Chamblee Dentist: Regular Dental Check-ups

Oral ExamOne of the most common reasons people avoid the dentist is they think everything is OK. The logic is simple: no pain means no problems. Unfortunately, most dental conditions including cavities, gum disease and oral cancer give little or no warning, because they may remain painless for months or even many years.  By the time a person is in pain, the dental problem is usually so advanced that the treatment required may be much more involved and costly, and may necessitate more down time after completion.  In addition, those patients who choose not to have regular dental visits have statistically higher global health costs.

Every day, your dentist sees patients with untreated cavities that eventually cause infection to the nerves and blood supply within the tooth. A tooth that may have only needed a simple and inexpensive filling a few months ago may now require a root canal, surgical removal of the tooth and/or a crown, costing thousands instead of hundreds for dollars.

The same is true for patients with gum disease. Gum disease can progress quietly for many years before it becomes advanced and teeth become loose or cause pain. While early gum disease can usually be treated with a deep cleaning under the gum, advanced gum disease may require gum surgery and antibiotics.

Oral cancer is another issue your dentist looks for on every dental examination. Tragically, those who avoid dental care are often the victims of aggressive forms of oral cancer that are difficult to treat. Those who wait for an unusual growth in the mouth to become painful may be taking a gamble. Oral cancer has a 50%, five-year fatality rate.

The moral of the story is very simple: visit our office at least twice a year for dental cleanings and check-up examinations.  It’s fairly inexpensive and you will save time and money, as well as significantly improve your oral health by treating all dental problems as soon as they occur. In fact, some research suggests that those in good dental health will actually live longer than people who do not take care of their teeth. It is also important for people without teeth to see their dentist at least once a year. The dentist will need to check the fit of removable dentures and also look for any signs of oral cancer.

We are a multi-specialty practice that has the expertise to diagnose and treat you under one roof.  If we can be of service, please give us a call or contact us for a consult.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD


3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341


Buckhead Dentist – Oral Cancer

Hygiene examIn 2013 more than 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer and approximately 8,000 to 10,000 will die of the disease.  According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) oral cancer, which is more common than leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and cancers of the brain, liver, bone, thyroid gland, stomach, ovaries, and cervix, is a major cause of death and disfigurement in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located here in Atlanta, GA., approximately 75% of all oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers—mouth, tongue, lips, throat,  nose, and larynx— can be attributed to the use of  tobacco related products.  Those who choose to use cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, or snuff, place themselves at a much higher risk of developing oral cancer and other diseases, such as heart disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

With the level of prevalence described above, the oral cancer screening routinely performed during one’s hygiene and dental examination is one of the most critical preventative components of your bi-annual visits to the dentist.

If you find anything out of the ordinary during a self-examination—particularly anything that does not heal or go away in two weeks, or that has recently changed— make sure you discuss it with your dentist or physician.   For those who have found themselves without work or insurance, we offer free cancer screening, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  We would like to give back to the Atlanta community as we approach the holiday season.


Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s (NIDCR) National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse in partnership with the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Friends of the NIDCR.


Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs) GA 30328




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Buckhead Dentist: Top 4 Reasons Not to play hooky from Your Dental Cleanings

Oral ExamSure, regular cleanings with our office promotes good oral hygiene, but did you know these visits also screen for a multitude of diseases? Getting your teeth cleaned and having your doctor’s exam may not rank up there with an afternoon on the course or ditching work to enjoy a matinee, but it may be well worth it for your overall health. Here are 4 really great reasons to see your dentist for your regularly scheduled cleanings.

  1. It’s an opportunity to check for Oral Cancer. You may or may not realize that you’re screened for oral cancer during your regular dental cleaning but you are. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an American dies of oral cancer every hour of every day. It’s a sad proposition, especially when you consider that it is highly curable with early diagnosis.
  2. Your gums are being checked for Gum Disease. Gum disease, or an infection in the gum tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place, is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. It can be treated and reversed if diagnosed early. Unfortunately, not receiving treatment will lead to a more serious and advanced state of gum disease. Regular cleanings and check-ups along with daily brushing and flossing are key defenses against gum disease.
  3. Your overall health. Studies have linked heart attacks, diabetes detection and strokes to gum disease associated with poor oral hygiene.  A trip to your dentist at least every 6 months and in some cases more often, could reduce your risk of other serious health issues.
  4. Early detection of Dental Problems. We’ve already touched upon early detection of gum disease and oral cancer, but don’t overlook more basic dental problems. Cavities and broken fillings are easy to treat. Without regular check-ups, undetected problems can lead to more serious issues like root canals, gum surgery and tooth extraction.   An ounce of prevention verses a pound of cure.

So you haven’t been keeping up with what current research has to say about caring for your teeth.  That’s why check-ups allow your dentist to examine your mouth and keep you on the right path.  If it’s been more than 6 months since your last check up and cleaning, call your dentist to schedule an appointment today.  If we can be of any help or answer any questions please feel free to drop us a line.


Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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Dentist Buckhead: Mouthwash and Oral Cancer

Michael_Douglas_There appears to be controversy over whether mouthwash containing alcohol may be related to oral cancer.  This controversy arises out the studies that show a link between oral cancer and the consumption alcohol.  By extension, if drinking alcohol may cause cancer than so should alcohol based mouthwash.  Michael Douglas is the most recent case in point.  He has been reported to be a heavy smoker and imbibe alcohol on what is rumored to be frequent in occasions.  The problem is there are no conclusive studies and at this time there appears to be insufficient evidence to alter the ADA’s approval of mouthwash containing alcohol as an effective method for the prevention and reduction of gingivitis and plaque.  The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs awarded the ADA Seal of Acceptance to alcohol based mouthwashes after a thorough review of data on their safety and effectiveness.

Of all the studies published on this topic, beginning in 1979, four studies reported some positive results while five found no association. (citations omitted)  What we know is that none of the criteria for causality have been fulfilled by the published studies so far.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an extension of the World Health Organization, now identifies the consumption of ethanol in alcoholic beverages as a carcinogenic risk.[1] Alcohol abuse is associated with cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus. Ibid.  However, the reason for this association is not fully understood – it may be due to a direct effect of alcohol on these tissue.[2]  Because of the conflicting studies and endorsements I could advise you to keep using alcohol formulated mouth rinses.  But if you are concerned and wish to stay on the safe side of the debate, there are non-alcohol based mouth rinses available that appear to be effective in the prevention of gingivitis and plaque.

Our job is to try and educate you on the contemporary issues we face in addressing your oral health and if there are any questions you would like to pose, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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[1] International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 96. Alcoholic beverage consumption and ethyl carbamate (urethane). Lyon, France: 6-13 February 2007.

[2] Lachenmeier DW. Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside the oral cavity. J Occup Med Toxicol 2008;3:26.

Dentist Sandy Springs- Oral Cancer Awareness

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Oral ExamAnd according to The Oral Cancer Foundation, there are two distinct causes of oral cancer. One, is a result of the use of tobacco (and alcohol), a long time historic environmental cause, and the second is through the exposure to the virus HPV-16 (human papilloma virus version 16), and apparently the same virus responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women.  And a small number (under 5 %) of people acquire oral cancers from currently unidentifiable cause, presumably caused by some genetic predisposition similar to other cancer causing agents.

While most think this is a rare form of cancer, oral cancer is diagnosed in about 100 individuals each day here in the US alone, and one person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day.[1]  If you add the sub category of laryngeal throat cancers like Michael Douglas’, the rates of occurrence accounting for about 10,000 additional cases per year, then the death rate is significantly higher.   But these statistics can be drastically reduced when found at the early stages of development.  With early diagnosis, oral cancer patients have an 80 to 90 % survival rate.

Unfortunately, the majority of cases are found as late stage cancers and accounts for the very high death rate of about 45% within five years of diagnosis.  The reason for these late stage diagnoses is not because these cancers are hard to discover, rather it is because of a lack of public awareness.[2]  The American Dental Association states that only 60% of the US population sees a dentist every year, which leaves 40% to happenstance.    If heightened public awareness were coupled with a national program for screenings, diagnosis of oral cancers would yield early discovery by both medical and dental professionals.[3]

Ironically, it should be easier to obtain public compliance to oral cancer screenings, because:

  1. there is no invasive technique required to look for it,
  2.  no discomfort or pain involved, and
  3.  it is very inexpensive to have your mouth examined for the early signs of disease.  (Realistically, it only costs about $40.00, usually 10 times less than a blood test at your annual physical.)

It is important that patients realize that a visit to the dentist is no longer about a filling, a crown, or a postponable cleaning, but actually an oral exam is a matter of life and death.  It’s important for patients and dentists to start a dialog today.  So when it comes to oral cancer and saving lives, these are primary responsibilities of the dental community.

The most important step in reducing the death rate from oral cancer is early discovery.  And no group has a better opportunity to have an impact than members of the dental community.   If our practice can be of help we are offering free cancer screening during the month of April.

Some Research and statistics provided by: The Oral Cancer Foundation.  Kuper H, Adami HO, Boffetta P (June 2002). “Tobacco use, cancer causation and public health impact”. Journal of internal medicine 251 (6): 455–66. Seitz HK, Pöschl G, Simanowski UA (1998). “Alcohol and cancer”. Recent developments in alcoholism : an official publication of the American Medical Society on Alcoholism, the Research Society on Alcoholism, and the National Council on Alcoholism. “Screening for Oral Cancer”. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 2004.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Dentist Dunwoody: Oral cancer by HPV is on the rise.

Hygiene examHPV (human papilloma virus) is not only on the rise, but it is now the number one cause of oral cancer. This needs to be taken seriously because it is truly a 21st-century pandemic. HPV a sexually transmitted disease and the scary fact is that one out of every two people is at risk of HPV infection.[1] That is 50% of the population. The predominant mode of transmission for the HPV virus that causes the oral cancer is a result of partners engaging in oral sex.[2]

HPV is the same virus that is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancer in women.  Traditionally, oral cancer was predominately caused by smoking and alcohol consumption.  But the rise in oral HPV will lead to death in one of four people with oral cancer. This will happen because it was not diagnosed in time.  Yet, this type oral cancer is one of the easiest cancers to spot, diagnose and treat.

Dr. Oz says testing for HPV is something everyone needs to do to prevent fatalities from oral cancer.  Here are the steps he suggests:

* Demand an oral cancer screening with every dentist visit, but at least one a year.

* Limit alcohol and tobacco use

* Limit exposure to UV radiation. Make sure your lip balm has a high SPF rating

* Practice safe sex.

Dr. Oz says that we need to change the way we had sex in America. Your sex partner must wear a condom throughout your entire sexual partnership or completely abstain from sex orally. The more we continually have transmission of HPV virus into the mouth, the more and more we will have these oral cancers showing up.[3]

Unfortunately, we in the dental field find there is a disconnect in the patient understanding the relationship between their dental exams and their overall health.  Most patients do not realize or accept that the dentist is more than a just a tooth mechanic and their mouth houses more than just teeth.  Each day we try to educate our patients about the value their dental exams entail.

Early detection is the key to stopping this pandemic before it’s too late. The first line of defense is through your dentist.  And when offered a salivary DNA test, realize it’s for your own preventive care.   Those who should be tested are:

  • Patients with traditional risk factors for oral cancer
  • Patients who are sexually active
  • Patients with a family history of oral cancer
  • Patients with signs and symptoms of oral cancer
  • Patients with suspicious oral lesions.

If we can be of help, please feel free to contact us for a Salivary DNA test conducted in our Sandy Springs Office.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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[2] Dr. Bert W. O’Malley, Jr M.D., Head and Neck Surgeon, on the Dr. Oz Show (2011).

[3] Dr. Oz Show (2011)