Q & A

Our patients ask us interesting questions every day, and we thought it would be helpful to include some of the most common ones on our website. To view the answers, simply click on the questions below. If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, don’t worry, you can always contact us and ask! There’s no such thing as a silly question, so if you’d like to know something, feel free to ask!

How often should I visit the dentist?
Dr. Blanton agrees with the American Dental Association on this one: patients of all ages should visit their dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. These preventive appointments are typically short, easy, and they do a tremendous amount of good when it comes to stopping dental issues before they even start.

What can you do about my cavity?
We can do a few things actually! If it is a small cavity, we can typically fix it using just a filling. However, if the damage is more extensive, we may choose to use a dental crown. In either case, we’ll make sure your tooth is strong and healthy by the time you leave our office!

Can you replace my missing teeth?
Yes we can! We actually have a few ways we can do it, and it all depends on your particular needs.

If you are missing a few teeth in a row, we can replace them using implants and individual crown restorations or in many cases a dental bridge may be a good option. However, if your tooth loss is more extensive, dental implants give us the ability to restore large areas that used to be only corrected by removable partial or complete dentures.

Dental implants are by far the best tooth replacement option available because they actually restore your entire tooth from root to crown, giving you the best when it comes to security, longevity, AND aesthetics.

I don’t like how my smile looks! Can you help?
We actually have an array of cosmetic treatments that are specifically for making your smile look beautiful. Whether you simply want your teeth to be a bit whiter or if you’re looking for a complete makeover, we can enhance just about every aspect of your smile that you can imagine.

Do I have to get braces to straighten my teeth?
You actually don’t anymore because we can offer you clear aligners called SureSmile , which is one of the newer clear aligner systems. Our patients love it because it allows them to straighten their smile without altering their appearance. Plus, the aligners themselves are easily removable, so you can take them out whenever you need to eat or brush your teeth, making this treatment extremely convenient!

How can a dentist help with sleep apnea?
We can offer you a treatment called Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) , which is an extremely effective alternative to a CPAP machine. It helps control the symptoms of sleep apnea by having a patient wear a specially designed and custom-made Oral Appliance to bed. When provided by a highly trained sleep dentist like Dr. Blanton , Oral Appliance Therapy has been shown to improve the sleep quality of up to 91% of the patients who use it regularly.

Will you accept my insurance?
If you have dental insurance, we will gladly accept it and even file your claims for you. We are currently in-network with Delta Dental, Cigna, and MetLife, and you can learn more about our insurance policy right here.

Why are my teeth sensitive?
Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.

What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?
Great teeth and gum care start at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis. By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.

What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and Oral Hygiene protocol for Home Care will prevent the Periodontal Disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’. The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear. They include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Recession
  • Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth Pain
  • Tooth Loss

How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Through a series of Periodontal Cleanings, Root Planing & Scaling, Laser Therapy and Local Antibiotics, this condition can be controlled. Periodontal Surgery is only necessary for severe cases.

What is the Difference Between a White Filling and a Silver Filling?
Silver Fillings, known as Amalgam, have been around for decades. Made from a metal alloy (primarily silver and mercury) for many years, it was the best restoration for fillings. However, over the years the metal expands and contracts with the heat and cold placed in the mouth. This expansion and contraction would cause separation of the amalgam filling from the tooth structure at the margins of the filling allowing for microscopic bacteria to enter and begin the decay process.

White Fillings, also known as Composites, are often made of special dental plastics or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material that seals into etched tooth structure and fits tightly into the tooth to prevent decay. Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.

How Can I Improve My Smile?
There are several ways in today’s Dental World to enhance your smile. Certain procedures include:

  • Tooth Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Porcelain Crowns

We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. For an exact consultation, please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.

What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth Whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Over the years, fluoride is has been added to the whitening product. This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.

Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.

The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly. Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect. Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!

What is Bonding?
Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color. The immediate results are amazing. Within a few hours, you will have a great smile! Bonding like Tooth Whitening may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. This entire procedure can take as few as two visits. Veneers change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth. This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile. Many times, patients ask for Porcelain Veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!

What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth. It will change the size, shape and color of the teeth and in most cases, due to our use of the newest CAD/CAM technology, can now be done in a single visit.

What is a Dental Implant?
A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the Dental Implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
  • Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
  • Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
  • Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
  • Dental Implants replace the need for a Removable Full or Partial Denture.
  • Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing. A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.

Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?
With major advancements in Dentistry and Dental Implants, most people are candidates for Dental Implants. There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.

What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
The average Dental Implant Procedure takes 3 - 4 visits. The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the Implant.

The next visit is to place the Implant. A local anesthesia is applied to the area. (Any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist). The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant. The implant is placed into the jaw bone. The area will then be covered with sutures. The procedure is usually completed with very little discomfort.

You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the Porcelain Crown to place over the Implant.

How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
Fees from Dental Implants vary from dentist to dentist. Always schedule an Implant Consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.

How long does a Dental Implant last?

With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, a Dental Implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.

Does your office offer financing for services provided?
ABSOLUTELY !!! We know that sometimes cost is a major roadblock to getting the care or cosmetic procedures that a patient really desires to improve their oral health and/or their smile. We never want to see a patient exchange a dental problem for a financial problem. That is why we began working with CARE CREDIT when they first appeared as an option for patient financing. They have given many hundreds of our patients the opportunity to finance extensive treatment plans over the amount of time necessary that it did not become a financial hardship for them. Please contact us to discuss the options we have available take care of your oral health needs and if your desire is to improve your smile; to make your perfect smile today!

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362 New Byhalia Rd., #3 | Collierville, TN 38017

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