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Root Canals Are Nothing To Fear!

August 3, 2011

DO YOU HEAR THE WORDS “ROOT CANAL” AND CRINGE? For some crazy reason, a root canal seems to be the default treatment used in just about every tired joke that revolves around dentistry. Somehow, root canals have established an infamous reputation for being painful, causing people to do all they can to avoid them.

Of course, here at Lake Oconee Dentistrywe remind everyone that they should do all they can to keep their teeth healthy and to minimize the amount of restorative dental work needed. However, here’s the deal… In most cases, root canals are no more uncomfortable than having a cavity filled, and the benefits greatly outweigh any minimal discomfort.

Sometimes, if you have a decaying, dying or dead tooth, a root canal may be the only way to save it—and saving your natural teeth is nearly always the best way to go. Healthy, stable, natural teeth allow you to eat the foods you want and to maintain proper nutrition. They are an integral part of your lifelong health. A root canal is often the very best way to preserve that natural tooth. Alternatives to root canals are typically far more involved, are more costly, and require additional treatments including having the tooth completely extracted and replaced with a bridge, implant or denture.

Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry we want to be sure you understand that there are potential side effects that can result from an untreated root canal infection, including:

  • Abscess: An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the roots of your tooth.
  • Swelling: This swelling can spread to other areas of your face, neck, or head.
  • Bone Loss: You could lose part of the bone around the root of your tooth.
  • Drainage Problems: A hole can occur in the side of the decaying tooth, which causes drainage into your gums or even into your skin through your cheek.

When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and doing your best to avoid a root canal, the bottom line is always the same one we all should have learned as kids… Brush, floss, and schedule regular cleanings and checkups. Also wear a mouth guard when playing sports.

Do all you can to minimize the need for a root canal. BUT, when necessary, don’t avoid or postpone one. Root canals can be a huge blessing in disguise when it comes to restoring the health of your smile.

If you have more questions about root canals, please speak with one of our doctors. Thanks for the trust you put in our practice.

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Your 1 to 20-Year-Old Smile

November 6, 2010

FOR OUR GRANDPARENTS, AND THEIR GRANDPARENTS FROM GENERATIONS PAST, it was not likely a person could keep his or her natural teeth over an entire lifetime. But today, remarkable technologies and advanced materials, coupled with the artistic vision and the extensive training of our dentists, means a greatly increased likelihood that YOU will keep YOUR smile for life!

From visiting with you, our valued patients, we understand that making decisions about various treatments isn’t always easy. Well, we’d like to help. So to better think about decision making for dental services, we’ve designed a simple little framework—with this being the second in a series of four posts.It’s our hope that this will help bring additional clarity to your decision making.WE KNOW that decisions are always YOURS to make, and we want to be sure you have good information that you can use.

For purposes of this series of posts here on our blog, we’ve divided “The Lifetime of Your Smile” into four phases:

  • 1–20 Year Old Smiles
  • 20–40 Year Old Smiles
  • 40–65 Year Old Smiles
  • 65+ Year Old Smiles

In addition to finding YOUR smile’s current phase, you likely have family members and loved ones in the other phases as well. We invite you to pass the information along!

Must do’s. Should do’s. Could do’s.

Every day—both consciously and subconsciously—we prioritize our decision making in all aspects of our lives using “must do’s,” “should do’s,” and “could do’s.” Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry our goal is to make sure you’re comfortable with all the health decision you make, including oral health, and that you see the difference between the “musts,” the “shoulds,” and the “coulds.”

Of course, these lists ARE NOT exhaustive—there are no right or wrong answers to what you must, should, or could be doing about your oral health and appearance.Everyone has different priorities and different wants and needs. Think of these posts as a starting point! And if you have questions, contact us and we’ll chat.


Today’s Post Is About Your 1–20 Year Old Smile

A LIFETIME OF SOUND ORAL HEALTH BEGINSin children with early preventative care and education. Among the best ways to ensure this is to help your child develop a great relationship with Dr. Patti, Dr. David and Dr. Phil. There are basic, obvious lessons to be learned about tooth care. But, don’t forget that children and teens are becoming increasingly aware and sensitive about their appearance (just like we all did!). The condition of their smile can have a tremendous impact on their developing self image.

Must do.

  • Regular check ups should begin before a child’s third birthday.
  • Dentists are often the first to see signs of Bulimia. This and other problems can often be spotted through routine checkups, allowing care to be given while still in beginning stages.
  • Sometimes a dentist’s counsel goes farther than parents’ when it comes to subjects like soda pop consumption or tongue piercing.

Should do.

  • Extensive orthodontics are sometimes prevented by an alert from our dentists, e.g. space retainers maintain important space in early tooth loss.
  • Sealants are a liquid plastic applied to chewing surfaces to prevent decay—especially for those hard-to-reach places that children neglect.
  • Understanding the causes of bad breath ensures lifelong prevention and avoids embarrassment.

Could do.

  • Your teen’s smile is so important to his or her self image. Even subtle smile enhancements can make a world of difference.
  • Whitening is a safe, affordable boost to socially-conscious teens.
  • Studies show that athletes who wear custom mouth guards have 60% fewer injuries to their teeth, lips and gums.

Here at Lake Oconee Dentistry, our entire team wants to be your oral health partners for life! Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, if you haven’t already.

Watch for our next blog post (the third in this series) to learn about one of the other phases in “The Lifetime of Your Smile”!

Dr. Patti Bradley Wins Reader’s Choice Award!

October 27, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR OWN DR. PATTI BRADLEY!Lake Oconee Living magazine readers have chosen Dr. Patti as the 2010 Reader’s Choice for Best Dentist award for the Lake Oconee Area.

The magazine invited its readers to vote in 46 different categories for “the best” of Lake Oconee. With more than 7,000 people voting across all categories, she is truly honored to be recognized by her patients. Be sure to pick up the winter issue of the magazine for a featured article on Dr. Patti!

We express sincere thanks to the readers of Lake Oconee Living who voted for all our doctors. Dr. David and Dr. Phil will be trying even harder to catch Dr. Patti in next year’s voting!Thank you for your support and for trusting us with your dental care.

If you haven’t had a chance already, please take a moment to BECOME A FAN ON OUR FACEBOOK microsite! It’s full of great information and you’ll soon have a chance to win a new iPad and collect rewards for referring your family and friends!Click the image below:Also, follow us onTwitter to keep up with everything going on in our practice!

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you during your next visit to our practice.

Remember… Don’t Brush TOO Hard

October 21, 2010

OF COURSE…Brushing our teeth is an important component of our lifelong oral health! We all know that! But, did you also know that there’s actually some important techniques to brushing your teeth? It’s not something often talked about… Not exactly typical dinner conversation!

As Drs. Patti Bradley, David Bradley, and Phil Boswell treat you and your family, one of the things that we often notice (although well intentioned) is that some of you just brush your teeth too hard.

Among other problems, brushing too hard can cause tooth sensitivity. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, sensitivity affects millions and millions of people in this country. There are lots of other possible reasons for sensitivity as well, including eating acidic foods and drinking acidic beverages—but your aggressive brushing techniques may be a cause.

Dr. David Bradley says, “If your protective enamel layer over your teeth becomes eroded, and/or your gumline recedes from brushing too hard, the softer tissue (the dentin) can be exposed. This dentin is connected to your tooth’s nerve which can cause sensitivity and/or pain.”

Certain whitening products and mouthwashes can also contribute. And of course, if there’s a problem in your mouth such as a cracked tooth, this can be causing pain as well (Word to the wise: Keep your regularly scheduled checkup appointments! We can catch things before they become a problem.).

So, what can you do?

  1. Use soft-bristled toothbrushes.
  2. Hold toothbrush in your fingertips—not like a construction worker with a hammer.
  3. Brush gently.
  4. Use a desensitizing toothpaste.
  5. Brush in circular motions.
  6. Use your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle.

Helping you take good care of your teeth is important to every member of our team here at Lake Oconee Dentistry. If you ever have any questions, be sure to contact us!


Speaking of fun… Some creative folks at an ad agency we found called Richter 7 who made this fun little clip. Wow… And you’re wondering if YOU’RE brushing too hard?!

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