Merrell Smiles of Monroe
Stephen Merrell, DMD, PLLC
Family Dentistry

Family Dentistry

Quality Family Dentistry in Monroe

You want to protect all the healthy, happy smiles in your family. At Merrell Smiles of Monroe, we provide the care you need for everyone in your family, from the oldest to the youngest. Whether you need care for baby’s developing smile, your grandparents need advanced care, or you want to enhance your own smile, Dr. Stephen Merrell and his team are here for you!

Read below or contact our office to find out how our family dental services can help keep you and your loved ones smiling for years to come!


What is Family Dentistry?

little girl getting a dental checkup at dental clinic with her parents behind her

A family dentist is a specialist who offers oral care services to patients at all stages in life. They are dental professionals for the whole family, serving patients from infancy to adulthood. This means that you and your children can rely on the same dentist for standard care and annual checkups.

Dr. Merrell has the experience and expertise to handle your dental care needs, whether for yourself or your loved ones. Thanks to our broad range of services, the entire family can often get all of their treatments under one roof, and will only be referred out to specialists for especially complex cases.

What are The Benefits of Having a Family Dentist?

1. Helps You Track Your Family’s Dental Health

Having a family dentist simplifies your dental care. Dr. Merrell can treat everyone in your household, from your elderly parents to your little ones. You do not need to schedule appointments with different dentists on different days. You can schedule all appointments on the same day to fit your busy life.

This way, Dr. Merrell can maintain a record of all your family members. He can also identify dental problems with genetic or environmental factors and provide you with proactive treatment to delay, minimize, or avoid specific problems entirely.

2. Availability of a Wide Range of Dental Services

Family dentists can provide a wide array of services because they treat patients of all ages. Whether you are looking for professional cleaning and teeth whitening for yourself, dentures for your parents, or braces for yourself or teenagers, you can have all this done under one roof.

3. Proactive and Preventive Care

Preventing dental problems is always easier than investing your money and time in treatment. Dr. Merrell will check your family’s teeth and gums from time to time. This will help detect problems early and treat them before any major damage occurs.

4. Develop a Relationship with Your Dentist

When you come to us for care, each member of your family will build a personal relationship with Dr. Merrell and our team. This puts everyone at ease, allows them to be comfortable, which makes it easier for them to express their concerns. Due to the familiarity, your kids will also have an easier time at the dentist, and may continue to visit our office even as they grow into adulthood.

5. Learn Better Dental Habits That Work for You and Your Kids

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once may work for you. However, your kids may need to brush and floss more often, and immediately after eating certain foods. Having a family dentist can help you establish good dental care habits that can benefit every member of your family. He can also provide valuable advice to teach your children about dental care and set good examples for them to follow.

This can also help you to re-think certain food choices and snacks to prevent harm to your teeth. There are some foods and snacks that may be fine for adults, but can potentially cause harm to younger teeth and gums. Fortunately, Dr. Merrell can help you make sense of all this for better oral health for you and your family.

Why is Dental Care Important?

Protects Your Teeth

Apart from basic brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and cleanings are critical for healthy teeth. Maintaining your teeth ensures that your chewing function and aesthetics are not compromised; it also reduces your chances of developing more serious complications.

Gum disease is an infection of your gum tissues and bone and is the leading cause of tooth loss. Good dental care prevents gum disease and also ensures that it's diagnosed early, treated, and reversed. Regular brushing, flossing, professional cleanings, and checkups are key in preventing gum disease.

Studies have shown that there is a link between oral health, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and other health complications. Regular dental checkups and professional cleaning ensures that your teeth and gums remain healthy, reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.

Our team can detect problems with your gums and teeth at an early stage thanks to regular checkups and cleanings. Problems caught early are often more treatable than at later stages, where damage has already happened. If problems go untreated, tooth removal and surgery may be the only treatment options available.

A lack of proper dental care becomes apparent over time. Gum disease, tooth decay, discoloration, and bad breath are the most obvious signs. These can erode your confidence and make you insecure about your appearance. Good dental care prevents these problems and ensures that any damage is repaired.

Regular checkups and professional cleanings may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, skipping them can lead to more severe problems requiring more costly procedures. For instance, if a tooth cavity is not treated in time, it may eventually require a root canal treatment, which is more involved and more expensive.

Oral cancer is becoming more rampant today. Regular dental checkups and screening ensures that it’s diagnosed early and gives you the chance to act quickly, improving your prognosis.

Children’s Dental Care

Your child should start seeing a dentist once their first tooth emerges or immediately after their first birthday. A family dentist makes it easy to provide your child with good dental care. This may benefit your child in the following ways:

  • Dental care from early childhood ensures that you know how to properly take care of your child’s teeth and gums during the early years.
  • Dr. Merrell can watch for signs of congenital dental abnormalities, such as extra teeth and missing teeth, immediately after your child’s teeth start erupting.
  • Dental appointments from early childhood keep teeth healthy and prevent decay.
  • Dr. Merrell is also trained to diagnose oral health problems that are common in children. He can help you catch common health issues, such as cavities caused by excess sugar or alignment problems from thumb-sucking or pacifier use.

Dental Care for Teens and Young Adults

Teenage couple with thumbs up

Dental care is crucial during the teenage years. Teenagers often neglect taking good care of their teeth due to a busy school and social life. The fast-food diet also takes a toll on their teeth. This, combined with poor dental hygiene, predisposes teenagers to dental caries and gum disease. The teen years are also characterized by rapid growth.

It’s important to keep an eye on your child’s teeth as they emerge, especially in the teenage years. This is the best time to address issues like misalignment, since their jaws are still growing. We provide Invisalign® clear braces, which allow responsible teens and young adults to enjoy straighter teeth through treatment that’s comfortable and convenient.

Emergency Dental Care for Your Family

It is critical that you know what kind of dental injuries require emergency attention. This ensures that you or your loved one is attended to in time in case of an accident or oral injury. Dr. Merrell offers emergency treatment for a variety of sudden dental issues. If you think you’re experiencing an emergency, please contact our office now!

What are Common Types of Urgent Dental Care?

female patient consulting with dental professional at dental clinic

Dental emergencies can happen to anyone, even if safety precautions are taken. These injuries include broken, cracked, or knocked-out teeth, which can result from a fall, sports-related injury, biting on a hard object, or any other kind of accident.

Depending on the severity of the injury, urgent dental attention may be necessary. This usually happens when you have a knocked-out tooth, nerve damage, or severe crack. When such emergencies occur, fast action is key. The sooner you can come to our office, the greater your chances for recovery will be.

If you or a family member has a knocked-out tooth, you should try and handle it as little as possible. Hold it by the crown, not the root, and rinse it in warm water to remove any debris. See if you can put it back into its socket, biting down on a gauze or wet tea bag to help keep it in place. If you are unable to place it back to its socket, placing it in a container with milk or your saliva; this can help keep the tooth alive until you can get to our office.

If you or your children engage in high-impact sports with lots of body contact and flying objects, you may need to use a mouth guard. Dr. Merrell can discuss mouth guards with you, including the option for getting a custom-made one that will be more comfortable and better protection.

Protecting Your Gums with Periodontics

Periodontics are treatments focused on protecting, healing, and restoring your gums. Gum disease is a serious oral health condition and the leading cause of tooth loss, but it can often go unnoticed until damage has already been done. Dr. Merrell and his team take great care to keep your gums healthy, and when gingivitis or periodontitis does occur, we strive to ensure you get the gum disease treatment you need to enjoy a healthy smile once more.

What are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Senior female patient smiling to the camera holding a mirror sitting in a dental chair

Like many adults, you may have early signs of gum disease and may not realize it. Here are some of the symptoms we watch out for, and if you are experiencing any of them, be sure to tell us about it during your next dental visit.

  • Red and swollen gums that bleed easily
  • An unpleasant taste and persistent bad breath
  • White spots and plaque on the teeth and gums
  • Gums pulling away from the teeth
  • Pus between gums and spaces between teeth
  • Change in the spacing between teeth
  • Loose teeth

How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Body?

Gum disease can also have a negative impact on other parts of your body. Your mouth is part of a larger ecosystem and an integral part of your immune system. A bacterial imbalance can cause immune problems and inflammation in other parts of your body.

Gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Pregnancy complications and low-birth-weight can also be caused by periodontal disease.

What is The Treatment for Gum Disease?

Your gum disease treatment plan will depend on the stage of the disease and your health history. Dr. Merrell will discuss the situation with you so that you can feel informed and confident about the treatment you receive.

Professional Cleaning - If the disease is in its early stage, professional cleaning can be of great help by eliminating bacteria and irritating plaque. We can also advise you on how to keep your gums and teeth healthy.

Scaling and Tooth Planing - If your gum disease is more advanced, scaling and root planing (also called a deep cleaning) is the first step in the treatment plan. This treatment may take more than one visit depending on the state of your gums.

First, we remove plaque and tartar from the bottom of each periodontal pocket using special tools and antibiotics. Next, the root surfaces of your teeth are smoothed out to allow your gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth and prevent bacteria from collecting on your enamel. We may also prescribe oral antibiotics to control the infection and aid in healing.

Periodontal Surgery - In some cases, scaling and root planing alone won’t be enough to help restore your gums. If the disease is at a very advanced stage, gum surgery may be necessary. Dr. Merrell will assess your situation, and if surgery is the best treatment, we can refer you to a trusted specialist who will help ensure that your smile can be restored.

A Family Dentist You Can Depend On

Whether you need help for a dental emergency or you’re looking for routine care you can rely on, you’ll find it all at Merrell Smiles of Monroe. Our team is passionate about helping you achieve your best smile and enjoy a positive dental experience. For friendly, reliable dental care, schedule your visit today!



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Office Location

  • Monroe
  • 1414 E Franklin St Monroe, NC
  • Monroe, North Carolina
  • 28112
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: (704) 289-5233