Wisdom Teeth Can be a Pain
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

General Dentistry to the Rescue

General Dentistry to the Rescue

Maintaining a healthy, winning smile is easy with the help of general dentistry. People have all kinds of excuses for avoiding dental checkups. Don’t have the time? Advancements in procedures make treatment faster and more efficient, and extended hours allow patients to better fit appointments in their schedules. Too expensive? Many procedures are reasonably priced and most offices offer financial plans. Afraid of the dentist? General dentistry offers options for maintaining patient comfort and minimizing pain.

Once you realize there is no good excuse for skipping dental treatment, you should go for checkups twice a year for optimum care. Prevention is often the key to having the best oral health. Routine checkups identify early warning signs of issues like tooth decay or gum disease, so that problems can be corrected before becoming severe. Thorough examinations, diagnostic tests like X-rays, and regular professional cleanings are all steps to a healthy smile.

General dentists also teach proper hygiene methods so that you can keep your mouth in good shape between checkups. Routine dental care also may prevent harmful bacteria from entering your bloodstream and damaging other parts of your body.

If problems are diagnosed when you visit your dentist, various treatments can be performed to restore your oral health. General dentists treat all kinds of issues and typically offer dental fillings, root canal therapy, extractions, bonding, crowns, dentures and more. If there are procedures that you need that your general dentist doesn’t perform or would prefer you visit a specialist for advanced treatment, you’ll be referred to a qualified and experienced doctor.

General dentistry can make the difference between a dull, damaged, unhealthy smile and one that will look nice and function well for the rest of your life. Don’t hesitate in visiting your dentist regularly for optimum oral health.

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

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Types of Sedation Dentistry

In order to ensure your comfort and ease during a dental procedure, sedation dentistry is often the best option. Many levels are available, including conscious oral sedation, inhaled sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation.
Conscious oral sedation minimizes patient anxiety while allowing the patient to remain partially alert. Oral sedatives are used to accomplish minimal to moderate sedation. They come in the form of a pill, and are often taken within an hour of your dental procedure. Some dentists recommend a mild oral sedative the night before an appointment to ease anxiety and ensure a good night’s rest.

Depending on the dosage and on the individual recipient, an oral sedative can sometimes cause the patient to “doze off,” but the patient will never be fully unconscious and will awaken with a gentle shake. Even though you are never fully asleep during conscious oral sedation dentistry, you may not drive yourself home because you will not be fully alert.

Inhaled sedation utilizes nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” This gas is inhaled through a mask while your dentist controls the amount you receive. This type of sedation allows a patient to relax and to be fully comfortable, but to still be responsive. Nitrous oxide sedation has a tendency to wear off quickly. Because of this, you may be able to drive yourself home after your procedure.

IV sedation (sometimes known as “sleep dentistry”) provides the deepest, most relaxed sedation during dental procedures. Despite the name, IV/sleep sedation does not cause you to completely lose consciousness. Because the drugs used naturally produce a full or partial memory loss while active in your system, you may not remember anything that happened during your procedure. IV sedation is the fastest of the sedation dentistry methods. The amount of sedation is controlled by your dentist. You should not drive after IV sedation, as you may not be fully alert for a period of time.

Talk to your dentist about which sedation is right for you to ensure your dental procedure goes well and that you are comfortable throughout treatment.

Schedule your appointment at our Morehead City dental office

Enhancing Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Enhancing Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Your smile is a noticeable part of your appearance, and yellow dingy teeth can leave a negative impression on others. Most people have to work at having a bright sparkly smile, because teeth can discolor with age, diet, and lifestyle.

You may not realize that sipping a glass of red wine or coffee can be a detriment to your smile, as can sugary items that allow acids to attack your tooth enamel. Smoking is an even worse culprit. It not only leaves ugly spots on the surface of teeth, it also contributes to poor gum health.

If your teeth are already stained or if you’re having a hard time breaking the habits that discolor them, teeth whitening is a good way to improve the look of your smile. There are numerous methods to regain the natural glow of your teeth, ranging from over-the-counter techniques for home use to professional treatments in an office setting.

Whitening products available at your local drug or grocery store include things like toothpaste, chewing gum, mouthwash, gels, and whitening strips. These are readily available and usually inexpensive options. Most of these products are simple to use and can be done in the convenience of your home when you choose. However, over-the-counter products are not as strong as professional methods. This means that results are not dramatic and usually take a long period of time of consistent use. Also, the effects may not last as long as you hope before it’s time to consider whitening again.

Professional teeth whitening is often performed by general and cosmetic dentists in an office environment. Bleaching is a popular professional method. The biggest advantage of in-office treatment is the fast results, with a visibly brighter smile evident in about an hour. Results are often dramatic, lightening teeth by several shades. Professionals trained and experienced in these methods provide safe and effective treatment. Methods available professionally may cost a bit more than home options, but the dramatic results may be worth it.


Our dental office is located in Morehead City

Dental Implants: An Alternative to Dentures and Bridges

Dental Implants: An Alternative to Dentures and Bridges

In the past, replacing lost teeth meant getting dentures or bridges. Even though these offered the best way at the time to restore your mouth’s appearance and function, technology has improved through the development of dental implants. The main drawbacks of bridges and dentures is that they do not feel or look just like real teeth, and it is difficult to chew tough foods. The advantage of implants is that they look and perform so well that you can’t even tell they are not your natural teeth.

Made from titanium, dental implants are screws that are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. They are light and malleable, but durable and strong. The titanium screws are implanted into your jawbone and given time to heal. Once healing is complete, one or multiple crowns are placed on top of the implant to recreate your missing teeth. One implant can hold more than one screw, so it is possible to attach as many crowns as needed to replace your missing teeth.

Dental implants look so much like real teeth that others won’t even be able to tell that you have any artificial teeth. You might even forget about it yourself, as they feel real as well. Since the implants are securely placed in your jaw, they are as strong as real teeth and you are able to chew and bite anything that you would normally eat. Another great thing about implants is that they don’t impact any of your adjacent healthy teeth. While bridges and dentures can sometimes damage neighboring teeth because those teeth are necessary for support, implants avoid this problem. You are left with a fully restored and comfortable smile.

If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

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