My Blog
By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
August 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canals  

ToothacheWill you need a root canal this year? Root canal symptoms can be subtle and easily confused with other dental problems. Midland, MI, dentist Dr. Kathryn Winkel offers root canal therapy and other services that will help you maintain your oral health.

Root canal signs and symptoms

You may experience one or more of these signs and symptoms if you need a root canal:

  • Pain: Pain occurs if the soft pulp deep inside your tooth becomes infected or inflamed. Initially, the pain may be mild or might be intermittent. Your symptoms may worsen when you chew, press on the tooth or eat or drink hot or cold foods or drinks. Pain in a tooth can be caused by inflammations, infections, cavities, gum disease, cracks in teeth, and other problems. Since it's impossible to determine the cause of your pain at home, a visit to your Midland, MI, dentist is a must if your tooth hurts.
  • Change in Appearance: Has your tooth become discolored or darker than surrounding teeth? A change in color can be a sign that you need a root canal. Gum changes may also occur if you have an inflammation or infection in your tooth pulp. You may notice that the gum surrounding the tooth is swollen, sore, or red. As gum disease can also cause gum changes, it's important to bring your symptoms to your dentist's attention.
  • Dental Abscess Symptoms: Is your pain severe? Severe, throbbing pain can be a sign of a dental abscess. The bacterial infection that causes an abscess can make you feel sick and produce a few other symptoms, such as a swollen lower face, swollen lymph nodes, pus around your tooth or a small bump that looks like a pimple on your gum. If you experience any of these symptoms, don't hesitate to contact your dentist. In addition to a root canal, you'll need to take antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading. If you don't receive emergency dental care, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and travel to your heart, brain, or other areas of your body.

Protect your smile and your health with root canal therapy. Call Midland, MI, dentist Dr. Kathryn Winkel at (989) 631-6680 to schedule an appointment.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
June 06, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dentures  

DenturesFind out whether or not dentures could restore your smile and your appearance.

When people think about tooth loss they often think about dentures. This is because this oral prosthetic has been around for centuries. Of course, modern-day dentures have been vastly improved to provide a more realistic and comfortable tooth replacement for those missing several or all of their teeth. Our Midland, MI, dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel, is here to tell you more about dentures to help you determine if this is the right option for you.

Complete Dentures

Just as the name suggests, complete dentures are recommended when you are missing all of your natural teeth. They can be used to replace either the upper or lower teeth, or both. They are made to look just like real teeth and even contain a foundation that resembles natural gum tissue.

Complete dentures stay in place by suctioning themselves to natural gum tissue or by using denture adhesives. While adhesives can help dentures stay in place, often times these removable prosthetics can shift or move around when speaking or chewing.

Partial Dentures

This type of denture can be used when you are missing some of your teeth but you still have some natural teeth remaining. Just like complete dentures, partial dentures also contain a gum-like acrylic base that contains a row of artificial teeth. Partial dentures usually have some metal clasps or attachments that are connected to neighboring natural teeth to secure the false teeth in place.

Immediate Dentures

If our Midland general dentist has to extract one or more natural teeth we may place immediate dentures right after the extraction so that you have a full set of teeth the same day. Of course, immediate dentures are not custom-fitted and are usually only temporary until your gums have fully healed. Once the gums have healed we can fit you with a permanent set of dentures.

Implant-supported Dentures

While the fit, feel, and design of dentures have certainly changed for the better, we know that they won’t feel or look exactly like real teeth. We understand that it can be frustrating to feel your teeth move, shift, or make noise when trying to enjoy your favorite foods or talk to your colleagues; however, if you want a more stable tooth replacement, we can place four implants into the jawbone to help stabilize and hold your dentures in place. You’ll never have to worry about your teeth moving around on you again, and chewing and speech will be restored.

Do you have questions about the different kinds of dentures offered in Midland, MI? Do you want to sit down and discuss which kind is right for you? We would be happy to help you get back that beautiful smile. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
April 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth loss and aging used to go hand in hand, but thanks to modern dental technology and greater awareness about the importance of dental implantsgood oral hygiene practices and professional dental care, more and more Americans are keeping many if not all of their natural teeth longer than at any other point in time. However, tooth loss still remains a big problem according to the American Dental Association (ADA), which estimates that close to half of all adults over age 30 missing at least one tooth. The American College of Prosthodontists reports that as many as 40 million American adults are missing all of their natural teeth. Missing teeth can cause social anxiety, low self-esteem, and embarrassment, which can have a significant impact on a person's overall quality of life. But tooth loss can also lead to oral and general health problems. Dr. Kathryn Winkel, a dentist in Midland, MI, recommends dental implants to restore an incomplete smile and better oral health.

Get a New Smile and Better Oral Health with Dental Implants in Midland, MI

An implant consists of a biocompatible titanium screw that is placed in the socket of the missing tooth to replace the root. Once in place, it fuses with the bone tissue in the gums, which helps to anchor the implant in place and to prevent bone loss, one of the side effects of tooth loss and gum disease. Once the implant has healed, the dentist attaches the cosmetic crown to the implant and your smile is as good as new. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or more. Implants are a good option for healthy adults with enough existing bone tissue to support the implant. With good oral hygiene and follow up dental care, implants have a very high success rate.

Find a Dentist in Midland, MI

If you are ready to get your smile back and would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants and your smile restoration options, contact our office by calling (989) 631-6680 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Winkel today.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
March 06, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Emergency  

Your smile is one of your most precious possessions. You take care of it with brushing, flossing and six-month check-ups and cleanings. dental emergencyBut, do you know what to do in a dental emergency? First off, don't panic, and second, call for advice from your Midland, MI emergency dentist, Dr. Kathryn Winkel. She and her team are dedicated to preserving as many natural teeth as possible. So, when the unforeseen happens, count on them for quick, accurate services that keep you smiling.

What is a dental emergency?

It can involve many things, including bleeding, broken teeth and chipped prosthetics, laterally displaced or avulsed teeth, a dislocated jaw, a lost crown or veneer and more. Throbbing toothaches from a dental abscess or something caught between your teeth need prompt attention, too.

So when an emergency strikes, know what you can do immediately before you see your dentist in Midland. Here are some tips from Dr. Winkel:

Tip #1 Stay calm. Whether you, your child or someone else is having difficulty, a clear head can prevent further damage.

Tip #2 Act quickly. For instance, if you experience tooth avulsion (a tooth is knocked out), it may be replanted successfully if you get to Dr. Winkel's office within an hour, says the American Association of Endodontists. Rinse the tooth in clear water, grasp it by the crown, and insert it, roots down, into the empty tooth socket. Hold it in place while going to the dentist's office. If putting it back doesn't work, place the tooth in a sealed container with milk or water, and take it to Dr. Winkel.

Tip #3 Call the office right away if you have a toothache. Deep decay or infection requires immediate treatment. To alleviate symptoms, ice your swollen jaw (10 minutes on and 10 minutes off), and take over the counter acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin as it promotes bleeding. If you have drainage, rinse your mouth with warm salt water.

Tip #4 If you crack or chip a tooth or lose a restoration such as a crown, filling or porcelain veneer, save the fragments for Dr. Winkel. She may use composite resin bonding to repair it.

Tip #5 A broken or dislocated jaw or a severe oral laceration is a medical emergency. Get to the hospital emergency room nearest you as soon as possible. Apply direct pressure to a profusely bleeding wound.

Tip #6 If you get a piece of food or foreign object, such as a toothpick, lodged between two teeth, try gently removing it with dental floss. If this doesn't work, contact Dr. Winkel.

Emergency preparedness

We prepare in the event of a hurricane, snow storm, or another natural disaster. We keep flashlights and batteries on hand in case of a power outage. CPR training is mandatory in many high schools in the United States. Preparing for dental emergencies is crucial, too, says Dr. Winkel in Midland, MI. Keep her phone number in your contacts, and call when the unexpected happens: (989) 631-6680.

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.

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