Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Short, Worn-Looking Teeth

preserve worn teeth in Knoxville dentist in knoxville

If you feel like your teeth are wearing down or getting shorter it is not just a cosmetic issue. Excessive wear can cause them to chip, break, and even expose the nerves of your teeth resulting in toothaches. Letting them continue to break down can lead to more major dentistry and in severe cases they may be too small to be saved.

The good news is that we can protect, preserve and restore your short teeth, often improving the appearance of your smile at the same time. 

Preserving your teeth before there is a real problem is the best option. We encourage you to pay attention to:

Damage from External Forces – habits of clenching your teeth, holding things in your mouth, or using your teeth as tools put them at risk.  Accidents, mouth jewelry, or ill-fitting appliances can cause trouble as well.  Do what you can to eliminate these external stresses on your teeth.

Stress and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) – it is common to clench or grind your teeth when you are under stress.  At night, when the part of your brain that controls this impulse is asleep, the force of your grinding increases greatly.  Finding ways to process stress and relax before you sleep can help prevent this. You may also benefit from a  nightguard appliance that provides a physical barrier and protects your teeth from unnecessary wear and tear.

Misaligned Teeth – in some cases, crooked or misaligned teeth can throw off your bite and cause your teeth to hit in ways they were not meant to.  This causes additional stress on your teeth and  the situation often worsens as the teeth move even more.  We will evaluate your bite and the position of your teeth carefully before making any recommendations.

If you have concerns about the wear and tear on your teeth, we would love to support you in having the healthy and beautiful smile you deserve.  It all begins with an appointment  with Dr. Smith, which you can schedule by calling: (865) 922-1613

Knoxville TN

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A Simple Way to Brighten Your Day – Smile!

 

girl smile quotesSmiles are free and some of the benefits they produce might surprise you. When you smile your brain is flooded with chemicals that improve your mood. You feel happier and more confident, which can have a long reaching impact on your life.  Just imagine what might be possible if you felt more confident every day.

There are studies that show you are more resilient and stronger when you smile. One of these tested weightlifters and the difference in how much they could lift  when they were smiling or not. They were consistently stronger while smiling.

Smiles are contagious, which makes it even more fun to spread them around.  One smile shared with one person could impact their spouse, children, co-workers, and anyone else they meet that die. If you smile at more than one person, you could start a smiling movement that affects hundreds of people or more. Wouldn’t that be great?

You may never know the true impact of a simple smile you share. There was a news story a while back about a woman who had decided to kill herself, but changed her mind when a stranger’s smile gave her hope.

Smiling is a true super power and we hope you choose to share yours with the world.

If there is something about your smile that keeps you from wanting people to see it, give us a call. We would love to help you feel good and use your super power again. 

Ron Smith, DDS Knoxville, TN  865-922-1613

8 Ways Smiling Can Improve Your Life

 

“Peace begins with a smile.”  Mother Teresa

“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” Tom Wilson

“Smile.  It’s free therapy.” Douglas Horton

There are many great quotes about the magic of smiles and we happen to think they are really on to something. We see it often with our patients and even in our own lives.

When you smile:

  • You will look more attractive to others
  • Your blood pressure and stress levels are likely to go down
  • Pain relieving chemicals will be turned on in your body
  • You increase your chances of living longer
  • People will forgive you more easily
  • You will seem more approachable and trustworthy
  • You improve your chances of success in life
  • Chemicals will be released into your brain that improve your mood

We encourage you to take advantage of the incredible benefits of smiling. If the way your smile looks prevents you from wanting to share it with others, we can help. Just call (865) 922-1613 to schedule a consultation.  Knoxville TN

Dental Holiday Gift Ideas

Dental Christmas gift ideasFrom Christmas stocking stuffers to dental care, we have some great holiday gift ideas for you.

Dental Treatment Gift Certificate – Many people are struggling to afford the dental care they need. Giving a gift of dentistry would be more meaningful than buying the latest thingamajig.

Toothbrush, Floss, and Toothpaste – try fun flavors or designs to make it more interesting.

Professional Level Electric Toothbrush – helping someone care for their teeth is also giving the gift of health.

Replacement Brush Head for an electric toothbrush they already own.

Dental or Smile Books or Coloring Books – here are some ideas.

Teeth Whitening – this can also be a gift that enhances confidence and self-esteem

Peace of Mind – make a payment toward their dental bill or pay the account off – this is also a great Secret Santa or Random Act of Kindness activity.

Gross Fake Teeth – kids really love these.

Gag Gifts – like these walking teeth make great stocking stuffers.

The most important thing of all is that we want to wish you Happy Holidays!

(865) 922-1613 Knoxville, TN

Understanding and Using Your Dental Insurance

dental insurance dental benefits family dentistry in KnoxvilleMillions of dollars of dental benefits go unused each year. The insurance company is paid their premiums, but a surprisingly high percentage of people do not take advantage of the insurance paid for, leaving money (in the form of benefits) on the table, even if they have dental needs.

You are paying for your dental benefits in some way, even if they are part of your employment benefit package that was offered as part of your wages. The insurance companies make more money when you let your benefits go to waste.

We encourage you to use your dental benefits every year, whether you only need preventive care or have a lot of problems with your teeth.  Taking care of your teeth will:

  • Prevent pain and emergencies
  • Save you money in the long run
  • Help you keep your natural teeth
  • Or, replace them if they are lost
  • Positively impact your overall health
  • Keep you smiling
  • Avoid having to go over your insurance yearly maximum

There are thousands of dental insurance plans available and it is important to understand what yours covers.  You may have been sent a packet of information or can call the insurance company directly to learn more.  Keep in mind that there may be exclusions and limitations that are not described in the general materials.   Here are a few things to look for:

Yearly Maximum The dollar amount of benefits available to you each year. If not used, they often go away on December 31st of each year.

Deductible: The amount you need to pay each year before the insurance company starts paying.

Preventive Payment Percentage: This percentage usually applies to x-rays, cleanings, and exams.

Restorative Percentage:  These benefits are for more minor treatments like fillings or periodontal care.

Major Percentage:  This is the percentage paid on approved crowns, bridges, dentures, and other major treatment.

  1. Keep in mind that these percentages are not usually based on your dentist’s fee, but an amount  predetermined by your insurance
  2. Most plans have a limit on how often you can have preventive care
  3. Some plans exclude implants, tooth colored fillings, and other treatments
  4. Most plans have a frequency limit on major and restorative treatment
  5. Your dental office can get a written pre-authorization estimate from the insurance company on major treatment
  6. Insurance companies will often pay for the least expensive way to resolve a dental issue
  7. Some plans only pay in specific dental offices

In our office we are happy to check insurance benefits for our patients and help them understand what they mean.  We give clear, easy to understand estimates before treatment is started.  We have been at this for years and love helping people understand and use their insurance to take care of themselves.

If you have insurance, there is no reason to delay calling and setting up a dental appointment.  If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to serve you.

Ron Smith, DDS – Family and Sedation Dentistry – Knoxville TN – (865) 922-1613

4 Dental Tips for a Fun and Healthy Halloween

Halloween dental tips Knoxville dentist

Kids love Halloween and Trick or Treating and that means that there will be a lot of sugary treats coming their way. We have put together a few tips for you that will help them celebrate the holiday without hurting their smiles.

Sort Their Candy with Them

Keep your kids safe by having them not eat anything before they come home. Dump out the candy and go through it together, taking out anything that may not be safe.

Let your kids select their favorite treats and set them aside. The rest may not look as appealing once that is done.

Offer to Swap Out Candy for Other Types of Treats

You can give your kids incentives to give up the remaining, non-favorite candy by offering to swap it for other things they may want more, like a toy, coloring book, or movie. This works easily as long as what you offer is something they value more than the candy.

Inspire Them to Keep Their Teeth Clean

Give them a new fun tooth brush every Halloween to help them keep their smile healthy. Make it a tradition.  Another option is to include sugarless gum with their treats as it will help keep their teeth clean.

Designate Treat Times

When kids eat candy all day, their teeth are constantly marinating in sugar. Give your kids special times to eat their treats. This will give them something to look forward to and and can be timed shortly before they brush their teeth as well.

Celebrating can be both healthy and fun when you try these tips. But, if your teeth are feeling a little spooky you might want to give us a call. (865) 922-1613

Knoxville, TN

4 Signs the Bacteria in Your Mouth are Out of Control

mouth bacteria, dentist in Knoxville

Your mouth may be home to billions of bacteria, but when they are in balance there is nothing to worry about. It’s when they get out of control that your teeth and health can be at risk.

While there may be no symptoms that are obvious, sure signs that your mouth bacteria are having too much fun include:

Bad Breath: While the smell of your breath can change for simple reasons like the last thing you ate or your mouth being dry, it can also be a sign of digestive problems or unruly germy guys in your mouth. Try cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper or a plastic picnic knife and be sure to brush it daily. If this doesn’t help, you may want to give us a call.

Cavities: Many people don’t realize that cavities are caused by bacteria, not sugar. The sugar feeds the bacteria and they use it to create acids that eat away at your teeth. Be sure to brush and floss daily and get regular dental exams to prevent and catch cavities early.

Bleeding Gums: Another byproduct of bacteria is tartar that eventually hardens and becomes calculus. This creates nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide and build colonies, resulting in inflammation and infection. This condition is what is referred to as periodontal or gum disease and bleeding gums is one of the symptoms, although you can have it with no symptoms at all. Getting a professional teeth cleaning at recommended intervals is important for preventing this disease which can cause tooth loss and impact your overall health.

Toothaches: One of the most common causes of a toothache is a nerve that has died and become infected. If you have a tooth that hurts, especially if it throbs, is sensitive to heat or swollen, it is important to see your dentist right away. When tooth infections get out of control they can get into your bloodstream and be dangerous for your health.

Our goal is to help you keep the germs in your mouth in balance so that you can continue to enjoy a healthy smile and protect your overall health.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Knoxville area, we would love to meet you. Just call (865) 922-1613 to schedule an appointment.