4/4/2016 12:00:00 PM | Andrew MacConnell

In recent years, innovation in dental technology has opened the door for patients to enjoy more efficient dental care that enhances the long term health, function, and aesthetics. From improving patient education with high quality dental images, to ensuring precise procedures with the use of dental lasers, dental technology allows patients to enjoy improved treatments that yield lasting results.

Consider the following ways that these innovative technologies can transform your next dental visit:

Better Understand Your Smile
While effective, diagnostic tools like traditional x-rays provide dentists limited details about components of your smile. Advanced diagnostic technologies, such as digital x-rays, cone beam scanning, and intra-oral cameras allow dentists to better understand identify areas that require attention and how to most efficiently treat these dental issues.

The integration of advanced imaging tools also provide patients with the opportunity to better understand the inner-workings of their smile. By learning their dental needs, patients are able to better grasp how different treatments will impact their oral health, allowing them to make more informed treatment choices.

Comfortable Care
In cases where more extensive care is needed in order to restore dental health and function, technologies can be used to improve your experience before, during, and following the procedure.

For patients pursuing dental implants, advanced diagnostic instruments are used to determine candidacy for the procedure, plan the most strategic placement of implants, and take digital impressions for your final restoration. For individuals that require preliminary oral surgeries such as bone grafting or tooth extraction prior to the placement of the implant, specialized tools and advanced procedures are used to ensure treatment success. During the actual placement of the implant into the bone, computer software is used to precisely place the implant for improved treatment success. By utilizing such advanced technologies at every stage of complex procedures, patients are able enjoy successful, lasting oral health solutions.

Versatile Treatments
Dental technologies also provide solutions for a broad number of dental conditions. For example, while soft tissue dental lasers are often used to efficiently treat cases of periodontal disease, this instrument can also be used for a number of other soft tissue conditions, including cold sores, frenectomies, and to re-contour the gums. Dental lasers also cauterize the treatment area during the procedure, leading to less bleeding, lower risk of post-treatment infection, and accelerated recovery.

Similarly, hard tissue dental lasers can be used to perform a variety of treatments without compromising the overall health and function of neighboring tissue or bone marrow. As a result, patients are able to enjoy long-term solutions and improved oral health.

Learn More about Innovative Dentistry Today
At the Center for Family & Implant Dentistry, our state-of-the-art practice is dedicated to utilizing the latest in dental technology to provide our patients with lasting oral health solutions. From simple cleanings to complex restorative treatments, Bluff City dentist Dr. Andrew MacConnell is committed to providing all patients with the services needed to achieve their ideal smiles. For more information about our available procedures, contact our team today.




3/16/2016 12:00:00 PM | Andrew MacConnell

In recent years, dental implants and implant-supported restorations have become the ideal teeth replacement solution for patients facing tooth extraction or who are already missing one or more teeth. Versatile, long-lasting, and designed to blend in aesthetically and functionally with the rest of the smile, dental implants represent the future of comprehensive restorative care.

While the process of receiving implants can take some time, the long-term benefits of the treatment make the investment worthwhile. The process of preparation, placement, recovery, and restoration typically goes as follows:

Determining Candidacy:
In order for implants to be successful, patients must fulfill certain qualifications. During this initial stage, our Bluff Cityimplant dentist performs a comprehensive evaluation of all parts of the dentition, assessing the health of the jaw bone, gums, and teeth to determine whether implants are the best solution for the patient. Advanced diagnostic tools including digital x-rays, 3D cone beam digital imaging, and intra-oral cameras are used to identify current and potential dental issues.

Implant Preparation:
If patients are suitable candidates for the procedure, these innovative diagnostic technologies are used to create a comprehensive, strategic implant treatment plan. For some patients, this may require preliminary treatments such as bone grafting or ridge augmentation in order to great a successful environment for the eventual placement of the implant.

Implant Placement:
Once all preparation has been completed, patients return for the placement of the implant. During this brief outpatient procedure, the implant post is surgically placed into the jaw. For added patient comfort, our Bluff City dental practice offers oral sedation to ensure a comfortable experience.

Recovery:
During the recovery period, the placed implant is slowly integrated into the jaw through the naturally occurring process of osseointegration. Through this period of incorporation, patients visit the Center for Family and Implant Dentistry for brief follow-up appointments to ensure correct integration. Our team will also begin the process of creating a customized restoration for the implant. Depending on your tooth replacement needs, this can be as minimal as a single crown or as extensive as a full overdenture. Once the implant has become successfully embedded into the bone and the restoration has been created, patients return for final restoration attachment.

Schedule your Implant Consultation Today

At the Center for Family and Implant Dentistry, our team is dedicated to creating comprehensive implant treatment plans that are tailored to meet your aesthetic needs while enhancing oral health and function. For more information about this restorative treatment, contact our Bluff City implant dentist today. 



3/11/2016 12:00:00 PM | Andrew MacConnell

Traditionally, periodontal disease treatment requires the adoption of an aggressive deep cleaning both above and below the gums as well as a long-term maintenance plan to prevent the re-accumulation of plaque, tartar, and bacteria. While effective, these processes can be uncomfortable and overwhelming, requiring incredible patient diligence in order to protect the overall health of the mouth.

In contrast to these conventional treatment options, laser dentistry has transformed gum disease treatment. With specific instruments designed for both soft and hard tissue, laser dentistry allows dentists to halt the progression of the condition without compromising the health and function of your dentition.

Hard Tissue Dental Lasers
If left untreated, advanced periodontal disease can spread to the supportive jaw bone, causing tissue deterioration and damage. As a result, the damaged bone tissue must be removed or reshaped. With conventional tools, removal often kills surrounding bone tissue and marrow, leaving the entire jaw vulnerable to deterioration.

Unlike these traditional tools, hard tissue dental lasers can be used to precisely remove damaged bone without compromising the health of the surrounding tissue. As a result, this innovative instrument is ideal for root planing and bone re-contouring in cases of periodontal disease.

This instrument is incredibly versatile and can be used in a number of other treatments where the bone must be modified. For example, in cases of surgical tooth extraction, bone grafting, or ridge augmentation, hard tissue lasers may be used to perform the procedure.

The Benefit of Soft Tissue Dental Lasers
When treating cases of gum disease, soft tissue dental lasers offer a comprehensive solution unparalleled by traditional treatment methods. While traditional root planing and scaling may effectively remove bacteria from the affected area, these treatments do nothing to remedy the periodontal pockets, thereby leaving patients vulnerable to recurrent infection.

Soft tissue lasers can not only eliminate bacteria and remove damaged tissue from these pockets, but they can also help stimulate gum reattachment to the tooth. In successful gum disease treatment with soft tissue lasers, the periodontal pockets can be reduced and even eliminated, allowing patients to comprehensively regain their oral health.

Similar to hard tissue dental lasers, this innovative instrument may also be used to treat other dental conditions, ranging from cold sore elimination to frenectomies. As this laser helps to stimulate blood coagulation during the procedure, patient often enjoy accelerated healing and virtually no discomfort during and following their treatment.

Advanced Dental Care in Bluff City

The Center for Family & Implant Dentistry is a pioneer in utilizing advanced dental tools to improve our patients’ experiences and ensure lasting oral health. For more information about the long-term benefits and versatility of dental lasers, please contact our Bluff City dental teamtoday.  



3/4/2016 12:00:00 PM | Andrew MacConnell

For many patients, upcoming dental visits may not always be met with enthusiasm. Whether it has been a while since your last dental visit, you are preparing to undergo extensive dental treatments during one visit, or you suffer from dental phobia, sedation dentistry offers a safe and effective solution to improving your upcoming dental experience.

Available in several different forms, sedation can help transform nerve-wracking appointments into comfortable experiences that go by quickly. However, properly preparing for visits enhanced with dental sedation is an important part of ensuring patient safety and optimal results. Consider the following tips when preparing for dental sedation:

No Food or Drink after Midnight
For individuals undergoing sedation, it is important that these patients fast prior to their procedure to prevent any adverse reactions during the procedure. At the Center for Family & Implant Dentistry, we recommend that patients do not eat or drink after midnight to ensure your safety. During your sedation evaluation, our Bluff City dentist will evaluate your medical history to ensure any daily medications will not impact the effectiveness or safety of the sedation medication.

Follow Your Treatment Plan
Often, patients undergoing more extensive treatments such as implant placement will be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics to be taken prior to the procedure. To ensure effective treatment and successful post-procedure recovery, follow your specific pain management plan as described by our dental team.

Dress Comfortably
Higher dosages of dental sedation often induce feelings of sleep or unconsciousness. As a result, we recommend that patients dress in comfortable, properly fitting clothing and wear closed toe shoes. Additionally, women should arrive makeup free and men should be cleanly shaven unless they have a full beard.

Find a Driver
Depending on the strength of your sedation, you will most likely need to enlist the help of a friend or family member to drive you to your appointment and back home.  In cases where stronger doses of sedation have been administered, we recommend having a friend stay with you until the effects of the medication have subsided and to help you follow your post-procedure pain management plan.

Sedation Dentistry in the Tri-City Area

At the Center for Family & Implant Dentistry, our team is committed to helping all patients enjoy their dental experience. By offering dental sedation options, our Bluff City dentist is able to improve your visit as well as your oral health. For more information about adding dental sedation to your next visit, contact Dr. MacConnell today



1/7/2016 12:43:00 PM | Andrew MacConnell

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Planting Smiles blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Planting Smiles, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever