A Dentist’s Indispensable Tool: The X-ray

Stanleyville cosmetic dental and tooth implants

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, providing first rate dental care is much easier when we have thorough information about our patients’ dental health.

Pictures are more accurate than written notes. Since they show what’s going on below the surface, they’re worth even more than a thousand words. Along with a thorough visual oral exam, most dentists want complete and up-to-date X-rays.

There are several types of x-rays:

  • Bite-Wing x-rays give us a picture of the upper and lower back teeth. We can see how they touch each other and see if there is any decay.
  • Panoramic x-rays give us the big picture: a view of the teeth, jaws and jaw joints, nasal area, and even the sinuses. These are especially useful if we think the patient may need orthodontics or a dental implant.
  • Occlusal x-rays show us the floor of the mouth, and the bite of the upper or lower jaw. They’re good for showing the development of children’s teeth, both the baby and permanent teeth.

How often we take X-rays is largely determined by your age as well as the state of your dental health. Because children are growing and experience more changes to their teeth, they usually need X-rays more frequently.

Should you worry about X-rays? They use radiation, but are designed to minimize patient exposure. Patients only get negligible amounts, making them safe. The latest generations of x-rays reduce radiation even more. Still, we take the added safety measure of covering the patient with a heavy leaded apron and collar.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we are committed to providing the best possible dental care. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

ArticleID 6586

To Chew Or Not To Chew

To Chew Or Not To Chew In Winston-Salem

Hello gum chewers, in this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group we’re going to talk about that sticky wad in your mouth. You know that it can freshen your breath, but can it really help guard your smile from cavities?

It really depends on the type of gum. Chewing regular sucrose-based gum can be helpful in removing bits of food from the surface of teeth, but that benefit is negated by the stream of sugar washing over your teeth as you chew.

However, gum with some alternative sweeteners has an added benefit for your pearly whites. Xylitol is a sweetener which not only has fewer calories than traditional sugars, but it also has antimicrobial properties that reduce plaque build-up. This means that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes cavities.

So if you’re headed out to a restaurant, bring a pack of sugar-free gum with you and pop it in your mouth when your meal is done. Of course, brushing and flossing are the ideal practices for your oral health, but when you can’t brush, pick a sugarless gum with xylitol.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

ArticleID 3888

Signs Of Oral Cancer: What Not To Ignore

oral cancer signs Winston-Salem

This message from Winston-Salem Dental Group focuses on a very serious matter, oral cancers. The medical community designates oral cancers as a subset of head and neck cancers.

Oral cancers can arise in the following locations:

  • The tongue
  • The roof of the mouth and under the tongue
  • The inside of the cheeks
  • The oropharynx (the part behind the soft palate)
  • The salivary glands
  • The lips

Oral Cancers Are Particularly Deadly

Over 50,000 people annually are diagnosed with a type of oral cancer. They are more than twice as prevalent in men. There is no disparity when it comes to blacks or whites. Oral cancers claim over 10,000 victims per year.

The statistics reveal that only 57 percent of those diagnosed this year will be alive in five years. Talk about a grim outlook.

Let’s discuss the common—and the not-so-common—warning signs of oral cancer.

Any sore or lump in the mouth or throat should be taken seriously. Any white or red patch could also be a symptom.

Receiving an oral cancer screening is another reason to visit Winston-Salem Dental Group twice a year for an exam. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and extended evening and Saturday hours for your convenience. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

 

ArticleID 8161

Crown Or Veneer?

cosmetic dentistry Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem Dental Group offers multiple cosmetic dental procedures for creating sensational smiles. Two of the most popular procedures are dental crowns and porcelain veneers.

Many patients don’t understand the difference between the two. Generally, a crown strengthens a compromised tooth while a veneer is used mainly for cosmetic improvements.

In short: a dental crown covers the entire visible part of the tooth. A veneer is an ultra-thin layer for the front of a tooth.

Crowns can be made of all porcelain (ceramic), from porcelain fused to metal, or gold. Veneers are made of several layers of extremely strong ceramic laminate.

Both crowns and veneers are affixed to the tooth with a special adhesive. Crowns and veneers are durable and can last many years if properly cared for, though they are not stronger than natural enamel.

Crowns and veneers are available from Winston-Salem Dental Group. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and pediatric dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 7129

Think Before You Pierce

The Dangers of Oral PiercingIf you are considering piercing your lip or tongue to accommodate jewelry, this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group is for you. Please consider the following:

Infection
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Any opening in the tissue carries the risk of infection. The germs from your tongue and mouth can easily get into your bloodstream. Dentists and doctors are continually treating acute infections caused by oral piercings. Oral infections can be a real problem and should be a major consideration before getting an oral piercing.

Tooth Damage
It should come as no surprise that having a piece of metal bang around in your mouth can easily damage tooth enamel. Though tooth enamel is amazingly strong, once it’s chipped or cracked, it can only be restored with artificial material. Fortunately, we offer many tooth restoration options such as crowns and fillings, but our advice is to avoid the problem if you can.

Prolonged Bleeding and Swelling
The blood vessels in the tongue are often damaged when the tongue is pierced, causing prolonged bleeding and possible build-up of scar tissue. In some extreme cases, the tongue swells up enough to block the airway.

Gum Recession
A number of periodontal disease studies have shown that wearing oral jewelry is linked to periodontal disease which can bring about tooth loss. Periodontal disease can cause gum recession which exposes the root of your teeth, potentially causing hypersensitivity and pain. Again, our advice is to avoid the issue right from the start.

These are just a few of the dangers or oral piercings. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we suggest avoiding them by not piercing. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We have extended evening and Saturday hours to fit your busy schedule. Call for an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 700

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry Winston-Salem

Everyone wants nice, pearly white teeth. It makes sense, then, to brush our teeth more often to get them – right? Well, no. As we explain in this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group, brushing too aggressively can result in receding gums.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?
A common misconception is the idea that if you want to lighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get white teeth is to brush longer, not harder. The key, though, is to use a very light touch. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

Why?
When you brush your teeth too quickly, you may not remove all the food particles. You don’t want this debris turning into plaque.

If you truly want whiter teeth, brush in a slow, circular motion for about five minutes. Methodically go over each tooth surface.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. The fluoride helps your enamel re-harden.

Let’s Review
Brushing too aggressively can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria causes cavities. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

The best approach is to brush longer, and with a light gentle touch. Don’t forget to floss!

If you’re gums have already begun to recede, don’t despair! It’s a treatable condition. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry, and offer extended evening and weekend hours. Call to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 8128

A Fresh Start After Losing A Tooth

Winston-Salem Permanent Tooth ReplacementHave you had a tooth extracted? If it was bothering you, it may have been a relief. Now, though, you have an unsightly gap in your smile. A dental implant from Winston-Salem Dental Group can fix it.

A dental implant is a permanent replacement for all parts of the tooth. It is composed of three parts: the titanium post, the abutment, and the restoration.

The Titanium Post

  • Inserted directly into the jaw bone
  • Extremely strong
  • Titanium is unique in that it bonds with living bone tissue

The Abutment

  • Can be made of gold, porcelain or titanium
  • Permanently attached to the post (it will not slip and slide like dentures)

The Restoration (Crown)

  • Usually made of porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM)
  • Is made to match the color of surrounding teeth
  • Will look as good or better than the tooth it replaced

Dental implant surgery is not an experimental treatment. The innovative materials and techniques have been tested and refined for several decades.

Dental implants from Winston-Salem Dental Group are state-of-the-art in tooth replacement, and they’re among our general and cosmetic dentistry services. Call us to schedule an appointment tody!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 3066

How White Fillings Improve Your Smile

Tooth-Colored Fillings in Winston-SalemIt is an unfortunate fact of life that we get cavities in our teeth. When a tooth is compromised by decay, a filling is needed to restore it to its previous condition. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer white fillings that blend in easily with the rest of your teeth.

If you have old silver amalgam fillings, we can replace them with white fillings. White fillings are made out of a strong composite resin. Many of our cosmetic dentistry patients have replaced their old metal fillings with fillings matched to their teeth. You can improve your smile instantly by getting rid of the metal.

While white fillings have an obvious cosmetic benefit, there are other reasons for considering them. Although traditional metal (amalgam) fillilngs still have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, many people are concened that they are not healthy.

If you would like to improve your smile by replacing your old fillings with white fillings, call us at Winston-Salem Dental Group. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 1173

If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

bleeding gums Winston-Salem

This is an essential question occasionally asked by patients at Winston-Salem Dental Group. The answer, however, is “No!” Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly—not leave them alone. It is all but impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss, or an interdental brush.

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times you do. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding generally stops within a week or two.

Gingivitis and the more advanced periodontal disease is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.

If you don’t make flossing a habit, you may wind up with gum disease. The good news is that gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.

It is important to correctly use dental floss to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth:

  1. Cut a length of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  3. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with.
  4. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s essential to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  6. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to provide a clean section for every tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new one.

Some people find it easier to start on one end on the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the other side. Then repeat for the bottom row. Whatever operation you pick, make sure you clean around every tooth, including the back surfaces of the last molars.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and weekend hours for your busy schedule. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 6969

Calming Root Canal Fears

North Carolina Dentist Calms Root Canal Fears

Hearing that you’ll need a root canal is news that no one ever welcomes, because root canals are usually associated with pain. That may have been true, once upon a time, but at Winston-Salem Dental Group, rest assured: root canal therapy is relatively painless, and the benefits far outweight any drawbacks.

Root canals have improved greatly over the years, and today most patients report that they aren’t all that different than having a cavity filled. They are, in fact, a fairly common procedure.

Root canals become necessary when the nerve below a tooth becomes infected. The infection can be quite painful, which leads to another point about root canals: they don’t cause pain, they relieve it.

The procedure is done to remove the diseased pulp from within the tooth. If it wasn’t removed, the infection would get worse and lead to other issues, including systemic problems and diseases in other parts of the body. Done properly, a root canal preserves the natural tooth.

After treatment, you may experience a little discomfort. The usual remedy to this is an over-the-counter pain reliever. Most patients are getting back to normal within a day or so.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, a root canal is nothing to fear. Other services incude general and cosmetic dentistry. Call us to schedule your next checkup today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 421