June, 2013

Boomers Aware of Oral Health

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

A new survey puts oral health among the top three medical concerns for people 50+ years of age. Baby Boomers are aware of the importance of oral health!

The survey also showed that 74% of respondents indicated that they visited a dentist at least two times per year. I can only hope that that number is correct because the improved oral health of these patients will have a positive effect on their overall well being. Regular dental hygiene visits are important for all ages but are particularly important as we age.

In spite of knowing how important good oral health is, the boomers still had problems with regular home care. 47% did not floss every day and 34% only brushed once each day. There are opportunities for improvement here. As we age it is even more important that we keep up “regular maintenance”. Changes in our bodies and other existing medical conditions mean that the older mouth needs a little more TLC to stay as healthy as it once did. Skipping the brushing and flossing can only lead to problems.

Find out more about keeping your smile healthy no matter what your age by contacting Toccoa, GA preventative dentist Wilbanks Smile Center today at 706-886-9439.

What is the Most Effective Way to Achieve a Brighter Smile?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

As we grow older, our smiles may become dim, as coffee, cigarettes, tea, medications, and old age can all contribute to the discoloration or staining of our teeth.  As our smile is one of the first things people notice about us, it’s natural to want our teeth to look their best.  Teeth whitening procedures grow more and more popular every day, but with the amount of options available, choosing the right method can sometimes be overwhelming.

One of the major debates in the world of teeth whitening is whether to purchase a take-home treatment or to undergo an in-office whitening procedure with your dentist. A recent study from the Department of Endodontics and Restorative Dentistry at the Peking University School of Stomatology and the Eastman Institute for Oral Health may help settle this debate. In a controlled experiment, researchers set out to compare the effectiveness of both in-office and take-home whitening products.

Using both treatments, it was found that the teeth being treated in-office reached the desired A1 shade in approximately 12 minutes, while the teeth being treated with the take-home treatment reached the same shade after six hours. Researchers found that the desired treatment effects were achieved after two sessions of in-office and six sessions of take-home treatment.

The study concluded that in-office whitening treatments are therefore more efficient than the typical take-home treatment, achieving the same results in 24 minutes rather than 36 hours. This means getting your teeth whitened in-office will likely save you time and give you better results when compared to the average take-home treatments. For those looking to brighten their smile, talk to your dentist about how in-office whitening can more effectively whiten your teeth.

Teeth Whitening in Toccoa

To learn more about your teeth whitening options, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We hope to hear from you soon.

5 Reasons to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Wisdom teeth extraction facts from Wilbanks Smile CenterWe’ve all heard about wisdom teeth, and many of us have probably had them removed.  For some, however, the question still lingers — what exactly are wisdom teeth, and why do they need to be removed?  Simply, wisdom teeth are our third set of hindmost molars, and they typically begin to grow in between the ages of 17 and 25.  In some situations, they can simply be left alone; however, this is not always the case.   For many, wisdom teeth present problems with that require the surgical removal of 1 or more of them. These cases are significantly more common, with the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) estimating that nearly 85% of all wisdom teeth will require extraction.  So what are some of the factors that necessitate the removal of wisdom teeth?  Keep reading to find out.

5 Reasons to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

  1. Small jaw. If your jaw is not large enough, wisdom teeth can become impacted, leaving them unable to break through your gums.
  2. Gums. Wisdom teeth may partially break through your gums, creating a small flap out of gum tissue where food and germs can get stuck.  This can cause your gums to become infected, leaving them red, swollen, and painful.
  3. Impacted teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of different problems, like cysts, infection, and damage to other teeth or bones. Not all impacted teeth require extraction, however, and removal is typically dependent on the severity of the case.
  4. Angle. In some cases, wisdom teeth grow in at an angle, with the tops facing forward, backward, or to the side.
  5. Side effects. If wisdom teeth grow in incorrectly, break through the gum, or remain impacted, there can be a number of uncomfortable or painful side effects. Some of these include swelling around the jaw, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, headache, jaw ache, difficulty opening your mouth, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. In some cases, even the jawbone or other teeth may be affected.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction in Toccoa

To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction, contact us today and schedule your consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Is Zoom! Teeth Whitening Right for You?

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Our smile is one of the first things people notice when they look at us, so it’s natural to want your smile to look its best.  Over time, unfortunately, our teeth can become stained or discolored due to coffee, cigarettes, and even some medications.  Luckily, there are ways to help whiten teeth, affording you the bright smile you desire – like Zoom! Teeth Whitening.  If you’re not sure that teeth whitening is right for you, check out the answers to some of the top patient questions.

Top Patient Questions about Zoom! Teeth Whitening

  1. What exactly is it? Zoom! whitening is a quick, safe, and effective in-office procedure designed to help patients achieve a whiter smile.  It works to bleach teeth and treat unwanted stains or discolorations.
  2. How does it work? At the beginning of the procedure, your dentist will apply a whitening gel to the surface of your teeth.  Once this is complete, the gel is then activated by a low-intensity light, allowing oxygen into the teeth.  This bleaches both the enamel and dentin of the teeth, helping them achieve a lighter color.
  3. Do the results last? As long as the proper post-whitening instructions are followed, teeth will always remain a lighter shade than they had prior to your Zoom! procedure.  Additionally, the best results are typically achieved when this procedure is done in conjunction with the take-home Nite-White system.
  4. Is it safe? Yes! Zoom! whitening’s safety has been proven by countless clinical studies and research, and many consider teeth whitening to be one of the safest cosmetic dental procedures there is.
  5. Am I a candidate? If you’re unhappy with teeth that have become stained or discolored over time, you can benefit from Zoom! whitening.  If you’re still not sure if this procedure is right for you, contact your dentist to learn more.

Zoom! Whitening in Toccoa

If you’re ready to achieve a bright, white smile, take the first step – contact us today and schedule your Zoom! whitening consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Sleep Apnea Affects Women Too!

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Sleep apnea has long been thought to afflict mostly men but it turns out that women are just as much at risk as the guys! A study completed in Sweden a couple of years ago showed that the sleep disorder was common in both sexes.

The study looked at a random sample of 10,000 women aged 20 to 70 and gathered data on 400 of them. The subjects also had an overnight sleep study. Half of the women were diagnosed with sleep apnea! While the majority were diagnosted with mild sleep apnea, 20% had moderate cases and 6% were severe. There were links between sleep apnea and blood pressure, body weight and age. The older and heavier the women were and the higher their blood pressure, the more likely they were to have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is dangerous if not treated and has been linked to sudden cardiac death, heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Treatment using an oral appliance is effective and comfortable.

Find out more about the easy way to treat your sleep apnea by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule a consultation.


Major Tooth Decay Affects Billions Worldwide

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Tooth decay is the most common of 291 major diseases worldwide according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research. Poor oral health affect almost 4 billion people throughout the world according to researchers and “This total does not even include small cavities or mild gum diseases.” These are serious untreated problems that cause pain and prevent people from eating and possibly sleeping properly.

This study noted that severe tooth loss used to be more common but now the type of oral conditions is shifting toward gum disease and tooth decay. Dr. Wagner Marcenes said “Tooth loss is often the final result when preventive or conservative treatment for tooth decay or gum disease fail or are unavailable. It is likely that current dental services are coping better to prevent tooth loss than in the past but major efforts are needed to prevent the occurrence and development of gum diseases and tooth decay.”

Tooth loss does still occur, but not as often, in this country as well. It used to be that people expected to lose some or all of their teeth as they aged. This doesn’t happen as often – because of water fluoridation and better oral health care people are now keeping most of their teeth throughout their lives. Of course, problems can arise even if you have tried to take good care of your teeth.

The good news is that we have options for replacing missing teeth. Whether you are missing one tooth or all of them, dental implants might be the best choice for tooth replacement. A dental implant can be used to replace just one tooth, a couple of teeth or they can be used to anchor a full set of dentures.

Imagine wearing dentures without the worry of them coming loose or slipping! Find out more about your options for replacing missing teeth by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439/

Top 5 Benefits of Cone Beam CT Scans

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Wilbanks Smile Center offers 5 benefits of Cone Beam CT technology.If you have ever been to the dentist before, you’ve likely had an x-ray done .  However, these images are flat and two-dimensional, and have their limitations.  While they’re effective in detecting certain issues in the mouth, like cavities, certain dental issues require something more in-depth and precise.  Cone Beam CT Technology is an innovative solution to the limitations posed by more traditional x-ray methods, but what exactly is it?

A Cone Beam CT scan provides a digital, three-dimensional view of what lies beneath the teeth and gums.  It offers the dentist or dental surgeon a detailed look at critical structures in the mouth, like teeth roots, existing implants, nerves, sinus cavities, and more.  It’s especially effective in cases of dental surgery or implant planning, as it helps dentists clearly visualize bone anatomy and other necessary factors.  So what are some of the patient-side benefits of Cone Beam CT Technology?

Top 5 Benefits of Cone Beam CT Scans:

  1. Can discriminate between different types of tissue. A major limitation of traditional x-rays is the inability to differentiate between the many different types of tissue in the mouth — like bone, nerves, soft tissue, and teeth.  Cone Beam CT scans fix this problem, allowing dentists to gain a more accurate image of your mouth.
  2. Reduces surgical risks. Cone Beam CT scans allows dentists to accurately and precisely create a surgical or treatment plan for you.  This helps to avoid any complications that may arise.
  3. Accurate imaging. Considered the gold standard in three-dimensional imaging, Cone Beam CT technology provides both dentists and patients with accurate, high-resolution images.  Since they’re based on one’s true measurements, magnification errors can be avoided.
  4. Can identify a wide range of conditions. Infections, tumors, cysts and more can all be identified through the use of a Cone Beam CT scan, making it an effective tool in the detection and treatment of irregularities in the mouth.
  5. Quick and non-invasive. A Cone Beam CT scan can be completed in just seconds, thereby reducing your exposure to radiation.  They’re also non-invasive, allowing patients to undergo the scan without discomfort.

Cone Beam CT Scans in Toccoa

If you’re ready to learn more about Cone Beam CT technology, contact us today and schedule a consultation.  Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439.  We look forward to serving you.

Say Cheese! Dairy Protects Against Cavities

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

New research says we should “Say Cheese” for real rather than just in photographs. Eating dairy products has long been shown to improve the health of teeth and bones but cheese also protects against cavities.Wilbanks Smile Center shares study that says cheese can protect against cavities.

The research was published in the May/June issue of General Dentistry and it looked at the differences in dental plaque pH levels before and after they consumed cheese, milk or sugar-free yogurt. A pH level above 5.5 reduces the risk of developing cavities.

The subjects that consumed milk and yogurt didn’t show any changes in the pH levels in their mouths. The cheese eaters showed a rapid increase in pH levels at 10, 20 and 30 minutes after consumption. This suggests that cheese offers cavity protection. The increased levels may have been due to increased saliva production caused by chewing and researchers believe that various compounds found in the cheese may adhere to the tooth enamel offering protection.

Protecting against cavities is wonderful but sometimes cavities happen and you need a filling! Relax, today getting a dental filling is a whole lot different than it used to be. Some patients want only local anesthesia but others may feel more relaxed using other forms of sedation. Wilbanks Smile Center offers a full range of sedation dentistry options from nitrous oxide to IV sedation for those who suffer from severe dental phobia. Being anxious or afraid about receiving dental care is not uncommon and we are here to help you get the care you need.

Please contact Toccoa, GA full service dental office Wilbanks Smile Center today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your appointment.


What Is A Crown Lengthening?

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

You’ve been told that you need a crown lengthening procedure, but what does that mean?Wilbanks Smile Center explains a crown lengthening procedure.

Your teeth are the only part of the body that penetrates the skin (or gums in this case). There is a fibrous barrier that forms from the gums and attaches to the tooth – this is called the biologic width and provides a seal that keeps bacteria from entering the bloodstream.

A crown lengthening is a procedure that lowers this biologic seal so that a damaged tooth can be fully restored. For example, if a cavity is very deep or part of a tooth is broken below this seal then a crown lengthening procedure is down to reposition the biologic seal so that it will be safely away from the filling or the margins of a dental crown. Without this procedure gum disease will also develop at the site leading to even more bacteria potentially entering the body. Crown lengthening is an extremely common procedure and you will be completely comfortable throughout.

The human mouth is a complex system and keeping it healthy is  necessary to ensure better overall health. Patients at Wilbanks Smile Center know that prevention and education are a key part of the care we provide. Educating our patients and joining together with them in a “team” approach to oral health care helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems. Join our team approach by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 today to schedule your visit.


Contact Us

Our Smile Gallery

smile gallery