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Posts for: September, 2014

Dental CrownsSome people need a complete smile makeover to achieve a more attractive looking set of teeth. But in other cases maybe all a patient needs is to have one or two teeth modified with a process called a dental restoration. One of the most popular types of restorations is a dental crown.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is an artificial tooth restoration that is designed to mimic the look of your natural teeth so that it fits right in with the rest of your teeth. As the name states, the artificial tooth sets in place over your natural tooth like a crown rests on top of someone’s head, except the crown is bonded to the surface so that it stays put permanently.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

As a dental crown provider in Charlotte, Drs. Hockaday and Baucom will tell you, crowns have a number of benefits, such as:
It is generally a more permanent and reliable option compared to veneers
With good care a crown can last anywhere from five up to 30 years, which is largely dependent on how you take care of them
Porcelain dental crowns usually maintain their beautiful shine, luster and color, even when they come in contact with foods and beverages that can stain the teeth

Getting the Process Started

The process of getting a dental crown isn't as complicated as it sounds. You can have your “perfect smile” in as little as two or three relatively short appointments. The first step is to have an initial consultation at our Charlotte dental practice. Call our office at (704) 553-2348 or visit to request a time.
Are you a patient of Hockaday & Baucom, DDS? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
September 24, 2014
Category: Oral Health

When it comes to dental health, you might say celebrity interior designer and television host Nate Berkus is lucky: Unlike many TV personalities, he didn't need cosmetic dental work to achieve — or maintain — his superstar smile. How did he manage that? Nate credits the preventive dental treatments he received as a youngster.

“I'm grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child. Healthy habits should start at a young age,” he told an interviewer from Dear Doctor magazine. We couldn't have said it better — but let's take a moment and examine exactly what these treatments do.

Fluoride treatment — that is, the topical (surface) application of a concentrated fluoride gel to a child's teeth — is a procedure that's often recommended by pediatric dentists. Although tooth enamel is among the hardest substances in nature, fluoride has been shown to make it more resistant to tooth decay. And that means fewer cavities! Studies show that even if you brush regularly and live in an area with fluoridated water, your child could still benefit from the powerful protection of fluoride treatments given at the dental office.

Another potent defense against cavities is dental sealants. Despite your child's best efforts with the toothbrush, it's still possible for decay bacteria to remain in the “pits and fissures” of the teeth — those areas of the molars, for example, which have tiny serrated ridges and valleys where it's easy for bacteria to grow. Dental sealants fill in and protect vulnerable areas from bacterial attack, greatly decreasing the risk that future dental treatment will be required.

Why not take a tip from our favorite celebrity interior designer, and ask about cavity-preventing treatments for your children's teeth? If you would like more information about fluoride treatments or dental sealants, please contact us for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Topical Fluoride” and “Sealants for Children.”

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
September 09, 2014
Category: Oral Health

Your dental appliance plays a big role in restoring function and improving your appearance. Taking proper care of it will ensure it can do that for a long time.

Cleaning is a top priority. Though it might seem natural to use toothpaste, you should avoid using it on your appliance. The abrasives in toothpaste are necessary to break up plaque on natural teeth’s hard enamel surfaces, but will leave micro scratches on the surface of your appliance that eventually become havens for bacterial growth — a sure recipe for discoloration and unpleasant odors. If you plan to use boiling or hot water to disinfect your appliance, don’t. The heat distorts the plastic and can disrupt its precise mouth fit. You should also avoid using bleach because it can break down the composition of the plastic, can leave a strong odor, and can whiten the pink “gum tissue” areas of the denture.

Instead, use plain liquid detergent or hand soap with warm water to clean your appliance — and use a brush designed for it rather than your toothbrush. If you have a long-term appliance like a denture, you might consider investing in an ultra-sonic cleaner that uses high frequency sound vibrations to clean out small crevices a brush can’t reach.

Remember the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt?” With dental appliances, too much time in the mouth breeds bacteria. Dentures, for example, should be taken out at night to allow saliva and its antibacterial capacity to work in your mouth. You also should be on the lookout for signs of infection — if anything appears amiss, contact us for an exam as soon as possible to minimize the effects of tooth decay or gum disease.

One final item: be careful where you place your appliance when it’s not in your mouth. Lying out in the open (like on a nightstand) is a tempting lure for the family pet or a curious child. Keep it in its case in accordance with the care instructions given you when you received your appliance.

Doing the right things — and avoiding the wrong things — when caring for your dental appliance will go a long way to increasing its life and reducing problems along the way.

If you would like more information on caring for your oral appliance, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.