The Star of the South

Melinda Coker was a featured speaker at the 2013 Star of the South Dental Meeting in Houston on March 8th from 1:30 – 3:30 PM.  The title of her talk was Diet and the Big 3: The Startling Connection and What You Can Do About It.

In the description of her talk Melinda said, “As health professionals, we are strangely silent about the 2,000 U.S. women who are dying each day of diseases that are mostly preventable and possibly even reversible.  This lecture will include current research which shows ways that women can increase their odds of never developing heart disease, cancer or stroke.”

Melinda Coker speaking at The Star of the South Dental Meeting

There were over 6,000 dental professionals registered for the conference and our entire office went to cheer on Melinda and then to attend other lectures on various dental procedures and techniques.  They also enjoyed looking at all the new materials and equipment in the Exhibit Hall.

Katie and Cara

Of course, much of the fun in going to out-of-town meetings is to find good Mexican food.  Dr. Coker and Melinda can always eat beans, rice and salsa! đź™‚

Ronda, Mary and Cheryl

Happy Birthday Dr. Coker

Dr. Coker’s birthday celebration started on Friday morning when Cindy brought him his very favorite, a chocolate meringue pie, hot from the oven!
Tyler Dentist Rick Cokers Birthday
Dr. Coker’s birthday is October 8th and Kendall’s is October 7th so we drove down to Austin on Friday afternoon for a Saturday birthday party for Kendall. There were 29 little 7- and 8-year old girls, so trying to break the pinata was a wild game!
Tyler Dentist Rick Cokers Birthday
After all that bedlam, we went to a nice quiet dinner on Saturday evening at the Eastside Cafe in Austin and Dr. Coker finally got to open his gifts. There definitely weren’t 29 of them, though! 🙂
Tyler Dentist Rick Cokers Birthday
We returned home on Sunday afternoon, just in time to do some more celebrating at a neighborhood party.
Tyler Dentist Rick Cokers Birthday
On Monday, Ronda, Cylisa and Mary took Dr. Coker and Melinda out to lunch for Dr. Coker’s final birthday celebration of 2011. What a fun 4 days!
Tyler Dentist Rick Cokers Birthday

Dentures

Dentures, Tyler, Texas:  Rick Coker

Tyler Texas DenturesAt The Smile Studio, Dr. Coker creates dentures called Strickland Facelift Dentures.™ Isn’t that a great name? You know exactly what those dentures are supposed to do.
When a person loses all of their teeth and gets a set of dentures, there is bone loss. Many times that’s the reason for the tooth loss.

Periodontal disease causes drastic bone loss and when the bone resorbs, the roots of the teeth no longer have any “soil” to dig into. So even if you have bone loss before you get dentures, you will get even more bone loss after you get the dentures.  Eventually you will get a “sunken-in” face. Your chin and your nose will get closer together as your face begins to collapse.

It’s bad enough to have to wear dentures, but it’s AWFUL when everyone who looks at you knows you have dentures.

In the past, dentures were made to fit the ridge of gum that was left and for those few dentists who were skilled craftsmen in the making of dentures, it was important that they fit so you could eat. Now, with new procedures and techniques in the art of cosmetic dentistry, we have been able to transfer those techniques over to the art of making dentures that don’t look like dentures.

If your bone loss is extremely severe and your ridge is not stable enough to hold the dentures in, we also have learned to place implants. These are small titanium posts that are placed in your jaw bone and when they heal, the screws that are placed in your denture can then be screwed into those posts in your jaw.

Voila’! you not only have a beautiful smile, but you can eat!!

We just returned from a trip to Savannah where we spent a couple of days in a classroom learning all the finest techniques for creating these incredible dentures. In the evenings after class, we got to walk around Savannah, poking into the shops and eating at some wonderful restaurants.

Disclaimer: The Strickland Facelift Dentures™ services are in no way related to Dr. Sam Muslin’s exclusive Face Lift Dentistry® treatment.

Learning Neuromuscular Dentistry

We recently hosted a learning opportunity for a group of dentists who were here to clinically brush up on their skills with a type of dentistry called neuromuscular. But, they were also here to interact and have fun with one another as they were learning.

ABOVE: Dr. Durham (Savannah), Dr. Coker (Tyler) and Dr. Westersund (Calgary)
BELOW: Dr. Berlin (McKinney), Dr. Strickland (Savannah), Dr. McKay (Seattle)
The group was also treated to 3-days of a plant-based diet. They told us that they were more worried about having to eat a “vegan” diet than they were about learning new clinical skills. However, by the end of the week-end, they all commented that they didn’t realize plant-based foods could be so good.

ABOVE: Dr. Mack (Edna), Joleen (Edna), Dr. Berlin (McKinney), Dr. Incrapera (Houston), Dr. McKay (Seattle)
BELOW: Mary (Tyler), Cylisa (Tyler), Leah (Tyler), Dr. Durham (Savannah), Ronda (Tyler)

Neuromuscular dentistry is used for people who have a lot of head, neck and/or jaw pain. After years of patched up fillings or just clenching or gritting their teeth, many patients have ended up with quite a bit of pain. Part of the treatment involves having the patient sit and relax for about an hour with electrodes pasted on their head and neck. These pulsing electrodes actually manage to get the pain points to relax.

At that point, the patient will be fitted with some really high-tech equipment and measurements are taken as he puts his teeth together. After those measurements are analyzed, impressions are taken of the upper and lower teeth and then placed on an articulator so the new relaxed relationship of the teeth is kept in place. Eventually a removeable splint is custom made for the patient to wear for 3-6 months. Sometimes, if the patient has been nearly locked into his painful position, it could be necessary to do another session of relaxation, measurement and impressions with another splint made to make sure his teeth are finally in a position of comfort.

Most patients find such relief from all of this work that they do not want to go without their splint. At that point, their teeth can be fitted with new porcelain crowns or veneers to keep their teeth in that most wonderful, comfortable position without having to continuously wear their splint.

As you may be able to tell from the above description, it is not a technique that most dentists wish to learn as it is very technical for the dentist and his team to learn and it is very expensive to purchase all the the necessary high-tech equipment needed. But, for those patients who are in extreme pain, it is definitely worth it to find such a skilled dentist.

Smiles at Christmas

Dr. Coker really surprised his team for Christmas with a wonderful lunch at Kiepersol, but the best part was our limo ride “to” and “from.” A great gift!

Dr. Coker and Melinda also hosted a beautiful Christmas party for us.

Our Team

Mary is the one who will take your phone call or greet you when you step into the office.
Ronda is our hygienist. She’s fun and caring, but truly gentle while working in your mouth.

Lee Ann assists Dr. Coker with your treatment making sure you are cared for and your results are exactly what you hoped for.