Oral Health

Cold Sore Treatment

Cold sores are a common nuisance. Although there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) that causes them, cold sore breakouts can be managed and avoided. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, appear around the lips and mouth and are often associated with red, swollen and irritated skin around the breakout areas.

Symptoms of Cold Sores:

  • Pain around the mouth
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Swollen neck glands

Causes of Cold Sore Outbreaks:

  • Stress
  • Chapped Lips
  • Extreme sunlight exposure
  • Physical exhaustion or illness

Even though no cure exists for the cold sore virus, Mechanicsburg Family Dentistry can provide you with antiviral medication to control the outbreaks and relieve any pain or irritation you are experiencing. You can also avoid developing cold sores by avoiding sharing utensils and drinking cups with others that may be infected.

For advice and treatment of cold sores, call Mechanicsburg Family Dentistry at 717-761-8056.

Mouth Guards

Custom-fit mouth guards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material and are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth and teeth. They can be made for either sports or for nighttime teeth grinding and are created differently depending on the intended use. They're highly personalized, as your dentist can adjust the thickness of the mouthguard, and they're designed to fit perfectly in your mouth with no adjustments needed. 

First, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This is generally done using a dental putty that forms to all the crevices of each tooth and creates an exact mold of your smile. The mold is then sent to the lab, where the actual mouthguard is created. The structure is made by layering superheated plastic to precise specifications and is then cooled to create an extremely durable piece of dental wear.

Because custom mouth guards are so precisely made, they are able to provide you with optimal safety and comfort. The level of protection afforded by custom-fitted mouthguards is unrivalled by any other mouthguard, and their durability is enhanced by the snug shape, which hugs each tooth closely, eliminating unwanted movement.

For more information on customized mouth guards, please call Mechanicsburg Family Dentistry at 717-761-8056 today.

Night Guards

If you're experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary nighttime teeth clenching, let Mechanicsburg Family Dentistry help you with a night guard. A night guard is a thin, transparent device that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent contact between the upper and lower teeth.  Night guards have also proven to be an effective remedy for patients who are suffering from the effects of grinding and clenching their teeth while sleeping.

Read more about Night Guards

Sleep Apnea

Dr. Carney has been at the forefront of the dental diagnosis and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) for over 30 years. OSA oral orthotics are effective tools for treating this serious medical condition. Patients have many choices regarding OSA oral orthotics. It can be very confusing as to which orthotic may be right for you. The designs are varied and so are their ease of use, comfort, and durability. Dr.

Carney has found that though all orthotics can be equally effective, their ease of wear and comfort vary greatly. His goal is always to find the most comfortable and easiest orthotic to wear.

Dr. Carney's findings have shown the bulkier the orthotic, the more uncomfortable it will be. This is because all OSA patients must breathe through their mouth, so any encroachment on mouth breathing makes wearing a nighttime orthotic uncomfortable. Due to this fact, the more lightweight and thinner the appliance, the less encroaching it will be on the tongue. This sacrifices strength and durability, however, there is one appliance on the market today that satisfies all these criteria: the NARVAL oral orthotic. Less expensive appliances are bulkier and not as durable. The NARVAL's durability is long lasting and the material is 50% lighter than any other orthotic. For these reasons, it is the only appliance Dr. Carney provides for his patients. In addition, the NARVAL is manufactured by RESMED, the leading manufacturer of CPAP machines.

The NARVAL is recognized by most medical insurances under durable medical equipment codes. Your specific plan may vary as to the percentage they may reimburse you. If you have been diagnosed with OSA from a sleep center and are interested in having a NARVAL splint to treat your OSA, you must do 3 things in order to be considered covered under your medical insurance:

  1. Obtain a written prescription from your sleep doctor requesting an oral orthotic to treat your OSA, including the CPT and diagnosis codes. This can be written on one of the doctors' prescription slips.
  2. Complete a new Epworth sleepiness scale (which can be downloaded below). Date and sign this form.
  1. Complete the affidavit of noncompliance (which can be downloaded below).

Submit all 3 documents to our medical insurance coordinator along with your medical insurance information. If your insurance requires pre-authorization, we will send in all necessary information to your insurance carrier to begin the process. The sooner you call, the sooner you can start feeling better and sleeping better with your NARVAL splint.

Epworth & Affidavit

TMJ/TMD Treatment

Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD, sometimes referred to as TMJ). These disorders occur as a result of problems associated with the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge joint on each side of your head in front of your ears that connects the lower jawbone to your skull.

Possible causes of the disorder are:

  • Injury to the jaw, the joint or muscles of the head and neck, such as from a heavy blow or whiplash
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Dislocation of the ball and socket
  • Arthritis in the TMJ
  • Stress

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew or speak
  • Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
  • Jaws that get "stuck" or "locked" in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew
  • A tired feeling in your face
  • Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite, as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of your face

TMD can be painful. If you're experiencing any symptoms, call Mechanicsburg Family Dentistry at 717-761-8056 right away.