My Blog
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.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
July 08, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dentures  

Dentures can help restore chewing, make speaking easier and even improve your confidence.

If you are missing most or all of your teeth then you may be considering getting dentures from our Midland, MI, dentist Dr. Kathryn Winkel. While there are many ways to replace missing teeth these days, many people still turn to dentures because they provide a fast, easy, non-surgical and inexpensive solution to getting teeth back.

Who is a good candidate for dentures?

An ideal candidate is someone who is dealing with significant tooth loss. Most people coming into our Midland, MI, office are visiting our dentist because they are missing all or the majority of their teeth but still have healthy gum tissue and a strong jawbone. If you are only missing a couple of teeth, you may not be an ideal candidate for dentures but there are other ways to restore your smile.

What types of dentures are available?

The number of teeth that we need to replace is going to be the determining factor as to which type of dentures will be the best solution for you. Types of dentures include,

Full dentures: If you are missing an entire row of teeth then full dentures are going to be able to replace all of your teeth. Full dentures can be used on both the upper and lower jaws.

Partial dentures: If you are missing several teeth but still have some healthy teeth remaining then partial dentures will be able to fill these gaps. These false teeth attach to neighboring teeth to hold them in place.

Immediate dentures: This type of false teeth is placed immediately after someone has had a tooth extraction. These are not considered a long-term fix but rather a set of teeth for patients to wear temporarily until their mouths fully heal from surgery and they can get their permanent dentures.

Implant-supported dentures: If you are interested in getting dental implants but need to replace all of your teeth, we can still place dental implants along the jawbone to hold your dentures firmly in place.

Do you have questions about getting dentures? If so, the next step is to talk with our Midland, MI, family dentist to find out if you are an ideal candidate for dentures or any of the tooth replacement options we offer. To get one step closer to restoring your smile, call our office at (989) 631-6680 to schedule a consultation.

By Kathryn Winkel, DDS
May 22, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Needing tooth replacement? Are you unsure of your choices? In Midland, MI, many patients benefit from innovative dental implants by Dr. Kathryn Winkel. Stable and realistic, these artificial teeth act, look and feel totally natural. Patients literally cannot distinguish them from their real teeth.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a complete artificial tooth. It is composed of three parts:

  1. A titanium screw surgically placed into the jaw bone where the natural tooth once resided
  2. A metal alloy post, or abutment
  3. A custom-fabricated porcelain crown

After Dr. Winkel inserts the implant into the empty socket, the device bonds with the jaw bone. This action is called osseointegration. It takes some weeks to months, but once finished, it forms a stable foundation for the implant restoration.

Also, the more the implant is used, the stronger the bond becomes. This feature is unique to dental implants. Conventional tooth replacements, such as partial dentures, do nothing to strengthen the underlying hard or soft tissues.

Amazing implant benefits

A simple exam and three-dimensional scan at Dr. Winkel's Midland office details your suitability for dental implant placement. Most healthy teens and adults can receive implants if they have enough bone in their jaws. Bone grafting procedures augment the jaw in the event that bone is weak or thin.

After you complete your implant procedure, you will enjoy these unique benefits:

  1. One and it's done. In other words, once you receive a dental implant, it will serve you for the rest of your life. The success rate is up to 95 percent, reports Healthline.
  2. Easy brushing and flossing. Take care of your implants just as you do your natural teeth.
  3. Fuller facial features due to strong bone structure and healthy gum tissue.
  4. Clear speech with no denture clicking or slippage.
  5. Expert placement and aftercare for your dental implants by your dentist in Midland, MI.
  6. One-time expense. While your crown or implant-supported denture appliance will require replacement after ten years or so, your implant(s) will stay put indefinitely.
  7. A diet with no limitations. Hard foods. Soft foods. Eat whatever healthy choices you enjoy.
  8. A wonderful smile. No one but you and your dentist will know you have dental implants.

Transform your smile

It can happen with dental implants from Dr. Kathryn Winkel in Midland, MI. Learn more about their unique benefits by calling (989) 631-6680 to arrange your personalized consultation.





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