200 S. Pleasantburg Dr.
Greenville, SC 29607

The Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants

The Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants

If you’ve lost teeth, you know it can affect the quality of your life. Traditional dentures and partial dentures are certainly better than nothing, but they have plenty of downsides. In the past thirty years or so, dental implants have revolutionized the business of replacing lost teeth. If you or someone you know wears conventional dentures, it’s time to take a close look at dental implants. They have several benefits over conventional dentures, which add up to a better overall enjoyment of life.

Are you interested in learning more about dental implants in Greenville, SC? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care and we’ll help you understand your options. Call us today at 864-235-3949  for an appointment with Dr. Mark Workman or Dr. Susan Maxwell.

1. Comfort and Stability

Possibly the most noteworthy benefit of implant prosthetics is the fact that they feel and act more like natural teeth. Because the titanium bases are firmly implanted in the jaw, and fuse with the jaw bone, they form a solid foundation for prosthetic teeth. This means they are as stable as natural teeth, and don’t slip loose when you are eating. Implant dentures are securely attached, so they don’t come out until you remove them for cleaning.

They are also more comfortable in the mouth because they are always a perfect fit. Traditional dentures may fit well at first, but as your body slowly loses bone tissue (an inevitable effect of losing teeth), the dimensions of your mouth will change. This leaves you with dentures that slowly fit worse and worse, and need to be relined frequently. With dental implants, jawbone deterioration is eliminated from the equation entirely.

2. Appearance

With a better fit comes the ability to eat and smile comfortably among others without worrying that your dentures may slip loose. Perhaps more importantly, dental implants prevent the diminishing jaw effect that comes with traditional dentures. If you’ve ever known someone who has worn dentures long-term, you’ve probably noticed how the lower jaw shrinks slowly over time. This is one of the most visible signs of aging and it alters your appearance immensely. Dental implants let you maintain your face’s natural appearance, so you can keep looking like you.

3. Access to Healthy Foods

Simply put, because they are more comfortable and more firmly rooted in the jaw, implant-based dentures allow you to eat a broader range of foods. With traditional prosthetics, it’s not just the slipping loose that prevents you from eating the same foods you can eat with natural teeth; it’s also the gum irritation. Poorly fitting dentures rub against gum tissue and can make eating a painful experience. As we age, we tend to eat less overall, so the quality of our diet needs to be considered. If conventional dentures make eating unpleasant at all, it can stop us from getting the nutrition we need. Because implant dentures are more stable and comfortable, all dietary options are possible.

4. Versatility

One of the best things about implant-based prosthetics is the fact that they allow for versatile restorations. A single tooth can be restored with one implant and crown, a partial or bridge can be formed with two, or a whole arch of dentures can be attached to just four implants. This also means that more healthy teeth can be preserved, as restorations can be more conservative when they are firmly rooted in the jaw. Implant dentures can also be attached permanently, which may be preferable for patients who cannot take care of themselves independently or are more prone to losing their dentures.

5. Fewer Trips to The Dentist

While the up-front commitment of implant dentures may be more involved than that of traditional prosthetics, the payoff is years of continuous use. Most patients will need fewer trips to dentist, as no relining or refitting will be needed, and they will have fewer painful problems that need attention.

Are you interested in learning more about dental implants in Greenville, SC? Contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care and we’ll help you understand your options. Call us today at 864-235-3949  for an appointment with Dr. Mark Workman or Dr. Susan Maxwell.

Why Dental Checkups Are So Important

Why Dental Checkups Are So Important

At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we are passionate about providing the best oral care possible. One of the most important messages we can impart to our patients is that routine dental exams, every six months, are a critical piece of the dental health puzzle. Many people think daily brushing and flossing is enough to avoid tooth decay, but this absolutely not how it works.

Six month visits are the best way to avoid cavities and prevent costly and painful dental conditions—and we’re going to tell you why!

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Greenville, SC. Drs. Mark Workman and Susan Maxwell provide gentle, customized care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment.

Why You Need Dental Exams

Did you know that only one percent of the population will get through their lives without ever developing a dental cavity? If you think those other 99% get cavities because they aren’t brushing and flossing, think again. Even those of us with the most diligent oral hygiene are unable to properly clean specific, very small areas of our teeth; without dental cleanings those areas may develop cavities. There are also ridges in our molars that are simply too narrow for toothbrush bristles to penetrate effectively. A dental exam is the only way to make sure those places do not harbor calculus (tartar), which leads to tooth decay.

Routine dental exams are the best way to prevent cavities because we can spot areas of demineralization before the cavity even forms and apply restorative treatments to give your enamel a protective boost. They are also the best way to prevent extensive dental restorations, such as lengthy root canals and crown treatments.

Cavities and Gum Disease Develop Silently

Unlike most medical conditions, dental conditions like cavities and gum disease often give us no indication they are happening. By the time you get a toothache (or swollen, bleeding gums) the condition has advanced beyond the possibility of conservative treatment.

This is counterintuitive to how we normally approach our health, since we usually get an indication of medical problems in the form of soreness, pain, stiffness, or dysfunction. We usually give the pain a few days to resolve itself, as our bodies are excellent at self-repair. If the pain doesn’t go away on its own, we may eventually seek help from a doctor.

Teeth, however, are completely different from the rest of the body. They rarely tell us when something is starting to go wrong and they have absolutely no system for self-healing. That’s why prevention is such an important part of oral care.

What happens during a dental exam?

If you think six-month visits are just about preventing and detecting cavities, there’s more to it than that!

Dental exams include:

  • oral cancer screening;
  • dental cleaning;
  • cavity detection;
  • preventive treatments;
  • screening for symptoms of oral health conditions, such as TMJ disorder, snoring, bruxism, and gum disease; and
  • patient/provider information exchange.

Many patients may not even be aware they are happening, but each dental exam includes patient Q-and-A and visual scans for signs of oral health conditions other than cavities. Bruxism, TMJ disorder, gum disease, and oral cancer (especially) are conditions that are most treatable when detected in their earliest stages.

The time you spend with the dentist and hygienist is also an excellent opportunity for sharing information. The field of oral health is constantly evolving, and our understanding of factors that affect your teeth and gums is always expanding. We love being able to give our patients information that will help them make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

We also like to learn about what’s going on with you during your exam, as many medical and health conditions have a link to your teeth and gums. For example, pregnancy, diabetes, and acid reflux can have a dramatic impact on your oral health, which we can help you prevent and treat.

Call Us Today to Set Up Your Dental Exam!

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Greenville, SC. Drs. Mark Workman and Susan Maxwell provide gentle, customized care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment.

 

7 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dentist

7 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dentist

Finding a dentist can be a daunting task. Although it’s always good to try and stay with a dentist you are comfortable with – sometimes unforeseen circumstances, such as moving or a switch in insurance companies requires a change. Reaching out to friends and neighbors in your area can be extremely helpful as you begin your search for a new Greenville dentist, in addition to reading online reviews. Once you have located one you are comfortable with – below are seven key questions to ask during your dental consultation.

What Are Your Certifications?

Don’t worry about offending the dentist with this question. All dentists are required by law to be certified to practice dentistry. However, some dentists have more certifications than others. Knowing their level of expertise and experience will give you a better understanding on the treatments they can provide in-office. You may find that having a dentist that can provide pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, and restorative dentistry all under the same roof a huge plus.

What Are Your Office Hours?

Life gets busy with work, school, and juggling all the sports and family obligations. Having a dental practice that is nearby with office hours that fit within your schedule will reduce your stress levels and make dental care more convenient.

Do You Offer Emergency Dental Services?

Dental emergencies are a part of life – and having a dentist easily accessible when you need one is important, especially if you have children. Ask your dentist if they have an emergency phone number and how soon they are able to schedule an appointment if a dental emergency occurs after hours. Knowing proper protocols to follow in advance will provide peace of mind.

Do You Participate in Ongoing Education?

This question will give you a better understanding on how up-to-date they are on the latest dental treatments. A dentist that participates in dental seminars and education courses has a greater chance of offering the highest quality dental technologies and techniques available in the industry. In addition, a dentist that is continually learning will provide you with more comfortable and comprehensive care.

Do You Accept Insurance and Offer Additional Financing Options?

Although most dental practices accept insurance – they may not accept all insurances. This is an important question to ask the receptionist before scheduling your appointment so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay. Thanks to financial services, such as CareCredit and LendingClub, many dentists today also provide in-house financing options and payment plans to help you manage your cost of care. Delaying care due to lack of funds can lead to costly restorative procedures in the future.

What Preventative Dentistry Services Do You Provide?

Preventative care is crucial to managing a healthy smile and extending the longevity of your natural teeth. Ask your dentist what type of care you can expect to receive during a routine dental cleaning and examination. Does he or she administer digital x-rays every six months to check the health of your teeth and jawbone? Does he or she provide dental sealants and fluoride treatments as a means for preventing cavities? Does he or she perform oral cancer screenings? If a dentist places great importance on preventative care, they are more likely to help you maintain your smile and avoid costly and complex restorative procedures.

Do You Treat Children?

Finding a dentist who can treat patients of all ages makes receiving dental care convenient for the entire family. Ask how soon your child can start visiting the dentist and what types of amenities they offer for children. A dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry will make visiting the dentist a fun and relaxing experience for your child and get them started on a healthy oral health journey.

Looking For a New Greenville, SC Dentist?

If you are looking for a dependable dentist in the Greenville, SC area, our team of professional, friendly, and trustworthy dentists at Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Greenville, can provide the care you need for your entire family. We look forward to meeting you and serving you for many years. Contact our practice online or by calling 864-235-3949 to schedule your consultation.

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

Why You May Want to Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

How’s your smile?

If you are like most people, you try to keep your body in good health. You aim to eat right, exercise, and avoid factors known to cause illness and degeneration. Mostly you do this to extend your life and enhance the quality of your life, but it also feels good to look good. Looking our best is the way we show the world that we have our act together, and enjoy interacting with others. Cosmetic dentistry can help you feel better about  the image you project.

Do you want to improve your smile? Call our Greenville, SC dental practice at 864-235-3949 for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. Carolina Oaks Dental Care would love to help you look and feel your best!

For the most part, maintaining our teeth is simple: brush, floss, and use a whitening rinse or toothpaste to stave off the stains that everyday foods leave on our enamel. Check that box, and then get on with your life. Consequently, there are many people out there who have no idea how much better they could look with the benefits of cosmetic dentistry.

Improve Your Quality of Life

Once a costly luxury, cosmetic dentistry is now a rich and varied field that offers a number of affordable services that can transform your smile into something you’ll want to show off. If you’ve ever noticed your smile in a photograph and been unhappily surprised by how you look, then this post is for you.

Improving your smile is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to instantly improve how others see you. Apart from the boost to your self-confidence, a new smile can bring you newfound joy. Numerous studies show that the acts of smiling and laughing, themselves, can improve your mood. When you have a smile you love, you’ll be feeling it and sharing it every chance you get!

Take the Test

Even if you are faithfully devoted to oral hygiene, the problem is that regular routines do not give us the chance to see our teeth as others do. Think about it; when you brush your teeth, you see your teeth under a layer of bubbly toothpaste, and probably think “my teeth look great!” But take away that snowy white foam, and you’ll see the edges, color, and details of your teeth more clearly. It’s not the same.

If you really want to see what your smile looks like, you have to step away from the mirror and record a short video of yourself. Try this: angle a camera at your mouth and record yourself reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, for example. Throw in a smile or big laugh every so often, as you might when relaxing with your friends. Watch the video to see what others see.

Common Complaints, Simple Solutions

As we age, life takes a toll on the appearance of our teeth. Not only do years of wine and coffee stains add up and yellow our enamel, but small cracks, chips, and drifting teeth can age your smile significantly. Most of us probably use toothpastes that claim to whiten, but the effects of store-bought products are limited. Even if your teeth are well maintained and cavity-free, you may not be happy with how your smile has changed since you were younger. Maybe you’ve always had something that bothers you about your smile, but didn’t know how easily it can be fixed.

Today there are several tools and treatments in cosmetic dentistry that can fix any number of complaints. Many are extremely affordable. See if any of these complaints apply to you:

  • dull, yellow, or dingy teeth
  • crooked, crowded smile
  • uneven arch, teeth that stick out
  • overly-pointed canines
  • gaps between teeth
  • teeth that look too small, gummy smile
  • chipped, or cracked teeth

If any of these sound familiar, we have solutions! At Carolina Oaks, Drs. Workman and Maxwell have the training and experience to offer dental bonding, porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and other cosmetic dentistry services that will give you back the confidence to smile and laugh freely with your family and friends. A smile makeover might be just what you need.

Ask for a Cosmetic Dentistry Consultation

If you are curious about the benefits of cosmetic dentistry, contact us at and we’ll give you a no-stress consultation and an honest assessment. We want all our patients to look and feel great, and we offer treatments to suit every lifestyle. Some patients prefer subtle improvements, while other go for dramatic change. The big choices will ultimately be in your hands, but we’ll give you the facts, so you can make a decision for yourself.

Call our Greenville, SC dental practice at 864-235-3949 for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. Come see what Carolina Oaks Dental Care can do for you!

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist in Greenville, SC

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist in Greenville, SC

Finding the right dentist for your family may seem like a challenge, but with so many qualified dentists in our area, you have many options. As with doctors and other service providers, you want a dentist you will feel comfortable with, to keep your family in good health. These tips can help you consider your specific needs ahead of time, so you know what to look for in a dental practice.

If you are looking for dental care in Greenville, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care to interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 864-235-3949 for a meet-up with Dr. Marc Workman or Dr. Susan Maxwell.

Before You Search

Call Your Insurance Provider

Before you look at specific dental offices, check with your insurance provider for a list of in-network providers. Ask if you can see a dentist outside the network, and how coverage will be different if you do. This is an especially important step if you belong to a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) since they tend to have much smaller lists of in-network dentists.

Big or small?

Decide ahead of time whether you like the idea of a small, family-oriented dentist that schedules one patient at a time or a larger dental office that sees more patients in the course of a day. If you like to get in and out of your appointments quickly during your lunch hour, with no fuss, you may be more comfortable with a larger dental practice. If you prefer more open-ended visits in which the whole staff can focus on you, look for a smaller practice.

Think About Accessibility

Your neighbor may give a glowing review of her dentist, but if the location and office hours aren’t compatible, it may not be right for you. How easily you can access your dentist can make a big difference in your ability to keep appointments.

Before you start your search, think about location. If you live and work in different locales, do you want to see a dentist that is near work, or home? Also think about hours of operation. Will you want to schedule your appointments on a certain day, or time of day? Or is your schedule more flexible? If either your schedule or mobility are limited, accessibility may be a critical factor in your choice of dentists.

Ask Your Community for Recommendations

If you’re starting your search cold, friends and acquaintances are your best resource for information. Ask everyone which dentist they see, and what they like about the practice. Keep in mind that your friends may value different things in a dentist, and there are tons of great dentists out there. If the dentists they recommend aren’t the most accessible to you, don’t hesitate to research dentists on your own.

The Right Relationship

You may only see your dentist every six months, but the time you spend together will be put to best use if you have a good relationship and can communicate easily. When you meet dentists, look for someone you can easily understand, and who seems to be an attentive listener. When you are interviewing dentists, bring a list of questions to ask (see suggestions below) and don’t be afraid to ask a curve-ball question to see how they react. The specific answers you get may not be as important as the sense of personality that shines through. You’ll know when you’ve found someone you like and trust.

In addition to the dentist, you also want to meet the dental hygienist, who you will actually spend more time with. Not only do hygienists perform the more routine interactions, like dental cleanings and fluoride treatments, but they also serve as your best resource for up-to-date information on all topics related to oral health. When you meet these people, ask yourself if you would be comfortable sharing personal information. Do they seem like they are interested in your comfort and well being?

If you have children, think about how they will feel in each environment. How will your children interact with each of the people you meet? Does the office seem child-friendly? Do they encourage parents to stay with their children during treatments? Do they provide distractions and supports to help kids sit still and stay comfortable during treatment?

Do Your Research

When looking at individual dentists, don’t be afraid to research them online. Your state’s professional licensing board can help you verify that your dentist is licensed and qualified, and sites like Yelp and Healthgrades can show you what other patients have to say about a specific practice.

Take a Holistic View

Your focus will be on finding a dentist whose skills and demeanor are compatible with your family’s needs, but you should also take a good look at the whole practice. Does the office function as a well-oiled machine? Are all staff friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful? Is the environment cheerful and clean? Inconsistent policies, high turnover, or confusion among staff may be a sign of dysfunction that can alert you of a less-than-professional establishment. Trust your intuition; if something feels off, you may encounter problems down the road.

Questions To Ask Your Dentist

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

Overall, there’s a wealth of qualified dentists in practice today. Think about your family’s needs, keep an open mind, and trust your gut to tell you when you’ve found a match. The most important part of dental care is keeping your appointments, so choose a practice that you’ll want to come back to.

If you are looking for dental care in Greenville, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care to interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 864-235-3949 for a meet-up with Dr. Marc Workman or Dr. Susan Maxwell.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

For most people, dental insurance isn’t guaranteed, even with excellent health insurance coverage. The decision to enroll in a dental plan is one that can save you lots of money in the long run, but it may not be for everyone. If you do enroll, what factors should you consider when choosing a plan?

We receive a lot of questions from our patients about dental insurance, so we’ve compiled these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to offer general guidance on the sometimes confusing role of dental insurance.

If you need dental care for your family, contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care. We can help you understand the ins and outs of your insurance plan, and get you the care you need! Call our Greenville, SC, dental practice at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment today.

How much coverage do I need?

This is a complex question, and one that every family will need to consider individually. Most insurers offer basic and extended coverage, and the best way to decide between the two is to consider your predicted dental needs.

There are many factors you may want to consider:

  • Your dental history – If you are one of the lucky 1% of people who never get cavities, congratulations. But most of us are not in that group. The question of basic versus extended coverage may be easier to decide if you look at the restorations you’ve needed of the past several years. If your cavities are few and far between, and you do not miss dental appointments, basic coverage should be fine.
  • The size of your family – For families with multiple children, the costs of restorative dental care can become a major concern. Even if your children and spouse have healthy teeth now, the cost of fillings and root canals can add up quickly, should the situation should change. Keep in mind that the hormonal changes that accompany puberty can make children more susceptible to cavities.
  • Your age, lifestyle, and medical conditions – As a typical rule, any on-going medical conditions that contribute to your overall health should be considered from a dental point of view. Periodontal problems tend to show up during menopause, for example, and acid reflux can contribute to the erosion of your enamel. If you take medications on a regular basis, they may contribute to oral conditions such as dry mouth, which can make you more prone to tooth decay.
  • Your family’s dental history – If your dental history is checkered, or if your parents have had dental problems, you may wish to opt for more coverage, as many dental conditions have a genetic link.
  • Will my children need braces? – If you and your spouse needed braces as a child, it’s likely your children may need them as well.

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 is 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.

What does most insurance cover?

Before you compare dental plans, it’s important to understand the different levels of dental care you may need. Most insurance plans offer very similar coverage, but you should know which differences to look for, based on your circumstances and predicted dental needs.

In general, most plans cover the following treatments:

  • Preventive Dentistry – These treatments get the most coverage, and many are 100% covered, depending on the provider. Preventive treatments are the cornerstone of modern dentistry, and include dental cleanings, exams, x-rays, and fluoride treatments and sealants for children.
  • Basic Restorations – This includes occasional restorative dentistry procedures such as dental fillings, root canal procedures, and periodontal therapy. Insurance usually pays for some of these costs, but the patient always pays a portion, usually 20-30%.
  • Major Dental Work – Patients often have to pay 40-60% for major dental procedures, such as wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants, crowns, and bridge work. This type of dental work is needed less frequently than basic or preventive care, but the cost of these procedures are much higher.
  • Orthodontia – Most comprehensive plans have some provision for orthodontia, but these can vary greatly. Consider and compare this carefully if you have children who may need braces in the future.

What’s the difference between a DHMO and PPO?

A DHMO is a plan that offers you dental care from a smaller list of contracted dentists. If you are looking for the most affordable plan that will benefit your family, A DHMO will get you the care you need. However, you may be more limited in your choice of dentists and services than with a PPO.

A PPO offers a wider network of providers to choose from in-network, and will usually cover out-of-network providers, though at a different rate. You will have more flexibility with a PPO, but the monthly cost will be higher than a DHMO.

Do I really need dental insurance?

While everyone should have medical insurance, there are actually plenty of people who may not need dental insurance. If you are a single person, whose teeth have always been in relatively good condition, there may not be a need for dental insurance at this time. It may actually cost you more to enroll in a plan than to pay for routine preventive and restorative treatments out of pocket.

If you are calculating the need for insurance, add up the cost of two routine preventive visits per year (dental cleaning and dental exam), along with the cost of one or two fillings. Emergencies notwithstanding, you may pay less without insurance coverage. If emergencies come up, many patients refer to companies such as CareCredit, which offer extended payment plans with little-to-no interest.

The best person to help you determine whether you need insurance is actually your dentist. It’s best to get a professional assessment of the general health of your teeth before you try to predict the future.

We do not recommend the no-insurance path if you haven’t been to the dentist for routine visits in a number of years. Avoiding dental visits is the best way to cause dental disasters. If you have gone without a dental disaster (and without routine care) for a period of time, there’s a good chance your lucky streak will end in the future!

Take the Time to Learn More

For more information, look to dental insurance sites that aim to inform, rather than sell. They can offer objective information that will help you compare plans and coverage options for you and your family. Your employer may have benefits comparison charts available, as well, so ask!

If you need dental care for your family, contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care. We can help you understand the ins and outs of your insurance plan, and get you the care you need! Call our Greenville, SC, dental practice at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment today.