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Posts for: January, 2016

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Are you ready to kiss your yellowed, stained or dull teeth goodbye? In the past, these problems were something you simply had to live teeth whiteningwith. Now, thanks to teeth whitening technology, achieving a brilliant smile has never been easier. With help from your Shelby, NC dentist, your Hollywood smile is just an appointment away.

How do teeth become stained? 
Stains form on the teeth due to outside elements. Coffee, tea, smoking tobacco and other dark colored foods or drinks cause staining to the extrinsic, or outside layer of the teeth. This layer is the enamel. Trauma to the teeth or even too much fluoride can cause stains to form on the inner, or intrinsic, layer of the teeth, called dentin. Additionally, over time, the enamel becomes thin, allowing the yellow-colored dentin to show through.

What can I expect at a teeth whitening session? 
Most whitening sessions only last around an hour and can leave your teeth up to ten shades whiter. First, your teeth are sectioned off so the whitening agents only touch the teeth and not any oral tissues. A whitening gel applied to the teeth uses chemical reactions to break up the stain’s molecules. A special light directed at the teeth speeds up and intensifies the whitening process.

The Benefits of Teeth Whitening
Having a smile that you can be proud of has more than just aesthetic value. Many people are ashamed of their yellowed teeth, hiding behind their hand when they laugh or speaking with their mouth closed. Teeth whitening can boost your self-esteem to new levels and make you more confident.

At-home kits vs in-office sessions
You can find at-home kits sold over-the-counter at most drug stores. They also use whitening gels to lift stains from the teeth. However, these at-home kits are not able to be monitored. Therefore, the chemicals used are much weaker than the ones used by your dentist, and results take about 6 weeks to see. With in-office whitening, your results are immediate and dramatic.

For more information on teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr. DDS in Shelby, NC. Call (704) 484-0077 to speak with an associate about scheduling a teeth whitening session today!

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!

It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?

Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.

Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.

For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.

IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.

Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”

If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
January 04, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Transforming your smile can be a huge undertaking. And while we have the technical skills, experience and understanding of aesthetics to perform a smile makeover, your input is just as necessary to achieve a satisfying result.

Your part really has to do with expectations — what do you see when you look in the mirror — and what do you want to change?

Here are 3 questions to help guide you in shaping your expectations for that new, beautiful smile.

What do you dislike about your teeth? This is really about specifics and not just a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Are your teeth misshapen, chipped or missing? Are they discolored or stained? Is the spacing off or do you have a poor bite (malocclusion)? Getting a sense of what you perceive as unattractive will help us formulate a plan to improve the appearance of those problem areas.

Are you concerned with how much your gums show when you smile? Your teeth may be perfect, but if your gums seem to steal the spotlight when you smile (known as a “gummy” smile), you may need some remedy like veneers, crowns or even corrective surgery. Which procedure depends on whether the crowns of your teeth are too short in proportion to the gums, or the muscles in your upper lip are allowing the lip to rise too high when you smile. A dental examination will tell all.

Do you want a “Hollywood Smile” — or just a more attractive, natural you? Smile makeovers aren’t just about clinical alterations — it’s just as much about your personal perceptions of beauty. Some patients want the perfectly shaped, aligned and dazzlingly white smile that’s the epitome of Hollywood. Others want only to enhance their smile, perhaps even keeping a few unique imperfections they’re comfortable with. It’s important to know which person you are, and to communicate that with us when we’re putting together your makeover plan.

Changing your smile is a big step in your life. You can help make the process more satisfying and successful if you understand what you want to change — and why.

If you would like more information on smile analysis and makeover, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Great Expectations.”

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