Posts for category: Oral Health

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
December 31, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: crowns   Bridges  

Crowns and bridges provided by your Shelby, NC, dentist, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, offer important benefits for your smile. The restorations can fill gaps in your smile, restore damaged teeth, and even change the appearance of an unattractive tooth.

How crowns and bridges help your smile

Crowns are hollow restorations that fit over the tops of your teeth, covering them on all four sides. Before you receive a crown, your dentist reduces the size of your tooth to ensure that the crown will fit comfortably. He'll also make an impression of your mouth that will be used to create a natural-looking crown.

The restorations are made of durable materials that look just like natural tooth enamel. Porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, and resin are often used to make crowns.

During a visit to the Shelby dental office, your dentist may recommend a crown if:

  • Your Tooth Is Broken or Fractured: In addition to changing your appearance, a broken tooth can make eating difficult and may cut your mouth, lips, or tongue. Broken teeth may also be painful if they aren't covered by a crown. Once a crown is added, your tooth will look exactly as it did before it broke.
  • You Have a Fragile Tooth: Teeth can weaken due to the natural effects of aging, cracks, and certain dental procedures, such as large fillings and root canal therapy. Adding a crown to your tooth strengthens it and prevents it from breaking.
  • You're Unhappy with the Appearance of a Tooth: A crown can be a good option if you don't like the way your tooth looks. Adding a crown straightens a crooked or twisted tooth, extends a short tooth, and conceals discolorations and other flaws.
  • You're Restoring a Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant: Dental crowns are connected to dental implants to create new teeth. Just like natural tooth roots, your implants are securely attached to your jawbone, giving your new tooth the strength it needs to bite and chew all types of foods.

Bridges restore one or two missing teeth. They're made up of artificial teeth attached to crowns on either side. The crown sections of the bridge fit over supporting teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth, firmly anchoring your bridge. Bridges improve your appearance, prevent other teeth from shifting, and make eating much easier.

Could crowns and bridges help your smile? Call your dentist in Shelby, NC, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, at (704) 484-0077 to schedule your appointment.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
October 19, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Clear Aligners  

Clear aligners, also known as Invisalign, are an exciting option for straightening your smile. Since the aligners are clear and are not readily noticeable, they are extremely discreet. Clear aligners are also conveniently removable so they can be taken out when eating or to make brushing and flossing easier. We offer clear aligners at our office in Shelby, NC, where Dr. Joseph Hendrick can help you achieve the straight smile you have always wanted.

What are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners, also referred to by your Shelby dentist as Invisalign, are an orthodontic method for straightening crooked teeth. Clear aligners are also effective for closing small gaps between teeth and correcting minor bite alignment issues. More complicated bite alignment problems are often best treated with traditional braces. The skilled dentist at our office in Shelby can determine if clear aligners are an option for addressing your specific orthodontic needs.

The clear and removable aligner trays used to move the teeth are what makes this orthodontic option so unique. Treatment involves several sets of custom trays. A set includes two trays, one for the top row of teeth and one for the bottom. Each set of trays is worn for a few weeks and is then replaced with the next set in the series. As patients work their way through the different sets of trays, their teeth move closer to the desired position. Total treatment time with clear aligners is about 12 months.

Benefits of Clear Aligners

There are several benefits to straightening your smile with clear aligners, states your Shelby Invisalign specialist. One of the most appreciated benefits among patients is the fact that the aligners are discreet since they are made from a clear material. Another benefit of clear aligners is that they are removable, which makes it easier to maintain better oral hygiene. The aligner trays can be taken out when eating to prevent food from getting trapped. They can also be removed to brush and floss more effectively.

An added benefit of clear aligners is that they are comfortable. The trays are made from a plastic material that is soft and flexible. There are no hard components to poke or irritate the mouth. Additionally, the aligners are custom made specifically for each patient for the best possible fit.

Clear aligners can dramatically transform your smile. Plus, they have the advantage of being discreet since they are clear, as well as removable. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Hendrick to find out if you are a candidate for clear aligners, by calling our office in Shelby, NC, at (704) 484-0077.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
July 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Care   Routine  

The best routines are ones that change with the times. If it's been a while since you've made any alternations to your oral hygiene routine, now is the perfect time to shake things up. Brushing, flossing and regular visits to your Shelby, NC, dentist, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr., will help you keep your teeth and gums in good condition.

Have you heard about the two-minute rule?

If you're like most people, you've probably never paid any attention to how long you brush your teeth. Unfortunately, the quicker you brush, the more likely you are to leave plaque behind. Sticky plaque contains bacteria and is a factor in gum disease.

If you don't brush thoroughly, plaque soon becomes a hard deposit called tartar. Unlike colorless plaque, brown tartar can be noticeable when you smile or speak. Removing plaque and tartar protects your gums and your teeth.

In a study published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene in 2009, researchers noted that brushing for 120 seconds removed 26 percent more plaque than brushing for 45 seconds. Brushing in the morning and evening with fluoridated toothpaste is the best way to reduce plaque. Fluoride strengthens weak areas of tooth enamel, helping to prevent cavities from forming.

How often do you floss?

Daily flossing plays an important role in decreasing your risk of tooth decay and cavities. Your toothbrush bristles can't reach the tight spaces between teeth. If you rarely floss, cavities and tartar can develop in these spaces.

Choosing the best type of floss or flossing product makes the process easier. Generally, the string type of floss works best if your teeth are close together, while tape floss is more comfortable if your teeth are more widely spaced. Do you find it hard to reach the back of your mouth when you floss? Dental picks and interdental brushes may offer easier access. Water flossers are a good option if you don't like traditional flossing methods or have trouble with manual dexterity.

Other ways to improve your oral health

These recommendations can help you maintain good oral health:

  • Don't go to sleep without brushing to keep plaque under control.
  • Replace sugary snacks with fruits or vegetables.
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash that contains fluoride and kills bacteria.
  • Visit our Shelby dentist every six months for checkups.

Protect your smile with good oral hygiene and dental checkups. Call your dentist in Shelby, NC, Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr, at (704) 484-0077 to schedule your appointment.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
March 06, 2020
Category: Oral Health

How an oral cancer screening from your dentist in Shelby, North Carolina can help keep you healthy.

You may know a lot about oral cancer, but did you know your dentist can help prevent and diagnose oral cancer? It’s true. That’s why you need to know about the importance of oral cancer screenings. Dr. Joseph R. Hendrick Jr. in Shelby, North Carolina includes an oral cancer screening in his new patient and routine patient examinations, to help keep you healthy.

Oral cancer is more common than you think, especially among people who use tobacco products. Early diagnosis is critical to both treating and surviving oral cancer. By catching oral cancer early, it helps prevent oral cancer from spreading to other areas of your body.

You can regularly check for oral cancer by using a small mouth mirror. Look at the roof of your mouth, under your tongue, along your lips, and the inside of your cheeks. You should be looking for:

  • Rough, thick areas of tissue
  • White or red patches
  • Open sores that don’t heal

If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment with your dentist right away. You should also see your dentist as soon as you can if you are experiencing:

  • Tenderness or numbness on your lips or in your mouth
  • Recurrent soreness or irritation in your mouth
  • Pain when you speak, swallow, or chew
  • Frequent sore throats or hoarseness
  • Problems moving your jaw or tongue

Your dentist performs a thorough oral cancer screening at exam appointments. The oral cancer screening typically involves your dentist checking your oral structures including your gums, cheeks, all surfaces of your tongue, and the roof of your mouth. If Dr. Hendrick notices any questionable areas, he may recommend taking a sample of tissue and sending it off for a biopsy just to make sure the tissue is normal.

Your dentist is your partner in preventing oral cancer. To find out more about oral cancer and how an oral cancer screening can protect you, call Dr. Joseph R. Hendrick Jr. in Shelby, North Carolina at (704) 484-0077. Protect your health by calling today.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
August 02, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Gum Disease  

While brushing your teeth twice a day can certainly go a long way to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, flossing your teeth every day is the absolute best thing you can do for the health of your gums. Since plaque can buildup along and under the gumline, flossing can get in between teeth in a way that brushing just can’t. Of course, if you don’t floss you may find yourself dealing with gum disease. Find out the early warning signs and how our Shelby, NC, dentist Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr. can help.

The Beginning Stages of Gum Disease

The unfortunate news about gum disease is that symptoms don’t usually appear until the disease has progressed; therefore, the best way to be able to detect gum disease early on before it has caused serious damage is to see your general dentist twice a year in Shelby, NC, for routine checkups. While you may not be experiencing symptoms we can look for subtle changes that can alert us to gum disease so that we can provide immediate treatment and prevent complications.

Of course, others are lucky enough to experience some warning signs of gum disease so that they can immediately see their dentist for treatment. These symptoms include:

  • Gums that bleed when brushing, flossing or eating
  • Swollen, tender and inflamed gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity
  • Pus or drainage in the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

How to Prevent Gum Disease

With gum disease being one of the most common dental disorders to affect US adults, it’s important that you safeguard your teeth and gums from problems. This means maintaining good oral hygiene and brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Flossing is by far the most important habit that you can adopt if you want to maintain healthy gums. After all, it’s the only way to remove bacteria and plaque from below the gums to prevent inflammation.

Furthermore, you also need to keep up-to-date on your routine dental cleanings and checkups with our dentist so that we can remove plaque and tartar buildup to protect teeth and gums.

Our Shelby, NC, dental practice prides itself on providing comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Whether you are worried about the health of your gums or you just need to schedule a cleaning, call our office today for an immediate appointment.



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