My Blog

Posts for: November, 2017

By D Casey Hart DDS
November 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

The holidays are a time for getting together with family and friends from near and far. The memories you make at these joyful celebrations are the ones you’ll treasure forever, but it can be hard to show good cheer if you’re not happy with the way your teeth look. If you’re keeping that grin under wraps, we may be able to perk up your smile with some quick and economical in-office treatments.

A professional teeth cleaning is one of the best values in dental care. In just minutes, we can remove the buildup of hardened tartar that can make your teeth look dull and yellowed. Tartar can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease—two kinds of trouble you don’t need! While you’re in the office, you will also have a thorough exam that could prevent minor issues like small cavities and bleeding gums from becoming more serious dental problems. When you leave, your teeth will look and feel sparkly clean.

If your smile doesn’t look as bright as you’d like, ask about teeth whitening treatments. In-office whitening is a safe and effective way to lighten your teeth up to 10 shades in a single visit! If you have more time, you can get similar results from a take-home kit that we can provide—one that’s custom-made just for you.

Are chips or cracks making your teeth look less than perfect? Cosmetic bonding could be the answer. Translucent, tooth-colored bonding material can be applied to your teeth to repair minor cracks, chips or spacing irregularities. This in-office procedure usually requires just one visit and can make a dramatic difference in your smile.

So as holiday celebrations draw near, why not give yourself a reason to smile? Contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation to see if professional teeth cleaning, teeth whitening or cosmetic bonding could give your smile some holiday sparkle! You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”

By D Casey Hart DDS
November 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.

Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.

For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.

When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.

But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.

Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.

So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…

If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”

By D Casey Hart DDS
November 03, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj  

Do you wake up in the morning with a stiff, aching jaw? You may have TMJ/TMD. Marietta, GA, dentist Dr. Casey Hart discusses commonjaw pain symptoms and explains what you can do to relieve your pain.

Do I have TMJ/TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) affects your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Although TMD is the more accurate term, the condition is often called both TMJ and TMD. The condition affects the hinge joints in your jaw. When the muscles, ligaments or tendons in the joint become inflamed or strained, pain and other symptoms can occur. If you have TMD, you may experience:

  • Stiff jaw muscles
  • Pain in your jaw and face
  • Trouble chewing or opening and closing your mouth
  • Locking jaw joints
  • Popping or cracking sounds accompanied by pain
  • Sore neck, shoulder and upper back muscles
  • Ear pain
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Teeth that don't fit together easily
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Facial swelling

What can I do about TMD pain?

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication can be very helpful in reducing pain and swelling caused by TMD. In addition to taking the medication, you may also wish to apply heat or ice packs to your face periodically. When your TMD flares up, it's best to avoid eating hard or crunchy foods. Softer foods won't strain your already stiff jaw muscles and will allow your jaw time to rest.

Stretching exercises can also be helpful in reducing stiffness in your jaw muscles. When you exercise your jaw, be sure to use gentle movements that don't increase pressure on your jaw. Stress tends to make TMD symptoms worse. If you believe that stress contributes to your condition, try yoga, meditation or any other activity that helps you relax.

If home treatment doesn't reduce your pain, visit our Marietta office. We can recommend several treatments that may be helpful in treating your TMD symptoms. For example, if a bite problem or nighttime grinding habit contributes to your pain, we may recommend that you begin orthodontic treatment or might suggest that you protect your teeth with a mouthguard at night. Some people can also benefit from splints that reposition their jaws and decrease pressure that can cause TMD symptoms.

Ease your TMJ/TMD pain with a visit to Dr. Casey Hart. Schedule a visit with his Marietta, GA, office by calling (770) 926-8371.