Sandy Springs Dentist: Cracked or Broken Tooth

dental-emergency root canalA cracked or broken tooth do not always show any visible signs of damage, but may present a variety of symptoms, including sensitivity to hot and cold, or hit-or-miss pain when chewing.  And there are times when there are no symptoms at all.  But the problem is that eventually the pulp will become infected to the point where is can no longer repair itself.  Once this happens, the infection can spread to the bone and gum tissue that surrounds the tooth.

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to saving these teeth.  The goal is to prevent a broken or cracked tooth from progressing to the point where you lose the entire tooth.  So as much as you hate it, call us, we can help.  If you have a cracked or broken tooth chances are you will need to undergo a root canal and have a crown restoration to return your tooth to a strong and healthy part of your oral health.

Types of cracked teeth:

  • Craze lines – tiny cracks in the enamel
  • Cracked as in extending from the enamel to the root
  • Fractured Cusp – weakened but not yet broken off
  • Vertical root fracture – they start at the root and are working their way up to the surface above the gum line
  • Split tooth – readily identifiable split with a separation between the parts of the tooth

Our office performs a variety of in-house specialties from endodontics (root canals), periodontics and implant placement and restoration.  If we can be of help or answer your questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Dentist Atlanta: How Much do Veneers Cost?

porcelain veneers, cosmetic dentistrySo how much do veneers really cost? The cost for porcelain veneers varies widely. They can run anywhere from $925 to $2,500 per tooth. There are several reasons for the difference in cost and it also varies widely across the United States.  And yes, veneers can be quite expensive but they do offer several benefits.  One of the benefits is a distinctly improved smile.

First, lets discuss what porcelain veneers are.  Porcelain veneers are extremely thin custom made covers for the front surface of the teeth. They can be made from porcelain or direct composite resin.  Although porcelain veneers are more expensive than composite, they last much longer and are more stain resistant.  Traditional composite veneers last on average between five and seven years while porcelain veneers last between 10 and 18 years.

Veneers are used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to fix chipped or broken teeth or teeth that have become discolored by root canal work, excessive fluoride, or drugs such as tetracycline. Porcelain veneers can also be used to correct misaligned teeth or teeth with gaps between them.  But the most common reason for veneers is cosmetic. They can be used to change the length, shape, size and color of teeth. In effect, they can be used to create a designer smile.

There is also a difference in cost between having the procedure done in a metropolitan area versus a small town. Another cost variation is the difference in cost from one ceramics lab to the next. The number of veneers done also affects cost. A single veneer usually is more expensive per tooth than a set of veneers.

Because veneers are considered a cosmetic procedure, they generally are not covered by insurance. In some cases, depending on the insurance company and the policy coverage they may be eligible for a dental discount. Again, the amount and availability of this discount varies widely.  In special circumstances some insurance may pay up to 50% depending on the type of policy. To offset the high cost of veneers, most dentists offer special payment plans.

Getting dental veneers is a multi-step process. The initial visit usually consists of a consultation and depending on the dentist and the amount of work to be done, x-rays and/or impressions of the teeth may be done at this time.  On the first working visit the dentist will remove approximately 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth or teeth to be veneered and make a model to send to the lab that will make the veneer.  This is most often done with a local anesthetic. Normally it takes one to two weeks to construct the veneers.  During the next visit, the veneer is temporarily placed to check for proper color and fit.

The tooth that is to receive the veneer is then cleaned, polished, and etched. The etching roughens the surface of the tooth for better adhesion of the veneer. The veneer is cemented into place and a follow up visit to check placement and adhesion may be required.

How long do porcelain veneers last? They can last between five and ten years or more, depending on how you take care of them. But at some point they probably will need to be replaced. Just like real teeth, porcelain veneers need to be thoroughly brushed and flossed daily.

Your smile is the first things that people notice about you which is the primary reason people want porcelain veneers.  If we can be of service or you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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Dentist Sandy Springs: Who Moved My Cheese?

cheeseOr ‘ate my cheese’, because dairy products may be good for your oral health.  A new study suggests that consuming cheese products may help protect your teeth against cavities.  So not only do you get strong bones, you get healthy teeth.[1]

The study sampled 68 patients ranging in age from 12 to 15 and found a higher pH level in those that consumed cheese, which may have induced a higher saliva level from the chewing, suggesting that cheese has anti-cavity properties.  Additionally, various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and further help teeth from acid (found in wine for instance).

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

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328



[1] General Dentistry, Journal of Academy of General Dentistry, May/June 2013.

Dr. Novy Scheinfeld, Atlanta Dentist: Your Smile Is Priceless

Smiling Woman
Your Smile is Priceless

Did you know that the shape, shade, length and spacing of your teeth could significantly affect your smile? And our smiles can greatly affect our 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 technology and improved materials, these situations can be dramatically changed to create natural looking more youthful smile.

Each patient and each specific circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits. Factors such as occlusion [bite], oral habits, available space, health of the gum tissue, 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 aesthetic outcomes. For whiter natural teeth, in-office or at-home bleaching [whitening] techniques are available. Repairing teeth or closing spaces may be accomplished with tooth-colored composite resin bonding, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. Cosmetic orthodontics is an option with clear aligners.

Veneers are wafer-thin laminates or shells of tooth-colored material (which can be either porcelain, ceramic or composite bonding material).  They are bonded (cemented) to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic 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 what false fingernails are for your hands.

Stained teeth – badly stained or discolored that cannot be improved by teeth whitening or prophyflex treatments can be greatly improved by dental veneers, which function to cover any existing stains on your teeth.

Damaged teeth – teeth that have become badly worn through excessive grinding or by carbonated drinks, as well as those that have been chipped or broken, can benefit from veneers. A small chip on a tooth can quickly be repaired with composite bonding, also known as “composite veneers”.   A single damaged tooth can easily be repaired with a porcelain veneer that has the same characteristics and color as you natural teeth.

Gaps – spaces or gaps (diastimas) between your teeth can easily be closed using dental veneers, giving you a more uniform-looking smile.

Crooked teeth – Veneers are not the ideal treatment for crooked teeth, and from the point of view of preserving your natural teeth structure, orthodontics or Clear Correct braces would probably a better solution.   However, this type of treatment can take up to a year or longer and be significantly more in cost to accomplish.   For teeth that are not severely crooked, veneers placed over their front surface will give a straight and perfectly aligned-looking smile.   For this type of treatment, many people refer to veneers as “instant orthodontics”, as you get a similar end result in a fraction of the time.

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, contact our Atlanta (Sandy Springs) office for a complimentary cosmetic consultation.

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

Dark spot on my tooth? Sandy Springs Dentist

Dark Spot
Dark Spots on the tooth

It’s not that often, but occasionally we hear from patients regarding dark spots on teeth.  These spots can signal a serious problem while the symptoms may be benign. Dark spots on the teeth may be caused by a number of conditions, so it’s important to see your dentist soon after discovering the symptom. If the discoloration is caused by some damage to the tooth, timely treatment can save your tooth and your smile. Your dentist will need to examine the tooth and the spot to determine the cause, because a number of issues may be the root of the problem.  Obviously, the cause will determine the appropriate treatment.

A dark spot may be the result of something as simple as staining from consuming too much coffee or tea.  This type of stain may not be eliminated by simple brushing.  Also, the tobacco use may have a similar effect.  In such cases, dentists may recommend a tooth whitening treatment to eliminate the spot or heavy scaling may be the solution.

Excessive exposure to fluoride during early childhood usually cause light spots, but sometimes there is the opposite effect causing dark spots to develop.  This condition, known as fluorosis, is often associated with brownish streaks or stains on the teeth. These stains may not respond to conventional whitening treatments, so patients may need to explore veneers or other restorations to improve the appearance of teeth affected by fluorosis.

Cavities must also be considered, and this issue requires prompt treatment.  In addition to visually inspecting the tooth, the dentist may take x-rays to diagnose tooth decay and to determine the extent to which it has progressed.  A small cavity can be restored with a tooth-colored filling, leaving no evidence that decay was ever present, while a large amount of decay may require a crown or on-lay.

In addition, a traumatic injury to the tooth can cause discoloration. If you notice a dark spot that develops after you have suffered some sort of injury to your mouth, bring it to your dentist’s attention as soon as possible.  Getting an intervention quickly increases your chances of saving the tooth.

If we can be of service, please call us for a complimentary consultation.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Atlanta Dentist – How much do dental fillings cost? and Why?

An amalgam used as a restorative material in a...
A mercury filled amalgam

The cost of a filling can vary greatly, depending on who you go to, the type of filling and degree of restoration required.   An amalgam (“silver/mercury filling”) is cheaper than a composite (white/resin filling), but will last significantly longer if you are unconcerned about aesthetics and the back and forth debate over whether or not amalgams may be linked to other health issues.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) found there is no danger from an amalgam filling, but some specialists and consumers remain unconvinced by the findings.

Each person presents a different set of restorative circumstances, but you should be able to get a range of costs with our free consultation.

The cost of typical amalgam filling ranges from approximately $95 to $275 per filling, whereas a composite resin filling ranges from $150 to $400 for a single surface restoration.  You should expect about 3 to five years (possibly 7 years) of use from the composite and as many as 20 years or longer from an amalgam restoration.  Actually a well-cared-for amalgam filling can last a lifetime, so the expensiveness of the filling really becomes a minor consideration.

Restorative circumstances are going to vary from tooth to tooth and decay may be found in one small spot or throughout a tooth. The restorative fees are based on the number of surfaces needing filling in a single tooth.  A silver amalgam filling on one or two surfaces averages $95 to $175, while for three or more surfaces it could go as high as $150 to $350 or more.  The same type of logic follows with respect to composite restorations.  Since composite resin fillings are more time consuming and require greater skills to completion they are more expensive than amalgam fillings and weigh in on the more expensive side of caries restorations.

Typically dental insurance covers most or all of the costs of a silver amalgam filling, but only 50 to 80 percent of the cost of a composite filling because the higher charge for the tooth-colored material is considered a cosmetic option. One exception is when an old amalgam filling is cracked or broken and is replaced with a composite filling.

We advise you of the type of filling based on the size of the cavity and the location of the tooth in your mouth.  Amalgams are more likely to be placed in the back of your mouth while composites are more likely to be used on more-visible front teeth.

Amalgam Advantages

  • Amalgam fillings are strong and can withstand the forces of chewing.
  • They are relatively inexpensive and last a long time, compared with alternatives.
  • An amalgam filling is completed in one dental visit.

Amalgam Disadvantages

  • Amalgam doesn’t match the color of your teeth.
  • Healthy parts of your tooth often must be removed to make a space large enough to hold an amalgam filling.
  • Amalgam fillings can corrode or tarnish over time, causing discoloration where the filling meets the tooth.
  • A traditional amalgam filling does not bond (stick) to your tooth, so the cavity preparation developed by your dentist requires undercuts or ledges to provide retention of the filling.  Your dentist may have to remove additional tooth structure to establish good retention for the filling.
  • Some people may be allergic to mercury or be concerned about its effects, although research shows the amount of mercury exposure from fillings is similar to what people get from other sources in the environment.

Composite Advantages

  • Your fillings will match the color of your teeth and therefore undetectable.
  • A filling should be completed in one dental visit.
  • Composite fillings can bond directly to the tooth, making the tooth stronger than it would be with an amalgam filling.
  • Less drilling is involved than with amalgam fillings because your dentist does not have to shape the space as much to hold the filling securely.  The bonding process holds the composite resin in the tooth.
  • Indirect composite fillings are heat and light cured increasing their strength.
  • Composite resin can be used in combination with other materials, such as glass ionomer, to provide the benefits of both materials.

Composite Disadvantages

  • Although composite resins have become stronger and more resistant to wear, they generally don’t last as long as amalgam fillings under the pressure of chewing.
  • The composite may shrink when placed; this can lead to more cavities in the future in areas where the filling is not making good contact with your tooth.
  • This restoration takes more time and skill to place because they are usually placed in layers. The increased time and labor involved also contribute to the higher cost (compared with amalgam fillings).
  • Indirect fillings and inlays take at least two visits to complete. Your dentist takes impressions at the first visit and places the filling or inlay at the second visit.
  • In large restorations, composites may not last as long as amalgam fillings.

We’ve been performing dentistry in Sandy Springs for over 30 years with over 1000 five star reviews.  If we can be of service or answer any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Dentist Sandy Springs: Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

Teeth worn down by grinding.

The problem of bruxism, otherwise known as teeth grinding, is not limited to adults.  According WebMD, approximately 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth. Children who grind their teeth tend to do so at two peak times in their lives – (1) when their baby teeth emerge and (2) when their permanent teeth come in.[1]  Some of this potential grinding is protected or goes unnoticed because of thumb sucking, which can cause a different set of problems.   However, most children who do not suck their thumbs while sleeping lose the teeth grinding habit shortly after these two sets of teeth have come in more fully.

While it is more common for children grinding their teeth to do it during sleep rather than during waking hours, it has not been determined exactly why children grind their teeth.  There are several theories which include improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth, illnesses and other medical conditions (such as nutritional deficiencies, pinworm, allergies, endocrine disorders), and psychological factors including anxiety and stress, and all of which appear to be unsubstantiated theory.

The main reason there has been very little study on children grinding their baby teeth is that it rarely results in problems.  However, teeth grinding can cause jaw pain, headaches, wear on the teeth, and TMD.[2]  Consult your dentist if your child’s teeth look worn or if your child complains of tooth sensitivity or pain.

Should teeth grinding result in a real problem for your child, here are some specific tips to help stop teeth grinding:[3]

  1. Where possible, decrease your child’s stress, especially just before bedtime.
  2. Try massage and stretching exercises to relax the muscles.
  3. Make sure your child’s diet includes plenty of water. There is some thought that dehydration may be linked to teeth grinding.
  4. Ask your dentist to monitor your child’s teeth if he or she is a grinder.  Possibly consult a pedodontist (children’s dentist) and pediatrician if it becomes apparent that damage is occurring.

No intervention is usually required with preschool-age children. However, older children may need temporary crowns or other methods, such as a night guard, to prevent the grinding in their sleep. Feel free to contact us.

Dr. Scheinfeld is an Emory trained prosthodontist specializing in mandibular form and function.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


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[1] WebMD, Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) July 5, 2011

[3] WebMD, Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) July 5, 2011