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Posts for: November, 2015

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
November 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.

“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.

Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.

“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.

Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?

Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.

Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a third to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.

Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”

Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.

If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
November 10, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Find out the purpose of dental crowns and how they could improve your smile.

Dealing with a broken, chipped or decaying tooth? This can cause both aesthetic and functional issues for your smile. Luckily, your CrownsCharlotte family dentists Dr. Susan Hockaday and Dr. Jim Baucom can place a dental crown to prevent further problems from befalling your teeth. Find out the reason for dental crowns and the benefits you’ll gain when you get one.

What is a dental crown?

Teeth that have been damaged or weakened in some way can often benefit from dental crowns, tooth-shaped caps that are custom-made to cover the entire tooth and are cemented into place after the tooth has been filed down.

In essence, crowns are designed to provide an additional layer of resilience and strength. While dental crowns can be placed for purely aesthetic reasons, your family dentists in Charlotte will most likely recommend a crown to restore full function back into the tooth.

What is a dental crown made from?

One of the factors you’ll have to consider before getting a dental crown is what material you want for your crown. Here are the most common materials used:

  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Metal
  • Ceramic

All porcelain or all ceramic most resemble the shade of a natural tooth, which makes this a more popular material for dental crowns. These are also a great option for those who have an allergy to metal. While they are durable they don’t always last as long as metal crowns. Metal crowns also tend to be less expensive.

In what cases can a dental crown help?

A dental crown is very versatile and can be used to treat multiple issues including,

  • Cracked or broken teeth
  • Teeth that either have severe decay or that have been treated multiple times with fillings that have failed
  • To cover a dental implant
  • To anchor a dental bridge into place

If you are dealing with any of these issues and think that dental crowns could be the dental restoration you’ve been looking for then turn to Hockaday & Baucom, DDS for all your dental needs.

By Hockaday & Baucom, DDS
November 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  
Crowns Could be the Smile Solution for Some Unattractive Teeth

While dental implants have become the most popular restoration among both dentists and patients, it’s primarily a tooth replacement — either for a missing tooth or a tooth beyond repair that must be extracted. But what if your tooth is still viable beneath its unattractive exterior? From an oral health standpoint, it’s usually wise to preserve it.

Even so, you still have options for making a tooth that’s spoiling your smile more attractive. One of the most effective solutions happens to be one of the oldest in dentistry: a crown. In effect, a crown is a life-like replica made of metal or dental porcelain that’s bonded over a tooth. And with today’s advanced materials and methods a crown can not only enhance the appearance of the tooth it covers, it can also be made to blend with the color and symmetry of adjacent teeth.

Here are a few dental situations where a crown could provide both protection for a tooth and a more attractive appearance.

Chipped, Damaged or Abnormally Developed Teeth. Teeth often take the brunt of mouth injuries, resulting in chips or even fractures. Also, teeth sometimes don’t erupt fully or develop a normal shape. A crown can effectively cover these missing or abnormal parts of a tooth and restore a more natural appearance.

Following Root Canal Treatment. Trauma or deep decay can damage the interior of a tooth - the pulp and root canals - and endanger its survival. A root canal treatment cleans out and repairs these areas, filling them with a special filling to prevent further infection. A crown is usually necessary to both protect the tooth and restore its appearance.

Discoloration. There’s a difference between outward staining of the enamel, which can usually be brightened with whitening solutions, and staining deep within the tooth from various causes. While there are techniques to bleach “intrinsic” staining, a crown provides another option for covering a heavily discolored tooth for a more attractive appearance.

Excessive Wear. We all experience some teeth wearing as we age; but grinding or clenching habits can accelerate that wear and shorten teeth, resulting in a prematurely aged look. Crowns restore worn teeth to a more normal length that can take “years” off your smile.

If you would like more information on crown restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”