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Posts for tag: Dental Care

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.”

A healthy smile begins with you!

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is actually surprisingly easy, and your at-home routine is one of the most important, if not the most important factor for supporting and maintaining good oral health. Besides turning to our Matthews, NC, dentist, Dr. David Feeney, twice a year for checkups, here are simple habits and tips that you can adopt and do everyday from the comfort of your own home to preserve your smile.

Follow the 2x2 rule when brushing

What is the 2x2 rule? It simply means that you should be brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time, two times a day. This is the best way to remove plaque and tartar buildup to reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride, which will help keep enamel strong and healthy.

You also need to floss

No matter how much of a master you are at brushing, you still need to floss. According to Oral-B, if you don’t floss you actually miss cleaning 35 percent of your tooth surfaces. Yikes! So if you really want to safeguard your smile from cavities and gum disease, you will want to floss your teeth at least once a day, ideally in the evening.

Add mouthwash to your routine

If you aren’t doing it already, you should also use mouthwash every day. This is just another way to kill the bacteria responsible for gum disease. Find an antiseptic mouthwash that contains the ADA seal of approval. If you aren’t sure which mouthwash will work best for you talk with your Matthews, NC, general dentist to find out.

The Importance of Home Dental Care

Your routine matters. How you brush and floss your teeth matters. Your lifestyle, habits and diet also matter. All of these play a role in your oral health. We know that everyone wants to prevent gum disease, dental infections, cavities and tooth injuries. By maintaining a strong oral care routine that you’re dedicated to each and every day you can prevent these issues from happening, which can also save you a lot of time, money and stress in the long run. Along with a stellar home routine, you also want to visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings and care.

If you have questions about how to care for your smile, or if you need to schedule a cleaning, don’t hesitate to call our Matthews, NC, family dentist at (704) 847-1000.