products.
-Make sure to visit your dentist at least twice per year.
-Ask your dentist about safe whitening products or techniques.

Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta offers several methods that will allow you to brighten and whiten your smile! Visit our website for more information or call 770-955-0550 and speak with one of our knowledgable staff. 



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