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Get to Know Your Excel Dental Dentist: Dr. Tracy Davis

We get it — sometimes, seeing the dentist can feel a bit scary. But hey, we’re all just human too! The staff here at Excel Dental in Ozark, MO are passionate for ensuring all of our patients feel cared for and comfortable. Part of that process is getting to know you better, and for us to share a little bit about ourselves with you, too.

As part of our two-part interview series, you’ll get to learn more about Excel Dental’s top docs who have made it their mission to bring out the best in your smile: Dr. Nick Matthews and Dr. Tracy Davis. Today, we round out the series by interviewing Dr. Tracy Davis.

Originally from Conway, MO, Dr. Tracy moved to 417-land in 2004 to be closer to family. Dr. Tracy graduated with distinction (in the top 10%) from the University of Missouri School of Dentistry in Kansas City. Dr. Tracy has also received national recognition as a dental researcher.

Dr. Tracy and her husband, Matthew, have been married since 1997. They live in Ozark, MO with their four children: Ethan, twins Elijah and Isabella, and Owen. With an obvious love for children, rest assured that Dr. Tracy will make your kiddos very comfortable at the Excel Dental office!

Read on to learn more about Dr. Tracy’s passion for her patients, love for Indian food, and her three “fur-kids,” Chipper, KC, and Oreo!

 

When did you know you wanted to become a dentist?

After graduating college with a Bachelors in Biochemistry, I began searching for a career that allowed me to use my science background in a health environment. I love science, but I missed interacting with people. I love being a dentist!  It is the best of many worlds! The field of dentistry is a beautiful blend of patient care, science, art & business owner.

What is your favorite part about being a dentist?

It’s hard to choose my favorite part—so, I’ll tell you about my two favorites!

One of my favorite parts about being a dentist is interacting with patients. It seems like our office attracts so many interesting patients. I love finding out more about the patients and their families.  Much can be learned by listening to others. Not only will one discover what they are wanting for their oral health, one can also connect with patients on a personal level and this makes life fun!

My other favorite part has been growing in the last five years. I love the art of dentistry. I have been taking many continuing education courses to allow my “art” to continue growing. It is the small details that really make the difference. More and more patients are coming to our office to have their smile transformed. Materials and techniques are constantly changing and improving and I love to attend courses that allow me to incorporate these into our office. There is something so magical about handing a mirror to a patient after finishing treatment. The smiles, the tears of joy, and the happiness that comes with a new updated smile is very satisfying to me. I love to watch how a smile can really impact how a patient interacts with the world and gives them more confidence.  

What do you love most about Excel Dental?

Our Excel Dental Team is exceptional. It’s our team working together that really makes the difference. Our team works so well together and when one steps in the office, you can feel this camaraderie. The Excel Dental Team also attends many continuing education classes to improve our team care. We meet daily to prepare for the day, always tweaking little systems to improve patient care and their dental experience. As a team, we read a book monthly and review it at our monthly meetings. Book reviews help us to constantly grow together as a team.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

In this season of my life, being with my kids takes priority. We have a 15-year old son, 13-year old boy/girl twins and a 12-year old son. Whether I am playing the role of soccer mom, gymnastics team mom or running all over a field to cheer on the cross country field, I am found at a child’s athletic event many times a week. We are definitely a physically active family and also like to hike and swim. When time allows, I like to garden in our yard and enjoy learning about flowers, plants and shrubs.

Do you have any pets?

We love our little fur-babies! Chocolate Chip “Chipper” is a little grey Shih Tzu that has a lot of spunk! He knows many tricks and even plays hide-and-seek with the kids! Kitty Christmas “KC” is a sweet grey cat with an alter ego when people come over and becomes somewhat of a guard-cat!  Oreo is our latest cat—she loves to play fetch and is black with a white stripe—just like an Oreo cookie.

What’s your favorite thing to do in 417?

I love to go out to eat and eating Indian food is my favorite.  

What activities do you enjoy doing with your family?

Ooops…I think I answered above!

What is your most important piece of dental advice?

People with healthy lifestyles are the ones with the healthiest smile.There is more to a healthy smile than just your oral home care. In addition to brushing and flossing, drinking lots of water and eating a healthy diet are very important to keep a healthy bio-friendly balance.

 

Getting to Know You

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about Dr. Tracy Davis, we’d like to learn more about you! Schedule an appointment today with the trusted team at Excel Dental. Find us in Ozark, Missouri — just a short 10 minute drive from Springfield.

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Get to Know Your Excel Dental Dentist: Dr. Nick Matthews

We get it — sometimes, seeing the dentist can feel a bit scary. But hey, we’re all just human too! The staff here at Excel Dental in Ozark, MO are passionate for ensuring all of our patients feel cared for and comfortable. Part of that process is getting to know you better, and for us to share a little bit about ourselves with you, too.

 In this first part of our two-part interview series, you’ll get to learn more about Excel Dental’s top docs who have made it their mission to bring out the best in your smile: Dr. Nick Matthews and Dr. Tracy Davis. Today, we kick off the series by interviewing Dr. Nick Matthews.

 Dr. Nick grew up in Southwest Missouri and is a graduate of Republic High School and Drury University. He received his Doctor in Dental Surgery degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City and graduated with honors in Endodontics. Dr. Nick has been privileged to receive many professional awards, including 417’s “20 Under 30,” “Best of the Ozarks,” “Top Dentist” and more. Dr. Nick and his wife, Ali, have been married since 2008 and reside in Nixa, MO with their two sons.

 Read on to learn who inspired Dr. Nick’s ongoing interest in dentistry, why 417-land will always be considered home, and how diet is a key aspect of oral health and prevention.

 

When did you know you wanted to become a dentist?

I first decided that I wanted to be a dentist in Junior High. I greatly admired my local dentist, and loved to watch him work. He was very kind and often let me come to his office to observe and ask questions about what he was doing. It was those early experiences that really inspired me.

What is your favorite part about being a dentist?

There are two things about dentistry that I really like. I have always loved people, and having the opportunity to stay in touch with so many different people and families, and to get updates every 6-12 months about what’s new in their lives is very rewarding to me. I get to meet people from all walks of life, and I enjoy hearing their stories and getting to know them.

I also really get excited about helping people restore their ability to enjoy life, food and get proper nutrition. My grandmother wore dentures for decades, and I watched parts of her life dwindle. She lost the ability to enjoy her favorite foods, she could not obtain proper nutrition, and she often had pain or infection associated with her mouth. I didn’t become a dentist soon enough to help my grandmother, but I still think about her every time I help someone who is in a situation similar to hers. Working with patients to achieve a level of function and comfort that allows them to get back to living their life to the fullest is the most rewarding part of what I do.

What do you love most about Excel Dental?

I would have to say that the best part about Excel Dental is our Team. We are blessed to work with a wonderful group of people every day. I can’t imagine a more genuine, kind group of people to work alongside. They truly are the “secret sauce” behind what makes our practice shine.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I’m an outdoorsman to the core. I enjoy anything that will get me outside. I love to hunt, fish, hike, canoe, jog and play games in the yard with my boys.

Do you have any pets?

Two boys names Levi and Luke. : ) Until I have them house-broken I don’t have the energy for a pet.

What’s your favorite thing to do in 417?

Work and play! I love living in 417, I love my job, and I love my family. The combination of these things makes 417-land my favorite place to be. There’s so much to do, and we are perfectly positioned to explore a large part of the Midwest during weekend getaways. I have visited a large part of the country, and coming back to 417 is always exciting. I love it here.

What activities do you enjoy doing with your family?

Any outdoor activity, especially swimming, hitting the lake, and playing tennis.

What is your most important piece of dental advice?

Appreciate what you have and don’t neglect it. We spend a lot of our professional time helping people regain ground that they lost due to neglect. A lot of the treatment that we provide could have been prevented with diligent home care and improved dietary habits. These bad habits often lead to significant problems that can last a lifetime without intervention. A good home care regimen seems inconsequential but has important lasting benefits.

 

Getting to Know You

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about Dr. Nick Matthews, we’d like to learn more about you! Schedule an appointment today with the trusted team at Excel Dental. Find us in Ozark, Missouri — just a short 10 minute drive from Springfield.

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Clear Braces: Choosing The Best Option For You

Clear Braces: Choosing The Best Option For You

A smile can speak volumes about a person. It can exude happiness and confidence or reflect deep insecurity. What does your smile say about you?

If your smile is misaligned, you may find yourself hiding from the camera or covering your mouth more often than you’d like. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions for teeth straightening that will have you ditching your insecurities in no time.

Braces are the top solution for those who seek to fix teeth misalignments. Many people have visions of “metal mouth” upon hearing the word braces, but today’s technology from your local Ozark, MO dentist offers clear hardware that is barely even noticeable. Read on to discover which clear braces solution may be right for you!

Types of Clear Braces

There are two primary types of clear braces: Invisalign (trays) and Six Month Smiles (wires).

Invisalign consists of aligner trays, made of invisible plastic, that fit over your teeth in similar fashion to a retainer. As your teeth begin to shift, new trays are designed to continue guiding your teeth in the right direction.

Six Month Smiles are clear, wired braces that stay in place for, on average, six months. These braces are also very discreet with the use of clear, tooth-colored brackets and wires.

You may now be thinking these two options sound relatively similar; how do I know which is the right option for me? Read on for a more in-depth comparison of these two smile-straightening solutions.

Which Treatment is Right For Me?

When it comes to choosing a teeth straightening solution, it’s important to weigh your decision with care. Both Invisalign and Six Month Smiles are excellent treatment options for teens or adults with relatively simple teeth misalignments. No one solution is necessarily better than the other; rather, the differences between the two work to accommodate unique situations and preferences. The table below helps to compare key differences on factors that are most important to many of our patients:

Invisalign Six Month Smiles
Description of Hardware Clear, fitted plastic trays Clear brackets and wires
Duration of Treatment (Average) One year Six months
Maintenance Most patients are required to swap out their aligner trays every one to two weeks during treatment. Monthly checkups
Flexibility? Yes. With Invisalign, you have the flexibility to remove the trays at your convenience for eating, drinking, brushing, etc. No. Fixed braces are not removable by the patient.

There are several similarities between Invisalign and Six Month Smiles, including aesthetic (discrete straightening) and overall effectiveness. The key differences between these two solutions are in terms of duration of treatment, maintenance, and flexibility. Some people with more sensitive mouths might find the hardware of Six Month Smiles to be more intrusive than Invisalign’s flexible trays; however, Invisalign on average produces results slower than Six Month Smiles and requires more regular maintenance.

Which option is right for you? Talk to your trusted dentist at Excel Dental, who can guide you through the decision-making process.

FAQs

Q: Besides the obvious cosmetic reasons, are there any other benefits to straight teeth?

A: There’s a wide array of health benefits to having straighter teeth. Straight teeth are easier to effectively clean, which reduces plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gingivitis.

Q: I heard braces hurt. Is that true?

A: While braces in any form aren’t necessarily enjoyable, the hardware has come a long way from what you may remember as a child. Today’s braces are less noticeable and less painful. Plus, computer technology in orthodontics has improved significantly over the years, producing smarter wires and brackets that move teeth more efficiently.

Q: Braces are just for teens, right?

A: Braces can be just as effective for adults as they are for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontics  reports that approximately 20% of patients with braces are over the age of 18. Many adults decide to get braces later in life once they are more financially stable, or because their teeth shifted over time. In sum, it’s never too late to enjoy a straighter smile.

The Choice is Clear!

A straighter, more confident smile can be yours with the help of clear braces. Make an appointment today with your trusted team at Excel Dental, Dr. Tracy Davis or Dr. Nick Matthews. Find us in Ozark, Missouri — just a short 10-minute drive from Springfield.

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