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Posts for: October, 2017

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
October 30, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: medicine  

Dental work isn’t performed in a vacuum — the state of your general health can have an impact on procedures and vice-versa. This is especially true if you’re taking certain medications like blood thinners.

Blood thinners such as Warfarin or Clopidogrel are used for a number of medical conditions as an anti-coagulant (inhibiting blood from clotting). They’re commonly part of a stroke or heart attack prevention strategy in patients with cardiovascular disease, or those with tendencies for thrombosis (blood clot formation within blood vessels) or pulmonary embolisms (blood clots within the lungs). They’re also used with patients with artificial heart valves or on a temporary basis with patients who’ve recently undergone knee replacement or similar surgical procedures.

In most cases, dental work won’t be affected by your use of a blood thinner. An issue might arise, however, if an invasive procedure has the potential to cause bleeding, like a tooth extraction or gum surgery. Because the blood doesn’t clot normally it may be difficult to stop the bleeding during such procedures.

To avoid undue complications, it’s always best to let your dentist or oral surgeon know what medications you’re taking, especially blood thinners (this includes low-dose aspirin, a common over-the-counter drug that’s often prescribed as a mild blood thinner). Depending on the procedure and your dosage, they may consult with your prescribing doctor to see if temporarily stopping the medication or reducing the dosage is an acceptable precautionary measure for your dental treatment. Your dentist may also take precautions during the procedure to help reduce bleeding such as using haemostatic agents around the wound site to help stabilize blood clotting, while carefully suturing the wound to avoid disrupting smaller blood vessels (capillaries) that easily bleed.

If your dosage has been temporarily stopped or reduced, you’ll usually be able to resume blood thinners immediately after the dental procedure. Working together, your dentist and doctor will help ensure that your health won’t be at risk and your dental procedure will occur without undue complications.

If you would like more information on dental work precautions with medications, 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 “Oral Surgery & Blood Thinners.”

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
October 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Are crooked, discolored teeth getting you down? Are you ready for a change, but aren't sure how to get it? You can get a smile you love cosmetic dentistrywhen you consult Dr. R. Brad Beasley at Beasley Family & Implant Dentistry in Athens, AL. His cosmetic dentistry expertise gives his Huntsville area patients great paths toward beautiful smiles. From Zoom! Whitening to porcelain veneers, Dr. Beasley's aesthetic treatments change lives.

Award-winning looks

Dr. Beasley has won several awards from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His smile makeovers are outstanding, but they aren't always complicated. Instead, they focus on good oral health and achievable cosmetic goals.

When someone comes to Beasley Family & Implant Dentistry for a cosmetic dentistry consultation, he or she can expect a friendly discussion of what and how changes can be made, how long they will take and what the costs are. Frankly, a skilled cosmetic dentist such as Dr. Beasley makes several suggestions for smile improvement. In the end, patient satisfaction takes priority.

What Dr. Beasley can offer

The list of services offered by your Huntsville and Athens cosmetic dentist is long. It addresses every kind of aesthetic smile defect, including:

  • Chips, cracks, pits
  • Uneven tooth length
  • Odd tooth shape
  • Deep stains
  • Gaps and overcrowding
  • Poor bite, protruding front teeth, tooth rotation
  • Thin enamel
  • Excess gum tissue ("gummy smile")
  • Dark metal fillings
  • Crowns with dark lines at the gum line

While smile gaps and failing or dark crowns and fillings fall into the restorative dentistry category, they also have a strong aesthetic component. Dr. Beasley may address them with porcelain crowns, tooth-colored fillings, dental implants and conventional bridges and dentures. For strictly cosmetic changes, here are a few of the services which could play a role in your smile makeover.

Zoom! Whitening This popular treatment predictably and safely improves tooth color by up to 8 shades. Economical and cost-sparing, the Zoom! process happens right in the dental chair. The dentist swabs on concentrated hydrogen peroxide gel, allows it to seep in and rinses it off. Newly whitened teeth stay bright with good brushing and flossing and occasional touch-ups.

Porcelain veneers and Durathin veneers These enhancements cover stains, chips, gaps and mild overcrowding. Made from thin porcelain, both types of laminates adhere to the front of selected healthy teeth. Durathins, however, have the advantage of being reversible. Veneers last for 10 years or more with good at-home and in-office care.

Invisalign clear aligners They are light, comfortable and invisible, yet do the job that only conventional braces used to do. Teens and adults like Invisalign because of the shorter treatment times, discreet appearance, and ease of hygiene and diet.

Cosmetic gum surgery Performed in-office, this simple procedure removes excess gum tissue, unveiling more tooth structure. It also evens the gum line for a more symmetrical smile.

Come see us

Why not talk to the professionals at Beasley Family & Implant Dentistry in Athens, AL and serving the Huntsville area about a smile makeover? You'll have great options to get a smile you'll really love. Call today.

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
October 22, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Orthodontists are able to achieve attractive results with traditional braces moving several teeth into a better position. In a way, braces are the original “smile makeover.”

But orthodontic treatment can also be useful if only a few teeth (like the two upper front teeth) need to be moved slightly. A treatment known as minor tooth movement takes only a few months as opposed to years for traditional multiple teeth movement, and with removable appliances that may use small springs or elastics to place gentle pressure on teeth to move them.

So, what constitutes a minor tooth movement scenario? As with any dental condition, the first step is a complete dental examination, particularly the bite. We also need to determine if enough room exists to close any space without compromising the bite with the opposing teeth, and if the teeth and their roots are in a good position to allow minor movement — otherwise, more extensive treatment may be called for. The surrounding gum tissues and bone also need to be healthy and disease-free, especially in adults.

We may also need to look more closely at the actual cause for a front tooth gap. If the gap is the result of the tongue habitually pressing against the back of the teeth and pushing them forward, it may then be difficult or impossible to close the gap with minor tooth movement techniques. The cause may also originate from the frenum (a thin, muscular tissue that rises up from between the upper front teeth toward the lip) if it has extended too far between the teeth. In this case we may first need to surgically remove some of the frenum tissue before attempting orthodontics or the teeth may gradually move back apart after closing the gap.

Although minor tooth movement normally doesn’t take as long as braces, it may still require several months. And just like with braces, you will need to wear a retainer for several months afterward until the bone stabilizes around the new position. Still, minor tooth movement could have a major impact on your smile.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatments, 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 “Minor Tooth Movement.”

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
October 07, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   plaque  

The American Dental Hygiene Association has designated October as National Dental Hygiene Month. Good dental hygiene is the best weapon against your mouth’s number one enemy: dental plaque.

Plaque, a sticky biofilm that forms on your teeth, is an accumulation of bacteria, other microorganisms, food debris, and other unpleasant components. It can make your teeth feel fuzzy or slimy. And worse, the bacteria in plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

The best way to keep plaque at bay is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. But even though you can remove much of the plaque in your mouth with a toothbrush and dental floss, there are nooks and crannies that are hard to access with these basic oral hygiene tools.

Staying on top of dental plaque is an ongoing challenge. Immediately after teeth are cleaned, plaque starts to form again. And the longer plaque stays on teeth, the thicker it grows. Minerals in saliva become incorporated into the biofilm. As plaque takes on more minerals, it becomes calcified. This is when it hardens into calculus, or tartar. At this stage, tooth-brushing and flossing cannot disrupt the hardened layer of buildup, sometimes visible as yellow or brown deposits around the gum line.

This is why it’s important to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. At the dental office, we have special tools to remove tartar and get at those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. If you have questions about dental hygiene, plaque control or another oral health issue, we are happy to talk with you. We are your partners in fighting plaque for a bright, healthy smile!

Read more about the topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”