My Blog
By D Casey Hart DDS
October 21, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

You can restore your smile and boost your confidence with dental implants from Dr. Casey Hart in Marietta, GA. His team of experts provides dental care in a friendly and comfortable environment.

Why Dental Implants are Important

Dr. Hart's Office specializes in improving your smile by restoring your missing teeth. Here are some benefits of dental implants:

Improve Your Dental Health

Your doctor fills empty spaces in your smile with dental implants in Marietta, GA. Not replacing your missing teeth can be harmful to your oral health in the long term. The teeth that have remained could change their position. Shifting teeth cause more gaps, spaces, and misaligned teeth. You, even increase your risk of gum or periodontal disease.

Partial dentures that use metal clasps and hooks may not give you a permanent solution for lost teeth. But dental implants offer you a natural look without the risks of shifting teeth. They're easy to maintain and more stable.

Boost Your Self-Esteem

Empty spaces in your mouth can affect your confidence and limit your opportunities because a smile is how you make a great first impression. Dental implants can come to your rescue. They can restore your natural-looking smile by giving you a new set of teeth. 

Prevent Bone Loss

Losing or removing a tooth can lead to bone loss in your jaw. You may not notice bone loss immediately because it happens over time. You'll see a sunken look as your jawline and face change. It becomes worse if you remain with very few teeth. Dental implants can correct this problem. They strengthen the supporting bone as they fuse with your jawbone. Also, dental implants activate bone growth, which prevents a sunken appearance. 

Improve Your Quality of Life

Missing teeth rob you of enjoying your favorite foods. That's because you can't chew the food properly anymore. Dental implants can replace cracked, broken, or missing teeth. Because of this, you can chew again and feast on your favorite foods. You will also be able to properly digest your food because it is chewed thoroughly. 

Get back your beautiful smile by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Hart in Marietta, GA, at (770) 926-8371 for dental implants today.

By D Casey Hart DDS
October 17, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant  
ShouldYouTakeanAntibioticBeforeImplantSurgery

Although getting an implant requires surgery, it's usually a minor affair. Chances are good that after just a few days recuperation you'll be back completely to your normal activities.

But like many other minor surgeries, an implant procedure does pose a slight risk of post-op infection. That's especially so with any dental procedure like implant surgery, since the mouth harbors numerous strains of bacteria that could escape into the bloodstream. For most people, though, a post-op infection doesn't pose a major problem since their immune system kicks in immediately to defeat it.

But some patients with less than robust immune systems or other health problems can have serious complications from an infection. Among other things, infected tissues around an implant may not heal properly, putting the implant at significant risk for failure.

If you have a condition that makes a post-op infection problematic, your dentist or physician may recommend you take an antibiotic before your procedure. Known as prophylactic (preventive) antibiotic treatment, it's intended to give a weakened immune system a head-start on any potential infection after a procedure.

Using antibiotics in this way has been a practice for several decades, and at one time were recommended for a wide list of conditions. That's changed in recent years, though, as evidence from numerous studies seems to show the risk to benefit ratio isn't significant enough to warrant its use in all but a handful of conditions.

Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association recommend prophylactic antibiotics for patients with prosthetic heart valves, past infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and some congenital heart conditions. Some orthopedists may also recommend it for patients with prosthetic joints.

Even if you don't fall into these particular categories, prophylactic antibiotics may still be beneficial if you have a compromised immune system or suffer from a disease like diabetes or lung disease. Whether or not a prophylactic antibiotic is a prudent step given your health status is a discussion you should have with both your physician and your dentist.

If they feel it's warranted, it can be done safely in recommended doses. If your health isn't as robust as it could be, the practice could give you a little added insurance toward a successful implant outcome.

If you would like more information about dental implant surgery, 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 “Implants & Antibiotics.”

By D Casey Hart DDS
October 07, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: osteoporosis  
OsteoporosisCanCauseComplicationsForSomeTypesofDentalWork

October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day, putting the spotlight on this degenerative bone condition and the impact it has on millions of people. Not only does it significantly increase the risk of potentially life-threatening fractures, but it can also indirectly affect dental health.

This connection arises from the use of certain treatment drugs that ultimately could lead to complications following some forms of dental work. These particular drugs, mainly bisphosphonates like Fosamax™ and RANKL inhibitors like Prolia™, destroy bone cells called osteoclasts, whose function is to clear away worn out regular bone cells (osteoblasts). With fewer osteoclasts targeting them, more older osteoblast cells survive longer.

In the short-term, a longer life for these older cells helps bones afflicted by osteoporosis to retain volume and density, and are thus less likely to fracture. Long-term, however, the surviving osteoblasts are less elastic and more brittle than newly formed cells.

In the end, these longer living cells could eventually weaken the bone. In rare situations, this can result in parts of the bone actually dying—a condition known as osteonecrosis. The bones of the body with the highest occurrences of osteonecrosis are the femur (the upper leg bone) and, of specific concern to dental care, the jawbone.

The effect of these medications on the jawbone actually has a name—drug-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw (DIONJ). Fortunately, there's only a 1% risk of it occurring if you're taking these drugs to manage osteoporosis. It's also not a concern for routine procedures like cleanings, fillings or crown placements. But DIONJ could lead to complications with more invasive dental work like tooth extraction, implant placement or periodontal surgery.

It's important, then, that your dentist knows if you're being treated for osteoporosis and the specific drugs you're taking. Depending on the medication, they may suggest, in coordination with your physician, that you take a "drug holiday"—go off of the drug for a set period of time—before a scheduled dental procedure to ease the risk and effects of osteonecrosis.

Because infection after dental work is one possible consequence of osteonecrosis, it's important that you practice thorough oral hygiene every day. Your dentist may also prescribe an antiseptic mouth rinse to include with your hygiene, as well as antibiotics.

You may also want to talk to your doctor about alternative treatments for osteoporosis that pose a lower risk for osteonecrosis. These can range from traditional Vitamin D and calcium supplements to emerging treatments that utilize hormones.

Osteoporosis can complicate dental work, but it doesn't have to prevent you from getting the procedures you need. Working with both your dentist and your physician, you can have the procedures you need to maintain your dental health.

If you would like more information about osteoporosis and dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation.

By D Casey Hart DDS
October 05, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Maintaining a healthy smile begins with good dental hygiene, but many of us miss some important steps. Brushing and flossing every day are the steps most of us follow, but too many of us end up pushing dental visits off our schedule and don't take into account the importance of diet for a clean and healthy smile. Learn more about everything that you can do to improve your hygiene habits by reaching out to your general dentist Dr. Casey Hart in Marietta, GA.

The Problem With Plaque

Plaque is the sticky stuff that clings onto our teeth every day. The problem with plaque is the millions of bacteria that it is home to. As they share in the food we consume, they produce acids that can harm the enamel on our teeth and our gum tissue. Plaque can harden and become tartar which can only be removed by a dentist.

Brushing and Flossing

The basics of good dental hygiene begin right in front of your bathroom mirror. It's as simple as brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day. Both combined can keep plaque from building up on your teeth and keep food particles from becoming stuck, which the bacteria in plaque love to feed on.

Tooth Friendly Diet

The bacteria within plaque especially love the sugary foods and drinks we consume. We are feeding them directly if we don't limit our intake of these types of foods. Such a diet will not only improve the health of our smile but our health overall. Some foods will also stain the teeth like coffee or tea.

In-Office Dental Cleanings

While all of the above are aspects of good dental hygiene, regular office visits are essential. In-office dental cleanings can remove all the plaque left behind as well as tartar. These cleanings are accompanied by a thorough examination by your dentist. Checkups are very important to make sure there won't be any invasive, and costly, surprises down the road.

General Dentist in Marietta, GA

If you've been away from the office or just aren't sure if you are due for a visit, schedule an appointment with your general dentist, Dr. Hart in Marietta, GA, by dialing (770) 926-8371.

By D Casey Hart DDS
September 27, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: clear aligners  
ClearAlignersAnotherOptionBesidesBracesforMovingTeeth

Advances in technology often lead to greater choices for things like automobiles or smartphones. In recent decades, advances in orthodontics have given families another choice besides braces for straightening teeth: clear aligners.

Clear aligners are a series of computer-generated mouth trays of clear plastic that are custom made for an individual patient's teeth. Like braces, these trays worn in the mouth put pressure on the teeth to move in a desired direction. Patients wear an individual tray for about two weeks and then change it out for the next tray in the series. Each subsequent tray is designed to pick up where the former tray left off in the progress of tooth movement.

Although treatment takes about as along as braces, clear aligners have some distinct advantages. First and foremost, their clear plastic construction makes them nearly invisible to outside observers. This makes them ideal for appearance-conscious teens (or adults) who may be embarrassed by the look of metallic braces.

And unlike their fixed counterpart, clear aligners can be removed by the wearer for meals, hygiene and the rare special occasion. As a result, patients with aligners aren't as restricted with food items and have an easier time keeping their teeth clean and avoiding dental disease than braces wearers.

But although definitely a benefit, removability can be potentially problematic depending on the maturity level of the patient. To be effective, an aligner tray must remain in the mouth for the majority of the time—too much time out negates the effect. Patients, then, must be responsible with wearing aligners as directed.

Clear aligners may also not work for treating difficult bites, especially those that require targeted movement (or non-movement) of select teeth. In those cases, braces may be the necessary treatment. But this situation has changed in recent years with the development of new devices and techniques that increase the range of bite problems clear aligners can treat.

Depending then on the bite problem and a patient's level of personal responsibility, clear aligners can be a viable orthodontic choice. And just like braces, they too can improve both dental function and appearance.

If you would like more information on orthodontic options for teens, 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 “Clear Aligners for Teens.”





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