Improving Your Smile
Enhance Your Smile: Reasons to Visit a Cosmetic Dentist
Your smile is one of the first things people notice, and if you’re not confident in yours, it can be a cause for low self esteem and insecurities. That’s where cosmetic dentists come in. Cosmetic dentists are here to help you be confident in your teeth and smile. There are lots of things cosmetics dentists can do to make you love your smile. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of just some of the reasons why you should visit a cosmetic dentist.
Reasons to Visit a Cosmetic Dentist
- Options: Invisalign®, veneers
- Benefit: Straighten teeth without traditional braces, providing a discreet and convenient solution.
Replacing Missing Teeth
- Options: Crowns and bridges, implants, dentures
- Benefit: Restore functionality and aesthetics, filling gaps and completing your smile.
Whitening Your Teeth
- Options: Professional teeth whitening
- Benefits: Achieve a brighter, sparkling smile with longer-lasting results.
No matter if it’s a small change or a big change, cosmetic dentists can help give you confidence in your smile again. Call us at (980) 222-7501 to set up an appointment to talk with our dentists about what we can do to get you loving your smile again.
Severe Tooth Decay: How Does It Occur?
Tooth decay, or cavities, results from the softening of tooth enamel due to acid produced by plaque bacteria breaking down sugar. Without treatment, cavities can lead to various dental problems, including toothaches and loss.
Causes of Tooth Decay
Eating and Drinking
- Food particles and carbohydrates left on teeth contribute to decay.
- Brush and floss thoroughly, especially after consuming sugary foods and drinks, to remove lingering particles.
- Reduced saliva leads to increased plaque buildup and acidity.
- Stay hydrated to promote saliva production, aiding in plaque removal and acid neutralization.
Poor Oral Hygiene
- Inadequate brushing, flossing, and dental visits contribute to decay.
- Maintain daily oral hygiene practices and attend regular dental check-ups to prevent decay and detect early signs.
- Accumulated plaque attacks tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
- Remove plaque through proper brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings to prevent decay progression.
While tooth decay can be scary, the good news is that we are here for you. We can address the issue and find a solution for you in no time. If you think you’re experiencing tooth decay, call us at (980) 222-7501 and we’ll get you an appointment in the near future.
Managing Extreme Tooth Pain At Home
Experiencing extreme tooth pain can be both distressing and debilitating. It’s one of those discomforts that you can’t ignore and often leaves you scrambling for relief. While the definitive solution should always be a visit to the dentist, there are several measures you can take at home to manage the pain until your appointment.
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
For inflammation-related tooth pain, Ibuprofen (like Advil) can be particularly effective. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is another alternative, especially if you’re unable to take Ibuprofen. These medications can help reduce pain and swelling. However, it’s crucial to use them as directed and remember they are not a long-term solution.
Salt Water Rinse
A time-tested remedy for oral discomfort is a simple salt water rinse. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gently swish it around your mouth. This can help reduce swelling and cleanse the area, potentially easing some pain.
Applying a cold compress or an ice pack to the outside of your cheek can help reduce swelling and numb the area, offering temporary relief. Do this for 15-20 minutes every few hours.
Clove oil has natural analgesic and antibacterial properties. Applying a small amount to the affected area can temporarily ease tooth pain. Use a cotton ball or swab to apply it gently.
Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages
While dealing with tooth pain, avoid very hot or cold foods and beverages as they can exacerbate the pain. Similarly, steer clear of sugary, acidic, or hard foods.
Elevate Your Head
When resting or sleeping, keep your head in an elevated position. Lying flat can increase blood pressure in the tooth area, potentially worsening the pain.
Keep it Clean
Continue to gently brush and floss, ensuring no additional food particles aggravate the affected area.
While these home remedies can provide temporary relief, they are not substitutes for professional dental care. Extreme tooth pain often signals a serious underlying issue that requires the attention of a dentist. Schedule an appointment immediately if pain persists.
At Summit Family Dentistry, we understand how critical it is to address dental emergencies promptly. If you’re experiencing severe tooth pain, don’t delay in seeking professional help.
Call us at (980) 222-7501 to schedule an appointment. Our team is ready to provide the relief you need and the comprehensive care your dental health deserves.
Sedation: Making Your Dental Procedure as Comfortable as Possible
As we age, we come to realize that several things we disliked during childhood were, in fact, beneficial for us. Occasionally, we even develop a fondness for some of those things, like vegetables or going to bed early. However, let’s face it – there are times when we empathize with an irate eight-year-old throwing a tantrum in the dentist’s waiting area. Dental visits rarely end up being anyone’s favorite thing to do!
Although visiting the dentist may not scare everyone, for some individuals, the thought of a dental appointment can be stressful and uneasy. In fact, around 15% of Americans feel so anxious about going to the dentist that they opt to avoid it altogether – unfortunately, this can have negative consequences for their oral health. Delaying or skipping dental visits can cause minor dental problems to escalate into more complex and painful issues.
At Summit Family Dentistry, we acknowledge that visiting us might seem daunting, and we strive to ensure that your experience is as stress-free as possible. We offer several ways to make you feel welcome in our office, and one of them is our ability to minimize discomfort during most procedures using modern medical technology.
Usually, a local anesthetic is enough to manage your pain. However, for some people pain isn’t the only concern. Patients who suffer from anxiety, for example, may be concerned the discomfort of a procedure will cause elevated anxiety. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry! Sedation can make your visit a breeze!
Controlling Dental Pain: Local Anesthesia vs. General Anesthesia vs. Sedation
Dentists use three primary methods to manage patients’ pain and stress during procedures:
- Local anesthesia: numbs the immediate area being worked on
- General anesthesia: makes you unconscious for the duration
- Sedative medication: calms you – dentists can choose different levels of sedative
Local anesthesia is applied using a swab or syringe to the targeted skin or muscle area. For some sedatives, a needle or catheter is used to inject them into the patient’s bloodstream. Unlike general anesthesia that renders the patient entirely unconscious and necessitates assistance with breathing and heartbeat, sedatives leave the patient in a semi-conscious state. Consequently, the patient can respond to verbal instructions and doesn’t require close monitoring.
Many sedatives leave the patient with no memory of the procedure, so they don’t have to worry they will have traumatic memories of the procedure. A combination of local anesthesia and sedative medication makes a patient’s experience both painless and more emotionally comfortable.
Oral sedatives (by mouth) often simply calm a person’s nerves a bit. These sedatives leave the patient fully conscious but help them relax during the dental procedure.
The type of sedation a dentist uses depends on individual needs of each patient.
Going to the dentist may not ever be one of your favorite things, but at Summit Family Dentistry we have ways (including sedation) to ensure your dental visit is as comfortable as possible. If you have questions about how we can accommodate you during your visit, or if you have specific questions about any procedure, give us a call and we’ll be happy to ease your anxiety!
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
X-Rays are commonly used by dentists to see beneath your gums and into your bones. However, x-rays use radiation to create their pictures which can cause anxiety in some people. Radiation can have potentially harmful effects and you can find lots of information online about the dangers of radiation. But are dental x-rays really dangerous? Join us at Summit Family Dentistry as we dive into the information about x-rays and radiation.
How safe are dental x-rays?
In short, dental x-rays are considered to be very safe. When performed properly, dental x-rays give off extremely low levels of radiation. Additionally, over the years there have been many improvements to x-ray technology that continue to improve the safety of the procedure.
Just how little radiation do you get exposed to with dental x-rays? A set of 4 bitewing x-rays will expose you to 0.4mrem of radiation. Compare that to the amount of radiation you are exposed to from a variety of things you do in your daily life – drinking water exposes you to 5mrem per year and using natural gas for heating/cooking exposes you to 9mrem per year. You are even exposed to 35mrem of natural radiation from the soil every year.
We also take additional safety precautions to minimize your exposure to radiation during the x-ray. We will have you wear a lead apron to protect most of your body. We also have a leaded thyroid collar that protects the thyroid, which is more sensitive to radiation. If you are pregnant, please let your dentist know so they can take extra precautions or they may decide against taking x-rays at that time to protect you and your fetus.
What are the benefits of dental x-rays?
Dental x-rays are very useful and help us diagnose a number of oral health problems that can cause patients pain and discomfort. Letting these issues go unchecked can cause far worse problems than the small amount of radiation received from the x-ray. The problems that we can identify include:
- Tooth decay occurring between the teeth
- Bone loss
- Tumors or other growths
- Changes in a root canal
- Infections between the teeth and gums
If these problems are not promptly addressed, they can lead to serious long-term issues for your oral health.
Overall, the benefits of having x-rays taken vastly outweigh the risks associated with being exposed to such a small amount of radiation. If you have more questions or concerns about dental x-rays, call our Denver, NC dental office at (980) 222-7501 and we will be happy to give you more information.
Toothache Causes & Home Remedies
A toothache is a pain in or around a tooth. Toothaches can be caused by simple issues like a popcorn kernel stuck in your gum to more serious dental problems like an abscess or broken tooth. Some tooth pains won’t get better on their own and you will need to see a dentist for treatment. If you’re suffering from a toothache, Summit Family Dentistry in Denver, NC can help!
Toothache causes—and treatment options—can vary. Depending on your symptoms, you could have one of the following issues:
- Tooth decay or untreated cavities
- A tooth abscess (a bacterial infection inside the tooth)
- Tooth crack
- Broken tooth
- Damaged filling
- Gum infection or damage
Toothache pain can range from mild to severe, and it may be constant or intermittent. Pain in your tooth and mouth is the primary symptom of a toothache, but the type of pain can vary from:
- Sharp, throbbing, or constant pain on or around an infected/damaged tooth
- Pain that only occurs when pressure is applied to a tooth, gums, or jaw
- Swollen or painful gums
- Bad taste in the mouth (likely from an infection in a tooth)
- Fever or headache
Home Remedies for Toothaches
If you’re hoping to minimize pain from a toothache, you can try the following home remedies. Please talk with your dentist before using any of the home remedies listed below if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any medical condition that may be impacted by herbal ingredients.
- Saltwater rinse. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water then use a mouthwash.
- Apply a cold compress on/near the area of pain.
- Use over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol or Advil to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Teabags. Apply a cold or warm tea bag to your tooth—but tea can stain teeth so don’t use this method often.
When to See the Dentist
If your pain is severe or has persisted for more than a day or two, it’s time to see your dentist. They can provide guidance on how to relieve your symptoms and prevent future pain. You should also see a dentist if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- trouble swallowing
- general pain that lasts more than one or two days
- pain when you bite or chew
- abnormally red gums
- foul-tasting discharge, or pus
If you’re experiencing tooth pain and need to see a dentist in Denver, NC, contact Summit Family Dentistry today.
Pros and Cons of a Root Canal
A root canal is a dental procedure used to save a tooth that has become infected or injured. The procedure can remove damaged tissues in the tooth and prevent future infection, but is it really worth it? At Summit Family Dentistry in Denver, NC we offer root canal treatment. We will examine the pros and cons of root canals to help you decide if a root canal is right for you.
Cons of Having a Root Canal
While root canals are pretty common, there are some drawbacks to having this procedure done. One of those drawbacks is that it might weaken the tooth. Dentists have to drill through the tooth in order to get to the pulp, and additional decay might have to be removed. If the tooth is too weak to function, the dentist will add a crown to it, which will strengthen the tooth and allow the patient to use it like a natural tooth.
Another disadvantage of having a root canal is the time it takes in order to get one done. In most cases, a patient will only need to go to the dentist once to get this procedure done. However, two to three appointments are required in complicated cases where the infection or damage is severe. Also, patients might need two to three visits to get root canals on upper first molars. Upper first molars have three to five root canals, and each one must be treated, which takes longer to complete.
Root canals can also cause discomfort to the mouth and jaw, as they will have to remain open the entire procedure. While there are some cons to having a root canal, there are also some advantages.
Pros of Having a Root Canal
One of the advantages of getting a root canal is that it keeps the natural tooth. Dentists remove the infected pulp tissue, clean out the root canal and replace it with filling material. Because the patient gets to keep the natural tooth, they don’t have to worry about bone loss. The tooth’s root will also continue to stimulate the bone, so the patient can keep their natural smile.
Another benefit of having a root canal is that it stops tooth pain. Having an inflamed or infected pulp can be pretty painful and can make it difficult to function in everyday life. A root canal cleans out the infected pulp and antibiotics are used to treat the area if needed. Once everything is healed, the toothache will be gone!
If you choose to have a root canal over a tooth extraction, it helps prevent gaps in your mouth. Gaps can lead to alignment issues, which can change your smile and make it difficult to eat. With a root canal, your tooth stays in place so you don’t have to worry about those alignment issues.
Root canals are also more affordable than extracting the tooth and replacing it. You get to keep your real tooth and your real smile.
Like any dental procedure, there are pros and cons. It’s always a good idea to talk with your dentists if you think you may need a root canal. Call Summit Family Dentistry in Denver, NC today and we’d be happy to schedule an appointment with you.Call Summit Family Dentistry
How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay
Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Summit Family Dentistry, in Denver, NC, can help if you are suffering from one or multiple cavities. Let’s take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.
Causes of Cavities
Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
- Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
- Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
- Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.
Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. If you get a cavity, it should be treated right away. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:
- Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
- Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?
Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. So what’s the best teeth whitening option for you?
Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.
Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.
At-Home Whitening Products
Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.
If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance Learn More About Teeth Whitening
What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
One of the hottest topics in dentistry today is the use of dental implants. Implants have certainly revolutionized the field of replacement teeth. If you are considering tooth implants for missing teeth, you need to know the facts. There are pros and cons of dental implants that are carefully weighed by your dentist before surgery can be scheduled.
At Summit Family Dentistry in Denver, NC, we offer dental implant treatment. Research continually shows that dental implants are the best long term solution to replace missing teeth. However, like any type of surgery, there are advantages and disadvantages.
Cons of Dental Implants
No procedure is right for everyone, including dental implants. While there are some risks associated with dental implants, they are relatively mild. The disadvantages include:
1. You have to meet a set of requirements
In order to have dental implant surgery, you first have to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful. You also have to be in good health so your jaw bone can fully recover.
2. The cost of the procedure
While dental implants are the best long term solution for tooth loss, they’re not always the most cost effective. However, dental implants are well worth the price for the comfort, confidence and natural feel they give you.
3. The procedure can be lengthy
Dental implants are not a quick fix and can take several months to complete. If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor. Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.
Pros of Dental Implants
While there are some drawbacks to dental implants, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
1. They look and feel like natural teeth
Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth. Implants also won’t feel any different from your regular teeth. Since the implants are anchored to your jaw, they’ll feel just as strong as your regular teeth too.
2. You can eat and chew with ease
Unlike dentures, implants won’t feel any different than your regular teeth when eating and chewing. Once the dental implant procedure is complete, you can eat what you want! Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
3. Dental implants can last a lifetime
Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
4. They’re easy to take care of
You should take care of your implants the same way you would take care of your regular teeth with daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and a healthy diet.
5. They prevent bone loss
Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, similar to your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts as the root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.
You can see that the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Dental implants have been proven to be a great option for people who suffer from tooth loss. We always want to make our patients look and feel great, and dental implants is a great way to do that. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have, so contact us today!Dental Implants in Denver, NC