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Do you dislike old-style metal fillings? While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says amalgam filling material is perfectly safe, fillingsmost people don't want dark fillings to show when they smile. Are there durable alternatives to amalgam that are also unnoticeable? Yes, there are tooth-colored filling materials, and your dentists at North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC recommend them as safe, strong, effective and natural-looking. They can be your best choices when tooth decay strikes.

Problems with amalgam fillings

Some people do worry about the mercury content in amalgam fillings, but studies show the material is safe and probably the best choice for very large fillings. However, there are a couple of other worrisome issues associated with metal fillings. The obvious one is their appearance. They're very unattractive, particularly right in the front of the mouth.

The other problem has to do with how much healthy tooth enamel must be removed in order to place amalgam. Another problem is that a metal filling is inflexible and can gradually crack the tooth as the person bites and chews on it.

Restoring with tooth-colored fillings

Realistic white fillings are made from three different materials. Your dentist chooses the correct material depending on the size and location of the tooth to be restored. Materials include:

  1. Composite resin, an inventive mixture of acrylic and glass
  2. Glass ionomer, a blend of tooth-building fluoride and glass
  3. Porcelain, a ceramic used in inlays and onlays which are fillings bonded within or in place of the cusps of a large tooth

Besides the obvious aesthetic benefits, tooth-colored fillings are very durable, and because they are bonded right to remaining healthy enamel, they require far less enamel reduction than their metal counterparts. Finally, these materials flex with the pressures of biting and chewing, creating far fewer chips and fine cracks than amalgam.

Do you need a filling?

If you do, ask about your tooth-colored filling options. The professional staff at North Rivers Dental Associates are highly skilled in the latest techniques in restorative dentistry. Trust their expertise to choose the right option for your best aesthetics and smile longevity. Call the office today if you are concerned about the health of a tooth: (843) 553-7827.

By North Rivers Dental Associates
July 19, 2017
Category: Dental Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj  

Could your achy, sore jaws be the result of a TMJ disorder?jaw pain

Do you find yourself rubbing your jaws in pain? Do your jaws feel achy and tired? If so, you may be wondering what in the world is going on. Our North Charleston, SC, dentists Dr. Riley Cates, Dr. Maurice Weintraub and Dr. Ryan Emerson are here to help you determine if you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder and when to visit us for care.

Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

Of course, the most common symptom of TMJ disorders is jaw pain. You may notice the pain all the time or whenever you open or close your jaws. The pain you experience is most often a dull ache at the jaw joint that may even radiate all the way to the neck and shoulder.

You may also notice that your jaw feels sore or tired, particularly in the morning or by the end of the day. When you open or close your mouth you may also notice a popping or clicking sound. Your jaw may even lock up sometimes or feel stiff. Even the simple act of chewing can lead to immense discomfort.

Seeing a Doctor

So, when should you pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with our Charleston, SC, general dentists? If you are experiencing severe or persistent jaw pain that doesn’t go away, if you have pain for over 2 weeks despite at-home care, if jaws seem to lock up on you or if there is swelling around the jaw then you need to come in right away for care. While many cases of TMJ will go away on their own, this won’t be the case for everyone. By getting an evaluation right away we can help you determine a good course of action for reducing your jaw pain.

Most people will be able to self-manage their TMJ symptoms with easy remedies such as icing the achy jaws, taking pain killers, eating a soft-food diet and cutting food into smaller bites. When you come in for your evaluation we will be able to tell whether or not you could also benefit from wearing a splint to prevent grinding and teeth clenching, which can make jaw pain worse.

North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC, is ready to help you if you are dealing with painful, sore jaws. Don’t let pain become the norm. Call our office today to let us know what you are going through. Let us improve your jaw health.

By North Rivers Dental Associates
June 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Have you considered whitening your teeth? This is a popular cosmetic dentistry procedure that people use to improve their smile. At teeth whiteningNorth Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, South Carolina, Dr. Riley Cates, Dr. Maurice Weintraub, and Dr. Ryan Emerson use their experience and talents to help their patients achieve their best smiles. A teeth whitening treatment can make a huge difference in the way you smile and feel about yourself. If you're still trying to decide if whitening is a good option, this article may help to convince you.

Why do people get their teeth whitened?

The answer to this question may seem obvious; teeth whitening improves the way your smile appears in photos and in person. However, research studies conducted by the dental industry have found that people consider white teeth to be more than just an attractive feature. A survey was done by Crest and found that people with a bright smile were more likely to be hired for a job, as they were seen as more professional and confident than those whose teeth hadn't been treated. Other attributes associated with whitened teeth were success and trustworthiness. First impressions are important, and your North Charleston dentist wants to help you look your best.

Why is teeth whitening so popular?

Whitening has become a multi-billion dollar industry for several reasons: it's safe, cost-effective, painless and can produce impressive results. Although there are kits and products available for purchase over-the-counter, scheduling a whitening session at North Rivers Dental in North Charleston ensures your safety, comfort, and the likelihood of immediate, long-lasting and noticeable results. One treatment takes about a half-hour and can make your teeth up to eight shades whiter, with results lasting as long as a year. While most of our patients will see good outcomes from whitening, it's not for everyone. A thorough examination from Dr. Cates, Dr. Weintraub or Dr. Emerson will help determine if whitening will work for you

If you'd like to learn more about teeth whitening at North Rivers Dental Associates, contact our office in North Charleston, South Carolina, to schedule a consultation with one of our talented dentists today.

By North Rivers Dental Associates
March 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

How fillings from North Charleston can save your smilefillings

Your teeth are the strongest part of your body; tooth enamel is even stronger than bone! Your teeth can still be damaged by decay or trauma, but don’t worry. Your dentists at North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC, can help with the latest state-of-the-art filling materials and techniques to give you back your smile.

If you have broken or decayed teeth, it can impair your ability to chew the foods you love. Lack of chewing also impairs your digestion, which affects your health. A whole smile is a healthy smile! You already know if you have damaged or decayed teeth, it dramatically affects your smile and your appearance. A whole smile is an attractive smile!

Modern dental filling procedures are easy, quick, and inexpensive. At North Rivers Dental Associates, you can choose from many different filling materials depending on your preferences and the location of the filling in your mouth. Consider these different types of fillings:

  • Tooth-colored (composite) fillings, which give you a completely natural look. The composite material can be color-matched to your existing teeth, providing a virtually invisible, harmonious smile.
  • Glass ionomer fillings, which can be matched to the color of your existing teeth; these fillings are usually placed near the gumline, in areas where you don’t need chewing strength.
  • Porcelain, which is cosmetically beautiful and light reflective; these fillings look like your natural teeth and are virtually invisible.

With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which filling material is best for you. That’s why your dentists at North Rivers are here to give you advice and help you make the best decision for your unique smile. For more information about fillings and other dental services, call your dentists at North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC. Call today!

By North Rivers Dental Associates
January 31, 2017
Category: Dental Health
Tags: Root Canals  

Need a root canal treatment? Root canal therapy, or endodontic therapy, is a treatment that is used to fix and save teeth that are badly root canaldecayed or infected. North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC, offers root canal therapy with a gentle touch. Read on to find out how a root canal can help you.

#1- Tooth Pain

Are you in pain? You may need a root canal treatment if you have a severe toothache. The intensity of the pain can range from mild to severe. The pain may get worse when you chew and apply pressure to the tooth.

#2- Abscess

Do you have an abscessed tooth? When teeth have become abscessed, they will require endodontic therapy. An abscess is an infection in or around the root of the tooth. The only way to remove the infection completely is by performing endodontic therapy.

#3- Swollen Gums

Are your gums swollen? Swollen gums is a common symptom of needing root canal therapy. Swelling around the adjacent gums or around the tooth is a sign that nerve damage is present. The swelling will not subside until a root canal is performed. 

#4- Sensitive Teeth

Do hot and cold beverages bother you? Many individuals are naturally sensitive to cold and hot beverages. However, prolonged sensitivity to cold and hot beverages is a sign of significant tooth pulp damage.

#5- Deep Cavity 

If decay extends deep into the tooth and reaches the nerve, the nerve will become infected with bacteria. When this occurs, it will die and become decayed tissue or become inflamed and painful. The only way your North Charleston dentist can get all of the decay out of the tooth is by performing a root canal.

Now is the perfect time to make a wise decision. Don't put off root canal therapy if you need it. Call North Rivers Dental Associates in North Charleston, SC, at (843) 553-7827 right now to schedule your dental appointment. We believe that everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile!





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