Common Dental Procedures: What You Should Know

At My Family Dentistry, we’re proud to offer high-quality dental care in a relaxing, spa-like environment. There are many dental procedures that you can undergo, with some being crucial to your overall oral health and others being essential for getting the smile that you deserve. In this blog, we’ll look at a mix of both as we explore some of the most common dental procedures.

Common dental procedures include:

  • Teeth cleanings
  • Root canals
  • Dental crowns
  • Veneers
  • Invisalign
  • Teeth whitening

Teeth CleaningsDentist Powell, TN

My Family Dentistry is your go-to for teeth cleanings in Powell, TN. The importance of getting regular cleanings can’t be overstated. While maintaining good daily oral hygiene is important, cleanings go the extra mile and are essential for:

  • Preventing cavities
  • Stopping tooth decay
  • Getting healthier gums
  • Detecting oral cancer

With regular cleanings, Dr. Mullins and Dr. Owen can catch trouble spots before they become major issues. This allows them to treat the problem and let you smile easily between cleanings.

Preventing Cavities

Daily oral hygiene isn’t enough to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, neither is only getting regular cleanings. It takes a combination of both to get the best results and maintain your pearly whites. 

Brushing twice a day and flossing once after meals help get rid of a lot of bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, they can’t get everywhere thoroughly, such as in between teeth and at the gumline. With professional dental cleanings, we can provide in-depth cleanings to those areas on a regular basis for optimum oral health.

Stopping Tooth Decay

Poor oral hygiene and lack of professional care can lead to issues such as tooth decay. If left untreated, this can be a devastating condition resulting in tooth infections and even tooth loss. Regular check-ups and cleanings give our team the opportunity to spot these problems and remove the bacteria before it advances any further.

These preventative and therapeutic steps do more than protect your teeth — they also protect your wallet. Restorative dentistry can be costly and time-consuming, but regular cleanings can save you both time and money.

Getting Healthier Gums

Regular dental cleanings are about more than having healthy teeth. They’re also important for maintaining healthy gums, as well. The gum infection gingivitis can grow into periodontitis (advanced gum disease) if not treated immediately. This can lead to sensitivity, pain when chewing, and even tooth loss. 

Gums do more than many people realize. This includes helping with:

  • Chewing
  • Drinking
  • Protecting from bacteria

Regular dental cleanings can help keep your gums pink and healthy, which protects your oral health as a whole.

Detecting Oral Cancer

Regular dental cleanings do more than maintain the long-term health of your teeth and gums. They also give our dentists an opportunity to check for signs of oral cancer. These symptoms can often be mistaken for another health issue to the unassuming eye. That’s why it’s important that your dentist check regularly to tell the difference.

Click here to read more about the importance of regular dental cleanings!

Root Canalsroot canal powell, tn

Few words strike fear in the hearts of patients like “root canal.” Most people are scared of root canals out of fear of pain. While this may have been the case in the past, modern advancements in dental technology have greatly reduced the amount of pain you will experience in the dentist’s chair. 

That’s why we only use the latest equipment, anesthetics, and techniques available. For many patients, this results in some mild discomfort during the procedure and some soreness for a few days afterward. However, this can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers and by following your dentist’s instructions. 

What Is a Root Canal?

Poor oral hygiene or not getting your regular cleanings can lead to bacteria buildup on your teeth. Over time, this bacteria can actually lead to decay resulting in an infection in your tooth. This can eventually require a root canal to treat it. At this point, a root canal helps prevent reinfection as well as preserve your original tooth. 

While bacteria is a common reason for needing a root canal, it’s not the only reason. Patients may require the procedure after suffering from trauma that damaged the tooth or if they have developed an abscess.

Getting rid of the infection involves removing the inflamed and infected pulp from the tooth. Your dentist will do other work to preserve the affected tooth, including:

  • Cleaning
  • Disinfecting
  • Filling
  • Sealing

This all helps to ensure the infection doesn’t return as well as keep your original tooth intact.

What to Expect During and After a Root Canal

To get started, your dentist will sterilize the affected tooth and apply an anesthetic. It’s also important to keep the area dry and sterile so the procedure remains effective and safe. Your dentist will then drill a small hole to access the inside of the tooth. 

This gives them access to the infected material inside, including the:

  • Bacteria
  • Damaged pulp
  • Nerve tissue

They will then clean and reseal the treated area once all the material has been removed.

You may require further restorative dentistry to protect your tooth after the hole has been sealed. This is because the infection has left your tooth weakened, so further work is needed to protect it. 

To learn more about root canals, click here!

Dental CrownsDental office near me

Known alternatively as caps, dental crowns restore the look and function of your teeth while protecting them from further damage. For example, they’re often used to protect your tooth following a root canal. Crowns do this by covering your natural tooth to reproduce its original size, shape, and strength above the gumline. 

Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns come in a variety of types. Permanent crowns are made from ceramic or metal material while temporary crowns are made from resin. Dr. Mullins and Dr. Owen prefer porcelain crowns almost exclusively, even for back teeth. 

Other types of crowns include:

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal
  • Base-metal alloy
  • Stainless steel crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM) provide a natural look with the strength to handle the wear and tear of daily life. Base-metal alloys are the strongest type to prevent fractures and corrosion, though they don’t provide as realistic of a look. Stainless steel crowns are PFMS usually given to children when they’ve experienced severe tooth decay. While Dr. Mullins and Dr. Owen may use these other types under special extenuating circumstances, porcelain crowns will always be his top recommendation.

Signs That You Need a Dental Crown

You can require a crown for different reasons. This could be for structural reasons such as a root canal, or for cosmetic reasons. The great thing about dental crowns is that they restore both the functionality of your original teeth as well as their look, giving you confidence in every aspect of your smile.

Some common reasons you might receive a dental crown include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Broken teeth
  • Dental bridges

Tooth decay can lead to severe cavities that aren’t treatable with fluoride and fillings. More substantial treatments are required for these cases. For treatment, one of our dentists will remove the decayed tooth structure and add a crown to protect it from further damage.

Broken teeth are also treatable with crowns. Once the broken portion is cleaned up and the tooth is prepped for a crown They cover and support the tooth to reduce the need for an extraction. Crowns are also used to hold dental bridges in place and allow them to fill in any gaps in your smile.

Do you want to learn more about dental crowns in Powell, TN? Click here to read our blog!

VeneersPorcelain veneers

Veneers are thin shells that improve the look of your smile. Also known as porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates, they’re custom-made to lay over your natural teeth for the perfect fit. Veneers are secured to your teeth through bonding and improve the shape, size, color, and length of your teeth for years.

Types of Veneers

Veneers come in two main types: porcelain and resin composite. They work the same way by being bonded to the outer surfaces of your teeth. However, there are some important differences to understand between them when deciding which is best for you.

How They Look

Both types of veneers will give you a great look just like your real teeth, but they both don’t do it at the same level. Porcelain veneers are more reflective and translucent, giving them the most realistic look. Resin composites are still a great alternative, but don’t reflect as much light as porcelain varieties and aren’t ideal for all patients.


Along with providing a more realistic look, porcelain veneers also provide more durability than resin composites. According to a study from 2018, 93.5% of porcelain veneers lasted 10 years, which is twice the time compared to the 89% of resin veneers that lasted over five years. Of course, good oral care is also important for the life of your veneers, no matter the type.


With their realistic look and durability, it’s no surprise that porcelain veneers are the more expensive option. What’s important to note, however, is that they will likely cost you less in the long run. Resin veneers, while cheaper, are more prone to requiring repairs and repolishing. With that in mind, porcelain varieties can actually save you money and time in the dentist’s chair.

Are Dental Veneers the Right Choice for Me?

When deciding on veneers, the first question to answer is if you’re a good candidate or not. Good candidates will have strong teeth and plenty of enamel to support these thin cosmetic shells. Issues such as tooth decay, fractures, gum disease, or large fillings can disqualify you from getting them.

If you do qualify, veneers can help with a number of issues such as teeth that are:

  • Stained or discolored
  • Cracked, or chipped
  • Misshapen, crooked, or have gaps between them

Veneers can also help with teeth that have been damaged due to an accident. However, other problems may need to be addressed before they are a good fit for your teeth. For instance, bite issues (malocclusions) will need to be treated with orthodontics beforehand to protect the life of your veneer. 

You can learn more about veneers in Knoxville, TN by clicking here!

InvisalignKnoxville Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment helps with more than preparing you for veneers. They can also help straighten your teeth to help you get the smile that you deserve. Different methods are available to do this, such as braces, but Invisalign can provide the same results without the need for metal wires and brackets.

What Is Invisalign? 

Invisalign is a revolutionary orthodontic treatment for misaligned teeth and other orthodontic issues. There are plenty of other brands for invisible braces or clear aligners, but Invisalign is our brand of choice at My Family Dentistry. 

As with veneers, you’ll start with a consultation to see if you qualify for Invisalign. This involves:

  • Getting X-rays
  • Making impressions of your teeth
  • Digitally creating a 3-D map of your mouth
  • Digital photography

We then make a series of custom-fit trays if you qualify. You will receive a new set of these Invisalign trays every one or two weeks until your smile is perfect.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign works by applying the right amount of pressure to the right spots on your teeth to move them into alignment. They also have the added benefit of special composite buttons that direct the pressure where your teeth need it most. These SmartForce attachments are placed at pressure points on your teeth and removed once your treatment has concluded. 

The Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign comes with loads of benefits that metal braces can’t provide. From comfort to cleaning, they’re the number one choice for straightening your teeth easily and discreetly.

They’re More Comfortable

One of the biggest complaints many people have with metal braces is how uncomfortable they are. They need to be tightened regularly in order to remain effective, which can also cause soreness. With Invisalign, you can get the same beautiful smile without nearly as much discomfort.

It’s important to know that there will be an adjustment period to Invisalign that can produce discomfort. However, it’s significantly less compared to braces. You also won’t have to go in for regular retightening, although follow-up appointments are necessary to monitor your progress and get new trays.

They’re Discreet

With Invisalign, you’ll be actively getting the smile that you deserve without anyone even noticing. That’s because, unlike metal braces, Invisalign trays are clear so they’re much less noticeable. This means that you’ll still be able to flash your pearly whites without drawing unwanted attention from wearing braces.

Invisalign is the perfect teeth-straightening option for teens and adults who qualify. Since they’re harder to notice, they’re ideal if you’re scared of feeling self-conscious or weary of dealing with the complicated routine of caring for metal braces.

They Make Oral Hygiene Much Easier

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is how much easier it is to brush and floss. Braces require removing parts and more maintenance in general to clean your teeth. You may also need to buy special equipment to floss effectively as well as pay special attention to the pins and wires when you brush.

Invisalign removes this problem by being removable itself. Simply remove your aligners to brush and floss as you normally would. Put them back when you’re done so they keep doing their job all day and all night.

Click here to read our blog about getting started with Invisalign!

Teeth Whiteningteeth whitening near me

Everyone wants a brighter smile. With teeth whitening, you can have the radiant smile you’ve always dreamed of under the guidance of our knowledgeable dentists. We offer a few different whitening systems to choose from, but for the best results, you should opt for KöR Deep Bleaching. It’s widely considered to be one of the best whitening systems available today and My Famliy Dentistry’s recommended product.

KöR Deep Bleaching brightens your smile by enhancing your teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen. As you use the system, oxygen inside of the gel removes stains on the molecular level giving you a whiter smile by 16 shades. There’s very little sensitivity with KöR Deep Bleaching, with some of our patients reporting no sensitivity at all after using it. 

To learn more about KöR Deep Bleaching and other systems, click here!

KöR Deep Bleaching is a central part of our White Teeth for Life program. You can apply touch-ups regularly after your in-office treatment to maintain your bright smile. Simply use your custom-fit trays and syringe of KöR whitening gel, which is good for six months in your refrigerator. For even better results, KöR Night can be used for those who don’t use night guards or suffer from jaw pain.

My Family Dentistry in Powell, TN is your source for all aspects of your oral health. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

There are a wide variety of dental procedures available to patients. They can vary in purpose, from preventative to restorative to cosmetic. Whatever the procedure, you can rest assured that our dentists and the rest of the team at My Family Dentistry are here to help. We provide the highest quality of care in a spa-like environment so you feel comfortable as you get the smile of your dreams.

My Family Dentistry is open Monday through Thursday. Give us a call at (865) 947-6453 or you can schedule an appointment online.

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