Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry provides a full complement of dental services for all members of your family regardless of age. Steven W. Smith, DDS, attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2005 and was awarded a Doctorate in Dental Surgery in 2009. Following his graduation from dental school, he served 4 years as a Navy dentist before joining a private practice in Leland, NC. Today Dr. Smith enjoys having his own practice in Sneads Ferry and a second location in Jacksonville, NC. You can read more below about the specific services offered at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
Regular dental check ups can provide a way to ensure total oral and body wellness. Spotting signs early for things like forming cavities, gum disease or even oral cancers can save your teeth and quite possibly your life. At Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, your oral health is our primary goal. Healthy teeth and gums are a crucial part of your overall well being, and we want you to have a great smile too! So whether it is a simple dental cleaning, full oral examination or advanced restorative and cosmetic treatments, all of your dental needs can be handled at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
Services we offer include:
Both crowns and most bridges are fixed or semi-permanent dental prosthetic devices. Unlike dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are actually cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by your dentist.
A crown may be used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. A crown will not only strengthen a weak or damaged tooth, it will usually also improve its appearance, shape or alignment. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be color-matched to your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, these alloys are stronger than porcelain so may be recommended for molars where bite pressure is more significant. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell can also be used as it is both strong and attractive.
A bridge may be used here at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry if you're missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth will eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in gaps between existing teeth, and a bad bite. Missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Dental implants are a two part system comprising firstly, metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gum line. Once properly in place and fused to your bone, our dentists can then mount replacement teeth onto them.
Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide a much more stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won't slip or shift in your mouth and will feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures. Eating and speaking is more natural with implants.
Very few of us will make it through our adult life without a dental filling. Cavities are caused by everything from sugary food and drink, to poor hygiene or a lack of flouride, so it is normal to get a cavity. A filling helps replace lost tooth structure due to decay. Most fillings don't last forever and will have to be replaced eventually.
There are many types of fillings, made of varied materials, price points and cosmetic consideration. Some materials are more durable than others, so at Smith Family and Cosmetic dentistry, we will recommend the best option for your budget, filling durability and cosmetic appeal.
An oral cancer screening is a visual and physical exam of the oral cavity and connected tissues, but will also include the face, neck, lips, and inside of the nose to conduct an effective screening for oral cancer. A thorough screening can offer reassurance that there are no apparent problems, or trigger early treatments if there are. At Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we may suggest a screening in response to one's lifestyle choices such as tobacco or alcohol use, or you may simply request one as a precautionary measure.
If you want to improve your smile by straightening your teeth, but don't have the one to three years it typically takes, you may be a candidate for Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentisty’s short-term orthodontics. We can usually give you the smile you want in just six to nine months. As long as your jaw and teeth are fully developed and you do not require drastic sweeping adjustments, this option may be perfect for you.
Orthodontics is one of our specialties here at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. It is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned poorly. Crooked teeth or teeth that do not fit together well are not only harder to keep clean, but are at serious risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Misaligned teeth can also cause you to put extra stress on your chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked can also detract from one's appearance, especially important during the teenage years.
The benefits of a successful orthodontic treatment include having a healthier mouth overall, a more pleasing, natural appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last you your lifetime.
Periodontal disease refers to various levels of severity of infection in the gum tissues. Some of these conditions are relatively easy to treat while others require serious intervention to prevent tooth loss. Gum infection is a common ailment, especially in its less serious forms. Warning signs can be bad breath, gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, or any redness or pain in the gums at the base of your teeth.
According to WebMD, gingivitis is inflammation of the gums and a precursor of periodontal disease. It's also a signal that additional care is necessary to prevent it from becoming worse. Gingivitis is relatively easy to treat. If you control it quickly, you can avoid serious periodontal disease that may require much more invasive procedures.
Porcelain veneers, as described by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, are thin appliances made of real porcelain that are shaped to fit over the front side of an individual tooth. Porcelain is very strong, looks natural and the veneer is made to match the shape and exact color of your own teeth.
To prepare your teeth for veneers, Dr. Smith will remove about one millimeter of enamel from your tooth's surface. He will take an impression of the inside of your mouth, form a mold, and send it to a dental laboratory where your veneers will be custom-made by a dental technician.
When ready, he will bond the porcelain product to your teeth with a special fast-setting cement. For more information about veneers, click this link to the Academy of General Dentistry.
The difference a professional teeth cleaning makes is usually evident by the absolutely smooth feeling the surface of your teeth have when leaving one of our offices. Brushing your teeth cannot compare with the procedure at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We usually begin with a germ killing rinse, use mirrors to see every crevice, scalers to remove stubborn plaque, and finally a polishing brush with special dental paste designed to remove stains without damaging tooth enamel.
Dentures are replacements for missing or extracted teeth that can be taken out for cleaning and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as your natural teeth, dentures today are a far cry from even a decade ago. They are very natural looking and more comfortable than ever.
There are two main types of dentures: Either full or partial. At Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry we will help you choose the type of denture that's best for you based on whether some or all of your teeth are going to be replaced and the cost involved.
Usually, a root canal is recommended or needed when there is an infection deep within the tooth. The pulp inside the tooth can become infected with bacteria because of an injury or because of a severe, untreated cavity. Without treatment, the infection can become severe enough that the tooth has to be removed. If your dentist has recommended the treatment, check out this step-by-step guide and informative video of what you can expect during and after the root canal.
If your child has the common ailment of a cavities, it's probably on the chewing surface of a back tooth or molar. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) reports 80 to 90 percent of cavities occur on the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth, whereas 44 percent occur on baby teeth. This type of cavity – often called pit and fissure decay – can be prevented in children, adolescents and even adults with the placement of plastic dental sealants. A regular check up at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry starting when your child is quite young will help us determine if your child will benefit from a sealant, even on their baby teeth.
Prior to whitening at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, an examination and professional cleaning should be completed. Any cavities, decay or gum disease are treated first in order to prevent the bleaching solution from further damaging sensitive teeth and gums.
The dentist will use bleaching trays similar to the over-the-counter versions that you can purchase. The main difference will be that our trays will be customized for your unique dental needs and fitted to your mouth by the dental hygienist and/or dental assistant, who will also monitor your teeth and gums for any irritation during treatment.
The specific cause of your temporomandibular (jaw) joint problem isn't always identifiable, according to the Mayo Clinic, but two of the most common reasons for pain are trauma to the area and arthritis. If you're hit in the jaw, for example, this blow can cause the disc joint to move out of position. Habits such as grinding your teeth or excessive gum chewing can lead to jaw pain over time, too. Great news though. Jaw joint pain is usually a temporary condition. Although the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that TMJ issues affect about 10 million people each year, the majority of them end up finding relief with the most basic of treatments, like those available here at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
In many cases, teeth that are broken or damaged by decay can be fixed with a filling, crown, or other dental treatment. Sometimes, though, and always as a last resort here at Smith Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, the damage is too severe to repair, so we may recommend extraction. Some reasons that a tooth may have to be extracted include:
- Decay that has reached deep into the tooth
- Infection has destroyed a large portion of the tooth or the surrounding bone
- There isn’t enough room for all the teeth in your mouth or some teeth are blocking others from emerging
- Baby teeth that don't fall out in time for the permanent teeth to come in
- Patients getting braces or other orthodontic treatment may need teeth extracted in order to create room for the teeth that will be moved.
We are excited to introduce our NEW Short Term Orthodontic System, Six Months Smiles! We are the only provider in the area to offer this state of the art treatment. Call or stop by the office today to set up a consult.