Tyler, TX Dentist | Happy New Year from Dr. Coker

We had a great holiday season.  Of course, Melinda is worn out as we had houseguests for eleven days, which included 5 granddaughters, ear infections, pink eye, 3 cribs, 3 high chairs and 4 dogs! Whew…

Luckily everything went fairly smoothly. The weather was great for the most part, my boys and I were able to play a little golf and tennis, and everyone was able to take walks, watch some television, and of course, check in with Facebook!  After a meal, it was funny to see everyone with their noses in their phones.

I hope your holidays were wonderful, as well.

Today, we are back to work looking forward to a great 2017. We have made some changes in our computers and website, and will continue to do so, to make it easier to stay in touch and to be available for your questions or comments.  In 2016 two of our valuable team members moved on – Ronda retired after 22 years and Katie got married and needed to go in another direction. We will miss them and certainly wish them well.

We have added two new team members, about whom I am very excited and look forward to your meeting them. Natalie is our New Patient Coordinator. That job title covers a lot of ground and doesn’t do justice to what all she does for the team. She previously worked for an oral surgeon so she knows how to explain implants and other surgeries to our patients.  She has a bright smile and a friendly nature, so be sure to meet her the next time you are in the office.

Lisa is our new dental hygienist. She has worked in several offices in East Texas, including a periodontal office and has even taught in TJC’s dental hygiene program. She is up-to-date, extremely gentle and truly a lovely person. I know many current patients have already met her, but she isn’t just a pretty face, she is totally current on her understanding of dental health and its relationship to personal health.

As most of you know, Mary is the person at the front of my practice, and has been ever since 1988! She still loves her work and keeps up with every patient and what is going on in their lives, and yet still keeps everybody here on their toes and sets the tone of how a professional works. She combines efficiency with emotional contact with every person she comes into contact with. I am lucky to have her with me.

Cheryl has been my chairside assistant for many years, and each year she learns better how to take care of each patient in her chair. She is a true artist, and doesn’t allow for “good enough” in what she does. She has been a Certified Dental Assistant for 22 years, and is still eager to learn and to do a better job.

This story ends with me, and I am still the same. I love what I do, and the people who entrust their dental health to my care. We are always trying to learn how to improve what we do, and we will have several opportunities to do that in the coming year. In addition to learning, I will be speaking and teaching at dental meetings in Houston, Milwaukee and Dallas about the new dental science of digitally managed occlusion, which uses the latest technology to help people with their headaches and jaw pain.

If we can help you, or any friends, look or feel better, we are here to serve you, and we certainly appreciate your referrals.

Looking forward to a great 2017!

Dr. Coker

Dentist in Tyler, TX | Smile Source Communication Meeting

Tyler Dentist, Rick Coker: Smile Source Meeting

The whole team went to the Smile Source headquarters in Kingwood, Texas to take a day-long communication course.  We want to be able to explain a patient’s dental condition in laymen’s terms so the patient will be able to understand what we are talking about.  That way he/she can understand the options and make a more informed decision about any treatment.
Let me explain something to you…

Did you know that there are three ways a person can lose his/her teeth?
1. Decay
2. Gum Disease
3. Fit

As children most of us only knew about decay, but even adults have decay.  Most decay is caused by what you eat and drink (candy, fruit juice, sweetened sodas, etc.) Many times you know you have decay because your tooth hurts or it turns black.

How do you lose your teeth because of gum disease?  Gum disease is an infection in the gums around the roots of your teeth.  As the infection gets worse, it can destroy the bone which holds your teeth in. Symptoms of gum disease usually include puffy gums or bleeding when you floss.  Of course, if you don’t floss you may not even realize you have an infection until you discover a loose tooth.  As an adult, you shouldn’t have loose teeth so you had better get it checked.

Well, how in the world do you lose teeth because of the way your teeth fit together?  Tension, sleep apnea and even ill-fitting dental work can cause your teeth to move and change.  Some teeth may hypererupt (get longer) and bang into the opposite tooth causing damage.  You may grind your teeth while sleeping and not even know it, but suddenly you look in the mirror and find that they are all worn down and damaged.  If you have ever lost a tooth and didn’t get it replaced, the teeth on either side may have grown sideways trying to fill in the space.  Then they get banged by the opposite teeth. All of this trauma, can cause you to lose teeth.

If you want to make sure that you will keep your teeth for a life-time, keep current with your dental appointments.  To make an appointment in Tyler, TX, call Dr. Rick Coker’s Smile Studio at (903) 581-1777.

A Fun Evening Watching the Movie, “Bernie”

Pictured left to right, James Baker, Brenda Wright, Kay Baby Epperson, Mary Paroline, Dr. Rick Coker

Downtown on the square in Tyler, Texas is an old movie theater which as been redone by the city to offer live entertainment and/or movies to the citizens.   It is now called the Liberty Theater.   On Thursday night, Dr. Rick Coker’s Smile Studio helped sponsor the movie, Bernie.

That movie was based on a true story about the murder of a wealthy woman (played by Shirley McLaine) in the East Texas town of Carthage by the local assistant funeral director (played by Jack Black) and prosecuted by Panola County District Attorney, Danny “Buck” Davidson (played by Matthew McConaughey).

There were a number of “extras” in the movie – chosen at auditions and given scripts to read.  Three people from the movie were in attendance and got up on the stage before the show started and had quite a humorous exchange.

Our favorite extra is Kay “Baby” Epperson, pictured holding the flowers.  She proudly told about her part in the movie and also about her beautiful smile done by Dr. Rick Coker.

Buck Davidson was in attendance as was James Baker, who played one of the townspeople.  To hear a portion of the song that James Baker wrote and sings during the credits, visit Amazon.

All in all it was such a fun evening!

6 Tips for Managing Your Migraines

Tyler, Texas Dentist, Rick Coker, Treats Migraines

Tyler Texas Headache ReliefResearch has shown that headache patients who feel they have some control of their headaches have better outcomes, so what can you do for some control?

1.) Look for a dentist who fits a device called the NTI. I know you are thinking that I must not know what a migraine is. You are supposed to go to a neurologist or your primary-care physician, not a dentist.

In 1977, during his senior year in high school Jim Boyd started having daily headaches. He went to college and then to dental school and on to graduate school still having daily headaches. He tells of taking 10-12 Excedrin every day just to make the pain manageable. During the summer of 1989, he developed a device he thought would work. It did. After wearing it to bed, he woke up for the first time in 12 years without a headache.

This device has now been approved by the FDA for the prevention of migraine and other chronic headaches. The story of Dr. Jim Boyd and his invention is available for you to read if you want all the background.

If you live in East Texas, you will be able to find the NTI at Dr. Rick Coker’s Smile Studio If you live elsewhere, you can go to the headache remedy to find a dentist in your area.

2.) Keep a headache diary. You will want to keep track of your headaches on this journey so you will be able to tell the dentist (or doctor) about the type and the number of headaches you are having. This will be good to continue to keep as you go through treatment(s) so you can see whether you are getting any better. Some good downloadable ones are at Berkeley Health. There is also a free iHeadache app for your iPhone or your BlackBerry.

3.) See your dentist regularly and often. Your NTI dentist should ask to see you every two to four weeks for the first couple of months to keep abreast of how your are progressing. If you need to add or change any part of your treatment, this would be the time to learn about that. If you are doing great, your visits can then be scheduled for twice a year.

4.) Give treatments a chance. You must try out your new device for two to three months before deciding it’s not working.

5.) Check into mind-body practices such as biofeedback, relaxation, yoga and meditation. Adding these practices into your life may help you control your headaches sooner.

6.) If the NTI and the mind-body practices don’t work after you’ve given them 3-4 months, check with your dentist about referring you to a neurologist. Be sure and read the article, “The Scary New Migraine Mistake” by Peg Rosen in the October 2011 issue of More Magazine for precautions about drug therapy.