General & Family Treatments

Dental Hygiene

We cannot stress enough the importance of pairing dental hygiene with dental care in our office. Our dentists and our dental team are pleased to provide education about dental hygiene.

Patients should brush their teeth twice a day, morning and night. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a head that is small enough to reach all areas of your mouth. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Use a fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride provides extra protection against tooth decay. With your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle where your teeth meet the gums, brush back and forth using small, circular movements. Brush all the surfaces of your teeth, paying special attention to your front and back teeth. Brush your tongue from back to front to remove plaque and prevent bad breath.

Floss at least once a day with whatever type and flavor of floss you like best. Work your floss between your teeth gently. Curve your floss around each tooth and gently slide it under the gum line. Firmly move the floss up and down a few times to remove the plaque.

We welcome you to contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next appointment with our denist.

Dental Sealants

Even with proper brushing and flossing, it can be difficult to remove the plaque from all of the crevices of the back teeth. To protect the back teeth from decay, our dentists may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealant is a plastic coating that our dentist paints on the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars to protect them from decay. Dental sealants are typically placed on the teeth of children, but adults with no decay or dental fillings in their molars can also benefit from dental sealants.

To place dental sealants, our dentist will first thoroughly clean the molars or premolars. Each tooth is dried and an absorbent material is placed around them to keep them dry. The chewing surfaces of the teeth are roughened using an acid solution to ensure a strong bonding process. The teeth are rinsed and dried again. Our dentist then paints the dental sealant onto the chewing surface of each tooth. A curing light may be used to help harden the sealant. Your dental sealants will last for up to ten years. Our dentist will check them at your regular dental checkup appointments and replace them if necessary.

Feel free to contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next visit.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering that encases the entire visible portion of a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Our dentist may recommend a dental crown to:

• Protect a weak tooth from breaking
• Hold together a cracked tooth
• Restore a broken or badly worn down tooth
• Cover and support a tooth with a large filling
• Anchor a dental bridge
• Cover misshapen or badly stained teeth
• Cover a dental implant
• Make a cosmetic modification

Dental crowns can be made from metals, porcelain fused to metal, resin, ceramic, or porcelain. Metal crowns can be made of gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium. With metal crowns, less tooth structure needs to be removed than with other crown types. Metal crowns usually last the longest. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are color matched to your natural teeth. These crowns are ideal for front or back teeth. All resin crowns cost less than other crown types. Unfortunately, they are not as strong and are more prone to fractures. Of all the dental crown types, ceramic or porcelain dental crowns provide the best color match to your natural teeth.

To learn more and to schedule an appointment with our dentist, contact our dental office today.

Dental Bridges

Are there gaps and spaces between your teeth? Are you missing one or more permanent teeth? Our dentist may recommend a dental bridge. Dental bridges are used to close the gap caused by missing permanent teeth. A dental bridge consists of dental crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. These teeth are called abutment teeth and anchor the bridge in place. The dental crowns have a replacement tooth attached between them. Our dentist may recommend a dental bridge to:
•Restore your smile
• Restore your ability to chew and speak properly
• Maintain your face shape
• Properly distribute your bite
• Keep your remaining teeth from shifting

When placing a dental bridge, our dentist will first remove a small amount of tooth enamel from the abutment teeth. This will allow room for the dental bridge in your mouth. Impressions of your teeth will then be made so that your dental bridge can be constructed. Our dentist may place a temporary bridge to protect your teeth. When the dental bridge is complete, the temporary bridge will be removed and our dentist will check the fit of the dental bridge. Once any necessary adjustments are made, the dental bridge is permanently cemented in place.

To learn more and to schedule an appointment, contact our dental office today.

Sports Guards

If you or your child plays sports, our doctor may recommend a mouth guard. Mouth guards are custom-made, plastic appliances that slip over the upper teeth. Mouth guards, also called sports guards, can protect your teeth and jaws from injury during sports. Sports like football, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, and boxing require the use of mouth guards. Our dentist recommends that you wear a mouth guard in any sport that can cause dental injuries.

Preformed “stock” mouth guards offer protection, but they are bulky and can make speaking and breathing difficult. “Boil-and-bite” mouth guards are made from a material that softens when boiled and will mold around the teeth when it is bitten down on. These are more comfortable than stock mouth guards. Stock mouth guards and boil-and-bite mouth guards can be found in sporting goods stores. Custom-fit mouth guards are made by our dentist and provide the best fit and comfort. Orthodontic treatment mouth guards are for patients who wear braces or other appliances. They are loose fitting and will protect the mouth from appliance-related injuries during sports.

To learn more and to schedule your next visit, we encourage you to contact our dental office today.

Teeth Cleaning

Our dentist recommends that you and your family schedule a teeth cleaning at least every six months. This appointment includes a professional teeth cleaning, fluoride, a dental exam, and dental X-rays.

At the beginning of your appointment, our hygienist will remove all of the plaque and tartar from your teeth using a small, metal tool. Then our hygienist will floss your teeth and polish them. Fluoride is then applied to your teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that helps protect your teeth from decay by strengthening your tooth enamel. Our dentist will then examine all of your teeth and gums for signs of decay, gingivitis, and other oral problems. Sometimes, our dentist will decide to take dental X-rays to get a more thorough, closer look at your smile.

We urge you to contact our dental office immediately if you experience any dental pain or any kind of dental emergency. The following problematic symptoms need to be examined by our dentist as soon as possible:

• Toothache
• Tooth sensitivity
• Red, swollen, or sore gums
• Gums that bleed easily when you brush and floss
• A chipped, cracked, or broken tooth
• The loss of a permanent tooth
• A loose permanent tooth

To learn more and to schedule your next visit, please contact our dental office today.

Dental Inlays & Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings, but they are constructed in a dental laboratory. When there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling, but the tooth is not damaged enough to need a dental crown, our dentist may recommend dental inlays and onlays. Dental inlays are like fillings, but the work lies within one of the bumps on the chewing surface of the tooth. Dental onlays are sometimes called dental crowns. They cover one or more cusps on the chewing surface of the tooth. Inlays and onlays last up to 30 years, which is much longer than traditional dental fillings. Dental inlays and onlays can be made from composite resin, porcelain, or gold.

To place a dental inlay or onlay, our dentist will remove the decay or an old filling. An impression is taken of your tooth and those around it so the inlay or onlay can be constructed. Our dentist may place a temporary filling to protect your tooth while the inlay or onlay is being constructed. When the inlay or onlay is complete, the temporary filling is removed and the inlay or onlay is permanently cemented in place.

Please contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next visit.

Root Canal Therapy

Dental pulp is the soft area in the center of a tooth where the veins, nerves, and connective tissues are located. If a tooth’s dental pulp becomes infected, our dentist may recommend a root canal. Root canal therapy is the process by which our dentist removes the infected dental pulp, bacteria, and debris from a tooth. After the tooth is thoroughly cleaned out, our dentist will seal the tooth and place a dental filling. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may need root canal therapy:
• Severe toothache
• Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures
• Darkening of a tooth
• Swelling and pain in the gums
• A pimple on the gums that will not go away

If infected dental pulp is not removed, it will break down and bacteria will spread. This can cause an infection, or a pus-filled pocket called an abscess may form on the end of the tooth roots. Diseased dental pulp can also cause swelling that can spread to the face, neck, or head. Infected dental pulp can cause bone loss around the tooth root. Drainage can occur from the root of the tooth if infected dental pulp is not treated.


Are you missing most or all of your permanent teeth? If you would like to restore the beauty and functionality of your smile, Dr. Derek C. Barnes may recommend dentures in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing permanent teeth and tissues. Our office provides complete dentures and partials dentures.

Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing. They are either conventional or immediate. Conventional dentures are made after any remaining teeth have been removed and the gums have begun to heal. Our dentist will place conventional dentures about eight to twelve weeks after the teeth have been removed. Immediate dentures are prepared in advance. Because of this, they can be placed as soon as your teeth are removed. You will not have to be without teeth during the healing process, but the bones and gums shrink during healing. Because of this, immediate dentures are usually only used as temporary dentures.

Partial dentures are used when some of the natural teeth remain in your upper or lower jaw. Removable partial dentures are made of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. The base is sometimes held in place by a metal framework.

Feel free to contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next visit.

Teeth Grinding Treatment

Many people grind or clench their teeth during sleep without realizing it. Occasional teeth grinding does not usually cause issues, but when you grind your teeth regularly, dental problems can occur. Teeth grinding can cause tooth fracturing, loosening, and tooth loss. In extreme cases, your teeth can become worn down severely. TMJ disorders can also occur or worsen. If you experience a constant, dull headache or soreness in the jaw when you wake up, our doctors may treat teeth grinding.

Teeth grinding and clenching is often caused by stress, so our dentist may recommend methods to reduce stress. Some other tips to help you stop grinding your teeth include:

• Avoid or reduce intake of foods and drinks that contain caffeine
• Avoid alcohol
• Do not chew on pencils, gum, or anything else that is not food, as this gets your jaw muscles used to chewing
• Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth
• Relax your jaw muscles before going to bed by placing a warm washcloth on your cheek in front of your earlobe

Our dentist may also recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect your teeth and jaws from the effects of teeth grinding.

We invite you to contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next visit.

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