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June 20, 2011

A Few Facts about Fluoride

Dental fluoride used to be a routine part of most dental cleanings and exams, but for some time now, the use of fluoride has been debatedamong dental and other health professionals.

Here are a few facts about fluoride from the Fluoride Information Network:

1.     Fluoride is a community health measure that benefits people of all ages, income levels, and ethnicities.

2.     Fluoride protects over 300 million people in more than 40 countries worldwide. More than 10,000 communities and 145 million people benefit from fluoride in the U.S. alone.

3.     Fluoride is a natural mineral widely distributed in nature.  When added to water supplies at optimal levels, it is effective in reducing tooth decay.

4.     Multiple studies have shown that fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 60% in baby teeth and up to 35% in adult teeth.

5.     Underprivileged children have more cavities than children from middle or upper income families. Children from families earning less than $20,000 annually have 10 times more unmet dental care needs than children from families earning at least $50,000 annually.

6.      Fluoride serves as the natural protector for tooth enamel and encourages healthy teeth and gums.

7.     Systemic fluoride (in the water supply) is the best fluoride source for developing teeth. Topical application is the next best way to gain the dental benefits of fluoride, and is a great option for enhancing the benefits of fluoridated water.

8.     Water fluoridation is safe! Studies show that adjustment to appropriate levels does not pose a health risk for the public. Fluoride at recommended levels has been used for more than 50 years with no side effects.

9.     Water fluoridation saves money. It costs approximately 50 cents per person per year to receive fluoridated water. A filling for a single cavity can cost upwards of $200!

10.    Oral health is a critical component of overall health and wellbeing. Fluoride helps to keep your enamel healthy, which in turn protects your teeth and promotes quality oral and overall health.

The bottom line: Don’t be afraid of fluoride. It’s safe to assume that you use fluoridated toothpaste. In fact, it’s unlikely that toothpaste will get the ADA seal of approval if it doesn’t contain fluoride.

Dr. Peter Pate gives most of his patients a fluoride treatment at dental exams and cleanings because it is crucial to quality oral health. For more information about the services and treatments offered at Dentistry in Buckhead, call our dental office in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 266-9424.

June 17, 2011

Will sedation dentistry ease your fears?

Of the following, which one makes you the most nervous?

  • Heights
  • Flying
  • Injections
  • Doctors
  • Snakes
  • Going to the dentist
  • Spiders
  • Going to the hospital

A recent study conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation produced some interesting results. In the lead-up to National Smile Month 2011, the Foundation asked over 1,000 people what makes them the most nervous.

More than 1 in 5 people rated visiting the dentist as the culprit that causes them the most anxiety!

A fear of heights topped the poll, followed by visiting the dentist and going to the hospital. Surprisingly, snakes ranked fourth, while spiders came in fifth.

Obviously, a large number of people suffer from fear of the dentist or some form of dental phobia.  Unfortunately, that means  these folks are not getting the dental care they need simply because they’re afraid.

Dr. Peter Pate can help. With sedation dentistry, you can leave your anxiety at the door and get the care you need. Dr. Pate will review your suggested treatment course and answer your questions to alleviate any lingering apprehension. Depending on your goals, concerns, and medical history, Dr. Pate will suggest the right method of sedation for you. Our sedation dentistry options include nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.

For more information or to reserve your appointment, call Dentistry in Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 266-9424.

June 15, 2011

Exercise Can Lower the Risk of Periodontal Disease

There are frequent news reports and television shows encouraging Americans to get fit and healthy through proper diet and exercise.  One study revealed that increasing your level of exercise can lead to healthier teeth and gums.

Researchers from the University of Florida measured the body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and maximal oxygen consumption in a group of volunteers.  The team of researchers then used the measurements to calculate each participant’s exercise capabilities and weight control. The participants’ oral health and oral care habits were also examined.

When all the information was gathered, researchers determined that the people who maintained healthy weight and exercised regularly were less likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease.

“Weight management and physical fitness both contribute to overall health, and now we believe staying in shape may help lower your risk of developing gum disease,” stated Samuel Low, Associate Dean at the school’s College of Dentistry. “Since gum disease is related to other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there is even more reason to take care of yourself through diet and exercise.”

Dr. Low also suggests that we should follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines of brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, rinsing after meals, and visiting your dentist on a regular schedule for a thorough cleaning and checkup.

Remember, oral health is crucial to overall health, and your first step to continued good health is to schedule a thorough checkup and cleaning with me, Dr. Peter Pate, Dentistry of Buckhead. Contact my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.

June 6, 2011

Celebrities go to the dentist, too!

With constant media exposure, celebrities feel the need to maintain “perfect” smiles. However, not all celebrities started off that way!  Here are some who turned to cosmetic dentistry to improve their confidence and their careers:

Tom Cruise: Do you remember his misaligned teeth in Risky Business and The Outsiders? At age 39, he decided to sport a near-perfect smile, which included Invisalign braces and whitening treatments.

Victoria Beckham:  As a child, she was quite embarrassed by her crooked teeth and prominent gap. Beckham reportedly perfected her smile with porcelain veneers and teeth whitening treatments.

Ben Affleck: Prior to cosmetic dentistry, Affleck’s teeth were small and unevenly spaced. He received crowns, veneers, and extensive teeth whitening treatments.

Zac Effron: This High School Musical star contended with a wide gap in his top front teeth at the beginning of his career.  Now, Effron sports a beautifully white, “perfect” smile after Invisalign braces and teeth whitening treatments.

George Clooney: The former Sexiest Man Alive had a nasty habit of grinding his teeth, which made his smile rough and uneven. He is reported to have undergone laser gum treatment and had porcelain veneers placed to give him his new devilish grin.

Demi Moore: While she had naturally straight teeth, she was never quite satisfied with her smile, so she has veneers and underwent laser whitening treatments.

If you want to achieve a smile like the stars, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate, of Dentistry in Buckhead. A radiant smile can open professional and social doors.  Did you know people with beautiful smiles are deemed  more intelligent, attractive, and successful?  Contact my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to improve your smile.

June 1, 2011

Teeth Whitening Has Never Been Easier


Did you know that methods of teeth whitening have been around for thousands of years?

The Egyptians beat the world to the invention of toothpaste, and used wine as one of the major ingredients. We know now that wine easily stains our teeth.

Believe it or not, the Romans used human urine as the main ingredient in their toothpaste! In fact, Roman toothpaste was so popular among Roman aristocracy that human urine was imported from Portugal. As disgusting as it sounds, the Romans were onto something. Ammonia has lightening and brightening qualities and is the main chemical found in human urine.

Luckily, we don’t have to use any ancient methods to whiten our smiles these days. I’m Dr. Peter Pate, a dentist in Atlanta, GA, and I am proud to offer in-office and at-home teeth whitening solutions to my patients.

Zoom! Whitening is the leading in-office teeth whitening system, which can remove discolorations and lighten your teeth 8 to 10 shades. The entire process takes only a few hours. You will feel good and look great with brighter, whiter teeth after your in-office whitening appointment!

If you prefer to whiten your teeth at your own convenience, I offer take-home whitening kits. Just fill the custom trays with the whitening gel that we provide and wear them for the specified time over a period of two weeks. You will see gradual results and end the process with a luminous, white smile. Bleaching trays are great for occasional touch-ups and can be used following in-office and at-home teeth whitening procedures.

Call my dental office at (404) 266-9424 to find out more about teeth whitening or to schedule an appointment.