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Posts for: May, 2017

No-orMinimal-PrepVeneersReducePermanentAlterationstoYourTeeth

Porcelain veneers are positive proof that unattractive teeth don't always require an intensive restoration to regain their beauty. These thin layers of translucent porcelain — custom-designed and color-matched to blend with your other teeth — are permanently bonded to the visible side of your front teeth.

Although they can't remedy every tooth defect, they're well suited for mild to moderate disfigurements like chipping, staining or gaps. There are now two types of porcelain veneers: the traditional veneer and the “no-prep” veneer.

The standard veneers require some tooth structure removal, referred to as “tooth preparation.” This is because although they're a millimeter or less in thickness, they can still appear bulky if bonded to an unprepared tooth. To accommodate their width, it's necessary to remove some of the tooth enamel. This permanently alters the tooth so that it will need some form of restoration from that time on.

In recent years, however, other veneer options have emerged that reduces — or even eliminates — this tooth alteration. No-prep veneers are so thin they can be applied to a tooth with virtually no preparation. A more common option, minimal-prep, requires only a minor reshaping with an abrasive tool to ensure the fitted veneer looks as natural as possible. Because of their thinness, these veneers also don't have to fit under the gum line like standard veneers.

To obtain no- or minimal-prep veneers, your tooth enamel needs to be in good, healthy shape. They're also best suited for people with small or worn teeth, narrow smiles (the side teeth can't be seen from the front), or slightly stained or misshapen teeth.

Because there's little invasiveness, these low preparation veneers won't typically create tooth sensitivity and they can often be applied without any form of anesthesia. And because tooth structure isn't removed, they can be “uninstalled” to return to your natural look. Of course, that's not always an easy process since the bonding between veneer and the enamel is quite strong, although today's lasers can be used to detach the veneer quite easily.

If you'd like to consider these minimally invasive veneers, talk with your dentist. If you're a good candidate, you may be able to gain a new smile without much change to your natural teeth.

If you would like more information on how veneers can change your smile, 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 “No-Prep Porcelain Veneers.”


By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
May 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Modern dentistry provides many convenient, effective solutions to dental issues. One of the best examples of these state-of-the-art dental crownsprocedures is CEREC. CEREC cuts out the need for a dental laboratory in creating porcelain dental restorations, saving patients time, money and effort. Learn more about CEREC and how it can benefit you with Dr. Phillip Tully at his practice in Columbus, GA.

What is CEREC?
CEREC is a state-of-the-art system which allows your dentist to create porcelain dental restorations right inside their office rather than relying on a dental laboratory to perform the design and creation process. CEREC’s system consists of a computer CAD/CAM program, a special wand for taking 3D images of the mouth, and the CEREC machine itself, which carves the restoration from a block of ceramic. Your doctor will use CEREC’s system to perfect the design of your restoration and ensure that your results have the most natural look possible.

What can CEREC do for me?
CEREC can create dental restorations like crowns, bridges and veneers. These restorations can be used on their own or in conjunction with dental procedures like dental implants. The CEREC system cuts out the need for a dental laboratory. Skipping this step saves you the fees associated with using the lab and the time spent waiting for your restoration to return to your dentist’s office. CEREC also eliminates the need for taking physical clay impressions of your mouth. Eliminating the laboratory step allows your dentist to design, create and place your restoration all within the same dental appointment.

CEREC Porcelain Dental Restorations in Columbus, GA
If you need a dental restoration, your dentist can help you determine if CEREC restorations are the best course of treatment for you. CEREC has proven to be a safe and effective method to create dental restorations, using high-quality materials to ensure the most durable restoration and natural look possible. For more information on CEREC, please contact Dr. Tully at his practice in Columbus, GA. Call (706) 323-6491 to schedule your consultation for porcelain dental restorations with Dr. Tully today!


By Phillip S. Tully III DMD
May 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
NeilPatrickHarrisWhattheOscarsHostTreasuresMost

A few days before the Oscars, Vanity Fair magazine asked Academy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris to name his most treasured possession. Was it his Tony award statuette for best leading actor in a musical? His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? The stethoscope he wore while playing teenaged doctor Doogie Howser on TV? No, as it turns out, the 41-year-old actor’s most treasured possession is… his wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. “Oddly, I still have my four wisdom teeth,” Harris said. “I refuse to let them go or I’ll lose my wise parts.”

How odd is it for a 41-year-old to have wisdom teeth? Actually, not that odd at all. While it is true that wisdom teeth are often removed, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. It all depends on whether they are causing problems now, or are likely to cause problems in the future.

The trouble wisdom teeth cause is related to the fact that they are the last molars to come in, and that molars are large in size. By the time wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17 and 21, there often is not enough room for them in the jaw. Sometimes it’s because you may have inherited a jaw size that’s too small for your tooth size; and generally speaking, the size of the human jaw has evolved to become smaller over time.

If room is lacking, the adjacent molar (that came in earlier) can interfere with the path of eruption — causing the wisdom tooth to come in at an odd angle. The wisdom tooth can hit up against that other tooth, possibly causing pain or damaging the adjacent tooth. This is known as “impaction.” Sometimes the wisdom tooth breaks only partway through the gum tissue, leaving a space beneath the gum line that’s almost impossible to clean, causing infection. A serious oral infection can jeopardize the survival of teeth, and even spread to other parts of the body.

If a wisdom tooth is impacted, will you know it? Not necessarily. A tooth can be impacted without causing pain. But we can see the position of your wisdom teeth on a dental x-ray and help you make an informed decision as to whether they should stay or go. If removal is the best course of action, rest assured that this procedure is completely routine and that your comfort and safety is our highest priority. If there is no great risk to keeping them, as Neil Patrick Harris has done, we can simply continue to monitor their condition at your regular dental checkups. It will be particularly important to make sure you are reaching those teeth with your brush and floss, and that you keep to your schedule of regular professional cleanings at the dental office. All healthy teeth are indeed worth treasuring.

If you would like more information about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”