Your general dentist provides the utmost care for every member of the family, at any age. One aspect of treating the diverse needs of our patients is building strong relationships. There’s nothing we like better than serving multiple generations of families!

We Treat Family Members of All Ages

As you Chapel Hill general dentist, when we meet with your family, we will determine if you’re at risk for conditions like gum disease and discuss healthy practices that can be encouraged at home. We typically recommended that children begin receiving professional dental care between two to three years of age.

Today, we see many people who are keeping their natural teeth well into their eighties and nineties. Regular professional check-ups and cleanings as recommended by your dentist are especially important as you age. Certain medications or medical conditions may reduce natural saliva production, and without adequate saliva, your teeth are more susceptible to decay.

When teeth are missing, we work with patients to find the most suitable form of replacement. This might be dental implants, dentures, a dental bridge, or a dental crown. Most importantly, we treat each patient as a unique individual with specific needs and desires.

Please Call to Arrange an Appointment

Our office has been designed meet the needs of patients of all ages. Chapel Hill general dentist Dr. Hourigan and our team enjoy visiting with families and providing each member with personalized care, from filling cavities to brightening smiles, to restoring full function. Whatever your family's dental needs may be, we are here to meet them.

If you are interested in arranging an appointment, please call our office. We look forward to helping your family achieve the healthiest smiles possible!


Teeth grinding and clenching of your jaw while you sleep can create serious problems with your oral health, including bite misalignment, cracked or chipped teeth, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Some common signs that you grind your teeth during sleep are chronic headaches upon waking, shoulder and neck pain or a sensation that your jaw locks up when opening and closing your mouth.

Identifying the Cause

After a thorough dental examination by the Chapel Hill TMJ dentist, we can determine what the probable cause of your teeth grinding is and which treatment approach may be necessary to prevent long-term damage to your teeth. There are several reasons people grind or clench their teeth (also referred to as bruxing or bruxism):

  • Injury or trauma to the temporomandibular joint.
  • Misaligned dental bite
  • Muscle tension

A misaligned dental bite can cause your back teeth to become unbalanced, resulting in excess force being placed on one side of your mouth. In this case, you do not bite down evenly on all teeth, and the jaw shifts from its normal position to bring the rest of your teeth together.

This action causes you to clench or grind your teeth on that side of your mouth and puts constant, unnatural force on the joint and surrounding muscles. This is why you experience head and neck pain.

Simple, Non-Invasive Treatment

In many cases, the Chapel Hill TMJ dentist can create a simple custom appliance called a night guard that will reduce this uneven force on your teeth. However, a thorough exam is the best way to assess your situation and determine the underlying cause and best treatment for your teeth grinding and clenching.

If you believe that your symptoms may be caused by teeth grinding, please contact our office. We will discuss your symptoms and work with you to determine the best course of treatment that will address your needs and provide relief.


Contrary to what you might think, very few of us were born with the potential for a perfect “Hollywood” smile. Many of the bright, beautiful smiles you’re so envious of may very well have had a little help from cosmetic dentistry!

Chapel Hill family dentist Dr. Diane Hourigan offers a wide range of esthetic treatments to fit your needs. Your smile makeover may be as simple as teeth whitening or cosmetic bonding; or, we may decide that a combination of treatments would be best for helping you achieve your goals.

Problems We Fix with Cosmetic Dentistry

Today we have more options than ever for designing your perfect smile. Here are just a few of the problems we can address with our state-of-the-art esthetic treatments:

Uneven Gaps and Spacing between Teeth

Your teeth may be in generally good shape, but uneven gaps and spacing can throw off the symmetry of your smile. Dental bonding is a conservative approach we can recommend, but our dentist will also be happy to talk to you about porcelain veneers.

Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth

Your teeth are highly durable, but they’re not indestructible. We will look at the most conservative option first, which is dental bonding. But based on your needs we may decide that porcelain veneers or even an all-porcelain crown would be a better choice for you.

Your Smile Makeover Awaits!

There are so many combinations of treatments we can offer, and the best place to start is with a smile consultation. Our Chapel Hill, NC family dentist will be happy to meet with you to find out what’s bothering you and how you would like us to help.