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Instagram, America's humongous digital photo and video album, is chock-full of the silly, mundane, and poignant moments of people's everyday lives. That includes celebrities: Tom Hanks buying a used car; Ryan Reynolds sporting tiny sunglasses; Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran taking a hike. And then there's former Olympic alpine skier, Lindsey Vonn—posting a video of her recent dental visit.

Winner of several World Cup competitions and the first woman to gain the gold for downhill racing at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vonn broke her two front teeth during a—you guessed it—skiing competition a few years ago. This past September, she went to the dentist to update her restoration and gave her followers a fascinating firsthand look at dental bonding, a technique for repairing a chipped or broken tooth.

Although dental bonding has been around for decades, it's taken a leap forward in the last few years because of improvements in bonding material. A mixture of plastic and glass components, composite resins can produce a strong and durable result when bonded to teeth. To begin the technique, the tooth's surface is prepared so that the composite resin can better adhere. Along with an adhesive agent, the bonding material is applied as a paste, which makes it easier to shape and sculpt for the most realistic look. This is usually done layer by layer, with each individual layer hardened with a curing light.

The technique allows us not only to achieve the right tooth shape, but also to incorporate your natural tooth color. We can tint the composite resin as we work so that your restored tooth blends seamlessly with the rest of your natural teeth. The result: A “new” tooth that's both beautiful and natural-looking.

What's more, dental bonding is more affordable than veneers or crowns and can often be done in a single visit. You will, however, need to exercise care with your new restoration. Although highly durable, it can be damaged if you bite into something hard. You'll also need to watch foods and beverages like tea or coffee that can stain the dental material.

Even so, we can help you regain the smile you once had before you took your teeth skiing—Lindsey Vonn-style—or whatever you were doing that resulted in a “whoopsie.” All it takes is a call for an appointment to start you on the path to a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental enhancements, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By Tina P. Moses, DMD, PC
April 03, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant  

You've lost some teeth, and now you have to decide how to replace them. A fixed bridge or a partial denture are certainly good options. But the best choice today that dentistry has to offer is dental implants.

Implants have exploded in popularity among both dentists and patients, offering exceptional quality in life-likeness and durability. But they do have one drawback that might cause you to hesitate in choosing them: They're usually more expensive than other common tooth replacement systems, even more so if you're replacing each individual missing tooth with an implant.

But before you pass on them for something more affordable, take another look at dental implants. Here are 4 reasons why implants could be the wiser option for tooth replacement.

Life-like and functional. Other restorations can effectively mimic the appearance of real teeth, and they're reasonably functional. But implants score at the top in both categories because they replace more of the tooth—not just the crown, but the tooth root as well.

Bone friendly. Other restorations can't stop the gradual bone loss often caused by missing teeth, and dentures in particular can accelerate it. But implants are made of titanium, a bio-compatible metal that's also bone-friendly—bone cells readily grow and adhere to its surface. This accumulated growth around the implant site helps slow or stop bone loss.

Long-term savings. The integration of bone and implant creates a durable hold that can last for several years, possibly outlasting other restorations in the same situation. Taking into account all the costs—installation, maintenance and possible replacement—that can occur over the life of a restoration, implants could actually cost less in the long run.

Versatile. Implants can be used for more than single tooth replacements—they can be incorporated with other restorations like bridges or dentures to provide better support. Marrying implants with traditional tooth replacement systems can be less costly than implants individually while enhancing benefits like durability and bone strength.

Dental implants may not be right for everyone, particularly those who've experienced advanced bone loss. But if a thorough dental exam shows you're a good candidate, dental implants could be well worth the investment in your health and appearance.

If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, 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 “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Teeth.”

By Tina P. Moses, DMD, PC
March 24, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj disorders  

Chronic joint pain (temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD) in and of itself can make life miserable. But TMD may not be the only debilitating condition you're contending with—it's quite common for TMD patients to also suffer from fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a condition with a variety of muscular and neurological symptoms like widespread pain, joint stiffness, headaches and tingling sensations. These symptoms can also give rise to sleep and mood disorder, as well as difficulties with memory. Fibromyalgia can occur in both males and females, but like TMD, it's predominant among women, particularly those in their child-bearing years.

In the past, physicians were mystified by these symptoms of body-wide pain that didn't seem to have an apparent cause such as localized nerve damage. But continuing research has produced a workable theory—that fibromyalgia is related to some defect within the brain or spinal cord (the central nervous system), perhaps even on the genetic level.

This has also led researchers to consider that a simultaneous occurrence of TMD and fibromyalgia may not be coincidental—that the same defect causing fibromyalgia may also be responsible for TMD. If this is true, then the development of new treatments based on this understanding could benefit both conditions.

For example, it's been suggested that drugs which relieve neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain may be effective in relieving fibromyalgia pain. If so, they might also have a similar effect on TMD symptoms.

As the study of conditions like fibromyalgia and TMD continues, researchers are hopeful new therapies will arise that benefit treatment for both. In the meantime, there are effective ways to cope with the symptoms of TMD, among them cold and hot therapy for inflamed jaw joints, physical exercises and stress reduction techniques.

The key is to experiment with these and other proven therapies to find the right combination for an individual patient to find noticeable relief. And perhaps one day in the not too distant future, even better treatments may arise.

If you would like more information on the connection between TMD and other chronic pain conditions, 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 “Fibromyalgia and Temporomandibular Disorders.”

By Tina P. Moses, DMD, PC
March 16, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Find out how fluoride could protect growing smiles from decay.

Did you know that cavities are the leading oral disease in children? In fact, around 40 percent of children will have tooth decay by kindergarten! Tooth decay can compromise the development and health of your child’s smile so instead of just coming into our practice to remove decay, our Augusta, GA, pediatric dentist Dr. Tina Moses can protect against decay in the first place with a fluoride treatment.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in drinking water, food, and soil. However, since fluoride was discovered to have great oral health benefits, we’ve since seen fluoride added to our local drinking water and most kinds of toothpaste.

Why is fluoride important for my child’s teeth?

There are many reasons why fluoride is beneficial for children’s teeth, and even teens' and adults', too!. Some of the benefits of fluoride include:

Protecting your child’s teeth: Fluoride can protect your child’s tooth enamel and may even reduce the risk for tooth sensitivity, which is an issue our Augusta, GA, pediatric dentist most often sees in kids during the cold, winter months. It can also stop acid in the mouth from damaging healthy tooth enamel.

Strengthening enamel: We all have oral bacteria, including our children. These bacteria love to feed off sugar and starches such as that chocolate-frosted donut or white pasta that your child just loves to eat. While limiting these foods can certainly prevent enamel from breaking down, another measure you can take is to get fluoride treatment for your little one.

Fluoride treatment can breakdown acid, which bacteria produce when feeding off sugars and starches. Fluoride can then remineralize and strengthen your child’s teeth. It may even reverse early signs of decay.

Reduce cavity risk: Most children are at risk for decay. While it’s important that your child is practicing good oral hygiene and visiting our dental team every six months for cleanings and checkups, fluoride treatment can be an additional preventive measure that could benefit your child’s smile and reduce their risk for developing cavities over their childhood and teens years.

To discuss fluoride treatment with our Augusta, GA, pediatric dentist to see if this is a good preventive measure for your child’s smile, simply call our practice at (706) 863-6262. We can provide your little ones with the preventive oral care they need for a healthy, beautiful smile!

By Tina P. Moses, DMD, PC
March 15, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sealants  

Sealants provide a protective coating over back teeth to prevent cavities.

Want to protect your child’s teeth from cavities? Most, if not all, parents are going to say, “Absolutely, yes!” Cavities are a common problem in children, particularly affecting their back teeth. They may have trouble cleaning off all those fissures and crevices on the chewing surfaces of their molars, which can increase the risk for cavities.

To protect your child from “pit and fissure cavities” our Augusta, GA, pediatric dentist Dr. Tina Moses can place dental sealants over the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars.

What does a dental sealant do?

Even with the best brushing practices in place, it is still tough for kids to properly clean back teeth. As a result, back teeth are vulnerable to plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to decay. By placing dental sealants on your child’s teeth, our Augusta, GA, pediatric dentist can make these teeth less vulnerable to cavities. Sealants are clear coatings that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of your child’s molars and then hardened into place with a dental laser.

Are dental sealants safe?

Yes, sealants are completely safe for your child. They’ve been one of the safest and most effective ways to protect against cavities for more than four decades. Some parents may have concerns about potential allergic reactions to dental sealants, but you’ll be relieved to know that allergic reactions to sealants are incredibly rare.

Do sealants hurt?

We know that this question arises more often for parents than for kids, but everyone will be happy to know that getting dental sealants is completely painless. The procedure is non-invasive and only requires our dental team to apply the sealant and then bond it directly to the tooth with a curing light. It’s incredibly simple, and this procedure could protect your child from cavities for several years.

It isn’t always easy to tell whether your child’s back teeth are being impacted by improper brushing or sugary treats. This is why it’s important that you visit Dr. Moses, our Augusta, GA, pediatric dentist every six months for checkups. We can easily place sealants during your child’s next visit, just call us at (706) 863-6262 and let us know that you’re interested in getting sealants for your little one.

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