Preparing for Your Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure
Preparing for Your Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure

Preparing for Your Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure

There are many types of cosmetic dental procedures, from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers. While some procedures like veneers require little to no advance preparation, some procedures require more forethought. Make the most of your visit by making the right preparations.

All cosmetic dental procedures should begin with a discussion with your dentist. Your dentist is skilled and experienced. Your dentist best knows your teeth and your dental needs and can give you the advice you need. Some common cosmetic dental procedures and how to prepare for them are explained below.

Teeth whitening: Cleaning your teeth before a tooth whitening treatment will help you achieve better results. If you clean the plaque and tartar off of the tooth surface, the whitening will affect the entire surface of the tooth. Be sure to look at a shade guide before your procedure to establish your existing tooth color and to choose your goal shade. Teeth whitening is not recommended for expectant or nursing mothers, as the effects of the whitening chemicals on unborn children or infants has not been explored.

Oral surgery: Many cosmetic dentistry procedures involve some type of oral surgery. To prepare for your surgery, follow all of the instructions of your surgeon. Make transportation arrangements, as you may not be able to drive. Get your medication in advance, so you will be prepared to take your pain medication or antibiotics immediately following your procedure instead of having to wait and possibly endure pain. Follow all of your pre-op instructions, including any diet restrictions. Plan your recovery diet beforehand, so you will have a variety of healthy, appropriate foods available to you.

Braces: Before braces are applied to your teeth, you will need a full check-up to look for decay or problems with your gums. After application or adjustment, your mouth may be sore. Treat this with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. Because braces may chafe initially against your teeth and gums, have some specialized wax available to place over the bracket to help shield your mouth until your tongue and cheeks adjust.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

Look Out for Oral Cancer

Look Out for Oral Cancer

The word cancer strikes fear and dismay in most people, and it’s no different when the diagnosis is oral cancer. Nearly 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease each year and about 8,000 succumb to it. You should know the risk factors and symptoms so that you can either avoid it completely, or catch it early enough that you’ll have the best chance of recovery.
Who is at risk?
Oral cancer is not contagious, but there are some activities that put you at higher risk for the disease. Both smoked and smokeless tobacco are linked to oral cancer, and the more you use tobacco the greater your risk becomes. Excessive alcohol consumption also increases your risk, and paired with tobacco use your risk is even higher. Sun exposure heightens your chances of developing cancer of the lip.

What are the symptoms?
Oral cancer patients may experience any of these signs of the disease:

  • A sore in the mouth or throat that bleeds often and doesn’t heal within two weeks
  • A thick area or lump in the cheek
  • Patches in your mouth or on your lips that are red, white, or a mixture of the two
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty wearing your dentures
  • A sore throat
  • Tongue or mouth numbness
  • Difficulty chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Earache

What should I do if I have symptoms?
If you notice any of these signs, visit your dentist right away to get screened for oral cancer. When diagnosed early, there is an 80 percent survival rate. Unfortunately many patients wait too long to see their dentist, and late-stage diagnosis is the reason for most oral cancer deaths.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

What is a dental crown?

  • A dental crown encases a damaged tooth completely within a custom-fit cap, or crown, fitting perfectly over the affected tooth. A dental crown is designed specifically for you and your tooth’s particular design, fit and function. It is a restorative therapy that can restore function to a tooth that may have had excessive decay, has been cracked or has recently undergone root canal treatment.

How do dental crowns work?

  • A dental crown covers a damaged tooth entirely and can be used to improve not only the tooth’s appearance, but also its shape or alignment.

What is a dental bridge?

  • A dental bridge makes a literal bridge between two anchor teeth, filling a gap left by a missing tooth that has either fallen out naturally or is the result of acute decay or facial trauma. Dental crowns cover the bordering anchor teeth, allowing the bridge to fit securely and to function as your natural tooth.

What materials are used for dental crowns?

  • Dental crowns can be porcelain (ceramic), porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold or other metal alloy. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be designed to closely match the color and translucency of your natural teeth. Metal alloys are usually stronger, and are a better choice for back teeth.

Is a dental cap a crown?   

  • Yes! A dental cap is another name for a dental crown.

Am I a candidate for a dental bridge?

  • If you are missing a tooth and you have adjacent teeth that are stable, dental bridges are for you. Even if you are missing a front tooth or a tooth that has only one border, there are types of dental bridges that could meet your needs.

Are there alternatives to a dental bridge?

  • Dental implants are rising in popularity as technology has improved. A dental implant can restore a single tooth or can restore several, and are the standard of care for the replacement of a missing tooth today. Because a dental implant continues to stimulate the jawbone, it doesn’t lead to bone loss over time.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

The Right Diet for a Healthy Smile

The Right Diet for a Healthy Smile

Everyone knows that what you eat matters for your health. Your diet impacts your heart, weight, and other areas, including your oral health. Eating a balanced diet will keep your teeth and gums strong, which protects your smile.

These tips will help you make your diet count:

• Choose foods high in calcium. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese offer you great sources of calcium, a mineral that helps your teeth and bones in good shape. Green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach also provide calcium.

• Limit sugar intake. Though a cookie or the occasional piece of chocolate won’t hurt your smile, eating too many sweets can contribute to cavities. It also important to watch your carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and potatoes, because these foods may also increase the chance of tooth decay.

• Say no to sodas. Carbonated beverages contain phosphorous and carbonation, acidic substances that can cause enamel erosion. Because sports drinks have a high sugar content, you should limit those as well.

• Go for fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery are good options because they are high in nutrients and won’t stick to your teeth.

• Cut back on snacks. When you eat between meals, the food stays on your teeth and can boost your risk for cavities.

• Drink plenty of water. Not only does water have fluoride to strengthen your teeth, but it also helps wash away food and plaque from your teeth.

• Chew sugarless gum. Studies have proven that chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production. Saliva naturally reduces plaque build up and rinses away food particles that encourage the development of tooth decay.

Everyone knows that what you eat matters for your health. Your diet impacts your heart, weight, and other areas, including your oral health. Eating a balanced diet will keep your teeth and gums strong, which protects your smile.

These tips will help you make your diet count:

• Choose foods high in calcium. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese offer you great sources of calcium, a mineral that helps your teeth and bones in good shape. Green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach also provide calcium.

• Limit sugar intake. Though a cookie or the occasional piece of chocolate won’t hurt your smile, eating too many sweets can contribute to cavities. It also important to watch your carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and potatoes, because these foods may also increase the chance of tooth decay.

• Say no to sodas. Carbonated beverages contain phosphorous and carbonation, acidic substances that can cause enamel erosion. Because sports drinks have a high sugar content, you should limit those as well.

• Go for fruits and vegetables. Apples, carrots, and celery are good options because they are high in nutrients and won’t stick to your teeth.

• Cut back on snacks. When you eat between meals, the food stays on your teeth and can boost your risk for cavities.

• Drink plenty of water. Not only does water have fluoride to strengthen your teeth, but it also helps wash away food and plaque from your teeth.

• Chew sugarless gum. Studies have proven that chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production. Saliva naturally reduces plaque build up and rinses away food particles that encourage the development of tooth decay.

At Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry we care about your smile and your oral health. Richmond, VA Cosmetic Dentist

We look forward to seeing you in our Morehead City dental office

Comprehensive Dental Center

Dr. Jack T. Winchester
3705 Symi Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557
252-247-3510

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