My Blog

Posts for: January, 2017

By Phil Hart, DDS
January 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   Veneers  

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Phil Hart, DDS
January 18, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns   restorative dentistry   CEREC  

Along with anxiety, fear, and concerns about cost, lack of time and being too busy is one of the main reasons many crownspeople give for skipping a visit to the dentist. In addition to living with treatable cosmetic imperfections that can take a toll on an otherwise healthy smile, foregoing regular dental screenings and treatment by a dentist poses a serious risk to oral health in the long term. But in many cases, it is cosmetic imperfections like chips, cracks, spacing, stains and discoloration that can negatively affect a smile over time.

Cosmetic dental crowns are one of the most effective and affordable restorations available for fixing a damaged smile. Dr. Phillip W. Hart, a dentist in Bartlett, TN, offers same-day crowns to help meet the needs of busy patients with little time to spare.

Fix Your Smile Quickly with Same-day Crowns in Bartlett, TN

Crowns are one of the most versatile dental restorations available. In addition to fixing common cosmetic issues like broken or uneven teeth, crowns also play a vital role in helping to preserve severely decayed teeth after treatment. For cavities that are too large to fill with a standard dental filling, a dentist can use a crown to save the remaining healthy portion of the tooth from extraction. Same-day crowns offer all of the benefits of traditional crowns in a fraction of the time, including:

  • Symptom relief (such as pain and sensitivity from a damaged tooth)
  • Cosmetic improvement - walk out of the dentist's office with a new and improved smile in a single visit
  • Convenient and affordable

Find a Dentist in Bartlett, TN

A busy schedule no longer has to stand in the way of a beautiful, complete smile. For more information on how same-day crowns work and whether they are the right option for you, contact the office of Phillip W. Hart, D.D.S. Family Dentistry by calling (901) 386-9299 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hart today.


X-rays revolutionized dental care in the 20th Century. The same could happen in the 21st Century as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) becomes a fixture beside the traditional x-ray machine.

CBCT made its debut in dental offices about a decade and a half ago. It utilizes the same invisible energy as traditional x-rays to create images of the face and jaw. But unlike traditional x-rays, which can only depict structures in the two dimensions of width and height, CBCT can create three-dimensional images in amazing detail.

The CBCT's x-ray projector rotates around a patient's head. As it emits a cone-shaped beam of x-rays, the device simultaneously collects anywhere from 150 to 599 distinct image views. It transmits these views to a computer that assembles them into three-dimensional images that can be viewed on a computer display.

From the data file of images, dentists can re-format a variety of views and angles of teeth, jaws and other facial bones at various levels of magnification. Because of this wide range of views, all in striking detail, CBCTs are highly useful among other things for diagnosis of malocclusions (bad bites), the size and location of infections, obstructions at possible implant sites, or jaw problems prior to surgery.

Because they expose a patient to higher doses of radiation than a standard x-ray machine, they're normally limited to more complex oral situations. That means you'll still undergo standard x-rays for most of your dental treatment needs. CBCT radiation levels are lower, however, than medical CT scans, which use a fan-shaped beam that can expose a patient to ten times the radiation of a CBCT. For dental care, a CBCT machine also produces greater image detail than an MRI.

Depending on your needs, CBCT may one day be a part of your dental care.  With their range and accuracy, it could play a major role in helping you attain good health.

If you would like more information on cone beam diagnostics, 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 “Getting the Full Picture with Cone Beam Dental Scans.”

By Phil Hart, DDS
January 11, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Smile problems? Dental bonding can make your teeth look like new again! Dental bonding is among the easiest and dental bondingleast expensive of cosmetic dentistry procedures. Dr. Phil Hart is a Bartlett, TN dentist who offers a full range of family dental services. He is one of the top dentists in Bartlett, TN. Here's everything you've ever wanted to know about dental bonding.

What is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is the application of a tooth-colored resin material using a curing light and adhesives. Dental bonding is typically used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of stained, cracked, or chipped teeth. Dental bonding is also used to close gaps between teeth.

Benefits of Dental Bonding

The dentist can handle the entire procedure in his office, and it can be accomplished in one dental visit. Dental bonding does not involve the use of anesthesia, expect when it's used for repairing tooth decay. Very little tooth enamel is removed with this procedure, which gives it an advantage over options like dental crowns and veneers.

How to Care for Bonded Teeth

Cigarette smoke and dark-colored beverages can stain the resin used in dental bonding. To prevent stains, avoid smoking and drinking these types of beverages during the first 48 hours after the procedure. In addition, brush your teeth twice a day and have them cleaned twice a year by your Bartlett, TN, dentist.

Ready for a change and to give yourself a smile you'll love? Say yes to dental bonding! Call Dr. Phil Hart in Bartlett, TN, at (901) 386-9299, right now to schedule your next dental appointment. Dental bonding won't just improve your smile, but also change your life for the better.


Not long ago, the most affordable option for total tooth loss was a removable denture. Dentures, prosthetic (false) teeth set in gum-colored acrylic plastic bases, can effectively restore function and appearance. But the appliance continues to have one major drawback: it can accelerate bone loss in the jaw.

Like other living tissues, older bone cells die and become absorbed into the body (resorption). Normally they're replaced by newer cells. The forces generated when we chew our food travel through the teeth to stimulate this new growth. This stimulus ends when we lose our teeth, and so cell replacement can slow to an abnormal rate. Eventually, this causes bone loss.

Removable dentures can't provide this stimulation. In fact, the pressure generated as they compress the gums' bony ridges can even accelerate bone loss. That's why over time a denture's fit can become loose and uncomfortable — the bone has shrunk and no longer matches the contours of the dentures.

In recent years, though, a new development has been able to provide greater support to dentures while at the same time slowing or even stopping bone loss. We can now support dentures with dental implants.

Implants are best known as individual tooth replacements: a titanium metal post replaces the root, while a life-like porcelain crown attaches to the post to replace the visible tooth. In addition to providing a longer-lasting alternative to removable dentures, implants provide a very important health benefit: they improve bone density because they mimic the function of natural teeth. Bone cells are naturally attracted to the titanium; they adhere to the titanium post and are stimulated to grow through the action of chewing, increasing bone density and securing the implant's hold in the jaw.

Using the same technology we can support removable dentures, or even full fixed bridges. Rather than rest directly on the bony ridges, a denture can make a secure connection through a coupling system with just a few strategically placed implants. We can also permanently attach a full bridge by fastening it to a few implants with screws.

Not only do we eliminate the pressure from dentures compressing the gums and bone tissue, we can actually stimulate bone growth with the implants. Although more costly upfront than traditional dentures, unlike traditional dentures which must be replaced every five to seven years, long-lasting implants may be more cost-effective over the long-run.

If you would like more information on implant-supported tooth replacement, 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 “New Teeth in One Day.”