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Posts for: April, 2014

By Edward C. Smith, DMD, MPH, LLC
April 24, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

If (heaven forbid) you were to lose your two front teeth in an accident, and you needed to choose a tooth replacement method, which one would you pick? Once upon a time, that question faced Taylor Hicks, the former American Idol winner who now plays a regular gig in Las Vegas. Back then, when he was a high-school basketball star, Hicks happened to receive a blow to the mouth at a playoff game. As fate would have it, he also happened to be the son of… wait for it… a dentist. So what did he do?

The down-to-earth song stylist recently told Dear Doctor magazine how, immediately after the accident, his father administered first aid, getting him back into the game before it ended. Then, a short while afterward, Hicks had the gaps in his smile fixed with dental implants.

We think he made a good choice. While there are other tooth replacement systems, none offer the benefits provided by dental implants. In case you need a reminder, here are some facts about dental implants:

  • They have the highest success rate of any tooth replacement procedure — above 95%
  • They are the most durable type of replacement tooth — with proper care, they can last for the rest of your life
  • They look and “feel” completely natural, and require no special maintenance
  • They are the only tooth replacement system that essentially stops bone loss in the jaw (a natural consequence of tooth loss), helping to maintain good oral health
  • Over the long term, they can offer the best value for your investment in dental care

What makes dental implants work so well? Unlike bridgework or other methods, lifelike implant crowns are supported by a screw-like titanium metal insert, which actually becomes fused with the bone of the jaw. This not only provides the prosthetic teeth with a rock-solid anchorage, but it also helps provide the physical stimulation that bone needs to keep itself healthy. Lacking this stimulation, the jaw bone begins to atrophy and erode (melt away) — and if left untreated long enough, it can result in the appearance of premature aging and other oral health problems.

So if you have missing teeth — whether from an accident, disease, or another cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out whether dental implants might be right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Dental Implants.”

By Edward C. Smith, DMD, MPH, LLC
April 14, 2014
Category: Dentist
Tags: oral health   Columbus  
The desire to achieve a flawless smile has made cosmetic dentistry more popular and appealing than oral healthever. And since a smile is one of the first things you notice about a person, it’s no longer acceptable to settle for dull and damaged teeth. Whether you desire whiter teeth, a straighter smile or tooth restoration, Dr. Edward Smith, our cosmetic dentist in Columbus, can help you determine which cosmetic procedure will help achieve your most stunning results.
A Bright Smile with Teeth Whitening
Age, coffee, tea, soda and smoking can contribute to discolored smiles. Many times simple whitening toothpastes and at-home whitening trays are enough to restore your teeth to a healthy white. But for longer-lasting, permanent results, a whitening treatment from our professional Columbus, GA dentist is the best way to achieve your most radiant smile.
Dental Implants for Columbus Residents
Not long ago, a set of removable dentures was the only treatment available to replace missing teeth. But with the emergence of new technology, dental implants are fast becoming the preferred and most effective way to replace teeth and restore a patient’s smile.
A dental implant restoration procedure involves attaching posts into the bone, and then attaching a fabricated tooth into the post. Unlike removable dentures that can be inconvenient and short-lasting, implants closely resemble the patient’s natural teeth and are permanently attached in the patient’s mouth.
Veneers Help Columbus Residents Achieve A-List Smiles
If your teeth are crooked, discolored, gapped or chipped, veneers may be the best solution for transforming your smile. This cosmetic dental procedure is extremely durable, lasting up to 15 years. Made of ultra-thin porcelain shells, veneers are custom made for each patient. The cosmetic dentist will remove a small amount of enamel from each tooth before applying the veneers, and then permanently attach the shells to the front of each tooth. Results are dramatic, and your new smile will look and feel like your natural teeth.
Achieving a beautiful, healthy smile is possible with new and improved cosmetic dentistry. If you’re ready to repair stained teeth, a crooked smile or a missing tooth, ask our dentist in Columbus, GA, Dr. Edward Smith, about the best options for your teeth. With cosmetic dentistry, you’ll have a white, healthy and stunning smile in no time!

By Edward C. Smith, DMD, MPH, LLC
April 09, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

Oral cancer is a serious health problem, responsible for the death of about one person every hour, every day in the United States. It was once thought that folks over 40 were chiefly at risk for the disease. If present trends continue, however, younger people may soon form the majority of oral cancer patients. So, no matter who you are, it makes sense to recognize the risk factors, and find out what you can do to reduce your chances of getting the disease.

As in many other diseases, genetic factors play a role in determining whether an individual will develop oral cancer. At present, there's nothing we can do about these inborn traits. But there are several choices we can make that will lessen our risk of oral cancer. Most of these risky behaviors are associated with other types of cancer as well.

Moderate to heavy drinkers, and users of tobacco products of all types, are as much as 9 times more likely to develop the disease than non-users. Chronic exposure to the sun has long been associated with the development of cancers of the lip. And, because the sexually-transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can lead to oral cancer, unsafe sexual behavior is a factor that's fast becoming a primary cause of the disease.

So if you need another reason to quit smoking, stop drinking excessively, wear sunscreen and practice safe sex — consider this your warning. But there's still more you can do to reduce your risk for oral cancer, and improve your general health as well.

Eating a plant-based, whole food diet doesn't just reduce your risk of getting oral cancer — it also makes you less likely to develop many other cancers, and various chronic conditions like heart disease. The exact mechanisms by which this happens aren't completely understood, but its effects have been documented in numerous studies.

Avoiding certain chemicals, like the nitrites often found in preserved foods, can reduce cancer risk. And the antioxidants you get by eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help protect your body from cancer-causing substances.

Finally, don't ignore regular cancer screenings. The early signs of oral cancer are difficult for many people to distinguish from common mouth sores — but we are trained to identify possible problem areas, and can schedule further tests if needed. You can get an oral cancer screening (a fast and painless procedure) at your regular dental checkup. And you always get your checkups on time — don't you?

If you have concerns about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Oral Cancer” and “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”