My Blog

Posts for: December, 2020

December 29, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

How professional dental cleanings from your dentist in Matthews, North Carolina can improve your smile.

There are many reasons why you need to have your teeth cleaned by a professional. The truth is, you need help to take care of your smile. Brushing and flossing are important, but you also need professional teeth cleaning to enjoy a healthy smile.

Dr. David Feeney in Matthews, North Carolina offers restorative, cosmetic, and preventive dental services, including dental cleanings to improve your smile.

When you brush and floss, you are guarding your smile against plaque, which contains millions of harmful bacteria. Plaque is the soft deposit that clings to your teeth.

There is also a hard deposit that attaches to your teeth. It’s known as calculus or tartar. The calculus creates a rough surface that attracts plaque and bacteria.

During professional teeth cleaning, your dental care provider will remove both the soft deposits and the hard deposits from your teeth. Then your teeth will be polished to remove stains and create a smooth surface that helps to resist plaque formation.

You should have your teeth cleaned every six months if your mouth is generally healthy, or every three to four months if you have periodontal disease.

In addition to regular cleanings, you should visit your dentist at least once each year for x-rays and a dental examination. Your exam and dental cleaning appointments are the perfect opportunities for you to find out more about the latest tools, techniques, and materials to give you an outstanding smile.

Regular professional dental cleanings, x-rays, and dental exams provide the foundation to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. When you take advantage of these preventive dental services, you keep your teeth, gums, and supporting bone health.

To find out more about the importance of regular professional dental cleanings, talk with an expert. Call Dr. David Feeney in Matthews, North Carolina at (704) 847-1000. Call today.

By David G. Feeney, DDS
December 21, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Care  

You know you should see the dentist about that nagging tooth or gum problem, but you keep putting it off. Truth be told, you're a little nervous that your treatment visit might be unpleasant.

In one sense, your concern isn't unreasonable: The teeth and gums abound in nerves that are more than effective in signaling pain. Even minor dental procedures can trigger discomfort. In another sense, though, there's no need to worry, thanks to pain-numbing techniques using local anesthesia.

The term “local” is used because the applied anesthetic only affects the area and surrounding tissues needing treatment. The anesthetic drugs temporarily block nerve electrical impulses from transmitting pain signals to the brain. Unlike general anesthesia, which requires placing a patient in an unconscious state, a patient can be awake, yet feel no sensation around the anesthetized tissue.

Dentists typically use a two-step method to prevent patients from feeling any pain during a procedure. First, they apply a topical local anesthetic to the surface of the gums. Once these top layers have been numbed, they numb the underlying tissues by injecting the anesthetic with a needle. The goal of a topical application is to ensure the patient doesn't feel the prick of the needle used for deep tissue anesthesia.

Dentists follow strict protocols using anesthesia that have been developed over several decades. As a result, local anesthesia has revolutionized dental care and greatly reduced patient discomfort safely and effectively. Its effectiveness has in fact led to a common complaint that the numbness may linger long afterwards. But that also has been addressed with better combinations of anesthetic drugs to reduce the duration of the numbing effect.

And not only does local anesthesia make for a more relaxing and pleasant experience, it also benefits the dental provider. Dentists tend to work more efficiently when they know their patients aren't in discomfort, which can result in better treatment outcomes.

If you've been putting off a trip to the dentist because you think it might be painful or uncomfortable, put those concerns to rest. With the help of local anesthesia, dental treatment can be relaxing and pain-free.

If you would like more information on having a pain-free experience at the dentist, 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 “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”

By David G. Feeney, DDS
December 09, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

In the midst of the current global pandemic, we're all focused on staying healthy and avoiding infection. For many, their first thought before resuming any regular activity is, “Will I or my family be safe?”

If you've asked that about visiting the dentist, rest assured, it is. In fact, dentists have been at the forefront in protecting patients from viral and bacterial infections for decades. Here's why you're in safe hands at the dentist's office.

Barrier control. Although we're focused at the moment on Covid-19, there are other pathogens (microorganism that cause disease) for which there has been an ongoing concern among healthcare providers. Many of these like the viruses that cause hepatitis or HIV/AIDS spread through blood-to-blood contact. That's why we routinely use gloves, face shields and other barrier devices, even during routine visits, to prevent bloodborne transmission between patients and staff, or other patients.

Disinfection. Viruses and other pathogens may continue to live on surfaces in treatment areas for various durations. To prevent their transmission to humans, we follow strict procedures for disinfecting all treatment-related surfaces after each patient visit. One-use treatment items are disposed separately from regular waste. Permanent instruments and equipment are cleaned and thoroughly sanitized to the highest standard.

Protocols. There are approximately 170,000 dentists across the U.S., yet each generally follows the same high standards for infection control. Regulating bodies at state levels have made infection control a crucial part of licensing requirements and continuing education, and every dental practice must have an infection control plan they meticulously follow. Because of these strict standards, an infection occurring in a dental office setting is extremely rare.

In addition to these regular procedures, dentists have also added extra safety measures to better address the current crisis, and will continue these until the crisis has abated. Staying knowledgeable and flexible to new challenges is also a feature of dental providers' infection control mission.

If you do have concerns, please feel free to contact us to learn more about the specific measures we have in place to keep patients safe. Protecting you and your family during dental care will always be our top priority.

If you would like more information on patient safety at the dentist's office, 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 “Infection Control in the Dental Office.”