8/12/2014 6:39:43 PM

Dental technology has come a long way for restoring teeth that are broken, damaged, or missing. There are three main paths to restoring the presence of a missing tooth, any of which could be the most appropriate method for you, depending on factors that include: the number and condition of remaining teeth, and your wishes for treatment. Check out the information below on the most common methods for tooth replacement to find out about which one would be best for you:

Dental Implants

Dental implants are replacement teeth that are permanently placed through oral surgery. These new synthetic teeth are anchored in the jawbone, giving them the stability of a real tooth and offering you a lifelong solution for missing or extracted teeth.

Pros: Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, functioning exactly as the missing tooth or teeth would have. They are durable and have the strength of the jaw behind them – they even promote healthy jawbone density.

Cons: The most costly option of the three. Dental implant surgery can also mean taking time to undergo surgery, as well as waiting for all tissues to heal completely before your implant is finalized with a dental crown.

Fixed Bridges

Fixed bridges use existing teeth as tether points for a synthetic tooth to be placed. In most cases, the teeth on either side of a gap will be contoured to be capped in preparation for the bridge – with the new tooth in the middle – to be permanently cemented in.

Pros: Teeth on either side of dental gap are protected by crowns (or caps). The new replacement tooth is securely anchored in place. Bridges are typically most affordable of the three options.

Cons: Existing tooth enamel must be shaved away to prepare side teeth to receive the bridge, which means altering healthy teeth. Fixed bridges are also prone to damage, as they rely on several dental crowns as part of the restoration.

Full or Partial Dentures

Dentures are special trays of false teeth that are custom-fitted to your mouth. Both upper and lower varieties are made, and need to be cemented into place each day with special adhesive gel for a trustworthy hold. Dentures can be full (for whole arches of missing teeth) or partial (to replace smaller groups of teeth.)

Pros: No surgery is necessary if existing teeth have all fallen out or have been removed. Dentures can be taken in and out at will for easy cleaning. In terms of affordability, they are the middle of the road, when compared to other two methods.

Cons: Special cleaning procedures need to be taken each evening to keep them fresh and healthy. As dentures are removable, they can rub on gum tissue, leading to gum shrinkage and the need to resize your appliance periodically. With the absence of large numbers of natural teeth, the bone in your jaw will deplete, contributing to a sunken-in appearance – which dentures cannot help reverse.

Still not sure what method would be best to solve your own tooth loss issue? Call Dr. Andrew Kelly today to schedule a consultation. A complete smile is only a phone call away!

7/29/2014 6:35:58 PM

There are any number of reasons why a dental emergency may occur, but some of the more common causes include trauma to the mouth (such as an accident or fall), or biting down on an unexpected piece of debris in food that can crack or chip teeth and dental work.

The first thing you should do in a dental emergency is contact our emergency dental office. We will need to know the basics of your problem, such as:

  • Which side of the mouth the issue is on
  • Whether the upper or lower teeth are affected
  • If the problem involves one or several teeth
  • If the problem involves a bridge, implant, or other dental appliance
  • Any additional symptoms – headaches, bad tastes, etc.

We’ll get you into our office immediately for care. It’s important that we see you as soon as possible, as further damage to your teeth and dental work is likely to occur if you neglect to seek care or do not keep your emergency dental appointment.

Care Before Your Appointment

If your dental problem happens at an inopportune time, such as a holiday weekend, during travel, or late at night, you may not be able to call or visit our office right away. If this happens, here are a few precautions you can take until you can make it in to see us:

  • If a filling, bridge or piece of tooth has fallen out, save it to show us during your appointment
  • Avoid chewing on the “bad” side of your mouth
  • Keep the area clean by gently brushing with a toothbrush and rinsing with lukewarm water
  • Avoid chewing gum or eating candies and very hot or cold food and drinks
  • Avoid any contact sports which could cause further injury to your mouth

Above all, be sure to follow any instructions Dr. Kelly and staff provide to ensure proper healing after your emergency dentistry procedure(s). No emergency needs to turn into a disaster. If you’re concerned about a dental problem, call our Clemmons, NC emergency dental office today to schedule an appointment.

7/15/2014 6:28:51 PM

We use our cell phones to do just about everything – get directions, check movie times, and stay in touch with our friends – and now your iPhone can also help safeguard your oral health! Oral Eye is a special app for iPhones and iDevices that uses a few simple instructions and takes 6 “selfies” of your mouth to put you in touch with our dental office — all without visiting us in person.

How Does Oral Eye Work?

Visual examination is a cornerstone of good dentistry, and with the high-quality snaps taken from an iPhone’s camera, Dr. Kelly is able to see many of the superficial signs and symptoms of common dental issues. When you submit your Oral Eye checkup and specific questions to our office (just use dentist code “DrKelly”), our team will be able to spot problem areas and discuss treatment options before you even come in for a checkup.

Don’t Wait and Worry

No one wants to panic over a “little thing” with their tooth, but they also don’t want to pass up an appointment if something may be very wrong. Oral Eye provides a solution to potentially disastrous “wait-and-see” scenarios by putting you in touch with Dr. Kelly – at no cost to you! You can quickly and easily fill out your Oral Eye query at work on your lunch break, or at home between tasks.

Communication with your Dentist Made Easy

With the Oral Eye app, Dr. Kelly can send you messages, along with his original diagnosis, right within the app itself. We’re even able to circle and write on images to illustrate issues, and can discuss your treatment plan with you – without having to make a phone call or even send an e-mail.

The iPhone features apps and powerful tools for revolutionizing your lifestyle – now use it to keep your smile healthy and strong. Try the Oral Eye app in the app store today! Use “DrKelly” as your code when you sign up and you’ll be instantly connected to our dental office in Clemmons, NC.

7/1/2014 6:21:47 PM

When most people consider dental health, the main focus tends to be on teeth – their color, absence of cavities, and so on. Your gums, however, are just as – if not more – important to examine and protect when ensuring overall dental health. Periodontal disease is a broad term for inflammation surrounding a tooth, which can cause pain, tooth decay and even tooth loss, if left untreated. Concerned that you might have periodontal issues? Here are a few tips from our Clemmons, NC dental office to keep these gum-line problems at bay:

Brush All Tooth Surfaces – The bacteria that causes periodontal disease loves to sneak into little pockets and niches between the gums and teeth. Neglecting to brush all sides of a tooth – front, back and chewing surfaces – can give bacteria room to move in. Brush well and rinse well afterwards to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria that can contribute to periodontal inflammation.

Don’t Forget to Floss – Many people are guilty of flossing less than they should – or worse, not at all. Flossing removes food particles that get stuck between teeth, before bacteria have the chance to flourish or get wedged below the gum-line where it can cause damage. While a dental checkup with Dr. Kelly’s office will typically involve cleaning between the teeth, it’s important to keep up the practice once you’re at home.

Self-Checks – When there’s an issue with your gums, you will likely be the first one to notice. If your gums are tender, sore to the touch, bleeding, or exhibit other unusual symptoms, it’s time to make an appointment with our dental team. Ignoring these signs gives periodontal disease time to get worse, while a quick phone call to our dental office can head off unnecessary discomfort and help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.

What If I Already Have Periodontal Disease?

While even those who currently have periodontal complications can benefit from these tips, dental treatment will be needed to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar and help reverse gum disease symptoms. There may also be calculus present – a hardened plaque that requires the assistance of a dental hygienist to remove, or “scale” off. If a deep cleaning (referred to as root planning and scaling) isn’t enough to alleviate your periodontal disease, our caring dental team will discuss appropriate surgical options with you. These surgeries will typically involve smoothing out rough areas of the tooth root in order to give bacteria fewer footholds to attach to under the gums.

Routine dental care is vital to preventing and treating periodontal disease and its symptoms. If you are currently experiencing gum pain or sensitivity, call our Clemmons, NC dental office today to make an appointment.

6/17/2014 6:05:50 PM

For approximately 5 to 8% of the population, the prospect of siting in a dental chair can cause anxiety, stress, or fear. The staff at our office understands that fear of the dentist can be a big obstacle to obtaining proper dental care. With this in mind, we have been trained in several sedation dental methods to help keep you deeply relaxed throughout dental care.

The two most common methods used in sedation dentistry are the inhalation of nitrous oxide – a special gas that elevates your mood and relieves anxiety – and oral conscious sedation, in which you are given any of several types of anxiety-relieving medications in pill form prior to your dental procedure. Both of these methods are offered at our office. We are happy to help you select which method is best for you! Consider the following ways to help facilitate your dental treatment with sedation:

- Ask Dr. Kelly or our staff – A dental professional who is already familiar with your case will offer the best guidance for an effective sedation method for your dental treatment. When you visit us for sedation dentistry, we take the time to get to know your concerns and unique oral health situation to proceed in the best way possible.

-Consider previous medical experiences – If you’ve ever had oral conscious sedation or nitrous oxide administered before, be sure to relay your experiences – both positive and negative – to our staff. If you’ve had an adverse reaction to nitrous oxide or a certain type of anti-anxiety medication, we will avoid it for your procedure.

-Be informed about what to expect afterwards – Nitrous oxide generally doesn’t linger for very long after a procedure and requires a mask providing a steady, measured flow of the gas for application. Oral conscious sedation medications, on the other hand, do tend to stay in the bloodstream for a while after the procedure. If you elect to take one of these pills, be sure you have a ride home from the office available.

If you have any questions or concerns about either method of sedation dentistry, our staff will be happy to answer them and discuss your options with you. Don’t be nervous – call our dental office in Clemmons, NC today and discover anxiety-free oral health.

6/3/2014 6:00:09 PM

There are any number of reasons why your smile may be less-bright than it was a few years ago – medications, coffee, tea, and wine can all contribute to staining. There are multiple methods for restoring your teeth to a brighter white, but before you select one, bear in mind that one whitening method isn’t necessarily as effective as another.

The Problems with Over-the-Counter Whitening Kits

If you decide to pick up a whitening kit at a drug store, consider how the brand you’re purchasing is able to mass-market to consumers across the nation – by making a one-size-fits-all tray, adhesive strip, or other product. Sure, that whitening kit may produce halfway decent results on a wide cross-section of users, but what happens if you happen to be outside of that section? You’ll be left with teeth that are still stained and you’ll also be out the money for the kit. Variables such as the following are only a few of the issues that you may run into when using boxed teeth whitening solutions:

  • Size of your mouth (too small/large for pre-packaged trays or strips)
  • Compatibility of lifestyle (long, inconvenient timing periods)
  • Health/allergy concerns (no dentist to consult)
  • Broken trays or product (associated with mass-production)

Teeth Whitening at our Dental Office

The staff at Dr. Andrew Kelly’s dental office isn’t simply trained to provide teeth whitening – they use cosmetic dentistry solutions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for your dental health. With custom-fitted whitening trays, customized use instructions, and a helpful team that’s ready to answer any of your questions, you’ll never have to be in the dark. In addition to tray methods of whitening, Dr. Kelly and his dental office staff can make personalized suggestions for other cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as porcelain veneers or caps, if your situation calls for them.

Just the same as a bottle of bronzer can’t replace the natural glow of a tropical tan, there’s no store-bought substitute for professional cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you’d like a brighter smile, make the right decision and call our Clemmons, NC dental office today to make an appointment for a consultation. We’re here to make you smile!

12/2/2011 8:53:44 PM

At Dental Center of the Carolinas, we pride ourselves on staying in-the-know about technological advances in dentistry, so why not start a blog and remain better connected?!  Stay tuned for future posts and helpful dental information.

We’ll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we’re there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Dental Center of the Carolinas, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here’s to your best oral health ever!

- Andrew Kelly, DDS