My Blog

Posts for: January, 2017

By Garner Family Dentistry
January 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Garner Family Dentistry
January 13, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

It’s amazing how much dental veneers can transform your smile.

Have you always dreamed of getting a smile that’s as radiant and beautiful as that of the Hollywood stars? While you may think that it veneers takes some serious dental work in order to achieve the same kind of red-carpet smile, think again. All you have to do is turn to our Mount Pleasant, SC family dentist, Dr. Cynthia L. Garner, for dental veneers.

Despite being thin, veneers are made from a durable porcelain that is able to mask cosmetic imperfections when they are bonded to the front of your teeth. And since veneers are placed on the front surface of your teeth, extensive tooth preparation isn’t necessary.

Dental veneers may be a good choice for you if you have:

  • Stains and discolorations (especially ones that whitening treatment can’t treat)
  • Cracks and chips
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Minor crowding
  • Oddly shaped teeth
  • Teeth that are short or worn down

Once we have examined your smile and determined that you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers, our Mount Pleasant cosmetic dentist will need to prepare your teeth and then take impressions. This will ensure that your veneers fit perfectly and match the rest of your smile. A laboratory will use these impressions to make your veneers. Once your veneers are completed, you will come back into our office where we will check the fit of your veneers and make any necessary adjustments before cementing the veneers in place with a special dental light. In just a couple visits you too could have a brand new smile.

It’s amazing how much veneers can revive dull, damaged teeth and we are sure you will agree the minute you see your new smile. Call Garner Family Dentistry in Mount Pleasant, SC to find out if you are right for porcelain veneers.

By Garner Family Dentistry
January 02, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  

For over a century dentists treated tooth decay by removing both diseased portions of the tooth and healthy structure deemed at risk for future decay. In the 1970s, though, a new approach emerged, known as Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID). This practice protocol attempts to preserve as much of the healthy structure as possible.

Before MID, dentists followed a decay treatment protocol developed in the 19th Century. A part of this became known as extension for prevention calling for dentists to remove healthy structure considered vulnerable to decay. Besides reducing the tooth's volume, this practice also resulted in, by today's standards, larger than necessary fillings.

It was thought that removing this additional material would make it easier to clean bacterial plaque, the source of decay, but later, research showed the practice couldn't guarantee the teeth wouldn't be reinfected.

Since then we've learned a lot more about teeth and have developed new ways to detect decay at earlier stages. X-ray imaging, for example, has transitioned largely from film to digital technology, providing more detailed images at greater magnification. This, along with laser fluorescence and infrared cameras, has made it easier to detect the first tiny stages of decay.

We can also limit tooth decay damage by boosting enamel strength with fluoride applications and sealants or reducing decay-causing bacteria with anti-bacterial rinses. We've also seen advancement in techniques like air abrasion that remove decayed tooth material while leaving more healthy structure intact better than using a traditional dental drill.

Restoring teeth after treatment has also improved. While dental metal amalgam is still used for some fillings, the main choice is now composite resin. These new tooth-colored dental materials require less tooth preparation (and thus less material loss) and bond well to the remaining structure, resulting in a stronger tooth.

Following a MID protocol leads to less intervention and less time in the dentist's chair. It also means preserving more of a natural tooth, an important aim in promoting long-lasting dental health.

If you would like more information on minimally invasive dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.