My Blog
By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
May 10, 2021
Category: Oral Health

It can be difficult to know if we need to visit the dentist's office, but a big hint is that we should not let small problems become bigger ones. To learn more please get in contact with your Midland, MI, dentist Dr. Kathryn Winkel.

When Was Your Last Appointment?

If you have not been into the office for a while then it's time to change that. Regular dental checkups can potentially save you from surprises and reduce the likelihood of more invasive procedures. They can also help you keep plaque under control, which helps guard against decay and gum disease.

Does Something Hurt?

One of the main reasons why a lot of us decide it's time to visit our dentist is pain, unfortunately, pain is often an indicator that something is already wrong. The reasons for discomfort vary, but one of the most common is a deeply infected tooth. Which is typically treated via a root canal to relieve you of pain and save your tooth.

Is a Tooth Cracked or Chipped?

A cracked or chipped tooth may not always be cause for an emergency, but they should nonetheless be treated promptly as they signify that the enamel that protects your tooth has been breached leaving the inner layers exposed.

Is a Tooth Loose?

A loose tooth on the other hand could signal an advanced stage of periodontal disease, which threatens the support structures of your teeth, as well as the health of your whole mouth. If you have a crown or bridge, and these are similarly loose, it could just mean it's time to have them examined, but it should be done promptly to avoid complications.

Are You Embarrassed to Smile?

Wanting to address cosmetic concerns is nothing to be embarrassed about. Maintaining your teeth's form and function is very important but so is having a smile you can be proud to show off. Very often these go hand in hand. Speak with your Midland, MI, dentist to find out all the ways they can help transform your smile.

Don't delay any longer, make an appointment today with Dr. Winkel in Midland, MI, by dialing (989) 631-6680.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
February 19, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dentures  

Are you wondering whether dentures are the best way to replace your missing teeth? We know a lot of thought goes into making the right decision regarding your oral health, and our Midland, MI, dentist Dr. Kathryn Winkel can provide you with the information you need to make the best decision regarding how to replace your missing teeth. If you are thinking dentures might be right for you, here are the different types of dentures you’ll need to know about first.

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are designed to fully replace all teeth in the upper or lower jaws. These teeth sit directly on top of the gums, where they naturally suction to the gums to stay in place; however, depending on whether you have a lower or upper set of complete dentures, you may also choose to use denture adhesives to keep teeth from shifting or moving around.

Complete dentures are custom-made to fit your mouth, providing you with natural-looking false teeth that sit on an acrylic base made to resemble gum tissue. These teeth are worn during the day but must be removed and placed into a soaking solution overnight.

Partial Dentures

If you only have a few teeth missing, then our dental team will recommend partial dentures. This type of dentures is either removable or fixed in place. We can discuss the pros and cons of each type of partial dentures to help you decide the right one for you. Clasps connect to natural teeth to hold removable partial dentures in place, while dental crowns are cemented over natural teeth to fix partials (also referred to as a dental bridge) permanently in place.

Immediate Dentures

These prefabricated dentures are placed immediately after a tooth extraction, so you never have to be without teeth. We can place these dentures the very same day and they are worn while the gums are healing. Since it can take weeks for the gums to heal, our Midland, MI, general dentist wants you to still have teeth to be able to talk and chew during the healing process. Once your gums have healed, then we can place your permanent dentures.


These false teeth sit on top of the gums but are held in place with dental implants. Implants are metal posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots. Depending on how many teeth you are missing, implants can support your partial or full dentures.

If you’d like to get dentures here in Midland, MI, our family dentist Dr. Winkel can provide you with this custom dental appliance to restore your smile. To find out if you’re an ideal candidate for dentures, call us today at (989) 631-6680 to schedule a consultation.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
December 30, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Pain   Cavity   Cracked Tooth  

Here are the most common reasons why your tooth might be hurting.

Nothing is worse than a throbbing, aching tooth. If you are currently dealing with a toothache you may be wondering what’s going on and what you should do about it. You’re in luck because our Midland, MI, dentist Dr. Kathryn Winkel can provide emergency dental care to patients dealing with toothaches and other urgent dental matters. Here’s why you should never ignore a toothache:

It’s most likely a cavity

One of the most common problems that our Midland, MI, emergency dentist treats is a cavity. Cavities can develop in anyone, from children to seniors. However, it’s incredibly important that you come in as soon as your tooth starts to hurt. Ignoring the problem will only give the cavity more time to spread.

It could be an infected dental pulp

Deep decay, infection, or trauma to a tooth can all allow bacteria to enter the inside of the tooth. Once bacteria enter the tooth’s chamber, it can infect the dental pulp. Since the pulp is the only part of the tooth with nerves, this also means that it will let you know what’s going on by causing some pretty intense dental pain. Since an infected dental pulp will need to be removed through root canal therapy, it’s important that you come in right away for treatment.

You may have a broken or cracked tooth

Just because you don’t see visible damage to a tooth doesn’t mean that it’s not there. You may be dealing with a cracked or broken tooth if you notice sudden pain and sensitivity that gets worse when chewing or biting down on the tooth. If you notice these symptoms, give us a call right away.

You could have gum disease

While gum disease infects the gum tissue this doesn’t mean that you can’t experience tooth-related symptoms as well. As the gums start to recede, due to expanding pockets of infection between the gums and the teeth, this can expose the roots of the teeth. If you notice suddenly tooth sensitivity and your gums seem to be shrinking in appearance, it might just be gum disease.

When you are dealing with a toothache or other dental emergency it’s important that you have a dentist here in Midland, MI, that you trust. Don’t ignore your dental pain. Give our practice a call today at (989) 631-6680.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
December 15, 2020
Category: Oral Health

News-Medical says that fillings restore decay, eliminate sensitivity, and even affected tooth surfaces. At Dr. Kathryn Winkel's office in Midland, MI, the material of choice is composite resin, but other tooth-colored materials also breathe new life and function into damaged teeth. Learn why your dentist selects beneficial tooth-colored fillings for simple restorations.

Why do people need fillings?

The answer is tooth decay. The National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research relates that acid from oral bacteria breeding in plaque and tartar damage enamel, creating the kind of holes we call cavities. Children, teens, and adults are all prone to decay, and your dentist offers a range of preventive services in her Midland, MI, office designed to support your good oral hygiene and eating habits at home.

To restore decay, dentists have used amalgam, or metal fillings, to restore decay, improve oral health, and allow you to bite and chew normally. Amalgam, however, is unattractive and requires extensive enamel preparation. Thankfully, Dr. Kathryn Winkel offers modern filling material that looks just like tooth enamel and is durable and attractive.

What are tooth-colored fillings?

Tooth-colored fillings are made from three kinds of amazing materials. They include:

  • Composite resin, a mix of acrylic and glass particles, blended to match existing tooth enamel. Dr. Winkel removes the damaged tooth structure and adds the resin layer by layer, hardening each with a UV light. Composite resin actually flexes, just like real enamel, every time you bite and chew.
  • Porcelain, a high-grade ceramic which is lab-fabricated to fit precisely into large areas of decay. Your dentist bonds the filling right to the tooth, fitting it over or between its cusps. These porcelain fillings also are called inlays, onlays, or partial crowns.
  • Glass ionomer, which contains decay-fighting fluoride and works well as a substrate for deep decay or to repair cavities on roots and non-chewing surfaces.

Living with your restored teeth

All modern filling materials offer the benefits of a lifelike appearance and durability. Be sure to diligently care for your restored teeth with twice-daily brushing and once a day flossing, avoiding sugar and between-meal snacking, and limiting excessive grinding and clenching with a bite guard. Also, get your routine hygienic cleanings and exams with your dentist. Dr. Winkel checks all restorations carefully for signs of deterioration and wear.

Learn more

Isn't modern dentistry amazing? Tooth-colored fillings are just one example of how your dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel, and her team take care of your oral health. Call our Midland, MI, office to arrange your six-month check-up: (989) 631-6680.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
September 21, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns   Bridges  

When you have smile gaps or tooth structures compromised by decay, injury or infection, you may need a dental crown or bridgework. Dr. Kathryn Winkel provides both in her Midland, MI, practice. Why not ask your dentist if these restorations would help you?

What is a dental crown?

A custom-made jacket of high-grade ceramic, a dental crown completely covers a damaged tooth right to the gum line. It looks, bites and feels perfectly natural, and it's a great alternative to dental extraction and the problems losing a tooth causes.

To verify if a crown is appropriate for your situation, your dentist will examine your tooth and take some digital X-rays. If you should receive a crown, your procedure will happen right in Dr. Winkel's Midland, MI, office.

Crown preparation involves:

  • Oral impressions
  • Removal of damaged tooth structure
  • Enamel reduction

At a dental lab, a ceramist will create your crown, shaping it and coloring it to fit over your tooth and to bite with teeth on the teeth above or below it. When your permanent crown is ready, Dr. Winkel will bond it onto your prepared tooth.

Lastly, crowns complete dental implants--today's most realistic tooth replacement. Also, when a tooth is so injured it requires pulp extraction through root canal therapy, a crown finishes that procedure, conferring permanent durability and aesthetics.

What is bridgework?

Bridgework is a traditional way to replace one or more missing teeth. Pontic, or artificial, teeth attach to porcelain crowns seated on natural teeth neighboring a smile gap.

Just like single crowns, bridges are custom-crafted to your unique dentition. Lifelike porcelain is the material of choice for both the pontics and crowns.

Also like single crowns, your bridge will require enamel reduction on the abutment teeth. Your dentist will cement the bridge in place using a high-tech adhesive.

Caring for crowns and bridges

Meticulous brushing and flossing avoids tartar and plaque accumulation, decay around crown margins and gum disease. Also, see Dr. Winkel every six months for a cleaning and check-up, including an assessment of your prosthetics.

Finally, avoid the excessive forces exerted by hard foods, such as peanut brittle and candy apples. And, if you grind or clench your teeth, Dr. Winkel may suggest a mouthguard be worn at night.

Find out more

Crowns and bridges fully restore smiles. Don't put up with failing or missing teeth. Have a complete, healthy smile. Let your dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel show you how. Phone the office in Midland, MI, for a consultation: (989) 631-6680.

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