General & Preventive Dentistry

General Dentistry - New Hanover County

Keeping Wilmington’s Smiles Healthy and Strong

Did you know nearly every person in the U.S. has had a cavity? But 27% of people in the country have had untreated cavities, simply because they didn’t know! Don’t be one of the 27%!

At Phelps Family Dentistry, you can know that your oral health is top priority for our team. Starting with your comprehensive exam, Dr. Dan and Dr. Lisa will provide you with a roadmap for achieving and maintaining excellent oral health. Based on what the doctors discover during this initial exam, our other general services may be prescribed, such as:

  • Digital X-rays to get a safer, clearer image of your mouth
  • Periodontal Therapy for the beginnings of Gum Disease
  • Mouthguards for Bruxism or the athlete in your family
  • Fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth and fight bacteria

Due to the focused attention you’ll receive from each one of our staff, your customized treatment plan will help avoid issues from arising in the future that could cause pain or discomfort.


of Great Oral Health

In addition to addressing any problems that are currently going on, our team will be able to lay the groundwork for better oral health in the future. It’s great to fix the problems as they occur, but why not prevent them from occurring in the first place?

Your dental health is definitely one area where the adage about an ounce of prevention applies. You can help your children avoid problems in the future by starting them on good dental health routines that include brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleaning.

Comprehensive Exams

At your first visit to Phelps Family Dentistry, we’ll perform a comprehensive exam. We’ll take a full set of X-rays, using digital imaging technology instead of traditional X-rays. Digital images use much less radiation and are safer for you. We also get superior images of your teeth and gums, as well as the underlying bone structure.

In your regular checkups, we’ll only do X-rays if you’re experiencing pain or any other problems. Periodic radiographs will be taken once per year to monitor any changes in your oral health. We’ll also chart the condition of your teeth and gums to check for any signs of gum or periodontal disease. We actually measure the depth of the pockets between your gums and your teeth. This will give us a benchmark to compare to if we see any signs that your gums are receding due to inflammation and bacteria.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is one of the more dangerous forms of cancer. It has very few symptoms in its early stages, making it difficult to detect. By the time a patient experiences any symptoms, the cancer can be in an advanced stage, making it much more difficult to treat.

Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth, tongue, lips, throat, and jaw. Drinking and smoking can increase your risk for oral cancer, as can the presence of the sexually transmitted HPV virus.

We will perform a visual and manual exam to check for any sores, lumps, or lesions that look unusual. If we spot anything, we’ll take images of it and refer you to a specialist for further examination.


X-rays give us a baseline image of your teeth and gums, and the jaw bone supporting them.

We have several types of imaging technology that use much less radiation than traditional X-rays. We use digital imaging that give us much clearer pictures than were available to us before. When we’re planning procedures that involve complex restorations such as dental implants, crowns and bridges, or dentures and partials, then we use equipment that takes panoramic images of your mouth. These render a complete image of your mouth all in one image. This helps us look at the teeth in relation to each other, your bite, and your jaws. This is important when planning restorations and cosmetic procedures.

We may also use technology that gives us 3D images of your mouth, such as CBCT and CariVu. These advancements help us create restorations and cosmetic enhancements that are in proportion to your mouth, with form and function as close to ideal as possible.


New technology has turned what used to be a fairly simple process into something almost luxurious! When you know your teeth are freshly cleaned using up-to-date technology, it’s like having a facial or a massage. It can make you glow inside and out, giving you extra confidence. To remove plaque and tartar, we use ultrasonic high-frequency vibrations to whisk the damaging and unsightly plaque away.

We give fluoride treatments to kids at every visit. We also give them to adults who are at increased risk for tooth decay. We’ll then clean and polish your teeth for a beautiful and fresh smile!

Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease can lead to many different complications that involve some of the major systems in your body, like the heart and lungs, or the circulatory system. Locally, gum disease can even lead to the loss of teeth. When this happens, you risk weakening the bone tissue in your jaw that supports the muscles and tissues of your face. It’s important to treat any signs of gum inflammation and infection early.

We can begin to treat you once we notice signs of periodontal or gum disease. This is when the tissue surrounding your teeth becomes inflamed or infected. We’ll first clean out any decay and infection from the area surrounding your teeth. We may use a topical antibiotic called Arestin to treat your gums. We also may use Periochip. This is an amazing form of treatment that consists of small chips of gelatin that release an antibacterial agent over time. If necessary, we can repeat this treatment every 6 months or so.

Fluoride Treatments

Imagine what it was like before we knew the benefits of fluoride! It’s been called one of the most important medical discoveries ever made because of the tremendous ability of fluoride to strengthen your teeth to prevent bacteria from invading your teeth and causing cavities.

Most metropolitan water systems have fluoride added to them, and this is often all that’s needed to get the protection you need. But everyone is different and if you or your children need it, we can apply direct fluoride treatments.


We want to do everything we can to help you keep the teeth you have. We do what we can to keep them healthy. The last thing anyone wants is to break a tooth through playing sports or other activities. Dr. Lisa and Dr. Dan Phelps can provide you or your children who play sports with mouthguards that will protect your teeth against accidental damage.

Some people clench or grind their teeth at night. This is called bruxism, and it can wear down your teeth and cause soreness in the muscles and ligaments in your face and around your joint from the pressure of grinding and clenching your teeth. We can fit anyone who has this problem with a mouthguard as well to prevent the actions of bruxism that can damage your teeth.