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Dental Veneers: Are They Right for You?
Dental Veneers: Are They Right for You?

Dental Veneers: Are They Right for You?

Dental veneers are a highly versatile solution for a number of different problems including discolored, unevenly spaced teeth, and teeth that are slightly misaligned. A dental veneer is a very thin shell that is custom-made by your dentist in Morehead City to fit over your natural tooth, creating a beautiful smile.

How do Dental Veneers Work?

Veneers are made from very thin pieces of tooth colored material and can be used to alter the shape, size and length of your teeth. They can be constructed from composite resin or porcelain. Most are made from porcelain as this material gives beautiful results and is resistant to stains.

What are the Benefits of Choosing Veneers?

  • Veneers look incredibly natural so they’ll blend in beautifully with your real teeth.
  • Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains so they won’t discolor if you like to smoke, drink tea or coffee or red wine.
  • Porcelain veneers come in many different shades, and can whiten your smile while hiding minor imperfections.
  • Dental veneers can be a good alternative to full crowns as they can mend minor chips and cracks.

What Are the Disadvantages of Choosing Veneers?

  • Dental veneers are not usually covered by insurance as they are considered to be cosmetic.
  • Some people find their teeth become more sensitive after their veneers are fitted, as the process removes a small amount of tooth enamel.
  • Dental veneers are not usually reversible and do need renewing periodically.

Will Veneers Work for Me?

Your dentist in Morehead City may recommend porcelain veneers as an alternative to wearing braces. Veneers can be used to correct slightly crooked teeth, or to close up or minimize gaps in between teeth. Veneers are very good for hiding discolored teeth that don’t respond to normal tooth bleaching. Dental veneers are not such a good choice for teeth already weakened by decay or large fillings, and in this case full crowns may be a better option.

If you need a dentist in Morehead City, contact us today

Smoking and Its Effect on Oral Health

Smoking and Its Effect on Oral Health

The dangers of smoking have been well documented over the past few decades. We all know smoking can negatively impact general health, affecting your heart and lungs, but not so many realize smoking can damage oral health. Although you may dislike having nicotine stained teeth, smoking can cause even worse problems for your oral tissues and gums.

The big concern is the increased risk of oral cancer. Smoking is often linked with lung cancer, but smokers are at greater risk of developing oral cancer. Switching to alternative forms of tobacco, for example chewing tobacco doesn’t decrease the risk and could actually raise it.

Another issue is the link between oral health and gum disease. People who smoke are six times more likely to develop gum disease. It’s more difficult for your dentist in Morehead City to treat this condition as smoking makes it harder for gums to heal. In addition, people who smoke have fewer good bacteria in their mouth and larger quantities of bad bacteria which makes fighting this disease even trickier.

It’s best to completely quit smoking and to refrain from using any types of tobacco products. Many people find it difficult to give up due to the physical and psychological addiction caused by nicotine. Your dentist in Morehead City or your family doctor can recommend methods and programs aimed at helping you stop smoking. It’s possible your dentist might suggest more frequent checkups to help protect your oral health, at least until you feel able to give up smoking completely.

If you live in the Morehead City, contact us today

Should I Replace My Fillings?

Should I Replace My Fillings?

All dental fillings will need replacing eventually, and their longevity can be due to a variety of factors. The durability of your dental fillings will depend on the type of material used, the size and location of the filling, and your oral habits.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam has been used to fill teeth for decades, and these silver colored fillings typically last for 10 to 12 years. Eventually they can begin to crumble and leak, and are likely to fail much sooner if you have a particularly heavy bite. Your dentist in Morehead City will check the condition of these fillings at each appointment, and will recommend their replacement if there is evidence of further decay due to the filling leaking or crumbling.

Composite Resin Fillings

These fillings are made from tooth colored composite resin and will usually last between five and seven years. Composite resin is a popular material for fillings due to its virtual invisibility, but these fillings are more expensive as placement is very technique sensitive. Modern composite resins are quite durable and can withstand relatively heavy biting pressure. Over time these fillings can become stained. Your dentist will advise you when replacement is necessary.

Location and Size of the Filling

Fillings that are particularly large are more likely to fail. There is an increased risk that the tooth around the filling will fracture or break as it will have been weakened by the filling placement and the overall loss of tooth structure. Fillings in back teeth are more likely to fail as these come under much more pressure during chewing.

Oral Habits

Oral habits can affect the life span of fillings, including dental hygiene, nail biting and teeth grinding. A lack of dental hygiene will increase the risk of subsequent decay in that tooth, while other habits such as nail biting and tooth grinding can wear down teeth or cause them to chip or fracture. The best way to maintain your fillings is to have regular dental checkups and cleanings with your dentist in Morehead City.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

What Is a Dental Emergency?

What Is a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies can occur quite suddenly, for example toothache can develop overnight, or a tooth may be injured through some sort of trauma. Certain types of dental emergencies require prompt action to avoid permanent damage or infection. Listed below are a few situations that fall into this category.

  • Broken or cracked teeth. Contact your dentist in Morehead City as soon as possible. In the meantime rinse out your mouth with water, and use a cold compress to reduce any swelling.
  • Bleeding lips or tongue. Wash the affected area and try to stem the bleeding through holding a clean piece of gauze over the wound while applying gentle pressure. If the bleeding won’t stop, go to the emergency room straightaway.
  • Jaw injury. If you have injured your jaw, apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling and visit your dental office or emergency room straightaway.
  • Knocked out tooth. Pick up the tooth holding it by its crown and rinse any dirt off the root. Don’t remove any pieces of tissue remaining on the root. If you can, try to reinsert the tooth, holding it in place with a clean finger. Otherwise store the tooth in some clean water and take it to your local dental office or emergency room. Teeth can sometimes be reinserted, but usually only within the first half an hour to an hour.
  • Loose tooth. Contact your dentist immediately if one of your teeth becomes loose. In the meantime use over-the-counter painkillers if required, and a cold compress to reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling or crown. Contact your dentist in Morehead City for an emergency appointment, but in the meantime you may want to reattach the crown using temporary cement from your local drugstore. Otherwise store the crown safely and bring it with you to your appointment. You can also use temporary cement as a temporary filling, or alternatively try a small piece of sugar-free gum.
  • Severe toothache. Gently floss around the affected tooth in case the pain is caused by trapped food debris. Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
  • Gum swelling. This can indicate an abscess and requires immediate treatment to clear the infection. See your dentist as soon as possible.

If you live in the Morehead City, contact us today

Comprehensive Dental Center

Dr. Jack T. Winchester
3705 Symi Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557

Our practice is conveniently located in Morehead City, NC

Our Hours
Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: Closed

Directions to our office