Your smile on your wedding day is almost as important as the dress. Not only will everyone there see it, but you’ll be looking at it in photos for years to come. While it can be hard to remember everything that needs to be done before the big day, one thing you definitely shouldn’t neglect is getting pre-wedding dental work.

While you should certainly have a pre wedding teeth whitening and dental checkup several months before your wedding day, there are several other procedures that can help give you a wedding smile makeover. Keep reading to learn more about the top three dental treatments to get before your wedding day the dentists at Salling & Tate General Dentistry offer!

Pre-Wedding Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening is one of the most popular treatments for brides and grooms prior to the wedding day. Why? It’s a simple and cost-effective way to ensure a bright, white wedding day smile without having to mess around with white strips and toothpastes.

How Wedding Teeth Whitening Works

Whether you have just a few brown spots or your teeth are yellow and stained, an in-office whitening procedure can help. At Salling & Tate, we take a mold of your teeth to create a whitening tray that fits just right. Next, we fill the trays with a bleaching gel that contains carbamide peroxide. Finally, we let the product work its magic by lifting those stains off your teeth in no time.

When to Get Teeth Cleaned Before Wedding

Teeth whitening is convenient in that it’s a relatively quick procedure. While it can be done up to a few days before your wedding, we highly recommend you schedule it around two months before the ceremony. That way, if you do experience any hot or cold sensitivity after your teeth whitening, it won’t interfere with your special day.

Pre-Wedding Teeth Straightening

While traditional braces are always an option, most adults prefer a teeth-straightening method that’s a little more discreet. Invisalign is the perfect way to get perfect teeth before your wedding day, without having to deal with clunky, metal braces.

How Invisalign Works

Using a special computer program, we take a mold of your teeth and turn it into a series of clear aligners. Most patients wear each set for a couple of weeks before switching to the next one. Before you know it, your teeth will be perfectly lined up to create a flawless smile.

When to Have Your Teeth Straightened Before Your Wedding

The length of time needed for a successful Invisalign treatment depends on the severity of your misalignment. We recommend scheduling an appointment at Salling & Tate at least 18 months before your wedding in order to make sure we have enough time to achieve your desired look.

Pre-Wedding Veneers

Veneers are a great way to achieve the same aesthetics as you would with whitening and straightening, without having to go through either of those treatments. They’re ideal for brides and grooms with chipped, discolored, or gapped teeth.

How Veneers Work

Veneers are made of a very thin layer of porcelain that’s perfectly fitted to your teeth. We begin the process by making a mold of your teeth. Once the veneers have been created, we polish your teeth to create a surface they’ll be able to adhere to. We use special bonding material to attach the veneers to your teeth and suddenly all those little imperfections are hidden behind a beautiful, new smile.

When to Get Veneers Before Your Wedding

While getting veneers doesn’t take as long as teeth straightening, it does require more planning and forethought than teeth whitening. If you’re getting veneers before your wedding, it’s best to visit your dentist three to four months in advance of your big day. That way there’s plenty of time to create the perfect veneers and ensure your teeth are healthy.

Fresh Breath Tips for Your Wedding Day

Avoid bad breath on your wedding day with these quick and easy tips:

  • Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth before the ceremony
  • A tongue scraper can help remove stinky bacteria
  • Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse with
  • Stay hydrated
  • Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production and wash away bacteria
  • Avoid smoking

We hope these tips will help you achieve the flawless smile you’ve been dreaming of and make your wedding day that much more perfect! If you’re interested in straightening, whitening, or veneers for your big day, we’d love to help! Just contact us or give us a call at 910-256-9040 to start the process of improving your smile.

Within the world of dentistry, there are many different kinds of specialists. Two of the most common are general dentists and cosmetic dentists. But how do you know which of these two types of dentists to choose when you need a procedure performed?

A large portion of your decision is based on exactly what type of procedure you need to be done, so let’s take a look at each of these types of dental professionals and what they specialize in.

What is a General Dentist?

General dentists are professionals who provide primary dental healthcare for adults and children. Their training includes learning about a wide variety of dental health practices and procedures, specifically those that focus on keeping teeth, mouth, and gums healthy.

General dentists are almost constantly learning and often take continuing education classes to help keep their skills up to date and in line with the latest scientific advancements.

What is a Cosmetic Dentist?

As their name suggests, cosmetic dentists specialize in procedures that have to do with the appearance of your teeth. In recent years, more people have become concerned about the appearance of their teeth, which has led to substantial growth within the cosmetic dentistry industry.

They receive the same basic training general dentists do, but in practice, they focus on the aesthetic appearance of teeth, gums, and mouths. Additionally, they also attend specialized continuing education classes to ensure they’re up to date on the latest techniques and advancements in the field.

What’s the Difference Between General Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentists can do some of the same types of procedures that general dentists can, like filling cavities or applying braces, but there are some key differences between them and general dentists.

General dentists are best studied to help with oral hygiene needs, like:

  • Preventative dentistry (Regular cleanings, etc.)
  • Tooth pain or discomfort
  • Annual x-rays
  • Fillings
  • Root Canals
  • Tooth extraction
  • Gingivitis
  • Dentures

Cosmetic dentists, on the other hand, can help with more aesthetic dental needs, like:

If you’re looking for a dentist who can help with both your oral hygiene and cosmetic needs, look no further! The team at Salling & Tate is skilled in both general and cosmetic dentistry. Think of us as a one-stop shop for all your dental needs! Give us a call today at 910-256-9040 or click here to schedule your next appointment online.

What is Odontophobia (Dental Phobia)?

There are a plethora of phobias in our world, everything from arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, to Lepidopterophobia, the fear of butterflies. But what, exactly, is a phobia? A phobia is an irrational fear or aversion to something. So irrational, in fact, that it could lead a person to leap from a moving vehicle to avoid a harmless little spider or a majestic monarch butterfly. Now, most people view this as a bit over the top, but it happens.

Odontophobia, the fear of dentists, dentistry, or of receiving dental care, is no different. You see it all the time, from sitcoms to a children’s movie about a lost fish. Often times it is made light of and used in a means to get a laugh, but it’s no laughing matter. This fear can cause individuals to refrain from going to the dentist, even if they are experiencing massive amounts of pain due to dental issues.

It is actually estimated that 75% of Americans experience dental fear in one way or another, but most overcome it. Those that do not, between 5% and 10% of American adults, suffer from odontophobia.

The Aftermath of Giving Into Odontophobia

Giving in to a fear of going to the dentist can have several adverse consequences, such as periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. Periodontal disease can lead to pain and the loss of teeth. Additionally, in some studies, it has been determined that gum disease can put you at greater risk for heart disease, make it difficult to control blood sugar, and it has been viewed as a potential link to low birth weight in pregnant women. So, skipping out on your dental checkups can result in a lot more than getting a cavity or losing a tooth.


How Does it Start?

Odontophobia can be formed in a couple of ways. The most common method is that individuals can develop this fear of dentists due to the first-hand experience that they have received in the past. These direct experiences can be due to an unexpected amount of pain, or what is perceived as a traumatic experience. On top of this, the perceived stigma that dentists carry adds to the misconception that the dentist’s chair is a place that should be feared.

Alternately, it can be picked up second hand, via social means. When someone has never been to, nor doesn’t remember going to the dentist, they can develop this fear from stories and opinions from others. It does not help that mass media often unjustly portrays dentistry in a bad light. As well as this, a previous experience with a doctor of any kind can translate subconsciously to dentistry. It may not necessarily be a fear of dentistry, but a fear of doctors or hospitals altogether. And finally, a large factor of the fear of going to the dentist may be a perceived loss of control. Being in the dentist’s chair and being unable to move or communicate could cause a large amount of anxiety. However, this can be overcome.

Overcoming the Fear

It is understandable, though, that some people may have this fear for a reason. Whether the fear is learned first hand or via social cues, it can be overcome. There are behavioral and pharmaceutical options available to help someone to overcome their fear of sitting in the dentist’s chair. However, it is best to start small.


Realizing that you can, in fact, communicate with the dentist may be enough to help you on your way, such as agreeing on a gesture to indicate that you need him or her to stop momentarily. Your dentist wants you to be comfortable and leave happy.

Social Support

Bring someone with you on your visit to the dentist. If you have a large amount of fear or anxiety, try to schedule a meeting prior to your appointment. Doing this, and having someone you trust with you, can ease your anxiety tremendously.


For those that are unable to overcome their odontophobia, then pharmacological options may be available. You should contact your dentist to inquire about the options, costs, and effects of choosing the pharmacological option of overcoming your anxiety.

In the rear of the mouth are the third molars, which are referred to as the wisdom teeth. Although these are said to come with knowledge, many people suffer lots of pain with them. Sometimes a person can even have a dangerous result occur when the wisdom teeth emerge from the gums. Hence, many dental specialists recommend wisdom teeth removal before they cause damage and discomfort
Is it necessary to remove impacted wisdom tooth?

Many people erroneously believe they will have no trouble or issues with the wisdom teeth emerging. However, knowing the precise dangers of an impacted wisdom tooth is imperative to good health. An impacted wisdom tooth can lead to gum disease, can damage adjacent teeth, can contribute to tooth decay, and may even cause cysts to develop within the gums.

Below you will find three very noticeable impacted wisdom teeth symptoms, which call for intervention by a dentist.

 1. Wisdom Tooth Ear Pain / Jaw Pain – While there is a wide range of dental issues that can bring about jaw pain, the distress from the affected teeth can prompt agony throughout the jaw and into the skull, frequently bringing about horrible headaches. The agony could be more pronounced while biting, particularly if the pain shoots to the back of the mouth or into the teeth that are located close to the affected one.  This pain is often mistaken for an ear infection, due to its location high in the jaw.

How do you know if your wisdom teeth are impacted?

The jaw pain could initiate prompt swelling of the whole jaw region. The wisdom tooth might have a particularly risky impaction, as the tooth might bring about contamination or harm to the surrounding nerves. An obviously swollen jawline is a convincing symptom of a wisdom tooth impaction.  Extraction, in this case, would lead to significant impacted wisdom teeth pain relief.

2. Sore or Bleeding Gums – The impacted wisdom tooth can be an intense torment, and a person’s general dental well-being may start to crumble. Since jaw and tooth pain frequently affects the entire mouth, the gums can likewise be influenced. Sore or draining gums, particularly when the draining happens with almost no incitement, is a distinct sign that something is turning out badly with the teeth. Delicate and swollen gums in the back of the mouth indicate the issue is wisdom tooth-related.

3. Awful Tastes and Smells – When wisdom teeth are affected, microbes can be caught in the delicate folds of the teeth and gums. These microorganisms grow quickly in dim, clammy ranges like the back of the mouth, and diseases may start. These diseases can cause tooth rot, possibly prompting blisters and decay. A person encountering tooth rot or microscopic organisms will have an awful taste in his or her mouth, even while eating. Furthermore, tooth rot will be accompanied by awful-smelling breath that could be noticeable.

Other conceivable yet less typical indications of affected wisdom teeth may include:

  • Shooting pain in the gum in the back of the mouth
  • Swollen glands
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth
  • Ongoing ear infections

Since impacted wisdom teeth can bring about numerous conditions, including irreversibly harmed nerves and fundamental dentition decay, it is essential that these signs be considered significant. Permitting the injury to proceed without dental mediation can be exceptionally perilous to general wellbeing, so an appointment for an impacted wisdom teeth x-ray must be scheduled when any of these symptoms are experienced.

Dental Implants vs Dentures: What's Best?

As you age, your gums naturally recede. This results in sensitivity and can even lead to tooth loss. Of course, tooth loss can also occur if you neglect your oral hygiene to the point where you develop a gum disease and it gets too far gone. When this happens, you may have no choice but to get dentures or dental implants. However, which one is the better option for you? Here are the facts about dentures and dental implants so that you know which is better for you.

Regular Dentures
These days, with all the advancements in dental technology, dentures are relegated for patients who have weak jaws and gums that have been damaged by disease. They are

meant for individuals who want to replace multiple missing teeth. When you choose dentures, you can speak normally because they help to put your mouth and jaw in the proper position. You can also eat normally because dentures replace your missing teeth. Additionally, dentures allow you to have a normal and more youthful facial appearance because they help to fill out your face and fix any issues of sagging.

Types of Dentures
There are different types of dentures you can get from your dentist. Those are partial dentures and complete dentures. Partial dentures are those that replace some teeth and fit in the mouth in the area where teeth are missing. They are held in place between real teeth. On the other hand, complete dentures are more plentiful and may include multiple false teeth to replace several teeth that are missing. Whichever type you choose, dentures need to be cleaned and brushed regularly like regular natural teeth to keep them clean and free of bacteria. You should also remove them at night when you are going to sleep.


Dental Implants
Dental implants are often a more desired choice of patients. They are situated in the mouth through surgery and are meant to replace missing teeth. During a surgical procedure to put in dental implants, a crown or replacement tooth is added to the root. Dental implants appear like natural teeth and can last for as long as 20 years. After that time, you will need to have them replaced.

While dentures are recommended for individuals whose gums are unhealthy, dental implants are good options for those who have healthy gums. When you decide to go this route, you will be able to discuss with your dentist what option is better for you. You can even have dental implants when you have multiple missing teeth. The implants are easier to care for as you don’t have to remove them or soak them overnight like dentures. However, it’s important to keep up good oral hygiene and brush your teeth two times per day and floss once per day so that your natural teeth and dental implants alike stay healthy.

Whichever option you choose, it is important to see your dentist once every six months for regular checkups and X-rays. This will ensure that your gums and teeth stay their healthiest and that you can get any dental procedure you need in a timely manner to minimize any damage.

Dear Friends,

As I celebrate my 53rd year in dentistry, 34 of which have been here in Wilmington, I wish to thank all of you for the privilege of being your dentist. Your trust and confidence in me and my team in providing for your oral heath care has been both professionally and personally rewarding. The relationships that have grown over the years with so many of you have been a big part of my life and are indelibly printed in my heart and soul. After much deliberation and three years of uncertain hesitation, it’s time to transition to the next chapter of my life.

My decision to retire is made much easier knowing that you, my patients, will be left in competent and caring hands. Many of you have already met my son, Dr. James Salling, whose been with the practice now for 15 years and Dr. Bryan Tate, my trusted partner of 23 years. They have been co-owners of the practice for eight years now, and both gentlemen are exceptional dentists who would be honored to continue the caring dentistry that each of you have come to expect.

Dr. Tate, Dr. Jamie and I have also searched far and wide to add a 3rd dentist to the practice, one that we all feel will continue to provide you with the same philosophy of excellent care, and we welcomed Dr. Katlin Jameson in July 2021. I am confident in these three dentists, and they all look forward to being of service to you.

Our wonderful dental team will continue with the same personal and professional relationships we’ve all worked hard to establish.

The only person leaving other than myself is Tammy, my Dental Assistant for 34 years. She has accepted a better offer…. from her family, to be a full-time Grandmother (Mami) to her now four grandchildren. I, (Bop Bop), look forward to spending more time with my family and nine grandchildren.

Amy, our Practice Manager, and Dorothy, my Administrative Assistant, look forward to answering any questions and helping you transition to one of our other dentists.

Again, thank you all for your confidence in me and my team, and for sharing in my journey. I look forward to continuing to see you in the neighborhood and community and wish you all the very best.

Very Sincerely,

William H. Salling, DDS