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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Botts Dental Spa
July 08, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental crowns  

Why would someone need a dental crown?

The popcorn is popping. You have the snacks ready. It’s Friday night and you’re ready to enjoy some treats and watch something entertaining on Netflix. You grab your bowl of popcorn and get cozy. As the movie begins you toss popcorn into your mouth. You bite down and your teeth meet something hard. A kernel. Yikes! Now, you’re dealing with your very own horror movie as you notice that your tooth is cracked or injured. What do you do? Don’t worry; our Collierville, TN, dentist Dr. Jason Botts can help.

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a commonly used dental restoration and this custom-made dental cap is fitted over the visible part of a tooth (or the crown of a tooth). A dental crown will encapsulate the tooth and become its new outer layer. Crowns are placed to protect and strengthen a damaged tooth to,

  1. Prevent further damage to the tooth
  2. Restore functionality back into the tooth
  3. Restore chewing and biting strength back into your smile
  4. Improve the overall shape and appearance of the tooth

In most instances, our Collierville, TN, family dentist will place a dental crown over a broken or damaged tooth to restore it; however, a dental crown is one of the most versatile dental restorations we offer. This means that crowns also come with other benefits and uses, as well.

For example, if you need to undergo a root canal the last step is to crown the tooth with this very same restoration. The crown will support what’s left of the tooth’s structure and prevent the need for an extraction.

If the tooth is also a little misshapen, discolored or cosmetically flawed, getting a dental crown can also improve the overall appearance of the tooth. A crown is tailored to each patient, which means that we will measure your mouth using impressions to gain the exact measurements of the tooth from which to create a perfectly fitted crown. If there are aesthetic issues, a crown can instantly reshape, resize and even brighten the tooth, giving you a more beautiful smile overall.

Need to replace a missing tooth? If so, you probably didn’t know that dental crowns are also part of the tooth replacement process. If you choose to get a dental implant, the implant itself will rest below the gums within the jawbone; however, it will need to support a false tooth (in this case, a dental crown). Crowns are also used to hold a dental bridge in place, so that it can fill gaps with false teeth that are made to look just like your natural teeth.

Dental crowns are amazingly cool and incredibly useful restorations for patients dealing with damaged, infected, injured, or missing teeth. If you want to talk with our Collierville, TN, general dentist about dental crowns then call Botts Dental Spa at (901) 737-2200.

By Botts Dental Spa
July 06, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: At-Home Oral Care  

Preventing cavities and gum disease isn't as difficult as you might think. Good oral hygiene, coupled with regular visits to your Cordova, TN, dentist, Dr. Jason Botts of Botts Dental Spa, helps you maintain a healthy smile.

Good oral health starts at home

Keeping your mouth and teeth free of plaque and tartar is the simplest way to maintain good oral health. Best of all, you don't need any expensive tools or devices to get rid of plaque. A soft-bristled toothbrush and 18" piece of dental floss remove plaque from tooth surfaces and the areas in between teeth.

Plaque is the clear, bacterial film that constantly coats your teeth. Brushing your teeth twice a day removes the film before it can cause cavities. Plaque soon turns into hard tartar if you're not a thorough brusher or flosser. Both plaque and tartar irritate your gums and can cause gum disease.

Following these home care recommendations can help you protect your smile:

  • Stick to Your Routine: If you forget to brush at night or neglect to brush your teeth on a lazy Saturday morning, the amount of plaque in your mouth increases substantially. Brushing morning and night and flossing once a day helps you keep plaque under control.
  • Check Your Tools: A toothbrush, toothpaste, supply of floss, and mouthwash are the most important tools in your fight against tooth decay and gum disease. Choose a soft-bristle brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride, a mineral that rebuilds weak tooth enamel. Both power and manual brushes and flossers are effective in cleaning your teeth. Following brushing with a swig of anti-bacterial mouthwash will freshen your breath while reducing bacteria.
  • Make Every Minute Count: If you don't brush long enough, plaque will remain on your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes.
  • Eat Healthy Snacks: Sugary snacks increase your risk of tooth decay. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better options. Some fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, even act as natural plaque removers.

Protect your smile with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental checkups! If you have a toothache or another dental issue, call your dentist in Cordova, TN, Dr. Botts of Botts Dental Spa, at (901) 737-2200 to schedule your appointment.


Eating is like breathing: We often do it without much thought. But if you suffer from chronic jaw pain, every bite can get your attention—and not in a good way. What's worse, in an effort to avoid the pain associated with a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) you might make less than nutritious food choices.

But there are ways to eat healthy without aggravating the symptoms of TMD—not just your choices of food, but also how you prepare and actually eat the food. Here are 4 tips that can help you manage eating with TMD.

Choose moist foods in sauces or gravy. A lot of chewing action is intended to mix saliva with tough or dry foods to make them easier to digest. But this extra jaw action can irritate the jaw joints and muscles and increase your discomfort. To help reduce your jaws' work load, choose foods with a high moisture content, or cook them in a sauce or gravy.

Peel foods with skin. Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, but their tough outer skin or peel is often hard to chew. Although these parts may also contain nutrients, removing them allows you to gain most of the nutritional benefit of the food while making it easier to chew it.

Cut foods into bite-size pieces. A lot of discomfort with TMD occurs with having to open the jaws wide to accommodate large pieces of food. To minimize the amount of jaw opening, take time to cut all your food portions down into smaller pieces. Doing so can help you avoid unnecessary discomfort.

Practice deliberate eating. All of us can benefit from slower, more methodical eating, but it's especially helpful for someone with TMD. By chewing deliberately and slowly and doing your best to limit jaw opening, you can enhance your comfort level.

Eating often becomes an arduous task for someone with TMD that increases pain and stress. But practicing these tips can make your dining experience easier—and more enjoyable.

If you would like more information on managing TMD in everyday life, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What to Eat When TMJ Pain Flares Up.”


Often as children grow older, their participation in sports or similar activities increases. While generally encouraged, this greater activity does increase injury risk, especially to the mouth.

In fact, the late childhood to early adulthood demographic is the most prone portion of the population to incur dental injuries. To complicate matters, their dental development is often incomplete, posing a number of treatment obstacles for an injured tooth.

For example, the primary means for preserving an injured adult tooth is a root canal treatment: damaged or diseased tissue within the pulp, the tooth’s innermost layer, is removed and the empty chamber and root canals filled and sealed to prevent infection. But while a fully matured tooth can function without the nerves and blood vessels of the pulp, a developing tooth needs these tissues for continued tooth formation. Otherwise, tooth development can stall and cause problems later on.

The most common solution for younger teeth is to remove any damaged tooth structure without disturbing the pulp if at all possible followed by a filling. That’s contingent, though, on whether we find the pulp unexposed or undamaged—if it is, we’ll try to remove only damaged or diseased pulp tissue and leave as much healthy tissue intact as possible. To aid with healing and tissue re-growth, we may also place medicinal stimulators between the pulp and the filling.

Jaw development may also pose a challenge if the injured tooth is too far gone and must be removed. Our best choice is to replace it with a dental implant; but if we install the implant while the jaw is still growing, it may eventually appear out of place with the rest of the teeth. It’s best to postpone an implant until full jaw maturity in early adulthood.

In the meantime we could provide a temporary solution like a removable partial denture or a modified bonded bridge that won’t permanently alter nearby teeth. These methods can adequately restore the function and appearance of missing teeth until the jaw is mature enough for an implant.

While injuries with young permanent teeth do pose extra challenges, we have effective ways to address them. With the right approach, the outcome can be just as successful as with a mature tooth.

If you would like more information on dental care in the formative years, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”


Like the rest of healthcare, antibiotics have transformed dentistry. Advanced oral infections that once eluded successful treatment are routinely stopped with the use of these “wonder drugs.” But their overuse over the years has given rise to dangerous “superbugs” resistant to many antibiotics.

Antibiotics are one of the 20th Century's most significant healthcare achievements. Drugs like penicillin played a major role ending the global threat of tuberculosis, cholera and bacterial meningitis. Over the last few decades, more antibiotics have been developed to defend against an even wider array of bacterial dangers.

But along the way doctors and dentists began prescribing antibiotics for all manner of illnesses including viral infections like colds or flu for which they're less effective. They've also been increasingly used as a preventive measure, including inclusion in animal feed to fight disease.

But our tiny biological nemeses are adaptable. As bacterial strains come in contact with greater amounts of antibiotics, individual bacterium that survive transmit their resistance to subsequent generations. This can produce new strains like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that are resistant to methicillin and other common antibiotics that once contained them.

There's deep concern that these new resistant strains, often recent incarnations of old diseases once thought defeated, will lead to higher rates of sickness and death. Increasing resistance could also make common procedures like those performed by dentists and oral surgeons, much riskier to undertake.

To combat this, pharmaceutical companies are racing to create new drugs to compensate. Recently, they've received an encouraging sign of hope in this battle from an unlikely source: viruses. Researchers in Tel Aviv, Israel have discovered an antagonistic protein to bacteria among a group of viruses called bacteriophages. The protein, injected into a bacterium, commandeers the cell's DNA function to aid virus reproduction, which kills the host.

In the words of one researcher, this makes these particular “enemy of our enemy” viruses our “friend.” Although the discovery is still a long way from practical use in antibiotics, harnessing it in future drug versions could help pack a greater punch against resistant bacteria.

In the meantime, providers and patients alike must practice and advocate for stricter protocols regarding the use of antibiotics. The viability of tomorrow's healthcare is on the line.

If you would like more information on the use of antibiotics in dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.