At East Brainerd Oral Surgery, patients don't have to trade a corn-on-the-cob habit for dentures.
Bill Childress, DDS, MD, and Karl Meyer, DDS, MD, specialize in dental implants that are anchored in bone so they function almost as well as natural teeth. Compare that to the 10 percent functionality of traditional dentures that rely on adhesives.
These oral and maxillofacial surgeons also remove wisdom teeth, reconstruct faces after trauma and diagnose mouth disease, among other more routine dental surgeries.
"I feel like daily it's a success story," said Dr. Meyer, adding that it troubles him to see a patient "literally rocking in their chair with dental pain," only to have the tooth comfortably removed with anesthetic during the same visit.
EBOS, which opened on Mackey Branch Drive off East Brainerd Road in July 2010, is focused on making doctors and staff more accessible to patients, Childress said. The doctors themselves usually sedate or anesthetize patients, walk them out to their cars after surgery and take care of the follow-up call. Doctors and staff always strive for same or next-day care.
"All our patients have our cell number," Childress said. But while the practice is new, the staff is experienced.
But while the practice is new, the staff is experienced.
"The only thing new here is the building," Childress said.
Staff members pride themselves in easing patients' worries by fully explaining procedures.
"We spend almost as much time explaining the surgery as we do actually doing it," Childress said. "That relieves your anxiety better than Valium does."
Childress and Meyer, who met 16 years ago in a U.S. Air Force residency program in San Antonio, Texas, racked up their experience reconstructing faces of soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Both men praised the Air Force program for its low staff-to-resident ratio and generous access to otherwise expensive and rare surgeries, like reconstructing an overbite or underbite that might hold a teenager back from "forming personality and self-esteem," Childress said. This $30,000 surgery may not be covered by insurance, he said, but the Air Force saw more than 200 of these surgeries a year.
Childress told of one baby born with a lower jaw so deformed it obstructed his airway. The child lived with a tracheotomy from birth until 18 months old when Dr. Childress helped reconstruct the child's jaw to remove the tracheotomy. The child started talking while still in the hospital.
Meyer said oral surgery's one-on-one care and inspiring immediate results differ from traditional medicine, which usually requires extensive tests and follow-up before anything can be done.
"I like treating patients," he said. After a life of travel with the military, both men are happy they've come home to Tennessee to open EBOS. Childress was born and raised near Knoxville.
Meyer and Childress both offer their services to as many people as they can, volunteering with the Remote Area Medical traveling clinic program twice a year or so and also at the Dr. William Roy Mercy Dental Clinic at the Dodson Avenue Community Health Department.
The office's next question- and-answer radio spot is April 12 on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3 with Jed Mescon. Childress and Meyer will answer questions about general dentistry and oral surgery.
East Brainerd Oral Surgery is located at 1350 Mackey Branch Drive, Ste. 110. Call 423-296-8210 for more information. To see videos and success stories, visit www.eastbrainerdoms.com.