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Posts for category: Oral Health

May 11, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Is it time to give your dentist a call?

A dentist is an integral part of your health care, making sure that your oral health remains in tip-top shape. In fact, our Columbia, SC, dentist Dr. Kris O’Neill can even spot chronic and systemic health problems through oral symptoms alone, which means that a dentist can easily catch both oral and general health problems. Having a dentist is important for everyone. Is it time to see your dentist?

Is it time for a dental cleaning?

Did you know that you should be visiting your dentist twice a year (every six months) for your biannual cleaning and exam? While you may not be experiencing any noticeable changes or have any symptoms, it’s still important to have your local dentist check out the health of your smile. After all, we often find things that we just can’t see. Plus, with X-rays, we can easily spot problem areas and signs of decay before they wreak havoc.

Are you experiencing pain?

It’s hard to ignore pain once it sets in, especially mouth pain. Your mouth is trying to tell you something. If you have dental pain, you may have an infection. If you’re experiencing jaw pain frequently, you may have a condition known as TMJ. Our Columbia, SC, general dentist knows exactly how to make these aches and pains go away. Don’t wait any longer to make your appointment. The sooner we can tend to your pain, the better this situation will be (and the quicker relief will be on its way).

Do you have a dental emergency?

While dental pain certainly qualifies as a dental emergency, several other situations warrant an immediate trip to the dentist. A bitten tongue, a cracked tooth, or a loose or knocked-out tooth should not be ignored. The sooner you can get to our dental office the better. Don’t wait to get your smile fixed after a dental emergency. Less time between injury and receiving treatment equals a better prognosis.

Are you considering a cosmetic procedure?

Want to get your smile whiter? Wishing your front teeth would be straighter? Now they can be! We have a variety of cosmetic procedures to fit your smile desires. From orthodontics to teeth whitening and dental crowns, we can restore your teeth and give you something to really smile about.

Do you want to correct your crooked smile?

While cosmetic treatment options such as dental veneers can be a great way to make teeth look slightly straighter, they can’t correct more serious misalignment issues. In this case, you may be considering orthodontic treatment. Here in Columbia, SC, our dentist Dr. O’Neill provides a wide range of orthodontic options for kids, teens, and adults. It’s not too late to get a straighter smile.

O’Neill Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the very best in dental care to patients living in and around Columbia, SC. If you need to schedule an appointment with our family dentist Dr. O’Neill, call us today at (803) 988-1070.

March 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Disease  

Even small children know that brushing your teeth twice a day is one of the keystones of good oral health. However, flossing and dental checkups are sometimes overlooked, especially for busy adults. Making time for these important elements of personal dental care is equally as important as good brushing habits, which is why Dr. Kris O'Neill of O'Neill Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC, wants to educate her patients on the best practices surrounding them.


Establishing a good flossing pattern at home pays dividends when it comes time to visit your Columbia dentist, and it doesn't have to be a challenge. Simply find a time and a place to floss that works best for your schedule. For instance, some people might find that it's easiest to floss in their car after their lunch break. Others might be more likely to floss at night while they're in bed reading or watching TV. The most important aspect of flossing is that it's done once a day to remove any plaque buildup and trapped food particles from between the teeth.

Regular dental checkups

Another way you can responsibly care for your teeth is by taking the time to visit your Columbia dentist twice a year for checkups. Every six months, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned, inspected, and any problems will be identified and addressed. Staying current on checkups helps ensure that dental issues like cavities or gum disease don't become difficult to manage or expensive to treat. Although it can seem like an inconvenience, most checkup appointments at O'Neill Family Dentistry take an hour or less. We can even schedule your whole family in back-to-back appointments to save time!

Take charge of your dental health by contacting O'Neill Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC, at (803) 988-1070 for an appointment with Dr. Kris O'Neill today!

December 30, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Invisalign  

Here are the unique advantages of Invisalign treatment.

Trying to decide between Invisalign and regular braces? Our Columbia, SC, dentist Dr. Kris O’Neill understands that there are a lot of things to think about before choosing the right orthodontic treatment to suit your needs. Here’s the skinny on the cool, unique benefits that Invisalign can offer our older teen and adult patients,

A Completely Clear Treatment

Instead of bonding metal brackets and wires to the front of your teeth, our Columbia, SC, family dentist will give you a set of thermoplastic aligners. These aligners look similar to whitening trays, except that they are custom designed to fit firmly around your teeth to help move teeth into place. No metal, no visible braces. Just a completely clear system that makes you feel more confident.

Removable Aligners

Another reason people choose to get Invisalign is that the aligners are removable. While you will still need to wear your aligners as often as 20-22 hours each day, you do have more freedom with Invisalign than other treatment options. This also means that you don’t have to restrict your diet or avoid certain foods for fear that you might damage braces. Simply take your aligners out prior to mealtimes.

Easy Dental Care

Having to floss and brush around most braces can feel rather daunting and time-consuming. The good news is that with Invisalign, your normal oral care routine doesn’t have to change. Simply remove your aligners prior to brushing and flossing and then get to work keeping your teeth and gums clean. Just don’t forget to also keep your aligners clean too. Here are some additional tips to keep your aligners clean and stain-free.

Fewer Dental Visits

We know that the idea of coming back and forth to our office probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but we need to make sure that your treatment is going smoothly and progressing. Of course, you won’t need to come into the office for checkups nearly as much when you have Invisalign. In fact, most patients can go up to 5-6 weeks without needing to come into our office. We know you have a busy schedule. Luckily, Invisalign fits right in.

If you’re intrigued by Invisalign and want to find out if you’re a good candidate for treatment then schedule an orthodontic evaluation with our Columbia, SC, dentist in O’Neill Family Dentistry today at (803) 988-1070.

September 22, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Crown   Crowns  

Dental crowns are one of the most versatile cosmetic restorations your Columbia, SC, dentist, Dr. Kris O'Neill offers. Whether you're concerned about the appearance of a tooth or worried about damage, crowns offer an excellent solution. Just contact O'Neill Family Dentistry today.

How do dental crowns work?

Dental crowns are hollow inside, allowing them to completely cover the visible parts of your teeth. Before you receive a crown, your Columbia, SC, dentist reduces the size of your tooth. She then uses digital imaging techniques to make an impression of your mouth. The impression helps her design a new crown that looks and feels perfectly at home in your mouth. After making a few tweaks to the fit of the crown, she attaches it to your tooth with dental cement.

Thanks to same-day CEREC crowns, you'll only need one appointment and won't have to wear temporary crowns. Your new crown is made in the Columbia dental office while you wait. The in-office milling machine creates your crown from a block of ceramic or resin in an hour or less.

Could a dental crown help my smile?

A dental crown can be a good choice if you have an unattractive tooth. The crowns completely conceal discolorations caused by tetracycline, large metal fillings, or other issues. If your smile isn't quite uniform due to oddly shaped teeth, crowns may be the answer to your problems. The restorations improve the appearance of pointed, twisted, or crooked teeth, enhancing the symmetry of your smile. Has grinding your teeth at night caused a few of your teeth to become too short? Crowns will restore its natural height.

Brittle, cracked, or weak teeth are more likely to fracture, causing serious damage to your smile. Crowns strengthen fragile teeth and absorb the strong biting forces generated when you chew. The restorations are often used to protect teeth after a root canal or large filling.

If your tooth has already fractured, a crown will:

  • Restore its normal appearance
  • Make chewing easier
  • Prevent the jagged edges of the teeth from cutting your mouth, lips, or tongue
  • End your pain by covering the broken ends of teeth

Enhance your smile with dental crowns! Call your dentist in Columbia, SC, Dr. O'Neill of O'Neill Family Dentistry at (803) 988-1070 to schedule your appointment.

June 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Flossing  

While flossing just takes just a couple of minutes per day, you may be wondering if you're spending your time wisely. In Columbia, SC, your dentist, Dr. Kris O'Neill, assures you that flossing is well-worth it. After all, flossing battles the plaque and bacteria that can damage your smile.

Food particles and bacteria

While unpleasant to think about, bacteria can lead to big problems like dental decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that a full 50 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have gum disease. This is especially concerning given that gum disease also impacts your overall health, as it's been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, dementia, and more.

Brush and floss

The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains that daily brushing and flossing are the best weapons against gum disease and decay. They remove bacteria-laden plaque when applied every day.

Brush two times a day for two minutes, carefully cleaning all tooth surfaces. For in between your teeth and at the gum line, where plaque can hide, floss once a day. Most people who floss have few to no signs of gum disease (i.e. gingival bleeding, puffiness, tenderness, and loose teeth).

Your Columbia, SC, dentist and her team highly recommend flossing daily. Your hygienist will show you ways to improve your flossing routine at home. Common recommendations include:

  1. Using a floss product that you can easily manipulate. Strand floss may not be the right choice for an adult with dexterity issues. A water flosser or interproximal brushes are simpler to handle and both are just as effective as regular floss.
  2. Flossing gently. Do not snap strand floss against your gums. Instead, insert it carefully between your teeth, carefully sweeping it up and down. Flossing should never cause pain.
  3. Remembering to floss your back teeth. Molars are cavity-prone because of their chewing surfaces and so need extra care.

Finally, see Dr. O'Neill every six months for a cleaning and check-up. No matter how well you floss and brush—or how good your diet is—you still need in-office preventive care. O'Neill Family Dentistry provides treatment plans suited to your unique oral health needs.

Have your best oral health

You can enjoy a fabulous, healthy smile when you include flossing in your daily oral care routine. To improve your flossing technique, talk to your friendly hygienist or dentist, Dr. Kris O'Neill of O'Neill Family Dentistry in Columbia, SC. Call today for an appointment: (803) 988-1070.