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July 30, 2018
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The Benefits of a Back-To-School Dental Exam

A new school brings new challenges, schedules and demands. Don’t let worries about your child’s dental health add unnecessary stress. A back-to-school dental exam can help your child start the new school year off right.


After a long summer, getting back into the school-year swing of things can be a challenge. It’s the perfect time to schedule a dental exam and cleaning to ensure that your child’s teeth are in great shape before the rigors of the school year set in.  

Establish Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

A dental exam at the beginning of the school can help settle your child into great dental hygiene habits before school starts.


Each new year of school brings growth and learning opportunities. Helping your child establish positive tooth brushing and flossing habits can help ensure that his teeth stay healthy throughout the year.

Get On Top of Existing Dental Issues

If your child has developed a cavity or other dental issue since his or her last dental exam, the end of summer is the perfect time to get it fixed. Research shows that a huge percentage of children ages 2-11 have dental caries that need to be addressed by a dentist.


Addressing the concern before school will ensure your child doesn’t miss any school for tooth-related issues or problems.

Get An Update On Your Child’s Dental Development

Wondering if braces are in your child’s future? Worried about impacted teeth? A trip to the dentist before school starts can give you a heads up on future dental expenses, including braces, tooth extractions or other procedures.

Make Sure Your Child Starts the School Year Right

Many children are intimidated by trips to the dentist, so they might not express dental pain or discomfort for fear of ending up in the dreaded dentist’s chair.


This can lead to children suffering through distracting dental pain when they should be focusing on learning and growing.


It’s important to choose a dentist that makes your child feel comfortable. A dentist that specializes in children’s dentistry can help ensure that your little one isn’t scared of going to the dentist and will tell you when their teeth or gums hurt.

Have more questions about children’s dental care? Ready to schedule a back-to-school dental exam? Contact Hintz & Oakley Family Dentistry today: (931)526-5460.

July 02, 2018
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Summer is a land of sports and activity, especially for kids. Being out of school gives kids the opportunity to swim, play baseball, explore--and possibly get hurt. We see a ton of kids during the summertime who have chipped or knocked out a tooth playing sports, roughhousing or just being daredevils.


So what should do if your child knocks out a tooth? Let’s discuss.

What If It’s A Baby Tooth?

Most of the time, a child knocking out a baby tooth is not a serious issue. The underlying permanent tooth is most likely not affected, and the permanent teeth will continue to grow in normally.


However, sometimes the trauma of losing the tooth can cause injury to the surrounding gums or other parts of the mouth.


Schedule a visit to your child’s dentist to make sure his gums and other teeth aren’t affected.

Try To Find The Missing Tooth

If you can, find your child’s missing tooth as soon as possible. Rinse it in milk and have your child place it back in its socket and hold it in place in her mouth. Do not disturb the tooth’s root or any connecting tissues still attached.


Don’t scrub it or clean it in any way. If you can’t put the tooth in your child’s mouth, put it in a container of milk or saliva for transport to the nearest dentist.

Visit Your Dentist Immediately

When a permanent tooth is knocked out, time is of the essence. The faster you can get to a dentist, the greater the chances that the tooth will reattach.


If your child is old enough to understand, have him or her hold the tooth in their cheek to keep it moist, making sure not to swallow it. Your dentist will work to reattach your child’s avulsed tooth, but there will be significant healing time. Your child may also need to eat a soft diet for a while to allow the tooth to reattach successfully.

Have questions about dental issues? Looking for a new dentist? Contact Hintz & Oakley today: (931) 526-5460.

June 01, 2018
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Dental Veneers

Your smile is a huge part of your personal confidence and professional presentation. So what can you do when you suddenly chip or damage a tooth? It’s important to know your options.

When you have a chipped or stained tooth, it can diminish your self-esteem and put a damper on your personal confidence. Cosmetic dentistry can be a great option for getting that confidence back.


Hintz & Oakley Family Dentistry is proud to be a leading provider of general and cosmetic dentistry services in Cookeville, Tennessee and beyond.


Here’s what we think you should about getting dental veneers to repair your smile.  

What Are Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers are layers of material (usually porcelain or resin) that are fitted over damaged, misshapen, chipped or stained teeth. Veneers are used to improve the appearance of an individual’s teeth by providing a clean, symmetrical coating on top. This coating mimics the look of natural teeth and helps protect the surface of the tooth beneath.

Choosing Between Composite and Porcelain Veneers

Not all veneers are created equal. In fact, there are different options at different price points--and different outcomes. The most common types of veneers available are composite resin and porcelain.


Here’s how they differ:


Composite Veneers: These veneers can be done in a single visit. Made of resin, composite veneers are applied to the tooth and molded to the correct shape in the same sitting.The resin will need to be polished to create a tooth-like appearance and hardened with a special light to ensure the best functionality. Composite veneers are much less expensive than porcelain veneers, but they aren’t as resistant to staining and don’t look as natural. They also don’t last as long--composite resin veneers have a lifespan of about 5-7 years if you practice good dental hygiene.


Porcelain Veneers: Despite being more expensive, porcelain veneers are a top choice if you want your veneers to look as natural as possible and last for a long time. These veneers are custom-made for your particular teeth, so fit and appearance are second-to-none. Porcelain is also less porous and more durable, lasting up to 15 years with good dental hygiene and regular dental cleanings.


Unlike composite resin veneers, the process of getting porcelain veneers is pretty extensive. After moldings of your teeth are taken, your veneers will need to be sculpted in a lab. You will then need to visit your dentist to have the veneers applied to your teeth. Most individuals find that the long process of getting porcelain veneers is worth it, however. The beauty, durability and natural-looking appearance of porcelain simply can’t be recreated by the alternatives.

Are Dental Veneers Right For You?

If you’re interested in restoring your smile, it’s important to talk to your dentist about the best options for you.


For many individuals, veneers aren’t the best choice. For those with significantly misaligned teeth, orthodontics is a more effective long-term solution. For individuals with significant tooth decay or structural problems, crowns or dental implants may be a more suitable and long-lasting option.


Have more questions about veneers? Contact Hintz & Oakley today: 931-526-5460.


April 18, 2018
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Two words spoken in the dentist’s office can send a cold chill down anyone’s spine: root canal.


Visions of excruciating pain, an extended recovery period and persistent tooth problems can haunt anyone who needs a root canal procedure.


Fortunately, most of those myths simply aren’t true in the 21st century. Endodontic therapy, known casually as a “root canal”, has come a long way since the more primitive days of dentistry. With improvements in methods and tools, root canal procedures have become easier and less painful than ever before, with a higher rate of success.


Do you have a root canal scheduled? Are you worried about what it will entail?


We’re here to give you a root canal rundown.

Root Canal Myth: Root Canals Are Incredibly Painful

Contrary to popular belief, root canal therapy can be relatively pain-free if performed by a trustworthy, professional dentist.


When you visit your dentist for a root canal treatment, the tooth and its surrounding area will be numbed with local anesthesia until you have very little pain sensitivity. The goal is for the root canal procedure to be as close to pain-free as possible--after all, a pain-free procedure is better for the patient and the dentist.


Following your root canal, your dentist can suggest over-the-counter pain relievers or give you a prescription for pain medication to ease your discomfort.


Often, the pain individuals experience following a root canal is related to tooth infection, rather than the procedure itself. To prevent infection following a root canal, make sure you brush twice per day, floss regularly and drink plenty of water as you heal.

Root Canal Myth: Most Root Canals Aren’t Successful

Many individuals believe that root canals are pointless because a tooth that requires a root canal will just need to be extracted eventually anyway.


This is actually not true.


The whole point of a root canal is to save an injured tooth by removing infected pulpal tissue and preventing further infection. Several studies have shown that root canals are overwhelmingly successful. Success rates are even higher for patients who adhere to good dental hygiene and care post-procedure.

Root Canal Myth: You Only Need Root Canal Therapy When A Tooth Is Painful

Many patients don’t seek dental care for damaged teeth if they aren’t in pain. Others refuse a root canal treatment because they think a pain-free tooth will eventually heal on its own.


However, a lack of pain doesn’t preclude the need for a root canal procedure. Oftentimes, a dead tooth will need root canal therapy to prevent a future infection.


Similarly, a painful tooth doesn’t always lead to a root canal. Your dentist can evaluate a problematic tooth with percussion testing or by checking your tooth’s pulp vitality. These findings will help determine whether or not you need a root canal treatment.

Have more questions about root canal therapy risks or misconceptions? Contact our office directly today or check our blog for regular updates!

March 27, 2018
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The big night has finally arrived. You’ve got your outfit on, your hair fixed and your tickets in hand. You have the time of your life with your friends. On your way out of the venue, you decide to take a photo together. You’re scrolling through the snapshots back at home when you notice it: your teeth look dull, transparent and even a little gray. What is happening?


We’ve all been there: the sudden realization that our teeth are looking less-than-stellar. As we age, natural changes to the teeth can cause a dull or discolored appearance. For some of us, our teeth take on a gray appearance.


Why is this?


Let’s take a look.

You’ve Taken Certain Medications

Certain medications, like tetracycline and linezolid, cause tooth discoloration. If you’ve taken tetracycline, the discoloration may be grayish. For those who have taken linezolid, the discoloration may appear dark brown. Dental discoloration may also exist in the babies of women who took tetracycline during pregnancy.


Linezolid staining can be removed with professional dental cleaning and whitening services. Tetracycline staining, on the other hands, is more stubborn. Professional whitening done by a dentist may help reduce the stains. For the worst tetracycline stains, however, veneers may be necessary.

Your Enamel is Thinning

When tooth enamel is worn away through age, drinking acidic beverages and sodas and eating acidic foods, the interior of the tooth can show through.

When the enamel is worn away, it can’t be regrown. A tooth with thin enamel might look gray or transparent, giving your smile a discolored look.

Your Tooth Has Experienced Trauma

Dental trauma--like being hit in the mouth or involved in an accident where your mouth was injured--can cause damage to the nerves of one or more teeth. If the nerve within the tooth dies, a brown or gray discoloration can affect the tooth’s appearance. Trauma can also interrupt a tooth’s blood flow, resulting in a discolored appearance.

You’re a Smoker

Smoking cigarettes causes what is known as extrinsic staining--that is, stains that appear on the outer layer of the tooth and can be removed by professional whitening.


Cigarettes contain tar, nicotine and other carcinogens that create a dull yellow staining on the teeth over time. These stains can be unsightly. Some smokers report not wanting to smile for fear of others seeing their teeth.


Coffee, soda and other dark-colored beverages can also cause tooth staining, though these stains are easier to remove with regular brushing.


Have more questions about dental health and wellness? Check our blog regularly for updates!

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