My Blog

Posts for: December, 2016

December 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Discover what makes dental implants tick and whether they are right for you.

You are thinking about getting dental implants but you aren’t sure if this is the right tooth loss treatment for you. We completely dental implantsunderstand the extensive time and thought that goes into deciding whether this restoration is right for you. Our Matthews, NC dentist, Dr. David Feeney, is here to give you the skinny on dental implants to help make your decision-making process simpler.

The Pros of Dental Implants

Simply put, an implant is a small metal screw or post that is made from titanium and is used to support an artificial tooth. Implants are placed into the jawbone to take the place of your tooth roots. Over the course of several months, the jawbone and implant fuse together. Implants are the only restoration that naturally bond with natural bone and tissue, making it a very reliable and durable tooth replacement.

Unlike other restorations like bridges, dental implants don’t rely on healthy natural teeth to support it, which can prevent damage to these teeth over time. Also, since the implant becomes one with the jawbone, it prevents bone loss. No other restoration can prevent the deterioration of the jawbone. This means that the remaining natural teeth won’t shift out of place and your facial structure will be preserved. Dental implants are truly as close as you can get to having natural teeth.

The Cons of Dental Implant

Of course, no dental procedure comes without some downsides. While this procedure is typically very safe and effective, surgery always comes with some potential complications such as bleeding, infection or nerve damage.

It’s also important for our Matthews dental implant expert to point out that getting these restorations takes time. There is no quick fix when it comes to getting implants. It requires multiple procedures and can take up to a year or more to finally get your full restoration.

Also, they can be rather expensive when compared to other options. You can talk to your health insurance provider to find out if they will cover some of the procedure. However, while they are often more expensive than bridges or dentures, they are also designed to last a lifetime without needing to be replaced, while other restorations will need to be replaced more regularly. So while you may pay more upfront for implants, it could potentially save you money in the long run.

Turn to our Matthews, NC dental office today if you want to schedule your dental implant consultation. We would be happy to sit down with you and determine whether dental implants are right for you.

By David G. Feeney, DDS
December 17, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing   oral hygiene  

Though you don't like to admit it, you don't floss very often. Oh sure, you know it's important to remove the film of bacteria and food particles called plaque that builds up between and on your teeth. And you know you should do it every day.

It's just that, well… you're not very good at using dental floss.

While it's effective, dental floss takes some technique to hold it with your fingers and work it between your teeth. It can be hard for people to get the hang of it — and some aren't physically able or have obstacles like braces that make it harder.

There is a solution: an oral irrigator. Available for home use for decades, these devices deliver pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld device that looks like a power toothbrush. The water flows through a special tip to loosen and flush out plaque from between teeth.

You may have encountered oral irrigation during dental visits. They're a regular part of dental cleanings especially for treatment of periodontal (gum) disease. Because gum tissue weakened by disease may gradually separate from the teeth, large voids or gaps called periodontal pockets can form. These pockets can become further infected and accumulate plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that can also extend to the roots. Oral irrigation is a way to remove much of the plaque from these hard to reach places.

Oral irrigators have also proven effective for orthodontic patients whose brace hardware inhibits regular dental floss. A 2008 study, for example, found orthodontic patients were able to remove five times as much plaque with an oral irrigator as those who used only a manual toothbrush.

If you're simply looking for an effective alternative to dental floss, an oral irrigator is a good choice. We can help choose the right model for you and give you tips on using it. Your goal is the same as if you were using dental floss — remove the plaque between your teeth to keep disease at bay and your smile healthy.

If you would like more information on flossing options, 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 “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”