Dentist Sandy Springs:Oral Health Guidelines for Pregnant Women

Pregnant2Why is oral health care important during pregnancy? Because mothers with gum disease have a higher instance of preterm birth, a potentially serious pregnancy complication that may cause health concerns for the infant, typically due to low birth weight.

Pregnancy gingivitis is a common form of gum disease known to develop in almost half of all pregnant women likely due to the change in hormones during the pregnancy.   With proper precautions, pregnancy gingivitis generally ends shortly after the birth of the child.  However, it should be monitored by a dentist periodically during pregnancy in order to prevent this form of gingivitis from progressing into more serious periodontitis, an advanced and irreversible form of gum disease that has been linked with preterm birth.

Pregnant mothers with periodontal diseaseare seven times more likely to go into preterm labor. Prostaglandin, a chemical found in oral bacteria, may induce labor.[1]  Also, high levels of prostaglandin have been found in the mouths of women with severe cases of periodontal disease.

The following guidelines were developed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)[2] in response to the growing concern surrounding oral health during pregnancy:

  • Oral Health Education – Counseling and early intervention by healthcare providers such as physicians, nurses, and dentists to provide expectant mothers with the tools and resources necessary to understand the importance of oral health care during pregnancy.
  • Oral Hygiene – Removing the bacterial plaque, which researchers have connected to preterm birth and low birth-weight babies, is essential. Using the correct brushing and flossing methods greatly increase the amount of plaque that is removed from the teeth and gums.
  • Fluoride – The American Dental Association recommends the use of toothpaste with fluoride by persons over the age of six.  Echoing their sentiment, the AAPD oral health guidelines advise the continued use of fluoridated toothpaste during pregnancy, and recommends the use of an over-the-counter alcohol-free fluoride rinse to help reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth.
  • Nutrition – Educating expectant mothers about proper diet and nutrition during pregnancy will limit unnecessary sugar intake and in turn, prevent plaque buildup.
  • Treating Existing Tooth Decay – Expectant mothers are encouraged to have existing tooth decay treated during their pregnancy, which experts believe is a completely safe practice during pregnancy. Restoring decayed teeth will help achieve oral health by removing the bacteria associated with tooth decay.
  • Transmission of Bacteria – Expectant mothers are discouraged from sharing food and utensils in order to prevent the transmission of the bacteria known to cause tooth decay.
  • Use of Xylitol Gum – Expectant mothers are encouraged to chew xylitol gum (four times a day) as research suggests that chewing this gum may decrease the rate of tooth decay in children.

And ALWAYS Talk to Your Dentist!

Women who are thinking about becoming pregnant may want to consider their oral health before becoming pregnant.[3]  If we can be of assistance or answer any of your questions please feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Related articles

[1] Synthetic prostaglandins are used to induce childbirth or abortion.

[3] Unfortunately,  research suggests, treating existing gum disease in pregnant women does not reduce the instance of preterm birth.  Despite this fact, experts insist that regular oral health care should continue throughout pregnancy.

Sandy Springs Dental Cleanings – What to Expect

Hygiene examA dental cleaning is a fairly routine procedure that should not be painful. However, the patients who have not had their teeth cleaned in a long time may experience a longer cleaning, with some extra pulling and scraping to remove plaque from teeth.  Patients don’t need pain medication for a dental cleaning.[1]  But there is the exception to the rule and some patients are so nervous about coming to the dentists that they request nitrous oxide.  In some extreme cases of anxiety, some dentists use a method known as sleep dentistry, where a patient is medicated to the point that they sleep through the entire procedure.

Most dental cleanings take between 30 minutes and an hour.  If the cleaning is part of a yearly check-up, the hygienist may take X-rays to check for cavities and any other changes in the bone structure.  The dentist will normally perform the last look, and perhaps perform some difficult plaque removal toward the end of the cleaning, evaluate the gums for gum disease, as well as examine for oral cancers.

During the procedure the hygienists will use several tools, including a scaler and tooth polisher. Tooth polishers buff teeth and eliminate tiny pieces of plaque. Scalers look like metal hooks and are used to remove hard plaque formed around and between teeth. Some people find the use of a scaler uncomfortable, depending on their sensitivity level, pain threshold, the length of time since the last cleaning, and the extent of plaque build-up. Tooth polishers buff teeth and eliminate tiny pieces of plaque. Hygienist may also employ a device that shoots water into the mouth, so the person can rinse out plaque several times during the cleaning.  In addition, hygienists utilize a type of sand blaster to remove stains that have formed on the tooth surface.  Last, the hygienist will periodically record ‘pockets’ adjacent to the tooth to determine at what point along the root the gum tissue is attached.

Dental cleanings often conclude with advice about how to care for teeth at home, and scheduling any appointments needed for more extensive services, like filling cavities. People with busy dentists should schedule their next cleanings well in advance, so as to keep regular six-month cleaning appointments.  Patients should also expect the dentist to inquire about their home brushing and flossing activities. If a patient (thinks he/she) is regularly caring for their teeth at home, and plaque build-up is still significant, the patient may need to have more frequent cleanings.[2]

If we can be of assistance or answer your additional questions please feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


[1] Anyone with a heart condition or who has undergone heart surgery should let the dentist know prior to the day of the teeth cleaning. People with heart problems or heart defects are at high risk for developing a condition called bacterial endocarditis, which can seriously affect the heart. The only treatment needed prior to a dental cleaning, unless otherwise instructed, is a dose of antibiotics an hour before the cleaning. If a dentist does not know the proper dosage, then the person should contact his or her physician. Usually dentists will know the dosage, but if in doubt, it’s also possible to find information from the American Heart Association, which lists all guidelines for bacterial endocarditis prevention.

Dentist Sandy Springs: Chew Gum…with Xylitol

And help prevent ear infections.

chewing-gumStudies have shown that chewing gum that contains xylitol can help prevent cavities, but also can help prevent ear infections.[1]  While the natural act of chewing helps with the removal of earwax and clearing the middle-ear, the presence of xylitol in your system helps prevent the growth of bacteria in the Eustachian tubes between your ear and nose.

While regular brushing and flossing are the necessary part of your daily oral health regimen, chewing gum with xylitol may be something you’ll want to add to morning or afternoon commute.  Our goal is to provide you with oral health options and this is definitely one of them.

If we can answer your additional concerns and questions, please feel free to contact us or schedule a complete oral exam.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Dentist Sandy Springs: Cosmetic Dentistry is not a specialty!

Prosthodontics weekCosmetic dentistry is not an ADA-recognized specialty.  In order to be a recognized specialty a discipline must demonstrate 6 requirements, of which in pertinent part,

[t]he specialty must document scientifically, by valid and reliable statistical evidence/studies, that it: (a) actively contributes to new knowledge in the field; (b) actively contributes to professional education; (c) actively contributes to research needs of the profession; and (d) provides oral health services for the public; all of which are currently not being met by general practitioners or dental specialists.[1]

These requirements as they relate to a post-graduate dental degree are fulfilled by the specialty in prosthodontics.  So the next time you read about a dentist claiming to be a ‘cosmetic dentist’, you need question by ‘who’s’ authority or recognition does he or she make that claim, because it doesn’t exist[2].

Prosthodontists make up less than 2% of all the dentists in the United States.  Dr. Scheinfeld is an Emory University trained prosthodontist and has practiced in metro Atlanta since 1988.  Go with a “PRO”.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


[1] ADA News November 5, 2012, Pg. 27.

[2] This has been considered unethical with a predominant objective of marketing to patients. The American Dental Association does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty area of dentistry.

Dentist Sandy Springs: Cavities FAQs

mature-female-smilingMost of us have had at least one.  Some of us couldn’t help ourselves and have quite a few. So what makes cavities so persistent? Usually, the answer is simple: not enough brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting the dentist.  Snacking on sweets and slurping sodas doesn’t help either.  Even healthy cran-raisins are a culprit in the cause of cavities[1].  But rather than feel guilty, get informed and do some things to prevent cavities.

Q: What’s the difference between tooth decay and tooth cavity?

A: Good question! Most people think tooth decay and tooth cavity are the same thing. But they’re not. Tooth decay refers to a gradual process during which bacteria in the mouth produce acids that destroy the surfaces of teeth. Over time, tooth decay can erode enamel to the point that a hole, or cavity, forms.

Q: Can I get cavities from kissing?

A: Actually, you can.  But I am not sure if that’s a reason to give up kissing.  You might try brushing more frequently to disrupt the decaying process and keep kissing[2]!

Q: How do I know if I have cavities?

A: Cavities are one of the first things your dentist looks for during a regular dental exam. X-rays allow your dentist to diagnose whether you have dental cavities and how extensive they are.  Other methods of discovery come from the probing in the top surfaces of the tooth[3] for ‘stickiness’.  Sometimes a tooth cavity is visible to the naked eye, but that may mean you haven’t seen your dentist in a while.[4]

Q: How do dentists treat dental cavities?

A: Treatment depends on the size of the cavity and the degree of damage.   Although many dental cavities are treated with fillings, onlays may be necessary to treat large cavities affecting the cusps of teeth, while cavities affecting the areas in between the cusps may be treated with inlays. In some cases, dental crowns are used to protect a tooth from further tooth decay. Dental sealants are often applied to children’s and adult’s teeth as a preventative measure against cavities.

Still have questions about cavities or other dental problems? Your dentist will be happy to answer them during your next checkup or give us a call or email.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


[1] Raisins stick to your tooth, ergo bacteria attachment site.

[2] Kissing has a lot of immune building advantages.  There are costs and benefits to everything.

[3] In between the cusps of the tooth.

[4] If you see black holes in your teeth, those could be signs. Another cavity red flag is a toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks.


Dentist Sandy Springs: Why do we survey patients?

Because your opinion matters!

Dentist near meAt the Right Smile Center, our goal is to exceed your service expectations.  That is why we regularly survey our patients to determine what we are doing right…and what could use some improvement.  The results from these surveys are one of our most important patient-satisfaction measurement tools. Being able to read about the quality of our services from the patient’s perspective allows us to make meaningful changes in our clinical and administrative practices.  These surveys help us do our jobs.

By completing our brief email survey, our patients provide us with genuine, anonymous (if preferred) feedback[1], which we use to make improvements throughout the practice and as part of our team evaluation system. This feedback also helps us to measure the success of pilot programs and patient initiatives.

Scheinfelds, Orland and Tourial uses an outside company called to survey our patients.  While patients return the surveys directly to, the company provides all the timely, specific feedback to the Right Smile Center so that we can accurately track results and act on feedback.[2]

We greatly value our patients’ feedback.

Our patients have allowed us to publish over 450 reviews.

We encourage you to see what our patients say at:

If we can be of service to you, please contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328



3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341


Thank you for all your referrals.  We truly appreciate them.

Information included is not dental or medical advice.  For your specific information

 be sure to consult your dentist.

[1] We get a lot of feedback where the patient does not want their response published.  So the over 450 published responses do not represent the totality of the surveys.  We have thousands of disallowed responses the go into the calculation of our rating, but only the 450 allowed responses.

[2] While it’s a part of the survey company’s policy, the responses that are anonymous make it difficult to access the circumstances surrounding the patient-practice interaction.

Connecting Obamacare dots.

Connecting Obamacare dots.

Health InsuranceClick on the title (link) above to read this insightful article by Dr. Hal Scherz, who is a pediatric urologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Putting the dots together can be a very scary premise, but a realistic one.  Insurance companies are already raising premiums with increasing benefits and hospitals are acquiring medical practices.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Dental Implant Cost, Atlanta

dental-implants2The cost of a dental implant can range from $2500 to $5000.00.  The exact cost varies in the same way that each patient presents a unique set of circumstances and factors.   The determining factors that may affect the procedure range from the patient’s age, oral health, jaw bone anatomy, bone grafting to whether or not more complex treatments such as a sinus lift are necessary.  In addition, the type of dental implant and the restorative crown impact the cost of the total restoration.  Finally, the number of times the patient needs to visit the dentist can affect the cost of the procedure.  It is not a cookie cutter process.

The Dental Implant procedure involves several steps between multiple specialties.[1]   The first step is the placement of the dental implant, which may involve the extraction of a tooth and the placement of bone grafting material to fill the void from the removed tooth.  Once this is completed, then the dental implant placement needs time to properly integrate with the bone and create a healthy fusion before the crown can be attached.  In most cases the healing period will be 3 – 6 months. The last step is the restoration, which is placing the crown on top of the dental implant structure.

Coverage under your medical plan may be available, depending on your insurance plan and the cause of tooth loss. If treatment is not covered by your dental insurance, or if you don’t have insurance, you may be able to setup a finance plan. Many dental offices offer financing plans, allowing patients to finance dental procedures, many times with no interest.

During your consultation we provide you with a breakdown of fees.   We also discuss the various dental implant options and try to cover all the costs that are involved.  It is during the initial consult where you should be given payment options and strategies to accomplish the treatment.

Feel free to give us a call to see if you are an implant candidate.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


[1] Usually a prosthodontist and either a periodontist or oral surgeon.

Sandy Springs Dentist: Green Tea and Your Oral Health

Japanese green tea in a modern senchawan bowl.
Japanese green tea in a modern senchawan bowl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Drinking green tea is in style, but guess what, it may also be good for your teeth.  A recent study found that those who regularly drank green tea had better oral health than those who didn’t.[1]  Examining three indicators of gum disease, researchers found that for every cup of green tea consumed per day, a decrease in all three indicators occurred.[2]

In the study, the researchers examined 940 men ages 49 through 59 on the three indicators of gum disease by measuring the pocket depth between the gums and tooth, loss of the bone attachment of the tooth and probing bleeding gums[3]. They found that the men who had regular intake of green tea had healthier gums and teeth than those who drank less green tea. They noted that a cup a day increase in consumption resulted in the shrinking of the above indicators or symptoms.

Unlike black tea, green tea is not fermented, so its active ingredients remain unaltered. Green tea’s protection comes from a powerful antioxidant, a polyphenol called EGCG.[4]

Because our mouths are an oxygen-rich environment closely connected to our blood vessels, they provide an ideal habitat for the growth and rapid proliferation of cancer cells. Scientists have confirmed that green tea not only halts the growth of new oral cancer cells but actually breaks down and kills existing oral cancer cells.  A double-blind study of people with leukoplakia (a precancerous oral condition), showed that those in the green tea group compared to those in the placebo group had significant decreases in the pre-cancerous condition.[5]

This is why we examine your mouth closely at each visit to determine any changes in texture or color that might indicate the presence of oral cancers. This early screening is just one more reason to make sure you don’t miss your regular checkup.

Ingredients in green tea may reduce the risk of getting dental cavities. One study compared two groups. The one that rinsed each night with an alcohol extract of oolong tea leaves had significantly less plaque formation than the group that did not.[6]

Another benefit of green tea is that it stunts the growth of odor causing bacteria, thus helping you maintain a fresh breath.

To fully obtain the benefits, we should have at least four to six cups a day.  Decaffeinated tea is recommended to reduce the side effects associated with caffeine, including anxiety and insomnia.  This seems like an awful lot of tea to ingest, so if you don’t want to drink that much, simply use it as a mouthwash.

If we can be of assistance or answer any of your questions or concerns feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


[1] Journal of Periodontology, March 2009, Vol. 80, No. 3, Pages 372-377 , DOI 10.1902/jop.2009.080510

[2] Ibid

[3] These 3 methods of examining gum tissue are the most common methods utilized by your dentist when you have your teeth cleaned.

[4] Graham HN. Green tea consumption, and polyphenol chemistry. Prev Med 1992;21:334-50.

[5] Li N, Sun Z, Han C, Chen J. The chemopreventive effects of tea on human oral precancerous mucosa lesions. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1999;220:218-24.

[6] Otake S, Makimura M, Kuroki t, et al. Anticaries effects of polyphenolic compounds from Japanese green tea. Caries Res 1991;25:438-43.