Family/General & Restorative Dentistry
Water’s Edge Dentistry will provide quality dental treatment to everyone in your family.
We want you and your family to have healthy smiles for life.
Maintaining good oral health stops disease before it takes hold in your mouth. Regular exams (including diagnostic images such as x-rays) and professional teeth cleanings are the number one way to protect your oral health. Routine visits include a thorough examination of your mouth (including teeth, gums and other structures), a professional cleaning and a discussion about your dental (and overall) health. If there are any problems presenting, we talk with you about your options to help you determine a treatment plan that works best for you.
When a problem is found, we work with you to create a timely and appropriate treatment plan. From fillings to dental trauma, we will diagnose and treat the causes of tooth pain or periodontal (gum) disease. We also offer treatments for missing teeth (crowns or bridgework) and full mouth restoration services.
Our team also has specialty training in other areas of your health. Find out more about our Cosmetic Services, Sleep Apnea Treatments and Neuromuscular Therapies for the treatment of TMJ – Clenching/Grinding.
GENERAL & RESTORATIVE
If you feel that sedation is necessary for your dental care, give us a call to learn more about our sedation dentistry.
We offer Oral Conscious Sedation.
Take a pill one hour before your appointment and you can relax or sleep through your visit. With oral sedation we can often complete all your dentistry in one visit. Oral sedation is very safe. The pills stay in a patient’s system for several hours after the appointment, so there are few complaints of pain after procedures are completed.
How You May Feel
Most patients remember nothing about their treatment. A few will remember a little, usually at the end of the appointment when we are getting them ready to go home. You will need someone to bring you to our office on the day of your sedation appointment and you MUST have someone take you home afterwards.
Safety of Sedation
The reason that we use oral sedation is because of its safety. We use monitoring equipment to monitor your pulse and blood pressure. You’ll be done before you know it, completely unaware of the time passing, totally relaxed.
Crown and Bridge
It is accomplished using a digital scan of the prepared tooth and creating the restoration’s design using powerful 3D software that allows the dentist to customize the result.
Dentistry for Kids
When should I schedule my child’s first trip to the dentist? Should my 3-year-old be flossing? How do I know if my child needs braces?
Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don’t always know the best way to do so.
When Should Dental Care Start?
Proper dental care begins before a baby’s first tooth appears. Just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth, your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw. Running a damp washcloth over a baby’s gums daily will help clear away harmful bacteria. Parents can brush kids’ teeth as they come in with an infant toothbrush, using water with just a smear of toothpaste until about age 2.
Around age 2, most kids can spit while brushing. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, with supervision, until around age 5.
Even babies can develop tooth decay if good feeding habits aren’t practiced. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle might be convenient, but can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Severe cases result in cavities and the need to pull all of the front teeth until the permanent ones grow in.
Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth.
As kids grow older, their bite and the straightness of their teeth can become an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it used to, but what once was a symbol of preteen embarrassment – a mouth filled with metal wires and braces – is a relic of the past. Kids as young as age 7 now sport corrective appliances, and efficient, resin and silicon-based materials have replaced old-fashioned metal.
Dentists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with relatively minor orthodontia, thus preventing major orthodontia later on.
In some rare instances, usually when a more complicated dental procedure is to be performed, a dentist will recommend sedative anesthesia be used. Don’t be afraid to question the dentist. Giving your child an early start on checkups and good dental hygiene is an effective way to help prevent this kind of extensive dental work. Encouraging kids to use a mouthguard during sports also can prevent serious dental injuries.
Dentures and Partial Dentures
What are Dentures?
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. While dentures take some getting used to, and will never feel exactly the same as one’s natural teeth, today’s dentures are natural looking and more comfortable than ever.
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. Dr. Dahlkemper 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.
How do Dentures Work?
With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue.
Dentures are custom-made in a dental laboratory from impressions taken of your mouth. Dr. Dahlkemper will determine which of the three types of dentures described below is best for you:
Conventional Full Denture
A conventional full denture is placed in your mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and gum tissues have healed. Healing may take several months, during which time you are without teeth.
Immediate Full Denture
An immediate full denture is inserted immediately after the remaining teeth are removed. (Dr. Dahlkemper takes measurements and make models of your jaw during a prior visit.) While immediate dentures offer the benefit of never having to be without your teeth, they must be relined several months after being inserted. The reason is that the bone supporting the teeth shrinks and reshapes as it heals, causing the denture to become loose.
A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth. Sometimes crowns are placed on some of your natural teeth and serve as anchors for the denture. Partial dentures offer a removable alternative to bridges.
How Long Before I Get Used to My Dentures?
New dentures may feel awkward or uncomfortable for the first few weeks or even months. Eating and speaking with dentures might take a little practice. A bulky or loose feeling is not uncommon, while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold your dentures in place. Excessive saliva flow, a feeling that the tongue does not have adequate room, and minor irritation or soreness are also not unusual. If you experience irritation, see your dentist.
How Long do Dentures Last?
Over a period of time, your denture will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear. Rebasing means making a new base while keeping the existing denture teeth. Also, as you age, your mouth naturally changes. These changes cause your dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult and irritating your gums. At a minimum, you should see your dentist annually for a checkup.
If your teeth have reached the point where you are considering dentures, we invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will do an assessment of your condition and provide you with a list of options tailored to your individual needs. With the advances in dental implants and other techniques in the last twenty years, dentures can often be used in conjunction with implants for enhanced function and comfort. However, for many people dentures alone are a very cost effective solution to the problem of aging teeth and gum disease.
How does it work?
We place a sensor next to your tooth and within seconds your x-ray is displayed in sharp, vivid detail on a computer screen. Because of this short exposure time, the amount of radiation is reduced by as much as 90 percent.
An Efficient, Computerized Process
Once the x-ray image is on our computer screen, we can enhance it to make a more precise diagnosis. We can save images on our computer for instant retrieval, and once they’re digitized, we can easily send them to insurance companies or specialists, as needed.
Full Mouth Dental Rehabilitation
Full-mouth reconstruction used to mean a long protracted, disjointed series of procedures with a difficult-to-see endpoint that possibly could include extracting all the teeth and making dentures.
Age, illness, or accidents can sometimes lead to extreme tooth loss. When a patient experiences the loss of several teeth, our dentists may recommend a full-mouth rehabilitation to correct the problem. Previously, dentures were the solution to address several lost teeth; however modern technology and dental advancements offer the option of a full mouth rehab using dental implants.
Implants offer many advantages over dentures. Following is a comparative list of the disadvantages of dentures versus the advantages of a full-mouth rehab procedure with dental implants.
Disadvantages of Dentures
- Compromise integrity of facial structures
- Accelerate visible aging due to unattractive changes in facial appearance
- Cause pain, sore spots, and denture breath
- Require relining as bone melts away
- Require adhesives
- Cause an inability to eat certain foods
- Contribute to embarrassment in social situations when denture moves or falls out
Long-term Benefits of Implant-Supported Tooth Replacement
- Virtually stops bone loss/deterioration
- Maintains integrity of facial structure
- Improves facial appearance, restoring lost lip support and minimizing wrinkles
- Increases comfort
- Restores natural biting and chewing capacity
Do you want to eliminate those old dentures and replace them with natural-looking and easy-to-maintain dental implants? Call our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss whether or not you are a candidate for a full-mouth rehab.
With full mouth rehabilitation, you do not have to settle for the natural course of aging your mouth has taken. You can eat without getting pangs of discomfort from hot or cold food, you can start your day without soreness in your jaw, and you can complete tasks without having to fight recurring headaches.
In addition to the meticulous cleaning, polishing, and examination of your teeth, we also take the time to help our patients develop proper oral hygiene habits at home. We will evaluate your hygiene techniques and make adjustments to your routine where needed.
Scaling & Root Planning
Your toothbrush and floss alone can’t stop gum disease from spreading because they can’t reach under your gum line. If you continue to ignore your symptoms (bleeding, swollen and tender gums, bad breath, etc.) the infection can eventually spread to the rest of your organs; ultimately affecting the health of your heart!
If we feel that you are suffering from gingivitis or more severe gum disease, we may recommend root scaling or planning, which is a deeper cleaning, usually with local anesthetic, as a first approach to improving your gum tissue health. These measures can be instrumental in preventing bone loss and helping you to keep your natural teeth.
Scaling and root planning is a non-surgical procedure in which our hygienists will remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Root surfaces are cleaned and smoothed with specially designed instruments. It is important to remove the plaque and tartar from the pockets, because aside from the bacterial toxins that irritate the gums, plaque and the rough surfaces of tartar make it easier for bacteria to gain a foothold. Some of our hygienists are trained to provide laser disinfection for those patients who may need this additional treatment.
FYI: Bleeding when you brush and floss is not normal! You may think that a little bleeding when you floss isn’t a big deal. What you’re not seeing, however, is that diseased tissue is silently forming way down deep between your teeth and into your gum tissue. And, sometimes a healthy mouth cleaning and polishing treatment isn’t enough to help decrease the spread of this gum disease.
Whether you have one missing tooth or several, you deserve a solution that showcases a full, beautiful set of teeth while maximizing the long-term health of your natural teeth and gums.
Dental implants provide the most advanced solution for patients who are missing teeth. Tooth restorations with dental implants offer patients several advantages because they are securely fastened in the jaw and fit in seamlessly with surrounding teeth.
Unlike fixed bridges and partial dentures – around which gums and bones can recede and leave a visible defect – dental implants don’t rely on the structural support of adjacent teeth. Implants ensure jawbone preservation that keeps the bone healthy and strong. Implants can be used to replace one or all teeth and provide an excellent alternative to dentures.
- The implant will integrate (bond) with the existing bone.
- The new implant will support your teeth firmly and safely.
- Your new implant-supported crown look like a natural, healthy tooth.
- You will no longer have pain during talking or eating.
- The dental implant will prevent progressive bone loss.
- Implants have a proven scientific basis.
If you are having problems chewing due to concern over a tooth breaking or because of a missing tooth, then a single implant is an excellent solution. A single implant is the equivalent of an artificial tooth and root. The procedure creates a socket for the root of the implant and then precisely secures the implant in the jawbone. The implant, which is made of surgical grade titanium, is then allowed to heal and integrate in to the jawbone, keeping the implant firmly in place. A custom-built post and crown are installed over the implant fixture to complete the artificial tooth. After completion of the procedure, both the tooth and smile are as good as new.
Implant Bridges are an excellent solution when there are several missing teeth in your mouth. The procedure is basically the same as the single tooth implant procedure, except that we can replace multiple teeth using just 2 implants.
Oral Cancer Screening
The age-adjusted incidence was more than twice as high among men than among women, as was the mortality rate. More than 40% of persons diagnosed with oral cancer die within five years of diagnosis.
More than 90% of oral cancers can be attributed to tobacco use, alcohol use, and both tobacco and alcohol use. Sun exposure can also be a risk factor for oral cancer. Low consumption of fruit and some types of human papilloma virus infections have also been implicated.
How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
An examination for oral cancer may be done during a physical examination by your dentist or physician. An oral cancer exam is painless and quick. Your health care provider will inspect your face, neck, lips and mouth to look for any signs of cancer. With both hands, he or she will feel the area under your jaw and the side of your neck, checking for lumps that may suggest cancer. Next, your provider will have you stick out your tongue so that it can be checked for swelling or abnormal color or texture. In addition, he or she will look at the roof and floor of your mouth, as well as the back of your throat. He or she will then look at and feel the insides of your lips and cheeks to check for possible signs of cancer, such as red and/or white patches.
Using gauze, he or she will then gently pull your tongue to one side, then the other, to check the base of your tongue. The underside of your tongue will also be checked. Finally, your provider will put one finger on the floor of your mouth and, with the other hand under your chin, gently press down to check for lumps or sensitivity.
How Is South Carolina Doing?
Oral cancer is the 9th most common cancer in South Carolina, with 2,897 oral cancers diagnosed between 1996 and 2001 (or about 480 new cases per year). South Carolina ranks 2nd in the nation for deaths from oral cancer. The majority (70%) of oral cancers occurred in males, with black males having the highest incidence. There are three counties in South Carolina (Charleston, Georgetown, and Richland) with oral cancer rates higher than the state average.
Quickfacts: Oral Cancer in the U.S.:
- Persons aged 45 and older account for 90% of oral cancer cases
- More than 90% of oral cancers can be attributed to tobacco or alcohol use
- Men are twice as likely as women to contract and die from oral cancer
Doesn’t my dentist already do a cancer screening?
Yes, your dentist does check your neck and oral tissues for lumps, red or white patches or recurring sore areas. But typically, these techniques catch cancer at very advanced stages and mortality drops dramatically. Early detection is key to a successful treatment. With Velscope, Dr. Dahlkemper can detect early stages of cancer more easily and should be checked yearly.
Dr. D uses the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System, which centers on a wireless, handheld scope that uses natural tissue fluorescence visualization to help discover oral mucosal abnormalities that might otherwise have been overlooked. Detecting oral abnormalities early leads to more treatment options, potentially less invasive or radical treatments and better patient outcomes.
Dental treatment is an excellent investment in an individual’s medical and psychological well-being. Financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining this important health service. Being sensitive to the fact that different people have different needs in fulfilling their financial obligations, we are providing the following payment options.
1203 Two Island Ct #101
Mt Pleasant, SC 29466
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