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Hopewell Family Dentistry
Dr. Patrick Carter
3454 N. Hwy. 81
Anderson, SC 29621

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Having questions is a normal part of choosing a dentist, and we encourage your curiosity about your care and dental health in general.

We have listed some of the most common questions we hear, but if yours is not listed, just give us a call!

Our professional and helpful team is here to help you feel confident in choosing Hopewell Family Dentistry for your family's dental needs.

Other

A cavity is created by a process termed “caries,” which is the destruction of hard tooth structure. During the caries process, the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths are fed by what we eat, and release acid that breaks down the tooth. To prevent the caries process, there are many areas of our daily routine that can be modified.  Many times, only simple changes in the areas listed below may be enough to stop the caries process and prevent cavities.

 

Diet

Simple carbohydrates are the primary food source for the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria then uses these carbohydrates to produce acid, which is what damages our teeth. The bacteria can continue to feed for approximately 30 minutes after consuming any food or drink items containing carbohydrates.  Recommendations for diet modifications are listed below:

 

Problems: Soda, sweet tea, processed foods high in carbohydrates (such as bread, crackers, and chips), hard and soft candies

Solutions: Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, meats, yogurt, cheese, water, and calorie-free drinks

 

Problem: Bacteria using food to produce acid for 30 minutes after consumption

Solutions: Minimize snacks between meals, eating xylitol gum immediately after meal to neutralize acid

 

Hygiene

The American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice daily and flossing at least once daily. When you are finished brushing your teeth, they should feel slick and smooth to the tongue like they feel after a professional cleaning. If there is an area on the surface of any teeth that still feels “furry” then plaque is still present and should be brushed off. The tongue should also be cleaned every time the teeth are brushed.

 

Problem: Inadequate cleaning of teeth

Solutions: Electric toothbrush*, glide-type floss**, more frequent professional cleanings***

 

*Teeth are typically much cleaner after brushing for the same amount of time with an electric toothbrush compared to a manual toothbrush.

**Many people have complaints of flossing being uncomfortable, difficult, or even painful. Newer glide-types of floss make flossing a much better experience than traditional floss that is prone to shredding.

***Professional cleanings are recommended at least every 6 months for the average person

 

Environmental

Occasionally caries are still a problem even with proper hygiene and diet. This can be caused by environmental factors including “bad” bacteria in the mouth, low flow of saliva, or low pH (high acidity) of saliva.

 

Problem: “Bad” bacteria

Solutions: Bacteria modification through probiotics, such as OralBiotic Blis or Evoraplus, and/or mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist

 

Problem: Low salivary flow caused by older age or medication

Solution: Xylitol (sugar-free) gum or hard candy to promote saliva flow

 

Problem: Low salivary pH (high acidity)

Solution: Fluoride toothpaste or gel trays prescribed by your dentist to promote remineralization.

Dental Implants

If you have been looking into dental implants as a solution for your missing teeth, you might have heard that some patients require bone grafting for treatment to be a success. 

Proper bone density is necessary to support a dental implant post and the force that occurs when chewing. If your bone is too thin or has receded over time, a bone graft can solve this problem.

Using donor bone or lab-created bone, Dr. Carter will place the material at the site of your dental implant. As you heal, and the bone graft integrates fully with your natural bone. This allows patients who did not originally meet the requirements for dental implants to have the stable, reliable results that dental implants provide.

Dr. Patrick Carter can perform your dental implant treatment from start to finish right here in our Anderson, SC dental office without the need for trips to the oral surgeon. This puts many of our patients at ease because they prefer to have their dental care performed by the dentist with whom they have developed a relationship and at the office where they feel comfortable.

Dr. Carter gives our patients great results. Dental implants are the perfect long-term solution to missing teeth.

That depends on you, your goals for your smile, and your overall oral health.

At Hopewell Family Dentistry, we offer a number of options to replace missing teeth. An oral evaluation will help us determine which option is right for you. Here are some of the ways we can give you your smile back:

Fixed dental bridge – If you are missing one or two teeth, a dental bridge may be the answer. A bridge can complete your smile and prevent your teeth from moving. The downside is that we need to prep two of your adjacent teeth to suspend the artificial tooth in place.

Dental implants – One of the best ways to replace missing teeth is with a dental implant. We do not need to prep healthy teeth because dental implants can stand alone. Dental implants also have the same health benefits of your natural teeth.

Partial denture – A partial denture replaces missing teeth on your upper or lower arch. It can replace a few or many missing teeth and uses your natural teeth as an anchor.

Complete dentures – A complete denture is for patients who are facing extraction of all of their teeth on their upper or lower arch.

Contact us to learn which option will work best for you.

Cosmetic Dentistry

That is a common misconception! Cosmetic dentistry does not have to be expensive.

At Hopewell Family Dentistry, Dr. Patrick Carter offers a number of affordable options to improve your smile. 

Teeth whitening is a great way to take years off of your appearance. With professional teeth whitening, you can get great results in just a couple of weeks. Professional teeth whitening is superior to over-the-counter products because Dr. Carter will create custom trays and choose a whitening option that works best for you.

Tooth-colored fillings can replace dark fillings that may leave a mark on your smile. Over time, amalgam fillings can cause your whole tooth to take on a gray hue. Replacing your dark fillings can improve the appearance of your teeth.

Cosmetic dental bonding is a non-invasive and affordable way to improve the appearance of your teeth by fixing chips, gaps, wear, misshapen, or damaged teeth. While cosmetic dental bonding cannot repair every problem, Dr. Carter enjoys this procedure and can work wonders in one appointment. 

Whether you want to change something about the way your teeth look or you just want to know what options are out there, contact our Anderson, SC dental office to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation.

Sedation Dentistry

You might be surprised to learn that about a third of the patients who call our office express some level of dental anxiety, so you are definitely not alone. For some, dental anxiety is so great that patients actually stay away, miss appointments, and then develop serious oral health problems that cause them to spend more time at the dentist in the long run.

Dr. Carter wanted to provide a way for even the most fearful patients to get the dental care they need to stay healthy. That is why at Hopewell Family Dentistry, we offer two levels of sedation dentistry to help our anxious patients relax.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a mild form of sedation. It’s so safe, we can even use it on nervous kids. It doesn’t leave you groggy or feeling drowsy so you can return to work right away.

Oral sedation dentistry is a powerful way to combat dental office stress. We use prescription medication to help you reach deep levels of sedation while you remain conscious, though you may doze off during treatment. You shouldn’t drive after oral sedation, so bring a friend with you to your appointment to keep you safe.

Are you curious about sedation dentistry? Call our Anderson, SC dental office today!

Extractions and Wisdom Teeth

We never want to hurt our patients.

Dr. Patrick Carter takes his time making sure you feel completely comfortable for your treatment. Our Hopewell Family Dentistry philosophy incudes the idea that dentistry can be pain-free, and we strive for that goal with every patient.

Even if you have difficulty getting numb, we offer solutions. Did you know that stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol can counteract anesthetic and make it harder for you to feel completely numb? It’s true, and it’s not your fault. If we address your anxiety first, using sedation dentistry, getting numb and staying numb throughout your treatment should be no problem.

Even services such as extractions, root canal therapy, and dental implant placement can go smoothly and feel just like having a filling. Dr. Carter is also great at giving injections. You will hardly know it is happening.

Making sure you are comfortable is a top priority. At our Anderson, SC dental office, we take our time to do it right so you can relax, feel confident in the care you receive in our office, and even have a positive experience when receiving dental treatment.

If you have concerns about something hurting, let us know! That way, we can learn a little more and make sure we treat you right.

Fillings, Crowns, and Bridges

A cavity is created by a process termed “caries,” which is the destruction of hard tooth structure. During the caries process, the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths are fed by what we eat, and release acid that breaks down the tooth. To prevent the caries process, there are many areas of our daily routine that can be modified.  Many times, only simple changes in the areas listed below may be enough to stop the caries process and prevent cavities.

 

Diet

Simple carbohydrates are the primary food source for the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria then uses these carbohydrates to produce acid, which is what damages our teeth. The bacteria can continue to feed for approximately 30 minutes after consuming any food or drink items containing carbohydrates.  Recommendations for diet modifications are listed below:

 

Problems: Soda, sweet tea, processed foods high in carbohydrates (such as bread, crackers, and chips), hard and soft candies

Solutions: Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, meats, yogurt, cheese, water, and calorie-free drinks

 

Problem: Bacteria using food to produce acid for 30 minutes after consumption

Solutions: Minimize snacks between meals, eating xylitol gum immediately after meal to neutralize acid

 

Hygiene

The American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice daily and flossing at least once daily. When you are finished brushing your teeth, they should feel slick and smooth to the tongue like they feel after a professional cleaning. If there is an area on the surface of any teeth that still feels “furry” then plaque is still present and should be brushed off. The tongue should also be cleaned every time the teeth are brushed.

 

Problem: Inadequate cleaning of teeth

Solutions: Electric toothbrush*, glide-type floss**, more frequent professional cleanings***

 

*Teeth are typically much cleaner after brushing for the same amount of time with an electric toothbrush compared to a manual toothbrush.

**Many people have complaints of flossing being uncomfortable, difficult, or even painful. Newer glide-types of floss make flossing a much better experience than traditional floss that is prone to shredding.

***Professional cleanings are recommended at least every 6 months for the average person

 

Environmental

Occasionally caries are still a problem even with proper hygiene and diet. This can be caused by environmental factors including “bad” bacteria in the mouth, low flow of saliva, or low pH (high acidity) of saliva.

 

Problem: “Bad” bacteria

Solutions: Bacteria modification through probiotics, such as OralBiotic Blis or Evoraplus, and/or mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist

 

Problem: Low salivary flow caused by older age or medication

Solution: Xylitol (sugar-free) gum or hard candy to promote saliva flow

 

Problem: Low salivary pH (high acidity)

Solution: Fluoride toothpaste or gel trays prescribed by your dentist to promote remineralization.

Pediatric Dentistry

Not only do we treat children, it’s one of the best parts of our day!

We have set up our office to make sure that kids feel completely comfortable. We know parents can be a little nervous, too, so we will make your child’s dental visits fun for you as well!

Dr. Carter believes that helping kids keep their teeth healthy now will not only protect their smiles in the future, but allow them to have a positive attitude toward dentistry and oral health that lasts a lifetime.

Kid-Themed Treatment Room

We have a kid-sized and fun treatment room where your child will receive his or her care. From the brightly decorated walls to the overhead televisions, this special place was designed with your little one in mind. We can play their favorite Disney Channel or Nick show to help them pass the time.

Professional and Gentle Care

We describe treatment in a way that makes dentistry easy for kids to understand. By avoiding scary terms such as shot, hurt, and drill, we can eliminate their anxiety.

We also communicate well with parents and keep them up-to-date on everything we see. If your child is missing a spot when they brush their teeth, we will show both of you how to make sure even those hard-to-reach areas get attention.

If you have a thumb sucker at home and it is time for them to break the habit, we are here to support you and give you some ideas to make this transition easier.

Preventive Dentistry

A cavity is created by a process termed “caries,” which is the destruction of hard tooth structure. During the caries process, the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths are fed by what we eat, and release acid that breaks down the tooth. To prevent the caries process, there are many areas of our daily routine that can be modified.  Many times, only simple changes in the areas listed below may be enough to stop the caries process and prevent cavities.

 

Diet

Simple carbohydrates are the primary food source for the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria then uses these carbohydrates to produce acid, which is what damages our teeth. The bacteria can continue to feed for approximately 30 minutes after consuming any food or drink items containing carbohydrates.  Recommendations for diet modifications are listed below:

 

Problems: Soda, sweet tea, processed foods high in carbohydrates (such as bread, crackers, and chips), hard and soft candies

Solutions: Raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, meats, yogurt, cheese, water, and calorie-free drinks

 

Problem: Bacteria using food to produce acid for 30 minutes after consumption

Solutions: Minimize snacks between meals, eating xylitol gum immediately after meal to neutralize acid

 

Hygiene

The American Dental Association recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice daily and flossing at least once daily. When you are finished brushing your teeth, they should feel slick and smooth to the tongue like they feel after a professional cleaning. If there is an area on the surface of any teeth that still feels “furry” then plaque is still present and should be brushed off. The tongue should also be cleaned every time the teeth are brushed.

 

Problem: Inadequate cleaning of teeth

Solutions: Electric toothbrush*, glide-type floss**, more frequent professional cleanings***

 

*Teeth are typically much cleaner after brushing for the same amount of time with an electric toothbrush compared to a manual toothbrush.

**Many people have complaints of flossing being uncomfortable, difficult, or even painful. Newer glide-types of floss make flossing a much better experience than traditional floss that is prone to shredding.

***Professional cleanings are recommended at least every 6 months for the average person

 

Environmental

Occasionally caries are still a problem even with proper hygiene and diet. This can be caused by environmental factors including “bad” bacteria in the mouth, low flow of saliva, or low pH (high acidity) of saliva.

 

Problem: “Bad” bacteria

Solutions: Bacteria modification through probiotics, such as OralBiotic Blis or Evoraplus, and/or mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist

 

Problem: Low salivary flow caused by older age or medication

Solution: Xylitol (sugar-free) gum or hard candy to promote saliva flow

 

Problem: Low salivary pH (high acidity)

Solution: Fluoride toothpaste or gel trays prescribed by your dentist to promote remineralization.

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