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Posts for: April, 2015

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
April 24, 2015
Category: Oral Health

As the co-host of one of America's most beloved television game shows, Wheel of Fortune, Vanna White is recognized for her beautiful gowns and her dazzling smile. However, during an exclusive interview with Dear Doctor magazine, she shared her experiences with cosmetic dentistry. “I had a bridge put in probably 30 years ago where I had a tooth pulled and there was a space,” Vanna said.

Prior to having a permanent tooth pulled, most people are concerned with what can be done to replace it. It's important to follow through and do exactly that. This is especially true with back teeth. Just because you can't see them, it doesn't mean you won't face problems if they are not replaced.

For example, did you know that missing posterior (back) teeth can lead to a wide array or problems with the remaining teeth, muscles, ligaments, joints and jaw bones? This includes:

  • A decrease in chewing efficiency that in turn can impact your diet, nutrition and overall health
  • Excessive erosion or wear of remaining teeth
  • Tipping, migration, rotation and even loss of adjacent remaining teeth
  • Painful jaw problems such as Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD)

One treatment option is to follow in Vanna's footsteps and consider a fixed bridge. This is an excellent option when dental implants won't work. And through our artistry, we can easily blend them in color and appearance with your surrounding teeth.

When implants are possible, they represent the best option. They are easily maintained and are a durable, long-lasting solution that can increase bite support.

To learn more about this topic, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Replacing Back Teeth.” Or if you are already missing a permanent tooth, you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination. We will also address any questions you have as well as your treatment options. And if you want to read the entire feature article on Vanna White, continue reading “Vanna White.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick Jr., DDS, PA
April 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Clear Aligners  

Clear AlignersNo pain, no inconvenience, no obvious hardware... clear aligners are the revolutionary way to straighten your teeth.

Perhaps you've noticed that your teeth need some realignment. But the thought of wearing heavy metal bracelets laced together with thick wires is holding you back. Maybe you've already gone through the regimen of braces when you were younger and aren't looking forward to repeating the process of visiting the orthodontist every month so the wires can be tightened to an uncomfortable level. Fortunately, advancements in dental technology mean you have options for straight teeth. Clear aligners are one of the most popular of these options; Dr. Joseph Hedrick is proud to offer the people of Shelby, North Carolina this opportunity to have a well-aligned smile without sacrificing their appearance or their time.

Revolutionary Methods

Using 3D imaging, Dr. Hedrick and his staff will take digital impressions of your teeth. A series of clear aligners will be made out of a thin, flexible plastic material to the exact dimensions of your teeth. They are clear and hardly noticeable but put gentle pressure on your teeth to gradually move them into the proper place. Every couple of weeks, you switch your aligner for the next one in the series to accommodate the changes in your alignment. The average treatment time is about one year; it can take anywhere between nine and fifteen months. 

What Sets Clear Aligners Apart?

The traditional metal braces have always been conspicuous, with their chunky brackets and wires on display. Clear aligners, however, are aptly named - the transparent aligners are designed to fit directly against your teeth so that they are easily concealed but still highly effective. There's also no need to adjust your diet - the aligners can be taken out so you can still enjoy foods like popcorn, sandwiches and apples in the same way as before. Without sharp wires or brackets to irritate your mouth, you might also forget you're wearing braces!

Eating, drinking, brushing and flossing your teeth is also much easier with the removable trays. Your Shelby dentist will advise you to wear them as much as possible, however; for best results, they should be worn between 20 and 22 hours per day, including during sleep.

All these benefits of clear aligners, coupled with the 96% satisfaction rate, make it an excellent choice for adults and teens alike. Contact your dental team in Cleveland County North Carolina to learn more about straightening out your smile the easy and comfortable way.

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
April 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: orthodontics  

The perception that orthodontics is mainly for children or teenagers is changing rapidly. The number of adults seeking treatment for misaligned teeth is on the rise, especially with the development of less intrusive treatments like clear aligners.

Still, as an adult you may be wondering if having your teeth straightened is really worth the effort. There are good reasons to consider orthodontic treatment even when your teen years are well in your rear view mirror — and improving your smile is only just one of them.

To be sure, smile enhancement is an important reason. We place a high value on presenting our best appearance; indeed, our self-assurance and esteem suffers if we feel we have a less than pleasing smile. Adults who improve their smiles through orthodontics typically see a rise in confidence and an improvement in life attitudes that can have a positive impact on their social, career and financial development.

But there is another reason: as a general rule, misaligned teeth do not function as well. Biting, chewing and speaking may be more difficult. Over the long-term misaligned teeth and the resulting poor bite can have an adverse effect on nutrition, social skills and normal tooth wear.

What's more, misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean even with conscientious daily hygiene. Despite your best efforts, this can lead to increased plaque that causes tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. In regard to gums, misaligned teeth may be more prone to receding gums which further exposes teeth to harmful bacteria. Realigning teeth can vastly improve dental hygiene.

As with considering any dental procedure, the first step is a complete dental examination to measure the level of misalignment, as well as the current health of your teeth and gums. After that, we can discuss your orthodontic options for not only correcting your smile, but improving your oral hygiene which can have a pronounced improvement in your oral health as well.

If you would like more information on the benefits of orthodontic 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 “Why Straighten Teeth.”

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