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Posts for: September, 2018

By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
September 20, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Gum Disease  
ItsNationalGumCareMonth-TakeCareofYourGums

September is National Gum Care Month, an ideal time to talk about how to keep your gums healthy. Unfortunately, nearly half of adults have gum disease, which can damage the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In fact, advanced gum disease is the number one reason for tooth loss among adults, and it’s associated with other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pregnancy complications. But there’s good news—gum disease is preventable and, in its early stages, even reversible. Here are some tips for taking care of your gums:

Keep up a good oral hygiene routine
Gum disease begins with plaque buildup, so attack the plaque in your mouth with good dental hygiene. Spend two minutes morning and night brushing all surfaces of your teeth, and floss once a day to get rid of plaque that forms between teeth.

Use a soft toothbrush
The American Dental Association recommends brushing gently with a soft toothbrush. Hard bristles can damage your gums and cause them to pull away from the teeth.

Swish with a mouth rinse
Consider using a mouth rinse. Over-the-counter and prescription oral rinses are available to help wash away food debris, reduce plaque and fight gum inflammation.

Say no to tobacco
Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for developing gum disease. And it’s not just cigarettes but all forms of tobacco, including e-cigarettes, pipes and chewing tobacco, that raise your risk of gum disease.

Eat a healthy diet
For the best gum health, avoid refined carbohydrates (sugary and starchy foods) and make sure you are getting enough vitamin C, vitamin D and antioxidants (found in berries and green tea, for example). In addition, studies suggest that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of gum disease and other inflammatory conditions. These healthy fats are found in many fish, nuts, seeds, soy products and vegetable oils.

Come in for regular cleanings
Professional dental cleanings can remove plaque from the tiny spaces that are difficult to reach by simply brushing and flossing. And once plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar), it cannot be removed during your regular oral health care routine at home. Further, at the dental office we can detect gum disease in its early stages—and the earlier gum problems are caught, the more easily they can be reversed.

Taking care of your gums will help you put your best smile forward now and in the future. If you have questions about gum health, call the office or schedule a consultation.


By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  
NotallDentalCrownsSharetheSameQualityofLife-Likeness

Dental crowns are an essential means for restoring damaged or unattractive teeth. A well-crafted crown not only functions well, it looks and blends seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth.

Crowns are artificial caps that cover an entire visible tooth, often used for heavily decayed or damaged teeth or as added protection after a root canal treatment. Most crowns are produced by a dental lab, but some dentists are now creating them in-office with computer-based milling equipment. On the whole, the various crowns now available function adequately as teeth—but they can vary in their appearance quality.

In the early to mid 20th Century the all-metal crown was the standard; but while durable, it could be less than eye-pleasing. Although more life-like dental porcelain existed at the time, it tended to be brittle and could easily shatter under chewing stress.

Dentists then developed a crown that combined the strength of metal with the attractiveness of porcelain: the porcelain fused to metal or PFM crown. The PFM crown had a hollow, metal substructure that was cemented over the tooth. To this metal base was fused an outer shell of porcelain that gave the crown an attractive finish.

The PFM reigned as the most widely used crown until the mid 2000s. By then improved forms of porcelain reinforced with stronger materials like Lucite had made possible an all-ceramic crown. They’re now the most common crown used today, beautifully life-like yet durable without the need for a metal base.

All-ceramics may be the most common type of crown installed today, but past favorites’ metal and PFM are still available and sometimes used. So depending on the type and location of the tooth and your own expectations, there’s a right crown for you.

However, not all crowns even among all-ceramic have the same level of aesthetic quality or cost—the more life-like, the more expensive. If you have dental insurance, your plan’s benefits might be based on a utilitarian but less attractive crown. You may have to pay more out of pocket for the crown you and your dentist believe is best for you.

Whatever you choose, though, your modern dental crown will do an admirable, functional job. And it can certainly improve your natural tooth’s appearance.

If you would like more information on dental restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS, PA
September 07, 2018
Category: Orthodontics
Tags: Clear Aligners   braces   Clear Braces  

Clear AlignersClear aligners are a great alternative to metal braces. Smooth, removable and practically invisible, these acrylic trays custom-fit over top and bottom teeth. Over the past 20 years, they've moved literally millions of teeth into perfect positions. Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr., your dentist in the Shelby, NC area, offers Clear aligners to teen and adult patients who have a variety of smile problems. You could qualify, too!

How Clear aligners work

Clear aligners appliances gradually move crooked or gapped teeth into better positions. They also treat various bite problems (overbite, for example) and a common oral health problem called orthodontic relapse in which previously corrected teeth shift back into their original positions.

Clear aligners patients wear a series of snugly fitting appliances made of thin, clear, biocompatible acrylic. Normally, there are 18 to 30 pairs of aligners in treatment plans lasting 9 to 18 months. The patient wears each pair 20 to 22 hours a day and takes them out to eat, brush and floss. Aligners may be worn to drink water or other clear, non-sugary liquids.

As the treatment plan progresses, the patient sees Dr.Hendrick every six weeks at his Shelby office. The dentist delivers new aligners with each visit, and he also checks on how tooth movement is proceeding.

Qualifying for Clear aligners

Only your dentist can tell if Clear aligners are the right way to straighten your smile. During an in-office consultation, he'll examine your teeth, take photos, X-rays and a special 3-D scan. Then, he'll write a treatment plan so specific that you'll know--step-by-step--how your smile will change. This detailed information goes to a lab where your aligners are fabricated.

Living with Clear aligners

As a Clear aligners patient, you'll enjoy many benefits exclusive to this unique orthodontic system. Besides their discreet appearance, the aligners:

  • Cause none of the sore spots or friction typical of metal or ceramic braces
  • Are fully removable so you can take them out for special events such as graduations, professional presentations, weddings and more
  • Are easy to clean (just remove, brush with a non-abrasive toothpaste, rinse with clear water and replace)
  • Do not limit what you can eat and drink (just take them out for meals and snacks)

After completion of your treatment, you'll wear a special retainer, as Dr. Hendrick prescribes, to ensure your smile is stable and stays well-aligned.

Are you ready?

Your new smile is ready to emerge. Call Dr. Joseph Hendrick's office today to arrange a Clear aligners consultation.




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