EXPERIENCE

a different kind of dentistry.

Lexington Dentist

 

Why You Should Visit A Family Dentist Regularly

a family dentist talks with a mother and her daughter.

When was the last time you and your family had a dentist’s checkup? Has it been months? Maybe even stretching into years?

There is a reason that family dentistry exists to make sure you and your family are maintaining happy and healthy smiles. Not sure if it’s worth it? Read on for a complete guide on why you should visit your family dentist. 

What Is a Family Dentist? 

A family dentist ensures that your teeth are on the right track to a perfect smile. They can alert you to any concerns that you might be unaware of, or recommend procedures that you might be interested in. They can serve all of your family members for check-ups, teeth cleanings, fillings, and more.

A family dentist is a necessity for a healthy family. Because of this, you should visit your dentist regularly.

Not convinced yet? 

Let’s discuss some of the benefits of a family dentist.

Benefits of a Family Dentist

Having a family dentist is so much more than an occasional visit when something pops up. You will have a professional individual ready to dedicate their care to help you. 

Routine Check-Ups

dental appointment scheduled on a calendar

Many people only ever visit the dentist when they start to have a toothache or a problem.

The truth is, you should be visiting the dentist at least every six months, whether you are having a problem or not.

These routine dental check-ups can ensure that no problems are arising. This way, you can fix the problem before it becomes painful or an issue.

Many times a dentist can see an issue with your teeth and you may not be experiencing any pain at all. Because of the lack of pain, you believe your teeth are fine. You believe you don’t have to go to the dentist.

When we start experiencing dental pain it is because a problem is progressively getting worse. With routine check-ups, you can spot issues before they become painful. When they are caught early on, fixing the problem will be less of a hassle too. 

Routine dental check-ups are an essential part of your dental health. 

Dental Cleaning

Just like having a check-up, you should also be having your teeth cleaned every six months too. 

This isn’t just a simple brushing that lasts a couple of minutes; it is a deep clean that removes plaque build-up and polishes your teeth. 

The recommended time for brushing your teeth is at least two minutes. The average American, however, only spends about 45 seconds brushing their teeth. 

This is over a minute less than what we are supposed to be brushing. Because of this, seeing a dentist regularly for a tooth cleaning helps get rid of the plaque and dirt that you aren’t brushing away. 

That said, even though a dental cleaning can help your teeth, you should still spend at least two minutes twice a day brushing your teeth for good oral health.

Promote Oral Health in Your Family

It is important to establish good oral health in your family early on. Your children should understand at a young age how important it is to take care of their teeth and how to do so. 13% of children ages 5-19 are reported to have untreated tooth decay. 

When a family dentist does a check-up, they can also recommend to you and your family how to keep up proper health. They could spot possible issues in your teeth cleaning routine and help you understand what you should be doing.

Having a professional give your kids the tips and advice they need can push them towards making an effort with their oral health. 

If your children understand how to properly take care of their teeth, this will also prevent dental issues in the future. If your child develops a cavity or other issue due to poor oral health, this will be more costly to fix in the long run and an unpleasant experience for your child.

Besides your children, maybe you yourself also need some help understanding how you should be better at taking care of your teeth. Our dentist can push you in the right direction and even offer you the different services available for your care.

Having good oral health is important for both you and your family. 

Develop a Relationship

Having a family dentist isn’t a one-and-done experience. Our family dentistry will stick with you as your family ages. 

Your dentist can develop a relationship with you and know exactly how to care for your needs and the needs of your family. Having this relationship is helpful because your dentist will automatically know how to help your child when they need it. 

Being able to have a stable and regular dentist will help the dentist serve your family properly and maintain their health for the years to come. 

What To Look For In a Family Dentist? 

You shouldn’t just choose any family dentist. While having one is important, choosing the right one is just as important. 

Testimonials

Searching for the testimonials of a family dentist is important to see the experiences of other people.

Everyone was so friendly, Dena did a awesome job on cleaning my teeth. You can tell she loves her job and takes pride in it. Dr Moulton took the time to explain all my options and get a game plan going for my parcel. Would recommend

Geraldine Ricard
5-stars review

Was the customer service good? Were the people friendly? Did they feel properly cared for? Was it worth the pricing?

If a dentist has bad reviews, chances are it’s not the dentist for you. You want to make sure you choose a dentist that is reliable and recommendable. 

Insurance

Before choosing your family dentist, you will want to call ahead and check to see if they accept your insurance. If they don’t accept your insurance, it can be much more costly in the long run.

There are other options to pay for your dental visit outside of your insurance, such as an HSA or financing options. A good and caring dentist will be flexible so you can receive the dental care you need.

Credentials

In the United States, all licensed dentists must have three basic requirements. They must have an education requirement, a writen exam requirement, and a clinical exam requirement. Dentists will also proudly display their licenses on the wall.

Who Are They?

Lastly, you should consider who your dentist is as a person. What are they like? Are they polite? Caring? Happy? 

Your experience with your dentist could depend on how this person interacts with you. Schedule an appointment for a consultation to get to know your dentist.

Services of a Family Dentist

A family dentist offers much more than just routine check-ups and teeth cleaning. 

Depending on what you are looking for, your dentist can offer you a vast array of services to fit your needs. 

Dental Implants

dental implant 3d illustration

Maybe you have a missing tooth that needs to be replaced. Not all family dentists can handle this for you. But Lexington Family Smiles can perform dental implants.

Dental implants are a perfect way of fixing up your smile and blend the implant in with the rest of your teeth. 

The dental implant is placed into your jaw bone by the dentist. It naturally infuses with the rest of the bone over time.

If you need a fix for your smile, dental implants could be the solution, and a family dentist can help you. 

Porcelain Dental Veneers

Is your smile a little crooked? Are your teeth chipped in certain places?

Porcelain veneers could be the solution you are looking for. 

These veneers create the natural look of teeth and blend in perfectly. Each set is crafted specifically for the individual to make sure it looks natural and authentic. 

The best part is, dental veneers require the same care as your normal teeth, so you won’t need to switch up your routine. 

Teeth Whitening

Maybe your smile is discolored from aging or products that stained your teeth. 

You can brighten your smile with our teeth whitening service. Teeth whitening is a simple way to get the smile you want so it can be as bright as ever. 

Rather than having the treatment done in the office, you can even do a take-home treatment for your convenience. 

There’s no excuse for you to keep living with a smile you might not love.

Now What?

This is only the beginning of the services that Lexington Family Smiles offers. 

You now know the importance and benefits of having a family dentist, so what’s stopping you? 

Contact us today to get started on your healthy smile!

Pediatric Dentistry: Caring for Children’s Dental Health

Young boy having dental work done by female dentist.

Your child begins to get teeth during the first few months of their life. As they grow, you’ll learn to care for the incoming teeth and their dental hygiene. Just when you get used to the routine, their teeth will start to fall out, around 6-7 years.

Even baby teeth need proper dental care. Dental problems don’t go away when baby teeth fall out, so it’s important to learn how to care for your child’s teeth at the beginning.

We’ve put together some tips about when to start and what to know about pediatric dentistry below. Take a look!

When to Start

Caring for children’s teeth and gums start early. In fact, as soon as their first tooth comes in, you should begin caring for their oral hygiene.

You can begin brushing their one tooth as soon as they have it. This will help your child get used to how a toothbrush feels in their mouth and used to the routine of brushing after breakfast and before bedtime.

Choose a fun soft bristle toothbrush that fits their mouth to help make it an enjoyable activity for them. You can involve your child by taking them to the store to help pick out their toothbrush with a favorite character on it. Be sure to replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 months to prevent bacteria buildup.

Children’s dentistry is an important part of their oral hygiene as well. You can schedule your infant or toddler’s first dental appointment as early as 12 months of age.

At their first appointment, our dentist will examine your child’s existing teeth and help you understand how to care for their oral health. Dr. Moulton is focused on family care, and he has a family of his own. Even the smallest patients are important.

Getting Started with Pediatric Dentistry

After their first appointment, you may wonder when you would need to return with your child. How often children should visit a pediatric dentist is a question in many parents’ minds, but the answer is the same as for adult patients.

You should schedule a dentist visit for your child every 6 months to monitor their oral health and catch any possible problems as early as possible. Having the help of a dental professional can help you navigate the ins and outs of your children cutting teeth, losing teeth, and keeping teeth healthy. They can tell you what signs and symptoms to watch out for, like those below.

Signs of a Problem

Being involved in your child’s dental care is one of the best ways for you to detect possible issues. Help them brush and floss, and watch carefully as they practice on their own. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that there may be a dental problem.

Look for alignment issues with their teeth, along with white or brown spots on their teeth.

It’s a red flag if you have any indications of pain associated with their teeth. Check for sensitivity to hot or cold and irritated gums. Swelling can show you where potential pain spots might be. 

If you detect one of the problems above, or another one that you’re worried about it, reach out to us. We can help you schedule an appointment with the dentist to examine the child’s teeth and recommend treatment.

In the event that your child needs fillings, there are tooth-colored options so they are less noticeable. They’re also less invasive than people think, and they provide a long-lasting solution.

Best Ways to Care for Teeth and Gums

What can you do at home to care for your child’s oral health? In between dental visits, there are plenty of steps you can take to take care of their teeth and gums.

One of the best ways to care for your child’s teeth and gums is to limit their sugar intake. This can be in the form of candy and sweet treats, as well as drinks like juice or soft drinks. Even electrolyte drinks can have lots of sugar in them, which isn’t good for infants’ and toddlers’ teeth.

Another step to take is making dental care a priority. Children who start early at the dentist will learn that this is a regular part of their routine and that the dentist isn’t scary. They won’t mind being a patient when they become a patient at a young age.

Help them with their brushing. Set a timer for them so they know when they have brushed for long enough. Watch closely to make sure they are getting all the corners.

Go over their teeth a second time if necessary. You can brush their teeth for them after they’ve had a chance to try, so they still feel involved but you’re sure they’re clean. This is an important step for preventing periodontal disease.

Teach them to floss early. Even if the gaps between their teeth haven’t closed yet, you can still help them learn to floss. Show them the right way, and demonstrate with your own teeth.

If flossing is part of their tooth care routine and they have the skills to do it, it will be easy to incorporate as their gaps shrink and flossing becomes vital to their oral health.

Other Issues

Dr. Moulton’s expertise will help if your child encounters other dental problems, too. Sometimes there can be genetic issues or oral conditions associated with other health problems. Sometimes children have accidents, and you may have a dental emergency.

Because of his experience, Dr. Moulton can work with you and your child to have a great dental visit. Children aren’t always capable of sitting still or being patient through an exam. This is why our team has an office designed with children in mind, and special tools to help them get through their appointment.

Incredible Care

It’s our goal at Lexington Family Smiles to help you experience a different kind of dentistry. We want to provide individual care and support as you seek pediatric dentistry for your children. 

Reach out with any questions you have about the care we provide or request an appointment today.

6 Restorative Dentistry Procedures Explained

Close up of a woman's teeth with dental tools.

Many patients fear going to their dentist, but going in for oral checkups is as important as any doctor visit.

About 80% of adults receive one or more types of restorative dentistry in their lifetime. Most Americans suffer from complications like tooth decay and not aware of it. Fear of the dentist turns into relief, trust, and comfort when you visit Lexington Family Smiles dental office.

We offer a few restorative dentistry services and make sure you are comfortable throughout the whole procedure. Keep reading to learn about each of these restorative procedures that we offer in Lexington, SC.

1. Root Canal

Root canals are probably one of the most dreaded forms of dental restorative treatments for patients. But root canals are not as bad as they sound, even though the doctor must drill inside of the tooth to help get rid of any debris and decay that is within the roots. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area so there is little to no pain.

In order to see the degree of damage and decay to the tooth, doctors will take X-rays of your teeth. X-rays are a safe way to check the condition of your teeth under the gums and helps the dentist put together a better treatment plan. 

Getting a root canal is the best option for those with tooth decay deep inside the tooth but have a chance to save the tooth before the decay spreads too far. We have experienced doctors on our team, like Dr. Moulton, who can make the experience something patients will not have to get anxious about. 

2. Inlays/Onlays

Patients can receive inlays and onlays as a type of dental restorative procedure. Both are made to fit each patient, so customization is often something that happens in a dental lab. Inlays and onlays are the most appropriate for patients who have extensive damage that fillings or dental crowns are not appropriate for. 

At our dental office, you can get a dental inlay if the tooth cusp remains intact. Those who have damage to their tooth cusp will require an onlay instead. 

3. Crowns

Dr. Moulton will use crowns for patients dealing with significant structural impairment with their teeth. Crowns maintain the strength and overall look of a tooth. This may be due to a weak or cracked tooth, broken tooth, or large filling. 

Others may know dental crowns as “tooth caps” since they cover a tooth in its entirety up to the lining of the gum. You can also get a crown to cover discolored teeth. In order for dental crowns to fit the best, Dr. Moulton will trim down the tooth needing the crown. 

When you visit a dental office, you will need two appointments to complete a dental crown. However, it’s also possible to get a dental crown in one day. 

4. Dental Implants

Dental implants are a type of dental restoration that gives patients that natural tooth look and feel. The implant takes the place of the tooth root and a crown attaches to the implant. Dental implants are the most natural-looking and functional tooth replacement option. You can use dental implants to restore one or several teeth. They also help to prevent bone loss in the upper or lower jaw.

The implants go into the bone socket similar to the root of a tooth. An attachment (called an abutment) screws into the implant and holds the crown. Taking care of the implants is as simple as brushing and flossing the same as you would with your natural teeth. 

5. Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are connected crowns, often 3 or 4, that fill gaps of missing teeth. A bridge is secured in place by healthy teeth on either side.

Dental bridges are useful because they prevent the teeth from misaligning, which can cause overbites or underbites, TMD, and other issues. In untreated cases, you may notice oral structural changes which will make it hard to talk or eat. A dental bridge is a great preventive measure that also improves the appearance of your smile.

A bridge is permanent as Dr. Moulton places a crown over healthy teeth on either side of the bridge to securely hold it in place. There are some removable dental bridges. This is possible if it clasps onto the natural teeth on either side of the bridge. 

6. Dentures

Dentures are false teeth that look real and take the place of real teeth. They are one type of prosthesis for patients missing many or all teeth.

Dentures allow patients to regain the ability to speak and eat. They also improve the appearance of their smile which can improve self-confidence. 

There are two main types of dentures: partial dentures and complete dentures.

Partial dentures replace a few missing teeth. They are held in place with metal clasps that attach to your natural teeth. Sometimes a slot in the middle of a tooth secures the denture in place.

Complete dentures are a full set of false teeth. In this case all teeth have either been removed or fallen out. Complete dentures can can include dental implants

Lexington Family Smiles Offers Restorative Dentistry in Lexington, SC

You can regain your smile with restorative dentistry by visiting our Lexington, SC, dental office. Contact us to request an appointment. We provide a variety of restorative services for patients of all ages.

General Dentistry: Oral Treatments and Prevention

Mother and son a general dentist office

Lexington Family Smiles provides general dentistry in Lexington, SC, for those seeking oral treatments, prevention, and more. 

What Is a General Dentist?

A general dentist is also known as a family dentist. Just as you have a primary care physician, you may also have a general dentist as your go-to provider for all your dental care needs. Services a general dentist may provide for patients are routine preventative care, such as regular teeth cleanings, X-rays, exams, and fillings.

Some key roles of a general dentist are to guide patients in proper dental care, help them build healthier habits, and identify potential problems before they get worse, and if need be, refer patients to dental specialists. However, at Lexington Family Smiles in Lexington, SC, we also provide other dental services such as cosmetic dentistry, restorative solutions, and more.

About Dr. Michael Moulton

When it comes to finding a general dentist in Lexington, SC, you want a practitioner you can trust with a well-established reputation for good services and a comprehensive selection of general dentistry procedures.  

Dr. Michael Moulton is all that and more. He has established a reputation of being a trusted and reliable provider of quality dental care in Lexington, SC. He and his team at Lexington Family Smiles work together closely to create an environment that’s warm, friendly, and inviting, so patients can feel comfortable and enjoy their visits with us. Dr. Moulton’s mission is to provide patients with individualized service and excellent care, at affordable prices.

We Provide a Full Range of General Dental Services in Lexington, SC

Our facility includes modern, state-of-the-art equipment that enables us to detect and treat dental issues before they get worse and compromise your health. We offer a full range of general dental services including but not limited to preventative care, prosthetic services, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, regular checkups, emergency care, and other oral treatments for both men and women seeking a general dentist in Lexington, SC. 

What is Preventative Dentistry?

Preventative dentistry helps patients maintain good oral health by combining proper oral habits, such as brushing and flossing, with regular dental check-ups. This type of general dental care usually begins in your childhood and continues throughout your life to help reduce dental problems like gingivitis, gum disease, and cavities. 

Protecting your smile and your health is our number one goal here at Lexington Family Smiles. That’s why we emphasize preventative care and early detection to avoid any future problems from occurring that could compromise your oral health.

We use advanced treatment methods and a preventative care plan to help achieve optimal oral health levels and gentle dental care is one of our top priorities. Some of the more common preventative dentistry services include:

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Regular oral exams and check-ups that usually take place every 6 months
  • Routine X-rays

Most dental plans cover preventative care, to see if your plan is one of them, check with your insurance provider.

Dos and Don’ts for Proper Oral Care

Dos 

  • Brush: Brushing your teeth should be done at least twice daily; once in the morning and once at night. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. We can help instruct you on proper brushing techniques and recommend some of the best brands of toothpaste and toothbrushes to use.   
  • Floss: Floss every day to ensure you remove the food that gets stuck between your teeth before it becomes plaque.
  • Rinse: A good mouthwash should be used after flossing to rinse your mouth out and remove food particles.
  • Protect your teeth: If you are participating in rough sports, it is important to use a mouth guard for protection. In addition, those who grind their teeth during sleep should consider using a nighttime mouth guard to help avoid gum recession.

Don’ts

  • Don’t eat too many sweets as sugar can rot your teeth.
  • Don’t eat acidic foods as they can harm your tooth enamel.
  • Don’t eat hard foods that can chip or damage your teeth, including hard candy, seeds, foods with bones, pits, etc.
  • Don’t use tobacco products (smoke). Not only can this lead to cancer, but it can also cause other dental problems.

What Does Cosmetic Dentistry Involve?

Cosmetic dentistry is basically any dental work done to the teeth or gums to improve appearance rather than functionality. Its primary focus is on dental aesthetics, such as color, shape, position, alignment, and size of your teeth. It also involves your gums that affect your overall appearance. 

Cosmetic dentistry may involve… 

  • Adding dental substances to teeth or gums: crowns (caps), porcelain veneers (laminates), bonding, gum grafts, etc. 
  • Removing tooth or gum structure: gingivectomy or enameloplasty.
  • Straightening teeth to improve the facial appearance: orthodontics. 
  • Enhancing tooth or gum structure: teeth whitening (bleaching), gum depigmentation, or laser whitening. 

Lexington Family Smiles provides patients with excellent cosmetic dentistry in Lexington, SC. They will not only help you look fabulous, but will also help you feel great too.

Dr. Moulton combines his excellent skills in cosmetic dentistry with the latest approaches and advanced techniques to brighten up your smile. The cosmetic dental procedures he performs include dental veneers and teeth whitening methods that work so well you will be excited to show off your smile.

The Latest Techniques in Prosthetic Dental Care and Restorative Solutions

As we age the protected enamel of our teeth starts wearing out and gets thinner, causing teeth to get weaker. This can result in cracked, chipped, or missing teeth among other things. Missing or cracked teeth can hinder your appearance, impair your speech, lower your self-esteem, and impact your quality of life. Additionally, it can make it hard to chew.

Dr. Moulton takes the most advanced approaches in prosthetic dentistry. He uses cutting-edge technology to help patients regain their oral functions and improve their appearance. He can skillfully replace one or more teeth with fixed bridges, dental implants, partial dentures, or full dentures. These restorative solutions are a great way to improve your speech, enhance your appearance, and ensure you can eat right.

Make Your Smile Your Number One Priority

At Lexington Family Smiles we provide quality dental care at affordable pricing, so everyone in Lexington, SC, can get the general dental care they need. Aside from the services already mentioned, we also provide oral cancer screenings, comprehensive periodontal therapy, endodontics, and much more, using advanced treatment modalities. 

If you live in the Lexington area of South Carolina, contact us today to request an appointment. We can raise your confidence and put a smile on your face with fast, friendly gentile dentistry.

Dental Bridges: Filling the Gap for a Better Smile

According to the ACP, about 120 million people in the United States have at least one missing tooth. Do you have a missing tooth, or do you want to improve your smile? Dental bridges may be the way to give you your perfect smile!

Keep reading to learn more about how dental bridges work and if they are right for you!

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges are a type of restorative dentistry for people with a teeth gap or a missing tooth. They help fill in the space of a missing tooth or teeth. A dental bridge spans over multiple teeth but can be customized for your needs. 

The most common reasons you may need a dental bridge are missing teeth, tooth decay, gum disease, and injury to your mouth. 

Not only do dental bridges improve the function of your teeth and your bite, but they will also make your smile look better too! It will bridge the gap between missing teeth and will look great!

Dental bridges require crowns on your neighboring teeth. These crowns go on both sides of your missing tooth and will support the false tooth that will go between them. 

The crowns are cemented in place with dental bonding, so you don’t have to worry about them falling out. Dental bonding is a resin that matches the color of your tooth. You can use dental bonding for gaps, cracked or chipped teeth, and more!

Why Do You Need a Bridge?

Many people use bridges to fill gaps. One of the main reasons patients need a dental bridge is so their other teeth will not shift. If you have empty spaces in your mouth, your teeth naturally move.

Your teeth help keep each other in line. However, if you are missing a tooth, your other teeth may face issues as well. They can become crooked, they may lead to new gaps, and you might experience tooth sensitivity and other issues. 

People most often use dental bridges to keep their mouth functional, but they can also restore your confidence and create a perfect smile. 

How Are Bridges Put In?

To get a dental bridge, you need to make sure you have healthy teeth next to your missing tooth. 

In the process of placing a bridge, Dr. Moulton will secure an artificial tooth to your neighboring teeth. This is done with crowns cemented with dental bonding on both sides of your missing tooth. 

If you are getting a dental bridge, you can expect it to take several dental visits. For example, during one appointment, your natural teeth are fitted to crowns. During another, the bridge is placed. 

Caring For a New Bridge

If you want your dental bridge to last, you need to develop good oral care!

If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day, it may lead to your abutment teeth getting cavities, decay, or plaque buildup. Abutment teeth are also known as the teeth that anchor your bridge and are located on either side of your missing tooth. 

You also want to be sure to repair any problems with your bridge promptly. This is especially important when you have noticed sensitivity on your teeth or any chips or cracks. 

With a bridge, the key to maintaining it is to take good care of your natural teeth. If you don’t, you may need additional bridges in your mouth or a replacement bridge. 

Some common reasons that bridges don’t work or fail include poor oral hygiene, tooth decay on abutment teeth, poor bone support, or even a poor choice of material. You need a durable material that can endure the wear and tear of chewing. Dr. Moulton knows all of this, uses the proper material, and will educate you on the proper care.

However, other habits can be bad for your bridge. These include chewing pens, grinding your teeth at night, and chewing on ice. 

Benefits of a Dental Bridge 

One huge benefit of dental bridges is that it is a less expensive alternative to other dental work to fix missing teeth. While you could pay for a dental implant or replacement tooth, using a bridge costs less time and money to fix your teeth. 

Another great benefit is that dental bridges will restore your smile. If you have missing teeth, it may affect your confidence. However, bridges are an easy way to bring back your confidence and help you love your smile. 

As mentioned before, dental bridges also prevent your other teeth from moving or shifting. If these teeth become crooked, it is a much more expensive process to straighten them again. Dental bridges prevent this from happening in the first place!

Finally, dental bridges restore your mouth to its proper function. It will allow you to bite and chew properly, and it will make it less uncomfortable to speak or use your mouth. 

Get Your Perfect Smile Today!

If you are missing one or more teeth and don’t want to get a dental implant, a bridge is a great option for you!

Dental bridges are a great way to get your perfect smile and to restore your confidence. If you are looking for a dentist in Lexington, South Carolina, Dr. Michael Moulton can help! Dr. Moulton and his team offer some of the best dentistry in Lexington and can help you with any of your dental needs.

If you want to learn more about our services, our team, or have any other questions about dental bridges, contact us today or request an appointment!

A Guide to Restorative Dentistry Procedures

A man smiles after receiving dental restoration at a dental office.

Going to the dentist is essential to maintain a healthy mouth and a stunning smile. When dental hygiene is neglected or a dental visit is not available for a while, tooth decay can set in and cause permanent tooth damage.

People can also suffer injury to their teeth. This kind of damage can’t be fixed with normal cleaning procedures. That’s where restorative dentistry comes in! There are many different kinds of restorative procedures, so let’s talk about them.

Root Canals

Root canals help to save teeth once they’ve succumbed to internal tooth decay. When a cavity or crack forms in a tooth, bacteria can settle into the newly created space. The bacteria begins chewing away at the soft pulp of the tooth and causes more problems.

Typically, symptoms include pain, inflammation around the mouth, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and swollen gums. Extreme tooth decay can lead to a dental abscess, which can cause other medical problems like a tooth being pulled. Even more serious complications could occur if left untreated.

Root canals usually take 1-2 visits. To start a root canal, Dr. Moulton take x-rays of your teeth to see how much damage has been inflicted. An anesthetic helps to reduce pain during the procedure.

After the anesthesia, Dr. Moulton removes the pulp and flushes and cleans the inside of the tooth with an antimicrobial solution.

After a drying process, the pulp champers are permanently filled in with a biocompatible material. The access point is filled or a crown is placed to finish the procedure.

Dental Crowns

When a tooth is damaged, it becomes more susceptible to further damage. A sign of damage can include sensitivity to hot and cold foods. This is because enamel, the outer protective coating on your teeth, is much less effective with a hole in it. Think of it as a chink in a suit of armor. It’s much easier for bacteria to enter or the tooth to crack when its defense has been weakened.

A dental crown is a cap or protective coverings laid over a damaged tooth. Dental crowns can be porcelain, metal, or ceramic. The material in the crown depends on the location of the damage, how much healthy tooth remains, and the gum line. Dr. Moulton will go over the reasons why he recommends a specific material type.

A dental crown placement is relatively easy, and usually not anything to worry over. During this procedure, the damaged tooth is filed down to create a base for the crown. Usually, a temporary crown comes before a permanent one is ready. However, sometimes your permanent crown is ready during your first visit.

Dentures

Dentures are false teeth worn when people are missing entire sections of teeth. They allow people with missing teeth to chew food effectively, are removable, and require cleansing on a daily basis. There are partial dentures and complete dentures, which are exactly as they sound.

Partial dentures replace some missing teeth, while complete dentures replace an entire row of missing teeth.

When people need dentures, they are usually getting either conventional or immediate dentures. Conventional dentures take 8-12 weeks to make. Immediate dentures are ready-made for immediate replacement after tooth removal.

While immediate dentures mighty sound more convenient, they typically need to be adjusted a few times before they fit comfortably. Conventional dentures take so long to make because they’re made specifically for an individual’s mouth shape and size.

To make dentures, Dr. Moulton takes measurements of your jaw and the inside of your mouth. He also takes impressions of your teeth and makes various models until finding one that fits comfortably.

Dental Implants

Lastly, we will talk about dental implants. These are replacements for your teeth’ natural roots. Basically, implants are the anchor for a future crown.

Dental implants are very comfortable and hardly noticeable after the crown is in place. This is because the implant acts as the root and the crown models your natural teeth in color and shape. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

Dental implants have a titanium base, which is the first section put into your tooth socket. As the bone heals, your jawbone fuses to the implant and firmly cements into your dental foundation. This can take 3 to 6 months. Once the implant is ready, Dr. Moulton will install a connector post to easily connect the base to the crown.

About Us

Lexington Family Smiles is a small dental team dedicated to improving patient’s smiles and confidence in their teeth. If you have a dental problem or just haven’t been in for a cleaning in a while, feel free to schedule an appointment with us!

Periodontal Therapy: How a Dentist Can Prevent Periodontal Disease

Woman in dental chair having general dentistry done to prevent periodontal disease

When you hear the term, “common disease,” you probably think of cancer or diabetes. But periodontal disease is more common than both of those. 

47 percent of adults aged 30 or older have periodontal disease. That includes 70 percent of adults aged 65 and older. 

Many people have periodontal disease and see no major problems. But it can cause pain, tooth decay, and gum irritation. If you suffer from it, you should get periodontal therapy right away. 

Yet many people delay treatment because they don’t know what a dentist can do for them. Understand how therapy works and you can have great teeth today. Here is your guide. 

What Is Periodontal Disease? 

Periodontal disease is the disease of the gums. Bacteria gets on or in the gums, causing an inflammatory response in the tissue. 

The disease is progressive, occurring in four stages. In the first stage, plaque and tartar build on the teeth. Bacteria feed off of the plaque, which can eventually harden. 

In the second stage, gingivitis develops. The gums become red and swollen, but the plaque can be removed. 

In the third stage, periodontal disease sets in. The gums start to pull away from the teeth, forming small pockets. Plaque and bacteria settle into the pockets and reach to the roots of teeth. 

The fourth stage sees infection of supporting gums and tissues. The dental structure that supports teeth fails. Teeth can fall out and the jaws can become compromised. 

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

It can be hard to notice periodontal disease in its earliest stages. You may not feel any pain at all. 

But you may notice that your gums are inflamed. They may appear red when you look at them in the mirror. They may feel swollen or tough to touch. 

When you brush or floss them, they may start to bleed. After you brush your teeth, you may notice that you have bad breath. This comes from bacteria remaining in your gums. 

In its advanced stages, you may notice your gums pulling away from your teeth. You may also see pus forming in the pockets. Your teeth may become loose or sensitive to the touch, especially when you drink a hot or cold beverage. 

If you notice advanced signs of periodontal disease, you should get treatment immediately. Bacteria is attacking the bone structures of your mouth. You need supervision in order to kill that bacteria. 

Causes

The main cause of the disease is plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky and white film that forms on teeth. It is made of bacteria and other microbes surrounded by a layer of polymer. 

Plaque forms when bacteria interact with sugars and carbohydrates. It sticks to the teeth close to the gumline.

Tartar is a variant of plaque. It appears when plaque accumulates minerals and hardens together. Tartar can cause gum disease just as plaque on its own can.

Smoking can greatly exacerbate gum disease. It weakens the body’s immune system, making it harder to fight off a bacterial infection. Smoke can irritate the gums, causing worse inflammation. 

Some medications can trigger gum disease. Immunosuppressant pills diminish the immune system, allowing bacteria to spread in the mouth. Blood pressure drugs can swell the gums by dilating blood vessels. 

What Is Periodontal Therapy? 

Oral hygiene: Scaling and root planing (conventional periodontal therapy). Medically accurate 3D illustration of human teeth treatment

Periodontal therapy treats the disease at its roots. One common procedure is deep dental cleaning. 

Regular cleaning removes plaque that has gathered on the surfaces of the teeth. It occurs entirely above the gum line. 

Deep cleaning reaches below the gumline. Doctors administer a local anesthetic so the gums are numb.

They remove tartar on the tooth surfaces, and then go into the roots of the teeth in a process called scaling. In root planing, they take out the infected tooth structure and smooth over the healthy roots. 

Deep cleaning takes place over multiple visits, each of which can take some time. But it prevents the decay and removal of teeth. A patient can take antibiotics in order to kill bacteria. 

Therapy is not for everyone. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream, causing dangerous infections elsewhere in the body. If the dentist believes a patient may suffer from this, they will not perform deep cleaning. 

Therapy does not produce a complete cure. A patient must go home and practice good dental hygiene. This keeps bacteria from forming and spreading. 

How You Can Help Your Periodontal Disease Treatment

You can help treat your periodontal disease with some basic steps. Practicing basic hygiene techniques is usually enough to stop any disease from occurring. 

Brush all of your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. Use circular strokes that cover all surfaces of each tooth. Put your brush at a 45-degree angle to all surfaces. 

You should also floss your teeth. Flossing removes plaque that is wedged between your teeth, especially in the corners of your mouth. Use waxed floss to glide between your teeth easier. 

Avoid eating and drinking sugary substances. When you do eat something sweet, brush your teeth afterward. Drink plenty of water to wash any sugar that is stuck in your mouth. 

Visit your dentist once every six months. If you notice any problems, report them. Through a routine appointment, a dentist can notice signs of gum disease.

Getting Expert Periodontal Therapy 

Periodontal disease is not a minor condition. Bacteria can build on top of your teeth, then slip inside your gums. With enough time, it can uproot your teeth. 

You may notice subtle symptoms like swelling and red gums. When you do, go to a dentist and get periodontal therapy. 

They may perform a deep cleaning, removing hard-to-reach plaque. You should accompany that cleaning with good brushing. Brush and floss every day and avoid sugary foods. 

Turn to expert dentists when you need help. Lexington Family Smiles serves the Columbia, South Carolina area. Request an appointment with us today. 

The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Close-up of a woman's mouth with tooth-colored fillings.

If you have damaged teeth due to cavities, your dentist may recommend that you have one or more fillings. A filling is an artificial substitute for decayed areas of teeth. The filling helps to restore the health of the tooth and prevent further damage to the tooth or other teeth. It preserves the long-term health of the tooth and stops the sensitivity that comes with cavities. You’ll be able to use the tooth as you normally would as soon as the filling is placed. 

There is more than one type of filling that you can get. A popular option is a tooth-colored filling, which is exactly as the name suggests. The filling matches the color of the tooth so it blends in and goes unnoticed.

The other option is to get amalgam (metal) fillings. There are advantages to both, and most of it comes down to preference and cost. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at tooth-colored fillings and their benefits. 

Look Natural

The number one reason why people decide to get tooth-colored fillings rather than amalgam fillings is that they look natural. Since they match the color of the tooth, they’re much less noticeable than their metal counterparts. Often, you can see metal fillings, even if they’re in the back of the mouth. And it’s not hard to see why: they’re a different color than the tooth, so they stand out.

If you’re in any way concerned about how the filling will look, go with a tooth-colored filling. They tend to provide longer-term satisfaction. You’ll have a functional, healthy tooth, and you won’t even notice it yourself after a while. 

Long-Lasting

You won’t just have a natural-looking filling, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of a healthy tooth for a long time. Fillings last for around ten years on average, providing that they’re properly cared for. You can get your filling and go about your regular business knowledge that you won’t have any problems.

You can ensure that your filling lasts as long as possible by maintaining healthy dental habits. For example, brush your teeth twice a day and have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months. These habits keep your new filling working, but they also prevent the need for fillings in the future. 

Less Invasive

Some people think that treatments designed to significantly improve their dental health will take a long time. Getting a tooth-colored filling is a straightforward process and is performed quickly. It’s also a procedure with minimal pain with the use of local anesthesia. 

Learning About the Cavity Process

So what can you expect when you go in for a filling procedure? As we mentioned above, it’s not a particularly complicated process. In fact, there are only five steps!

  1. First, we’ll make sure that the tooth is completely dry by using a special tool that isolates the tooth from saliva.
  2. Next, we’ll identify the damaged part of the tooth. This is the decayed part that has to be removed; it’s this portion of the tooth that the filling replaces. Once the decayed part of the tooth is removed, all that’s left is the healthy portion of the tooth.
  3. Next, we’ll add a bonding agent that will keep the filling in place.
  4. We’ll cure the bonding agent with a special light to prepare for the application of the filling.
  5. Now it’s time to add the filling. Tooth-colored fillings are made from composite resin, which is then inserted into the tooth. Once added, we’ll use tools to shape and polish the tooth so it looks natural. And just like that, the job is done! You’ll likely feel some effects of the anesthesia, but that’s it. You will be able to go about your day. 

Other Options

There are two other types of fillings called inlays and onlays. Depending size and location of the decay, one of these two options restore the tooth. An inlay is a pre-mold for filling cavities of the inner part of the back teeth between the cusps. An onlay is a pre-mold of one or more of the cusps.

Inlays and onlays are reserved for when the cavity is too big for a regular filling to repair. Tooth-colored inlays and onlay help to hide the dental work while restoring the tooth.

About Lexington Family Smiles

If you’re looking to improve your dental health with tooth-colored fillings, Lexington Family Smiles would love to help. We offer high-quality work and make sure you are completely happy with the process from beginning to end.

Our dedicated team will ensure that you feel welcome from the first moment you walk through the door. We will guide you through the process of getting your filling. There’s a reason we have so many happy patients. It’s because we put their experience ahead of everything else.

If you need a dentist in Lexington, NC, that offers tooth-colored fillings, schedule an appointment today. Alternatively, you can give one of our helpful team members a call using the number on our website. We look forward to meeting you.

Restorative Dentistry: What You Need to Know

Woman receiving a restorative dentistry procedure
Dentist and his team treating a patient with dental restoration at clinic.

There are many things that contribute to a winning, healthy smile. Ongoing oral hygiene, preventative measures, and regular check-ups will all help to keep your teeth bright and picture-perfect. Sometimes, however, a person can have issues with their teeth that are brought on by injury or other health-related conditions. For these issues, dentists look to restorative dentistry.

In this blog, we’ll run through what you need to know about restorative dentistry treatments and their benefits.

What Is It?

So what is restorative dentistry, exactly? It’s a term that refers to the process of fixing or replacing damaged or lost teeth. It functions as a way to turn a compromised smile into a smile that looks exactly as it should.

There are many different benefits from this type of dentistry, and the methods of achieving end results vary. Ultimately the goal is always the same: to make the teeth look as beautiful as possible. 

What’s Involved?

There’s more than one way to create a perfect smile. Dentists have access to all the latest and best methods for correcting teeth. Lexington Family Smile will work with you to find the right solution.

Typically, restorative dentistry uses crowns, bridges, and dental implants. Let’s take a look at each of these procedures.

Dental Crowns

A crown is named such because it’s placed over a tooth like a crown. It’s tooth-shaped, tooth-colored, and highly customizable. Dr. Moulton can design one perfectly aligned with the overall shape and color of your other teeth. Dental crowns are great for fixing broken teeth. The tooth stays in place but shaped to receive the crown. The crown is then cemented over the tooth. 

Dental Bridges

A ‘bridge’ is another dentistry procedure that’s appropriately named. Dr. Moulton uses a dental bridge to replace missing teeth. They’re called a bridge because they ‘bridge’ the gap between two intact teeth. Even if the lost tooth isn’t causing much trouble, a bridge can prevent the other teeth from moving.

A dental bridge works just as well in the front of the mouth as on the sides or back. The bridge in the front of the mouth can improve the cosmetics of your smile where a tooth is missing.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is another procedure used to replace missing teeth. An anchor is placed in the gum, and an artificial tooth is attached to the implant. Just as with a bridge, dental implants look and function just like natural teeth.

The added benefit of a dental implant is that it prevents bone loss because the implant acts like a root. The implant actually prevents the bone from deteriorating because of the pressure applied every time you chew. A dental bridge lacks this benefit.

Another benefit of dental implants over other solutions is that is last much longer, even a lifetime. Because it looks, feels, and functions like a real tooth, you may even forget you have it.

The Benefits of Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry procedures have great results that can change your life and how you feel about yourself. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of restorative dentistry.

More Confidence

It can be a little uncomfortable knowing that you’ve got a damaged or missing tooth in your mouth. Over time, this knowledge can prevent you from living your best life. You might avoid certain foods, avoid smiling or all-around be negatively impacted by the physical consequences of the missing tooth. Restorative dentistry can eliminate those problems. Rather than having a cosmetic dental problem impacting your quality of life, take action and restore your smile to its former glory.

As these are tried and tested cosmetic procedure, you can expect that they will positively influence your appearance. And that can lead to all manner of benefits that you may not even be aware of; there’s no shortage of things that increased confidence levels can do for you

Improve Jaw Function

While restorative dentistry is typically thought of as a cosmetic solution, there are wider benefits, too. For example, it can help improve overall jaw and mouth function.

When you lose one or more teeth, the gums begin to weaken without the support of the tooth. Furthermore, the jaw bone where the tooth was begins to deteriorate. That can make your mouth weaker and negatively impact the structure, including the loss of other teeth. Long-term consequences can result if the problem isn’t resolved.

By getting implants, you’ll be giving extra support to your mouth and ensure that your jaw works as it should. While most lost teeth do not cause pain or discomfort, that’s not always the case. Again, these types of procedures can help.

Ongoing Dental Hygiene

All manner of problems can materialize when teeth become damaged. Spaces in the mouth are more likely to become infected, while damaged teeth are more likely to rot. By taking control of the situation and getting restorative dentistry treatment, you’ll fix the problem at the core. These procedures last for a long-time, some even a lifetime. You’ll enjoy a winning smile for many years to come. 

About Lexington Family Smiles

Of course, while restorative dentistry may be common, it’s important that patients choose the right dentist to perform the job. Not all dentists are created equal!

At Lexington Family Smiles, we pride ourselves on high-quality work. We also work hard to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for every patient.

Our team is qualified and talented in a wide range of dental procedures. Whether it’s cosmetic dentistry or general dentistry, you’ll be in safe hands with us. Above all is our commitment to ensuring that every patient feels comfortable and at home from the first moment.

Ready to get started with your restorative dentistry treatment? Request an appointment today and a friendly team member will contact you to confirm. We look forward to seeing you.

Dental Veneers: The Magic of Cosmetic Dentistry

man smiling with dental veneers

Our smiles can tell a lot about our lifestyle, hygiene, and habits. And when it comes to expressing our feelings nothing can replace a beautiful, natural-looking smile. At the same time, our teeth are always at the front line, and they can start to show signs of wear and tear. 

Dental veneers are a transformative solution that can gift you once again with a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile. Learn everything you need to know about dental veneers or schedule an appointment with Lexington Family Smiles today to transform your smile. 

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are a cosmetic dentistry solution that can help you regain the beauty of your smile. They are thin layers of a resistant material that dentists apply to the front surface of your teeth. Veneers are available in a range of materials, including resin composite and porcelain, which allows them to replicate the natural strength and beauty of enamel.

Since dental veneers can match your natural teeth shape and color, they find endless applications in dentistry. They can be used to cover chipped, damaged, broken, or discolored teeth. In the case of smaller teeth than normal, veneers can represent a non-invasive, fastest way to restore a smile. 

While these interventions are suitable to cover up a single tooth, they can also be used on an entire portion of a set of teeth. 

When to Consider Veneers?

Veneers have become a popular solution to restore the beauty of a patient’s smile. Since they are custom-made and created to match your teeth natural look, they are almost impossible to differentiate from other teeth.

Some applications include:

  • Improving the appearance of your smile
  • Teeth reshaping 
  • Closing gaps between teeth that are apart
  • Improving the look of stained or severely discolored teeth
  • Fixing damaged or chipped teeth
  • Fixing fractured and damaged teeth without the need for crowns

Veneers can also represent a layer of protection for the natural teeth because they can resist common lifestyle consequences, such as stains from coffee and tea.

Benefits of Veneers

There are several options in dentistry to remedy a broken or damaged tooth, including crowns and implants. However, when it comes down to recreating a natural-looking smile and restoring the visible front teeth, dental veneers are often the preferred alternative. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • Veneers might last for over a decade with proper care.
  • They are highly resistant to stains. 
  • They are as strong and versatile as the natural teeth enamel.
  • Unlike crowns, they don’t require the removal of entire portions of the tooth. Instead, your dentist can fit them by removing only some of your tooth’s enamel. 
  • They are low-maintenance
  • Because porcelain usually agrees with gum tissue, the recovery times and drawbacks are limited.
  • It can give a new, healthier color to natural teeth.

Dental veneers are generally the preferred solution for most patients, but there are some occurrences where they are not the recommended choice. If you have active gum disease, severe tooth decay, or you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), veneers might not be suitable. This is because, once in place, damaged veneers cannot be recolored or easily fixed. 

During your first visit, your dentist at Lexington Family Smiles will show you the best cosmetic dentistry options for your lifestyle, requirements, and budget.

Procedures and Treatment

Once the dentist has assessed that you are suitable for veneers, you will undergo a simple procedure to have them placed on the outer surface of your teeth. Here’s what to expect.

  1. Molds and Impressions – during the first appointment, the dentist will assess your suitability and take impressions of your dental structure. These impressions are sent to a laboratory or technician that will fabricate the veneers. It can take up to two weeks for them to come back. 
  2. Final Checks – on your second appointment, the dentist will show you the veneers and check whether these naturally improve your teeth color, shape, and look. Once you and the dentist are happy with the results, you will proceed to the fitting. 
  3. Teeth Cleaning – The dentist will clean your teeth and ensure they are free of decay and bacteria before placing the veneers. This is an important step to prevent side effects. Remember that if you need to have your teeth whitened, you should do so before the application. 
  4. Teeth Preparation – After cleaning your teeth, the dentist will deliver a local anesthetic. This is to prevent any discomfort you might feel while the dentist grinds the interested teeth enamel. This important step will ensure that the teeth have an outer rougher surface to which the veneers can stick more easily.
  5. Binding – the dentist will fix the veneers in place with dental cement and then harden this material quickly through the use of UV light. 

Generally, the procedure does not last longer than two hours, though this can vary according to how many you get. You can visualize what to expect from this procedure in the video below:

No-Prep Veneers

An alternative to traditional veneers is no-prep veneers. As we have seen above, traditional veneers will require your dentist to grind your teeth outer surface to create a rougher and more suitable surface for placement. This step of the process is referred to as “preparation.” 

No-prep veneers are an alternative that does not require the grinding of the tooth’s enamel. Therefore, they might be less-invasive and more straightforward to apply. Because of the limited prep-work that your dentist must take, you can have these applied on the same day. Although, on average, they have a much shorter lifespan than traditional veneers.

Caring for Your Veneers

Veneers are a semi-permanent solution that allows you to regain confidence in your smile. They can last up to 15 years with the right care, and they require minimal maintenance. Nonetheless, when in place, it is important to exercise some precautions, such as:

  • Avoid chewing and biting hard objects such as ice or your fingernails.
  • Avoid using your front teeth to chew foods. When eating those foods, cut them into small bites and chew them with your back teeth.
  • Don’t use your teeth to hold objects, open packages, or complete actions that can put stress on them, such as tearing masking tape. 
  • Use a mouthguard or splint to protect the veneers if you tend to clench or grind your teeth or if you play sports.

Once you have your veneers fitted, you might feel enhanced sensitivity to hot or cold. 

Contact Lexington Family Smiles to Learn More

Veneers are a great cosmetic dentistry option, especially if you wish to regain your smile quickly and without invasive or lengthy procedures. However, they can lead to drastic results and represent a semi-permanent solution. Therefore, it is crucial to find an expert dentist’s guidance to check that this is the right solution for your needs. Schedule your appointment today with Lexington Family Smiles in Lexington, SC.