Why Access Matters

At DentFirst Dental Care, we understand the importance of a healthy smile. However, to that point, we also understand that access to the proper care to help you proactively maintain a healthy smile is essential. Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t have equal access to optimal oral health care. One of the biggest hurdles that many people face when it comes to dental care is being uninsured, accessibility and/or affordability.

We will be the first to admit that dental care isn’t always extremely affordable, especially if dental issues have gone unaddressed for an extended period of time. The longer an issue goes unaddressed, the more expensive it typically becomes to correct.

We are passionate about dental care and we are passionate about helping and supporting our community.

So, that’s why we created the DentFirst Prime and Prime Plus Membership Programs. We wanted to create a program specifically for our existing and future uninsured patients to ensure they always have access to quality dental care at an affordable price. Optimal oral healthcare shouldn’t be a luxury or something that ever feels out of reach. Life happens, financial situations change, but we don’t ever want our patients to feel as if they have to sacrifice continuing to receive the treatment they need and deserve.

We believe that through creating this program, we will make getting the treatment you need at a price you can afford the new basic standard of care. There’s nothing we love more than seeing the smile of someone’s dreams come to life.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile is a collaborative effort and we are committed to doing our part to help.

If you join our program, you gain access to our amazing team of doctors, assistants and support staff, state-of-the-art care, our 12 locations and emergency services.

Access matters. Affordability matters. And we’re here to help bring that to everyone in Atlanta and its surrounding areas with ease.

You have a smile worth investing in and we want to make sure that investment lasts you a lifetime. We value your smile as much as you do and want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

Why We Do What We Do

At the heart of DentFirst Dental Care, we want to change lives. We love seeing people’s self-confidence and self-esteem go through the roof when they’re proud of their smile.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the most stellar team members who work hard every day to keep our patients’ smiles healthy and happy! We have structured our offices around making dentistry both comfortable and convenient for our patients. Patients truly are FIRST at DentFirst!

DentFirst has been serving Atlantans for almost 35 years and we take great pride in all of the smiles we have been so fortunate to brighten and care for!

So often, people seem to be in search of the “perfect smile,” but we know that that the “perfect smile” starts with a healthy foundation. We’re here to help you build that healthy foundation so that it can hopefully last you a lifetime!

Many of our patients started with us when they were young children and we’ve been able to continue investing in their smile as they have matured into adults. This is why we love when parents bring in their 2-3 year olds because helping children understand the importance of caring for their teeth starts young.

The great thing, however, is that whenever you’re ready to start investing in your smile or you’re simply looking for a new dental home, we are here for you and always accepting new patients!

We are incredibly proud to be a multi-specialty practice because it gives us the capacity to create a comprehensive and multi-faceted treatment plan for our patients who need it. For instance, if you’re experiencing tooth decay issues due to overcrowding or misalignment of your teeth, your general dentist can work directly with your orthodontist to help straighten your smile and protect the health of your teeth.

Opening the lines of communication, demystifying dentistry and creating an environment of transparency is integral to building lasting and trusting relationships with our patients.

We want to help co-create your perfect smile with you while making your time in and out of our office as pleasant as possible. For us, what it really comes down to is simplifying a, sometimes, otherwise complicated or stressful process.

It is so important to us to keep our patients in the loop of what’s going on with their treatment and to make what they need readily and easily accessible when they need it.

Our locations offer specialties in Periodontics, Orthodontics, Prosthodontics, Oral Surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry. Outside of our specialties, we also offer Emergency Care because we understand that things don’t always happen during regular business hours.

Our patients know that when they need us most, we’re here. As a team, we continuously strive for excellence so our patients can rest assured that their smiles are always in the best hands in Atlanta!

The art and practice of Dentistry as a whole is certainly a collaborative effort between the patient and his/her provider. We love being a part of this effort and always look forward to caring for new and existing patients.

We do what we do because dentistry is more than an industry to us, it’s who we are and it’s what we love.

DentFirst Dental Care is proud to serve Atlanta and proud to serve YOU!

To Floss or Not to Floss, That is the Question

Flossing

Recently, you may have heard the legitimacy of flossing brought into question in the media and on the news.  Studies have been presented to the public that cannot confirm the benefits of flossing.

For many people, this is likely incredibly disconcerting after growing up being told by the dentist the importance flossing has on your oral health.

We understand, sometimes flossing feels like a chore or maybe even uncomfortable. However, before you throw away your floss for good, here’s our perspective on the great floss debate!

When we eat food, it is almost completely inevitable that we get food stuck in between our teeth. We typically only think about food being stuck in our teeth when it’s visible, but food left in between your teeth that can’t be easily seen can be problematic towards your oral health long term.

Yes, brushing your teeth is a great way to help remove food stuck between your teeth, but a toothbrush cannot get everything. Of course, we understand this varies from person-to-person, as we all have different teeth alignment.

Flossing is a great way to help remove food that our toothbrush might miss.

Why is this so important?

Decay!

One of the biggest oral health problems plaguing people is tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to cavities and other problems such as bad breath, discoloration or tooth loss.

Food sources of complex carbohydrates, isolated on white.

A major enemy to our teeth is sugar and many of us consume foods that are carbohydrates (breads, cereal, rice, potatoes, etc). When these carbohydrates break down in our mouths, they turn into sugars. Many of us also eat food that has sugar in it which can compromise the health of our teeth over time. If you’re eating throughout the day and only brushing twice a day without flossing, chances are there is a lot of food and sugar hanging around between your teeth that can cause decay.

No, flossing isn’t a guarantee against anything, but it is a preventative measure that could greatly reduce decay that derives from plaque and food between our teeth.

Another thing to consider about floss is the importance of your gum health.

Our gum health can be a big indicator of not only the state of our oral health, but also our overall health. Gum disease can have problems that overflow into general health such as heart disease in extreme cases.

Flossing regularly helps reduce inflammation or bleeding in the gums and the chance of getting gingivitis. Flossing also helps reduce the chance of having periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can lead not only to tooth loss, but bone loss within the mouth.

Lastly, flossing regularly also has cosmetic benefits.

Plaque, when left alone for extended periods of time, turns into tartar that forms around gum-line. This tartar build-up can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Tartar is a hard, white and yellowish build up that can affect the health and look of teeth. Once plaque has turned into tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional with the proper tools to help remove it without compromising the rest of the tooth. Flossing and brushing regularly helps keep your plaque at bay and slows or prevents the build-up of tartar.

Brushing and Flossing

So, even if the effectiveness of flossing frequently has been questioned, the great thing is that you can decide for yourself the importance it has in your oral healthcare regimen.

Flossing isn’t a definitive answer to oral health woes, just like brushing twice a day isn’t. Having a healthy and beautiful smile is just as much about being proactive as it is about being reactive. Having a healthy smile means doing as much as you can at home to care for your smile to keep it healthy between dental office visits.

Don’t put off your oral health until something happens. Sometimes it might be too late, consider Periodontal Disease as an example. Once a person has been diagnosed with it, it cannot be fully reversed, only maintained to slow it down and prevent it from getting worse.

We still recommend brushing and flossing daily because we understand the importance of preventative and proactive care. Having this approach to your oral health can save you money long term, but, even more important than that, it can protect your beautiful smile for years to come!

Close up portrait of happy young woman, Casa Alto Vidigal, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Foods to Help Keep Your Smile Healthy

Man Eating Food

When it comes to protecting your teeth, knowing what to eat is just as important as knowing what not to eat or to eat in moderation. As National Nutrition Month draws to an end, we wanted to share some foods with you that are great for your smile!

Some of these foods may already be a part of your diet or you may find that incorporating certain foods will protect your teeth and help to keep them strong and healthy.

Remember, a diet rich in foods that help your teeth comes second to maintaining regular oral health examinations from your DentFirst Dentist!

Below you will find a few types of food that have inherent benefits in protecting your smile.

Foods Rich in Fiber

Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber increase saliva flow and help wash away potential cavity causing food particles more quickly.

(Celery, carrots, apples)

Foods with Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that is great for strengthening teeth and protecting tooth enamel. Regularly consuming foods that are high in calcium is a great way to protect your teeth.

(Milk, cheese, leafy green veggies, calcium-fortified juices and soy products)

Vitamin C Foods

Foods with Vitamin C

Many people are unaware of the benefits that Vitamin C has on our oral health. Vitamin C has properties which help keep our gums healthy and ward off conditions such as gingivitis which can lead to loss of adult teeth or periodontal issues.

(Oranges, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes)

Chewing Gum

Sugarless Gum

Who doesn’t enjoy chewing gum occasionally? Fortunately there are a plethora of sugarless gums on the market to choose from. Chewing sugarless gum shortly after eating a meal is a great way to increase saliva flow and help decrease acids in the mouth that can affect our enamel and remove potentially harmful food particles.

(Sugarless gums sweetened with Xylitol can also protect from tooth decay)

Choosing Tea over Coffee

If a nice cup of coffee is your preferred way to have a quick caffeine boost, consider swapping it out with a cup of black or green tea without added sugars. Black and green teas both contain properties which help prevent gum disease and keep cavity-causing bacteria under control.

Are any of the foods listed above already a big part of your daily diet? If so, it’s awesome to find out that you already have foods that are great for your smile incorporated into  your diet. If not, now you know a few different types of foods that can help and the positive effects they have on your teeth.

If you want to learn more about how your diet may be positively or negatively affecting your smile, be sure to ask your DentFirst Dentist for more information.

Patients are FIRST at DentFirst!

 

*This information is adapted from Delta Dental and existing findings from the ADA.

Foods to Avoid for a Healthy Smile

woman-holding-food

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?

Our diets and the foods that we consume can have a lasting impact, not only on our physical health, but also on our oral health.

It is important that we understand the large role that nutrition plays in caring for and maintaining a healthy, bright and beautiful smile! Nutrition and oral health are incredibly interrelated and knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your smile!

Regular visits to your dentist and optimal home care are fundamental in oral hygiene and health. However, regular and excessive consumption of foods that are detrimental to your teeth can still compromise the health of your smile.

At DentFirst Dental Care, we want to help our patients have a comprehensive understanding of the best ways and practices to keep their beautiful smiles healthy!

Below you will find 5 types of foods that aren’t the best for your teeth, but may already be a part of your daily diet.

 

Sugary-foods

Sugary Foods:

Foods that are high in sugar promote tooth decay.

(Candy, ice cream, sodas, cereals)

Sticky Foods:

Foods that are sticky and/or chewy stick to the surface of teeth or between them and cause tooth decay.

(Taffy, caramels, gummy foods/candies)

Hard Foods

Hard/Crunchy Foods:

Foods that are difficult to bite into or chew can cause your teeth to chip or crack.

(Hard candies, ice, lollipops, bones)

Acidic Foods:

Foods that are high in acidity can wear down your enamel over time and leave your teeth weakened and susceptible to decay.

(Citrus fruits, sodas, sugary drinks/juices, tomato soup)

starchy foods

Foods High in Starch:

Foods that are high in starch easily stick to the surface of your teeth and between them, too. These starches will break down into sugar, promoting tooth decay.

(Breads, potato chips, rice, crackers, pasta)

Did you see some of your favorite foods on here? If so, don’t worry, moderation is the key! Some of these foods or their primary ingredients are fairly difficult to avoid in our daily diets. This is where great oral hygiene habits come into play such as daily flossing and brushing your teeth!

If you are unsure if some of your favorite foods are harming your teeth, feel free to talk to your DentFirst Dentist or Hygienist to learn more about how these foods may be affecting your smile.

Check back soon for a list of the types of foods that encourage a healthy and bright smile!

Patients are FIRST DentFirst!

 

*This information is adapted from Delta Dental and existing findings from the ADA.

Implants

Tooth human implant (done in 3d graphics)

Dental implants feel so natural, you will probably forget that you ever lost a tooth. Confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself. Maybe you hide your smile rather than show spaces resulting from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing.

If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with brand new comfort and confidence, we have good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Implants can last your lifetime!

Advantages of Implants over Bridges to replace missing teeth

  • The teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space do not need to be drilled down or reshaped. They remain untouched.
  • The cost is about the same.
  • Marginal re-decay can not occur since the entire implant is fabricated with bio-compatible porcelain and metal.
  • Flossing around an implant is easy. You don’t have to thread the floss underneath the false tooth and then slide it over your gums.
  • Bridges are not possible if there isn’t at least one tooth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth.

Continue Reading…

Digital X-Rays and Safety Information

Xray

Digital X-Ray Safety at DentFirst

Educated patients are our best patients

We have invested several hundred thousand dollars into modern digital low dose x-ray equipment so that the radiation your receive is absolutely minimized. You are getting only about 10-15% of the x-ray dosage that old-technology high dose dental offices use. We charge you no more for this procedure than for the old-fashioned way. Because we use computers to display and review your x-rays you can view your teeth at 100 times life size! This makes for better and quicker diagnoses. Its better for the environment. No lead foil packets need to be used to protect the undeveloped film. No photographic chemicals are used or disposed of into the local water supply.

Everything we do has risks and rewards. We don’t stay at home because we’re afraid of being in a traffic accident. We are careful, however, not to take unnecessary risks. The x-radiation your jaw receives with your four bitewing low dose digital x-rays is about 5 microseiverts. In comparison, your entire body receives that much just by flying from Atlanta to Miami. Additionally we provide you with a lead shield and the airlines don’t. Remember that dental radiation is only directed to an area which is the size of the dental x-ray … not your entire body. Continue Reading…

Root Canal Start (First Appointment)

root-canal

Root Canal Therapy and Treatment Start (First Appointment)

Now that my doctor started a root canal on my tooth what can I expect?

Endodontics Procedure

Today, your DentFirst doctor started root canal therapy to remove the infection and start your tooth back on its path to full health. For our patients, we have written an explanation of exactly what root canals are. In fact this DentFirst web page received an unsolicited Academic Excellence award from StudyWeb, a non-profit internet organization.

Post-operative instructions for today

Take all of the antibiotic pills as prescribed by your doctor. Continue taking them as prescribed until each of them have been used. Stopping early because the tooth feels better, or saving some for another time are both dangerous ideas. You will have killed off the weak germs in the first few days and only the stronger bacteria will remain. They will then produce genetically similar offspring which are stronger as well. This is known as a super-infection and may actually require the removal of your tooth.

  • Take medication for discomfort if you need it. Many patients find that non-prescription pain medication is enough. If any prescription medicine you have received is not sufficiently strong please call your DentFirst doctor. There is a DentFirst doctor on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We want you to be comfortable.
  • Do not chew on the same side as the affected tooth. The biting surface is covered with a temporary filling material which can not withstand chewing forces.
  • Brush your tooth normally but do not run floss around it unless you have been told it is ‘OK’ . Flossing may pull out the temporary filling material. It is common for small piecesof the temporary filling to flake off but rarely there may be another problem. If you should become aware of a strong medicinal taste or notice a tiny piece of cotton in your mouth then call our office for an work-in appointment.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages just for today. They can sometimes weaken the temporary filling before it gains its full strength.

Continue Reading…

Referral to the Periodontist

Perio

Why is your dentist referring you to a Periodontist?

Your dentist has determined that your gums require special attention. The periodontist and dentist work together as a team to provide you with the highest level of care. They will combine their experience to recommend the best treatment available to you while keeping each other informed on your progress. By referring you to the specialist, your dentist is showing a strong commitment to your dental health.

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. They have had extensive training with two additional years of study after dental school. As specialists they develop their time, energy and skill to helping patient care for their gums. A periodontist is one of the eight dental specialists recognized by the American Dental Association.

What is Periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the major cause of adult tooth loss. It affects three out of four people. The main cause of the disease is the bacterial plaque – a sticky film which constantly forms on your teeth. If the plaque is not removed it hardens into rough porous deposits (tartar). Toxins produced by the bacteria in the plaque and tartar irritate the gums causing them to appear red, tender and swollen. Continue Reading…

My New Silver Restoration

Amalgam-Fillings1-727x4091-727x409

Silver Restorations

Now that I’ve had my tooth restored with a Silver filling how can I best care for it?

Today, your DentFirst doctor restored your tooth with a silver amalgam restoration. This material is designed to restore both the contour and function of your tooth. All the decay was removed and a layer of medicine was placed to protect and comfort the tooth underneath the silver. This medicament protects the tooth by helping to limit temperature sensitivity and stimulate the formation of a new protective layer of dentin. If the restoration was on a lower tooth then your tongue and lip will probably be numb for few hours. Be careful not to chew them.

The first 24 hours

It is important that, for the first 24 hours, you do not chew on your new restoration. While the filling material will be quite hard by the time you leave the office, your jaw can exert over 50,000 pounds of pressure per square inch and the silver amalgam will not set to its full strength for about 24 hours. In the meantime chew on the opposite side of your mouth, please. It is not uncommon for a newly restored tooth to have a temporary sensitivity to cold. This should diminish in just a few days or weeks. Remember, you are recovering from hard-tissue surgery.

If your new restoration feels “high” please let us know. Do not attempt to grind it down with your opposing teeth. We will adjust the bite for you so that it is comfortable. It’s remarkable, but your jaw can detect a discrepancy as thin as a human hair, and this improper meshing is very difficult to recognize and adjust while your teeth are numb. Continue Reading…

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