Before the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist and their team would clean their tools, wash their hands, put on a clean pair of gloves, and be ready for your appointment. However, much more goes into preparing for your dental visit today. A wide variety of additional infection controls and safety protocols have been established to keep patients and staff alike safe from the coronavirus. Here are six ways your Greensboro dentist ensures they can provide excellent dental care as safely as possible during COVID-19.
Lake Oconee Dentistry Blog
April 29, 2020
Are you feeling anxious or stress because of the current COVID-19 pandemic? This completely natural reaction can help us stay alert and cautious during uncertain times. However, unmanaged stress can negatively influence several aspects of your life, including your oral health! Your Greensboro dentist reveals five stress-related bad habits to look out for and what you can do to keep your smile safe.
April 20, 2020
By Dr. Jamie Austin
Ever think it’s strange when your dentist asks you to stick your tongue out during your dental exam? While it might sound like an odd request, this is one technique dentists use to screen for oral cancer. April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, and there is no better time to discuss the significance of this disease and learn how you can minimize your risk.
Oral Cancer on the Rise
It is estimated that 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and 450,000 new cases are diagnosed each year worldwide. Once diagnosed, the five-year survival rate is 57%, which means 43% of those diagnosed will not survive beyond five years. Survivors typically undergo extensive surgery and reconstruction.
Oral cancer can affect the tissues inside the mouth including the tongue, floor of mouth beneath the tongue, lips, inner lining of the lips, the lining of the cheeks, and roof of the mouth. Oropharyngeal cancer typically occurs in the tissues of the throat just behind the mouth, including the tonsils, the base of the tongue, and the soft palate. The most common locations for oral cancer to develop are on the sides of the tongue and the floor of the mouth.
When it comes to risk factors, tobacco and alcohol use top the list. No amount of tobacco or vaping is safe — that includes smokeless (chewing) tobacco, pipe smoking, cigars, cigarettes, and vaping products. The use of chewing tobacco, in particular, can modify the cells lining your mouth into cancerous cells. In fact, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, smokeless tobacco users are 400% more likely to develop oral cancer. When you add alcohol to this equation, the risk only rises. Eighty percent of throat and mouth cancer in men and 65% of throat and mouth cancer in women are linked to the combination of smoking and drinking.
In recent years, there has been an increase in oral cancer rates caused by HPV16, a sexually transmitted disease that also causes cervical cancer in women. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV16 causes 70% of oropharyngeal cancers. Other oral cancer risk factors are gender and age. Men over the age of 40 are twice as likely as women to be affected with oral cancer. It is worth noting, however, that we are seeing a rise in the number of people under 40 years old now being affected.
The symptoms of oral cancer can vary, but anyone experiencing any of the following for more than two weeks should see a dentist:
- Red and/or white patches inside the mouth
- A sore that does not heal
- Lumps, rough patches, thickening of tissues or erosions inside the mouth
- A mass or lump in the neck
- Difficulty speaking, swallowing, chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
While you cannot prevent all oral and oropharyngeal cancers, there are things you can do to decrease your risk. Above all else, quit smoking, vaping and dipping. Limit alcohol intake (or avoid it altogether). Avoid infection with HPV16. When you are out in the sun or on the lake, wear lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your lips. Complete a self-exam and note any changes to your soft tissues or new growths.
Oral cancer can be treated if detected early. For this reason, be sure you receive an oral cancer screening at your regular six-month dental appointments, even if you wear complete dentures or partial dentures.
February 27, 2020
By Dr. Shelly Pound, Lake Oconee Dentistry
When it comes to dental health, it pays to build good habits early. In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, here are five simple things you can do now to help ensure your child has a healthy smile for years to come.
Brush Up on Hygiene
Children should brush and floss twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush. Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit, and not swallow, toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7.
When teaching a child to brush, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, start along the gumline, and brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat on all inside surfaces and chewing surfaces. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria. And don’t forget to floss — especially in areas where teeth are touching.
Reach for the Right Snacks
Candy, fruit snacks, soda and cookies won’t do your child any favors when it comes to preventing cavities. But there are also plenty of “healthy” snacks that can be just as problematic. Dried fruit (like raisins), chips, crackers (like Goldfish), pretzels and dried cereals are all high in starches and sugars, which stick to teeth and can cause decay. Opt for cheese, fruits and vegetables instead.
Skip the Sugary Drinks
Sugars in drinks such as juice, sports drinks and milk, mix with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes after the drink is consumed. Unlike aluminum cans, re-sealable bottles allow your child to sip on these drinks throughout the day, resulting in a high acid level in the mouth and a steady stream of sugar for bacteria to feast on. It’s a recipe for long-term decay along the gum line and between teeth – areas frequently missed when brushing.
Limit these drinks to mealtimes, rather than allowing your child to sip on them for hours. When finished, have your child chew sugarless gum with xylitol, or rinse with plain water, to help neutralize acid levels and keep bacteria in check.
Don’t Discount Baby Teeth
A child’s primary teeth (often called “baby teeth”) are vital to proper jaw development. If your child prematurely loses a baby tooth, it’s important to see a dentist right away. Your child may require a space maintainer to hold the natural tooth space open. Without a space maintainer, existing teeth can tilt toward the empty space, and permanent teeth can come in crooked or become impacted.
December 30, 2019
Few people think of visiting their cosmetic dentist when it comes to anti-aging solutions. However, many now have the training and authorization to enhance your facial appearance alongside your smile by offering BOTOX injections. This safe and effective treatment can reduce the signs of wrinkles and lines that make you appear older than you actually are. In as little as 20 minutes, you can enjoy a boost of confidence with this minimally invasive procedure. Read on for five additional reasons to choose your cosmetic dentist for BOTOX treatments.
Lake Oconee Dentistry Hosts Free Day of Dental Care For Veterans, Active Military and Hometown Heroes
October 21, 2019
Lake Oconee Dentistry will be hosting Stars, Stripes and Smiles, a free day of dentistry for active and retired military, as well as law enforcement, firefighters, DNR and EMS personnel on Saturday, November 9th.
Drs. David and Patti Bradley, Dr. Shelly Pound, Dr. Andrea Feldman and Dr. Jamie Austin, as well as Lake Oconee Dentistry hygienists, dental assistants and other team members, will provide event attendees with their choice of a free extraction, filling or cleaning that day. Dr. David Miller, an oral surgeon and owner of Lake Oconee Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center, will also be donating his time in order to help as many people as possible.
Lake Oconee Dentistry has hosted a free day of dentistry for veterans and active military for the last two years. This year, the practice is expanding the event to also include the hometown heroes – law enforcement, firefighters, DNR and EMS personnel — who work daily to keep our local communities safe.
Dental Care for Veterans Lacking
Of the 21 million veterans in the United States, fewer than 10 million are enrolled for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits, and more than 1.2 million lack health insurance altogether. This gap is even more pronounced when it comes to dental care because the VA only provides dental benefits to veterans classified as disabled or as a prisoner of war — or as veterans who have a service-connected dental condition.
Event will Feature Helpful Community Resources
Stars, Stripes & Smiles also seeks to connect veterans and law enforcement personnel with helpful community resources. This year, the Rotary Club of Greene and Putnam County will be on hand with information on its Pets Love Vets program. The program seeks to heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a rescue dog from the Oconee Regional Humane Society specifically selected to match the veteran’s personality. The Pets Love Vets program covers the cost of the dog’s adoption, initial veterinarian visit and training. Any veteran in the area who could benefit from having a companion animal and is able to care for an animal is eligible.
Additionally, Lake Oconee Dentistry will have signed copies of Surviving the Shadows: A Journey of Hope into Post Traumatic Stress available that day. The book is written by lake area resident Bob Delaney, owner of Delaney Consultants, a former state trooper and undercover operative who experienced PTSD himself. The book seeks to help people understand and identify the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the impact it has on the individual and the ripple effect to family and friends.
“This event is really a great example of a business going above and beyond to support our nation’s heroes,” says Delaney. “We live in the land of the free because of the brave. Hats off to Lake Oconee Dentistry for reaching out to these brave men and women, while also seeking to connect them with other helpful community resources.”
“Oftentimes those who serve our country and communities are, unfortunately, among the most under-served when it comes to healthcare,” says Dr. David Bradley. “Stars, Stripes and Smiles is our way of honoring those who have given – and continue to give — so much to ensure our safety and make this country what it is today.”
If you are a veteran or hometown hero and are interested in receiving free dental treatment on November 9th, please call the office at 706-453-1333 for an appointment time.
September 11, 2019
Lake Oconee Dentistry hosted an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Thursday, August 29th. The American Red Cross Bloodmobile was parked in the practice’s parking lot and offered appointments throughout the day. A total of 30 donors participated. According to American Red Cross representative Christina Bailey, 26 units of blood were collected.
“Each unit will impact up to three lives,” said Bailey. “That means 78 lives will be saved and changed as a result of this considerable community effort.”
Blood is a perishable product that can only come from volunteer donors. Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. Consequently, blood products must be constantly replenished. During the summer, especially around holidays like Labor Day, donations often don’t keep pace with patient needs. Lake Oconee Dentistry hosts a blood drive every August to help the Red Cross meet this need.
“Hosting a blood drive ties in with Lake Oconee Dentistry’s core value of giving back to the community,” says Dr. David Bradley. “With a simple blood donation, we have the ability to help save the life of someone who could be a coworker, loved one or neighbor.”
Adds Bailey: “The short amount of time it takes to donate can mean a lifetime to a patient with a serious medical condition. There’s no better feeling than knowing your blood donation may give someone a second chance at life. The Red Cross is grateful for all the people who came out to donate.”
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visitRedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass®to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
August 10, 2019
Choosing a dentist that can accommodate your family’s oral care needs is already difficult, but how do you start a search for a cosmetic dentist specifically? The fact of the matter is there are no distinct qualifications for what makes a dentist able to provide cosmetic services. Thankfully, there are a few ways to determine that you’ve found the right cosmetic dentist. Whether you’ve just begun your search of you’re right in the middle of it, keeping these factors in mind can make all the difference.
July 9, 2019
Assist to Succeed Lake Oconee is currently enrolling students for a new 12-week session, which begins August 17, 2019. Assist to Succeed offers hands-on training for those looking to become a successful dental assistant.
Demand for Dental Assistants is on the Rise
“Assist to Succeed is a 12-week program that is held on Saturdays,” says Dr. David Bradley, co-owner of Lake Oconee Dentistry and Assist to Succeed Lake Oconee. “That makes the training more convenient, efficient and economical for people looking to start a new career.”
The Saturday classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lake Oconee Dentistry office, located off Highway 44 in Greensboro, between the Publix parking lot and the movie theater. The school is certified through the state of Georgia Non-Public Post Secondary Education Commission.
“Our graduates will be able to get a job in the field because they will have hands-on experience,” says Dr. Bradley. “Our ultimate goal is to get them hired, and we’re going to give them the tools they need to help make that happen.”
Now Open for Enrollment
The program is only accepting 12 students into this next session, as it is important to us that each student receives the individualized attention needed for success. Tuition includes books and supplies. If you are interested in registering for this session, please call 706-347-2635 no later than Friday, July 27th in order to reserve your spot and discuss the next steps.
July 8, 2019
The word “emergency” is one of the scariest in the English language. It usually means something has gone horribly wrong. A dental emergency is typically not as terrifying as one in other parts of your body. However, because it’s still an emergency, it needs urgent attention. Let’s talk about what you need to do in several common dental emergencies.