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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
February 17, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  
GetRidofThoseUnattractiveTeethwithPorcelainVeneers

Those unattractive teeth you see in the mirror are what are standing between you and a truly beautiful smile. If only you could make them go away.

In a way, you can do just that—with dental veneers. For the past three decades dentists have been covering the imperfections of problem teeth with these thin layers of porcelain. What's more, they're usually less involved and expensive than other restorations.

Veneers work best on teeth with moderate flaws like chipping, heavy staining or wearing, or slight misalignments like crookedness or gaps. The dental porcelain used is a ceramic material that so closely mimics the color and translucence of natural teeth it often takes a trained eye to notice any difference.

The first step to getting veneers is to plan your new look with a full examination and a diagnostic mock-up, a temporary application of tooth-colored filling materials applied directly to the teeth. This gives you and your dentist a better visual idea of how veneers will look on your teeth, and to make any adjustments ahead of time. A dental lab will use these findings to create your custom veneers.

In the meantime we'll prepare your teeth to accommodate your veneers. Although they're usually only 0.3 to 0.7 millimeters thick, veneers can still appear bulky when placed straight on the teeth. To adjust for their width we usually must remove some of the teeth's surface enamel so the veneers look more natural. Because enamel can't be replaced, the removal permanently alters the teeth and will require some form of restoration from then on.

When the veneers are ready we'll attach them with special cement so they'll form an almost seamless bond with the teeth. You'll then be able to use them just as before—but with a little caution. Although quite durable, veneers can break under too much force, so avoid biting on hard objects like ice, hard candy or nuts. And be sure you practice good dental care on your veneered teeth with daily brushing and regular dental cleanings and checkups.

The end result, though, is well worth the upkeep. Porcelain veneers can rejuvenate your smile and provide you a new level of confidence for years to come.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: Your Smile—Better than Ever.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
StoppingToothDecayCouldRequireRootCanalTreatment

It’s absolutely critical to stop tooth decay and repair any damage to tooth structure. Hopefully, we’ve caught it early in the enamel and dentin where we’re able to repair any holes or “cavities” that might have developed by filling them.

But what if the decay has crept deeper into the interior of the tooth? In this case, you’re at a much higher risk of eventually losing the tooth. If the decay has spread into the bone, a root canal treatment is usually your best option.

The first sign that decay has invaded the pulp, the innermost layer of the tooth, and the root canals may be a severe toothache. It’s different from the wince of pain or discomfort caused by sensitivity to temperature or pressure. Inner decay pain is constant and often excruciating. This is because the infection is attacking the nerves bundled within the pulp chamber.

The pain can last for several days, and then suddenly stop altogether. No pain is good news, right? Wrong — the pain has stopped because the infected nerves have finally died and can no longer signal the brain. The infection, though, is very much alive and will continue to advance toward the root where the damage may eventually cause you to lose the tooth.

A root canal treatment removes decay in the pulp chamber and canals. We first drill an access hole to enter the pulp chamber. Once inside, we use special instruments to completely remove all tissue and disinfect the empty chamber. We then fill the chamber and root canals with a special filling and seal the access hole to prevent further decay. A few weeks later we install a custom crown to protect the tooth further.

If you have a toothache, or you’ve had one that suddenly went away, you should schedule an appointment for a dental examination as soon as possible: this is the only way to accurately determine the cause of the pain. If a root canal is deemed necessary, the sooner we perform it, the less chance the infection will cause you to lose your tooth.

If you would like more information on root canal treatment, 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 “Signs and Symptoms of a Future Root Canal.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

If you're like most people in the United States, you've probably seen or heard advertisements for dental implants. These tooth restorations are quickly gaining in popularity everywhere, including Dr. Joseph Hendrick Jr.'s dental practice in Shelby, NC. Dr. Hendrick Jr. is here to explain two of the many reasons why dental implants have become so popular for both dentists and patients.

More stability

Dental implants from your Shelby dentist are an investment in the future of your dental health. That's because the structure of the dental implant mimics that of a natural tooth, allowing the rest of your teeth to continue functioning normally. When you have a gap from a missing tooth, the teeth on either side of it begin to gradually shift out of place in an effort to "find" the tooth that once resided next to them. In the same way, the tooth directly above the gap begins to move downward. This can cause a chain reaction of misalignment and further tooth loss. But because of the way the post is imbedded in your jawbone, the body treats dental implants as an authentic part of your dentition.

Less maintenance

One of the reasons that people hold off on replacing their missing teeth with restorations is because of the labor-intensity. Dentures require frequent removal for cleaning and need to be adjusted to compensate for the regression of the bone underneath the gum ridges. Crowns and bridges stay in place, but are only designed to last five to 15 years before needing replacement or repair. Dental implants, however, never need to be taken out or adjusted. The permanence of the post, as we've discussed, keeps the bones and teeth functioning properly for decades to come. As long as you care for your gums and remaining natural teeth, your dental implant from Dr. Hendrick Jr., your Shelby, NC, dentist, can last as long as 25 years before needing maintenance.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hendrick Jr. and learn more about dental implants, contact our dental office in Shelby, NC, today!

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown lengthening  
CrownLengtheningMightbeNecessaryforSeniorswithToothDecay

While tooth decay is a potential problem at any age, the risk increases as you grow older. Not only are senior adults more susceptible, decay is often more difficult to treat. That’s because cavities can occur at or below the gum line, often due to gum recession.

If that’s the case, we won’t be able to fill the cavity in the usual way because the gum tissue is in the way. To make it possible to treat, we may need to perform a minor surgical procedure known as crown lengthening.

As the name implies, the procedure helps expose more of the crown, the tooth’s visible part, from the surrounding gum tissue. In basic terms, we’re repositioning the gum tissue away from the biting surface of a tooth to make room for a filling. It’s also useful for improving a tooth’s appearance by making it look longer, or creating room for a crown or other dental restoration.

After applying a local anesthesia, the dentist (or periodontist, a specialist in the gums) creates a tiny flap of gum tissue with a series of incisions. This allows the dentist to move the affected gums out of the way to access the underlying bone. The dentist then reshapes the bone to adequately support the gum tissue when it’s finally repositioned to expose the crown. In its new and improved position, the dentist sutures the gum tissue in place.

For a few days afterward, the patient will need to restrict their diet to soft foods, avoid strenuous activities and apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling the day of surgery. They will also prescribe a pain reliever and possibly an antibiotic to reduce the chances of infection.

While most people return to normal activities a few days later, you’ll usually have to wait a few weeks for the gums to heal before undergoing any further treatments for the affected teeth. But even with the wait, crown lengthening could make it possible to not only save your tooth but improve your smile as well.

If you would like more information on treating tooth decay, 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 “Crown Lengthening: This Common Surgical Procedure Restores Function and Improves Appearance.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

It is possible to completely rejuvenate your smile with professional teeth whitening. Professional whitening treatments available through your dentist’s office deliver exceptional results that cannot be achieved with over-the-counter products. Professional treatments can whiten the teeth by several shades and the results last longer. Professionally supervised take-home whitening treatments can rejuvenate your smile. Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr. is your Shelby dentist for professional teeth whitening.

Take-Home Whitening

Take-home whitening kits allow patients to whiten their teeth in the comfort of their own home. It can take several treatment sessions at home to achieve the desired level of whitening, but the results are still superior to over-the-counter products since the kits utilize a professional strength whitening gel only available through a dentist.

Take-home whitening kits consist of two trays, one for each arch of teeth, and whitening gel. The trays are custom-made for each individual patient based on a mold of the patient’s teeth. To whiten the teeth, the whitening gel is first added to the trays. The trays are then placed over the teeth and are worn for about one hour. After several treatments, the teeth will be visibly whiter. Your Shelby dentist can advise you about how often to whiten your teeth at home to achieve the desired results.

Rejuvenate your smile with take-home professional teeth whitening treatments. To learn more about both options and which one might be right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr., your Shelby, NC dentist, by calling the office at (704) 484-0077.



Dentist in Shelby, NC
Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
511 N. Morgan Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(704) 484-0077
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