The Science of Tooth Decay

If you’ve visited our blog before, you know that we love to talk about tooth decay. The chances are, everyone in Bolivia & Oak Island has had or will have tooth decay at one point. It is classified by the National Institutes of Health [] as the most prevalent disease in the world. Today we’re going to talk about a few of the factors involved in causing tooth decay and what you and The Doctors of CCFD can do to protect your smile. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Need a Tooth Extraction? Don’t Be Afraid!

We’ve all had a toothache at some point at some point or another. While you should always consult your Oak Island or Bolivia dentist, it’s not always a serious problem. Often, the issue can be fixed with a filling or a root canal. However, many Oak Island & Bolivia residents have found themselves in a situation where the tooth is not salvageable, and the only solution is for a Coastal Cosmetic dentist to perform an extraction, or remove the tooth. Today, the dental team at Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® would like to talk about what you can expect from an extraction and why it’s not something to fear! Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

Oral Cancer Screenings: Shining a Light & Saving Lives

Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry®’s own Dr. Tony Michelakis wrote an article on oral cancer that we’d like to share with our community. Unfortunately, this form of cancer is on the rise. The doctors of CCFD conduct oral cancer screenings at every hygiene appointment. We’re able to detect abnormalities at earlier stages with the assistance of a fluorescent light which helps us increase the chance of remission.

One in three people will develop cancer during their lifetime. Survival rates have increased for almost ALL cancers, except for oral cancer.  The number of oral cancers has increased over the last six years while other cancers have declined.

The risk factors for oral cancer include: previous history of cancer, age, tobacco use (including smokeless) and excessive use of alcohol. However, 60% of oral cancers occur in patients without any use of alcohol, tobacco or any other risks. That being said, young non-smokers are most likely to develop oral cancer.

Why is that?  Exposure to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the new oral cancer risk factor.  HPV can be transmitted through saliva, sexual and skin-to-skin contact. HPV is the cause of the fastest growing oral cancer population under the age of 45 and is responsible for an increase of 15 times the rate in oral cancer diagnosis.

Men are two times more likely to develop general oral cancers. HPV-related cancers are six to seven times more common in men than women. 63% of oral cancers are found in Stage III and IV. There is a 56% chance of a five-year survival rate if cancer is found in Stage III and only 34% if found in Stage IV.

Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® includes an oral cancer screening at every hygiene appointment. This two-minute screening is done with an Oral ID™ fluorescent light to identify abnormalities in the mouth, gums or cheeks. Oral cancer screenings used to be done with the naked eye. The photo on the left is what would be seen with just the human eye. With the help of the Oral ID light, if there are any abnormalities, the tissue will appear dark; as seen in the photo on the right.

This new technology allows our team to recognize abnormalities sooner than we would with the naked eye alone. Finding abnormalities BEFORE they progress into cancer is the key to saving lives. The dentists at CCFD screen early and often as part of our conservative patient care. Screening can be done as early as 17 years of age.

The threat of oral cancer is real, but it can be treated and prevented once you shine a little light on the subject. Contact us today for an oral cancer screening so you can have peace of mind. Serving Bolivia, Oak Island, and greater Brunswick County.


#ShineLightSaveLives #CCFDSavesLives #GetScreened


Posted in Dental News

The Oral-Systemic Link: Risk Factors for Tooth Decay

Did you know the same plaque that decays your teeth can cause major heart problems? What if you could fight plaque and heart failure both by improving your oral health? Coastal Cosmetic dentists in Bolivia & Oak Island are here to tell you more!

Someone dies from a heart attack every minute, according to the American Heart Association, and most heart attacks (and 85% of strokes) are caused by cholesterol build-up – aka plaque.

But there is good news. You can work with your Bolivia & Oak Island dentist and your doctor to understand and minimize your risk factors for developing plaque and tooth decay. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Patient Care

Updating your Health History May Help Save Your Teeth

Keeping your health history updated with Dr. Michelakis, Dr. Wilharm, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Miller, Dr. Hohl & Dr. Dobransky may help save your teeth. Although you may think of general health and dental health as two completely unrelated categories, they are much more connected than the average person suspects. Just as the information you share with your general practitioner assists them in keeping you healthy, Dr. Michelakis, Dr. Wilharm, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Miller, Dr. Hohl & Dr. Dobransky depends on your input for optimum dental health.  When it comes to your overall health, your dentist also needs to see the big picture so they can assist you with keeping your teeth vital. Most Bolivia & Oak Island residents might not think to inform their dentist about their general physical health, but would be surprised at the potential impact that information can have on their oral care. The Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® team like(s) to go above and beyond for our Bolivia & Oak Island patients, but we depend on your participation to make sure you get the quality dental care you deserve. Here are a few reasons why.

Diabetes and Dental Health

750,000 Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. However, few diabetes sufferers realize the full extent of the disorder’s effect on your teeth. If you have diabetes, you are much more likely to develop:

  • Tooth decay
  • Advanced gum disease
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • Oral ulcers
  • Fungal infections

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health

Your Mouth Might Be Making Your Body Sick – How Dental Hygiene Impacts Overall Health

Your mouth talks to your body…and your body talks to your mouth. If you listen closely you will hear them say, “let’s help each other, we’re all on the same team.”

You may have heard that oral health has been linked to various diseases and conditions, but how exactly are they related?

Our mouths are filled with bacteria. If bacteria is not properly managed, it can cause inflammation and infections that have the potential to spread throughout the body. Poor oral health has been shown to contribute to health issues like cardiovascular disease and respiratory infections. It can even impact keeping diabetes in control. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News

Dentists Are Doctors, Too!

There are many kinds of doctors – Doctors of English, Doctors of Philosophy, Doctors of Medicine, Dr. Pepper… (wink).

Of course, when we use the term doctor, we most often mean a physician or doctor of medicine. But did you know that dentists are doctors, too? Every doctor has a specialty, and a dentist’s specialty is oral health.

Dr. Michelakis, Dr. Wilharm, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Miller, Dr. Hohl & Dr. Dobransky, your Bolivia & Oak Island dentists explain how dentistry is a specific branch of medicine, and what it all means for the link between oral health and overall wellness.

Dentists Are Doctors

Dentists are every bit as trained and educated as physicians. They have the same general education in science as physicians before they get clinical training in dentistry. This background education helps dentists look at you, the whole package, when taking care of your teeth.

Dentists are specialists in the science and mechanics of oral health, which extends to your head, face, and neck (the craniofacial region)—important parts of your body! Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

Are Your Teeth Safe From Coffee Stains?

First things first, put your worries away! We are not about to tell you that your coffee drinking days are over. We know that each shot of caffeine is crucial and we cherish our coffee, too! Here at Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry®, we want to educate you on what causes coffee stains and what you can do to fight them.

It’s no secret how Bolivia & Oak Island residents feel about their coffee, and we’re not about to get in the way of that love. However, we will help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful with tips that won’t drastically affect your lifestyle. Dr. Michelakis, Dr. Wilharm, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Miller, Dr. Hohl & Dr. Dobransky and the rest of us at Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® are your oral health allies!

So let’s start off with the basics. What makes coffee stain your teeth?

Coffee is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to stained teeth in Bolivia & Oak Island, and the discoloration can be so bad it mimics cigarette stains. So what’s the secret? What can you do to keep your teeth shiny, but still get your caffeine fix?

Coffee and its Active Ingredient: Caffeine

It is best for your oral health and health of your entire body to keep your coffee consumption to a safe limit. An excess of caffeine, regardless of the source, spells negative effects for your heart and stomach and can lead to serious health problems over time. That being said, we won’t tell you to do anything crazy, like quit drinking coffee.

Guard Your Teeth against Coffee Stains with These Three Tips

1) The simplest and best way to guard your teeth is to rinse with water right after you are done with your coffee. Not only is water the best thing to nourish your body, it will also wash away the caustic chemicals, and the sooner you drink it, the better.

2) Here’s another great tip that probably never crossed your mind – drink your coffee as quickly as possible.  The less time your teeth have to soak in coffee’s tannins, the less damage your enamel will suffer.

3) Whiten Your Teeth. Do your teeth currently have stains due to coffee or other offenders? If they do, one of many different types of whitening treatments may be a possibility. As always, it is best to consult Dr. Michelakis, Dr. Wilharm, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Miller, Dr. Hohl & Dr. Dobransky before whitening your teeth and our Bolivia & Oak Island dental professionals will help you design a treatment plan suited to your needs.

Whitening options come in a variety of forms, whether you choose a professional treatment, or purchase an over-the-counter product (such as strips, gels, or special toothpaste).

Here in our Bolivia & Oak Island office, it is our mission to do everything in our power to help you keep in all around (not just oral) perfect health. We at Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® are here to help you choose the best option to make stains disappear and keep your teeth safe from harm.

Should you find yourself with any questions regarding coffee stains, whitening, or anything else, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry® today!


Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Patient Care

Dental Inlays & Onlays

Bite. Crack. Ouch!

A cracked or broken tooth is a real problem. Unlike other bones in your body, a tooth will not heal itself and you need to take care of it immediately. Depending on how bad the damage is and where it is located, your dentist will likely recommend an inlay, onlay, or a crown. All versions of the same idea, these restorative dentistry treatments are custom-made covers to protect your tooth and restore it to it’s full, healthy functioning condition.

Another reason you may need an inlay, onlay, or a crown is due to extensive tooth decay that is breaking down your tooth that requires more than a simple filling to fix.

Here’s how your options compare:

  • Fillings: only fill a small, center portion of the biting surface of your tooth and is not a treatment for extensive damage
  • Inlays: fill a larger portion of the biting surface than a filling contained within the cusp
  • Onlays: fill and cover the biting surface of your tooth including up and over the rounded ridges (cusps)
  • Crowns: covers the whole tooth; all or most of the visible portion above your gums

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care

Adult Dentistry: It’s Never Too Late

Good News for Grown Ups

“Adulting” can be hard. Between rent, bills, kids, a career, and other responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for yourself. But independence, parenting, fulfilling work, and the wisdom that comes with age can be pretty fantastic, too. So how does your oral healthcare fit into a grown up lifestyle?

  • Priorities: You manage a lot on any given day. Brushing your teeth and making a dental appointment may not feel like the most pressing of matters, but you know they are important in the long run—so you do it.
  • Family Life: Many people are more motivated to take care of their self when the habits easily fit in with family life and when you know someone is looking to you to set a good example. Whether you are caring for children or aging parents, preventative oral healthcare is more fun (and more likely to happen) together as a family.
  • Benefits: If you have a job that provides dental coverage, there’s really no reason not to see the dentist. You should even be able to use paid time off for the appointment. Can anyone say “me time”?
  • Holistic Dentistry: As we get older, we tend to know ourselves better. Holistic medicine is getting more popular as people consider all the ways one part of their health affects another. Keep solid notes on how your whole body and mouth are doing and share the notes with both your doctor and your dentist.

Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Patient Care

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