EXPERIENCE

a different kind of dentistry.

Lexington Dentist

 

Do You Need Emergency Dental Care?

3D vector of a dental emergency symbol

When you suffer from pain, bleeding or severe toothaches, you might be tempted to “tough it out” until your next dental visit. However, pain and inflammation can be a sign of a dental emergency that needs immediate treatment. If you don’t address the problem now, the condition could worsen or cause a bacterial infection. You might end up with a much more severe condition that could have been prevented with early intervention.

Lexington Family Smiles offers emergency dental care for patients who need to see a dentist as soon as possible. If you’re not sure if you have a dental emergency, here’s a guide to help you evaluate your symptoms.

What Are Signs of a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are usually characterized by severe pain or bleeding that interferes with your regular life. You might need emergency dental care if you’re suffering from one or more of these symptoms:

  • Swelling in your cheek, jaw or gums
  • Severe headaches or jaw pain
  • Frequent bleeding from your gums
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A bitter or unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Severe tooth pain
  • Loose or dislodged teeth
  • Broken teeth with sharp edges that could cause mouth trauma
  • Cuts or lacerations in your gums
  • Loss of a tooth

If you’re in doubt, call Lexington Family Smiles to see if you need to see an emergency dentist. You can call the office or send a text message with information about your situation.

What Are Some Common Dental Emergencies?

Dental emergencies can happen to just about anyone. Here’s a look at some of the common dental emergencies that we see at Lexington Family Smiles.

Missing Teeth

Blunt force trauma could knock a tooth right out of its socket. When that happens, don’t waste any time—contact us immediately so we can perform an emergency restoration. We might be able to save the tooth if you reach our office quickly enough. If possible, try to keep it in the socket or place it in a cup of milk to preserve the tooth.

Lost Crowns

When you have a damaged tooth, a dentist places a crown over the tooth to restore the shape and protect your tooth from further damage. A lost crown exposes the damaged tooth, potentially leading to more damage or bacterial infection. The tooth could even cut the inside of your mouth if it has sharp edges. Get in touch with us right away so we can reapply the crown, and bring the original crown, if possible.

Toothaches

A toothache might seem like a common ailment, but they’re actually a sign of a serious issue that we need to correct as soon as possible. Toothaches are a potential sign of numerous problems, including the following:

  • Gum disease. When your gums pull away from your teeth, it can expose the roots, causing tooth pain. Gum disease can also cause bleeding, inflammation and other sources of pain in your mouth.
  • Loss of enamel. Not brushing your teeth regularly can cause a loss of enamel. As your enamel wears away, your teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold foods.
  • Tooth decay. Acid creeps into the enamel if you don’t brush your teeth after you eat, which leads to cavities and tooth decay. The decay can reach all the way to the pulp if you don’t see a dentist in time.
  • Wisdom teeth. If you didn’t get your wisdom teeth removed, they’ll cause pain when they start to push through your gums. You might have to get your wisdom teeth extracted to stop the pain.
  • Teeth grinding. Your teeth could crack if you grind your teeth in your sleep.

The signs of toothaches include swelling, jaw pain, headaches, fever, sensitivity, bleeding, and discharge. Sign up for an appointment so we can determine the cause of your toothache and figure out a treatment plan.

Chipped Teeth

You could chip a tooth by chewing a hard piece of food, grinding your teeth in your sleep, or suffering from blunt force trauma. Chipped teeth usually don’t ache constantly, but you could experience pain and sensitivity whenever you eat. A chipped tooth could develop an infection, so visit an emergency dentist as soon as possible. The dentist might give you a filling to restructure the tooth.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding, sore and inflamed gums are often a sign of periodontal disease. You’ve probably heard the term “gingivitis,” which refers to the earlier stages. If you don’t visit the dentist for treatment, you could suffer from gum disease that’s much harder to treat. The gums could pull away from the teeth, increasing sensitivity and causing tooth loss. Gum disease also makes it painful to eat and chew solid foods.

Lost Filling

Like a dental crown, fillings reshape your teeth and reduce the risk of infection. This allows you to go about your life as if the damage never happened. If you lose a filling, your teeth are more likely to contract a bacterial infection. You could also suffer from more tooth damage that could expose the pulp, causing severe pain. It might seem like a minor issue but call our office right away if you lose a filling.

Abscesses

A dental abscess is a painful infection caused by pus developing at the root. You could suffer from a fever, severe pain, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, or shortness of breath. The abscess could also rupture in your mouth. To treat the abscess, the dentist will drain the pus to clear out the function. If the infection is severe enough, the dentist might perform a root canal or extract the tooth altogether.

Where Can You Go for Emergency Dental Care?

Lexington Family Smiles offers emergency dental care for people who need immediate treatment. This includes replacement crowns and fillings, gum disease treatment, mouth reconstruction, tooth extraction, and much more. Call us any time if you think you have a dental emergency on your hands. If you do, we’ll see you as soon as possible — and if not, you can still set up an appointment for a cleaning and treatment. We offer services for both children and adults, including new and existing patients.

Other services include cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, sealants, cancer screenings, sleep apnea treatment, dental bridges, and fluoride treatments. We also offer regular cleanings for people who want to stay on top of their dental hygiene. Regular cleanings can prevent dental emergencies before they happen, so set up an appointment if you want to start taking care of your teeth. You can contact us online, over the phone, or through text messages. To learn more, check out the Testimonials page to see what other patients in the area think about us.

Why Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Best

Young man smiling at dental office

A recent study showed that over 90 percent of Americans over age 20 have had a cavity at some point in their lives. The majority of cavities are treated with fillings. Once upon a time, a filling meant putting in a piece of metal to seal off your tooth. Now, there is a new option: tooth-colored fillings.

This guide to tooth-colored fillings will tell you everything you need to know about resin fillings, and why they are an improvement over the older metal type. 

What’s in a Tooth-Colored Filling?

Since the 1830s, dentists have had the option to use metal for tooth fillings. The mixture, often called an amalgam filling because it’s a mix of metals, usually includes mercury, silver, tin, and copper.

3D rendering of teeth with different dental fillings.
3d render of teeth with gold, amalgam and composite inlay dental filling over white background

This style of filling started losing popularity in the 1990s when a new type of filling arrived: resin. These new resin fillings are made of tiny particles of glass and bio-compatible plastics. 

Dr. Moulton can customize the color for resin fillings to exactly match your tooth color using water. All of the components of a tooth-colored filling are body-safe.

Most new fillings are done with tooth-colored fillings, but metal amalgam fillings are still FDA approved. However, there are risks and problems associated with metal fillings that resin fillings don’t have. 

Health Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

The biggest health risk for amalgam fillings is mercury. Over time, the mercury in the filling will vaporize. Your body can absorb these vapors and breath them in through your mouth. If you absorb enough, it can harm your organs, especially the kidneys and the brain. 

Aside from the mercury, amalgam fillings can also crack your teeth accidentally. Extreme temperatures can make the metal expand or contract. Cold foods might shrink the filling a tiny amount, but hot foods will make it expand slightly. 

Gradually, this back and forth puts pressure on your tooth. This pressure can lead to cracks or breaks. Once that happens, a filling won’t work anymore and you’ll have to get a crown or implant in its place. 

Finally, amalgam fillings are difficult to fit sometimes. Often, the dentist will need to shape the tooth to the filling, not the other way around. This can lead to losing some of your healthy tooth enamel, and not just the decaying portion. 

One of the best things about tooth-colored fillings is that none of these issues happen with them. The material isn’t a health risk for your body and you won’t inhale anything harmful. 

The resin also won’t change shape; once it dries in your tooth, that’s the shape that it will stay in. Dr. Moulton won’t even need to remove any of your healthy tooth enamel to fit it in. He can fit the resin into the space left after he takes out the decay. A better fit means a longer-lasting filling and a better seal. 

Aesthetic Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

Even if a metal filling isn’t causing a patient any physical harm, they may want to replace it anyway. While metal fillings are more common on back teeth like molars, the dark silver color is still visible when you talk or laugh. This might bother some patients.

Aside from the numerous health benefits of tooth-colored fillings, they also have aesthetic benefits. Unlike metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. 

Dr. Moulton can customize a resin filling to match the exact color of your teeth. Right in the office, Dr. Moulton can mix the resin composite with water until it matches your natural teeth. By the time you’re done, you won’t know you have a filling just by looking!

The fillings will be invisible, whether they are in the front or back of your mouth. You can talk, laugh, and eat all without anyone ever noticing your fillings. 

What to Expect at Your Appointment

When you get tooth-colored fillings or other restorative dentistry, knowing what to expect from the appointment can help it go smoothly. Most importantly, know that your dental team is working hard to make sure you have a good experience.

If you’re getting an amalgam filling replaced with a tooth-colored filling, then the first step will be for Dr. Moulton to remove the old filling. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to minimize your discomfort. 

Once the old filling is out, Dr. Moulton will prepare your tooth for the new filling. If this is a first-time filling, this is where your Dr. Moulton will start. He’ll remove any tooth decay and fill the cavity with the tooth-colored filling resin.

The whole process should only need one visit, especially if it is only one filling. For patients who may need multiple fillings or multiple replacements, then Dr. Moulton might recommend multiple visits. Your personal tolerance for dental work will be a factor in the decision.

Once all of your fillings are in place, they should last for at least ten years. Proper dental hygiene, including twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental check-ups, will help extend the life of your fillings. 

Get Tooth-Colored Fillings at Lexington Family Smiles

If you think you might need tooth-colored fillings, we can help! Request an appointment at Lexington Family Smiles today. Our team will gladly help you find the right dental solutions for you and your entire family. 

Whether you’re interested in replacing old fillings, or think it’s time for a first filling, we’ll make sure to keep you smiling for years to come!

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!

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.