Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What are Dental Implants and How do they Work?

Anyone who has lost a tooth or teeth due to injury or periodontal disease may be an ideal candidate for dental implants. Dental implants are permanent devices implanted into a patient's jaw in order to substitute a natural tooth root. They can be used to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place and they rely on the jawbone for support.

There are two types of dental implants: Endosteal (which are inserted into the jaw bone) and Subperiosteal (placed on top of the jaw bone). Endosteal is the most commonly used type of dental implant and can be a great alternative to dentures. Subperiosteal implants are generally used in patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures or those who have minimal bone height.

While dentures are less costly, many patients are choosing implants instead of dentures due to their more natural appearance. Because dentures are removable, patients who use them also have to deal with applying fixatives, which don't always create a secure bond, causing discomfort and embarrassment if the dentures should come loose while eating or speaking.

Depending on your situation, your dentist may advise dental implants, but an ideal candidate should have the following qualifications:

  • Good general and dental health.
  • Adequate bone in their jaw.
  • Have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
If you would like to learn if dental implants are the right choice for you, contact Dr. Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh: 919-782-0548

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Friday, December 14, 2012

What are Dental X-Rays Used For?

Periodically, Dr. Simon Melcher and the dental staff at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh will want to take X-rays of your teeth in order to catch any possible issues that may be hiding under the surface. Radiographs (X-rays) help your dentist determine the presence of a number of dental problems. Some of these problems include periodontal disease, abbesses and abnormal growths such as tumors or cysts.

In addition to uncovering the issues mentioned above, X-rays will allow your dentist to pinpoint the location of cavities and other conditions that may be too subtle to see during a visual exam. Without periodic X-rays, patients are more likely to experience serious dental problems. This is because early detection is the key to preventing a more serious issue later on.

Some patients are nervous about getting X-rays, due to radiation exposure. Although radiation can be harmful if a person is exposed to it in high levels, rest assured that our team is trained to follow all safety precautions when taking X-rays. By using state-of-the-art technology, such as digital radiography, and by staying knowledgeable about recent advances, we are aware of which techniques, procedures and X-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation.

To learn more about dental X-rays or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melcher, please visit our website at www.TheRaleighDentists.com or call us at 919-782-0548.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Is Fluoride Harmful to My Health?

Last year, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prompted many Americans to question the health benefits of fluoride. Despite raising a few eyebrows, the research did not uncover anything that would link significant health risks to fluoride.

It seems the CDC concluded that 2 out of 5 adolescents developed streaks or spottiness on their teeth, caused by ingesting too much fluoride. In rare, extreme cases, some young teens even experienced pitting on their tooth surface, but these cases were so mild that they were only detectable by a dentist. This most likely occurred not from routine dental procedures, but by ingesting fluoride from other sources - namely, drinking water. Most water supplies in the U.S. are fluoridated, which means they are purposefully treated with fluoride.

Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature. You won't just find it in water; it's also in soil, air and in most foods. Fluoride is absorbed easily into the tooth enamel, especially in children's growing teeth. Once the child's teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes re-mineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is visible.

While ingesting too much of anything can cause adverse reactions, it is extremely rare to experience any health issues related to fluoride. Dental fluorosis is the most common affliction associated with excessive fluoride intake (note the keyword here is EXCESSIVE). Dental fluorosis is characterized by mottled, chalky white or brown appearance on the teeth.

It has been theorized that, over many years, too much fluoride can lead to other health problems, but many of these reports are unfounded. The highly reputable organizations in our country such as the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry continue to recommend fluoride, especially for children.

If you take it upon yourself to research this topic, make sure you are careful about where you get your information. Your best resource is to ask Dr. Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry.  Give us a call today to learn more or to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548

News Sources:

MSN Healthy Living - A Little Fluoride Goes a Long Way
CBS News- Fluoride is Good For You, We Mean Bad for You

Related Post:

Does Bottled Water Contain Fluoride?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Are Silver Fillings a Danger to My Health?

When you get a cavity, which is essentially a small hole in your tooth caused by decay, dentists use special materials to fill it. The material used in dental fillings has advanced over the years, but silver fillings have been a common choice for dentists for a long time.

Although there are alternatives available, silver fillings are not harmful to a patients health.

The silver filling material is a mixture of mercury, a silver alloy, tin and copper. Known as dental amalgam, the use of this mixture has been a controversial topic, namely due to the fact that it contains mercury, which can be toxic when ingested in significant amounts. Although scientists speculate that it is possible for mercury to leech into the mouth from a silver filling, several studies have concluded that the amount that could be released is not enough to pose a significant health risk. In fact, the release of mercury in silver fillings is so small that it is much less than what patients are exposed to in food, air and water.

Nevertheless, many patients are turning to alternative restoration materials. These include gold, porcelain, and composite resins. Dental composite resins are probably the most popular type of restoration material available today, due to their more natural look. Some dentists favor composite resins because they are more easy to manipulate, are insoluble and are insensitive to dehydration. Also, composite resins are fairly inexpensive when compared to other materials.

If you have concerns or questions regarding your fillings, feel free to contact Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant & General Dentistry today. Call 919-782-0548.

Our hours are Mon-Fri, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alternatives to Dentures

If you have little to no non-restorable teeth, you may be thinking that dentures are the only option. Not so! With advances in dental treatments, many offices now provide implant and support choices for their patients.

Strategically placed implants can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the look and feel of real teeth.

The dental implants are small appliances that are inserted into the upper and lower jaws in order to help restore the mouth by replacing individual missing teeth or supporting an existing bridge or denture. Dental implants are becoming the popular alternative of choice to dentures, due to their many advantages.

Advantages of implants over traditional dentures:
  • Reduces movement of dentures, bridges, crowns and other dental work.
  • Facilitates proper chewing.
  • Provide support and improved stability for removable dentures or fixed bridge work.
  • More closely resembles the "feel" of natural teeth.
  • Enhances the patient's self-confidence, as speech and appearance are often improved.
Although dental implants are becoming a popular alternative to traditional dentures, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. Talk to us today about your best options for tooth restoration: 919-782-0548

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What To Do If You Grind Your Teeth At Night

Many people grind their teeth or clench their jaw from time to time. However, teeth grinding and jaw clenching can be very damaging if it is done for an extended period of time.

Medically known as bruxism, teeth grinding is a fairly common problem. Most people do it unknowingly while they are asleep. This condition can cause an eventual wearing down of the tooth surface or in severe cases, loosening and cracking of teeth. If left untreated, chronic teeth grinding can lead to the teeth being worn down to the gum line. In these cases, bridges, crowns, root canals or implants may be needed to restore the patient's teeth.

Additionally, bruxism can lead to jaw problems such as TMD/TMJ. This can even lead to hearing loss and a change in your facial appearance.

Thankfully, bruxism can be easy to combat by wearing a protective mouth guard during the night. If you aren't sure whether or not you grind your teeth at night, contact us to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548. We will examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, which can include jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

One of the leading causes of teeth grinding is stress and anxiety. If you suspect your teeth grinding is a result of emotional stress, talk to your doctor or contact us about stress relief treatments. Some suggestions a doctor may provide are anti-anxiety medication, muscle relaxers or perhaps counseling if you are dealing with something particularly traumatic or stressful.

Other tips for avoiding bruxism:
  • Cut back on caffeine and avoid alcohol. Research suggests that grinding intensifies after consuming these substances.
  • Avoid chewing gum. Chewing gum essentially gets your mouth "in the habit" of clenching your jaw.
  • Be aware of your jaw during the day. If you find yourself clenching or grinding throughout the day, try positioning the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration may be linked to bruxism.
  • Try to reduce your stress level, especially before bed. Do something that relaxes you before falling asleep. Avoid exercising or working right before bedtime.
For more information or to seek treatment for bruxism or TMJ, contact Dr. Simon Melcher at 919-782-0548

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Treat Canker Sores

Nobody likes getting canker sores, but unfortunately, they are a common condition. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, you will likely get a canker sore at least once or twice in your life. Fortunately, they are fairly easy to treat.

Canker sores are small, shallow ulcers in the mouth that can cause discomfort and pain when eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. They can be caused by a variety of factors, but there is no definite way to know how a canker sore develops. Tissue injury is thought to be the most common cause, while acidic foods (citrus fruits, figs, tomatoes, etc.) are thought to trigger or worsen the condition. If you have braces or dentures that aren't fitted quite right, you could experience canker sores due to the friction of the dental work against your mouth surface.

Symptoms of a canker sore include a small, painful area within the mouth, a tingling or burning sensation prior to the sore first appearing and, in the case of severe canker sore attacks, fever and swollen lymph nodes. Contrary to what some believe, cold sores and canker sores are not the same thing. Cold sores, also known as fever blisters or herpes simplex type 1, are fluid-filled blisters. Unlike canker sores, cold sores are caused by a virus and are very contagious.

Most canker sores will heal on their own after about a week, but to treat the pain and discomfort, a variety of over-the-counter products are available in most drug stores. If you experience canker sores that last longer than a week, seem to be getting worse, or are experiencing other medical symptoms, you should contact us at 919-782-0548.  We may prescribe a special mouth rinse or ointment to treat the sore.

Here are a few suggestions to avoid canker sores:

  • Stay away from foods and drinks that irritate your mouth, including acidic fruits and veggies or spicy foods.
  • Brush and floss after meals to keep your mouth free of debris that could cause a sore to develop.
  • Use a soft-bristled tooth brush to minimize gum irritation.

Make sure any dental apparatus you use is well-fitted and does not cause irritation to your gums, cheeks or soft palate (the back portion of the roof of your mouth).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is the unpleasant result of plaque reacting with sugary and starchy deposits from food. This reaction produces an acidic substance that eats away at your tooth enamel. Over time, this weakens the tooth and will eventually lead to advanced decay if left untreated. Cavities, abcsesses or gum disease are possible consequences of tooth decay.

A few symptoms of tooth decay include pain around the tooth (or teeth), bad breath, white, gray, brown or black spots on the teeth, or a tooth that is sensitive to pressure. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact us. Call 919-782-0548 for an appointment.

The best way to avoid tooth decay is to maintain a healthy oral hygeine routine. Bushing and flossing after meals (or at least twice a day) will greatly reduce your chances of tooth decay. In addition to at-home dental care, you should make every effort to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist.

By keeping up with your excellent dental hygiene, healthy eating habits, and regular six-month cleanings and check-ups, you will avoid having to come see us for more serious treatments later on!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Does My Jaw Pop When I Open It?

A popping sensation in the jaw is not uncommon. It happens most often when people open their mouths wide or when they eat. Unless your jaw locks or you experience pain when this happens, it's probably not something you need to worry about.

The jaw bone is separated from the base of the skull by a pad or disk, similar to the pad in other joints of the body. The primary cause of popping in your jaw is when the jaw bone 'pops' off that pad or disk.

The best way to avoid popping your jaw is to refrain from overextending it and try to be aware of any tension in the jaw muscles. Sometimes that 'pop' is unavoidable and will occur even when you aren't opening very wide. There are also people who are just predisposed to it.

Although an occasional jaw popping without any pain or locking is normal, you shouldn't try to pop your jaw deliberately. This may cause discomfort and possibly serious damage.

If you have more questions about your jaw or your dental health, please contact us at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh to schedule an appointment or consultation: 919-782-0548.

See Related Posts:
Implant and General Dentistry Dental Treatments, Raleigh NC

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dental Insurance at Implant and General Dentistry of Raleigh NC

At Implant and General Dentistry of Raleigh, we want to do whatever we can to make your billing experience as hassle-free as possible.

To ensure this, we do our best to inform our patients of their financial responsibilities up front. We are happy to file insurance claims as a courtesy to our patients, but we ask that they pay for services at the time of treatment.

Due to the changing and developing nature of your teeth and gums, it can be helpful to have dental insurance to help offset costs of treatments necessary to maintain your dental health. Dental insurance will usually cover a certain percentage of most treatments, but depending on your plan, some preventive care services, such as routine teeth cleaning, may be fully covered. Speak with your insurance provider or someone in our billing department for more information.

To learn more, please visit the Dental Insurance page of our website or call us directly at 919-782-0548.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Will Bleaching Damage My Teeth?

A bright, white smile is a great asset. It makes you look healthy and improves your confidence. But many people are nervous about getting their teeth whitened, mainly due the fear of putting any sort of chemical in their mouth. While this is an understandable concern, we want our patients to know that dental bleaching is a safe procedure that should NOT damage their teeth.

Here's how it works: When carbamide peroxide (the active whitening agent) comes in contact with water, hydrogen peroxide is released which whitens the teeth. Bleaching does not soften, demineralize or weaken the teeth, as many people presume.

Of course, bleaching may not be a good choice for every patient. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not have their teeth bleached. Patients with active cavities or gum disease also should avoid whitening - at least until the other issues are resolved.

For more information on teeth whitening services in Raleigh, contact us today at 919-782-0548.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Are Porcelain Veneers and Why Are They Used?

Porcelain veneers are very thin layers of ceramic material that are used to improve the look of a patient's smile. These ultra-thin layers are bonded to the front tooth surface in an effort to protect or restore the tooth (or teeth) while maintaining a natural appearance.

Porcelain veneers can be used for a number of reasons. They can improve the appearance of discolored teeth, fix teeth that are chipped or broken, give a more natural appearance to teeth that are misshapen or misaligned and can even help close gaps between teeth.

The process of applying porcelain veneers involves several steps. First, the outer enamel of the tooth is shaved off to create a surface suitable for the bonding process. An impression of the tooth (or teeth) is then taken with special putty and the mold is then sent to a laboratory. The lab will fabricate the veneer to match the mold. The new veneer will be inspected to make sure it fits; sometimes veneers must be trimmed to help it fit perfectly. Finally, the dentist will bond the veneer to the outer tooth surface using a special adhesive material.

For more information on porcelain veneers, visit our Treatments page or give us a call at 919-782-0548.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kids' Dental Care Tips for Parents

Helping your child develop a proper dental hygiene routine can keep their smile healthy throughout their lives. Studies have shown that children who practice proper dental hygiene early in life, are more likely to continue the habit well into adulthood. Although it may be tough for parents to get their little ones into the routine of brushing and flossing, it will certainly pay off in the long run.

Here are a few helpful hints for parents when it comes to dental care:

Use positive reinforcement - Don't use a trip to the dentist as a scare tactic. Reward proper brushing and flossing with praise or perhaps a small treat like a sticker or small toy.

Brush with your child - Young children especially like to imitate their parents' behavior. If your child sees you brushing and flossing regularly, chances are he or she will be more likely to follow suit.

Make it part of you and your child's routine - Make sure you allow extra time (at least in the beginning) for you and your child's dental routine. You will most likely have to help your child brush his or her teeth, which may take a little longer, or your child may need a few extra minutes of coaxing before they're even willing to brush.

Choose fun dental products that your kids will like - Whether its a toothbrush with your child's favorite cartoon character on it or some kid-friendly mouthwash that changes colors when they spit it out, your children may be more willing to engage in routine brushing if they are allowed to pick out the products they use. Just make sure any products you buy for your child are approved by the ADA and are safe for kids.

Kids should start their regular dental cleaning and check-ups at 3 years old.  You can consult with us to see if your child may be ready to start his or her visits with Dr. Melcher.  We work with patients of all ages - from toddlers to seniors.  Give us a call today to schedule your child's appointment: 919-782-0548.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Tobacco Use Affects Your Dental Health

Most people agree that smoking and tobacco use is hazardous to your health, as well as the health of those around you. However, many people are unaware of the possible dental-related consequences of tobacco use.

Did you know that smoking and chewing tobacco can contribute to oral cancer, gum disease and slowed healing after dental procedures? Not only that, but the use of tobacco products can also stain your teeth, cause bad breath and may dull your sense of taste and smell.

The harmful additives in cigarettes and other tobacco products can contribute to a number of health-related issues while the nicotine in the tobacco itself can cause the user to become addicted. This vicious cycle leads many people to suffer health problems while dealing with financial burdens such as paying more for insurance or having to pay for dental procedures to correct tobacco-related issues.

Contrary to what some people believe, smokeless tobacco options are not "safe alternatives" to cigarettes, pipes or cigars. In fact, chewing tobacco contains higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes, making it an even harder habit to break. And, according to WebMD.com, one can of snuff delivers more nicotine than over 60 cigarettes! These smokeless "alternatives" can cause just as much damage, if not more, than pipes, cigars or cigarettes. From oral cancer to gum recession to alveolar bone loss, tobacco products (smokeless or otherwise) can cause serious dental problems.

Tobacco use can be a powerful addiction; however, with so many health risks, it's no surprise your dentist will encourage you to quit. If you feel like you need help kicking the habit, there are a number of free resources that can be found on the web. One of which is SmokeFree.gov, a site where you can get free information, contact an expert or chat online with a counselor.

For more resources on dental health and treatments offered at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC, please visit www.TheRaleighDentists.com or call us at 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Healthy Dental Habits for Adults Over 60

It was once believed that people would lose their natural teeth as they aged. Nowadays, dental experts know that aging doesn't necessarily lead to tooth loss. As medical advancements continue to evolve, people are keeping their natural teeth well into their 50s, 60s and beyond. However, aging adults do require some special dental care in order to maintain a healthy smile.

Here are a few tips for dental care after 60:

Brush and Floss Daily - Although this applies to people at just about any stage of life, it is especially important for older adults. People over 60 are more susceptible to cavities. One of the reasons is dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many prescription medications.

Clean Dentures - Daily Bacteria can stick to dentures just as it sticks to natural teeth. Whether you wear full or partial dentures, be sure you are cleaning them daily with a cleaner specifically made for dentures. The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends removing your dentures for at least four hours every 24 hours in order to keep the lining of your mouth healthy.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly - This is another bit of advice that applies to everyone, but is particularly important to seniors. As we age, the nerves in our teeth actually become smaller and less sensitive. This means that if you wait until you feel pain, it could be too late. An untreated cavity could lead to the loss of a tooth. In addition to checking for cavities, your dentist will also screen you for oral cancer and gum disease.

Quit Smoking - Again, people of all ages should take this piece of advice, but senior citizens who smoke are especially prone to dental problems. Smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. It can also hinder the healing process after dental surgery and may decrease the success rate of dental implants. Many older adults feel that it's "too late" for them to quit smoking. This is not true. It's NEVER too late to quit! If you need help, talk to your doctor about prescription and non-prescription options to help you quit.

To learn more about dental hygiene and treatments for seniors and patients over 60, please contact Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh NC at 919-782-0548.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Does Bottled Water Contain Fluoride?

For many people, bottled water is a staple of their daily diet. While bottled water is favored by many due to its lack of impurities and fresh taste, it may lack fluoride - an important mineral for your teeth.

Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the Earth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), drinking water with fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. In fact, in the 1930s, researchers discovered that people who grew up drinking naturally fluoridated water had up to two-thirds fewer cavities than people living in areas without fluoridated water.

While brushing with a fluoride toothpaste or rinsing with a fluoride mouth wash can help, water can be an even greater source. Unfortunately, if you drink bottled water or use a home water filter, you could be missing out on the health benefits of this mineral.

While some people prefer bottled water simply for the taste, others drink bottled water because they live in an area where tap water may be contaminated or unsafe to consume. Either way, if you choose to drink bottled water, you should try to find the kind that contains fluoride. If you're not sure, check the label. If you have or are thinking of installing a home water filter, check out the ADA site for a list of water filters that do not remove fluoride from tap water.

Dr.Melcher with Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC provides dental resources in this blog and on his website (see: Dental Treatments, Raleigh NC for information and videos about dental treatments).  Contact Dr.Melcher to schedule an appointment for your next cleaning or dental treatment in Raleigh: 919-782-0548.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Your Diet and Your Dental Health

Did you know that your dental health is greatly affected by what you eat and drink? Most people are aware that too much sugar can be bad for teeth and that substances like coffee or wine will cause discoloration, but a lot of folks might be surprised to know that diets high in carbohydrates or acidic substances can also contribute to dental problems.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth. The ADA recommends avoiding the consumption of foods and drinks that are high in sugar such as soft drinks and candy. Additionally, snack foods that are very starchy or high in carbs can also contribute to tooth decay.

Giving up these things completely would be great for your dental health, but for most people, this is unrealistic. A soda every once in a while or some candy here and there probably won't be detrimental to your teeth. Just remember that moderation along with regular, effective dental hygiene practices can help you maintain a healthy smile.

Here are a few tips for making your diet tooth-and-gum-friendly:
  • Drink plenty of water (limit soda and juices)
  • Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including: whole grains fruits vegetables lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
  • Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose healthier options like fresh fruit or a piece of cheese.
The ADA says that foods eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day. This is because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.

We hope you learned something today!  Thanks for visiting our blog and please remember to call Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC to schedule your next appointment: 919-782-0548

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Proper Tooth Brushing Technique

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important daily habits to maintain a healthy smile. Unfortunately, many people don't realize they aren't bushing effectively. Improper brushing can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and expensive dental bills. How frustrating it would be to continue to have dental problems, even though you're brushing regularly!

Here's a quick look at the most effective way to brush your teeth. These recommendations come straight from the American Dental Association (ADA).  You can learn more at MouthHealthy.org.

First, a few tips... Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. (Sooner if the bristles become frayed or bent). Use an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. (Or ask your dentist to recommend one for your specific condition).

Now, for the technique... Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to the gums. Move the brush back and forth gently in short, tooth-wide strokes. Be sure to brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces and chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inner surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

For a helpful visual guide, download the How to Brush PDF from the ADA.

Remember, brushing is only one part of maintaining dental health. Flossing and regular cleanings are also recommended to keep your smile healthy!  Be sure to schedule your next appointment with Dr, Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry: 919-782-0548.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Importance of Flossing

Brushing and flossing typically go hand-in-hand when it comes to healthy dental habits. Unfortunately, many people neglect to floss, despite regular brushing. While it may not seem like a big deal, The American Dental Association warns that people who avoid the floss will likely have serious dental issues in the future.

Flossing is important because it helps remove plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is that sticky yellowish coating that builds up along the gumline. It's full of nasty bacteria that excrete acidic matter, causing damage to your teeth and gums. If plaque continues to build up and is left untreated, it could lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Most toothbrushes cannot effectively clean the areas between your teeth, so even if you're a die-hard brusher, you'll still need the aid of dental floss to clean those hard-to-reach places. This may be a hassle for people who have difficulty handling dental floss, but it is a very worthwhile hassle. If you need some help, your dentist will probably be more than happy to give you a quick lesson on how to floss during your next visit. You can also download a How To Floss PDF from MouthHealthy.org, a website from the ADA.

Remember, flossing is just one part of maintaining oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth after meals (or at least twice a day) and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings are also essential for keeping your smile bright and healthy.

Contact Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh today to schedule your next routine checkup: 919-782-0548

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family Dental Care in Raleigh NC

Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant & General Dentistry offers complete dental care for you and your family. From routine teeth cleaning to emergency dental services, Dr. Melcher and his associates proudly serve as a leading family dentist in Raleigh, NC.

In addition to preventive care, Dr. Melcher and his associates are highly skilled at restorative dental procedures including crowns, bridges, inlays, implants and more. Whether you need a periodontal evaluation or just a routine check up, Dr. Melcher and his staff are happy to offer quality dental care to you and your family.

At Implant & General Dentistry, Dr. Melcher and his associates strive to offer comprehensive dental care for people of all ages. Many patients start out as younger clients but continue to come to the office well into adulthood. As a multigenerational business, Implant & General Dentistry is pleased to see such return business.

If you're ready to come see what Dr. Melcher and his associates have to offer, call 919-782-0548 for an appointment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

MouthHealthy.org Answers Your Dental Related Questions

The American Dental Association recently launched the website MouthHealthy.org.  It is designed as a resource for the public to find answers to dental related questions on products, conditions, nutrition, concerns, and more.  There is a whole section for kids and the resources on the site are divided by age group so you can easily access information most pertinent for you.

In addition to information on topics from A-Z, there is also a search function for users to find an ADA member dentist in your area and a slideshow featuring causes and solutions for the top ten dental symptoms.

We hope you take advantage of the information and resources available to you at MouthHealthy.org and call us at Implant and General Dentistry to go over any concerns you may have: 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Raleigh NC

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth and are the teeth least needed for good oral health. Most people have four wisdom teeth that usually erupt through the gums in their late teens or early twenties. Sometimes wisdom teeth remain trapped in the jawbone under the gums due to impaction (see below) or because there is insufficient room for them to erupt.

There are a number of reasons why we often recommend removing wisdom teeth.  They can cause gum disease, crowding or other damage to adjacent teeth, decay (due to the inability of your toothbrush to keep the area clean), and bone destroying cysts. Problems with wisdom teeth will often cause pain and swelling. Whether you have obvious symptoms or not, it is important to diagnose existing or potential problems caused by your wisdom teeth. Removal is often the wisest decision for your health and well-being.

Here are four conditions caused by wisdom teeth where they will likely (or definitely in some cases) need to be extracted:
  1. Horizontal Impaction - a severe condition that always requires extraction.
  2. Vertical Impaction - vertically impacted teeth may erupt. However, in many cases the process is painful and can damage and crowd adjacent teeth.
  3. Mesial Impaction - the most common condition requiring extraction.
  4. Distal Impaction - the wisdom tooth is angled back, towards the rear of the mouth.
We encourage you to schedule a appointment with Dr.Simon Melcher with Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC for a routine dental check-up, including an evaluation of your wisdom teeth: 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dentures and Partial Dentures In Raleigh NC

Dentures and partial dentures are used to replace natural teeth that are missing and are designed to have the look and feel of natural teeth.  Not only will dentures help improve the structure of your mouth, they will also help improve your health and appearance.

Dentures prevent the sagging of facial muscles, which makes a person with no teeth or many missing teeth look much older. Removable Partial Dentures can be removed and reinserted without professional assistance. Partial dentures also enable you to eat and speak normally, little things often taken for granted until natural teeth are lost.

Dentures consist of replacement teeth and tissue-colored plastic bases which are connected by a metal or plastic framework. The process of creating custom dentures starts with the dentist taking impressions of your upper and lower jaw and matching the color of your existing teeth to the replacement teeth in the denture.  The impressions and other instructions are sent to a dental lab where your partial dentures are made to exact standards.  It is then returned to the practice and adjusted for comfort and fit with the patient.

Here are some tips on how to care for your mouth and gums while using dentures:
  1. Brush your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and to help remove plaque.
  2. Regular dental checkups are needed so we can examine your mouth and dentures to ensure a healthy and comfortable fit.
Dr. Simon Melcher with Implant and General Dentistry has extensive experience with fitting dentures and partial dentures.  If you need dental work done, including dentures or partial dentures, then please contact Dr.Melcher with Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh today: 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, N.C.

Dr. Simon Melcher, Implant and General Dentistry, Raleigh NC
We wanted to give you a chance to learn more about Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, N.C.  Not only is Dr. Melcher a wonderful family dentist, but he also has a beautiful family of his own with 2 amazing children.  He loves practicing dentistry in Raleigh and is extremely dedicated to his patients and staff.  Here is some information about his background and dental education:

Dr. Simon Melcher is a 2003 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. He is an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, and the Raleigh/ Wake County Dental Society.

Dr. Melcher was the 2003 winner of the Southeastern Academy of Prosthodontics Award of Excellence. Along with his commitment to the highest quality treatment for his patients, Dr. Melcher is also dedicated to giving back to the community, and volunteers on a regular basis with the Wake Smiles clinic in Raleigh.

If you have questions for Dr. Melcher, please don't hesitate to contact us at 919-782-0548.  We also invite you to leave a review for Dr. Melcher on our Google+ Local Page.  We appreciate your feedback!

Here are some resources from our blog about the treatments offered at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh:

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene Teeth Whitening Dental Bridges Periodontal Work Dental Inlays and Onlays Bonding
Veneers Crowns Cavity Fillings Dental Implants Root Canal

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teeth Whitening Treatments in Raleigh NC

Everyone wants a bright, white smile. Unfortunately it can be tough to keep your pearly whites from getting dingy, dull or yellowed.

Even with proper dental hygiene, many factors can affect the color of your teeth. Drinking coffees and sodas, smoking and even some medications can cause tooth discoloration.

By avoiding tobacco use, cutting back on food or drinks that stain your teeth and maintaining a healthy dental hygiene routine, you can avoid further discoloration. Keep in mind, however, that these practices alone won't necessarily give you the ultra white smile you so often see in magazines or television. If that's what you're looking for, you may need to consult your dentist about teeth whitening agents.

At our Raleigh NC office, we offer simple in-house teeth whitening treatments that are fast and effective. We also offer a range of over the counter products that can be used at home; however these methods will not work as quickly or dramatically as the procedures done in our office.

To learn more about teeth whitening in Raleigh NC, visit TheRaleighDentists.com or call us today at (919) 782-0548.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dental Bridges in Raleigh NC to Repair Spacing or Missing Teeth

If you're tired of going through life with missing teeth or you feel embarrassed because of significant spacing, talk to Implant & General Dentistry of Raleigh NC about dental bridges. We prescribe bridges when one or more teeth are missing and there are healthy teeth on both sides of the open space. As the name implies, a dental bridge closes the gap between two teeth. This will greatly improve the look of your smile and will help you maintain a healthy bite.

The process involved preparing the damaged teeth by eliminating the tooth structure, fabricating the bridge and then cementing it to the prepared teeth. Bridges can be made from three types of material, solid gold for reliable long wear, porcelain fused to a gold base for strength and beauty, and high-strength metal-free porcelain for optimum cosmetic results. With proper care, your new bridge will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.

Learn more and see visual interpretations of dental bridge work at Dental Bridge Treatment Info.

We invite you to contact Implant & General Dentistry of Raleigh NC to schedule your appointment today: 919-782-0548.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Gum Disease and Periodontal Work in Raleigh NC

Periodontics refers to the branch of dentistry that is concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth, namely the gums. Without proper gum care, you could fall victim to some nasty ailments, such as gingivitis (bleeding gums), periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

To avoid these gum diseases, proper dental hygiene is a must. The cause of gum disease is usually plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. If this plaque isn't removed through daily brushing and flossing, gums will become irritated and inflamed. This irritation can cause your gums to separate from your teeth and form pockets - which only allows more bacteria to grow. If left untreated, this process can cause destruction of bone and other dental tissue.

By maintaining a proper dental hygiene routine you can avoid these diseases. If you haven't already scheduled your six month cleaning, be sure to call Implant & General Dentistry of Raleigh NC today! 919-782-0548

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dental Inlays and Onlays for Tooth Restoration in Raleigh NC

Dental inlays or onlays are strong, lifelike dental restorations that are used to help restore strength and health to teeth. These treatments are very similar to cavity fillings, but are usually used to treat teeth with significant levels of decay.

The difference between inlays and onlays lies in the area that is being restored. Inlays generally are used to restore decayed areas that are concave and do not reach the outer borders of the tooth. Onlays are typically used to restore decay found on the outer cusp of the tooth. Both inlays and onlays are utilized in the same manner.

After your mouth has been anesthetized, the decayed portion of your tooth or teeth is removed from the sound tooth structure. An impression of the affected area is then taken and sent to a dental lab. In the meantime, you will most likely have to wear a temporary filling while your permanent inlay or onlay is being fabricated.

In most cases, the inlay or onlay will blend seamlessly to the tooth structure, giving the look of healthy, natural teeth. To learn more, contact us at Implant and General Dentistry today or visit our website at TheRaleighDentists.com: (910) 782-0548.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dental Bonding in Raleigh NC to Repair and Protect Teeth

If you have minor damage, unevenness or discoloration to your teeth, bonding could be a quick and painless solution. Bonding is a dental restoration process that can be used to repair cracks, chips or gaps between teeth. It can also be useful in covering stained teeth to improve the appearance of your smile, as well as providing longterm protection against future damage and discoloration.

As an in-office procedure, dental bonding is quick and relatively painless. It can even be done without anesthesia, as long as there is no decay or pulp exposure. Another benefit of bonding, the composite resin material we use can be made into virtually any shade, allowing us to match the color of your natural teeth.

Here are a few other uses for dental bonding:

  • Protect exposed roots of teeth
  • Repair cracks, unevenness, chips
  • Close spaces between your front teeth
  • Reshape crooked or misshapen teeth
  • Replace old or unattractive silver fillings
  • Whiten stained teeth
  • Replace missing teeth
  • Stabilize loose teeth

Want to know more? Call us today to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548

Monday, May 7, 2012

Veneers in Raleigh NC - Improve the Appearance of Your Smile

Do you avoid showing your teeth because of damage or discoloration? Do you dread your photo being made or feel embarrassed when you smile? If so, consider scheduling a consultation for veneers.

Unlike crowns, which fit over the entire tooth, veneers are thin shells that cover only the visible portion. There are two types of veneers - ceramic veneers and resin-based composite veneers. Both types can do wonders for your smile and your self-confidence!

Call us today to schedule an exam and consultation. We'll be happy to help you find the best dental restoration procedure for your unique needs. Call 919-782-0548. Our hours are Mon-Fri, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crowns for Damaged, Decayed or Broken Teeth

Our teeth can become damaged by physical trauma, lack of hygiene and even our overall physical health. When a tooth becomes too damaged or decayed to be restored by fillings, crowns are usually prescribed.

Unlike veneers, which only cover the visible portion of a tooth, crowns are used to cover (or, in some instances, replace) an entire tooth. Most people who have had root canals will need a crown for the affected tooth. Others who may need crowns are people who have badly chipped or broken teeth due to physical trauma, or people who have neglected their dental hygiene to the point where they are losing their teeth.

Fortunately, crowns can greatly improve the health and appearance of a person's smile - but they do require care and upkeep. We'll go over everything you need to know about your dental crowns, but it is up to you to continue with proper care.

Call us today to schedule your consultation: 919-782-0548

Monday, April 23, 2012

Need Cavity Fillings in Raleigh NC?

Cavities are small holes or depressions in a tooth caused by decay. Tooth decay can affect both the enamel of a tooth (the first, outer layer) and the dentin (the second, inner layer), making it pretty dangerous to your dental health if left untreated.

In order to treat a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the space with one of several types of materials. Cavity fillings can be created from gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, or composite resin. Each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Modernly, porcelain and tooth-colored composite materials are the preferred materials, as they mimic the look and texture of natural teeth.

Getting a cavity filled may be a commonly dreaded procedure, but it is relatively easy on the patient. Before beginning the filling procedure, patients are given a numbing local anesthetic to the affected area. You may feel some pressure or slight discomfort from the procedure, but you shouldn't feel any pain. Afterward, some soreness or sensitivity could occur, but every individual is different - we'll talk to you personally about what you can expect during and after your visit.

Remember, cavities aren't fun, they can be avoided by maintaining a proactive dental hygiene regimen and keeping regularly scheduled dental check-ups.

If you're a Raleigh resident who has questions or concerns about tooth fillings, contact us today and we will be happy to give you additional information: 919-782-0548 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tips for Great Dental Hygiene

Dr. Simon Melcher and his staff at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh NC promote healthy dental hygiene for their patients of all ages.  The basis for this hygiene is twice-daily brushing and flossing using proper techniques.  Here are some tips for great dental hygiene and even better trips to the dentist:
  • Brush two times a day using fluoride toothpaste
  • Hold the brush at a slight angle towards the gums when brushing along the gum line
  • Brush the tongue and roof of your mouth
  • Replace worn toothbrushes often
  • In addition to brushing, be sure to clean between the teeth daily using floss
  • Floss along each side of every tooth to clean between teeth and under the gumline
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between meal snacks
  • Avoid hard or chewy sugary candies that linger in the mouth and may get stuck in the teeth
  • Be sure to tell your dentist if something in your mouth does not look or feel right
We invite you to consult with Dr. Melcher to learn about recommended products to get the most out of your daily dental hygiene.  He and his staff can also provide customized cleanings and treatments on the basis of your periodontal (gums and bone) health.

Contact Implant and General Dentistry, your Dentists in Raleigh NC, today: 919-782-0548.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dental Implants in Raleigh NC

Dental implants are a common treatment when there is a need for full tooth replacement due to periodontal disease, injury, or other reasons.  Implants are biocompatible posts that replace the roots of your missing teeth. They are physically and biologically designed to attach to your jaw bone and become the foundation for a natural looking restoration.

Dental implants differ from traditional bridgework because implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support.  Implants are considered one of the most conservative treatments for tooth replacement and provide excellent stability and strength resulting in a new tooth or teeth that will look and feel natural.

Dr. Simon Melcher with Implant and General Dentistry is an expert in tooth replacement treatments using dental implants.  He has years of knowledge and experience with this and other dental treatments.  Give his office a call to request a consultation and appointment for any of your dental needs - from teeth cleaning or whitening to  root canal treatment or implants: (919) 782-0548.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Is Your Pain Caused By TMJ?

Pain in your face, jaw, neck, and shoulders. Headaches. Bite problems. Popping sounds when opening and closing your mouth. Difficulty opening the mouth. All of these symptoms which can range from discomforting to debilitating can be caused by TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. The good news is that TMJ is treatable, and at Implant & General Dentistry we have many treatment options available.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is acute or chronic inflammation of the joint connecting the lower jaw and the skull. Some of the potential causes include an injury to the muscles in the jaw, head, or neck; teeth grinding or other action exerting a great deal of pressure on the joint (sometimes attributed to stress); or arthritis in the joint.

TMJ Treatments

We have several options when it comes to treating TMJ. These range from noninvasive approaches such as bite splints and bite guards, to medication, to more extensive procedures such as restorative dentistry or adjusting the bite. The recommended course of action will depend on the severity of the disorder and the cause.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment call Implant and General Dentistry today at 919-782-0548.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Root Canal Treatment in Raleigh, NC

No one wants to hear that they need a root canal, or endodontic treatment, but if the pulp of your tooth has become infected or inflamed this is often the best course of action to ensure there is no further damage or discomfort.

Fortunately, there is good news for patients needing a root canal. Dental techniques and pain management practices have vastly improved in recent decades. The Raleigh NC Dentists at Implant & General Dentistry are highly experienced and use state of the art equipment and materials. Our entire staff is dedicated to making sure your treatment experience is as positive as possible, and that you receive superior dental work.

Causes of a Root Canal

There are several potential causes of inflammation or infection of the pulp of the tooth, including:
  • extensive decay
  • repeated dental procedures
  • a cracked or chipped tooth

Root Canal Process

Should a root canal be necessary the dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the effected tooth. He or she will then make a very small opening in the tooth and proceed to clean out the root canal space. The tooth is then sealed with a bio-compatible material and specialized cement.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment please call the Raleigh NC Dentists at 919-782-0548.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smile Gallery - See How We Can Transform Your Smile

Visit our Smile Gallery at TheRaleighDentists.com to see how our dental treatments can transform your smile!  You'll see before and after photos of the treatments so you can really get an idea of the difference this dental work can make for your health and appearance.

From teeth whitening to veneers and implants, Dr, Simon Melcher has the knowledge, experience, and resources to give you a whiter, brighter, and healthier smile.  Give us a call today to schedule your appointment: (919) 782-0548.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reviews for Implant and General Dentistry, Raleigh NC

We always appreciate the feedback we hear from our patients, whether in-person, online, or in the form of a referral.  Your feedback helps us improve our service and helps others know more about us.  We can tell people how great we are until we're blue in the face :) but recommendations mean so much more when they come from another patient.

We wanted to share some of our first-hand patient reviews and testimonials so you can read for yourself what others have to say about us.  You can get all of our latest reviews here:

Patient Testimonials

We also invite you to leave an online review for Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh NC at one of the following places:

RateADentist - Implant and General Dentistry, Raleigh
Google Places - Implant and General Dentistry, Raleigh
Google Places - Dr. Simon Melcher 

Thank you so much for providing us with your valuable feedback.  We truly appreciate your time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Video - Dental Treatments at Implant and General Dentistry, Raleigh NC

Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh NC offers the following dental treatments for routine and cosmetic dentistry:Teeth Cleaning, Teeth Whitening, Implants, Dentures, Veneers, Bonding, Bridges, Crowns, Fillings, Inlays and Outlays.

Please request an appointment online or call us directly at (919) 782-0548.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Dental Patient Forms Available Online

Dr. Simon Melcher and the staff at Implant and General Dentistry have patient forms available for download online to help expedite your first visit.

We understand how valuable your time is and we don't want to take any more of it than necessary.  For that reason, we stick to a strict office schedule to help minimize your time in the waiting room. For your first visit, there are required forms that must be completed before Dr. Melcher or his staff can see you.  If you want to get this done ahead of time and have access to a computer and printer, then please visit our Forms page here:

Patient Forms

Complete the forms to the best of your ability and bring them with you on your first visit to Implant and General Dentistry.  Let us know if you have any questions about the information on the forms.

You can also request an appointment right from our website here: Request An Appointment.  Or call us directly at (919) 782-0548.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Teeth Whitening Treatments at our Raleigh NC Office

Teeth Whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure at Implant & General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC.  Patients who are interested in teeth whitening have a few options. 
  1. We can recommend over-the-counter whitening agents.  These products, however, will not whiten your teeth as quickly or as effectively as treatments delivered at our office.
  2. Some whitening procedures are done in our office with one visit.
  3. Additional use of the whitening treatment will produce improved results.
The procedure for in-house teeth whitening is demonstrated with descriptive photos here: Teeth Whitening, Raleigh NC.  Soft transparent trays are filled with the whitening gel.  The trays fit tightly over your teeth and are worn for the prescribed time, overnight or during the day.  Additional treatments produce improved results.

Some of the teeth whitening brands we offer and recommend at our Raleigh NC Dentist office include: Bravo, Brite Smile, Day White Excel 3, Night White Excel 3, NuproGold, Xtra Boost, Zoom, and Zoom 2.

To inquire further about teeth whitening treatments at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, please request an appointment or call us at (919) 782-0548.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Routine Teeth Cleaning and Dental Hygiene

One of the most basic and most important services we provide for our patients is routine teeth cleaning including dental hygiene, oral exams, and annual x-rays. We schedule routine cleanings every six months for each patient and do our utmost to stay on schedule. If an appointment cannot be kept, whether by our schedule or yours, we will find the next best available time slot for you to come in.

Routine cleanings help us not only provide the best care for your teeth, they also allow us to diagnose any problems and ideally take steps to manage those problems before they develop further.

Our routine teeth cleanings also allow us to help educate you about brushing and flossing best practices to ensure that you're taking optimal care of your teeth between visits. We can point out potential trouble spots with your teeth and gums so you know where to pay extra attention during your own dental care.

Please contact us or request an appointment for your routine teeth cleaning and we'll get you on your way to a healthy mouth! 919-782-0548

Friday, January 13, 2012

Find us Online

Dr. Simon Melcher wants to make it easy for you to learn more about his practice at Implant and General Dentistry and to connect with him online.

In addition to our blog and website, Dr. Melcher can also be found in Google, Facebook, and YouTube as well as other local business sites. Here are some links to help you connect with Dr. Melcher online:
We appreciate your interest and support and hope to hear from you soon! 919-782-0548

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friendly Staff, Experienced Dentists

Here at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh NC, we take great care to provide comforting and friendly service as well as expert and experienced dentistry.

We understand that visits to the dentist may make some of our patients nervous or worried and we hope to alleviate that by educating our patients on the specfic procedures they require and on what they can expect before, during, and after the procedure. Our technicians and support staff are welcoming and we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in each treatment we provide.

If you are looking for a dentist in Raleigh, please give us a call and come in to meet with our staff and with Dr. Simon Melcher. We are confident that we can provide the dental services you need with the polite, friendly, and welcoming attitude that you desire.

You can reach us at 919-782-0548 or request an appointment directly through our website.