1000 College Avenue
Clemson, SC 29631

The Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants

The Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants

For patients who have lost their natural teeth, wearing dentures can be a difficult situation. Not only are they challenging to get used to, but they also limit your enjoyment of foods. Overall, they just don’t feel natural. Luckily, dental implants offer a restorative option that circumscribes these problems entirely. Dental implants first showed up around 30 years ago, and have totally changed the world of prosthetic teeth. If someone you love has struggled with dentures, now is the perfect time to learn about the benefits of dental implants.

Would you like to learn more about implant treatments? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care today and Dr. Molly Netzler or Dr. Tait Carpenter will be happy to tell you more about the options and procedures involved. Contact our Clemson, SC dental office today at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment!

1. Stability

With traditional dentures, the plates are connected to the mouth via suction, and sometimes an adhesive substance. With a perfect fit, this is sufficient to hold the prosthetic teeth in place when you chew and speak. The only problem is that dentures frequently lose their perfect fit, since the dimensions of the mouth change once teeth are no longer present in the jaw. Furthermore, hard or crunchy foods can dislodge the plates when chewing. Implant-supported dentures are different because the denture is firmly attached to implant bases, which are stabilized in the facial bones. With secure attachments, they never come loose or require adhesives to stay in place.

2. Comfort

In fact, implants provide such a stable base for the dentures that biting and chewing will feel more natural, all around. Many patients report that eating feels natural again once their implant dentures have been placed. They are also more comfortable because they never rub against the gums. Even when traditional dentures fit perfectly, they put pressure on the gums every time you chew. That’s just how they work. Implant dentures, on the other hand, never rub up against the gums, which makes eating far less uncomfortable. Additionally, you will also be more comfortable overall, knowing that your dentures won’t come loose and embarrass you when you are eating with friends and family!

3. Health and Nutrition

Implant-based dentures give your body and mouth a better chance at staying healthy. As we age, we tend to eat less anyway, so it’s important that our diets stay rich and varied. With traditional dentures, foods that require you to bite and pull are frequently off the menu. With implant-supported prosthetics, you will instead have access to the same range of foods one can enjoy with healthy natural teeth.

Your oral health will also improve, as less friction with dental plates means less gum irritation. Many denture wearers wind up with chronically sore gums and oral lesions. Since irritants of the soft tissues of the mouth have been linked with oral cancers, they may even reduce your risk of developing this disease.

4. Appearance

With implant-based prosthetic teeth, you will appear more confident because you are not embarrassed by the possibility of dentures slipping loose when you are with others–but there’s another factor that affects your appearance: facial degeneration. As you may know, losing your teeth has a long-term affect on your appearance in the form of jawbone diminishment. When tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw, our body stops sending the vital minerals we need to maintain bone tissue. Over a period of a decade or more, the lower jaw slowly shrinks. There is perhaps no greater sign of aging than this. Since the biocompatible titanium implants act as fully functional replacements for your roots, implant dentures prevent this drastic change to your appearance. They let you continue to look like yourself!

5. A Versatile Solution

Because dental implants function more like natural teeth, they offer a greater variety of conservative restoration options. One missing tooth can be replaced with a single implant and a porcelain crown. Lost teeth in only one quadrant of the mouth can be replaced with two implants and a bridge, (a situation that previously could only be corrected with a partial denture). Partial dentures can be attached with only two implants, and more healthy teeth can be preserved. Furthermore, many prosthetics can be made to be permanently attached to the implants, which is great news for patients who cannot care for themselves independently or who may be otherwise more likely to “lose their teeth.” Ultimately, more things are possible with dental implants!

Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care today to explore whether dental implants might be right for you. Dr. Netzler or Dr. Carpenter will be happy to give you a consultation to assess your situation, and tell you about the options and treatment steps.. Contact our Clemson, SC dental office today at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment!

Why Dental Checkups Are So Important

Why Dental Checkups Are So Important

At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we want all our patients to have beautiful smiles and healthy teeth—for life! If your family’s teeth are important to you, dental exams are a must for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. From the youngest patient to the oldest, we view every dental appointment as a valuable opportunity to share useful information and prevent conditions that can hinder your quality of life.

Don’t make the common mistake of waiting for a toothache to call the dentist! Bring your family in and we will do everything in our power to make sure your teeth stay clean, healthy, and cavity-free!

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Clemson, SC. Drs. Molly Netzler and Tait Carpenter provide gentle, customized care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment.

Why You Need Dental Exams

Teeth are unlike any other part of your body in the simple fact they are totally unable to heal themselves. Our bodies are great at fighting infection, repairing damaged tissues, and even healing broken bones—but the one thing they can’t do is repair a cavity in your enamel.

As dentists, we emphasize prevention as the best medicine, but when cavities occur (and for most people, they will), prompt treatment is the only way to make sure decay does not spread or lead to painful infections.

Regular dental exams give us the opportunity to:

  • Prevent Tooth Decay
  • Catch and Treat Cavities Early
  • Remove Calculus from Hard-to-Brush Areas
  • Learn About Medical Conditions that My Affect Your Teeth and Gums
  • Screen Patients for Signs of TMJ Disorder, Bruxism, and Gum Disease
  • Screen Patients for Signs of Oral Cancers

We aim to provide personalized care, to give our patients everything they need for healthy teeth and gums. In order to do this, we need to see you every six months to check for early signs of cavities, and apply preventive treatments such as fluoride gel and sealants. When it comes to cavities, you want us to catch them as early as possible, when only minor fillings may be needed. Let a cavity go untreated too long, and you may wind up with a painful toothache and in need of a root canal procedure.

Dental cleanings are a valuable part of cavity prevention. Even patients with the best brushing and flossing habits will have hard-to-reach areas of their teeth where calculus (tartar) can develop. That’s just the nature of human mouths. If any amount of plaque is not removed from your teeth, it can harden into insoluble calculus, which can only be removed with the use of professional dental instruments. It’s important to have one of our skilled hygienists give you a dental cleaning every six months to make sure tartar accumulation doesn’t lead to new cavities.

Partners in Your Oral Health

As partners in your health, we view every dental exam as an opportunity to get to know you better. There are several oral health conditions besides cavities that can affect your teeth and gums, and we take the time to make sure we’ve checked you for everything. Conditions like bruxism (teeth grinding), TMJ disorder, and gum disease can lead to tooth damage and loss, as well as chronic pain. Dental exams give us the opportunity to learn about your life and habits, and see if any of your symptoms may indicate a health condition that can be diagnosed and treated.

Medical conditions such as pregnancy, acid reflux, and diabetes can also affect the health of your mouth. Seeing a dentist regularly gives you the chance to learn how to prevent possible dental and periodontal effects of such conditions. We help you best when we see you regularly!

Dental Exams for Every Stage of Life

Whether you are a child, teen, adult, or senior–dental exams are a necessary part of good oral health. Each stage of life comes with unique factors that affect your teeth and gum tissue. Dentists and dental professionals are the best people to help you understand those unique factors and keep your smiles healthy and bright. If someone in your family hasn’t been getting the regular dental appointments they need, it’s never too late to get back on track.

Contact our office online or at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment with Dr. Molly Netzler or Dr. Tait Carpenter. Carolina Oaks Dental Care believes a great dental office is a judgment-free zone, where we can work together with you for the best outcomes. if you need a dentist in Clemson, SC, call us today to learn more!

 

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

It doesn’t take too much work to keep your teeth healthy: brush and floss daily, and see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and restorative treatments. Unfortunately, just having strong and healthy teeth doesn’t always make us happy with the state of our smile. Whether it be chips, gaps, intrinsic stains, or a crooked smile, most of us see flaws in our teeth, and would be happier and more confident if we could correct them.

Would you like to learn more about cosmetic dentistry, so you can look your best? Visit Carolina Oaks Dental Care and we’ll give you a no-commitment smile makeover consultation. Call our Clemson, SC dental practice at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment.

Teeth are not naturally snowy white, but white teeth have become the standard for attractiveness; so we use whitening toothpastes and rinses to make sure pigment stains are not allowed to linger. In that sense, you already know the benefits of cosmetic dentistry. Did you know that there are now several cosmetic options available to correct just about any other flaw you see in your smile? Treatments such as veneers, dental bonding, and Invisalign® can fix a broad range of cosmetic flaws, often with greater convenience and affordability than you might expect.

Smile More!

Numerous studies have shown that the acts of smiling and laughing have a physiological effect that can improve your mood. When we provide smile makeovers at Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we often see those smiles right away. We take pleasure in knowing we’ve helped our patients achieve the self-confidence to show off their smiles freely and without hesitation. When your smile looks great you feel great, and bring newfound poise and positivity to your personal and professional relationships.

How’s your smile?

If you’ve seen yourself in photos and thought “is that what my teeth really look like?” you know it’s hard to see ourselves as others do. When we look at our teeth during daily brushing, they are usually covered by a forgiving layer of toothpaste, so we may not notice their true color and all the fine details.

Sometimes it takes a photo or video on social media for you to notice the dental flaws that don’t fit into your desired self-image. Perhaps you had braces when you were younger and were recently surprised to see that your teeth have drifted back into a crowded or crooked appearance. Cosmetic dentistry offers treatments to correct any flaw—many of them extremely fast and easy, and flexible enough to fit any lifestyle.

Would you like to fix any of the following cosmetic problems?

  • food and beverage stains that leave your teeth looking gradually more discolored
  • crooked or crowded-looking smile
  • zig-zagging arch, teeth vary in length
  • very pointy canines
  • gaps, or overlapping teeth
  • too much gum tissue in your smile, teeth too short
  • chips or shallow cracks on your enamel

Improve Your Self-Confidence and Quality of Life

Perhaps there was a time when cosmetic dentistry was only for the super rich or supermodels–but today, beautifying your smile is one of the easiest ways to improve your appearance. Anyone with healthy teeth and gums may take advantage of cosmetic dentistry services, and make your smile something you want to share.

Tooth Whitening – Dentist-provided whitening products work much the same way as store bought products, but produce much better results, in a shorter period of time. They do this by using higher concentrations of active ingredients, and a better delivery method. Rather than using one-size-fits-all trays or strips, dentists give you customized trays, to make sure your teeth get the maximum benefit (and minimum amount of sensitivity) from the treatment.

Dental Bonding – An incredibly versatile treatment, bonding can fix any number of individual flaws. While you are sitting in the chair, the dentist will sculpt a new surface to cover chips, stubborn stains, gaps, and many other flaws. The bonding material is made from the same durable composite resin that is used to create dental fillings, so you know it will last a long time.

Porcelain Veneers – If “veneers” makes you think of big, artificial-looking teeth from decades ago, you need to see today’s porcelain veneers. Probably you already have seen them; you just thought they were naturally beautiful teeth. (That’s how many people have enjoyed this service.) Today’s veneers are wafer-thin, durable porcelain, crafted in a dental laboratory to fit your teeth like a glove. When they are permanently adhered to your smile teeth, they provide a flawless and harmonious new surface and shape for each tooth.

Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings – Since metal fillings need to be replaced every twelve or so years anyway, many patients choose to replace them with the more harmonious composite resin fillings, which are designed to blend in with the hue of your natural enamel.

Invisalign – Many adults wish their teeth were straighter, but few are willing to wear traditional braces! Invisalign offers you the chance to realign your smile with discreet, translucent acrylic aligner trays. Patients love how quickly and easily this system can transform a smile.

If any of these treatments sound like something you’d like to learn about, call our Clemson, SC dental practice at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment. Carolina Oaks Dental Care will give you an honest assessment and a no-commitment smile makeover consultation.

 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Clemson, SC Dentist

Things to Consider When Choosing a Clemson, SC Dentist

 

Finding a great dentist for your family may seem like a daunting challenge, but there are a wealth of caring, qualified dental providers out there. These tips will help you crystallize your needs and priorities before you start your search.

If you are looking for dental care in Clemson, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care and interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 864-654-6700 for a meet-up with Dr. Molly Netzler or Dr. Tait Carpenter.

Before You Start

A good place to start is with your dental insurance. You don’t want to find the perfect dentist and then find out she is not in your network. This is especially important if you belong to a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO), since they offer a much shorter list of providers than PPOs.

Also consider what type of dental office you prefer. A large practice that sees many patients may be right for people who like to schedule dental cleanings during their lunch hour, and want to get in and out quickly, with no fuss. If you prefer a small family-oriented dentist, look for a practice that schedules one patient at a time, so they can give you their full attention.

The Right Relationship

If you think about the good relationships you’ve had with doctors, teachers, colleagues, and clients—it all comes down to being comfortable with another person. There’s no personality test to measure this quality, but you know it when you have it.

After you meet a dentist, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable sharing unpleasant news with this person. Do you feel like you would have their attention? Like medical issues, dental problems can sometimes be subtle to properly diagnose, so lines of communication should be open and you should feel comfortable sharing personal details.

Think about the rest of your family, as well. Your dental care will be more effective and regular if you and your family enjoy being a part of the community at your dentist’s office. You know your family best. When you meet with the dentist, think about how your children will react to the office, staff, and dentist. If your children tend to be very boisterous (or very shy), ask them how they deal with challenging kid situations.

Input From Others, Qualifications

The best recommendations come from friends and family members, so ask others which dentists they see, and what they like about them. This is a good starting place, but is by no means the only way to find a good dentist. Like colleges and universities, there are a plethora of great dentists out there. You may find that recommendations from friends are not convenient to your location.

If you are looking for a dentist without a trusted friend’s recommendation, check out sites that review service providers, such as Yelp or Healthgrades. A business will always put glowing testimonials on their own website, but independent sites show the good and the bad. That said, take bad reviews with a grain of salt—a legitimate bad review will be extremely detailed, while short, angry reviews tend to be more emotional.

You may see a number of certificates on the wall of a dentists office, but always check your state’s professional licensing board to make sure your dentist is legit.

A Good Clinic is a Well-Oiled Machine

A good pre-interview activity is to call the potential dentist’s office and speak with the front desk. Explain that you are looking for a new dentist and have questions. What you ask isn’t particularly important; as long as you ask several questions, what you hear will speak volumes.

Listen for knowledgeable answers and clear-cut routines. Confusion or vagueness are a sure sign the office does not have standardized procedures and expectations. Throw them a curve-ball question and see how they respond. “What do patients say when they complain to you?” for example. Ask about staff turnover, as well. An office that can’t hold on to employees is a dead giveaway that something isn’t right.

Accessibility

How easily you can get to your dentist’s office is a bigger concern than you might think. If you live and work in geographically separate areas, decide ahead of time whether you want your dentist to be close to home, close to work, or located between the two.

Also consider the dentist’s office hours. Will you want to schedule appointments during office/school hours, or in the evening? Make sure the dentists on your list have compatible schedules with yours. For example, if Mondays are your days off, you probably don’t want a dentist whose office is closed on Mondays.

Possible Questions to Ask Your New Dentist

  • How do you deal with dental anxiety?
  • How do you deal with active children, or shy children?
  • What’s your cancellation policy?
  • What are your office hours and days of operation?
  • How’s your dental technology?
  • Will someone answer the phone if I have an after-hours emergency?
  • Who will perform the dental cleanings and fluoride treatments?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • How’s your staff turnover?
  • Do you text appointment reminders?
  • Can I reach you or your staff by email?
  • How does your office handle insurance claims?
  • What areas of dentistry do you specialize in?
  • What was the best part of your education/training?

Ultimately, there are so many good dentists out there, we’re sure you’ll find one that’s right for you and your family. Be intentional in how you search, approach the challenge with an open mind, and trust your intuition. Happy searching!

If you are looking for dental care in Clemson, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care and interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 864-654-6700 for a meet-up with Dr. Molly Netzler or Dr. Tait Carpenter.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

Enrolling in dental insurance plans can be confusing. If you haven’t spent much money on a dentist in recent years, do you even need insurance? How much coverage is enough? Will I still have to pay for routine visits?

At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, our patients have a lot of questions about dental insurance, and we often hear the same questions again and again. The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) may help you understand what factors you should consider, as you look at enrollment options for your family.

If you need a dentist for your family, contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care. We can help you understand your insurance, and get you the care you need! Call our Clemson, SC, dental practice at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment today.

What does dental insurance pay for?

There are several levels of dental treatment that your family will need in the future. Most dental plans have similar rates for the different levels of care.

Preventive Care – Since preventive dentistry is the best way to avoid dental problems in the future, these treatments are usually the best covered by insurance. Many plans pay 100% of the cost of dental cleanings, exams, x-rays, and fluoride treatments. Since two dental visits are allowed per year, we see many patients become more faithful in keeping their appointments once they have insurance–and this is great for your health.

Basic Dental Work – Insurance usually pays for most of the cost of dental fillings, periodontal treatments, and root canals. You will always pay a portion out of pocket, but usually no more than 20-30%.

Advanced Dental Work – More advanced restorations usually require a greater patient co-pay. These include crowns, bridges, and dental implants. Considering that these treatments are not needed as frequently as small fillings and dental cleanings, most patients can afford to pay the usual 40-60% when they are needed.

Orthodontia – Most plans have some provision for orthodontia, but these vary significantly. If braces are likely in your child(ren)’s future, compare orthodontia coverage carefully, as it could make a huge difference in your future out-of-pocket costs.

What kind of coverage do I need?

The answer to this question will depend largely on your and your family’s circumstances. Most insurers give you the option to choose either a basic or extended plan. The best way to consider this choice is to think about your dental history and predicted dental needs.

There are many factors you may want to consider:

  • Your Dental History – If you and your family have always faithfully seen the dentist, twice a year, and have no major dental concerns, then basic may be all you need. If you are more prone to tooth decay, or have risk factors that make you more susceptible to tooth and gum problems, you may benefit from greater coverage. For example, if you have several fillings from more than 12 years ago, you will likely need to have them all replaced. Greater coverage will reduce the amount you will pay for this undertaking.
  • The Size of Your Family – Even with preventive visits well-covered by insurance, the cost of fillings and root canals can add up quickly if your children and spouse are susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Your Age, Lifestyle, and Medical Conditions – Age and overall health have an effect on your oral health. Medical conditions like acid reflux and diabetes can hamper your mouth’s ability to resist tooth decay (as can many common medications) and you may need more dental care than normal. Even the predictable hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy and menopause can make you more likely to develop gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease). Ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice if you aren’t sure whether your medical conditions, age, or lifestyle may impact your oral health in the future.
  • Your Family History  – Many dental conditions have a genetic link, so if your parents needed a lot of dental work, developed gum disease, or lost their teeth as they got older, you may want to be ready in case the same happens to you. Preventable factors can also contribute to those conditions, too, of course, so ask your dentist for advice if you’re not sure.
  • The Potential Need for Braces – If you have multiple children who may need orthodontic treatments, you should consider the financial impact beforehand. Misaligned teeth (malocclusion) is an inheritable trait, so if both parents needed braces, the children may also need them.

If you are comparing dental plans and not sure how your family’s situation might be affected—call us and ask. What is a complex question to you may be routine for us. At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we always want to help our patients have the knowledge they need to make good decisions for their families.

Do I even need dental insurance?

If you are a single adult, with excellent dental habits and a clean dental history–AND you already see a dentist regularly for routine six-month visits–you may actually save money by paying dental expenses out of pocket. Most people do not fit into this category, however. For starters, about 99% of the population will suffer from tooth decay, to some degree, in their lifetime. Furthermore, there are many factors that influence your oral health at different stages of your life. Lucky streaks can end, leaving you with heavy out-of-pocket expenses. If you think you may be one of the people who don’t need dental insurance, ask your dentist for a professional opinion.

What’s a DHMO, versus a PPO?

A PPO plan offers you a wide network of providers to choose from. They usually let you choose a dentist outside the network, as well, albeit at a different rate. With a PPO you will have more options when choosing a dentist, but the monthly cost will be higher than that of a DHMO.

DHMO plans offer the same quality dental care, but from a more limited list of contracted providers. If you are on a tight budget, a DHMO will certainly get your family the care they need. However, you sacrifice the flexibility of a wide-network PPO. For some families, choosing a DHMO is an excellent way to save money, while still getting quality dental coverage.

Learn More

For more information, there are several dental insurance sites that aim to inform, instead of sell. These sites can explain terminology and the options available to you and your family. Ask your employer for a benefits comparison chart, as well. Chances are, they have information ready to help you with your decision.

If you need dental care for your family, contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care. Call our Clemson, SC, dental practice at 864-654-6700 to make an appointment today.