My Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants


Ed Helms is best known for his role as the self-absorbed, Ivy League sales rep, Andy Bernard, on television's The Office. But to millions of fans he's also Stu, a member of a bachelor trip to Las Vegas in the 2009 movie The Hangover. In it, Stu and his friends wake up from a wild night on the Strip to find some things missing: the groom-to-be, their memories and, for Stu, a front tooth.

In reality, the missing tooth gag wasn't a Hollywood makeup or CGI (computer-generated imagery) trick—it was Ed Helm's actual missing tooth. According to Helms, the front tooth in question never developed and he had obtained a dental implant to replace it. He had the implant crown removed for the Hangover movie and then replaced after filming.

Helms' dental situation isn't that unusual. Although most of the 170 million-plus teeth missing from Americans' mouths are due to disease or trauma, a few happened because the teeth never formed. While most of these congenitally missing teeth are in the back of the mouth, a few, as in Helms' case, involve front teeth in the “smile zone,” which can profoundly affect appearance.

Fortunately, people missing undeveloped teeth have several good options to restore their smiles and dental function. The kind of tooth missing could help determine which option to use. For example, a bridge supported by the teeth on either side of the gap might work well if the teeth on either side are in need of crowns.

If the missing tooth happens to be one or both of the lateral incisors (on either side of the centermost teeth), it could be possible to move the canine teeth (the pointy ones, also called eye teeth) to fill the gap. This technique, known as canine substitution, may also require further modification—either by softening the canines' pointed tips, crowning them or applying veneers—to help the repositioned teeth look more natural.

The optimal solution, though, is to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant which then has a lifelike crown attached to it, as Ed Helms did to get his winning smile. Implant-supported replacement teeth are closest to natural teeth in terms of both appearance and function. Implants, though, shouldn't be placed until the jaw has fully developed, usually in early adulthood. A younger person may need a temporary restoration like a bonded bridge or a partial denture until they're ready for an implant.

Whatever the method, there's an effective way to restore missing teeth. Seeing us for an initial exam is the first step toward your own winning smile.

If you would like more information about restoring missing teeth, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants.”

Dental implants are the best permanent tooth replacement option. In the past, people with missing or broken teeth had to rely on dentures to improve the look and function of their teeth. With dental implants, you can replace your missing teeth with attractive, permanent ones that help you feel and look your best. If you are searching for a dentist in Matthews NC to provide you with dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Feeney. He can help you determine if dental implants are right for you. Until then, read on to learn why dental implants are the best permanent tooth replacement option.

Improve Self Esteem

No one wants to have missing, chipped or broken teeth. You are more reluctant to smile and laugh. This affects various aspects of your life, including your social and work life. Dental implants provide you with a permanent solution. You feel better about yourself and can work and socialize with more confidence. 

Function Like Natural Teeth

Dental implants are the best choice if you want something that looks, feels, and works like your natural teeth. In other words, you can brush and floss them without worrying about having to take them out. You can even eat the foods you enjoy without worrying about damaging them. It's one of the many reasons your Dentist Matthews's office recommends implants.

Protect Facial Structure

Missing teeth can gradually cause your facial structure to deteriorate. Your remaining teeth shift toward each other, causing a drastic change in your appearance. Dental implants stimulate bone growth while preventing bone loss. A dentist in Matthews can help you learn more about how dental implants protect your facial structure.

Better than Dentures

Dentures are artificial teeth that shift around in your mouth. As a result, eating is a challenge. Dentures also interfere with your speech. When you have dentures, you frequently have to have them repaired or replaced. In contrast, dental implants are permanent. They won't slide around in your mouth, and you can treat them like natural teeth.

Schedule Your Appointment

You don't have to live your life with missing and broken teeth. Dental implants are an excellent option for people who want to smile with confidence and eat the foods they want to enjoy. Your dentist in Matthews NC can help you decide if dental implants are right for you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. David Feeney and his caring staff by calling us at 704-847-1000.


Even in the 21st Century, losing most or all of your teeth is still an unfortunate possibility. Many in this circumstance turn to dentures, as their great-grandparents did, to restore their teeth. But today's dentures are much different from those of past generations—and dental implants are a big reason why.

The basic denture is made of a gum-colored, acrylic base with artificial teeth attached. The base is precisely made to fit snugly and comfortably on the patient's individual gum and jaw structure, as the bony ridges of the gums provide the overall support for the denture.

Implants improve on this through two possible approaches. A removable denture can be fitted with a metal frame that firmly connects with implants embedded in the jaw. Alternatively, a denture can be permanently attached to implants with screws. Each way has its pros and cons, but both have two decided advantages over traditional dentures.

First, because implants rather than the gums provide their main support, implant-denture hybrids are often more secure and comfortable than traditional dentures. As a result, patients may enjoy greater confidence while eating or speaking wearing an implant-based denture.

They may also improve bone health rather than diminish it like standard dentures. This is because the forces generated when chewing and eating travel from the teeth to the jawbone and stimulate new bone cell growth to replace older cells. We lose this stimulation when we lose teeth, leading to slower bone cell replacement and eventually less overall bone volume.

Traditional dentures not only don't restore this stimulation, they can also accelerate bone loss as they rub against the bony ridges of the gums. Implants, on the other hand, can help slow or stop bone loss. The titanium in the imbedded post attracts bone cells, which then grow and adhere to the implant surface. Over time, this can increase the amount of bone attachment and help stymie any further loss.

An implant-supported denture is more expensive than a standard denture, but far less than replacing each individual tooth with an implant. If you want the affordability of dentures with the added benefits of implants, this option may be worth your consideration.

If you would like more information on implant-supported restorations, 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 “Overdentures & Fixed Dentures.”

February 20, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants offer an excellent tooth replacement solution if you've lost one or more teeth. The restorations replace missing teeth from root to crown, improving your appearance and your chewing ability. If you've been considering your tooth restoration options, your Matthews, NC, dentist, Dr. David Feeney, can help you decide if dental implants are the right choice for you.

How dental implants complete your smile

Thanks to innovative dental technology advancements, it's now possible to restore your entire missing tooth. The dental implant process starts when a tiny titanium post is implanted in your jawbone during minor oral surgery. The post will be eventually connected to a crown that looks just like the top part of your natural teeth.

During the next three to six months, your implant will begin to bond to your jawbone. As soon as it's fully integrated with the bone, your dentist will add a small screw to the top of the implant and connect your dental crown. Your implant becomes a permanent part of your jawbone. Implants are very versatile and can be used to replace any number of missing teeth.

Dental implants feel just like natural teeth

Strong roots prevent your new tooth from slipping, sliding or irritating your gums. In fact, you probably won't notice any difference between your real and synthetic teeth when you bite and chew.

Implants help protect your oral health

Did you know that your teeth can shift after you lose a tooth? In addition to changing the appearance of your smile, shifting or overlapping teeth may change your bite. If your teeth are no longer perfectly aligned, you may begin to experience chewing difficulties, jaw pain and headaches.

Drifting teeth can also increase your risk of cavities. When teeth overlap, it's not always easy to remove sticky plaque from them. As a result, you may be more likely to develop tooth decay.

Dental implants also help you avoid jawbone resorption, a condition that occurs when the jawbone shrinks and weakens after tooth loss. Just like your natural roots, your implants will constantly press on the bone and keep it strong and healthy.

Restore your smile with dental implants. Call your dentist in Matthews, NC, Dr. Feeney, at (704) 847-1000 to schedule your appointment.

By David G. Feeney, DDS
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsFind out how dental implants are able to replace missing teeth for life.

Are you missing one or more teeth? Are you looking for a restoration that will not just look like the rest of your teeth but also function similarly? If you said “yes” then it’s time to talk to our Matthews, NC, dentist Dr. David Feeney about how dental implants could improve the health and appearance of your smile.

What is a dental implant?

An implant is a very small metal restoration that is placed into the jawbone below the gum line. While the implant isn’t visible when you smile, it will provide a long-term and stable foundation from which to support a false tooth. Implants can be a lifelong restoration because they actually fuse together naturally with the bone and tissue in a process known as osseointegration. Once osseointegration is complete, the implant will now function in the same way as natural tooth roots.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

Getting implants requires multiple steps and several months. The length of your treatment will depend on factors such as your health, how quickly the implant bonds with the jawbone and how many implants you are getting. After all, several implants can be placed along the jawbone to support a complete set of dentures (this process will take longer than for those patients only receiving a single dental implant).

Theses multiple treatment steps include:

  • Consultation, physical exam and x-rays
  • Minor surgery to place the implant
  • 3-6 months to allow the mouth to heal and for the jawbone to fuse together with the implant
  • Another minor procedure to place the abutment, a connector that sits on top of the implant
  • Fitting and then permanently cementing the dental crown over the abutment to complete the implant

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

If you are an adult dealing with tooth loss then chances are you could benefit from getting dental implants in Matthews, NC. Of course, our restorative dentist will need to perform a thorough examination complete with x-rays to make sure that your jawbone and the rest of your mouth is healthy enough to support an implant.

Do you have questions about getting dental implants in Matthews, NC? Do you want to find out if you are an ideal candidate for this restoration? If so, then call our dental office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Feeney.