Replace Metal Fillings with Composite Resin Restorations
Replace Metal Fillings with Composite Resin Restorations

Replace Metal Fillings with Composite Resin Restorations

For many years, dentists removed cavities and filled them with metal amalgams. Traditional metal fillings are less expensive and were often the first choice for fixing damaged teeth. Recently, composite resin fillings have become the top method for restoring smiles. Ultimately, the decision rests with the patient; however, many dentists have moved to placing only composite fillings.

Silver fillings actually weaken the natural tooth structure, although they do repair the decayed area. As well, metal fillings contain mercury, which can become toxic in large doses. Metal fillings can expand, contract, or leak from wear over time. In many cases, they also darken with age.

Tinted to match natural teeth, composite resin fillings preserve your bright, white image. With composite resin fillings, less tooth area needs to be removed, which keeps as much of your original tooth in tact as possible. Because tooth-colored fillings actually bond to the tooth, you don’t have to worry about these restorations changing shape or cracking.

To place a composite restoration, your dentist will clean out the decay and prepare the tooth. Then, the doctor will fill the area with the composite material. With a special curing light, your dentist hardens the filling and polishes the tooth.

When you have metal fillings, check with your dentist and request an evaluation of their stability. Some people choose to replace amalgam fillings because of the way they look. If your old fillings develop additional decay or fracture, you will need to have the restorations repaired in order to restore the tooth.

Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Morehead City dentists office.

I Can’t Give Up my Coffee!!

I Can’t Give Up my Coffee!!

You’ve probably seen what coffee can do to a cup. Those brown stains that you see left on your cup are also sticking to your teeth. Coffee is especially hard on your teeth due to an ingredient called tannic acid, which gets into the grooves and pits of your tooth enamel and can stain it brown. Certainly the ideal way to stop the staining is to quit drinking the java, but that’s an unrealistic solution for many people. So what else can you do to save your pearly whites?

Drink smart

First, try and reduce the amount of coffee you drink. If you drink a lot of coffee, even cutting out one cup a day can lessen the dark stains on your teeth. Another suggestion is to drink your coffee in one or two sittings instead of sipping it all day long. Also, try lowering the temperature of your coffee. The hotter the coffee is, the more easily it can stain your teeth. Just letting it cool a couple of degrees can make a difference to your teeth.

Rinse

After every cup of coffee you drink, rinse your mouth with room-temperature water. This will remove some of the staining elements before they have a chance to set in. The water also helps neutralize acids in your mouth, which will lower the bacteria in your mouth that can lead to cavities.

Use a straw

If you like iced coffee or tea, drink it with a straw so that the dark beverage doesn’t directly contact your front lower and upper teeth. Using a straw reduces your teeth’s exposure to liquids that can stain.

Whiten your teeth

Ask your dentist about professional whitening methods, as well as products you can try at home. There are even some brands of whitening toothpaste made especially for coffee drinkers.

Practice good hygiene

Brush your teeth several times a day, especially after drinking coffee. Flossing daily also helps prevent stains, and is important if you add sugar or cream to your cup of joe. See your dentist twice a year for professional cleanings, which can do a better job of removing stains and restoring your smile.

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

Dental Health and Pregnancy

Dental Health and Pregnancy

Waiting for the birth of a baby is an exciting time for any woman. Your body changes in many ways, including in your mouth. Though picking out names and nursery colors is important, taking proper care of your teeth and gums before, during, and after pregnancy will keep your oral health on track. These tips can help you keep your vibrant smile in top shape.

Before Pregnancy
While you are trying to conceive, schedule an appointment with your dentist. At this visit, the dental team can clean your teeth, examine your mouth, and address any issues before you have a baby on the way. Because x-rays are not recommended during pregnancy, this appointment is a good time to have those taken as well.

During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant make sure to tell your dentist right away. Procedures like cosmetic enhancements and X-rays should be avoided during pregnancy. Checkups are very important when you are pregnant, so don’t skip your visit. As a precaution, you should wait until the second trimester to see your dentist.

While your pregnancy progresses, watch for signs of pregnancy gingivitis, which usually involves tenderness, bleeding, or swollen gums. Talk with your dentist if these symptoms appear. Practicing good oral care and eating right will help minimize any impact on your oral health.

After Pregnancy
When you feel up to it, visit your dentist after delivery for a full evaluation of your oral health. Your dental provider can work out a detailed plan to address any issues from the pregnancy and renew your smile.

If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

Your Guide to Common Dental Questions

Your Guide to Common Dental Questions

It’s easy to remember the basics about dental health. Most people know that they need to brush twice a day, floss often, and schedule checkups every six months. The following questions and answers offer important information about your oral health.

How does the dentist find a cavity?
Although some practices now have technology to aid in cavity detection, many dentists check the old-fashioned way. During your exam, the dentist uses a metal instrument to touch the surface of your teeth. If the tooth feels soft, that may indicate the presence of tooth decay.

What’s the difference between amalgam and composite fillings?
For years, metal filling were the choice for repairing teeth damaged by cavities. Over time, amalgam fillings can darken as well as change shape, which can cause them to leak. Now, composite fillings are often used instead. These tooth-colored restorations keep your smile looking good, and they allow for more conservative therapy.

Does teeth whitening work?
If you want a stunning smile, professional teeth whitening can give you beautiful results in many cases. For certain types of discolorations, like tetracycline staining, teeth bleaching may not work, but you could consider other options like porcelain veneers.

Can an adults straighten their teeth?
Absolutely. There is no age limit on a vibrant smile and about 25 percent of orthodontic patients are over 18 years of age. Modern treatment options such as Invisalign clear aligners allow adults to straighten teeth without the embarrassment or discomfort of metal braces.

Is an electronic toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?
Most dentists agree that the best toothbrush is the one that encourages you to brush. Electronic brushes have benefits including ease of use and more thorough coverage. With manual brushes, they are inexpensive and can be easily replaced/

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

Wisdom Teeth Can be a Pain

Wisdom Teeth Can be a Pain

Tooth pain can be one of the most uncomfortable types of pain there is. It can make your whole jaw and head ache, interfere with eating, and cause your teeth to be more sensitive. One common reason for a toothache is your wisdom teeth, which are the molars in the very back of your mouth that develop last. Sometimes they don’t even erupt, but they can still be there under your gums causing trouble. If you experience pain related to wisdom teeth, here are some suggestions.

Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. This way you can find out for sure if your wisdom teeth are to blame for your pain, and decide the best treatment plan for your situation. A dentist examination, which may include x-rays, is the best way to determine exactly what’s going on with your teeth. You may not even be able to see your wisdom teeth, but they might be growing improperly under your gums. Often, wisdom teeth need to be extracted to avoid continued pain or worsening condition. Luckily, wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure that your dentist or oral surgeon is very familiar with, and can provide you with great treatment that will end up relieving your pain.

While waiting for your dental appointment, try applying an over-the-counter numbing gel such as Oragel. This may help relieve your pain at least for a short time. Also, taking non-prescription pain medicines should help. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both good choices to try, especially to subdue the pain when you want to sleep.

Remember that prevention is often the best way to avoid dental pain. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss every day. See your dentist regularly for checkups, because problems with wisdom teeth can sometimes be spotted before you ever begin to feel any pain associated with them. This allows you to deal with the problem before you have to endure a toothache.

Our dental office is located in Morehead City

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.

What is considered an emergency?

Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.

What should I do?

See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
  • Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
  • Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
  • Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
  • Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
  • Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.

Our dental office is located in Morehead City

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