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Posts for: January, 2015

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
January 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Today’s crowns, the visible part of a tooth replacement system, can effectively mimic the shape and color of natural teeth. But not all crowns are equal — so it’s best to be well-informed before you undergo a restoration on your natural teeth such as a single crown or bridgework — or if you need a crown on a dental implant that replaces a missing tooth.

To give you a starting point, here are 3 things to keep in mind about crowns as you consider a dental restoration.

Material composition. Most crowns in years past were made of a precious metal, most notably gold. What it lacked in appearance, it made up for in performance and durability. In recent years, dental porcelain has become the popular choice because of its ability to mimic the appearance and translucent color of natural teeth. Today’s porcelains are much stronger and are used more frequently for back teeth than in years past. A common recommendation for back teeth is a hybrid crown using metal and porcelain. Metal is incorporated beneath the porcelain in this type of crown to create a strong foundation and is also used along biting surfaces for strength. Porcelain is used in the more visible areas for esthetics.

The dental technician’s level of artistry. Most dentists sub-contract crown fabrication to dental laboratory technicians who may have varying levels of experience and artistic ability. A highly skilled technician can produce a crown that blends seamlessly with the patient’s remaining natural teeth.

Take a “test drive” of your future smile. Although we as dentists adhere to certain aesthetic principles, beauty is ultimately subjective — “in the eye of the beholder.” The final product must meet your expectations and level of comfort. If available, then, consider wearing temporary “trial smile” crowns as a preview of your new smile while your permanent set is under construction. This allows you to “try out” your future smile ahead of time, so you can make recommendations and sign off on the final set before it’s finished.

Undertaking any dental restoration is an important life step, both for your health and appearance. Being well-informed — especially about the crowns that you and others will see — will help you make wise choices that lead to a satisfying outcome.

If you would like more information on crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
January 16, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental fillings  

From the time you're an infant until you're long in the tooth, your dental health has a lasting impression on your health overall. And for most of us, our chances for getting a cavity increase as we experience a larger variety of scrumptious foods and drinks to indulge in, more opportunities to perpetuate tooth decay, and more time to deny the continuance of our overall dental health.

But regardless of your age or dental profile, finding the right family dentist for you and your loved ones' specific oral needs is important for continued good health. At Hockaday & Baucom, DDS, you'll find that your chompers are treated like kings and queens, because this family dentistry knows how important it is to serve your teeth wholeheartedly.

Check out why cavities can be a thing of the past when you choose the right filling below:

When Metal Fillings Are Right

Made up of mercury, silver, tin, and copper, the amalgam filling is perhaps the most popular metal filling. It's resilient and has a low-risk for being damaged further through normal wear and tear. However, considering how much attention they can bring, those of us who are shy about our teeth might prefer a different dental solution. Metal fillings also usually need more drilling done than other fillings, so choose this type if the extra attention you'll get along with a bit of initial installation pain doesn't bother you.

When Tooth-Colored Fillings Are Right

Tooth-colored fillings like composites, porcelain, and glass ionomer are much more life-like than many metal fillings. Also, less drilling is needed when placing most tooth-colored fillings compared with metal ones. Because of their more-real appearance, though, some of them can be more expensive. Choose tooth-colored fillings if you want the dental replacement option that most looks like a tooth.

Regardless of the filling you think is best to replace the cavity-induced vacancy in your row of teeth, the expert family dentists on site at Hockaday & Baucom, DDS, are ready and waiting to make your filling a fast success! Give them a call at (704) 553-2348 and find out why true dental relief can be found right here in Charlotte, NC, today.

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
January 14, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Now that celebrities can communicate directly with their fans through social media, we’ve started to see dispatches from some surprising locations — the dental chair, for example! Take singer Kelly Clarkson, who was the first winner of American Idol, and perhaps one of the first to seek moral support via social media before having an emergency root canal procedure.

“Emergency root canal — I’ve had better days,” Kelly posted on her Facebook page, along with a photo of herself looking… well, pretty nervous. But is a root canal procedure really something to be scared about? It’s time to clear up some misconceptions about this very common dental procedure.

First of all, root canal treatment is done to save a tooth that might otherwise be lost to an infection deep inside it. So while it’s often looked upon with apprehension, it’s a very positive step to take if you want to keep your teeth as long as possible. Secondly, tooth infections can be painful — but it’s the root canal procedure that stops the pain. What, actually, is done during this tooth-saving treatment?

First, a local anesthetic is administered to keep you from feeling any pain. Then, a small opening is made through the chewing surface of the infected tooth, giving access to the central space inside, which is called the “pulp chamber.” A set of tiny instruments is used to remove the diseased pulp (nerve) tissue in the chamber, and to clean out the root canals: branching tunnel-like spaces that run from the pulp chamber through the root (or roots) of the tooth. The cleared canals are then filled and sealed.

At a later appointment, we will give you a more permanent filling or, more likely, a crown, to restore your tooth’s full function and protect it from further injury. A tooth that has had a root canal followed by a proper restoration can last as long as any other natural tooth — a very long time indeed.

If you have any questions about root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “A Step by Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment.”

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
January 05, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged


While we may spend a lot of time considering our general health, we may spend a little less time thinking about our oral health than we should. With gum disease and dental decay being common health problems, we need to take time out for our smiles to make sure they last a lifetime. This means seeing your dentist regularly for preventive care.

Why should I see my family dentist?

Your family dentist focuses on preventive care; therefore, it’s important that you keep up with your routine dental visits to prevent gum disease, cavities or infections from occurring. However, your family dentist can also detect, diagnose and treat dental problems. During your routine visit we will perform a thorough and professional teeth cleaning, as well as an exam. We will also conduct X-rays once a year to detect cavities that we might not be able to see.

Even if you follow a strict oral regime at home, you still need to see your family dentist for a proper cleaning and to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. Children should especially see their family dentist regularly to make sure their mouths are developing properly.

When should you see your Charlotte dentist?

Did you know that you should be seeing your dentist every six months for routine visits? If not, you aren’t alone. However, regular dental visit will ensure that we detect any early dental problems while they are still easy to manage. Early detection will also reduce the risk of tooth or gum damage and prevent more expensive and invasive treatments. Routine visits are a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile.

You should also see your family dentist if a dental emergency arises. This happens more often than you would think. From a knocked-out tooth to a simple toothache, we can treat these serious problems before they wreak havoc on your smile. More often than not, we can save your tooth and preserve your natural smile if you come in to see us right away.

If it’s time to schedule you or your child’s next dental appointment, call us today. Put your oral health first and reap the benefits of a beautiful, healthy mouth.