My Blog

Posts for: May, 2016

SedationTherapycanreduceAnxietyinChildrenduringDentalVisits

Making sure children are comfortable when visiting the dentist is an essential part of creating a lifetime habit of dental care. We recommend children start dental visits around their first birthday.

But for some children this may not be enough — despite parents’ and dentists’ best efforts they may still develop an inordinate fear of dental visits and even routine procedures. This kind of anxiety could inhibit them now and later in life from receiving needed dental care.

To relieve this anxiety, dentists have developed sedation therapy for children. Not to be confused with anesthesia, which numbs pain, sedation uses drugs to place a patient in a relaxed state. Depending on the drugs and dosage used, we’re able to achieve anywhere from a light state of relaxation to a deep suppression of consciousness. The approach is similar to one used with adults, although drug dosages and applications will differ with children.

 If we’re planning to use sedation with your child we recommend you feed them a low-fat dinner the night before and then refrain from any other foods or liquids until after treatment the next day. Just before the procedure (and after we’ve evaluated them physically to be sure they’re healthy enough for the sedation medication), we’ll administer the sedative, usually Midazolam and Hydroxyzine. Taken by mouth in a syrup form, this places them in a mildly relaxed state.

During the procedure a designated staff member will continually monitor their pulse, breathing, blood pressure and other vital signs. We may also take other protective measures like special chair positioning or immobilization to keep movement to a minimum.

After the procedure, your child will remain in the office until their vital signs return to pre-sedation levels. Once at home, you should keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. They should not return to school or regular activities until the next day.

As sedation medication and techniques continue to advance, they’re becoming a routine part of dental care. If your child experiences anxiety, this can help make dental visits more pleasant and more likely to become part of their life from now on.

If you would like more information on taking the anxiety out of children’s dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sedation Dentistry for Kids.”


By Myers Family Dental
May 12, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Learn about the benefits of veneers from your Augusta dentist at Myers Family Dental.

Improving your smile doesn't always have to involve complicated dental work. Many flaws and imperfections can be improved quickly and easily with dental veneers. Alan Myers, DMD, is here to explain how veneers can help you transform your smile.Veneers

What are veneers?

Veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that fit over the front surfaces of your teeth to conceal flaws. Although they're no thicker than a fingernail, they're very effective at hiding imperfections that mar your smile. Veneers can be used on one tooth or can help several of your teeth look more uniform.

Are veneers the right option for me?

Veneers are very versatile and are used to correct many cosmetic dental issues, including:

  • Chips, pits or cracks in your teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crooked or misshapen teeth
  • Eroded teeth

They're also a good choice if one or more teeth are stained or discolored. Teeth whitening is a very effective way to lighten your teeth, but there are limits to the whitening power of this treatment. With veneers, you can choose any shade of white you like.

How many visits are needed?

The actual veneer process takes two visits. During your first visit to our Augusta office, Dr. Myers will remove a small amount of enamel from the front surfaces of your teeth. Removing the enamel is an important step because it ensures that your new veneers will fit perfectly. Your dentist will also make an impression of your teeth that will be used to create your veneers.

It usually takes the dental laboratory about one or two weeks to prepare your new veneers. When they're ready, you'll return to your dentist's office for the final step. Before your dentist permanently attaches the veneers with dental cement, he'll check the fit and make any necessary adjustments.

Is it difficult to care for veneers?

You won't have to change your oral hygiene routine after you get veneers. You'll just brush and floss as you usually do. It's a good idea to avoid abrasive toothpastes as they can scratch the surface of your veneers. If you grind or clench your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you wear a nightguard, as clenching or grinding can eventually damage veneers.

Ready to make over your smile with veneers? Call Myers Family Dental in Augusta, at (706) 738-7742 and make an appointment today. Rejuvenate your smile with veneers!


By Myers Family Dental
May 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
NewFrontTeethforaTeenagedDavidDuchovny

In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?

“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.

How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.

With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.

In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.

While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.

Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”