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General Dentistry

Dental Exam

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC DentistsThe secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!

There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth. 

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with a regular oral cancer screening – at least once every six months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and can be performed during regular dental exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk of oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers and heavy drinkers.

Digital Dental X-Rays

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC DentistsDental X-rays have come a long way. Todays dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a 35mm or digital camera.

Teeth Cleaning

No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional teeth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, advances in dental technologies now give you more options for teeth cleanings.

Ultrasonic cleaning is a popular alternative to traditional teeth cleanings. An ultrasonic scaler uses water and high frequency sounds waves to remove deposits, and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums.

A deep cleaning may be recommended if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are scaled smooth for tissue reattachment. A deep cleaning helps prevent periodontal disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state.

White Fillings

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC DentistsIf your silver fillings make you feel self conscious when you smile, or it's simply time to replace them, consider white fillings. White fillings are just as durable as they are attractive! Made of composite resin, white fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are an excellent option for small to mid-sized cavities. White fillings are strong, stain-resistant and require less removal of your tooth structure than amalgam fillings.

Porcelain Dental Crowns

Although dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, gold and silver, nothing looks better than a porcelain dental crown. Porcelain dental crowns match the natural color of your teeth and are virtually undetectable by the naked eye. And because they're metal-free, porcelain dental crowns are an excellent option for patients with metal allergies. Best of all, porcelain crowns don't just look beautiful – they're long-lasting, too!

Dental Bridges

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC DentistsDental bridges have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Today, dental bridges are still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape intact. 

Dental bridges typically take 2-3 weeks to complete and are less invasive than other options, such as dental implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last up to 30 years.  

Dentures

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC DentistsUsing dentures to replace missing teeth is not only great for your oral health; it's a great way to look and feel younger! Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, dentures are custom designed to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.

The process of getting dentures may take a few months and several dental visits. In some cases, however, quick, turn around dentures/ partial dentures are also possible, as a transitional appliance while tissues heal from extractions.

Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, your dentures can last 5-7 years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it's critical to bring them to your dentist for professional denture repair. Home denture repair kits can cause more damage and be even more costly to fix. 

Gum Disease Treatment

Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line. If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, may be necessary.

 

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC Dentists

Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Most people have four permanent teeth located in the back corners of their mouth called third molars or wisdom teeth. These teeth generally present themselves around 17-25 years of age. If a wisdom tooth does not have enough room to erupt into the mouth removal may be necessary. Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause pain, trap food, cause damage to nearby teeth and can have decay. Early removal can prevent these problems.

Pediatric Dentistry

Phelps Family Dentistry | Dr. Lisa | Dr. Dan | Wilmington, NC DentistsCatering to the dental needs of kids requires a special touch. A patient and caring office are the first step to creating a positive experience for your child. The key to pediatric dentistry is prevention and education. Early examination can help parents answer questions of growth and development, diet and nutrition, ways to prevent injury and any potential tooth concerns. Information can be given on thumb sucking, pacifier use and fluoride. Early detection of tooth decay can lead to simple solutions. Make your child’s first dental experience a positive one!