a different kind of dentistry.

Lexington Dentist


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 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. 


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. 


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.

Dental Crowns: Types, Procedures, Cost, and Aftercare

3D rendering of dental crown, inlay, and onlay fillings
3d render of teeth with dental crown, inlay, and onlay filling over white background

Our smiles are the first aspect that others will notice in us and can build up or knock down our confidence. When looking at the way to restore a broken or damaged tooth, there can be some confusion around the many procedures that a dentist might put in place. 

Below, we will have a look at dental crowns, how they work, and why they might be the right solution for your needs. These are not a new technology, and they have been tested and developed over time. Learn more here, or get in touch with Lexington Family Smiles to get all of your questions answered.

What Are Dental Crowns?

First of all, let’s see what dental crowns are and what they look like. Dental crowns are tailor-made cups for one of your natural teeth that have become broken, decayed, or damaged. Dental crowns are a technology that has been around since the late 1880s, but it has developed over time to become stronger and more durable, natural-looking, and versatile.

Depending on your damaged tooth location, you might consider metal dental crowns or more natural-looking all-porcelain crowns. Your dentist at Lexington Family Smile will be able to guide you in the choice. 

The Different Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are available in a range of materials, such as:

  • Porcelain and all-porcelain
  • Metal, such as gold, chromium, palladium, and nickel
  • Ceramic and Emax Ceramic
  • Zirconia
  • Composite resin
  • E- MAX: Lithium Disilicate Crowns
  • A combination of these materials, such as in Porcelain Fused-to-Metal Crowns (PFM)

Each of these materials has considerable advantages and disadvantages. For example, metal crowns might be particularly strong, but they are visible and don’t match your smile’s natural look. 

Your dentist at Lexington Family Smile will help you pick the right solution based on several factors such as:

  • The look and color of your natural smile
  • The damaged tooth’s location and how visible it is when you smile
  • The function of the damaged tooth (molars will need to be stronger and more durable)
  • The quality of your remaining natural tooth
  • Your personal preferences

Dental Crowns, ¾ Crowns, and Onlays

Dental crowns are caps that will cover the entire tooth. However, if only a small part of the tooth is damaged, you and your dentist might decide to opt for ¾ crowns, inlays, or onlays. These are made with similar materials as crowns, but they only cover or reconstruct a portion of the tooth.

When Do You Need Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are among the most used solutions to restore a smile, and your dentist might decide to use them for a variety of issues. 

Some of the instances that might require a crown include:

  • A tooth cavity that has become too big or severe for a normal filling
  • A severely damaged tooth
  • A worn-down tooth
  • A cracked or weakened tooth

Dental crowns can also be employed to increase the efficiency of other dental treatments such as root canals and bridges. Indeed, dental crowns might help to strengthen a fragile tooth or replace a missing one.

Cost of A Dental Crown

A dental crown may cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 per crown without insurance. There are many costs involved in making a crown, which is why the cost of a crown can be so high. However, with insurance, the cost can be as low as a couple of hundred dollars to about a thousand dollars ($250 – $1000) depending on the insurance you have.

What to Expect from a Dental Crown Placement Procedure

Many patients tend to feel somehow intimidated when having to visit a dentist. Understanding what procedure to expect can help you arrive prepared and get rid of some unnecessary worries. Learn more about a dental crown placement procedure below or contact Lexington Family Smiles to know more. 

Same-Day vs. Temporary Crown Treatment

Crown treatments can take place over the course of two visits or within a single day. Often, you will complete your first visit and have a temporary crown in place until a permanent one is manufactured – which can take several weeks. 

However, a crown can also be manufactured in-house with a CEREC® device or a similar machine. This option does not require you to wear a temporary crown and can be completed within a day. 

Below, we’ll see the most common kind of dental crown placement procedure – the two-visits treatment.

First Visit: X-Rays, Tooth Preparation, and Temporary Crowns

From the first visit with your dentist, you can expect a thorough investigation of the issue, giving you a better idea of the right solution for your needs. 

During this first appointment, you will experience these steps:

  1. Investigation and X-Rays: Your dentist will carry out an examination of your whole dental structure and take an X-ray of the tooth and underneath jawbone. The X-ray results will highlight potential decay and damage.
  2. Pre-Treatment Procedures: Depending on your situation, your tooth might require a root canal treatment before the crown fitting. This happens when the tooth’s pulp is injured and exposed to infections. 
  3. Tooth Preparation and Reshaping: The damaged tooth needs to be reshaped to accommodate the crown. The extent of this intervention will depend on the type of crown used. For example, metal crowns are generally thinner, which means that less tooth surface will need to be removed. During this step, your dentist will also treat any decay.
  4. Impressions of the Tooth: Once the tooth has been reshaped and ready to welcome a crown, your dentist will take the impressions and record the color and aesthetic details about your smile. This information will help them create custom-made crowns that will look natural once in place.
  5. Temporary Crowns: At the end of the first visit, your dentist will fit in a temporary crown. While custom made, this crown might not be so fitting for your smile, but it is only a temporary solution. 

Second Visit: Crown Placement

After your first visit, your teeth’s impressions are sent to a laboratory to create accurate crowns. The custom-made permanent crown can take weeks to arrive at your dentist’s studio. 

During your second visit, your dentist will start by removing the temporary crown that had been put in place. After checking that the final result is as close as possible to your natural smile’s look, your dentist will cement the dental crown in place. 

During this step, your dentist might deliver a local anesthetic and correct the crown to fit your bite perfectly.

Aftercare and Recovery Times

After treatment, the recovery period can last for a few days, during which you might experience some irritation, sensitivity, discomfort, or inflammation of the tooth that has been treated. These sensations will fade in a few days.

When cared for properly, crowns can last for over ten years. Some tips to look after your dental crowns include:

  • Practice careful brushing.
  • Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth
  • Floss daily 
  • Avoid hard foods
  • Use a night-guard to prevent the damages of bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth at night)

Contact Lexington Family Smiles in Lexington, SC

Crowns are not only a great option to restore the look of your smile but also to prevent discomfort, dangerous infections, and reduced functionalities of your dental structures. Because of this, it is crucial to find a dentist who can help you find the right match for your needs.

You can learn more about these options by contacting Lexington Family Smiles in Lexington, SC, and schedule your appointment today.

What Makes a Great Family Dentist?

family at dentist office smiling
Portrait of a family dentist at the office looking very happy with a family in the background and smiling.

A visit to the dentist is very important to the oral health of you and your family. It sets your family up for longer-term healthy smiles. Choosing the right family dentist also sets the tone for your children to feel comfortable about regular visits.

In this post, we are going to take a look at the attributes that the best family dentists should have. Our goal is to help you choose a great dentist for you and your family.

A good family dentist is someone who knows how to communicate effectively

Yes, having the right qualifications and training is of huge importance. However, that is not enough when it comes to using the services of a high-quality dentist. You need someone who is a good communicator.

The last thing you want is a dentist who uses heaps of technical jargon, which you do not understand. You’ll be able to look after your mouth, teeth, and gums better if you understand what the dentist is saying.

This is why good family dentists are able to communicate effectively to all members of the family. They break things down in a manner that is easy to understand. They can explain how to brush effectively, how to floss, and so on, enabling the entire family to maintain good oral health.

The best family dentists are caring and compassionate

Some people feel nervous about going to the dentist. We understand this, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you feel at ease when you visit our office.

We do not take your anxiety for granted. All of our dentists, assistants, and staff are caring and compassionate. Young or old, whether you need a check-up or dental implants, we make sure that you feel comfortable and cared for.

From our kind and reassuring attitude to our openness and patience, we will make sure that your experience is a good one.

A good family dentist is someone who has the required qualifications, training, and experience

As touched upon earlier, it is a necessity that the dentist you choose has the right level of training and qualifications. They should also have plenty of experience in the industry as well.

When it comes to something as important as your dental health, you really cannot afford to take risks. You need someone you can rely on. You want to feel safe knowing that your dentist has all of the experience required to deal with any dental issue that you may face. Don’t simply assume that this is the case; find out about your dentist, their training, and their history in the industry.

Another good way to find out more about the dentist is to do a quick search online to see what other dental patients have said about the service they have received. Is the dentist reliable? Have they helped with dental issues the patient has experienced? But to be fair, don’t just read reviews, talk to the dentist too.

Lexington Family Smiles has built a great reputation in the industry. Reading the testimonials left by our patients will be helpful to you.

A good dentist is up-to-date with all of the latest technologies and advancements

The dental industry is one that is progressing all of the time. If you compare the dental treatments of ten years ago with the dental treatments of today, you will see that a lot of advancements have been made along the way.

The best family dentist is someone who fully ingrains themself in the industry and stays up-to-date with all of the latest technologies and innovations.

Advancements can also include the look and feel of the office and how patients are treated and made to feel comfortable.

You should find an aesthetics-oriented dentist in addition to being health-focused

Primarily, a dentist focuses on your oral health and what makes the most sense in terms of your health. However, the best dentists not only prioritize your health, but they think about the aesthetics of your teeth as well. After all, the appearance of your teeth can have a significant influence on your confidence.

If your teeth are yellow and stained, you may feel embarrassed, and this may cause you to keep your mouth shut in photos. You may even find that you’re always worrying about your teeth and what other people think about them. This is no way to live, is it?

This is why it is important to make sure you choose a family dentist who can help you to enhance the appearance of your teeth, as well as the health of your mouth.

Look for a family dentist who offers the complete range of dental services

Last but not least, you want a dentist to be able to assist you with any dental problem that you may be experiencing. From wisdom tooth removal to root canal treatment, your family dentist should be able to care for your needs. Lexington Family Smiles has the experience and technology to handle any dental need you may have.

It is also important to find a family dentist who offers emergency dental services. Sometimes the inconvenience of a dental emergency arises due to injury or an abscess and you need proper dental care. Lexington Family Smiles can treat your dental emergencies with confidence and care.

Contact us today for a family dentist you can rely on

If you are looking for a professional and reliable family dentist, please contact us to schedule an appointment. If you have any questions about our clinic or the services that we provide at Lexington Family Smiles, we are always more than happy to assist.

Root Canal Treatment: What It Is, Procedure, Benefits, Recovery

Dentist performing root canal treatment on a patient.
Young woman getting root canal treatment by dentist and assistant.

While most patients cringe when they think of visiting the doctor for root canal treatment, clearing up some misconceptions can help ease anxiety. A proficient dentist will be able to perform the procedure and get you back to feeling well in no time.

What Is a Root Canal?

Your teeth are an important part of your everyday life and are meant to last for your entire life. Your oral health is also closely linked to your overall bodily health. Sometimes, even with proper dental care, teeth can need repair and treatment. Root canal treatment can often help to save a diseased or injured tooth that is in need of repair.

While the outside of your tooth looks solid, underneath the exterior, there are many layers. The part you can see is the crown of the tooth, and the root is what anchors it in place in the gums and jaw bone.

The crown houses the pulp chamber which extends into the root where it is called the root canal. There may be multiple root canals in each root. The root canals are where the dental pulp is contained which includes all the nerves and blood vessels.

Reasons You Need Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment is needed if the pulp tissue is infected and inflamed. During the procedure, the infected pulp is removed from the canal to prevent it from spreading. There are several different reasons why the pulp may be injured or diseased.

The dental pulp may be damaged if a tooth is cracked or chipped. A tooth requiring a deep filling, a leaking filling, or a complication from a larger filling are other reasons for a root canal. Any other injuries to a tooth can also lead to damaged pulp because it allows bacteria to enter and cause infection.

Treatment Procedure

Depending on the extent of the infection, root canal treatment may take more than one dental visit. The dentist will follow the same basic steps in every procedure, and taking the time to learn a little bit about it can help ease any nervousness you may be feeling.

Treatment Prep

First, your tooth is numbed. A dental dam is used to cover your tooth to keep it dry. This is made out of a thin, flexible sheet of latex material so it can be easily fit to your tooth.

Pulp Removal

After your tooth is numb, a small opening is made in the crown of your tooth. This opening extends all the way down into the pulp chamber. Through this hole, the pulp is removed from the pulp chamber and both roots. Both root canals are then cleaned and disinfected.

Temporary Filling

Once the root canals are properly emptied and cleaned, they are ready to be filled. A rubber-like substance is used to fill in the empty spaces to seal them completely. Once the tooth is filled, a temporary filling is put on top to prevent any further infection.

Permanent Filling

Once Dr. Moulton is satisfied with your progress, the temporary filling is removed and a permanent filling or a crown is used to finish the procedure. The filling or crown helps to restore the complete function of your tooth by improving its shape. It also helps the tooth to blend in with the other teeth instead of standing out.

Healing Time

Root canal treatments must be entirely completed in order to be successful. This means you will need to follow all instructions given by Dr. Moulton and go to all your appointments. Not following all instructions can make the procedure ineffective and will lead to the need for more dental work. It is best to follow the instructions the first time to avoid complications.

Benefits and Risks of Root Canal Treatment

The main benefit of a root canal is that the tooth can be saved. Before root canal treatment was available, the tooth would just be removed once it became infected. Now that a root canal can be performed, the tooth can often be saved, even after the infection has set in the tooth.

There are some risks with a root canal that should be monitored. Once the tooth is devitalized, it can become more prone to chipping. Sometimes the tooth can also darken after the procedure that will need to be corrected with a teeth whitening procedure or veneers.

Recovery After Treatment

After the procedure, you will likely feel some mild pain or discomfort. If you have concerns about pain levels, talk to your dentist. Most pain can be easily managed with over-the-counter medication.

You should talk to Dr. Moulton to discuss possible issues if you are having severe pain or pressure for more than a few days after the procedure. You should also reach out to your dental team if you notice swelling in your mouth or if your bite is uneven.

Your dentist should give you specific instructions for recovery, but you should not bite down or chew with the treated tooth until the permanent crown is placed. You should also take care to continue the proper oral hygiene practices like flossing and brushing regularly to prevent infection. Other instructions given by Dr. Moulton should be followed in order to prevent complications.

Even though the procedure is basically the same, each patient is a little bit different, so it is important to know how to best support your individual recovery.

Contact a Dentist In Lexington, SC

When a tooth is damaged, it is important to seek intervention as soon as possible. Not only will it keep you from having to deal with unnecessary pain, but it will also help prevent the spread of infection to other areas of your mouth.

Our dental team is ready to step in and help you get back to feeling your best. Dr. Moulton will work with you to make sure the procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

When to See Your Dentist: Signs and Symptoms

The vast majority of patients know that visiting the dentist for regular checkups is a good idea. It helps detect oral issues and prevents more serious oral health issues from developing. But occasionally, something will go wrong in your mouth between visits to the clinic. And that may leave you wondering if you should visit your dentist or not? 

While your body can correct some issues, many require medical assistance. Here are the signs and symptoms that make an extra trip to the dentist a good idea. 

Loose Teeth

Adult teeth should last a lifetime (or many decades at the very least). So if you have a loose tooth, it’s usually a sign that you need urgent medical attention from your dentist. 

There are several causes of loose teeth. The most common in young adults is trauma or injury. If you’ve received a blow to the jaw, you may find that one or more of your teeth are loose and moving around more than usual. In many cases, the extra play is the result of a stretched periodontal ligament. 

tooth and periodontium anatomical structure. Sectional human central incisor showing the structures that form the dental tissue and the periodontal tissues.

In older adults, gingivitis – or gum disease – is the most common cause of loose teeth. It first develops at the interface between the gum and crown. If left untreated, it can slip below the gumline, infect the root, causing damage to the root bed, leading to looseness. 

Other common causes include changes in hormones during pregnancy and osteoporosis. 

Persistent Bad Breath

When your mouth is healthy, it shouldn’t smell awful.

In some cases, though, foul smells can develop. And if it doesn’t go away after brushing or flossing, it could indicate a more serious issue. 

There are many causes of bad breath. Food is the obvious one but usually subsides after a few hours. However, poor dental hygiene, tobacco smoking, dry mouth, and infections can all lead to persistent halitosis. 

If you have bad breath that won’t go away, schedule an appointment with us. Lexington Family Smiles provides treatments that resolve the root of the problem of bad breath. 

Jaw Pain

If you have jaw pain, it could be a sign that you have an abscess under a tooth. When the infection becomes established in your mouth, it damages not only your teeth but the surrounding bone, creating a kind of dull ache. If you have an abscess, you require medical attention from a dentist. 

Jaw pain can also result from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder where the joint stops working the way it should, or from the grinding of teeth, called bruxism. Our dentist, Dr. Michael Moulton, can provide treatment for this condition as well. 


It can be tempting to do nothing about a toothache in the hope that it will go away. But, unfortunately, that rarely happens. In most cases, the throbbing continues to worsen to the point where over-the-counter painkillers are no longer sufficient. Don’t suffer the pain and don’t wait for the issue to become worse. Visit your dentist for toothaches.

A few forms of toothaches are purely nerve-related and don’t involve infection. For instance, you might have a toothache because a new tooth is coming through (not an issue for adults), or your teeth are shifting for some reason, perhaps because you’re wearing braces. Usually, these types of toothaches are not an issue, so long as the teeth are not loose. 

Most toothaches, however, are the result of infection. Bacteria get under the gumline or inside teeth, leading to swelling, inflammation, and intense pain. 

Toothaches at the back of the mouth tend to be the most severe because of the complexity and density of tissues in this region and the fact that the swelling doesn’t have many directions in which to expand.

A toothache may be treated by first eliminating the infection with antibiotics and then assessing whether extraction is necessary. If a gum pocket facilitates repeated infections, gum contouring may be needed to seal the gap and save the tooth.

Dry Mouth

In healthy patients, glands produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moist. The purpose of the moisture is to help remove food debris from the oral cavity and foster the growth of beneficial bacteria. When the mouth dries out, it can lead to yeast infections like thrush, mouth sores, increased plaque production, and sores in the corner of your mouth. 

If you notice that you have a dry mouth, dealing with it is a matter of priority and something you should speak with Dr. Moulton about as soon as you can. If we can address the issue early, it will prevent oral health problems in the future. 

There are several causes of dry mouth. Top of the list are medications, including pain meds, muscle relaxants, decongestants, and antihistamines. Other causes of dry mouth include tobacco and alcohol use, cancer therapy, and damage to nerves in your head. Aging is also a significant contributor, so you may notice that your mouth becomes less wet as you get older. 

White Spots On Your Teeth Or Gums

If you notice white spots on either your teeth or gums, visit Lexington Family Smiles for a dental evaluation. 

White spots on the teeth are usually the first sign of decay. These lesions indicate a softening of the enamel and usually means the start of a cavity. They are particularly common in patients who wear braces, so proper oral hygiene is so important.

White spots can also appear on soft tissue in the mouth, such as the gums, tongue, and bottom of the mouth. Dentists call these spots “leukoplakia.” Usually, they are benign and easy to scrape off, but sometimes they are precancerous. It’s always worth having a dentist evaluate it. 

Canker Sores

Cankers sores are small ulcers that appear on the lips, cheeks, roof of the mouth, and tongue. Some patients only get a couple of these in their lifetime, while it is a regular occurrence for others. 

The majority of sores we see heal within a week or two. However, you may find that sores never heal or recur more frequently. This may indicate abrasion issues in the mouth, hormone problems, or issues with your immune system. As your dentist, we can provide long-term solutions for dealing with these issues. 

Schedule a Dental Appointment

If you feel you need a dental checkup, schedule an appointment with Lexington Family Smiles today.

Dental Hygiene: The Proper Way to Brush and Floss

Mother, father and daughter brushing teeth in bathroom

Basic dental hygiene is the most important step in ensuring healthy teeth and gums. But it’s surprising how many people neglect their oral health

To help you keep your mouth healthy, you need to make sure you brush your teeth and gums the right way. This will help keep bacteria at bay and prevent the cavities and other problems that can cause toothache and damage your teeth’s appearance.

By learning the proper way to brush and floss, you can improve your dental hygiene and form better habits for life.

How to Brush Your Teeth

Learning the right technique for brushing your teeth will make brushing easier and help you get better results. More effective brushing results in having better dental hygiene. 

Let’s start with toothpaste. Using fluoride toothpaste can help prevent tooth decay by protecting the enamel of your teeth. Most kinds of toothpaste contain fluoride, but you can also find a toothpaste that’s tailored to your specific dental concerns, such as sensitive or discolored teeth. You should only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste – there’s no need to cover the length of the brush. 

Your toothbrush should be aimed at a 45-degree angle. Use a gentle circular motion to brush your teeth, starting with the outside and then working on the inside. You shouldn’t need to brush for more than two minutes to do an effective job. 

How Often Should You Brush Your Teeth?

Most people brush their teeth twice a day for good dental hygiene. You should brush your teeth in the evening before bed and one other occasion during the day. Most people choose to brush their teeth first thing in the morning. 

Some people brush their teeth after every meal, but this could be preventing your mouth from doing its natural job. Your mouth produces saliva, which hardens your enamel after eating, protecting your teeth. If you insist on brushing after eating, you should wait at least 30 minutes to allow your mouth’s saliva to do its job. 

Chewing on sugar-free gum can help you keep your mouth feeling fresh and eliminate odors after eating.

Which Toothbrush is Best: Soft, Medium, or Firm? 

With so many different types of toothbrushes available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. When it comes to choosing which toothbrush is best, it can come down to your personal preference, as well as the condition of your teeth. But generally, a soft bristle toothbrush is better for your teeth and gums and oral hygiene.

The first choice you’ll need to make is whether or not you want a manual or an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush can be more effective at removing plaque and can be gentler on your gums. As most feature a built-in timer, you won’t have to worry about overbrushing.

A manual toothbrush is by far the easiest and most affordable option, but then you’ll need to choose between a soft, medium or firm type of bristle. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal for your teeth, helping to remove plaque without being too harsh on your gums.

If you have sensitive teeth or problems with your gums, you should avoid a firm toothbrush to avoid causing further damage.

How to Floss Your Teeth 

Flossing is another important element of your dental hygiene. While most people brush their teeth twice a day, the same can’t be said for flossing. Flossing helps to dislodge food trapped between teeth, as well as remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. It should be a daily part of your dental care.

There are various types of dental floss out there, including electric air flossers. While any type of floss can be effective, you may have a personal preference about which one to use. Waxed floss can glide between teeth easier, while there are toughened types of floss for those with braces, bridges or implants.

To use floss effectively:

  • Use around 18 inches of floss, ensuring you have an inch or two either side of your fingers. 
  • After pulling the floss taut, place the floss between two teeth. 
  • Gently glide the floss up down, ensuring you floss the sides of each tooth.
  • Avoid flossing into your gums, as this can cause damage. Instead, curve the floss at the bottom of your tooth to help you access the gap between your teeth and gums.
  • Repeat on each tooth, making sure you use a clean section of floss each time.

Avoid These Brushing and Flossing Mistakes

Brushing your teeth is part of your daily routine, a habit that you don’t give much thought to. But could you be making a mistake with your brushing that could have a negative impact on your dental hygiene? Some common brushing and flossing mistakes to avoid include:

  • Don’t use a toothbrush that’s too firm – the bristles need to be soft enough to reach tricky areas.
  • Don’t rush brushing – aim for two minutes.
  • Don’t brush too roughly, this can cause bleeding and damage to your teeth and gums.
  • Don’t forget to change your toothbrush regularly – you should aim to change it every three months.
  • Don’t neglect your gumline – this is where a lot of bacteria can live.
  • Don’t do half a job – the more effective your brushing, the healthier your teeth will be.

See Your Dentist Regularly 

Brushing and flossing the right way can help you take care of your teeth at home, but making a regular appointment with your dentist is important for keeping up with your overall oral hygiene and make sure that everything is ok. 

Your dentist will be able to advise you on the effectiveness of your brushing and give you advice on how to improve your oral care. Cavities and other problems can be difficult to see yourself, but your dentist will be able to help keep your teeth and gums in great shape.At Lexington Family Smiles, we know how important it is to take care of your teeth. When you pay us a visit, we’ll be more than happy to advise on the proper way to brush and floss to boost your dental hygiene. Contact us to request an appointment and let us help you enjoy great oral care for a winning smile you can’t help but show off.