Excel Dental Blog

Experts Confirm Benefits of Starting Orthodontic Treatment at Young Age

Pediatric DentistryOZARK, MO-No longer should orthodontic care be associated with teenagers alone. Because permanent teeth begin to come in at age 6 or 7, the American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children receive an orthodontic screening during this time.

“Orthodontic treatment has come a long way in the last few decades,” explains Missouri dentist Dr. Tracy Davis. “Thanks to breakthrough research and advanced technology, specialists are now able to determine what kind of treatment a child will need several years down the road.”

Parents may brush off the recommendation that their 7-year-old see an orthodontist. But remember that the jaw and teeth are still developing at this age. This allows the expert to then address any issues, such as crowding. It’s much easier for an orthodontist to ensure optimal results in an efficient amount of time when dealing with younger patients.

The ‘two-phase treatment,’ as it’s so often called, allows for a positive experience for everyone involved. Naturally, when the orthodontist can create a future treatment plan several years in advance, the patient and parent know what to expect. This also often leads to less time wearing an orthodontic appliance and less of an expense for you.

At Excel Dental, we take great pride in being an elite family dentistry. In fact, we take just as much satisfaction in your child’s oral health as you do. Our professional team not only wants to provide a dental clean for our patients, but also a smile that they can be proud of for the rest of their lives.

Plus, each of the doctors at Excel Dental is a certified Invisalign and 6 Month Smile Orthodontic provider. Take the stress away from orthodontic problems in their teenage years and start them on the path to a beautiful smile now.

Excel Dental is a trusted provider of family dentistry, Invisalign orthodontics, mini dental implants and laser-assisted dentistry in the Ozark, Nixa and Springfield areas. Visit our website or call the office to learn more about our orthodontic treatment options.

© 2014 Millionairium and Excel Dental.  Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Athletes Reduce Concussion Risk When Wearing Properly Fitted Mouthguards

SPRINGFIELD, MO-Parents of athletes may want to consider going to the dentist instead of the local sporting goods store for a mouthguard. According to the May/June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, high school football players wearing store-bought mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer concussions and mild traumatic injuries as those wearing properly fitted ones.

mouthguardA total of 412 players participated in the study. While 220 were randomly assigned to wear fitted mouthguards, the remaining 192 wore over-the-counter mouthguards of their choice. The same style of football helmet was worn by all participants.

Following the experiment, more than eight percent of those wearing the standard mouthguard suffered a concussion or similar injuries. On the contrary, less than four percent of the athletes wearing properly fitted mouthguards dealt with concussions.

It’s important to note that even a custom-made mouthguard cannot prevent traumatic brain injuries. But previous research indicates that the right mouthguard can help absorb shock, limit movement caused by a direct hit to the jaw and stabilize the head/neck areas. Experts also attribute mouthguard thickness as a key factor in reducing concussion risk. According to the study, the average thickness of the fitted mouthguards was 3.50 millimeters. The size of the store-bought ones, however, came in at less than have that size at 1.65 millimeters.

“Our team of dentists at Excel Dental offers many preventive services, including athletic mouthguards,” says Missouri dentist Dr. Kelly Barnett. “We are fully aware of the growing concern with concussions and strive to make your athlete safer in their particular sport with a properly fitted mouthguard.”

Dr. Eugene Antenucci, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry, explains the following tips for caring for a custom-fit mouthguard.

  1. Brush your mouthguard with a toothbrush and cool water after each use.
  2. Keep your mouthguard in the case your dentist provided when not wearing it.
  3. Avoid leaving your mouthguard in direct sunlight or a hot care. A melted one won’t offer as much protection.
  4. Bring your mouthguard into your dentist office to make sure its structure and fit remain effective for wearing.


For additional information on this study, check out this link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140501101133.htm.

“You may not have thought of the dentist office as being the place to get your child’s mouthguard,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “But if you want an easy way to boost their safety when they’re on the field, feel free to bring them into Excel Dental for a custom-fit mouthguard.”

Excel Dental is a trusted provider of general dentistry, family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry in the Springfield, Branson and Rogersville areas. Visit our website or call the office to learn more about our general dentistry and preventive treatment options.

© 2014 Millionairium and Excel Dental.  Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Poor Dental Health Increases Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s

Dental HealthNIXA, MO-The importance of maintaining quality dental health continues to be magnified. According to a study completed by researchers from the University of Lancashire in the United Kingdom, people with poor oral hygiene could be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as opposed to those with healthy teeth.

Experts looked at 10 brain samples from patients with dementia and another 10 brain samples from people who did not have the disease. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, revealed the bacteria known as Porphyromonas gingivalis in the samples affected by the disease.

It was noted that this bacteria typically resides in oral cavities and enters the bloodstream via activities such as chewing, eating, brushing teeth and invasive dental treatment.

The researchers explained that the bacteria can eventually cause the release of excess chemicals that kill neurons. Down the road, Porphyromonas gingivalis may augment the chance of experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms such as memory loss and confusion.

Even though a great deal of time and research remains to be completed on the subject matter, our staff at Excel Dental emphasizes the importance of good dental health to our patients.

A healthy mouth not only benefits your teeth, but your body as a whole. As mentioned on WebMD, proper oral hygiene boosts your quality of life, lowers the risk of heart disease, preserves your memory and reduces risk of inflammation and infection in your body.

Reap the benefits of our dental treatments. We believe that a healthy mouth allows patients to feel confident and happy in their lives.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been putting off seeing a dentist for years and years. Our friendly professionals look forward to getting your health back on track.

Excel Dental is a trusted provider of general dentistry, Invisalign orthodontics, mini dental implants and laser-assisted dentistry in the Nixa, Ozark and Springfield areas. Visit our website or call the office to learn more.

© 2014 Millionairium and Excel Dental.  Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this article is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Ozark Family Dentistry Raising Stroke Awareness

Healthy SmileSpringfield, Missouri- Excel Dental’s slogan is Smile Healthy. We are committed to your health, and we want you to be aware of the signs and symptoms of strokes.

May is Stroke Awareness Month at your Nixa area dentist, ExcelDental Ozarks. A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or when a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to the brain. This causes brain cells to die and brain damage to occur. This causes terrible consequences, including physical, cognitive and emotional functioning.

Studies show that 80% of strokes can be prevented through the help of healthcare professionals, so we want you to know about certain risk factors that often increase the chances of a stroke.


Signs & Symptoms of a Stressed-Out Smile

Springfield, MO – Stress is a fact of life. We often cannot escape overwhelming feelings when it comes to work, traveling, lack of time and sleep, diet, or relationships. But these feelings can take a toll on us in many ways. Stress affects our mental health and our physical health, including the mouth, gums, and teeth.

Dr. Marc Barnett agrees that too much stress can lead to depression and anxiety. “When people are depressed, they often do not take care of themselves, as they should. This can lead to many problems pertaining to the mouth,” says Dr. Barnett, an Ozark dentist who specializes in smile makeovers in the Springfield area.

smile makeovers in Springfield


Nick Matthews Named a ‘20 under 30

Dr. Nick Matthews Congratulations to our very own Dr. Nick Matthews! Dr. Matthews was recently honored in our local magazine, 417, as one of their “20 under 30.” Dr. Matthews is a member of The American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, Greater Springfield Dental Society and Pierre Fauchard Academy, and a Fellow of the International Dental Implant Association.

Dr. Matthews graduated with honors in endodontics from the University of Missouri–Kansas City in 2012, and he was immediately brought on as our fourth dentist here at Excel Dental. He is always seeking out additional certifications to keep our practice up to date, and he volunteers monthly at The Kitchen Dental Clinic. Dr. Matthews was honored in part because of his work helping Springfield’s underprivileged overcome dental pain from abscessed teeth. Dr. Matthews says, “Pain from these types of odontogenic infections can be debilitating, even preventing these people from working or eating. Hopefully, with our care, they can forget about pain and infection, and focus on bettering their lives.”


How National Nutrition Month and Your Smile Are Connected

Healthy SmileBRANSON, MO- What you feed your body plays a major role in your overall health. That’s obvious. Here’s what many people don’t realize- teeth and gums rely on a wholesome diet filled with vitamins and minerals, too.

March is National Nutrition Month. Have you eaten enough veggies lately? If not, the proof may be in your mouth. A lack of essential vitamins and minerals will adversely affect your dental wellbeing.

“Vitamin deficiencies can be evidenced in peculiar changes in oral tissues and dental health conditions,” says Dr. Kelly Barnett, one of our experienced Branson area dentists.


Can You Catch A Cavity? Research Says “Yes”

cosmetic dentistrySPRINGFIELD, MO- We’re at the tail end of cold and flu season, but there’s another health threat making its rounds. According to multiple studies, cavities are contagious.

Just when you thought your toothbrush was enough to protect you from tooth decay, research suggests that cavity-causing bacteria is can be spread from person to person, just like a cold.

“Many people view cavities simply as a product of too many sweets or poor hygiene, but tooth decay is a serious infectious disease,” says Dr. Marc Barnett, a dentist in Springfield, Missouri.


Why Your Gums Want You to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Healthy SmileOZARK, MO- Have you drifted from your New Year’s resolution to be more active and eat better? If so, here’s a little extra motivation to meet your goals: a healthy lifestyle can boost gum health.”

“Oral health isn’t isolated from the rest of the body,” says Ozark family dentist Dr. Nick Matthews. “Diet and exercise has a positive impact on your gums and well as your general health.”

A study published in the Journal of Periodontology observed the impact an active, healthy lifestyle can have on gum health. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine discovered it may prevent gum disease.


Step Aside, Cupid. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Children’s Dental HealthNIXA, MO- We love Valentines Day, but there’s another big February occasion to celebrate. Did you know it’s National Children’s Dental Health Month? We encourage parents to make oral hygiene a family priority for the short and long term dental health of their children.

“Good dental health is vital at any age, but having a good foundation of proper at-home and professional care as a child is invaluable,” says Nixa dentist Dr. Marc Barnett. “Kids who are cognizant about the importance of dental health are more likely to have strong teeth and gums and fewer dental problems in adulthood.”