Dentist: Buckhead: Getting The Point About Oral Piercing

tongue piecingOral piercing is becoming a trendier popular form of self-expression but not without risks and complications. The tongue is the most common site along with the lips, uvula, cheeks and a combination of these sites also being utilized. If you absolutely can’t live without participating in this trend, be sure the procedure is performed by qualified professionals who use disposable gloves, disposable or sterile instruments and sterilized jewelry. For several days after the piercing, you can expect swelling, pain, increased salivary flow and sometimes infection. There may be prolonged bleeding from punctured blood vessels.

The healing period is usually 3-6 weeks before the permanent device (hoops, studs, barbells) can be placed. During the healing stage, avoid spicy foods, alcohol and smoking. Use antiseptic or warm salt water mouth rinses; keep talking to a minimum for the first few days; and refrain from French kissing and oral sex for at least 2 weeks to minimize infection risk. Complications arising from oral piercing include chipped teeth, allergic reactions, change in the way your food tastes from interfering with taste buds and problems with speech, chewing and/or swallowing. After healing and to minimize complications, people should remove their jewelry once a day for cleaning and irrigate the hole with water. For those with tongue piercing, the tongue should be brushed every day. Proper care or removal should be taken during strenuous, contact sports.

The tongue piercing which involves placing a “barbell”-type stud through the tongue puts people at risk for chipped teeth, recessed gums, and nerve damage, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). However, most people don’t realize that getting an oral piercing also places them at risk for developing a fatal infection or, in some cases, a mini-tongue, according to a report in the January/February 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, such as blood-born hepatitis. Also, if a patient is not instructed to avoid touching the piercing, they might spread infections with their own fingers.  Piercings in the mouth have some specific additional risks, according to the American Dental Association.

If you do experience continued discomfort or sense that you are not healing please contact your dentist or physician and get it checked out.  As always, if my office can be of assistance do not hesitate to contact us for an appointment.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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Buckhead Dentist: Afraid of the Dentist?

Some Perceptions Never Change

It seems that no matter how far we have come in the world of modern dentistry, the perception of the dentist has not changed much since the days of the old west where the barber put his foot in your chest and yanked out your tooth.  Research by the British Dental Health Foundation suggests that visiting the dentist makes people more nervous than snakes or spiders.[1]The research echoes a March 2011, Adult Dental Health Survey which revealed half of adults – especially women – were classified as having moderate to extreme dental anxiety.[2]

In a survey of 1004 people, the Foundation found what made them most nervous from a list including heights, flying, injections, doctors, snakes, spiders, going to hospital or visiting the dentist was visiting the dentist.[3] Over one in five people ranked visiting their dentist as the thing that made them most nervous – more than any other category.

Overall, statistically:

1. Heights topped the poll of biggest fears

2. Closely followed by visiting the dentist

3. Going to the hospital

4. Snakes were rated fourth

5. Spiders came fifth.

In comparison to physicians, dentists also struggled. The Foundation discovered that nearly 10 times as many people (22 per cent) were made most nervous by their dentist, as compared to their physician (two per cent). The Adult Dental Health Survey points to two dental treatments in particular as the main cause of these nerves: three out of ten (30 per cent) adults said that having a tooth drilled would make them very or extremely anxious. A similar number (28 per cent) of people reported equivalent levels of anxiety about having a local anesthetic injection.

Dr. Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “Everyone in the profession knows that dental anxiety is a major barrier for many people to visit their dentist.”  What may prove concerning is just how poorly the dental profession rates in comparison to doctors. The comparison with snakes and spiders may appear frivolous, but it does suggest dentists still have a lot of work to do to build public confidence.

Unfortunately, in modern dentistry the gap between reality and perception is the Grand Canyon, because there really is no modern reason to fear your dentist.  All of the old procedures are now performed with great comfort and no pain to the patient.

Dr. Novy Scheinfeld a trained prosthodontist with her post-graduate degree from Emory University School of Dentistry prides herself on painless dentistry.  She was recently chosen as one of America’s Top Dentists for 2011 and 2012.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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[2] Adult Dental Health Survey 2009, the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Published March 2011.

[3] British Dental Health Foundation. Sample Size: 1004.

Buckhead Dentist: Your Smile Is Priceless

Porcelain VeneersDid you know that the shape, shade, length and spacing of your teeth can significantly affect your smile? And your smiles can greatly affect your self-esteem and confidence. Common conditions that impact negatively on your smile include broken, cracked or worn teeth, discolored teeth, missing teeth, crooked teeth, decayed teeth, gaps between your teeth and/or “gummy smiles.” The good news is that with modern dental technology can dramatically change these conditions to create natural looking and long-lasting beautiful smiles.

Each patient and each specific circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits. Factors such as occlusal bite, oral habits, available space, gum tissue health, severity of the problem and patient expectation should be taken into consideration when planning your cosmetic makeover.

Depending on your individual oral characteristics, there are a variety of choices that all result in excellent esthetic outcomes. For whiter natural teeth, in-office or at-home whitening techniques are available. Repairing teeth or closing spaces may be accomplished with tooth-colored composite resin bonding, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns.

These procedures vary in time and cost and have differences in longevity and appearance. If you’re not satisfied with your smile or want to learn if you’re a good candidate for any of these remarkable techniques, call our Atlanta (Sandy Springs) office for a complimentary cosmetic consultation.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 256-3620

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Dentist Buckhead: What are dental veneers?

bondingVeneers are wafer-thin laminates of tooth-colored material made of either porcelain, ceramic or composite bonding material.   They are bonded with cement to the front surface of teeth to improve their aesthetic appearance.   It’s really not that much different from brick on the front of one’s home.  Many dentists use the alternative analogy that dental veneers are for your teeth are what false fingernails are for your hands.

What problems are veneers used to treat?

There are a wide variety of reasons why patients opt for treatment with dental veneers:

Stained teeth – badly stained or discolored teeth that cannot be improved by teeth whitening treatments can be significantly improved by dental veneers by covering any existing stains on your teeth.

Damaged teeth – teeth that have become badly worn as well as those that have been chipped, can be repaired by veneers.  A small chip on a tooth can quickly be repaired with composite bonding.   A single damaged tooth can easily be repaired with a porcelain veneer that has the same shade of color to match your natural teeth.

Gaps – spaces between your teeth can easily be closed using dental veneers, providing you a more uniform looking smile.

Crooked teeth –  For teeth that are not severely crooked, veneers placed over their surface can provide the illusion of a perfectly aligned smile.

So which are better: composite veneers or porcelain veneers?

The most popular type of veneer is porcelain, which offers a stronger and more durable alternative to its composite alternative.  Porcelain veneers also offer a more natural looking, translucent appearance. Composite veneers are more prone to staining and do not last as long as porcelain veneers.   Composite veneers are much cheaper than porcelain veneers in general, but considering that they do not last as long and need replacing more often, they could end up costing more in both time and money in the long run.  Composite work is ideal for small chips, as this treatment preserves more of your natural tooth structure.

How long do dental veneers last?

Porcelain veneers will typically last between five and ten years, while composite veneers last a year or two at most. The bottom line is that your veneers will eventually need to be replaced. Although veneers are strongly cemented into place, there have been cases where they come loose and fall off. In such situations, it is important that you keep hold of your veneer and contact your dentist immediately. To make your veneers last longer, follow a good oral hygiene program and visit your dentist for check-ups on a regular basis.

Is it possible to have veneers fitted on the same day?

Usually, porcelain veneers are placed over a minimum of two visits. A few cosmetic dentists have invested in CAM/CAD in-house ceramic studios such as E4D or CEREC, which can custom-produce high-quality ceramic veneers on-site in as little as twenty minutes. This technology enables the dental practice to offer single-visit, same-day ceramic veneers which are fitted within a couple of hours.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a complimentary appointment to see if you’re a candidate for veneers, please contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328



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Buckhead Dentist: Dental Implants are….

dental-implants2Whenever a tooth is lost, if possible it should be replaced with an implant.  Failure to replace the tooth with an implant will ultimately contribute to the loss of facial bone structure.  Dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots, eliminating the need for dentures or bridgework.  The advantages vary from patient to patient and type of restoration, but in addition to retained bone structure there may be improved chewing ability, better speech, a more secure fit of the restoration, greater comfort, and improved self-esteem.

The implant itself is made from Titanium and is surgically implanted in the jawbone to function in a similar way to a natural tooth root.  Depending on the individuals varying biological characteristics, it may be necessary for the implant to heal in the jawbone for a period of 3 to 6 months, allowing your bone to grow onto the implant in a process called Osseo-integration.

Once integrated, the implant is then exposed from the gum tissue, and a restoration consisting of one or more replacement teeth, is fabricated by the prosthodontist to fit on top of the implants.  In other cases it is possible to fit the teeth to the implants soon after implant placement, called immediate loading implants.

The restoration can be attached in several ways:

  • Removable structure, using special bars and clips.

  • Fixed or screw retained, using special screws and cement so that only your dentist can remove it, if necessary.

In the case of dentures, an implant-supported overdenture fits more securely than a conventional denture which rests on the gum tissue and offers no form of mechanical attachment.  The difference is the implants participate integrally in retaining bone structure in the jaw line.

Where a single tooth is lost, adjacent healthy teeth can remain intact and unaffected by an implant-supported restoration.  This is unlike conventional bridgework where healthy teeth are structurally altered to support the bridge.

Implants are usually placed under local anesthesia in the periodontist’s or oral surgeon’s office.  The procedure involved in placing the implants is generally not painful and usually requires minimal recovery time and post-operative medication.

Only your dentist can tell whether you’re a candidate for dental implants.  Certain health conditions (like uncontrolled diabetes) or risk factors (like smoking) may preclude your ability to undergo implant therapy.  In addition, appropriate hygiene must be established prior to implant therapy and must be maintained to ensure the long-term success of the implant.  As part of this growing trend, we are now placing implants in our office.  If we can be of assistance or answer any of your concerns or questions please feel free to contact our office.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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