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The Smile Shop
Adam Spriggs DDS & Kate Dolin DDS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Have questions? We’d love to help!

At The Smile Shop, we hold patient education in the highest regard. We believe the more informed you are, the more comfortable you’ll be. Please feel free to speak with us about any questions or concerns you may have. We are here to help!

Other

image of insurance | durham ncDental Insurances We Accept

At The Smile Shop, we in-network with many major insurances carriers including:

  • Aetna
  • Ameritas
  • Assurant/DHA
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental
  • Guardian
  • Humana
  • MetLife
  • Principle
  • United Healthcare
  • United Concordia

If you don’t see your insurance listed, please call our office! We are always exploring new partnerships, and we may be able to become an in-network provider for you. Even if we are not in network with your insurance, we are happy to process the claim for you to simplify your appointment.

Along with insurance, we are also partners with Care Credit. Care Credit allows you to receive the treatment you need when you need it and spread out your payments over a longer, more manageable time period. Our financial specialists are here to explain all your options and answer any questions you may have.

In addition, we are also happy to accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. We also offer payments directly from your mobile phone Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

For those who don’t have the option for dental insurance, we offer in-house membership plans that allow us to provide comprehensive and routine dental treatment to all our patients at an affordable price.

We understand that your time is valuable. At The Smile Shop, we strive to provide treatment in a productive and time-conscious manner while not compromising your care.

Your oral health deserves a thorough and personalized appointment, and we are here to make your visit effortless. Even before you walk in the door, our experienced team ensures your appointment time is scheduled with your convenience in mind. From the moment you check in at our front desk to the conclusion of your appointment, we do everything we can to use your time efficiently.

New technology reduces wait time!

cosmetic dentistry | morrisville ncWe use the latest technology to reduce wait times in the reception area and while you are in the dental chair. Everything from our iPad medical history and consent forms to our state-of-the-art intraoffice communication system is designed to make your visit streamlined and straightforward.

Each case is different!

Since no two procedures are the same, your time with our dental family here can vary. Fillings and cleanings are usually straightforward and can be accomplished in less than an hour. More extensive procedures such as root canals require more time to provide optimal results.

Please reach out to us with questions!

Please feel free to ask anyone on our dental team about the estimated time for each appointment. We realize that your time is important and we want to cater to your needs as much as possible.

cosmetic dentistry | durham ncAt The Smile Shop, we understand that dental treatment can be costly. We want to make comprehensive and routine treatment available for everyone.

In-office dental membership

We are proud to offer in-office dental membership plans to provide affordable options for dental treatment. For an affordable annual fee, your regular dental cleanings, x-rays, and check-ups with the dentist are included with an additional discount off any dental fillings, crowns or any other dental work you may need.

Our membership plans are a great aid for you and your family to get the dental care you deserve without the hassle and premiums of dental insurance. We designed our plans with simplicity in mind. There are no waiting periods for major work, no maximums, and no deductibles. The treatment you need is available from day one without complex paperwork and insurance claims.

We have multiple options!

We have multiple membership plans options depending on your individual needs. Plans for children, adults, and patients with a history of periodontal disease are all available. More details about our different plans can be found here on our Financial page and on our Membership Plan page.

Signing up is simple and only takes a few moments to enroll. For further information, please email or call our office and speak to one of our helpful team members.

man thinking about dental fillings in durham nc
Silver fillings, or amalgams, are a filling material used to restore tooth structure missing from decay or trauma.  They are typically used in the back of the mouth due to their unsightly silver color.


Amalgams have been used for decades as a restorative material and can last for many years without any issues. In addition to the poor aesthetics, the other big downside of amalgam restoration is that the tooth has to be drilled on more extensively for the fillings to work. A white composite restoration, in comparison, is bonded to the tooth. This means that the hole drilled in the tooth can be as small as possible with no fear of the restoration falling out. Amalgams are not bonded to the tooth and therefore need a mechanical lock design so that they don’t fall out.  Amalgams typically mean removing more healthy tooth structure than needed and possibly leading to weakened teeth that are prone to cracks and fractures. 

Do all silver fillings need to be replaced?

Even though they require more tooth structure to be taken out, this does not mean all silver fillings need to be replaced. Small amalgams can have a favorable prognosis and typically are not recommended for replacement. Larger amalgams have a higher chance of failing, but even then, could have a favorable prognosis. 

Every case is different!

We treat each tooth on a case-by-case basis. If any suspicious areas are found during your appointment, we use intra-oral cameras to show you our findings.  This way, we can both see the problem together and determine the best course of treatment.


If you have any concerns over your amalgam restorations, our team is here to answer any questions you may have!
 

Teeth Whitening Options in Durham, NC

Teeth can become stained for multiple different reasons. Bleaching can be a great option to brighten up your smile!

teeth whitening | durham Over the counter white strips – Most people have seen bleaching strips available at their local pharmacy or grocery store. These aren’t custom fabricated for your mouth and can lead to gum irritation from excess bleach.

Custom trays for take-home whitening – With this option, impressions are taken of your teeth so we can fabricate bleaching trays customized for your smile. This way, we can better control the bleaching agent to only contact the teeth and less of the surrounding gum tissue.

In-office booster whitening – If you want whiter teeth and don’t want to wait for results, in-office whitening could be a good option. Results are typically noticeable after just one visit.

Individual tooth whitening – We can often whiten only a single tooth. A single tooth could become discolored due to trauma that resulted in a root canal. We have bleach specifically designed to work on individual, root canaled teeth.

No one option is best for everyone. Our team is knowledgeable about the various options available. If you are interested in a brighter smile, please don’t hesitate to ask us for more information!

Comprehensive Family Dentistry

kid smiling after kid's dentistry exam in durham ncWe proudly offer family dentistry in our Durham, NC dental office, and that means looking after your family’s littlest smiles too. We welcome kids from their very first dental visits, which according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, should occur between six months and one year of age when the first tooth makes an appearance.

What do you do differently?

As children grow into kids and teens, we customize their treatment to meet their growth and development. Just as not every adult patient needs gum treatments, not every child will need fluoride or sealants. We base every recommendation on a patient-by-patient basis and their risk for dental diseases, such as caries (teeth decay).

Children benefit from early childhood dental visits because developing familiarity with the dental office eliminates the fear of the unknown and makes trips to the dental office a routine part of good overall health. As a parent or caregiver, you can help by keeping your own dental phobias under wraps. Don’t mention past negative experiences from your own childhood because those fears can be inherited by your kids.

Do you need a dentistry you can trust?

If you need reliable and compassionate family dentistry in the Durham, NC area, please contact The Smile Shop to arrange appointments for the whole family.

Dental Cleanings & Hygiene

When it comes to keeping your teeth free of dental plaque that causes cavities, there’s no substitute for brushing twice a day and flossing once. However, scientific studies confirm that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals can help fight cavities.

Sugar-Free Gum Increases Saliva Flow

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals is helpful because it increases your salivary flow. Saliva is beneficial for your oral health because it carries away food particles and debris that lead to plaque buildup.

Plaque is a magnet for bacteria that produce acid when you eat, and chewing sugar-free gum neutralizes these acids. Because saliva contains calcium and phosphate, it also helps strengthen tooth enamel.

Chewing sugar-free gum is often recommended for those who suffer from dry mouth and may also help those who experience acid reflux. The increased flow of saliva also increases secretion and swallowing and helps clear acid from the esophagus.

Choose Sugar-Free Gum with the ADA Seal

When choosing your sugar-free gum, be sure to choose only brands that carry the ADA Seal of Approval. You can be confident that gums with the ADA Seal meet the criteria for being safe and effective.

Schedule Your Next Teeth Cleaning in Morrisville, NC

Chewing sugar-free gum can help fight cavities but shouldn’t be used as a substitute for brushing twice a day and flossing once.

At The Smile Shop, we are all about finding solutions that make it easier for you to keep your smile clean and healthy. If you’re due for your next teeth cleaning, call our Morrisville, NC dental office for an appointment.

dental cleaning | teeth cleaning | durham ncWhen you get your teeth cleaned, your dental team has several goals in mind. The first goal is to remove plaque and tartar build up on your teeth. The second goal is to examine your teeth and gums. When you schedule a dental cleaning in Morrisville, NC, it’s usually a quick, painless procedure. Knowing what to expect can put your mind at ease and prepare you for your dental visit.

How does the process work?

When you arrive at your appointment, your dental hygienist or dental assistant will begin cleaning your teeth, starting with scraping off any plaque or tartar that has accumulated. Plaque is a soft deposit that builds up from the food and drinks you consume, particularly sugars and starches. When not removed from your teeth by regular brushing and flossing, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which is more difficult to remove.

Unchecked plaque and tartar can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and sometimes it hides in places you can’t reach. That’s why it’s important to make twice-a-year dental cleanings part of your dental care routine.

What happens after the cleaning?

After your dental cleaning, your dentist will examine your teeth for swelling, inflammation, or redness. The dentist will also check your gum health by measuring the spaces between the tops of your gums and where they attach to the teeth. Finally, the dental team will take digital x-rays to find any hidden issues. Your dentist will discuss the results and any recommendations before you leave.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dental treatment that conceals smile flaws by giving your tooth a brand-new flawless surface. When placed by a qualified, experienced cosmetic dentist in Durham, NC, there’s no real risk to getting dental veneers, but there are some factors you should be aware of.

Getting Veneers is an Irreversible Process

We all love the beauty and natural-looking appearance of porcelain veneers. However, to get that seamless, realistic look, your cosmetic dentist must remove a thin layer of tooth enamel. The thickness removed is no more than half a millimeter—about the thickness of a fingernail. 

While this doesn’t sound like a lot, removing this much enamel does make the process irreversible, making porcelain veneers a lifetime commitment. Dental veneers can last as long as 15 years with proper care, but they will eventually need to be replaced with new ones.

Proper Dental Care Ensures the Success of Your Veneers

Porcelain veneers won’t stain like tooth enamel and are fairly maintenance-free. However, since they are so thin, you have to stay away from hard or crunchy foods that could chip or crack them. If they do break, they need to be removed and replaced.

As always, practice excellent oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once. Keeping your underlying teeth and gums healthy can help extend your veneers' lifespan, so they give you many years of use.

Schedule a Dental Veneers Appointment in Durham, NC

Porcelain dental veneers are a stunning addition that hides cosmetic flaws and leaves you with a gorgeous smile. If you're interested, call The Smile Shop in Durham, NC to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentists to learn more about veneers.

woman smiling after cosmetic dentistry exam in durham ncCosmetic Dentistry Options at The Smile Shop

It’s not uncommon for adults to have cosmetic issues with their teeth. If your jaw is misaligned, your teeth might move or become chipped or worn down. If you had braces previously, your teeth can shift for a variety of reasons, causing gaps between teeth, overlapped teeth, and crooked teeth. The good news is that cosmetic dentistry in Durham, NC can help you feel good about your smile again!

Here are a few common dental problems and how cosmetic dentists fix them:

Chipped, gapped, or irregularly shaped teeth. Composite buildups (or bonding) are a versatile way to fix teeth that are not uniform or teeth that are damaged. Porcelain veneers - thin shell-like covers for teeth - are another option for a flawless-looking smile.

Discolored or stained teeth. Professional teeth whitening is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to brighten your smile. If your teeth are too deeply stained to benefit from teeth whitening, porcelain veneers or dental crowns can help.

Damaged or treated teeth. If a tooth is damaged or needs a root canal, a dental crown can restore the tooth to function and look normal. This “cap” encases the tooth and closely matches other teeth in appearance.

Misaligned teeth. If you dream of having your teeth straightened, “invisible” braces and clear aligners such as Invisalign work well for busy adults.

When you take advantage of professional teeth whitening at the Smile Shop in Durham, NC, you can rest assured that we use the best commercially available systems. Among the reasons to choose teeth whitening with us is that it may last as long as possible.

In most cases, you are in control of your smile goals. That’s why we offer you several options for whitening, from in-office treatments to take-home trays. So in the case of trays, your whitening results will depend on you following instructions and repeating treatments as advised.

For Lasting Teeth Whitening Results

To help prevent further staining after your whitening treatment, the Smile Shop team has the following recommendations:

  • Brush twice a day with a whitening toothpaste 
  • Floss daily to remove build-up between your teeth.
  • Minimize foods and drinks that stain teeth (berries, coffee, tea, red wine, etc.) 
  • Maintain regular cleanings with your dentists
  • Avoid using tobacco products

Your Best Teeth Whitening Options Are Worth the Call

For tooth whitening in Durham, NC, the Smile Shop has the best treatments and options. If you want results, contact our office to learn more.

And always contact our team if you have any questions about our cosmetic dentistry options. 

man with questions about dental bridges in durham ncGet the Smile You Want with Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are unhappy with the esthetics of your smile, the first step is to make an appointment with Dr. Dolin or Dr. Spriggs with The Smile Shop. Like every person is unique, so are your smiles and teeth. At the consult, we will complete a comprehensive exam to evaluate every aspect of your smile and go over all the options to give you the smile you’ve been dreaming of!

Composite bonding
White composite fillings material can be used to improve the shape of your teeth. Most commonly it is used to fix small chips in your teeth or close gaps between your teeth. Composite bonding is the most conservative option because little to no tooth structure needs to be removed. 

Veneers
Veneers are thin porcelain partial crowns that are customized to your teeth and cemented onto your tooth. Veneers are great to improve not only the shape of your teeth but also the color.

Crowns
Crowns, sometimes referred to as caps, go all the way around your tooth. Teeth that have had sufficient decay or trauma may benefit from crowns due to their strength. Your smile and teeth can be designed to the perfect shape and color and greatly improved esthetically. 

Orthodontics, also known as Braces
Straightening your teeth to a more optimal position can help the esthetics of your smile tremendously. Braces can be performed with traditional metal form brackets or clear Invisalign retainers. Orthodontic treatment is an option that would take the longest to achieve but would be very conservative and long-lasting.  

We have plenty of options to improve the shape of your teeth and overall the happiness you have with your smile. Please contact our Durham, NC office today to make an appointment. We look forward to improving your smile
 

As we age, regular day-to-day usage and the foods we choose to eat may discolor our teeth. Luckily, your dentist at the Smile Shop in Durham, NC, can offer you some great teeth whitening options.

Professional-Grade Teeth Whitening in Durham, NC 

If your main concern about teeth whitening is safety, then your best course is to work with your dentist to achieve your goals. While at-home whitening systems are widely available, your dentist is a professional who can ensure you’ll get results while understanding the safety instructions and guidelines.

Your dentist will also customize your treatment based on your desires, including your choice of three whitening procedures.

Custom Take-Home Teeth Whitening Trays

We take impressions of your teeth and then create bleaching trays that fit your smile. This keeps the bleaching agent on your teeth where you want it and away from more sensitive areas like your gums. Then you may whiten at home knowing your dentist’s expertise is at work.

Teeth Whitening Done In Our Dental Office

For noticeable whitening in one visit to our office in Durham, NC, in-office whitening might work for you. Our dental team monitors the whole process ensuring your whitening is successful.

Whiten Your Teeth Safely with Us

The common thread in every option we offer for teeth whitening is our professional experience and expertise. To learn more about whitening at the Smile Shop, give us a call.

Cosmetic Dentistry at The Smile Shop

Many dental procedures improve the appearance of your teeth as a secondary benefit. For example, a crown for a chipped, decayed tooth may enhance your smile when the crown is right woman smiling during cosmetic dentistry exam in durham ncin front. Tooth-colored composite fillings also restore teeth while preserving a natural look. However, with cosmetic dentistry, the sole purpose is to fix teeth and gum imperfections.

Whether you’d like to fix a single crooked tooth or transform your entire smile, you can turn to cosmetic dentistry in Durham, NC, for solutions. Here are a few problems cosmetic dentistry can fix:

  • Discolored or stained teeth
  • Teeth that are shorter or smaller than the others
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Teeth with gaps between them or missing teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Misaligned teeth

Cosmetic dentistry options such as veneers, teeth whitening, orthodontics, and dental bonding can help you feel confident about your smile again. Some treatments also can strengthen your teeth and make them more functional at the same time, such as crowns and dental implants.

As advances in modern dental technology have made a perfect smile possible, cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular in the United States. Call us today to learn how to take your smile to the next level!

Teeth Whitening Options in Durham, NC

Teeth can become stained for multiple different reasons. Bleaching can be a great option to brighten up your smile!

teeth whitening | durham Over the counter white strips – Most people have seen bleaching strips available at their local pharmacy or grocery store. These aren’t custom fabricated for your mouth and can lead to gum irritation from excess bleach.

Custom trays for take-home whitening – With this option, impressions are taken of your teeth so we can fabricate bleaching trays customized for your smile. This way, we can better control the bleaching agent to only contact the teeth and less of the surrounding gum tissue.

In-office booster whitening – If you want whiter teeth and don’t want to wait for results, in-office whitening could be a good option. Results are typically noticeable after just one visit.

Individual tooth whitening – We can often whiten only a single tooth. A single tooth could become discolored due to trauma that resulted in a root canal. We have bleach specifically designed to work on individual, root canaled teeth.

No one option is best for everyone. Our team is knowledgeable about the various options available. If you are interested in a brighter smile, please don’t hesitate to ask us for more information!

Teeth whitening at the Smile Shop is a simple process.

Whitening products contain tooth bleaches that break up stains. This process reduces the stain's prominence, showing more of your natural teeth and making them look brighter. The argument for this type of whitening under your dentist's supervision is to ensure the bleaching process does not damage your teeth.

Sensitivity Is Common with At-Home Teeth Whitening Products

Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity, which occurs when the bleaching agents penetrate your enamel or the gums. In many cases, this discomfort results from misunderstanding the product's directions or inadequate monitoring of treatment times.

What To Do If You Experience Sensitivity

Where an at-home whitening treatment causes sensitivity, we would advise you to discontinue use and give the Smile Shop at call. We can work with you to determine if whitening is your best course of action and then help you make a plan.

If you are experiencing sensitivity with a take-home kit, talk to your dentist about adjusting to your treatment plan. The best thing is for our patients to confide in us and benefit from our professional treatments and products. Our office is always willing to take your call.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

man with questions about dental bridges in durham ncGet the Smile You Want with Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are unhappy with the esthetics of your smile, the first step is to make an appointment with Dr. Dolin or Dr. Spriggs with The Smile Shop. Like every person is unique, so are your smiles and teeth. At the consult, we will complete a comprehensive exam to evaluate every aspect of your smile and go over all the options to give you the smile you’ve been dreaming of!

Composite bonding
White composite fillings material can be used to improve the shape of your teeth. Most commonly it is used to fix small chips in your teeth or close gaps between your teeth. Composite bonding is the most conservative option because little to no tooth structure needs to be removed. 

Veneers
Veneers are thin porcelain partial crowns that are customized to your teeth and cemented onto your tooth. Veneers are great to improve not only the shape of your teeth but also the color.

Crowns
Crowns, sometimes referred to as caps, go all the way around your tooth. Teeth that have had sufficient decay or trauma may benefit from crowns due to their strength. Your smile and teeth can be designed to the perfect shape and color and greatly improved esthetically. 

Orthodontics, also known as Braces
Straightening your teeth to a more optimal position can help the esthetics of your smile tremendously. Braces can be performed with traditional metal form brackets or clear Invisalign retainers. Orthodontic treatment is an option that would take the longest to achieve but would be very conservative and long-lasting.  

We have plenty of options to improve the shape of your teeth and overall the happiness you have with your smile. Please contact our Durham, NC office today to make an appointment. We look forward to improving your smile
 

man thinking about dental fillings in durham nc
Silver fillings, or amalgams, are a filling material used to restore tooth structure missing from decay or trauma.  They are typically used in the back of the mouth due to their unsightly silver color.


Amalgams have been used for decades as a restorative material and can last for many years without any issues. In addition to the poor aesthetics, the other big downside of amalgam restoration is that the tooth has to be drilled on more extensively for the fillings to work. A white composite restoration, in comparison, is bonded to the tooth. This means that the hole drilled in the tooth can be as small as possible with no fear of the restoration falling out. Amalgams are not bonded to the tooth and therefore need a mechanical lock design so that they don’t fall out.  Amalgams typically mean removing more healthy tooth structure than needed and possibly leading to weakened teeth that are prone to cracks and fractures. 

Do all silver fillings need to be replaced?

Even though they require more tooth structure to be taken out, this does not mean all silver fillings need to be replaced. Small amalgams can have a favorable prognosis and typically are not recommended for replacement. Larger amalgams have a higher chance of failing, but even then, could have a favorable prognosis. 

Every case is different!

We treat each tooth on a case-by-case basis. If any suspicious areas are found during your appointment, we use intra-oral cameras to show you our findings.  This way, we can both see the problem together and determine the best course of treatment.


If you have any concerns over your amalgam restorations, our team is here to answer any questions you may have!
 

Crowns and Bridges

man with questions about dental bridges in durham ncGet the Smile You Want with Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are unhappy with the esthetics of your smile, the first step is to make an appointment with Dr. Dolin or Dr. Spriggs with The Smile Shop. Like every person is unique, so are your smiles and teeth. At the consult, we will complete a comprehensive exam to evaluate every aspect of your smile and go over all the options to give you the smile you’ve been dreaming of!

Composite bonding
White composite fillings material can be used to improve the shape of your teeth. Most commonly it is used to fix small chips in your teeth or close gaps between your teeth. Composite bonding is the most conservative option because little to no tooth structure needs to be removed. 

Veneers
Veneers are thin porcelain partial crowns that are customized to your teeth and cemented onto your tooth. Veneers are great to improve not only the shape of your teeth but also the color.

Crowns
Crowns, sometimes referred to as caps, go all the way around your tooth. Teeth that have had sufficient decay or trauma may benefit from crowns due to their strength. Your smile and teeth can be designed to the perfect shape and color and greatly improved esthetically. 

Orthodontics, also known as Braces
Straightening your teeth to a more optimal position can help the esthetics of your smile tremendously. Braces can be performed with traditional metal form brackets or clear Invisalign retainers. Orthodontic treatment is an option that would take the longest to achieve but would be very conservative and long-lasting.  

We have plenty of options to improve the shape of your teeth and overall the happiness you have with your smile. Please contact our Durham, NC office today to make an appointment. We look forward to improving your smile
 

Dental Implants

Take Proper Care of Your Dental Implants

man smiling with dental implants in durham ncDental implants are a remarkable innovation that has made tooth replacement possible for millions of people. One of the benefits that our Durham, NC patients appreciate is that a dental implant can last a lifetime when cared for correctly.

Let’s take a quick look at how dental implants work.

A dental implant is a tiny titanium screw that is surgically placed in your jaw and allowed to heal so it can fuse with the bone and tissue in your jaw. 

After it heals, we'll add a tooth replacement like a dental crown, bridge, or denture to restore function, but the star of the show is the dental implant in your jaw that holds the restoration securely in place.

Since the restoration needs the stability of the dental implant to stabilize it, your jaw bone must remain strong and healthy. Periodontal disease is the greatest threat to your dental implant because it’s an infection that attacks the bones and structures that support it. If the foundation for the implant—your jawbone—starts to break down due to gum disease, the implant loses its support and may need to be removed.

When one of our patients at The Smile Shop is considering dental implants, we spend time talking to them about the lifelong commitment that’s involved. Brushing and flossing conscientiously are essential, and you must also stay current with your twice-yearly dental exams and teeth cleaning appointments.

When you see our Durham, NC dental implants dentist at regular intervals, they can monitor the health of your teeth and gums and stop cavities and gum disease in their tracks. 

Please call The Smile Shop if you have questions about dental implants or the other tooth replacements we offer.

Replace Missing Teeth with Dental Implants!

woman holding dental implants in durham ncYou couldn’t find a better way to replace missing teeth than dental implants in Durham, NC. Getting a dental implant can be life-transforming, but it doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re considering an implant, be prepared for a process that can take anywhere from six to eight months to complete.

The first step is a thorough dental examination with Dr. Spriggs and Dr. Dolin so they can check the bone in your jaw to see if you can get an implant. Once they determine that you’re a good candidate, a top specialist in our area will expertly place the implant in your jawbone.

The next step requires your patience because the implant needs plenty of time to heal and integrate with bone and tissue in your jaw that will hold it in place. The healing process can take anywhere from three to six months or longer in some cases.

Once the tooth implant integrates with your jawbone, our Durham, NC dentists attach a small connector piece to it called an abutment. In the final step, they secure a customized dental restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture to the abutment to complete your smile and restore normal function.

There’s a saying that good things are worth waiting for, and if you’ve been living with missing teeth, dental implants in Durham, NC can improve your entire outlook on life. All of our patients who have gotten dental implants at The Smile Shop tell us that the results were absolutely worth the wait.

If you want a solution for missing teeth, we would love to meet with you to explain the process in greater detail. Please call us at (919) 941-5549 to schedule a dental implants appointment.

woman with dental implants in durham ncDental implants replace your missing tooth root and provide a permanent fixed base for dental crowns to attach to. They are very popular as a long-term tooth replacement option that is immovable and will not shift or fall out. 

Since they feel, look, and function just like real teeth, they are popular among many patients. 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants in Durham, NC, are made with medical-grade titanium that we implant into the jaw bone. As it heals, the implant fuses to the jaw bone and forms an unbreakable union. This creates a foundation for your new teeth; you will never have to worry about slippage that can happen with bridges or dentures.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are incredibly versatile in restoring the function and appearance of one or multiple teeth.

There's no special care involved, you simply brush and floss them like you would your natural teeth. It's essential to also maintain dental check-ups and exams with your general dentist in Durham, NC. 

Because they fuse to your jaw bone, you never have to worry about them slipping or falling out. This permanent, long-term solution allows patients to feel confident about how they look and what they can eat. 

Dental implants also make eating incredibly easy. Do you love eating steak? Without teeth in place, eating meat or other foods can be difficult, as chewing requires the use of multiple teeth. Dental implants keep your smile looking natural while allowing you to chew and speak. 

Restore Your Missing Teeth 

A missing tooth can affect you on many levels. It has an impact on your appearance, your ability to eat and speak, and further dental problems. Your general dentists, Drs. Kate Dolin and Adam Spriggs, can restore your smile to its former glory.

parents smiling with dental implants while camping in durham ncMore than 120 million adult Americans have at least one missing tooth. Tooth loss is a pervasive issue that can happen for a variety of reasons. From tooth decay, gum disease, infection, abscess, failed root canal, or injury from an accident, the loss of one or more teeth can have a severe impact on your life. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can also make eating and speaking difficult.

At The Smile Shop, we can help our Durham, NC patients restore their smiles and improve their appearance. We recommend restoring your teeth as soon as you can to avoid further oral health issues. 

Why It's Important to Restore Your Teeth

There are many reasons why someone would lose their tooth: cavities, abscesses, or trauma. Regardless of the reason, the result is difficulty chewing, speaking, and smiling with confidence. Over time, nearby teeth will shift to fill in the space, which can cause damage and further problems. Often, this results in a misaligned bite and further tooth loss. 

Underneath the surface, the jaw bone starts to recede. Without a tooth root to anchor or stimulate it, it can start to change the landscape of your face and smile. This process is known as "resorption." Once jawbone volume recedes, it's hard to get back. 

We always promote prevention to save our patients time and money, but if you lose one or more teeth, you should replace them! Your general dentists, Drs. Kate Dolin and Adam Spriggs, recommend dental implants as the only tooth replacement option that replicates the tooth root. 

Are You Interested in Dental Implants?

Give your Durham general dentists a call at The Smile Shop. We are available at any time to answer any questions or schedule an appointment. 

Complete & Partial Dentures

Dentures should be maintained in much the same way you look after your natural teeth, except that you remove dentures before caring for them. Maintaining your dentures properly is important. If they are neglected, they can become stained or otherwise damaged.

But first, give your mouth some attention. With a soft-bristled brush, clean your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth before putting in your. This promotes circulation and eliminates plaque that could irritate your gums.

Cleaning Steps for Your Dentures

You'll want to follow this process on a daily basis to clean your dentures:

  1. Rinse your dentures first to remove loose food particles.
  2. Using your soft-bristled brush, cleanse your dentures thoroughly but gently with a non-abrasive denture cleaner, taking care not to scratch them.
  3. Rinse them again and place them in a safe container of water to prevent warping.
  4. If you need adhesives for securing your dentures, check with your dentist and follow the use instructions carefully.

Finally, don't forget that regular checkups with your dentist will help maintain your denture's fit, and they can address any damage. With proper care, your dentures can last for many years.

A denture is a dental restoration that is a removable option to replace missing teeth. Conventional dentures sit on the gums and are custom-fitted to your mouth and bite pattern. Dentures use suction to provide a comfortable and reliable seal. This fit prevents your dentures from shifting or falling out while you speak, eat or drink. Dentures are designed to appear like your natural teeth.

What You Should Know about Dentures

When you first start exploring dentures as an option in Durham, NC, your dentist will assess your mouth and smile to recommend your options. The next steps involve measuring and creating impressions of your teeth, choosing your shade of white, and even fabricating wax mock-ups to ensure appearance, fit, and function.

When you first use your dentures, they may feel a bit strange, and it may take some time for you to get used to them. Your cheek muscles will have to adjust, and you may experience some minor discomfort in the meantime. Keep in mind also that follow-up appointments will likely be necessary for final modifications.

With proper care and maintenance, your dentures may last for years to come.

Partial dentures are a type of dental prosthetic that replaces some of your missing teeth instead of all your teeth. Partial dentures may be removable, depending on the type your choose.

Removable Partial Dentures

If you choose partial removable dentures, your dentist in Durham, NC will ensure they are customized and fabricated for a tight fit. This type may require a framework with clasps that connect the denture to your existing teeth.

Your dentist will also recommend the most appropriate type of connector for your unique situation. In some cases, you may have crowns placed on the adjacent teeth for a more secure connection.

Implant-Retained Dentures

This type of denture is a longer-term solution where the prosthetic is anchored by an implant system that consists of a titanium post rooted in your jawbone. Using an implant ensures that your denture won't shift or move and can be cared for just like your natural teeth. You will clean them by brushing and flossing to remove debris that may irritate your gums and other tissues.

Your dentist will help you choose which type of dental prosthetic is best for the condition of your teeth and your smile goals. Don't hesitate to contact us in Durham, NC to arrange a consultation.

24-Hour Emergency Dentistry

The Smile Shop Offers 24 Hour Emergency Services

Unless you are in pain, lost or loose dental crowns don't typically need immediate attention. Even so, we understand that any unexpected dental problem is upsetting, so we offer 24-hour emergency dentistry for our Durham, NC patients to provide the reassurance you need.

Call us anytime, day or night, at (919) 941-5549, and we’ll get you on our schedule for a dental appointment as soon as possible.

A lost dental crown needs prompt attention because it exposes your tooth to bacteria that can cause a cavity. Since there’s no dental crown to protect the exposed tooth from chewing forces, it is also at risk for breaking or fracturing.

If we see you promptly, there’s a good chance that our 24-hour emergency dentists in Durham can reuse the crown. Otherwise, changes can occur to your teeth and gums, and we may need to create a new crown for you.

One reason dental crowns come off is that tooth decay has broken its seal. If this is the case for you, our dentists will need to remove the decay and fill the tooth, and you will need a new crown.

If you schedule routine appointments for cleanings, we'll periodically check the condition of your crowns and other dental work. Our dentists can also detect underlying cavities that put your crown at risk for coming off.

Call The Smile Shop if You Have a Dental Emergency

At The Smile Shop, we commonly treat dental emergencies like toothaches, lost dental crowns, loose fillings, broken teeth, and infected teeth. If you need 24-hour emergency dentistry in Durham, NC, please call us at (919) 949-5549, so we can provide the prompt treatment and relief you need.

A throbbing toothache is a definite sign that something serious is happening with your oral health that needs immediate attention. In this case, we don’t need to tell you that you have a dental emergency on your hands!

But other urgent dental situations can arise, and you may wonder if the problem requires 24-hour emergency dentistry at our Durham, NC dental office. 

At The Smile Shop, a dental emergency is an urgent dental problem that needs immediate treatment for pain relief or to save a tooth. For example, severe tooth infections are excruciating and can be life-threatening if they’re not dealt with right away.

When you’re a patient at The Smile Shop, you never have to wonder if a toothache that woke you at 2 AM is a dental emergency. You can pick up the phone and call us at (919) 941-5549, and a member of our dental team will be there to take your call. 

Emergency Dentistry Services in Durham, NC 

Our dentists have the training necessary to handle any emergency dental problem you have. Beyond toothaches and tooth infections, we treat a chipped or broken tooth, lost dental crown or filling, swollen or bleeding gums, and food stuck between your teeth.

Having a dentist in Durham, NC who offers 24-hour emergency dental services gives you peace of mind because you know there’s always a caring professional to whom you can turn.

If you’re in pain, call The Smile Shop right away. Better yet, call to schedule a dental exam and cleaning, so we can help you avoid dental emergencies in the future.

What is a True Dental Emergency?

A broken tooth is definitely an emergency that our dentists need to address as soon as possible. How urgent an emergency it is, however, depends on the extent and location of the broken tooth. If you break off a piece of dental enamel, and you’re not in pain, you may be able to wait a day or two to be seen by our Durham, NC 24-hour emergency dentist.

However, if the damage is so extensive that the underlying dentin or nerves of the tooth are exposed, you may experience pain and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. In this case, our dentists will probably want to see you as soon as possible to provide relief and address the tooth with a dental filling or dental crown. 

Even if you don’t think the damage is extensive, call The Smile Shop and let us know what happened. It may be only a minor problem, but since the tooth is now compromised, delaying treatment puts it at risk for further damage.

Bacteria can also enter a broken tooth and lead to an infection that might require a root canal to resolve. Even if you aren’t in pain, the sharp edges of the broken tooth can cut into your cheek or tongue.

If you have a broken tooth and need emergency dentistry in Durham, NC, call The Smile Shop to speak to a helpful member of our dental team. Even if it’s after hours, call our main office number, leave a message, and we will call you back as soon as possible. 

Call The Smile Shop in Durham, NC if You Have a Dental Emergency 

A dental emergency can be a stressful event. We want you to know that The Smile Shop team is here to help!

emergency dentistry in durham ncDental emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and can include:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Loose tooth
  • Tooth that has been knocked out
  • Severe pain
  • Swelling of the mouth or gums

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, we recommend calling our office immediately for assistance. Our team is available to help you through your emergency and will schedule you with our doctors for a consultation as soon as possible.

If your emergency happens after regular office hours, we are still here to help. Our doctors are on-call to help assist you with any dental emergency you may have. Just call our office number and follow the instructions to reach us anytime, 24 hours per day!

Seek help ASAP!

During a dental emergency, it’s crucial that you seek care as soon as possible. The earlier we can address the problem, the better the long-term prognosis.

Please call us immediately if you are experiencing a dental emergency!

Further information about specific dental emergencies can be found here.

If you have suffered trauma to your face or head or experience severe bleeding, please call 911 immediately or go to an emergency room.

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