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Clayton Smiles
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

At Clayton Smiles, we always appreciate when a patient is proactive with their oral health and asks questions that matter to them. Questions are also a great way for your dentists to understand what's on your mind and determine the best way to help you with your dental needs. Often, asking a simple question can lead to a discussion about your oral health that helps inform and empower you when you need to make decisions about dental treatment.

Please take a look at our FAQs below to learn more about us, and don't hesitate to contact us if you need an answer you don't see here.


Dental insurance is a fantastic benefit, and we want our patients to get as much out of their plans as possible. At Clayton Smiles, we are in-network with Delta Premier, MetLife, and Cigna. We will also accept all PPO insurances and file them on our patients’ behalf.

Visiting an Out-of-Network Dentist

Even if we are not in our network with your insurance provider, you can still visit Clayton Smiles for high-quality dentistry. You will still receive insurance benefits when visiting an out-of-network dentist but without the additional discount offered in the network. Patients who prefer to visit Clayton Smiles for quality dentistry find the cost difference to be minor considering the value they receive.

Try Our In-House Dental Membership Plan!

If you aren’t insured, we also offer an in-house dental membership plan. Just pay an annual fee, and routine teeth cleanings, dental x-rays, and exams with one of our dentists are included, as are discounts on services like tooth fillings, dental crowns, or any other dental work. With our membership plan, you’ll receive quality dentistry without the hassle of deductibles, co-pays, maximums, and waiting periods.

Call Us with Your Questions

At Clayton Smiles, we also accept credit and debit cards and offer third-party financing through CareCredit. As you can see, we make it as easy as possible for you to receive the array of services and high-quality dentistry your family deserves!

If you have any questions about your dental insurance or would like more information about our cost-saving membership plan, please call our Clayton, NC dental office, and we’ll be happy to assist you!

At Clayton Smiles, we know that the cost of dental treatment is a concern for everyone. That is why we are proud to offer an in-office dental membership plan that can help make dental treatment more affordable.

In-Office Dental Membership Plan

With our membership plan, our Clayton patients pay an annual fee, and routine teeth cleanings, dental x-rays, and exams with one of our dentists are included. You will also receive a discount on other services like tooth fillings, dental crowns, or any other dental work.

Our dental membership plan allows you and your family to receive quality dentistry without insurance premiums and the typical hassles involved. With our plan, there are no maximums, deductibles, or waiting periods for major dental work.

It's Easy to Sign Up for Our Plan!

There’s no complicated paperwork or insurance claims with our plan, and you are covered the day you sign up. With multiple plan options available, you can choose the one that works for your individual needs. We offer plans for adults, children, and patients with a history of gum disease. You can find more plan details on our financial page.

Call Clayton Smiles for More Information

If you would like further information, please call, text, or email our Clayton dental office, and one of our team members will be happy to assist you.

Comprehensive Family Dentistry

Your time is valuable, and at Clayton Smiles, we work together to ensure that your appointments run smoothly, are productive, and get the quality time with us that you deserve. We strive to ensure that your dental treatments are productive and efficient without compromising the quality of dentistry you receive. 

Efficient, Stress-Free Dentistry in Clayton, NC 

Our goal is to make your visit effortless, starting with booking dental appointments that work around your family’s busy schedules. From the moment you first check in with our front desk team to the time you are ready to leave, our goal is to make the most efficient use of your time possible. 

Another way we improve the efficiency of your appointments is to reduce waiting times both in our reception area and in the dental chair. We use the latest technology at our Clayton dental office to reduce wait times in the reception area and while you are in the dental chair.

From iPad consent forms and medical history to our state-of-the-art intraoffice communication system, we do everything we can to streamline your appointments.

Because everyone’s needs are unique and no two procedures are the same, the time your appointment takes varies. While we can often complete tooth fillings and dental cleanings in under an hour, more complex procedures like root canals require more time to ensure optimal results.

Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment

If you are ready to schedule a dental appointment, please call Clayton Smiles. Our dental team will be happy to answer your questions about the approximate length of your appointment. 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Veneers are a popular cosmetic dental treatment that improves the shape and appearance of a person’s teeth. They can also repair cracks and chips while concealing aesthetic flaws, such as gaps or crooked teeth. 

Veneers are thin shells of material, usually porcelain, that your dentist affixes to the front surfaces of the teeth. At your initial appointment, your dentist reviews your health history and discusses your smile goals and needs. We then schedule you for an appointment to design the final veneers and place the temporary ones. 

When the final custom veneers are back from the lab, we prepare the tooth by roughening the enamel so the shell fits more precisely. Next, we apply a dental adhesive that holds the veneer securely in place. We finish off by cleaning and polishing the veneers so you can see the results of your new and improved smile. 

Do You Need Porcelain Veneers in Clayton, NC? 

Please contact your Clayton, NC, dentist to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kate Dolin will review your health history and perform a thorough evaluation of your smile. If you receive a clean bill of health, Dr. Dolin will discuss the veneer process and work toward creating your new smile.

Dental veneers can last between 10 to 30 years with good oral hygiene and healthy habits. Though veneers are strong and durable, they are not indestructible.

Excessive pressure or trauma can shatter or crack a veneer, resulting in the need for a replacement veneer. To prolong the life of your dental veneers, we recommend the following:

  • Do not use your teeth as tools. For example, do not tear open packages or open bottles with your teeth. 
  • Brush and floss every day. 
  • Avoid eating hard, sticky, and chewy foods or substances. (e.g., caramel, taffy, ice) 
  • Wear a nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth at night.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for preventive exams and teeth cleanings. 

Biting your nails or opening packages with your teeth can also crack a veneer, so we encourage you to avoid these activities. Porcelain veneers are similar to teeth in strength and weaknesses, and they should be cared for like you’d care for your natural smile. 

Veneers in Clayton, NC 

Do you have a cracked or discolored tooth? Your cosmetic dentist in Clayton, NC, can help you attain the smile you’ve always wanted. Dr. Kate Dolin can repair your teeth and give you a perfectly white, straight smile. 

Please get in touch with us today to schedule your veneer consultation

Cosmetic dentistry in Clayton, NC, allows you to change your smile for the better. Through various treatments and procedures, you can achieve the smile you’ve always wanted; this can be through one option or several.

What cosmetic dentistry can correct or conceal:

  • Discolored teeth
  • Worn or short teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth
  • Unusually shaped teeth
  • Unusually spaced teeth
  • Gummy smiles
  • Missing teeth

Some cosmetic options—like tooth replacement—can also contribute to improved oral health.

Our cosmetic dentistry options include:

To start your smile transformation, a dental team member arranges a consultation between you and the dentist. This consultation allows you to learn more about our options, including what will work for you. Your dentist also talks to you about what to expect during and following your cosmetic dentistry treatment. This is also an excellent time to ask questions or voice any concerns.

If you decide to move forward with treatment, we’ll talk to you about the cost and schedule your cosmetic dentistry on a timeline that works for you.

Contact Your Cosmetic Dentist in Clayton, NC

Let us know what you’re looking for in a new smile. We want to know! To get started, or if you have questions, reach out to a member of our helpful dental team today.

Over time, our teeth become dull and stained for multiple reasons, but teeth whitening is a great way to brighten your smile and give your confidence a huge boost!

Types of Teeth Whitening in Clayton, NC

Custom Take-Home Whitening Trays

With take-home whitening, you have the convenience of whitening at home when your schedule allows. We take impressions of your teeth that we use to fabricate custom bleaching trays that fit your teeth perfectly. This means the whitening gel contacts all tooth surfaces evenly and won’t leak under the tray and cause gum irritation.

In-Office Power Whitening

Fast in-office teeth whitening: If you don’t want to wait weeks to see a brighter smile, or you have an event like a wedding coming up, results, in-office teeth whitening is another excellent option. With in-office whitening, most patients see noticeable results after just one visit.

The Problem with OTC Whitening Kits

You’ve seen all the teeth whitening options at your local grocery store, and you may wonder if they’re safe to use and how effective they are. There are two main drawbacks with OTC teeth whitening kits: they are not customized for your smile, and the whitening gel produces minimal results.

Schedule a Teeth Whitening Appointment

We recommend that you leave whitening your teeth to a professional who knows your smile and can ensure that it’s a safe, comfortable, and successful process. If you are ready to see a brighter smile but aren’t sure which option’s right for you, please call Clayton Smiles for more information.

Dental Cleanings & Hygiene

You need to brush and floss regularly because it’s crucial to remove plaque and prevent a buildup on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that accumulates on your teeth and is made up of food particles, saliva, and bacteria. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing helps control plaque buildup, but what it doesn’t remove adheres to teeth and hardens into a substance called tartar.

Professional Teeth Cleanings in Clayton, NC

It’s crucial to visit a dental hygienist who can periodically remove all the plaque and tartar from your teeth. Even if you have excellent oral hygiene skills, you can’t get rid of tartar with your toothbrush and floss. Removing tartar requires a visit with a dental hygienist who has access to specialized instruments that gently remove plaque and tartar.

Without regularly scheduled teeth cleanings to remove the buildup, you are at risk for tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss. This is why we emphasize the importance of proper home care between visits.

Proper at-home brushing and flossing practice is also important, which is why part of your teeth cleaning at our Clayton dental office includes a refresher on correct hygiene techniques.

Schedule a Teeth Cleaning Appointment

If you are due for a thorough teeth cleaning with a skilled dental hygienist, please call our Clayton, NC dental office to schedule an appointment.

Dental Crowns & Bridges

A well-maintained dental crown can last around 15 years on average. For dental crowns well treated and cared for, the lifespan can range between 20 and 30 years. 

Making Your Dental Crowns Last 

Because custom dental crowns act like natural teeth, we recommend caring for them just as you would your pre-treatment smile. 

Here are some tips for making your dental crowns last for many years:

  • Brush twice daily.
  • Floss at least once daily. 
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods.
  • Never use your teeth as tools. 
  • Visit your dentist for routine exams and teeth cleanings.
  • Wear a nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth during sleep. 

When to Replace a Crown

As we age, so do our restorations. After several years of use, your dentist may replace your dental crown with a new one so you can enjoy comfortable eating and socializing. Using an old or worn dental crown can lead to a damaged or lost tooth or restoration. 

Also, regular visits to your dentist can help us determine if your crown needs any adjustments or repairs. Your dentist can also clean your teeth and ensure there are no signs of underlying cavities or gum disease. 

Contact Us Today for a Dental Crown 

Do you need a dental crown to restore a brittle or treated tooth? Please call us today at our dental office in Clayton, NC. 

Dental Implants

Dental implants in Clayton, NC, are the best choices to replace missing teeth. Implants mimic natural teeth from look to performance. They also don’t require added maintenance other than the care afforded to natural teeth. Additionally, they are long-lasting.

With regular dental care and six-month dental visits—the same recommendations as if you did not have these prosthetics—your dental implants can last decades and even for life. Even if you must replace the above-the-gum crown or prosthetic in the future, the underlying dental implant should still be viable.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that looks like a small screw. This new root, made from biocompatible titanium, is very strong. In fact, four to six implants can support an entire bridge of restoring teeth.

If you choose dental implants, your dentist surgically places the new tooth roots into the jaw. Then, over time, they integrate into the jawbone. When this phase finishes, you’re ready for your replacement tooth or prosthetic.

From there, you brush, floss, and visit your dentist every six months for checkups.

Contact Your Dental Implant Dentist in Clayton, NC

Are you considering tooth replacement? Would you like to learn more about dental implants? To get started on your smile restoration journey, contact a member of our dental team today.

Dental implants in Clayton, NC are the gold standard in tooth replacement, restoring your tooth and its valuable root. No other option offers this unique and important distinction, making dental implants a popular choice among patients and dentists.

When you lose your tooth root, you risk jawbone deterioration. This can lead to a prematurely aged or sunken facial appearance and even additional oral health issues. A dental implant replaces your lost root to help keep your jawbone viable.

If you need a dental implant, we start you with a consultation in our dental office. If your implant dentist finds that you’re a good candidate for this particular tooth replacement option, we schedule your implant placement.

The dental implant itself is a tooth root surgically inserted into your jawbone. Over a few months, this new root integrates with the bone to create a durable base for your replacement tooth, commonly called a dental crown.

With one or more implants, your dentist can sometimes fit you with an implant-supported bridge or denture as well.

For Dental Implants, Contact Your Implant Dentist in Clayton, NC

If you would like more information about our tooth replacement options, including dental implants, give us a call today. Also, reach out if you’re ready to schedule a smile restoring consultation.

Emergency Dental Services

We at Clayton Smiles understand how stressful a dental emergency can be, but we want you to know that we are here to help you!

Dental Emergencies We Treat

There are all sorts of dental emergencies, and some that we commonly treat at Clayton Smiles are:

  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Severe toothache
  • Swelling of the mouth or gums
  • Food stuck between teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • A tooth that’s been knocked out

If you are experiencing any of these and need an emergency dentist, we recommend calling Clayton Smiles for immediate assistance. Our knowledgeable dental team can help you and will schedule you for a consultation with one of our dentists as soon as possible.

Emergency Dentistry in Clayton, NC

 Dr. Kate and Dr. Adam are on-call and will be happy to assist you with whatever emergency you face—call us at (919) 553-7695, follow the prompts to reach us.

Seeking the help of an emergency dentist as soon as possible is important. The sooner we see you and treat your dental emergency, the more positive the long-term outcome will be.

Call Us with Your Dental Emergency

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

Further information on specific dental emergencies can be found HERE.

In case of a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.

If you have a dental emergency in Clayton, NC, or if you think you might, it’s essential to seek treatment from our emergency dentist as soon as possible.

An emergency dentist relieves your pain and stabilizes your emergency, saving your teeth and more.

Common dental emergency symptoms include:

  • Toothache
  • Jaw swelling
  • Jaw pain

In many cases, these symptoms mean a root infection that requires emergency root canal treatment to avoid tooth loss, infection spread, or extraction.

Other dental emergencies include broken or knocked-out teeth or damage to restorations. Of course, there are other emergencies, but far too many to consider in only a few paragraphs. So, anytime you have an oral health change that does not improve or worsen, you should contact our dental office.

If you’ve had a tooth trauma, we would like to hear from you as well.

Ignoring emergencies or taking pain relievers to get through are not good ideas. On the contrary, they can cost you your smile and mean ongoing treatments to restore your oral health.

Reach Out to Your Emergency Dentist in Clayton, NC

We work to treat dental emergencies as soon as possible. If you have an emergency or suspect you might give us a call as soon as possible.

Full & Partial Dentures

Dentures in Clayton, NC are prosthetics that stand in for missing teeth. They are time-tested and have evolved over the decades. Today’s dentures fit and function as intended and provide natural-looking smiles.

Complete dentures work with full tooth loss. They are custom arches or replacement teeth situated on a gum-colored prosthetic. This prosthetic fits over the gums, relying on suction, boney ridges, and gravity for stabilization.

Partial dentures are similar to complete dentures. However, the prosthetic only holds the teeth needed to fill in gaps where teeth are missing. Partial dentures are for partial tooth loss, and they fit much the same way with the addition of special clips and healthy natural teeth for support and stabilization.

To learn whether dentures are right for you, we provide consultation and conversation with the dentist. During this initial visit, your dentist will talk to you about tooth replacement options, including dentures, and whether they’ll work for you.

If dentures are a good option, we take careful impressions of your mouth. Then, a trusted lab uses our results to create your dentures or partials. Your dentist makes all final adjustments when you come in to pick up your new smile.

Contact Your Clayton, NC Dentist Today

Your dentist wants to help you realize your best smile. Schedule a consultation today to get started.

Root Canals

The innermost layer of a tooth contains a complex network of blood vessels and nerve endings known as tooth pulp. If the pulp of your tooth becomes infected, it can no longer provide nutrients for healthy teeth. A root canal is necessary for removing damaged tissue and restoring the tooth.

Dentists typically perform root canals when an infection develops in the tooth's pulp. The infection may be caused by decay, injury, or other conditions. During the procedure, the dentist removes the damaged tissue and cleans and seals the inside of the tooth. 

What happens during a root canal?

We begin by numbing the infected tooth, which will immediately relieve the excruciating pain you've been experiencing and allow us to perform a comfortable, pain-free procedure.

The next step is to thoroughly clean and disinfect your tooth with specialized technology. The hollowed-out section of the tooth is then filled to stabilize it, and a temporary filling is placed to protect it while it heals. It is natural to experience soreness in the days following your procedure, but over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to alleviate any discomfort.

Finally, we will schedule a dental visit in two weeks to remove the temporary and replace it with a durable dental crown or filling.

Please Call Us So We Can Help

Please call our Clayton, NC dental office if you have a toothache and think you may need an emergency root canal. The last thing we want is for you to be in pain for a moment longer than you need to be!

Tooth Extraction

One common concern after a tooth extraction is what to eat. After a tooth extraction, it's important to give your mouth time to heal. This means eating soft foods that are easy to chew. Think about soups, stews, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and cooked vegetables. Below are 20 foods you may be able to comfortably eat following a tooth extraction:

  1. Scrambled eggs
  2. Mashed potatoes
  3. Mashed sweet potatoes
  4. Broths, pureed vegetable soup
  5. Applesauce
  6. Ice cream
  7. Pureed foods
  8. Oatmeal
  9. Yogurt
  10. Smoothies
  11. Cottage cheese
  12. Pudding
  13. Bananas
  14. Smooth nut butters
  15. Liquid meal replacements
  16. Jell-O
  17. Avocado
  18. Soft fish
  19. Well-cooked steamed vegetables
  20. Hummus

Once your mouth has healed, you can begin to add more foods back into your diet. You should avoid chewing hard foods, as this can irritate the extraction site and delay healing. Chewy foods like caramels and gum can also pull at the healing tissue and cause pain. With a little care, you'll be able to enjoy all your favorite foods in no time.

No one likes the thought of having a tooth pulled, but sometimes it's necessary. If you find yourself in need of a tooth extraction, you can rest assured that our caring dental team in Clayton, NC will make sure you have a comfortable, stress-free experience. We take great care to ensure that our patients are well-informed and comfortable throughout the entire procedure.

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