Category Archives: General Dentistry

Tooth restoration in the Modern Dental Office

Fillings vary in complexity and material. Some are direct fillings, placed “directly” in a cavity, although others are indirect, wherein an impression of the tooth is taken and a custom filling is created to fit around it. If your dentist suggests a tooth restoration, knowing what’s available can help you make the best choice for your mouth.

You might think of amalgam fillings for teeth as a classic option. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dentists have been using this type of filling for more than 150 years. As the name suggests, amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals. They typically contain about 50 percent mercury, along with tin, copper, silver or zinc. Compared to other types, amalgam fillings have a few things going for them: They are the least pricey option, and they’re also very strong and long-lasting.

Amalgam fillings aren’t without drawbacks, though. They’re silver in color to start and tend to become darker with time, meaning they are a fairly conspicuous item when you open your mouth.

A composite tooth filling, typically made of powdered glass and acrylic resin, offers a few advantages over an amalgam filling. For one, the filling can be shaded to match the color of a person’s existing teeth, making it much less visible. As more people want natural-looking smiles, composite fillings have become increasingly popular.

When it comes to dental fillings, you can do much worse than gold. It’s one of the most durable and long-lasting options, with the ADA noting that it can remain effective for more than two decades. Of course, that durability comes at a price, as gold fillings are among the most expensive. They’re usually indirect fillings, as well, so you’ll need to spend more time in a dentist’s chair to receive one.

Porcelain fillings are similar to gold. They are a form of indirect filling, usually require more than one visit to the dentist and tend to be pricey. However, they’re also different from gold fillings in a few important way: On the one hand, they are much more fragile. On the other, they look like actual teeth and can help you maintain a natural appearance.

This entry was posted in cosmetic dentistry, Dental Care, General Dentistry, Uncategorized on by .

Dental Cleanings Can Help Prevent Gum Disease


Hickory, NC residents: When was your last dental cleaning? Did you know skipping a dental cleaning could put you at risk for gum disease treatment?

Whether we are your dentist in Hickory, NC or not, we are committed to giving you the right information to keep your smile healthy.

Research has proven a link between the advanced stages of gum disease and serious health problems like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Over time, plaque and tartar can form in some areas even with meticulous brushing. When tartar collects below the gum line, gum infection can result. If left untreated, this can result in tooth loss.

There are a few terms you should know:


Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. You may also see the term “periodontal disease.” Symptoms include red and swollen gums that bleed easily. While this condition is often associated with inadequate oral hygiene at home, it may be an indicator of other health issues. Diabetes, smoking, aging, genetics, stress, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and a variety of other situations may affect your individual symptoms. Gingivitis is reversible with treatment and good home care of your teeth and gums.


When gingivitis is not treated, the condition can advance to periodontitis. Plaque can spread below the gum line and toxins in the bacteria can irritate the gums. This inflammatory response triggers the body to attack the bacteria and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are destroyed. You’ll often see the gums separating from the teeth as the disease progresses. There are many forms of periodontitis:

  • Aggressive periodontitis occurs in healthy patients who have neglected to regular dental cleanings and effective oral hygiene.
  • Chronic periodontitis is recognized by inflammation in gums and bone loss has started.
  • Periodontitis can be a symptom of another condition such as heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection caused in individuals with systemic conditions like HIV, malnutrition and immunosuppression.

Here are some symptoms:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red or purplish gums
  • Gums are tender when touched
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth (receding)
  • Teeth look longer than normal (symptom of receding gums)
  • New spaces developing between your teeth
  • Infection between your teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

If You are Concerned about Gum Disease

Dental cleanings are the first step. We’d like to be your Hickory, NC dentist, but whomever you see—see them regularly. Routine cleanings and proper home care can help you keep a healthy smile for a lifetime.

In addition to a great smile, we want you to have the very best dental health, and one of the most important reasons to visit a dentist is to have your teeth professionally cleaned. We’d rather compliment you on your great smile than discuss gum disease treatment.

Concerned? The sooner you seek the care of a qualified dentist in Hickory, NC, the better your chances of reversing damage from periodontitis (and potentially preventing other serious health problems).

We know that everyone is leading a busy life. Often, a dental visit is delayed. Regular dental cleanings are skipped. The longer you go without a trip to the dentist the harder it is to put forth the effort to make an appointment. We understand, but we won’t let you off that easily! Give us a call today and we promise you’ll enjoy the visit.

This entry was posted in Dental Care, General Dentistry, Gum Disease, Periodontal Treatment on by .