Excel Dental Blog

Invisalign is the Clear Solution for Straighter Teeth

Springfield, MO – Are you embarrassed by your less than perfect smile, so you hide it at all costs? Now, you can get a straighter smile by visiting your Springfield dentist. That’s right, the dentists at Excel Dental are certified Invisalign providers.

“Our goal is to provide exceptional care to our patients,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “Part of being cosmetic dentistry specialists is providing all of the options our patients need for beautiful smiles. And Invisalign is a great piece of the puzzle.”

Ozark Invisalign providersSince it was introduced in the late 90s, Invisalign has revolutionized the way teeth are straightened. Using a series of clear plastic aligners, Invisalign gently guides teeth into their ideal locations. It’s a great solution for people with minor issues, and for adults or teens who’d like to straighten their teeth discreetly.

“What makes Invisalign so wonderful is the customized treatment plans,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “We use digital imagery to precisely map out the proper tooth movement to achieve your perfect smile, and we can even show you what your smile will look like at the end of treatment.”

So how does it work?

At your appointment, you dentist will use X-rays, photos and impressions of your teeth to create a virtual, 3-D image. From there, a customized treatment plan will be created just for you. You’ll be able to see how your teeth will move at each stage of treatment.

Once your consultation is finished, a series of custom aligners will be created for you. These aligners will be worn 20 to 22 hours a day, and will be changed out every two weeks. Each set of aligners is calibrated for precise tooth movement. At each stage of treatment, you’ll be able to see and feel your progress.

But what makes Invisalign such a great choice?

There are so many benefits to Invisalign treatment that our patients enjoy. The aligners are clear, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone even realizing it.

They are also removable, so you can take them out to eat, drink, brush and floss. That means you can still eat popcorn, chips and all of your favorite foods, even while in treatment.

The aligners are made from a smooth plastic, so there are no brackets or wires that can cause irritation in your mouth.
Invisalign also fits into your busy lifestyle, as you only need to visit the office every six weeks or so.

To know if you are a good candidate for Invisalign, schedule a consultation with Excel Dental today.

© 2015 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 document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Everything You Need To Know, But Were Afraid To Ask, About Root Canals

Springfield, MO – Have you recently been told you need root canal treatment to repair a tooth? Millions of these are performed every year, so it’s a procedure you’ve probably heard about. But do you actually know what happens during one?

Tooth anatomy“We hear about root canals all the time,” says Dr. Tracy Davis of Excel Dental. “But while the term is common, we realize you may not know everything that goes into one. And we think it’s very important that all of our patients are well-informed and understand procedures before they’re done. That gives us the best opportunity to discuss proper care, and to relieve any concerns or fears they may have.”

Root canals are procedures that are done to repair and save teeth that are badly decayed, injured or infected. During the procedure, your Ozark dentists will remove the nerve and infected parts of the tooth. Then they will disinfect the inside of the tooth. The tooth will then be sealed, and repaired with a crown or filling to ensure it functions properly following the procedure.

“This cleaning out and sealing of the tooth is very important,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “If the infection is left untreated, that infection can spread to other tissues and abscesses can even form.”

Inside your tooth is a space called the pulp cavity. In that area lies both the pulp and the root of your tooth. This is the living tissue that keeps the tooth alive and healthy. The pulp includes the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues, and when this pulp becomes inflamed or infected, you’ll need a root canal.

But what causes this infection? If your tooth becomes severely decayed or you’ve had repeat dental procedures on it, infection could occur. Additionally, if you’ve damaged or injured your tooth in anyway by chipping it, cracking it or breaking it, you can damage the root or leave it susceptible to infection.

When your tooth’s nerve or pulp become damaged, they begin to break down. Then, bacteria begins to build up, leading to infection or an abscessed tooth. When a tooth abscesses, a pocket forms and fills with pus, typically at the root of the tooth. Infection can cause swelling in your face, head and neck, bone loss, and drainage problems.

The pulp of the tooth can become inflamed, which can then cause swelling and pressure inside the tooth. This can then lead to tooth pain, and if not taken care of right away, the pain can intensify as the infection spreads to other tissues.

How do you know if you may need a root canal? It’s best to seek the professional advice of a dentist, but if you experience any of the following, you should schedule a visit:

  • Severe tooth pain, especially when chewing or applying pressure.
  • Prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold.
  • Tooth becomes discolored.
  • Gums become tender or swollen
  • A boil continues to recur on the gums.

“It typically takes one or two visits to complete a root canal procedure, depending on the severity of the infection,” says Dr. Davis. “First, we’ll take an X-ray to determine what the root canal looks like and to see if the infection has spread to any surrounding tissues. Then, we’ll numb the area to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.”

During the procedure, our dentist will take measures to keep the tooth isolated and dry. The entire root canal is done through a small access hole in the chewing surface of your tooth. Afterwards, your dentist will seal this hole prior to make a final restoration.

“Once your root canal procedure is finished, we’ll need to restore the tooth,” says Dr. Matthews. “Depending on the severity, we’ll use a crown or other restoration to ensure you have a tooth that looks and functions properly.”

Once the root canal is finished, you may have a bit of tenderness or sensitivity due. This will be especially true if you had an infection or experienced any pain prior to the procedure. Typically all it takes to help the pain is an over-the-counter pain medication, but your dentist may prescribe pain medication just in case. You’ll be able to return to normal activities right away, but should refrain from chewing or putting much pressure on the area until the sensitivity has subsided.

After your root canal and restoration, follow all oral care instructions from your dentist to ensure your tooth remains healthy and strong.

With the expert care of the dentists at Excel Dental, you’ll be in good hands, and in no time, you’re toothache will be gone, your tooth will be repaired, and you’ll be able to enjoy life with a healthy, properly functioning tooth.
© 2015 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 document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Tooth Sealants Explained

Springfield, MO – Has your dentist recommended tooth sealants, but you aren’t sure what they are? The Springfield dentists at Excel Dental have all of the information you need.

“Sealants are essentially a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “These back molars are where we most often find decay because they can be harder to reach when brushing and flossing.”

Ozark dental careGood brushing and flossing techniques are great at removing food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of your teeth. However, your molars have deep grooves where food particles can get stuck. This can lead to decay and cavities. Sealants help seal those areas, keeping food and plaque from causing damage.

“Sealants should only be applied professionally at a dentist office.” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “At your appointment, we will clean out the grooves on the chewing surface of your molars and place the sealant directly onto your tooth enamel. It bonds to your tooth and hardens, protecting the enamel from the plaque and bacteria that lead to decay.”


How Healthy Are Your Children’s Teeth?

 kid brushing teethSpringfield, MO – Do you make sure your children brush and floss their teeth every day? Childhood tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood disease, and can have lasting effects on your children.

“Beginning a proper oral care routine during childhood is critical to fight off tooth decay,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, an Ozark family dentist. “Many people don’t often pay close attention to baby teeth, because they eventually fall out on their own. But pediatric dental disease can have very serious repercussions for your child and his or her overall health.”

Early childhood caries is five times more common than asthma, four times more common that childhood obesity and 20 times more common that juvenile diabetes. It can begin as soon as a child’s teeth begin to erupt, typically around age 6 months.


Easing Tooth Pain At Home

Springfield, MO – At Excel Dental, we know that tooth pain can sometimes strike at inconvenient times. The good news is, there are some things you can do to ease the pain yourself before you can make it into our office.

“Tooth pain can happen anytime, but can worsen quickly if you’ve got a problem you’ve been ignoring,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, one of the Ozark cosmetic dentists. “The most common sources of dental pain come from tooth sensitivity, cavities or a loose filling, an infection, cracked or chipped teeth, an exposed root or gum disease. It’s best to visit us as soon as a problem arises, even if you think it’s still small. A small issue can worsen and become a much bigger issue in no time.”

OZ cosmetic dentistryBut, until you can make it to your dentist’s office to have repair work, such as a dental crown, done, there are some things you can do to be more comfortable.

An ice pack on the outside of your mouth can ease pain and swelling. Never use heat, and avoid very hot or cold foods until your tooth has been repaired. An over the counter pain reliever will also help relieve pain. Orajel or another benzocaine gel can be placed directly on the sore tooth. Tylenol or


One Third of Americans Don’t Visit the Dentist

Springfield, MO – According to a Gallup poll, in 2013, one third of Americans didn’t visit the dentist. Were you in that group?

Healthy teethWhile it is recommended that you see a dentist twice a year for check-ups, nearly one in three American adults still admitted they didn’t see the dentist even once in 2013. The poll found that women were more likely than men to visit the dentist regularly. African Americans and Hispanics are less likely than Caucasians and Asian Americans to see a dentist.

“This is troubling to us,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, one of the Ozark dentists at Excel Dental. “Study after study shows the intricate link between oral health and whole body health, and failing to maintain regular visits with your dentist can impact not


Common Gum Disease Myths

Springfield, MO – It is estimated that nearly three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. But while 75 percent of us may suffer from the disease, roughly three percent actually seek out treatment for the disease. And with more research indicated gum disease has significant connections to other serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, it’s important that Americans know the facts.

Teeth“Periodontal disease is a serious issue for a majority of patients, and there can be potentially dangerous ramifications from failing to treat the disease properly,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, one of the Nixa dentists at Excel Dental. “There are a lot of myths associated with gum disease, and dental clinics across the country need to do more to educate patients about the seriousness of the disease and the importance of treating it.”

So what are some of those myths?


What Does the ADA Seal of Approval Mean?

OZ dentistrySpringfield, MO – When you buy dental products, do you pay attention to whether that product has the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval? Do you know why that might be important to you?

“As far back as 1866, the ADA was helping consumers protect themselves against extravagant claims,” says Ozark dentist Dr. Tracy Davis. “The ADA Seal of Approval has been around since 1931 to protect consumers against claims that aren’t true or haven’t been proven. The program is voluntary, but brands understand the power the seal holds, and more than 300 products currently hold the seal of approval.”


Rethink That Sugary Drink

OZ DentistrySpringfield, MO – When you feel yourself dragging in the middle of the day, do you reach for a soda or other sugary beverage for a pick me up? A steady consumption of soft drinks is the leading cause of tooth decay.

“We’ve seen a large increase in the number of sugary drinks Americans consume on a daily basis,” says Ozark dentist Dr. Tracy Davis. “We saw a huge peak in 1998 where the average American


The Importance of Treating Gum Disease

Springfield, MO – Did you know that gum disease is linked to a host of other medical issues, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke? It’s crucial that if you suffer from periodontal disease, you maintain regular visits with your dentist to have it treated and ensure it doesn’t relapse.

“It is estimated that as many as three fourths of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease,” says Ozark dentist Dr. Nick Matthews. “What makes this important is that research shows patients who suffer from gum disease are at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. So visiting your dentist isn’t just for a pretty smile – it could save your life.”

What is periodontal disease?
Ozark dentistPeriodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is inflammation and infection of the gum and bone tissue that surrounds the teeth. It is a primary cause of tooth loss in adults.

It is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth and is usually painless so you may not even know you have it.

If you experience any of the following, it’s important to visit a dentist as soon as possible:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that are red, swollen or tender
  • Gums that have started to pull away from your teeth
  • Consistently bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
  • Loose teeth
  • Any change in your bite or in the fit of your dentures

There are also some factors that can increase the risk of developing gum disease. If you have poor oral hygiene, smoke or chew tobacco, are pregnant, have diabetes or take certain medications, your chances for developing the disease are increased. Likewise, some people may simply be predisposed genetically to develop the disease.

Why treat periodontal disease?
Approximately 75 percent of adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease. Untreated gum disease can turn into periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis leads to the loss of the tissue and bone that support your teeth. As they are lost, your teeth begin to loosen and eventually fall out.

But if you aren’t concerned about tooth loss, you should be concerned about your overall health.

Research on the link between gum disease and other health issues is ongoing. But there are several findings that are of interest.

The American Academy of Periodontology has reported that patients who have periodontal disease are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. Periodontal disease patients are also more likely to have higher cholesterol levels.

How is what happens in your mouth linked to the rest of your body?

One study found that patients who have higher levels of disease-causing bacteria in their mouths were also more likely to have atherosclerosis of the carotid artery. That means the artery has started to harden as substances stick to it. This can cause clogs, which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

Experts have determined that bacteria can enter a person’s bloodstream though their gums. From there, it can travel through the body and clog arteries.

“When we fight off infection, our body’s natural defense mechanism is inflammation or swelling,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “If you suffer from periodontal disease, you most likely have red and swollen gums. Think then about what happens when that same bacteria travels through your bloodstream and does the same thing. This can increase your risk for a clot to form in your artery.”

But preventing gum disease, or treating it before it becomes too severe, is as easy as maintaining regular visits with your dentist. If you have experienced any of the signs mentioned previously, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible.

Diagnosing and treating periodontal disease before it progresses will not only allow you to smile bigger, it might just lower your risk for heart disease.

© 2015 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