Desert Smiles Blog

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

October 01st, 2019

Malocclusion is the misalignment of teeth. It may present as:

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open bite
  • Crossbite
  • Tooth crowding
  • Crooked presentation
  • Gaps and spaces

The most common treatment for malocclusion is braces – often placed during childhood or adolescence to address the problem before the jaw hardens and teeth become more difficult to move.

Malocclusion in Adults

Woman with lips pursed, smiling crookedlyMalocclusion in adults is far from uncommon. In some cases it is largely aesthetic, posing dissatisfaction with appearance, but not necessarily function. However, it is possible for malocclusion in adults to result in more serious issues such as bruxism, problems speaking and chewing, speech irregularities, and increased risks for tooth decay and gum disease.

Treating malocclusion in adults is similar to treating the condition in younger patients and is often accomplished with wire and bracket braces. Treatment with braces is incredibly effective – even in adult mouths – though it can take several years once jawbone is set and may require frequent, painful adjustments over the course of treatment.

Invisalign® for Adults

Invisalign is an alternative to braces for adults who are struggling with minor to moderate malocclusion. Unlike braces, which are affixed to the teeth, Invisalign treatment is completed with a series of clear aligners that work to gradually move teeth into their optimal position. Each set of aligners works to move the teeth slightly more, which is similar to manual adjustment of braces, but often less invasive and painful.

There are several benefits offered by Invisalign including:

  • The clear aligners are nearly invisible, making them more cosmetically appealing
  • The soft plastic of the aligners will not irritate gums or cut soft oral tissue
  • Removing the aligners eliminates dietary restrictions and problems maintaining oral hygiene
  • Treatment is often completed in a fraction of the time required for wire and bracket alternatives

While there are several benefits of Invisalign for adults, there are some considerations that should be made as well:

  • When removed, aligners can be misplaced or lost
  • Aligners must be worn for 22+ hours a day to be effective
  • Attachments that look like clear braces may be necessary for some patients

Invisalign is effective when used as directed. Successful treatment requires self-discipline and commitment, making it good for some patients, but not ideally suited to others.

The best way to learn if Invisalign is a good solution for your needs is through a frank and honest discussion with Dr. Nathan Tenney at the Glendale office of Desert Smiles. During this consultation, Dr. Tenney can assess your level of malocclusion, discuss all of your options, and help you choose the most effective treatment for your needs.

Instant Orthodontics

Some adults are good candidates for instant orthodontics – the treatment of minor malocclusion with dental veneers. With this option, veneers and other treatments can be combined to produce a straight and attractive smile without orthodontic intervention.

Instant orthodontics is primarily cosmetic, but can improve some function and restore comfort to the bite. If this is a suitable option in your case, Dr. Tenney can provide you with more information during your free, one-on-one consultation.

To schedule your complimentary cosmetic dentistry consultation at Desert Smiles, please call 602-978-1790 today. Located in Glendale, we welcome patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, and all surrounding areas of Arizona.

September 04th, 2019

A facelift is a surgical procedure during which incisions are made next to or behind the ears, allowing underlying tissue and muscle to be manipulated and lifted into a firmer and more youthful position. The typical facelift costs around $7,500 and can produce a tighter and more lifted look, but it cannot add volume to areas of the face that have become sunken-in or hollowed due to aging.

While there is no dental equivalent to a surgical facelift, there are a number of cosmetic and restorative procedures that can be combined to address issues brought about by aging, trauma, uncorrected bite issues, and TMJ. By addressing these types of issues, restorative and cosmetic services can help produce a more youthful, lifted, and attractive appearance, acting as an alternative to a more invasive (and riskier) surgical procedure.

Which Areas of the Face can be Restored?

Utilizing advanced cosmetic and restorative options, Dr. Tenney can address issues such as:

  • Sunken lips
  • Loose or hanging lip skin
  • Jowls and turkey neck
  • Sunken and hollow cheeks
  • Recessed chin

Dr. Tenney also offers BOTOX® Cosmetic, a nonsurgical treatment for lines and wrinkles around the lips, next to the eyes, in between the eyebrows, and across the forehead. Combining dental treatments with this cosmetic service can often produce a significantly more youthful appearance while also addressing common dental problems including:

  • Missing teeth
  • Malocclusion
  • Gaps and spaces
  • Jaw misalignment

If you are experiencing any of these issues, contact our Glendale office right away to learn if a dental alternative to facelift surgery would be useful for your needs.

Which Procedures Can be Used to Produce a More Lifted and Youthful Appearance?

To lift sunken areas of the face and produce a more youthful and vibrant appearance, Dr. Tenney may choose from a variety of treatments. Some of the most popular include restorative options such as:

  • Dental implants to replace one or two missing teeth
  • Dental bridges to replace several missing teeth in a row
  • Dentures or partials to replace an entire arch or longer row of missing teeth

Dental implants serve the dual purpose of providing a solid foundation for restorations, including bridges and dentures, while preventing jaw shrinkage and collapse – which helps preserve fullness in the lips and surrounding areas.

In addition to restorative services, cosmetic treatments that can help lift and add volume to and around the lips include:

  • Dental veneers
  • Porcelain crowns
  • Cosmetic enamel contouring
  • Gum reshaping

Cosmetic services may be combined with things like a nightguard to prevent bruxism and help preserve both tooth structure and jaw stability. Various orthodontic options may also be utilized to help correct bite issues for a straight, strong, and beautiful smile. During your free consultation with Dr. Tenney, we can help you determine which procedure or combination of procedures will meet your specific needs and produce the look you most desire.

Contact us to Learn More

If the idea of a more youthful appearance is appealing to you but you’re not certain facelift surgery is the best option, call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule a complimentary consultation and see how we can help. Located in Glendale, Dr. Tenney welcomes patients from all surrounding areas including Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Peoria.

July 23rd, 2019

Dental Implant Replacing Tooth RootDental implants offer the strongest, most reliable, and longest-lasting solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Traditional dental implants are inserted directly into the jaw where they undergo a process called osseointegration, during which osteoblasts and connective tissue adhere to tiny holes on the implant's surface and securing it into bone. This process serves two important functions:

  1. It helps to ensure that the implant will not come loose or fall out
  2. It allows the implant to replace the missing tooth’s root, thereby preventing the otherwise unavoidable issue of jaw shrinkage

The roots of teeth serve serval functions, not the least of which is supplying signals to the body that bone is needed in that specific area of the jaw. No root means no signal, which often results in the body reabsorbing minerals around the missing tooth and creating a sunken or collapsed appearance to the jaw. Dental implants are the only type of tooth replacement that addresses this issue.

What Happens When There is Insufficient Bone in the Jaw?

Traditional dental implants are typically four to five millimeters in size. In order for these implants to be effective, your jaw must have sufficient width and depth to support them. When your jaw lacks sufficient density, you may be presented with a few different options: undergo bone grafting surgery to add bulk to the jaw, have mini dental implants placed, or look to a solution like a dental bridge or adhesive-supported dentures.

Dental bridges are certainly a workable option. Strong, reliable, and attractive, a bridge can be secured to porcelain dental crowns placed over adjacent teeth, enabling them to restore both function and aesthetics to the smile. This prevents adjacent tooth slippage while restoring bite tension and strength, and is a fantastic solution for some of our patients. What dental bridges cannot do is prevent further bone loss. This means that, over time, your bridge will have to be adjusted to accommodate your shrinking jaw.

Adhesive-secured dentures are not as reliable, attractive, or strong as dental bridges and are not typically recommended by Dr. Tenney.

Mini Dental Implants

While smaller in diameter, mini dental implants are still inserted directly into your jaw, making them a more secure option than a dental bridge while allowing them to help prevent structural changes to your jaw. If you are not a good candidate for traditional implants and bone grafting is not a suitable option, mini dental implants may be the best treatment available.

Implant Supported Full Dentures

Implant-Supported Dentures 

At our Phoenix-area office, mini dental implants are used to secure dentures for optimal strength and support. As opposed to adhesives, which can become unstuck and allow dentures to slip or fall out, implant-supported dentures stay securely in place.

Dr. Tenney offers different implant-supported denture options including:

  • Bar retained – for full dentures supported by mini implants placed at intervals
  • Ball retained – for partial dentures supported by single implants

As with any restorative service, the option that is best for your needs will be based on several factors unique to your desires and your anatomy. During your initial consultation, Dr. Tenney will carefully assess your teeth and gums, provide you with honest information about all of your options, and help you decide which treatment will produce the best results in your case.

To learn if mini dental implants are right for your smile, call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Tenney today. Located in Glendale, we welcome patients from all surrounding Arizona communities, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.

July 08th, 2019

There are a number of different tooth whitening options and cost is very much dependent on which type you choose. In-office services – like Phillips Zoom! – typically start around $500 and go up in cost depending on the number of treatments needed and the severity of your tooth stains. This option is fast and effective but can be incredibly pricey to maintain as continued results often require several visits a year.

Less expensive but not less effective are the take-home options offered by Dr. Tenney at Desert Smiles. These customized application trays conform to your teeth, helping to ensure consistent whitening while minimizing the risks of tooth sensitivity and tissue irritation. Typically, the cost per set ranges from $200 to $600. This one-time expense provides you with trays that can be used as frequently as needed with professional-strength whitening gel supplied by our office.

What about Over-the-Counter Products?

Store-bought kits range in price from $25 to $150 and come with application trays and bleaching gel. Whitening strips may cost as little as $10, but are more often in the $20 range. Whitening toothpaste, the least expensive option, can range from $3 to $10 or more, depending on the formulation.

These low prices for tooth whitening may seem attractive, but they are often a waste of time and money and may even lead to increased tooth sensitivity, irritation of soft tissue, and inconsistent results.

The Benefits of Professional Tooth Whitening Kits

The two biggest benefits offered by our personalized tray-whitening kits are:

  • Red head with beautiful smile celebratingCustomized application trays help ensure consistent whitening of every tooth in your mouth while reducing the risk of solution seepage. By keeping the whitening solution in place, gums, the tongue, and the cheeks are protected from irritation
  • The professional strength whitening solution we offer is not available OTC. The active ingredient in our solution is free elemental oxygen, which oxidizes stains to remove them permanently, safely, and comfortably – and because you keep the customized application trays, results can be maintained as you see fit, in the privacy of your own home, at the convenience of your preferred schedule

It is important to remember that any toothpaste can claim to be “whitening,” but even the most expensive among them can only remove stains from the surface of teeth. Whitening strips cover the front teeth, but a full smile will reveal highly noticeable color differences, and OTC tray whiteners – even those with “boil and bite” applicators – often produce inconsistent results while increasing tooth sensitivity and tissue irritation. When considered honestly, professional tooth whitening from a trusted cosmetic dentist is the safest, fastest, and most reliable method of brightening your smile.

Contact Desert Smiles to Learn More

If you are considering tooth whitening in Glendale or surrounding areas of Arizona, please contact Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tenney. We welcome patients from Scottsdale, Peoria, and all nearby communities.

March 18th, 2019

It has been suggested that a majority of American adults will, at some point in their lives, encounter gum disease. In many cases, this encounter will be easy to reverse and short-lived, but in others, special treatments may be needed to address the problem. Scaling and root planing are one of these methods.

During the scaling portion of this treatment, deep cleaning of the teeth – all the way to the root – will be used to remove calculus, tartar, and debris. Depending on the extent of build-up, this may take some time, but it is necessary for the root planing portion.

During root planing, the roots of the teeth are smoothed. This allows gum tissue that has been separated from tooth enamel through pockets of infection to secure back to the teeth. Slightly more invasive than the scaling portion of treatment, root planing may require localized anesthetic. If you are nervous about your gum disease treatment, Dr. Tenney will be happy to discuss sedation dentistry options that can be used to ease your anxiety.

Symptoms of Gum Disease Infographic

Do I Have Gum Disease?

Are your gums red and/or swollen? Do your gums bleed easily when brushed? Do they bleed when eating crunchy food? These are the beginning indications of gum disease and, if not addressed right away, they can easily give way to more worrisome symptoms such as:

  • Pus in between the teeth
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Chronic halitosis
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone necrosis

Equally worrisome, once gum disease has progressed to the point of tooth loss, it is highly possible that the bacteria from the infected gums has made its way into the larger body systems where they have been shown to increase risks for:

  • Heart disease
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cancer of the head and neck
  • Alzheimer’s

While some of these links are still preliminary, it has long been known that gum disease is a risk factor for systemic illness and premature death.

Treating Gum Disease

While scaling and root planing may become necessary to treat gum disease, improving your daily care can reverse it in its initial stages and will be essential for its prevention. Proper daily care includes:

  • Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth when you wake, before you go to bed, and after every meal and snack
  • Flossing before you brush both morning and night
  • Using an antimicrobial/antibacterial mouthwash*

*A word of caution about mouthwash: there is some evidence suggesting mouthwash with alcohol increases risks for oral cancer. This same ingredient in mouthwash can also damage certain types of dental bonding and restorations. If you are selecting a mouthwash to add to your daily routine, be sure to discuss your options with Dr. Tenney to make sure you are choosing the best option for your needs.

Adding routine visits to our Glendale office for cleanings and examinations is important for your general oral health as well. These visits should take place every six months, enabling us to help prevent calculus and tartar from building up underneath your gum line.

If it has been longer than six months since your last dental visit or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, please call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule an appointment today. Located in Glendale, we welcome patients from Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, and Mesa.

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February 21st, 2019

Dental implants are inserted directly into the jaw. Once placed, implants undergo a process called osseointegration, during which osteoblasts and connective tissue secure to tiny holes on their surface, holding them fast in place. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that addresses a tooth’s missing root.

By replacing a tooth’s missing root, dental implants work to prevent structural changes to the jaw. Dentures and dental bridges, both of which rest above the gums, cannot prevent these changes and will, over time, need to be adjusted as bone in the jaw shrinks and collapses.

In addition to preserving jaw structure, dental implants are very unlikely to come loose or fall out. In fact, if you care for your implants as instructed, they should last for a lifetime. However, there are some things that are beyond your control that may necessitate dental implant removal.

Infographic Exploring Dental Implant Candidacy in Glendale, AZ

Dental Implant Failure

A majority of dental implant procedures are successful. Those that are not often fail to integrate into bone in the first place. Reasons an implant may fail within the first few months include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Rejection of foreign object in the body
  • Infection
  • Lack of blood supply
  • Poor health
  • Certain autoimmune diseases

Early dental implant failure may also result from poor technique when placed. Dentists who overload an implant in an effort to speed results or who damage nerve or tissue while placing the implant may set a patient up for failure. This is just one reason your choice of implant dentist is so very important.

Dental implants take around six months to fully secure into the jaw. After this point, failure is extremely rare. Late stage dental implant failure may be a result of:

  • Tooth grinding
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking and tobacco use

Radiation from cancer treatment, bone loss, and gum recession may cause an implant to fail as well.

Symptoms of a Failed Dental Implant

Symptoms of a failed dental implant may include:

  • Pain and/or swelling around an implant
  • Red and/or tender gum tissue
  • A loose or shifting implant
  • Difficulties chewing and/or biting

If you have dental implants and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to get in touch with Dr. Tenney. Through a hands-on evaluation, Dr. Tenney can determine if treatment is possible or if the implant will need to be removed entirely.

Dental Implant Removal

There are several methods for removing dental implants depending on the point at which they fail. While it may be easier to remove implants before they have integrated into bone, it is entirely possible to safely and effectively remove them once they have been secured as well. During your initial consultation, Dr. Tenney can discuss dental implant removal methods to help you understand your options and choose the one that will be best for your needs.

Please call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule a consultation today. Located in Glendale, we welcome patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, and all surrounding areas.

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January 18th, 2019

Man and Woman Smiling at the SunOne of the many ways that drug and alcohol addiction can take a toll on someone's overall health and well-being is through the deterioration of that person's smile and dental health. Sadly, dental health is commonly overlooked in substance abuse programs.

Substance abuse programs typically focus on intervention and, while they may provide support programs for long-term sobriety, they do not tend to provide services for oral health issues commonly faced by recovering addicts such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Acid enamel erosion
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth infection and abscess
  • Gum disease
  • chipped , cracked, or broken teeth
  • Bruxism (tooth grinding)

All of these issues compromise the health and strength of the teeth and greatly increase risks for tooth loss. In fact, excessive alcohol use makes tooth loss three-times more likely. These risks are similar, if not higher, with almost all illegal and illicit drugs as well. Meth addiction for example, can have a profound impact on oral health. A study conducted at UCLA found that 96% of people who struggled with meth addicition had cavities and 38% already had six or more missing teeth.

Risks Posed by Missing Teeth

Missing teeth can have a profound impact on the health, strength, and structure of the mouth. Even one missing tooth can allow adjacent teeth to slip out of place, thus changing bite tension and strength, and increasing the risks for additional tooth loss. At the same time, when a tooth is missing, bone surrounding the socket will begin to deteriorate. Over time, this will cause the jaw to shrink and collapse, resulting in changes to the structure of the teeth and the shape of the entire face.

Dental implants are the only type of tooth replacement that can prevent changes to the structure of the jaw, making them the most complete tooth replacement option.

Tooth Replacement and Addiction Recovery

Replacing missing teeth plays an important role in recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism. Having missing teeth replaced with natural-looking and functionally strong restorations can:

  • Restore speaking abilities
  • Restore proper tension and bite strength
  • Prevent adjacent tooth slippage and additional tooth loss
  • Restore an attractive appearance to the smile
  • Help to affirm an individual's self esteem and self confidence

When tooth replacement is completed with dental implants, structural changes to the jaw are addressed as well.

To be a candidate for tooth replacement, you only need to be missing teeth. To be a good candidate for dental implants, however, additional considerations will need to be made.

Because jaw collapse is inevitable following tooth loss, people who have been missing teeth for some time may not have sufficient jaw bone density to support an implant. Bone grafting is an option but, just like the surgical placement of implants, grafting may require sedation - something many recovering addicts avoid so as to prevent rekindling the addiction.

We provide a safe, and welcoming environment with many drug-free options to improve and protect your comfort. If you are a recovering addict, talk to Dr. Tenney today about our drug-free treatment options that can help restore your smile to its strongest and most attractive state.

We Are Here to Help

Call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to learn more about our tooth replacement services for recovering addicts. We proudly serve men and women overcoming addiction in Glendale, Arizona, as well as the greater Phoenix, Scottsdale and Peoria communities.

January 03rd, 2019

Woman with a toothache at the dentist's officeHas overindulgence in sweet treats made your teeth extra sensitive? Maybe now is the best time to call our Glendale office and schedule your next appointment. Spaced about six months apart, routine dental cleanings and examinations are an essential part of your oral health routine. During these visits, we can thoroughly clean your teeth, even below the gum line, to restore luster, remove tartar, and help prevent issues such as cavities and gum disease. What’s more, these visits give Dr. Tenney an opportunity to check for signs of decay and infection, and to provide treatment options for issues like sensitivity.

If it has been longer than six months since your last tooth cleaning, call us at 602-978-1790 to set up an appointment right away.

Why Oral Health Matters

The health of your teeth and gums is directly linked to the health of your entire body. Bacteria found in patients with gum disease has shown to travel throughout the body, increasing risks for:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Dementia

Gum disease is often spotted during routine cleanings when it is at its earliest stages. This is the ideal time for treatment. When caught early on, mild cases of gum disease may respond very well to professional cleaning coupled with an improved at-home routine.

In addition to gum disease, issues like tooth infection and decay can have a profound impact on the health and beauty of your smile. Left untreated and these issues can result in tooth sensitivity, chronic bad breath, and eventual tooth loss. Biannual visits allow these issues to be addressed as they occur, helping to prevent their more severe consequences.

What You Can Do

First things first, if it has been longer than half a year since you were in the dentist chair for a cleaning, contact us right away to set your next appointment up. During this visit, we can talk about your at-home routine to help ensure it is optimal for your needs. This will help you make the best choices for your oral care in between visits.

In the meantime, you can start 2019 with a bright smile by:

  • Flossing your teeth before you brush both morning and night
  • Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste after every meal and snack
  • Using an antibacterial mouthwash 30 minutes after brushing

Flossing before you brush removes more plaque from the teeth and is better at preventing gum disease. Waiting at least 30 minutes before using a mouthwash helps prevent prematurely removing fluoride from the teeth after brushing. However, it should be noted that people with porcelain or ceramic restorations may want to skip the mouthwash. This can be discussed in more detail during your next visit to our office.

No matter if your teeth are hurting from the holidays or if you’re just overdue for a cleaning, scheduling your biannual checkup now is a great way to set the foundation for strong teeth and healthy gums in 2019. Call 602-978-1790 to set up an appointment today.

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December 05th, 2018

Man With Fingers on Chin, WonderingDental implants are the strongest, most reliable, and longest-lasting tooth replacement option available today. This is, of course, reflected in their cost. If you are considering dental implants, cost may be at the front of your mind. However, while a consideration for just about everyone, we do not want the price of dental implants to be an obstacle to the perfection of your teeth.

During your initial consultation at Desert Smiles, we will carefully examine the quality of your jaw, teeth surrounding those missing, and other relevant factors to provide you with an accurate cost estimate for each of your restoration options.

What Impacts Dental Implant Costs?

The cost of dental implants can range fairly widely, from $1,000 to $4,000 or more depending on circumstances. Some of the things that may influence the cost of dental implants include:

  • The type of dental implant used
  • The number of implants used
  • The type of restoration used (tooth crown or implant-supported denture)
  • Your dentist's experience, training and technology

Additional considerations will include existing oral health issues and jaw density, the latter of which may require bone grafting to ensure optimal support of your dental implants. Bone grafting is an additional surgery that will increase the cost of your implant placement. However, this cost is often worth it once the true advantages of dental implants are taken into consideration.

Why Choose Dental Implants?

While dental implants tend to be one of the more expensive ways to replace missing teeth, they are also the most durable, longest-lasting and aesthetically pleasing ways to do so. Advantages offered by dental implants include:

  • No risk of implants coming loose or falling out
  • Full restoration of bite tension and strength
  • Natural-looking and feeling restorations
  • Better preservation of surrounding teeth
  • Prevention of jaw shrinkage

Missing teeth have no roots.

When tooth roots are missing, the bone in that area of the jaw begins to shrink and will eventually collapse. Dentures and dental bridges that are not supported by implants cannot prevent jaw shrinkage. If you are missing one or more teeth and do not have the root replaced with dental implants, your jaw will eventually change size and shape, altering your bite and changing the appearance of your entire face.

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that addresses this unavoidable consequence of tooth loss, often making them the best choice for our patients.

Paying for Dental Implants

We work with a number of insurance carriers to cover the cost of dental implants. Before you schedule your appointment at our Glendale office, make sure your plan pays for implant surgery and restoration.

If insurance is not an option, we accept all major credit cards, cash, and checks for dental implant payment. We also work with CareCredit, a healthcare credit card that can be used for all uncovered dental expenses. CareCredit has a number of promotional offers, including 0% APR and low, fixed-rate plans that can work with nearly any budget. If you would like more information about financing dental implants, we can discuss this option with you in greater detail during your initial consultation.

Dental implants are more expensive than their alternatives, but they are also vastly superior in reliability, quality, and durability. If you are missing one or more teeth, we welcome an opportunity to meet with you and discuss your options, helping you determine the best way to restore strength and comfort to your smile.

If you live in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale or Peoria and want to find out how much it would cost to replace one or more missing teeth with dental implants, please call Desert Smiles at 602-978-1790 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nathan Tenney. 

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October 23rd, 2018

Dr. Donald Wilcox is retiring. After 32 years spent developing strong relationships with our patients, Dr. Wilcox has decided it’s time he shifts his focus to spending time traveling, playing golf, and being with his family, especially his grandchildren.

In selecting a new dentist to head Desert Smiles, Dr. Wilcox took great care to choose someone who he felt would continue to provide the patient care and quality service we are known for. Dr. Nathan Tenney fits the bill perfectly.

Current staff will be staying on and the transition should be seamless for a majority of our patients. If you have questions about this transition or need to touch base with our office for any reason, please call 602-978-1790.

“Dr. Tenney is probably the most passionate person I have ever seen about dentistry.” - Dr. Donald Wilcox

Dr. Nathan Tenney

Dr. Nathan Tenney has been practicing dentistry for five years, four of which were spent as a dentist for the U.S. Army, where Dr. Tenney held the rank of Captain. Graduating at the top of his class from Midwestern University Dental School, Dr. Tenney’s commitment to continuing education is clear. While the state requires 25 hours of continuing education for dental professionals every year, Dr. Tenney routinely completes 100 or more. This has enabled him to incorporate advanced techniques and cutting-edge technologies into his practice, including 3D x-rays and intraoral cameras, which he implemented into his practice while stationed in El Paso.

“CPT Teney is the most talented young dental officer I have seen in my career.” - Col. Hemker, Army Dentist

Dr. Tenney’s favorite part of dentistry is people and he strives to build relationships with his patients that last for generations - and generations they can - Dr. Tenney serves patients of all ages, from six months on. His own childhood dental trauma informs his approach, which is accessible, gentle, and intentional. For patients who need a little additional help, Dr. Tenney has advanced training in sedation dentistry and can help you find the best solution for your needs.

In addition to advanced training in sedation dentistry, Dr. Tenney has trained with root canal specialists to incorporate pain-free infection removal. He has also trained with oral surgery residents where he learned how to perform extractions and advanced restorations such as dental implants.

In his spare time, Dr. Tenney enjoys water skiing, traveling, hiking, using his Traeger grill, and spending time with his wife, two daughters, and son.

Please take a moment to welcome our new dentist the next time you are in the office. If you have questions or are ready to make an appointment with Dr. Tenney, please call 602-978-1790 and schedule your appointment today.

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