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HeadOffaCrossbiteatthePassWithThisOrthodonticAppliance

At what age should you begin treating a poor bite? Many might say with braces around late childhood or early adolescence. But some bite problems could be addressed earlier—with the possibility of avoiding future orthodontic treatment.

A crossbite is a good example. In a normal bite, all of the upper teeth slightly cover the lower when the jaws are shut. But a crossbite occurs when some of the lower teeth, particularly in back, overlap the upper teeth. This situation often happens when the upper jaw develops too narrowly.

But one feature of a child's mouth structure provides an opportunity to intervene and alter jaw development. During a child's early years, the palate (roof of the mouth) consists of two bones next to each other with an open seam running between them. This seam, which runs through the center of the mouth from front to back, will fuse during puberty to form one continuous palatal bone.

An orthodontist can take advantage of this separation if the jaw isn't growing wide enough with a unique device called a palatal expander. This particular oral appliance consists of four, thin metal legs connected to a central mechanism. The orthodontist places the expander against the palate and then uses the mechanism to extend the legs firmly against the back of the teeth on both sides of the jaw.

The outward pressure exerted by the legs also widens the seam between the two palatal bones. The body will respond to this by adding new bone to the existing palatal bones to fill in the widened gap. At regular intervals, the patient or a caregiver will operate the mechanism with a key that will continue to widen the gap between the bones, causing more expansion of the palatal bones until the jaw has grown to a normal width.

The palatal expander is most effective when it's applied early enough to develop more bone before the seam closes. That's why it's important for children to undergo bite evaluation with an orthodontist around age 6. If it appears a bite problem is developing, early interventions like a palatal expander could slow or stop it before it gets worse.

If you would like more information on interceptive orthodontics, 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 “Palatal Expanders.”

By DAVID G. FEENEY, DDS
September 13, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Same Day Crowns  

Do you have a damaged smile? Same-day crowns from your Matthews, NC, dentist will restore your smile in just one appointment. Visit your dentist Dr. David Feeney to receive the best dental care.

What are same-day crowns?

Same-day crowns are dental crowns fabricated using a special technology called the CEREC technology. It is used to produce strong crowns in just one visit.

What are the advantages of same-day crowns?

  • Same-day crowns in Matthews, NC, will save you time: you don’t have to book more than one appointment for your crowns
  • Same-day crowns are made from ceramic: the crown will look natural, just like your original teeth
  • CEREC Same-day crowns don’t require the use of a temporary crown: you will receive your permanent crown on the same day
  • Same-day crowns are strong and durable: your crowns can last up to 15 years with the proper care

What are the steps of the procedure?

Before starting the actual procedure, your dentist will carry out a thorough examination of your teeth. The tooth that needs a crown will be evaluated using x-rays, scans, and tests. Depending on how badly the tooth is damaged, your dentist will customize the treatment plan. The treatment process begins with the use of a local anesthetic to avoid discomfort.

Your dentist will take digital dental impressions of your teeth and jaw. The CEREC machine will produce the 3D model of your teeth. After making sure that the model looks like your desired smile,  the milling machine will instantly create your new crown. Once the dental crown is ready, your dentist will check the color and fit and attach it to your tooth, all on the same day.

Contact us

Don’t hesitate to restore your smile with same-day crowns from your Matthews, NC, dentist, Dr. Feeney. Call us at (704) 847-1000 and book your appointment today.

By David G. Feeney, DDS
September 09, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   Veneers  
HowMLBStarAaronJudgeChangedHisSmileandHowYouCanToo

Between the final game of the World Series in late October and spring training in February, major league baseball players work on their skills preparing for the new season. Reporters on a Zoom call to the New York Yankees' training camp wanted to know what star outfielder Aaron Judge had been doing along those lines. But when he smiled, their interest turned elsewhere: What had Aaron Judge done to his teeth?

Already with 120 homers after only five seasons, Judge is a top player with the Yankees. His smile, however, has been less than spectacular. Besides a noticeable gap between his top front teeth (which were also more prominent than the rest of his teeth), Judge also had a chipped tooth injury on a batting helmet in 2017 during a home plate celebration for a fellow player's walk-off home run.

But now Judge's teeth look even, with no chip and no gap. So, what did the Yankee slugger have done?

He hasn't quite said, but it looks as though he received a “smile makeover” with porcelain veneers, one of the best ways to turn dental “ugly ducklings” into “beautiful swans.” And what's even better is that veneers aren't limited to superstar athletes or performers—if you have teeth with a few moderate dental flaws, veneers could also change your smile.

As the name implies, veneers are thin shells of porcelain bonded to the front of teeth to mask chips, cracks, discolorations or slight gaps between teeth. They may even help even out disproportionately sized teeth. Veneers are custom-made by dental technicians based on a patient's particular tooth dimensions and color.

Like other cosmetic techniques, veneers are a blend of technology and artistry. They're made of a durable form of dental porcelain that can withstand biting forces (within reason, though—you'd want to avoid biting down on ice or a hard piece of food with veneered teeth). They're also carefully colored so that they blend seamlessly with your other teeth. With the right artistic touch, we can make them look as natural as possible.

Although porcelain veneers can accommodate a wide range of dental defects, they may not be suitable for more severe flaws. After examining your teeth, we'll let you know if you're a good candidate for veneers or if you should consider another restoration. Chances are, though, veneers could be your way to achieve what Aaron Judge did—a home run smile.

If you would like more information about porcelain veneers, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before.”

By David G. Feeney, DDS
August 30, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  
CorrectingaPoorBiteWithBraces-aTrueWonder

Braces are so common that we often view them as "ho-hum." But there are aspects about braces that make them remarkable. For one, the fact that we can move teeth at all is a wonder of nature.

We normally experience our teeth as firmly set in the jaw, which can easily lead to assuming they're permanently fixed to the bone. They're not. Teeth are actually held in place by a fibrous gum tissue called the periodontal ligament that lies between them and the jawbone. The ligament anchors to both with tiny fibers, which on the tooth side affixes within a thin substance called cementum deposited on the tooth root.

As we said, we don't normally notice teeth moving. But the periodontal ligament does allow movement on a miniscule scale as a response to normal pressures that accompany biting and chewing. Although we're unaware of it, this movement takes place as the bone and cementum ahead of the direction of movement begin to dissolve. Simultaneously, new bone and cementum develops on the other side of the tooth to stabilize the movement.

Orthodontic treatment takes advantage of this natural process. The anchored wires of braces through attached brackets place pressure on the teeth in the intended direction for tooth movement. The natural mechanism described earlier does the rest. Over time, orthodontists have developed an amazing amount of precision working within this mechanism.

Another aspect about braces and other methods we may take for granted is our motive for even trying to move teeth in the first place. It may seem we're only realigning teeth to produce a more attractive smile—which they can do and why we often refer to braces as the "original smile makeover." But there's an even greater desire—straightening teeth can improve dental health.

Poor bites in turn cause other problems. Misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean of bacterial plaque, which increases the risk of disease. A poor bite can also accelerate teeth wear and contribute to gum problems like recession. We can eliminate or minimize these problems through bite correction.

Whatever your age, braces or other means can vastly benefit your health and your appearance. They may not always seem so, but braces are one of the true wonders of dental care.

If you would like more information on bite correction through orthodontics, 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 “Moving Teeth With Orthodontics.”

By DAVID G. FEENEY, DDS
August 26, 2021
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: teeth whitening  

Having a brighter smile makes a person happier about the way they see themselves in the mirror. People do this through a variety of methods. Dr. David Feeney of Matthews, NC, and his dental staff understands that many people seek to do this primarily through teeth whitening.

What Does It Mean to Whiten the Teeth?

Teeth whitening is the process by which stains and discoloration on your teeth are removed. Teeth whitening can be done with various products and methods, such as strips or toothpaste that contain certain chemicals. These will typically work by temporarily covering the surface of the teeth with a gel substance that has any number of whitening substances, including peroxide.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

One of the benefits of teeth whitening is that it can make you feel more confident about your appearance. Having whiter teeth can give someone else a possible better first impression of you, which can be helpful for things like dating or job interviews.

DIY Teeth Whitening Options

A lot of people use at-home whitening strips. These can be gooey and slip off if a person produces a lot of saliva. Custom trays can be molded for you at the dentist's office, but there is a cost involved for that. The gel that comes with the custom tray usually causes less sensitivity than the in-office light procedures.

It's important to understand that if a person whitens their teeth with one product and switches to another, they must follow the instructions for the new product only. Each manufacturer of teeth-whitening products has its own instructions for safety reasons.

What's Always the Best Way to Whiten Your Teeth?

Teeth should always be professionally cleaned by a qualified dental team, such as those found at Dr. David Feeney in Matthews, NC. Once this is done, the most effective and fastest way to whiten the teeth is to use an in-office procedure involving lights and a film applied to the teeth.

If you are interested in professional and fast teeth whitening, then contact Dr. David Feeney and his staff in Matthews, NC, at (704) 847-1000 for an appointment today.





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