back to school baby

Posted & filed under Family Health, Prevention.

Notebooks? Check. Backpack? Check. Pencils? Check. Every parent has their own list of back to school supplies that their child needs to start the school year off on the right foot. No matter what’s on your back to school to do list, our dental office in Collierville wants to make sure a dental visit is one of them.  

Oral Health is Linked to Overall Health

While there are several reasons children should see their dentist in Collierville before heading off to their first day of school, perhaps the most important one has more to do with their whole bodies, not just their smiles.

Poor oral health has been linked to several serious diseases including:

These chronic health issues are so common in children that, according to the National Institutes of Health, 20-30% of American children and adolescents suffer from diseases caused by poor oral health. It’s our goal to keep the children in our community healthy, and their regular dental visits can help. Dental cleanings and checkups at least every six months help identify any problems early while they’re easier to treat and before they start to affect the rest of the body.  Cavities can be filled before they cause pain, sealants can be applied to help protect teeth against decay, and gum disease can be treated.

Poor Oral Health Can Affect Grades

Another reason we like to encourage parents to get their children to the dentist prior to beginning school is to help keep kids in school so they can learn. Any dental problem that isn’t caught before the school year begins can cause pain which distracts kids from learning, and even cause children to be absent from class. In fact, a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health Dentistry concluded that of the six days of school missed each year on average, two of them were because of a dental related issue. In order for children to thrive in school and get good grades, they need to be in school. Seeing a dentist for a clean bill of health can help.

Doing Your Part at Home

Dental checkups at least every six months are only one part of protecting teeth from decay and gums from disease. We also need to practice good oral hygiene habits at home. This means making sure your kids (and you!) are brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Looking for a family dentist? Call our Collierville dental office to schedule an appointment!

baby with toothbrush

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

Aging isn’t easy. And there are plenty of ways to try to combat it. You can get a new wardrobe, a flashier car, or a personal trainer. You can get a face lift, fillers, an updated hairstyle, or age-defying creams. These efforts might work, and they can go a long way toward boosting your confidence and make you feel better about getting older. But they don’t necessarily have longevity. There is, however, one thing you can do that will make you look younger immediately: a smile makeover.

How can doing something to your teeth make you look younger? How can this kind of change be more effective than diligently working out or seeing your plastic surgeon?

Anti-aging dentistry from your Collierville dentist is a fast, long-lasting way to look younger, healthier, happier, and simply offer up the best version of yourself. Cosmetic dentistry can be the answer to many common aging complaints. Here are just some of them…

Problem #1: Sagging cheeks

Solution: Dental implants

If you’re missing teeth, sagging or hollow cheeks can be the result. You may think a missing molar may not need immediate tending to since it’s not like people can see it that easily, but over time your skin will shift as a result of the holes in your smile. Get rid of developing jowls by replacing those missing teeth with dental implants which will fill in the gaps of your smile, rebuild the foundation of your teeth, and help you say so long to
sagging skin.

Problem #2: Dark gaps in the corners of your smile

Solution: Porcelain veneers

Black holes can appear at the corners of your mouth as you age. It’s inevitable that your mouth and face will change as the years pass, but this narrowing doesn’t have to be permanent. Porcelain veneers are a fountain of youth. Veneers can be used to manipulate the size of your teeth – while also making them look white, straight, and attractive – which will eliminate any corner darkness. Bonus: Veneers can even out your lips, plumping them up without the need for fillers or tingly lip plumpers.

Problem #3: Worn down teeth

Solution: Invisalign or TMJ treatment

The longer you live, the more wear and tear your teeth will undergo, and that can impact your jaw’s functionality, causing discomfort. The pain can lead to grimaces rather than grins, a look that will make you look older than you actually are. Depending on what’s happening with your smile, your Collierville and Cordova cosmetic dentist might recommend orthodontia – Invisalign is ideal for adults who want to resurrect their smile on the sly. Or you may discover that you have a grinding or clenching issue that’s resulting in unattractive worn down teeth, and TMJ treatment can fix the root of this problem.

Problem #4: Stained teeth

Solution: Tooth whitening

Years of drinking coffee or wine, years of smoking, or the simple fact of aging can discolor your teeth, making you look older and unhealthy. Some stains are more easily removed than you think, and a professional tooth whitening treatment can revitalize your smile and your overall appearance. This is one of the simplest cosmetic dentistry treatments available and, if it’s right for you, can happen in just one hour.

Problem #5: Chipped or broken teeth

Solution: Smile Makeover

Aging teeth can crack, chip, or break. Bad habits like chewing on pencils or ice or opening things with your teeth can cause breakage as well. Your smile makeover is customized, and your broken teeth can be fixed with any number of cosmetic dentistry treatments, from porcelain crowns to dental implants to porcelain veneers.

The goal of anti-aging dentistry is to adjust the size and shape of your teeth into a flattering customized look that will smooth wrinkles around your mouth, support your jaw, and balance your smile. Plastic surgery can only take you so far – and it can easily look unnatural. A beautiful, healthy smile is what will strip years off of your actual age and revitalize your appearance. Cosmetic dentistry is a minimally invasive way to wind back the clock – even the smallest adjustment to your smile can transform your look and your confidence.

Contact Sneed Dental Arts to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Kathryn Sneed at our Collierville or Cordova dental offices, and discover the smile makeover treatment that’s your ticket to anti-aging.

woman opening bottle with teeth

Posted & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dentistry, Prevention.

We all know that eating or drinking too much sugar can cause cavities, and by now we should all be aware of the oral health risks associated with smoking or tobacco use. But these common facts aren’t the only habits that may be affecting your smile. At our dental office in Collierville, we know plenty of other habits that can be just as damaging. Check out some of the top, and perhaps surprising, culprits.

Biting Your Nails

Nail biting is an incredibly common habit that comes with its share of harmful side effects. Not only can biting your nail expose your body to the tons of bacteria that live under the nail, it can also cause damage to your jaw and smile. The act of nail biting cause the jaw to protrude at an unnatural angle, placing pressure on your jaw joint. If the habit continues, you could experience TMJ or TMD. What’s more, nails are made of a hard material and biting them off can cause teeth to chip or break.

Eating Ice Cubes

Ice cubes have one purpose and one purpose only — to make things cold. However, some individuals have a difficult time keeping themselves from chewing on these frozen cubes of water. Crunching on ice is a sure way to create tiny chips in the teeth, leaving them exposed to bacteria that cause cavities. Eating ice can also lead to bigger cracks or breaks that require cosmetic dentistry to fix.

Sucking on Lemons

Exposing your teeth to lemons also exposes them to the high amount of acid found in these colorful fruits. Acid of any kind erodes the protective layer of tooth enamel. Once the enamel is gone, you may experience increased tooth sensitivity as well as an increased risk for decay.

Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Your dentist in Collierville encourages you to brush your teeth twice a day, but not just any type of brushing will do. Any scrubbing motion or using too much pressure can cause gums to recede. Instead, brush using gentle circles to get your smile clean and keep it protected.

Clenching and Grinding

Some people find themselves clenching or grinding in moments of stress. Others do it while they’re sleeping and don’t even know it. Either way, there are various types of dental issues that can occur as a result including jaw pain (TMJ/TMD), worn down teeth, or broken teeth.

Using Teeth as Tools

We’ve all used our teeth to open pesky packaging or to hold something when our hands were full, however it’s really not recommended. Ripping open stubborn packages or using your teeth for anything other than eating can chip teeth or cause other damage.

The team at our Collierville dental office would prefer if all of our patients and neighbors had perfectly healthy smiles and never encountered any problems, which is why we put so much emphasis on preventing dental issues from ever occurring by educating them on things just like this. But we understand that things do happen, and when they do, we’re more than happy to help.

woman indicates gum irritation

Posted & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

If you’ve ever noticed gum tissue appear to creep up higher and higher over time, showing off more and more of the actual tooth, you’ve seen gum recession in action. Really slow action, but nonetheless, you’ve experienced it. Gum recession is incredibly common and can be treated. But our dental office in Collierville wants to emphasize that just because it’s treatable, doesn’t mean you should let it go. It can be painful and be a sign of more serious problems.

Why is Gum Recession Concerning?

Besides helping to hold teeth in place, one responsibility of gums is to protect the roots of teeth. When gums start to recede, it leaves the roots exposed to the elements, making teeth sensitive and painful. If gum recession is left untreated, it will only lead to more serious and often painful problems including:

  • Severe inflammation
  • Increased susceptibility to bacteria
  • Erosion of bone and supporting tissues
  • Rotting teeth that will fall out

Top Causes of Gum Recession

There are a variety of things that can cause gum recession. While we can list multiple reasons here, the main culprits include:

Signs of Gum Recession

Gum recession is a slow process, and the best way to catch it early is to maintain regular visits with your dentist in Collierville. In between appointments, keep an eye out for:

  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Little indentations on the teeth near the gum line

Gum Recession Treatment

Treatment can vary greatly depending on the severity. Sometimes a new toothbrush and better flossing habits will keep it from progressing. For more serious cases, a deeper dental cleaning called scaling and root planing may be appropriate. People who have let the recession progress for a long time may need to explore a surgical option.

Gum recession isn’t something to take lightly. If you’re experiencing it yourself, we welcome you to call our Collierville dental office. We’ll talk about your oral hygiene habits, examine your mouth for any other problems, and discuss the best treatment option for you.

young woman smiling

Posted & filed under General Dentistry.

A healthy smile is definitely a powerful tool. It can change the mood in a room. It can convey confidence and professionalism, even if you’re not feeling it. You can hear someone smiling over the phone, without even seeing their face light up. My dental office in Collierville knows the importance of a great first impression because it needs to leave a lasting impression. That’s why we make sure your teeth and gums are healthy so that your smile is one you’ll be proud to share with everyone.

Your Personality is Showing

A smile projects a more positive vibe, friendly and approachable attitude, along with inherent leadership skills. It’s been shown that humans will smile more depending on who is at the other end of the conversation. During our initial contact with other people, our first impressions and assessments are usually made within seconds. Most of the time this is all being subliminally so we’re not even aware we’re doing it.

Your Teeth Tell A Story

Hippocrates believed that every person belongs to one of four different types of temperaments. And believe it or not, your teeth determine what group you belong to. This is known as Morphopsychology-Visagism and it’s the possible connection between your personality and your teeth shape. Your dentist in Collierville wants to know what category you belong to!

  1. Melancholic/Sensitive = Oval-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Artistic, perfectionist, organized, reserved, timid, and abstractive

  1. Sanguine/Dynamic = Triangle-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Impulsive, extroverted, communicative, enthusiastic, and eager

  1. Choleric/Strong = Rectangular-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Intense, objective, explosive, intense, passionate, and entrepreneurial

  1. Phlegmatic/Peaceful = Square-Shaped Teeth

Personality traits include: Conformist, discreet, diplomatic, mystic, and spiritualized

Sharing your smile with the world is important in so many ways. It conveys your intent and personality. Your smile even has the ability to boost another person’s mood, making them more happy in the process. My Collierville dental office wants to help you put your best smile out there and ensure your true confidence and charisma always shine through.

anxious woman in dental chair

Posted & filed under General Dentistry, Oral Health.

Whether it’s been a couple of months, a couple of years, or even a couple of decades since you’ve seen your dentist in Collierville, please know you’re not alone. We see patients frequently who are hesitant to schedule an appointment just because it’s been such a long time since they were seen by a dentist. Having a gap (big or small) between appointments is more common than you think and we’re here to let you know what to expect your first visit back so you can feel comfortable!

There’s No Time Like Right Now

There are a number of reasons why patients put off visiting our Collierville dental office. Sometimes it’s due to insurance. Other times patients put off making an appointment because of a bad experience with a previous dental health care provider. Maybe life is just too busy or hectic and it’s just not something you think about until you have an issue. Please know it’s never too late to get a checkup and learn more about your oral heath. In fact, the sooner you come see us, the better!

“What Can I Do To Prepare for My First Appointment?”

Don’t be nervous! We’re here to help and are excited to welcome both new and returning patients into our dental family. It’s always a good idea to arrive a little early to make sure the necessary paperwork is in order. (And it gives you a few minutes to meet all the friendly folks who work in the office.) Be sure to jot down all of the current medications you’re taking and also any questions you may want to ask.

“What Can I Expect at The Exam?”

No matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen the dentist, every patient will receive a thorough exam and x-rays. This information is crucial because it allows for a more personalized assessment of your oral health. We will also check the status of your gums to look for any indication of disease. Things like broken or missing teeth, cavities, etc. are relatively common and we simply chart everything to make sure we have a clear picture of any immediate and possible future treatment needs. Your exam is also a good time to let our dental team know about any other issues we should be aware of such as aches, pains, clenching, grinding, etc.

We’re positive that once you’re in our dental office in Collierville, you’ll feel right at home. There’s no better time to take charge of your oral health so you enjoy better overall health too. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We can’t wait to see you.

biscotti

Posted & filed under General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry.

Food is such an important part of our lives. Not only is it crucial for our health, it’s historically pretty important for our relationships too. We meet friends over dinner, we snack on the couch with loved ones while watching a movie, and we even join blind dates for a cup coffee. At our dental office in Collierville, we understand the importance of food and really enjoying what you eat. But we also know how some foods can damage teeth. For this blog, we’ve compiled some of the top types of food that are the worst for teeth.  

  • BiscottiThis Italian treat is known for its hard, crunchy texture which is why it’s usually eaten after being dunked in a beverage. However, this difficult to bite biscuit can cause cracks or chips if it’s too hard.
  • PopcornA movie watching favorite, the dangers of popcorn lurks in the often unseen kernels. A quick, hard bite onto one of these hard kernels can chip teeth or destroy restorations.
  • Pitted TreatsSnacks like olives sometimes contain a hidden pit. Again, like the culprits above, an accidental nibble of a pit can cause some serious tooth damage.
  • Chewy Candy Candy in general is typically bad news, but chewy ones can be the worst of all. Due its sticky nature, the sugar-loaded sweet is left clinging to teeth for prolonged periods of time and it can also dislodge fillings.
  • Ice CubesThese frozen cubes of water can be used to chill a beverage or even for an injury, but they shouldn’t be eaten. Hard ice can not only break teeth, they also create tiny cracks that leave the enamel open to bacteria and, in turn, cavities.
  • Bones While we don’t tend to choose bones to eat or to gnaw on, they are found in several foods. Some bones are easy to see and we can usually avoid those, but some bones aren’t noticed until it’s too late. Be cautious when eating stews, certain types of fish, or chicken.

While we’d love our patients to avoid these foods altogether in order to greatly reduce the risk of dental damage, we understand that’s unrealistic. Instead, we’d be happy if they just used a bit of caution while enjoying the treats above. More importantly, if something were to happen while chowing down, we want to encourage them to schedule an appointment at our dental office in Collierville as soon as possible. The sooner we can evaluate and treat any damage, the less likely there will be additional issues.

male dentist examines dental x-rays

Posted & filed under General Dentistry.

When you come to your appointments at our dental office in Collierville, there’s a good chance we may recommend taking some x-rays of your mouth. And for good reason. Dental x-rays are critical in helping us detect a number of potential oral health problems early, often making treatment easier and more affordable. What our patients may not know is there are various types of dental x-rays that are appropriate to help diagnose different issues. In this blog, we cover some of the most common types of dental x-rays and why dentists use them.

Two Main Categories of X-Rays

When referring to dental x-rays, or radiographs, we are either referencing intraoral x-rays or extraoral x-rays. Extraoral x-rays take a view of the entire mouth structure, including the teeth, jaw, and skull while intraoral x-rays are more about the details of each tooth. Each category of x-ray is beneficial in its own way, depending on what your dentist in Collierville is looking for.

Intraoral X-Rays

Since intraoral x-rays show such a detailed view of the teeth, they’re great at helping dentists identify specific problems that otherwise would be undetectable including:

The most common type of x-rays taken at most dental offices fall into the intraoral category and are known as bitewing x-rays. Bitewings x-rays are used so frequently because they can successfully detect even the tiniest cavity that the naked eye wouldn’t be able to see. When caught early, cavities are much easier to treat.

Extraoral X-Rays

The images produced from extraoral x-rays often show the bigger picture and look at the entire anatomy of the mouth and skull. Extraoral x-rays can help examine:

  • Tooth Growth & Development
  • The Relationship Between the Teeth & Jaw
  • Impacted Teeth

If you need an extraoral x-rays, you’ll most likely have a panoramic x-ray taken. The photos from a panoramic x-ray show the entire mouth and are helpful in diagnosing problems with your jaw joint (TMJ), developing wisdom teeth, or even a tumor.

Dental x-rays are incredibly safe as they emit a low amount of radiation. But that doesn’t mean you should go crazy and get as many as possible. How often you should get dental x-rays taken depends on your age and your oral health. If you’re at higher risk for decay, our Collierville dental office may recommend x-rays at each visit twice a year. If not, we may only suggest them once a year. Either way, having x-rays of your mouth completed regularly will help keep your smile healthy.

oral cancer awareness

Posted & filed under Oral Health, Prevention.

Every year, April is recognized as Oral Cancer Awareness Month. At our dental office in Collierville, we strive to keep our patients and our neighbors as healthy as possible, so we’d like to join in and help educate our community on the risks of oral cancer, how to identify it, and why it’s best to identify it as early as possible.

Fast Facts

  • About 49,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a type of oral cancer this year alone
  • Over 9,700 will die from oral cancer in 2017
  • Only an estimated 57% of those diagnosed this year will still be alive in 5 years
  • Patients who have beaten oral cancer once are up to 20 times more likely to develop another form of cancer

Early Diagnosis

One of the main reasons oral cancer is so deadly, and those numbers above are so scary, is that most of the time, oral cancer is caught too late and may have already spread to another part of the body. Unlike other types of cancer, there are no official timing guidelines for screening for oral cancer, like there are for, say, colon or breast cancer. This is one reason why we recommend seeing your dentist in Collierville at least every six months for a thorough examination. If caught in its early stages, oral cancer can be treated successfully.

Signs & Symptoms

The difficult part to suspecting and diagnosing oral cancer is that its signs and symptoms can disguise themselves as other oral health problems that don’t seem like a big deal, only a minor annoyance. If you notice any of the signs below, call your dentist as soon as you can.

  • A sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away after two weeks
  • A lump inside the mouth or neck
  • Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Changes in voice
  • Chronic bad breath

Risk Factors

Understanding the risks that increase the chance of developing oral cancer can go a long way in helping to prevent it. While some risk factors are uncontrollable, there are some that you can control and avoid:

  • Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women
  • Oral cancer typically develops in those over 40
  • About 80% of oral cancer patients are, or have been, tobacco users
  • Drinking alcohol heavily also increases your risk  

If you suspect you’re at risk for oral cancer or have additional questions, we welcome you to call our Collierville dental office.

Now accepting new patients from Collierville, Germantown and beyond. 

woman asking why

Posted & filed under General Dentistry.

Some of the treatments we offer at our dental office in Collierville require us to administer an anesthetic to first numb the area prior to beginning the procedure. We do everything we can to keep the process easy, comfortable, and totally pain free so that you become nice and numb and don’t feel anything during treatment. However, sometimes we encounter patients that have more trouble getting numb than others. We’d like to explain a few possible reason as to why this happens.

Nerves on Fire!

Well, not literally on fire, but in the dental world we do refer to a really painful tooth as a ‘hot tooth’ since the pain feels like it’s on fire. In reality, it’s not actually the tooth that’s making it hurt so badly, it’s the nerves. When there’s a case of ‘hot tooth,’ nerves can become particularly difficult to numb for a few reasons. First, the nerves can be overly excited and even the smallest thing can send zingers of pain shooting. When in this excited state, nerves require more anesthetic than usual. The nerves can also develop additional pain receptors. More receptors means more anesthetic, more anesthetic means more difficulty getting numb.

Don’t Move!

We know we’re asking a lot — don’t move while we inject the anesthetic into your gums — but trust us, staying still makes the process easier and reduces the risk of needing to do it again. We promise to do everything we can help you relax and make the process as painless as possible. If you’re nervous, talk to us. We’re here to help.

The Head Bone is Connected to The…

Years of education and training has taught your Collierville dentist exactly where to administer an injection to directly hit the nerve in order to achieve optimal numbness. Sounds great, right? Well, even though we’ve all got anatomy that’s pretty similar, it is just that — pretty similar. Meaning that not everyone is built the same way, and sometimes the nerve isn’t where we expect it to be. If we miss and you don’t get numb, we’ll have to try again.

If you’re new to the area and are looking for a dentist, we welcome you to call our Collierville dental office to schedule a visit. At your first appointment, let us know if getting numb has been a struggle in the past and we’ll work with you find a solution that helps make getting the care you need comfortable.

Accepting new patients from Collierville, Germantown and the surrounding areas.