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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By David G. Feeney, DDS
October 31, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By DAVID G. FEENEY, DDS
October 23, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantMissing even one tooth can make chewing difficult, smiling uncomfortable, and even puts the rest of your teeth at risk for shifting out of place! However, Dr. David Feeney, your dentist in Matthews, North Carolina, can make that discomfort a thing of the past with dental implants. These amazing tooth restorations are permanent, attractive, and easy to care for. Wondering if dental implants are right for you? Read on!

Are You Missing One or More Teeth?

Dental implants are designed to replace any permanent teeth that have extracted, knocked out, or otherwise lost. Some implants only have one porcelain tooth attached to them; others can have several teeth, like a partial denture, that fill in the gap for a whole section of your smile. There's even the option of having implant-supported dentures! With an examination, your Matthews dentist will be able to determine your needs.

Do You Want a Low Maintenance Option?

One of the best aspects of dental implants is that they never need to be removed for cleaning or adjustments and don't require any special maintenance. Simply brushing, flossing, and making time to see your Matthews dentist twice a year is all that your dental implants will need to stay in place for decades, even a lifetime!

Do You Have Healthy Bone Structure?

Most patients experiencing tooth loss make great candidates for dental implants. However, there can be a few conditions that may require a different restoration. One of the main reasons that dental implants may not work is because the density and quality of the jawbone can deteriorate at a surprising rate after teeth are lost, and the post of the implant needs a solid foundation to stay stable. This isn't the case for everyone; it depends on a number of factors, including your health, your genetics, and how long you've been missing your teeth. Of course, Dr. Feeney can check your jawbone's structure by taking a quick X-ray in the area where you're missing teeth and fully determine if implants are a good option for you.

Contact us Today!

To get started, contact the dental office of Dr. David Feeney in Matthews, North Carolina and ask our friendly staff to schedule you for a dental implant consultation. We look forward to helping you smile more confidently!

WhatYouShouldKnowAboutAntibioticTherapyBeforeImplantSurgery

Placing a dental implant within the jawbone requires a surgical procedure. For most people it’s a relatively minor affair, but for some with certain health conditions it might be otherwise. Because of their condition they might have an increased risk for a bacterial infection afterward that could interfere with the implant’s integration with the bone and lead to possible failure.

To lower this risk, dentists for many years have routinely prescribed an antibiotic for patients considered at high-risk for infection to take before their implant surgery. But there’s been a lively debate among health practitioners about the true necessity for this practice and whether it’s worth the possible side effects that can accompany taking antibiotics.

While the practice still continues, current guidelines now recommend it for fewer health conditions. The American Dental Association (ADA) together with the American Heart Association (AHA) now recommend antibiotics only for surgical patients who have prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or certain congenital heart conditions.

But patients with prosthetic joint replacements, who were once included in the recommendation for pre-surgical antibiotics, are no longer in that category. Even so, some orthopedic surgeons continue to recommend it for their joint replacement patients out of concern that a post-surgical infection could adversely affect their replaced joints.

But while these areas of disagreement about pre-surgical antibiotics still continue, a consensus may be emerging about a possible “sweet spot” in administering the therapy. Evidence from recent studies indicates just a small dose of antibiotics administered an hour before surgery may be sufficient to reduce the risk of infection-related implant failure with only minimal risk of side effects from the drug.

Because pre-surgical antibiotic therapy can be a complicated matter, it’s best that you discuss with both the physician caring for your health condition and your dentist about whether you should undergo this option to reduce the infection risk with your own implant surgery. Still, if all the factors surrounding your health indicate it, this antibiotic therapy might help you avoid losing an implant to infection.

If you would like more information on antibiotics before implant surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implants & Antibiotics: Lowering Risk of Implant Failure.”

By DAVID G. FEENEY, DDS
August 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth Whitening ResultsChoosing the best method to whiten your smile isn't always as easy as it may seem. Matthews, NC, dentist Dr. David Feeney provides teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry services that will help you keep your smile bright and attractive.

Home whitening

Whitening your teeth with a drugstore kit can be a convenient option, as long as you follow the product directions completely. Common disadvantages of over-the-counter whiteners include:

  • Dissatisfaction with Results: If the whitening strips or trays don't fit your mouth properly, your teeth may appear two-toned. You may also notice that your teeth look speckled after whitening. This problem occurs if you whiten without removing plaque and tartar from your teeth first.
  • Long Treatment Time: You may need to use the product for weeks or months before your teeth look lighter.
  • Sensitivity: Hydrogen peroxide, the whitening agent used in whiteners, can irritate your gums and roots. If the product you use doesn't fit correctly, you may be more likely to experience sensitivity.

Professional Whitening

Professional whitening in your Matthews' dentist's office only takes about an hour and can lighten your teeth an average of three to eight shades. Before your treatment begins, your teeth will be cleaned to remove plaque and tartar. Your comfort is a priority during your whitening session. Your dentist will apply a protective gel to your roots and gums and also place plastic retractors in your mouth. The retractors hold your lips and cheeks away from your gums, preventing irritation and sensitivity.

Your dentist uses a stronger formulation of hydrogen peroxide than that available in over-the-counter whitening kits. Once the whitening gel is applied to your teeth, it seeps into the pores in your enamel that harbor stains and begins to break apart the dark pigments. Most people only need one treatment, although a second whitening session may be recommended in some cases.

At-Home Professional Whitening

You can also achieve professional results at home with a take-home kit. If you prefer this method, your dentist will provide you with custom-made trays and a supply of hydrogen peroxide gel. You'll apply the trays nightly or several times a week for a few weeks. At-home trays are also a good choice if you want to occasionally touch up the results of professional teeth whitening.

Brighten your smile with professional teeth whitening! Call Matthews, NC, dentist Dr. David Feeney at (704) 847-1000 to schedule your appointment.

By David G. Feeney, DDS
August 02, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental injury  
WhenSummertimeSportsLeadtoDentalDilemmas

Summer is a great time to go outdoors and get your game on—no matter whether your court is set up for tennis or basketball, whether you’re on the diamond or on the greens. Regular physical activity can help you maintain your optimal weight, reduce your risk for certain diseases, and even lower stress levels. But many of our favorite outdoor sports also carry a risk of accidental injury…and frequently this involves injuries to the mouth.

Because they’re front and center, the incisors (front teeth) are the ones most often affected by accidental injuries. While serious damage is relatively rare, chips and cracks are not uncommon. Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of good ways to restore chipped or broken teeth. Which one is best for you depends on exactly what’s wrong—but a procedure called cosmetic bonding is one of the most common ways to repair small to moderate chips where the tooth’s soft pulp isn’t exposed.

In dental bonding, a tooth-colored material is applied directly to the tooth’s surface to fill in the chip or crack. The material itself is a high-tech mixture of tough plastic resins, translucent glass-like fillers, and other substances. Strong, durable and lifelike in appearance, these composite resins can be matched to the natural shade of your teeth.

Bonding is a conservative procedure, meaning that it requires little or no preparation of the tooth. It can be done right in the dental office, often in a single visit and without the need for anesthesia. Unlike porcelain veneers or crowns (caps), it usually doesn’t involve removing significant amounts of healthy tooth structure.

While the results can last for years, bonded restorations aren’t as durable as porcelain veneers or crowns, which are made in a dental laboratory. Bonding also isn’t suitable to repair major damage, or in cases where the tooth’s pulp could become infected; in this situation, you may need a root canal and a crown. However, for moderate chips or cracks, bonding can be an appropriate and economical way to restore your teeth to full function and aesthetic appearance.

Of course, it’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why it’s best to wear a protective mouthguard whenever you’re on the field. We can provide a custom-made mouthguard that’s comfortable to wear and offers maximum protection against dental injury—just ask!

If you have questions about cosmetic bonding or mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”