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Solving Your Oral Health Puzzle

By Stephen K. Malone, D.M.D.

At Knoxville Smiles, Dentistry is a collaborative and dynamic process—oftentimes achieved in phases.

Patients come to us for a variety of reasons, and all of our dental treatment plans are individualized to solve each unique patient’s “oral health riddle” in a way that matches the needs and objectives of the patient. When there are multiple concerns, solving the patient’s personal health puzzle typically requires multiple phases of treatment in a logical progression. During the phases of treatment, we have opportunity to reevaluate and improve our plan for optimal results.

If you or a loved one have multiple dental needs, you may be wondering if we can solve your problems. If you have other health issues, you may be pessimistic. Let me assure you that I have been restoring mouths to full healthy function and appearance for nearly 20 years—for patients with a complex of multiple problems such as chronic periodontal disease, missing teeth, worn down and cracked teeth, misaligned teeth, dental decay, and systemic diseases that affect their oral health. I have been doing this with their health and overall well-being always in mind according to a philosophy of conservative treatment that will maximize their quality of life and minimize the amount of dentistry they need over their lifetime.

The first step in finding a solution to your or a loved one’s complex dental situation is to schedule an examination and consultation. We will examine you in such a way that we can do a careful, thorough and correct diagnosis of your oral health circumstances. We will discover what is at the root of the various problems…what has contributed to the condition of your mouth. We also will have conversations in such a way that you understand what is possible to achieve with various treatments, and we will come to an understanding of what it is you want to achieve.

Our hope is that you will choose to restore your mouth to optimal health, function and appearance because we care about you as a whole person and want the best for you. We know this will provide you with the best quality of life and minimize the dentistry you need in the future.

We will want to think critically about which treatment options will be the most appropriate for solving your “oral health puzzle” as a whole. In most cases, there are multiple treatment options, and we will talk about the advantages of the various options and your preferences. When we develop your master treatment plan, we will pay attention to preserving your healthy teeth and minimizing the amount of dentistry required for the long term. This may mean doing more extensive treatment now to preserve existing teeth and make sure your dental restorations (e.g., crowns and bridges) last.

Once we have a comprehensive treatment plan in mind, we can perform the necessary phases of treatment, in logical sequence, over a period of time. As we progress, we have time to assess your dynamic circumstances re-evalute your treatment options, and refine the choices. In many cases, the first phase is establishing a foundation of healthy gum tissue or eliminating active tooth decay. During this first phase, you’ll have more time to plan, budget and arrange financing to accomplish future planned phases. We can spread treatment over a period of months or even years—and ultimately not compromise on what is in your best health interest.

Phased dentistry, according to a comprehensive plan, is like building your dream house. In order to do it correctly, you need a master plan. As you build—perhaps, a level, room or wing at a time, you can refine some of your building decisions and even hold off some of the cosmetic ones until priorities are addressed. Phase one is building a safe and solid foundation. Like building your dream home, once your health foundation is established, we can modify and restore your mouth in stages to achieve optimal treatment objectives.

A comprehensive approach to planning your dentistry, means we will address factors that have caused dental deterioration. We will help you understand why this is a priority. When all factors that cause breakdown are addressed and eliminated, very little future dentistry likely will be needed. Your investment in crowns, bridges, dental implant supported restorations and more will be excellent investments because they will predictably last a long time.

Dr. Michael Costa and I are professionally responsible for providing the best level of care possible. If you have multiple oral health issues, you can rely on our combined knowledge, skill, and experience to solve your puzzle. You can expect your diagnosis, treatment planning, and treatment to be a multiphased dynamic series of events in which you are a partner. Working together, with your health and well-being in mind, we will adapt to your changing needs, desires, and health conditions—and take the time needed to succeed.


At Knoxville Smiles, Dr. Stephen K. Malone and Dr. Michael J. Costa, Jr. are dedicated to finding the right solution for your oral health puzzle and achieving longterm optimal results you love. Call for an appointment today!