My Blog

Posts for: January, 2017

By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
January 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
JohnnysTeethArentRottenAnyMore

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?


By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
January 12, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visit  

Have you seen us in the last six months? If not, find out why you should.

We know that being an adult isn’t always fun. After all, paying bills and going to work and running errands isn’t really how you might dental visithave pictured adulthood as a child. Of course, something both children and adults need to do is visit their Columbus, GA dentist, Dr. Phillip Tully III, every six months for routine cleanings. Yes, we know you’re busy, but not visiting us regularly could mean some serious complications for your smile down the road.

Here are just some of the reasons why a dental checkup is a must:

Plaque and Tartar Buildup

Even if you are the best brusher and flosser possible, there are still going to be small areas that are difficult to reach, and once plaque starts to build up it’s rather challenging to remove it properly. And it’s not long before plaque hardens into tartar, which you can’t remove.

By coming in for routine cleanings every six months, our Columbus general dentist can remove plaque and tartar to prevent cavities and gum disease from ruining your smile.

Gum Disease

It’s amazing how many people have gum disease and don’t even know it, and if you aren’t coming in for routine cleanings how would you know whether you have it or not? While some people will notice symptoms of red, puffy or tender gums, it’s amazing how many times this illness doesn’t present with symptoms. While it can be reversed in its early stages, once it has turned into gum disease you could also suffer from bone and tooth loss.

Oral Cancer

Did you know that our Columbus family dentist is the one that can detect whether you may have oral cancer? Oral cancer can be life threatening if not treated right away and often times the only way to detect a suspicious growth is to come in for routine screenings. These screenings are performed during your routine exams, they only take a couple minutes, it’s completely painless and it could just save your life.

Find Hidden Dental Issues

Sometimes even we can’t see what lurks beneath the surface of your teeth and jawbone. That’s why we perform x-rays. These imaging tests are a great way to detect problems like impacted teeth, jawbone damage, an infection or cyst. Being able to catch these problems early will prevent the need for more serious treatments later on.

Even a healthy smile needs proper medical attention. Call our Columbus, GA dental office to schedule your next dental cleaning and exam. Trust us--you’ll be glad you did!


StayAheadofGumDiseaseRe-InfectionwithPeriodontalMaintenance

If you've undergone treatment for periodontal (gum) disease, you know how involved it can be. After several sessions of plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) removal, your swollen, red gums finally begin to regain their healthy pink color.

But with gum disease, the battle may be over but not necessarily the war. If we don't remain vigilant, there's a high chance you'll experience a re-infection.

That's why periodontal maintenance (PM) is so important for gum disease patients after treatment. Plaque, the thin film of bacteria and food particles responsible for the infection, can grow again on your tooth surfaces as it did before. You'll have to practice diligent, daily brushing and flossing to curb that development.

But it's also important to keep up regular dental visits for advanced cleaning to remove hard to reach plaque and calculus. For most people that's usually twice a year, but for gum disease patients it could be up to four times a year, especially just after treatment. And there's more to these visits than cleaning.

Since our goal is to reduce the chances of re-infection as much as possible, we'll thoroughly examine your teeth, gums and any implants for signs of disease (we'll also include an oral cancer screening). We want to assess the health of your teeth and gums and to see how well you're doing hygiene-wise with plaque control.

If we find signs of gum disease, we'll discuss this with you and schedule a new round of treatment. The sooner we initiate treatment, the better your outcome. In some cases, we may perform procedures that make it easier to access and clean areas where plaque tends to build up.

Overall, we want to prevent the occurrence of any future disease and treat it as soon as possible if it re-occurs. Keeping up diligent PM will help ensure your gums continue to stay healthy.

If you would like more information on after care following periodontal (gum) disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.