Jim Erpenbach DDS

Call Us Today: 865-240-2035

How is Biomimetic Dentistry Different From Traditional Dentistry?

Biomimetic Dentistry is a special discipline of dentistry that stems from the philosophy that what the dentist does should preserve and imitate nature as much as possible.  Traditional dentistry, referred to as Amputational Dentistry by the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry involved restorative materials and procedures that required extensive drilling and breakdown of healthy teeth and tissue to support the creation and application of crowns, bridges and fillings.  Dr. Erpenbach offers patients a biomimetic alternative that is far less invasive.

The hallmark of the Biomimetic approach is the effort to preserve as much of the natural tooth and use bonding agents to repair cracks and chips before more damage occurs.  Ideally, one takes care of his or her teeth and does not need fillings or tooth replacements, but when the damage is done, a Biomimetic dentist will take the least invasive approach to repair the tooth and prevent further decay.

There is also a strong emphasis on preventative care and maintenance to prevent future problems.  Sealants can seal the tooth away from bacterial intrusion preventing the need for more invasive fillings and root canal procedures.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (865) 240-2035.

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How to Prepare for For Dental Implants

After deciding to take the leap and get dental implants, many patients want to know what they should do to prepare for their big day when the implants will be placed.  Dr. Erpenbach believes that preparation and aftercare can play a big role in the success of your implant placement and your satisfaction with the results.

A few weeks prior to implant placement, we will take your medical history, ask about any medical conditions or illnesses that might affect the surgery and its outcome.  You may be prescribed antibiotics to clear any infections you may have prior to the procedure to help prevent the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream.

We recommend that if your dental habits were not stellar before, that you take extra care to make sure you are brushing and flossing after every meal.  A dental hygienist will perform a tooth cleaning and examine your teeth and gums to make sure that there are no signs of gum disease.

Gum disease can leave pockets of extra tissue between the gums and teeth where bacteria can get trapped and cause peri implantitis, an inflammation of the gum tissue around the implant that can cause failure for the implant to bond with the jawbone.

Once your implants have been placed, they require the same care as regular teeth.  Regular brushing and flossing should continue as usual.  There may be tenderness at first, but this will go away in a week or two and you can resume eating as usual.

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The Virtue of ClearCorrect Over Traditional of Clear Braces

Currently, for those who need their teeth straightened or their jawline adjusted, there are a variety of options:  traditional braces, clear braces and ClearCorrect.  Dentist, Dr. Jim Erpenbach offers ClearCorrect alignment as a less damaging alternative to braces.

 

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The Virtue of ClearCorrect Over Traditional of Clear Braces

Currently, for those who need their teeth straightened or their jawline adjusted, there are a variety of options:  traditional braces, clear braces and ClearCorrect.  As a leading practitioner of biomimetic dentistry, Dr. Jim Erpenbach offers ClearCorrect alignment as a less damaging alternative to braces.
 
The key difference between ClearCorrect and traditional or clear braces is that instead of a system of brackets adhered to the tooth surface and manipulated by a wire, whereas the ClearCorrect method for tooth realignment is a series of clear removable orthotic aligners that are gradually swapped out every three weeks.
 
So why choose ClearCorrect?
 
Traditional and clear braces are fixed to the surface of the tooth and cannot be removed until the realignment is complete.  This can be problematic to brushing and flossing, leaving teeth and gums vulnerable to bacteria caught in or around the wires and brackets leading to tooth decay and gingivitis.  As an alternative, ClearCorrect orthotics are worn at all times except when eating, brushing and flossing, and may be removed for those purposes.
 
When braces are removed after alignment is complete, there can be a difference in tooth color when tooth staining has occurred but not underneath where the brackets were adhered.  Because ClearCorrect aligners are removed for eating, brushing and flossing, there is no danger of visible differences in coloration of teeth.
 
The cement used to adhere brackets to the teeth can also cause damage to teeth as brackets fall off or get removed.  Solvents and tools used to remove brackets at the end of realignment can leave tiny, even microscopic holes in the surface of the teeth so small that regular brushing cannot remove bacteria to prevent cavities from forming on the front side of the teeth.  Because ClearCorrect aligners do not adhere to the teeth, this does not present an issue.
 
And of course the most obvious reason to most people is cosmetic.  Even clear porcelain braces are visible up close, while ClearCorrect is barely noticeable to most people.
 
To schedule an assessment to determine if you or your child is a candidate for ClearCorrect, contact our office at 865-240-2035.

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What you should know about bleeding gums.

When our gums bleed, the typical response is to do nothing and assume we just need to get in a better homecare routine. The problem with that mindset is that when the gums are bleeding it's not just a warning sign. It means there's already an infection. Infection in the gums can become a serious problem for both the teeth and the rest of the body.

Gums pull away from teeth naturally, but should only recede about 3mm. Anything more than that could be a sign of gum disease. Once gum disease gets going, it begins to destroy tissue and bone structure that supports the teeth. The first stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed. But once a certain amount of damage has been done to the bone, we can't get it back naturally. That's why tooth loss is often an end result of gum disease. 

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Why Less Dentistry is the Best Dentistry

Traditional dentistry is centered on the fastest means of giving teeth their strength back. This often entails drilling teeth down as well as packing large restorations in-between the tooth and gum.The problem with this is that we're not setting our teeth up for long-term success. If teeth are not properly cared for and treated, the likelihood of needing a root canal is almost guaranteed. In dentistry this is referred to as the "root canal cycle."

In recent years, more and more practitioners are adopting the principles of Biomimetic Dentistry. Biomimetic Dentistry is not a quick fix, but rather an investment in your teeth. Longer but fewer appointments are necessary in order to achieve restorations that look, feel and function like your natural teeth. This is possible through tooth-conserving methods that only remove absolutely vital portions of the decayed tooth. We then place detailed restorations with materials that are biocompatible and flex with the changing temperatures of the mouth. 

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The Mouth-Body Health Link

Did you know that the mouth contains over 700 different kinds of bacteria? Not all of these are harmful, but the buildup of certain strains can become a problem. We tend to think of our teeth as invincible and not take infection as seriously as we do in other parts of the body. But the reality is, teeth and gums endure daily stress that can lead to serious problems both in the mouth and the body if not properly cared for.  

There’s a medical term called the oral-systemic link that refers to the connection between oral health and whole-body, or systemic health. The easiest way to visualize this is to think of the mouth as the body’s largest doorway. Infection in the mouth has open access to the body and can spread through the bloodstream. Disease in the mouth increases an individual’s risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and more. 

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Periodontal Program

Periodontal Program

Oral health isn't just about having good teeth; the health of your gums is equally important.

Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in our nation, and up to 80% of Americans have some level of the chronic condition. Research tells us, gum disease increases the risk for serious systemic and overall health problems. As a founding member of AAOSH, the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, Dr. Erpenbach feels strongly about thwarting gum disease in the early stage, when treatment is less invasive and traumatic.

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Dental Implant Restoration

Dental Implant Restoration

Most people don’t realize how important it is to have a full smile. In addition to creating an unsightly appearance, missing teeth can result in tooth and jaw misalignment, dietary limitations, and additional tooth loss. Also, research indicates that up to 20 percent of teeth adjacent to missing teeth will fall out over the next several years if lost teeth are not replaced.

Because Dr. Erpenbach understands the value of a healthy, complete, and fully functional smile, he may suggest bridgework, dentures, partials, or dental implants. Implant restorations enable patients to once again enjoy active living and a high quality of life. Constructed from biocompatible titanium, a dental implant is a small, metal post surgically inserted into your gum line. One post and crown are placed in each empty socket to act as teeth roots and crowns.

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Bridges, Dentures & Partials

Bridges, Dentures, and Partials

Dr. Erpenbach always works to save your natural teeth, but disease and injury may make that goal impossible. Lost teeth generate a host of problems such as difficulties chewing, speaking, and even smiling. With bridges, dentures, or partials, Dr. Erpenbach can improve your oral health and appearance.

Complete rows of prosthetic teeth, known as full dentures, are attached to gum-colored bases and can replace teeth on the upper, lower, or both jaws. Typically, patients secure their dentures with adhesives or natural suctions. If you have healthy remaining teeth, Dr. Erpenbach may advise getting a partial denture to fill in your smile. A partial will contain as many prosthetic teeth as necessary to close the space left by missing teeth, fitting into your mouth like pieces of a puzzle.

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Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening

Each year, people in this country spend millions of dollars trying to preserve their youth. Who doesn’t want to turn back the clock and say goodbye to several years? Professional teeth whitening can refresh your smile and give you a more radiant appearance without breaking the bank.

Over time, dark beverages, tobacco, and age cause our teeth to look dull or yellow. Teeth whitening erases surface discolorations and boosts the wattage of your smile up to 10 shades. Safe and effective, teeth whitening has helped countless patients refresh their images.

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Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers

When you look sensational, people take notice. Having a brilliant smile can boost confidence and contribute to personal and professional success. If chips, gaps, or stains have stolen your smile’s luster, consider porcelain veneers. These thin shells of porcelain will cover imperfections to reveal a dazzling image.

If you’re interested in porcelain veneers, Dr. Erpenbach will schedule a consultation so that he can discuss your ideas and get a feel for your smile enhancement goals. With this type of veneer, Dr. Erpenbach will select restorations that complement your skin tone, facial features, and personality. Expert ceramists handcraft traditional porcelain veneers to Dr. Erpenbach’s exact specifications. Flaunt the brand new you in just two to three visits to our dental office.

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ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect

If someone offered you a subtle way to achieve a straighter smile, would you take it? Many image-conscious adults would love to correct crooked teeth and attain a flawless smile, but they hate the idea of traditional braces. With ClearCorrect custom aligners, you don’t have to worry about painful adjustments or the embarrassment of a metal mouth.

Through a series of clear, removable trays, the ClearCorrect system gradually moves your teeth into the desired position. Wear these aligners all the time, except when you brush or eat, and you will have a perfect smile in just 9 to 18 months. Because the aligners are made from clear plastic, most people won’t even know you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

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Restorative Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry

Even when you take care of your teeth and gums, problems may still arise. Fractures, deep decay, and lost teeth can negatively affect your oral health and put a damper on your appearance. Dental health impacts overall wellness, so it’s important to address any conditions and problems in the early stages, if possible. With restorative dentistry, Dr. Erpenbach can correct damage and revitalize your smile.

Dr. Erpenbach feels that conservative tooth restorations best serve our patients’ needs. Using biomimetic dentistry as his guide, Dr. Erpenbach selects biologically-based materials and removes as little original tooth structure as possible. Because he places composite fillings, inlays, onlays, and ceramic crowns, patients don’t have to worry about detracting from their attractive smiles with necessary dental repairs.

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General and Family Dentistry

General and Family Dentistry

As a general and family dental office, we realize the power of prevention. Good home care and routine checkups form the cornerstones of lasting oral health. Dr. Erpenbach and our hygiene team will work with you to address any concerns and maximize your smile potential.

During your appointment, we will complete a thorough exam. Our hygienists will look for signs of gum disease and professionally clean your teeth, removing tartar build up. Your assessment will also include a bite analysis and tooth-by-tooth inspection. Dr. Erpenbach will review his findings with you and explain any treatment recommendations.

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Do you see gorgeous smiles on friends, family, or even celebrities and wish you could attain that same beauty? You may not realize that cosmetic dentistry allows people just like you to give nature a hand with their not-so-perfect smiles. Options like cosmetic bonding, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and ClearCorrect aligners can transform your image from tired to terrific.

Dr. Erpenbach believes that every dentist should approach their work with cosmetics in mind. Whether Dr. Erpenbach is placing veneers or repairing tooth damage with a filling, he chooses the finest materials to create solid, life-like restorations. Because he follows the principles of biomimetic dentistry, Dr. Erpenbach restores vitality and creates natural-looking, healthy smiles for our patients.

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Our Office

Our Office

The facilities and equipment you'll find in our office are the latest in state-of-the-art dentistry. We have devoted time and effort to creating an environment where you'll always feel comfortable and confident. Dr. Erpenbach and our entire staff are available to answer questions, discuss options, and assist in your complete satisfaction.

Amenities & Technology

  • Air Abrasion
  • 5x Magnification
  • DIAGNOdent
  • CO2 Laser
  • Televisions and Noise-Cancelling Headphones in Operatories
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Our Team

Our Team

Paula Arden - Treatment/Financial Coordinator

Paula has 22 years dental experience and is also a Registered Dental Assistant. She has been with the practice for the last three years as the Treatment and Financial Coordinator. Paula is responsible for getting things done once a patient's needs are determined. She is extremely knowledgeable about dental coverage and getting maximum benefits. She has many financial options and works with you to find the one that best fits your needs.

Paula has two cats and enjoys socializing around the pool where she lives.

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Our Doctor

Our Doctor

Dr. Jim Erpenbach

Dr. Jim Erpenbach was raised in Knoxville. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Tennessee Memphis in 1982. He has been practicing here for over 28 years.

He strongy believes advanced continuing education is vitally important to provide the most current scientific based care for his patients. He averages over 150 hours a year in continuing education focused on teeth conserving biomimetic (life like) dentistry and the link between the mouth health and effects on general health (oral systemic links).

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