My Blog
By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
December 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Find out if the symptoms you are experiencing might be an indicator that you need root canal treatment.root canal

Sure, we know that no one relishes the idea of needing to undergo dental treatment but sometimes it’s necessary for the sake of your oral health. Most dental problems don’t go away on their own and will only get worse if left untreated. This is why it’s so important that you turn to our Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • A severe or sudden toothache
  • Worsening pain when chewing or putting pressure on the tooth
  • Swollen or sore gums around the tooth
  • Facial swelling on the side of the affected tooth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Tooth darkening
  • A pimple-like lesion on the gums

While tooth pain alone isn’t an indicator that you need root canal therapy, it does mean that there is a problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later to ensure that there isn’t further damage to the tooth.

If these symptoms go ignored the bacteria that has affected the inside of the tooth (also known as the dental pulp) will continue to spread into the root canals. Not only will the bacteria kill the pulp but also it will eventually destroy the tooth and surrounding bone. When this happens the only option is to then remove the tooth and replace it.

Of course, the purpose of root canal therapy is to prevent a tooth extraction and to preserve as much of the tooth’s structure as possible. During root canal therapy, our Midland general dentist will numb the area around the tooth before drilling through the hard enamel layers to reach the dental pulp. From there, the infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly disinfected. The root canals will be sealed with a special material to ensure that bacteria can’t get back and reinfect the tooth.

Once the inside of the tooth has been filled a custom-made dental crown is then placed over the tooth to restore function and strength post-treatment.

If you aren’t sure whether you should come in for dental care then you can always give our Midland, MI, family dentist a call to find out if your symptoms warrant an immediate trip to our office. After all, it’s better to play it safe rather than sorry.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
December 04, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns   Bridges  

Restore Your Natural Smile with Crowns and Bridges

In the past, if you had a broke, chipped or missing tooth your options were always minimal.  With advancements in dentistry, your dentist in Midland, MI can now provide you with improved treatments to restore your natural smile.  Two of the most popular procedures for restoring your smile are the installation of dental crowns or dental bridges. By visiting Dr. Kathryn Winkel, DDS, we can help you restore your smile once and for all. 
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over your damaged tooth to restore its size, shape, strength and appearance. A crown can be used to cover a misshapen or discolored tooth, protect a weak one, restore a broken or chipped tooth, or to support a dental bridge. Once the crown is installed, it will completely cover the visible portion of your tooth above the gum line.
While dental crowns are designed to restore teeth that are misshapen, discolored, chipped or broken, a dental bridge is designed to help replace a missing tooth. A dental bridge is made up of an artificial tooth, or teeth, that is anchored on either side by crowns.  To install a bridge, your Midland, MI dentist will begin by anesthetizing the area around the bridge and then filing down the two teeth that will receive crowns. Next, he or she will take an impression and send it to a dental lab, where your permanent bridge will be constructed in two to three weeks.
If you have a damaged or missing tooth, contact Dr. Kathryn Winkel, DDS for further diagnosis and treatment planning.  With help from your dentist in Midland, MI, you can restore your natural smile with crowns and bridges. 
By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
October 17, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Those gaps in your smile do not have to be the new norm. Your dentist in Midland can help!dental implants

While tooth loss can certainly make anyone feel defeated and frustrated by their smile, our Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel, is making it easy to get the tooth replacement you need to regain that smile you love. Thanks to advanced dental technology, we can now provide a restoration that is as close to natural teeth as you can possibly get. This restoration is known as dental implants and it’s helped countless individuals get full smiles once again.

  • Are you looking for a restoration that acts just like a natural tooth?
  • Are you looking for an artificial tooth that could last the rest of your life?
  • Are you an adult who is missing one or more permanent teeth?
  • Are you someone who maintains good oral hygiene?

If you answered yes to these questions then dental implants may just be the right option for you. Implants are made from titanium and these small screws or posts are surgically placed into a small, drilled hole in the jawbone where your missing tooth’s roots used to be.

An implant will not only fuse together with the bone and tissue over the course of a couple of months but this same restoration will also provide the jawbone with the stimulation it needs to continue producing healthy new bone cells to prevent bone loss (a common issue for those dealing with missing teeth).

It’s important to keep a few things in mind before deciding whether implants are the right choice:

You will have to undergo surgery in order to get your implant. Surgery is minor and can be performed by our dental team under local anesthesia only; however, we will need to make sure that you are healthy enough to undergo the procedure before we start.

The dental implant process can take up to one year or more depending on certain factors such as how many implants are being placed, what teeth need to be replaced and how quickly your mouth heals after surgery.

Implants are designed to last several decades, which means that you could have this one restoration the rest of your life. Even though artificial structures cannot develop cavities it’s still important to keep the implant clean and healthy to prevent complications that could affect the function and integrity of your new tooth.

Do you have questions about getting dental implants in Midland, MI? Are you ready to find out if this is the restoration for you? Then call Dr. Winkel today to schedule your no-risk implant consultation.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
August 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Whether you've damaged a tooth or want to transform the appearance of an unattractive tooth, crowns and bridges can improve your dental crownssmile. Our Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel, can discuss several types of crowns and bridges with you.

Crown types in Midland

The type of crown that's best for your tooth will depend on your particular dental issue, your dentist's recommendations and your preferences. Crowns, hollow restorations that fit over teeth, are used to strengthen weak or fragile teeth, repair fractured teeth, change the shape or length of teeth or hide flaws. Before a crown can be placed in your mouth, the tooth must be reduced in size in order to ensure that the restoration fits properly.

Common crown types include:

  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal: These crowns consist of a layer of porcelain over a durable metal core. They're often placed on back teeth used for biting and chewing.
  • Porcelain: All-porcelain crowns aren't quite as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and are used in front teeth that aren't exposed to strong biting pressure.

Bridge types in Midland

Bridges replace gaps in your smile caused by missing teeth. Bridge types include:

  • Traditional: Traditional bridges consist of artificial teeth called pontics attached to crowns, or abutments, on either end of the bridge.
  • Cantilever: Cantilever bridges are bridges that are held in place by only one abutment instead of two.
  • Maryland: Both traditional and cantilever bridges require reduction of the teeth that will be covered by the abutments. Because Maryland bridges don't use abutments, there's no need to alter your teeth. These bridges are held in place by a metal or porcelain frame that is attached to the backs of teeth on either side of the gap.
  • Implant-Supported: Implant-supported bridges are held in place by dental implants, rather than crowns. Implants replace tooth roots and bond to your jawbone, offering a long-lasting, comfortable option. Once the implant bonds to your jawbone, you'll be fitted for a bridge in our Midland office.

Protect and improve your smile with crowns and bridges. Call our Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Winkel, at (989) 631-6680 to schedule an appointment.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
July 12, 2017
Category: Dental Screening
Tags: Oral Cancer  

Your Midland, MI, dentist routinely screens her patients for oral cancer. Why? The Oral Cancer Foundation says that close to 50,000 Americans receive that alarming diagnosis annually, and many do not survive beyond five years. That's why Dr. Kathryn Winkel performs oral cancer assessments with every six-month exam and cleaning at her office. With simple, but careful, assessments, oral cancer can be caught early and, hopefully, cured.

What does oral cancer look like?

To the average person, an oral cancer lesion may look or feel like nothing. In fact, physicians and dentists say that many individuals exhibit no symptoms of oral cancer at all, and, yet, they may have it, so all the more reason to get a painless, five-minute check with your dentist in Midland.

What does your dentist look for? Common signs of cancer include:

  • Red or white patches on the oral mucosa (lips, inside of the cheeks, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, under the tongue, back of the throat)
  • A persistently hoarse voice
  • Swelling, sores or lumps that do not resolve within two to three weeks
  • Tender lymph nodes under the jaw
  • One-sided ear pain
  • A change in how a denture, bridgework or natural teeth bite together
If Dr. Midland does find an area of concern, she takes a sample for analysis at an outside lab.

Who gets oral cancer?

You may be surprised to learn that anyone can get oral cancer regardless of his or her age, gender, ethnicity or lifestyle. However, men over the age of 40 seem most prone, although diagnoses among young women are increasing.

Other risk factors include:
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Alcohol abuse (more than two drinks a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control)
  • Exposure to the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV
What can you do?

Simply be vigilant about your oral health by,
  • Eating a nutritious, high-fiber diet
  • Starting a smoking cessation program
  • Reporting any suspect areas to your primary care physician or to Dr. Winkel right away
  • Coming to the dental office every six months for your oral examination and hygienic cleaning
So if it's time for your regular appointment, call Dr. Winkel's office in Midland, MI. The more you know about your dental health, the happier your smile will be.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.