My Blog

Posts for: April, 2018

By D Casey Hart DDS
April 25, 2018
Category: Oral Health

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By D Casey Hart DDS
April 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Remember when the only way to repair a cavity was with a dark, amalgam filling? While amalgam works well in some circumstances, your fillingsMarietta, GA, dentist places numerous tooth-colored fillings for excellent durability and smile aesthetics. Just how do white fillings work? Read on to find out how Dr. Casey Hart places these lifelike restorations.

How a cavity happens

Cavities form when oral bacteria secrete corrosive acids on tooth enamel. These bacteria thrive in the food residues left behind on and between teeth and at the gum line. As the acids do their work, a hole, or cavity, forms. Left undiscovered and untreated, a cavity can cause:

  • Dental sensitivity to cold, heat, and sugar
  • Dental abscess when decay invades interior tooth pulp
  • Throbbing toothache pain
  • Tooth loss

It's important to see your Marietta dentist every six months for preventive cleanings and exams and to brush, floss, and eat a tooth-friendly diet daily.

Treatment with a tooth-colored filling

Unlike metal filling material, tooth-colored composite resin (a mixture of plastic and glass particles) requires far less enamel preparation before placing a filling. Your dentist simply numbs your tooth and removes any decay and old filling material with a drill and other handheld tools.

Then, Dr. Hart places a special etching liquid on the tooth. This helps the composite resin bond well to the tooth. Next, he layers the filling material into the tooth and bonds it in place with a special curing light. This layering/bonding process creates an exceptionally strong filling. With a final shaping and bite check, the filling is complete.

Other kinds of tooth-colored fillings include porcelain (inlays or onlays which treat very large cavities) and glass ionomer. This innovative material works best on tooth surfaces which are not subjected to the forces of biting and chewing (cheek-side or tongue-side decay). Glass ionomer combines glass with gradual-release fluoride which strengthens the underlying tooth structure.

Do you have a cavity?

Don't delay. Today's tooth-colored fillings are lifelike and last for years. For an appointment with Dr. Hart in Marietta, GA, please contact his office staff at (770) 926-8371.


While we often associate tooth decay with cavities forming in a tooth’s visible or biting surfaces, the occurrence of this all too common disease isn’t limited to those areas. Cavities can develop in any part of a tooth exposed to bacteria.

Gum recession, the shrinking back of the gums from the teeth, can cause such exposure in areas normally covered by the gums. Because these areas are usually more vulnerable to infection when exposed, cavities can develop at or right below the gum line. Because of their location it can be difficult to fill them or perform other treatments.

One way to make it less difficult is to perform a crown lengthening procedure. While the term sounds like we’re increasing the size of the tooth, we’re actually surgically altering the gums to access more of the affected tooth surface for treatment. It’s typically performed in a dental office with local anesthesia by a general dentist or a periodontist, a specialist in the gums.

During the procedure, the dentist starts by making small incisions in the gums to create a tissue “flap” that can be lifted out of the way. This exposes the underlying bone, which they then reshape to support the gum tissue once it’s re-situated in its new position. The dentist then sutures the gums back in place. Once the gums heal, the decayed area is ready for treatment.

Crown lengthening is also useful for other situations besides treating cavities. If a tooth has broken off at the gum line, for example, there may not be enough remaining structure to support a crown. Crown lengthening can make more of the underlying tooth available for the crown to “grab” onto. It’s also useful in some cases of “gummy smiles,” in which too much of the gum tissue is visible in proportion to the tooth size.

Because crown lengthening often involves removing some of the bone and is thus irreversible, you should discuss this procedure with your dentist in depth beforehand. It could be, though, this minor procedure might make it easier to preserve your teeth and even make them look more attractive.

If you would like more information on crown lengthening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.