Greetings from Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

Drs. John Pinnix and George Betancourt would like to extend our sincerest best wishes to you and your families. We hope that you continue to navigate these most difficult times with strength, perseverance and the promise that we will all soon return to 'business as usual'.

Please note, the purpose of this email is not to go into detail about our office protocols during the current COVID- 19 response. We always have and will continue to maintain the highest level of aseptic and sterilization techniques. Regarding our office hours, we are presently closed as a result of recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association. For patients with upcoming appointments, trust that we will communicate directly with you via phone call to reschedule them as we learn more about our current situation.

For the time being, we want to extend to you, our patients, the helping hand you need during these times for all things dental. While we may be limited in terms of office hours and available services, Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt remain available to you via other modalities. For example, we ask that you please find and follow our social media pages, pinnixandbetancourt on Instagram, Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney on Facebook, and @BlakeneySmiles on Twitter. We will use these social media outlets as a means of communication and also a way to provide a Question & Answer forum for general questions anyone may have.

For personal/private needs related to ongoing treatment or your dental health, we will be available to schedule a virtual consultation. This may be accomplished via FaceTime, Zoom meeting or other platform whereby we may have a face to face encounter. These will be available to you, our patient, as a courtesy.

These are unprecedented times for us all. We strive to be on the front edge of the capabilities and service we provide our patients. Much of that depends on our availability and communication. We are here and we will, across any medium possible, provide the guidance you need during these difficult times. We ask that you please reach out to us either via email to the office (, one of our social media platforms, or our phone line from which you can leave a message. We will make every effort possible to get back to you in a timely manner.

From Drs. Pinnix, Betancourt and our entire staff at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, we hope you and your families manage the COVID-19 pandemic with an abundance of care, caution and respect for the well being of our community.


Drs. John M. Pinnix, George A. Betancourt and the staff of Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

Treating the Progressive Stages of Tooth Decay

By Dr. Pinnix on August 03, 2017

Stages of tooth decayOne of the most common threats to the health of the teeth is tooth decay. Tooth decay destroys healthy tooth structure and leaves the tooth vulnerable to a number of other dental complications, including infection and tooth loss. Restorative dentistry treatments repair damage to the teeth to restore oral health. However, the specific restorative treatment that will be most appropriate in each situation is dependent on what degree of damage is present.

Tooth decay is a progressive condition that develops in stages. At Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, we treat the various stages of tooth decay to restore smiles for our Charlotte, NC patients and prevent more advanced oral health problems.

The Progression of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, as with most oral health problems, is a progressive condition. What this means is that, if left untreated, decay will continue to advance and cause more damage to the teeth. Regular dental exams and check-ups are vital to the timely detection and early treatment of tooth decay. Patients who maintain a schedule of biannual dental exams and cleanings are far less likely to develop advanced stages of tooth decay.

However, if decay does continue to progress, there are still treatment options available to restore the teeth. Below are the four progressive stages of decay, along with the most appropriate treatment options for each degree of damage:

Plaque Buildup

Plaque buildup is considered the first stage of tooth decay, even though tooth structure may still be intact. While plaque may not immediately damage tooth enamel, it will begin to destroy tooth structure if it is not removed. Tooth brushing is great for reducing bacteria and food particles on the teeth. Unfortunately, with time, plaque hardens into tartar, which is difficult to remove with brushing and flossing alone. The most effective treatment for plaque buildup is a professional dental cleaning. A routine cleaning can rid the teeth of plaque and prevent damage from tooth decay.

Decay of Tooth Enamel

As tooth decay progresses, it will damage healthy tooth structure. Since enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, it is the first to be damaged. Decay in the tooth enamel not only weakens the tooth, but also leaves the more sensitive inner layers of the tooth vulnerable. In most cases, decay in the tooth enamel can be treated with a filling. However, an inlay or onlay may be necessary if the area of decay is larger.

Decay of Dentin

Dentin is the layer of tooth structure directly beneath the enamel. As decay progresses, it is the next to be damaged. The dentin serves as the last layer of protection for the pulp of the tooth (where the nerves lie), so it is imperative to treat a tooth with decay in the dentin. A larger restoration, such as an inlay or onlay, may be able to restore a tooth with this degree of decay, but it is more likely that a dental crown will be necessary.

Infection of the Tooth Pulp

The most advanced stage of tooth decay affects the center of the tooth, or the pulp. The tooth’s pulp is a collection of sensitive nerves and tissues. When decay reaches this area of the tooth, a root canal infection occurs. While a root canal infection can lead to tooth loss, the natural tooth can be saved with appropriate treatment. To treat a root canal infection, we perform root canal therapy, which removes all infected nerves and tissues from the center of the tooth. As a final step of precaution, a dental crown will be placed to provide an added layer of strength and protection.

Schedule an Appointment

Whether tooth decay is just beginning, or has reached its most advanced stages, professional dental treatment is key to restoring oral health and strength. If you are concerned about the health of your smile, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney at your earliest convenience to learn more about our restorative dentistry services.

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Charlotte Office

8918 Blakeney Professional Dr
Ste 100
Charlotte, NC 28277

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