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Dr. Jeremiah Sturgill

The Truth about Getting Braces

By | Orthodontics | No Comments

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take a major step towards a beautiful new smile. Now your braces appointment is drawing closer on the calendar, and you might be wondering what to expect.  Here is a quick walk-through of the day you get your new braces. 

What happens first? 

Most of our patients attend their New Patient Exam and receive braces the same day! This convenient option allows you to devote one day to braces rather than having to conform your schedule to two or even three separate appointments. Are you ready to get started? Let’s go!

  1. Attend your New Patient Exam with Dr. Sturgill and our Treatment Coordinator. Dr. Sturgill will do a thorough exam to see what treatment option best suits your individual situation. We will take a few X-rays and photographs — all compliments of Dr. Sturgill, so no charge to you!
  2. Choose the best option to fit your needs. Our Treatment Coordinator will walk you through the options and pricing for your unique needs.You will decide together what the best choice is.
  3. Complete your paperwork. Are you ready to get started? If so, we can complete your initial paperwork and apply braces the same day!  We offer interest-free payment plans and autopay for your convenience.

What happens in the clinic? 

Now it’s time to head into the clinic to get started! Initial bonding may take an hour to an hour and a half. We recommend that mom or dad bring a book or some work to pass the time. Meanwhile, the patient can relax in one of our comfortable memory foam dental chairs while we get to work on your smile. 

Remember — do NOT be scared. Your appointment involves ZERO needles or shots. Looking at a tray of dental tools might be scary; but we promise there are no surprises and nothing painful!

  1. A dental assistant will begin by prophying (polishing) the teeth. This helps prep the teeth for the braces.
  2. Next we will apply etchant which helps clean the surface of your teeth. Afterward a primer is used to help the brackets adhere. You may see us using a “light wand” on your teeth. This is an LED light that helps the adhesives cure. Don’t worry — this light isn’t hot at all and won’t hurt one bit. Think of it as a flashlight. 
  3. Next we place the brackets. Our brackets are pre-pasted — which means that no human hands have touched them until they are placed in your mouth. We use the “Mercedes-Benz” of brackets because part of providing quality care starts with using the best products and materials available.  The brackets are made in the USA by 3M and utilize the latest technology in bracket prescription, adhesive, and biocompatibility.  Dr. Sturgill and an assistant will make sure that each and every bracket is placed perfectly. 
  4. Now for the fun part — You get to pick your rubberband color! We have a rainbow of colors for you to choose from. You can do all one color or get snazzy with multiple shades. You could pick ETSU or UT colors– or just your own favorite color! Have fun with it! 
  5. We will place the wires. For your first appointment, you will notice the wire is very thin.  This wire is a“high-tech” combination of nickel, titanium, and copper.  The precise combination allows for super-elastcity and heat activation.  What does this mean? Your wire will work at a lower level of force for months. This allows your teeth to move with less discomfort yet also allows your treatment to continually progress without having an appointment every 3 or 4 weeks. Instead, your appointment will be every 6-10 weeks. 
  6. If you have requested a custom mouth guard, we will take that impression now. We have multiple fun colors to choose from here as well. 
  7. You’re almost done! Next you’ll watch a quick hygiene video that teaches you how to brush and care for your new braces! Home care is a vital part of your treatment. We want you to leave our office feeling prepared for success. 
  8. Finally, don’t forget your Swag Bag. Before you leave, we’ll load you down with useful swag — like brushes, floss threaders, and wax — so that you can properly clean and care for your new smile. 

What happens at the end?

You’re all done! Now don’t forget to stop by the front desk to schedule your next appointment!

  1. If you’re comfortable with it, we would love to take your photo for our Facebook. Braces Day is a special day for us. We are so excited for you to be joining the Sturgill Ortho Family!
  2. Schedule your next appointment. Most likely, your first adjustment appointment will be scheduled anywhere from 3-12 weeks away. Your treatment plan is customized by Dr. Sturgill and unique to your needs so the interval varies from patient to patient. 
  3. Show off your smile! 

Soreness is normal after getting your braces.  We recommend taking some Tylenol or Advil to help mitigate it. Sugar-free chewing gum also helps reduce soreness. It’s also a great time to treat yourself to a milkshake or smoothie. Remember — if you have any questions about soreness or your new braces, you are always welcome to text or call our office. 

We hope you are as excited as we are for your first braces appointment! You will love your new Sturgill smile. In the end, the work and wait will be so worth it! See you soon!

Fun with Our Families during Quarantine

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

These past several weeks, most of us find ourselves stranded at home with only limited essential outings at our disposal. Who knew the car ride to the grocery store could be such an escape?

While mandatory quarantine is difficult for everyone, keeping the kiddos entertained can be especially challenging. So here at Sturgill Ortho we asked our staff members how they are passing the time in isolation with their families. So if you are “bored in the house and in the house bored,” here are a few of the activities we have found helpful.

Quarantine Activities for Kids

 

Colorful sorting and counting

Sturgill Endo team member Alyssa practiced counting with her son using coffee filters and candy! We certainly won’t judge if an M&M or two goes missing along the way. 

Build a living room fort

Transform the couch or dining table into a circus tent with blankets and pillows. It’s the perfect place to curl up with take-home schoolwork, a movie, or a coloring book.

Make art together

Dr. Sturgill’s baby girl painted some abstract art this week. Another idea is to use poster board or an old sheet and paint a sign for first responders. Hang it in your lawn or neighborhood. Or, you can create a family photo collage with an encouraging message — as the Sturgill Ortho team did for Instagram.

Make oobleck

What’s oobleck? Oobleck is simply cornstarch mixed with water — it’s neither a liquid nor a solid but rather a non-Newtonian fluid. Aka homemade slime! It’s a great homemade science experiment for little ones. Add a little dollop of food coloring for fun. Here is an easy recipe to follow.

Homemade finger-painting 

Sturgill Ortho team member Jess used cool whip and food coloring to create toddler-safe finger paints. It’s suitably messy and no harm done if little fingers go in little mouths. 

Live storytimes

Several broadcasting and publishing companies have taken steps to livestream story hour for little kids. It’s a great way to entertain your little one — and if they happen to have the book, they can practice reading by following along. A few resources include: Penguin Kids, Harper Kids, and Goodnight with Dolly. 

Bake and cook together

Our office manager Holly has been teaching her little girl how to cook! They’ve baked fun birthday cakes and enjoyed homemade breakfasts on their porch. Cooking together is a great way to practice measuring, math, and following instructions. 

Camp in your own backyard 

Even though the campsites and state parks may be closed, we can still get outside. Create a isolation-approved staycation by setting up a mini campsite in your own backyard — or on your apartment balcony. Snuggle together in sleeping bags, tell funny stories, and, if safe to do so, have a little campfire to toast smores. 

Other ideas

Watch a free Broadway show every Friday on the YouTube channel The Show Must Go On. Take advantage of Audible’s Free Stories for Kids. Or download the Duolingo app to learn a new language together. 

As hectic as parenthood may be, we all crave more time with our families. How many times have we said “time is flying by” or “I wish I had more time with my kids.”  Despite the hardships around us, isolation has forced us to slow down and focus on our loved ones. America’s work-centered culture often robs us of precious time together — but maybe being #TogetheratHome is the silver lining in the midst of this national health crisis. 

Also remember, it’s okay to relax as well. We are experiencing uncertain and unprecedented times — and there’s no roadmap for how to best navigate them. It’s perfectly acceptable to have “down moments” in which you vegetate on the couch or watch a movie. Every day need not have an Instagram-worthy or teachable moment. We will all survive this time the best way we can — and maybe carve out a  little fun along the way.

Currently, Sturgill Orthodontics is open and seeing patients on a modified schedule.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation!

Braces Care During Quarantine

By | Orthodontics

In this unprecedented time, home care for braces is vital. Government-mandated office closures prevent our team from performing routine hygiene checkups at appointments. At-home hygiene has never been more important! Improper brushing and flossing could result in cavities, white spot lesions, gum disease, or even early termination of treatment. 

We are all concerned with cleaning our homes and washing our hands — don’t forget your teeth!

Here’s a quick refresher on proper cleaning of braces:

1. Brush morning, evening, and after meals if possible. 

When you brush, it is important to clean around the brackets. Food easily catches on the appliances and can cause plaque buildup. Angle the toothbrush at the gum line to clean around the brackets. Our office prefers the Oral B electric toothbrush with the orthodontic brush head. Running low? Contact our office to order new brush heads. 

2. Brush for the correct amount of time. 

Most people brush too fast — in and out. In actuality, proper brushing takes about two minutes. Some electric brushes vibrate when two minutes have passed. No electric brush? No problem — set a timer on your phone or listen to a short song. The popular Old Town Road is about 2 minutes long if you want to have fun with your morning and evening routine!

3. Use your “Christmas Tree” brushes

These little brushes are ideal for cleaning around brackets and under wires. If you run out — simply give us a call and we will gladly mail you some. 

4. Floss regularly 

Yes, you absolutely can– and should!– continue flossing with braces. Use a floss threader  to get under the wires. We recommend flossing once a day!

Another important aspect of home care during quarantine is solving non-urgent problems like a poking wire or broken bracket. During this transition period of social distancing, Governor Lee has outlined specific situations considered urgent. Right now, we are not permitted to treat broken brackets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get relief. 

Problem-Solving Tips during Quarantine:

1. A loose or broken bracket

Fortunately, when a bracket breaks, it’s still attached to the wire and should not cause any damage. It can safely remain until your next appointment. However, if the bracket is causing any pain or discomfort or if you are concerned, we can guide you through the process of removing the bracket at home. 

2. A poking wire

Our first go-to remedy for poking wires is wax. Place a bead of wax over the wire; this may provide relief until your next appointment. Or, if your dad really wants to play orthodontist, you can use a pair of toenail clippers (preferably clean!) to snip the wire. Remember we want you to be comfortable; don’t worry about messing anything up by clipping a wire. 

3. General soreness

Soreness is a common orthodontic ailment. After all, your teeth are moving! We recommend Tylenol or Advil (or whatever OTC painkiller you prefer to give to your children) to help alleviate soreness. You can also use wax to cover any sore spots on the gums or cheek. Remember, if you are concerned or something seems out-of-the-ordinary, you can always text photos or give our office a call. 

4. Other issues 

If you have a broken appliance, expander, or spring — we recommend giving our office a call or sending a text. Use this video to photograph the problem area. One of our assistants will review your photos and either guide you through correcting the problem at home or schedule a safe visit. 

Please remember that if you are ever in pain, we are available to help. Sturgill Ortho team members are monitoring our phones and text messages, while clinical staff remain on call for emergencies. We are also offering Virtual Check-ins if you have any questions or concerns. 

Good news! Our team plans to reopen the Johnson City Office on May 4th! We will be contacting patients to reschedule appointments missed due to the COVID-19 closure. Of course the COVID-19 situation develops day-by-day, but we will promptly notify our patients by email and social media if any plans change.

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. We hope to see you soon!

A Letter from Dr. Sturgill about the New Coronavirus

By | Uncategorized

“This effort has resulted in unprecedented changes for all our daily lives…

I pray we can find a silver lining.”

This picture may seem odd in relation to the current coronavirus health crisis.  However, I found it appropriate as yesterday would’ve been my grandmother’s (Nanny’s) 98th birthday; she passed away four years ago. This photo shows my Nanny and myself at my dental school graduation. She inspired me to have a giving heart. She inspired me with her unwavering faith and unfettered generosity. 

Lately we have heard a lot of talk in the media about “flattening the curve.” Many people may not understand what our government and the CDC mean by this, or why it has such a dramatic impact on our day-to-day lives. “Flattening the curve” means to delay the spread of a virus — not necessarily to contain or halt the spread of a virus. If successful, our healthcare system would be better able to cope with the patient load. Decreasing the burden on our healthcare system gives our aging population a better chance of survival if they are infected with COVID-19.

This effort has resulted in unprecedented changes for all our daily lives.  Governors nationwide have mandated closure of elective medical and dental procedures along with closure of restaurants, churches, theme parks, and public gatherings. During this time families will go through unavoidable hardships and inconveniences due to the stress and anxiety of experiencing a pandemic. Yet these hardships reveal the values of our country. As a nation, we so value the life of our elderly and immunocompromised that we are willing to press pause on everything. 

I pray that we can find a silver lining: whether it be this wonderful spring weather or the time gained with our families to slow down, reconnect, and be present. For the first time in our 11 years of marriage, Riley and I have found time to actually enjoy cooking– a true miracle!

“These hardships reveal the values of our country.”

We offer heartfelt thanks to those who are still working — the single-mother cashier at Wal-Mart, the teenage gas station attendant, the hospital janitor, the assembly line worker  laboring overtime to produce much needed PPE, and of course all of the healthcare workers who unwaveringly step to the front lines. And lastly, thank you to all those who stay home despite the difficulties. I think of all the “Nanny’s” out there who need our efforts to help ensure their safety.

Know that the Sturgill Orthodontics team is here for you, not only to ensure your beautiful smile, but we are here for our community.  If you know anyone who is in need because of COVID, please let us know. We want to help the community that has always supported us.

Sincerely,

Dr. S

 

Merry Christmas from Your Sturgill Ortho Family!

By | Uncategorized

Community is hugely important to the Sturgill Orthodontics team. We love the TriCities and are so grateful for the opportunity to give back to that community. And what better season for giving than the holidays?

For the past several years, Sturgill Orthodontics has sponsored Christmas Angels through the Salvation Army. This year, we were fortunate enough to “adopt” four angels. Together, we shopped for gifts (toys, clothes, needed items) which were then delivered unwrapped to the Salvation Army and distributed as needed. We had so much fun shopping together. This tradition holds a special place in our hearts. We hope to continue it for many years to come!

“This tradition holds a special place in our hearts.

We hope to continue it for many years to come!”

Here at Sturgill Orthodontics, we believe we have the absolute best patients. We love serving your families and creating beautiful smiles. Thank you for being part of our Sturgill Ortho Family! We hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Follow our Instagram and Facebook for fun Christmas photos with our staff and patients!

Having a Happy Halloween with Braces

By | Orthodontics

It’s about to get spooky! Do you have your costume ready?

Halloween can be a challenging holiday for kiddos with braces. Those pumpkin-buckets full of sweet treats can be tempting, but don’t forget to take care of your braces this year! No need to feel left out though; there are still several yummy options that you can enjoy while in orthodontic treatment.

Sweet treats to avoid on Halloween (or anytime):

  • Hard candies

  • Caramel

  • Popcorn

  • Candied apples

These goodies could cause damage to your brackets or appliances. No one wants to worry about poking wires or broken brackets on the spookiest night of the year!

Swap hard and sticky candy for these delicious sweets instead: 

  • Chocolate bars without nuts

  • Peanut Butter Cups

  • Kit Kats

  • 3 Musketeers

  • Soft cookies

  • Peppermint patties

  • Apple bites dipped in caramel sauce

  • Apple cider

  • Root beer floats

  • Ice cream

Remember even “safe” candies can cause cavities. Be sure to brush and floss after enjoying your Halloween haul! You can use your Christmas-tree brushes to clean around individual brackets. Also, if you need a treat bag, use your Sturgill Orthodontics drawstring backpack. Feel free to come pick one up if you don’t have one already! 

 

The Sturgill Orthodontics Team wishes you a safe and Happy Halloween! 

Vote on our Third Annual Dentists Pumpkin Contest! And don’t forget to wear your costume to your appointment and receive a gift card! Stay spooky, everyone!

 

Care for a Coke? Norton + Sturgill Orthodontics Unveil Renovated Sign

By | Uncategorized

“What’s more American than a cold Coke?”

Our Norton patients may recognize the rusty landmark hanging outside our downtown practice. Beneath decades of chipped paint and corrosion lingered an iconic symbol of Americana: “Drink Coca-Cola in bottles!” This vestige of Norton’s past whispers of a long-forgotten era before Google, Twitter, or Youtube. A time when roads winded through picturesque communities like Norton rather than austere highways. A time when roadsigns and murals were companies’ only way of advertising to the American people. And what’s more American than a cold Coke?

 

Community has always been important to Dr. Sturgill, a native of Big Stone Gap, VA. In fact, his affection for Wise County is a large motivator behind his maintaining a practice in Norton and purchasing the historic building that houses it. So when he learned of City Manager Fred Ramey’s goal to restore the old Coke sign hanging outside our practice, Dr. Sturgill was immediately on board.

Coca-Cola Consolidated operates a Ghost-Sign Restoration Program, which primarily focuses on building murals. However, Norton’s unique clock sign (apparently the only one known to Coke archivists) caught the program’s attention. Historians estimate our sign was erected circa 1930 and has endured everything from mountain weather to a neighboring fire to a collision with  a passing truck. Yet since 1960, the sign languished in disrepair. 

 

Coke Consolidated, the City of Norton, and Sturgill Orthodontics unveiled the renovated sign on August 20th. Bright poppy red with neon lettering and a functioning clock — the sign brightens downtown and reminds us of our past. 

Sturgill Orthodontics was so proud to participate in a project that meant so much to so many. We hope this beautiful sign hangs proudly for another 100 years! 

“We were so proud to participate in a project that meant so much to so many!”

 

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to catch other exciting news, giveaways,  and projects!

Tour Our Office Remodel

By | Uncategorized

“….our patients deserve the best of everything: doctor, treatment and office.”

 

Here at Sturgill Orthodontics we put patients first. It’s part of our mission and our lifestyle: the daily goal to better serve you.

Last year, Dr. Sturgill purposed to bring the most innovative orthodontic practice in the country to East Tennessee. Why? Because we believe our patients deserve the best of everything: doctor, treatment, and office.

Dr. Sturgill hired one of the best architects in the country to actualize his vision of a beautiful state-of-the-art orthodontic practice. Consider how cell phone technology has changed in the last twenty years; orthodontic treatment and technology have changed as much! It was time to update and refresh our office to represent those changes. A floor-to-ceiling remodel launched in February. Nearly seven months later, on August 5th, we officially opened the new space.

Our remodeled facility furthers our mission of offering family-friendly, cutting-edge care. Everything from the floorplan to the fixtures to the dental chairs have been upgraded in order to provide our patients with the best experience.

Take a walk through our new office below!

Here is what Dr. Sturgill says about the remodel.

 

When did you come up with the idea to remodel the practice? 

When I took over the practice in 2016, I saw that the office was past-due for a remodel. Nearly twenty years had passed since its last update, and the orthodontic industry has seen many changes in that time. The practice had also grown tremendously in the past 20 years. Accommodating patients in the old space was becoming difficult. So I began researching the best way to remodel the practice without interfering with patient treatment. Our team spent months analyzing and planning so that every single detail allowed maximum efficiency while ensuring patient comfort and beautiful style.

Why did you choose Joe Architect for the project? 

Joe Architect has a sterling reputation as a world-renowned dental and medical architect. Initially, we hired them to design my wife Dr. Riley Sturgil’s practice: Sturgill Endodontics. After seeing their completed work, we knew we wanted to work with them again. Their designs are unparalleled for creating unique spaces that endure.

Name the biggest challenge and how you overcame it.

The two biggest challenges were logistics and finances. The Sturgill Ortho Team had to relocate the entire practice down to the dental chairs in one weekend. We were so fortunate when an office space became available in the same professional park, allowing us to move with relative ease. Also, we wanted to ensure that the remodel was financially feasible and that increased efficiency would make it worthwhile. The increased space and improvements will allow us to accommodate new patients as well as the ones we already serve and love.

What is your favorite element of the new space?

My favorite element is the reception area. There are so many fun aspects for families to enjoy. We now have a coffee station equipped with sparkling water and a wide variety of gourmet coffee selections. We also have laptop stations to accommodate parents who may need to catch up on work. For our youngest patients or their little siblings, we have a fantastic play area. Now waiting at your orthodontic appointment won’t be wasted time. You can read, work, or just enjoy some downtime with a warm cup of coffee.

What patients are saying: 

Patients and parents love the new space. Some kids have remarked that it doesn’t even feel like the same building. One mom said “Am I even in Johnson City anymore?” The space really strikes the perfect balance between modernity and warmth. We love it and hope you do too!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for office updates and fun news!

Or stop by and pay us a visit to see the new space for yourself! We would love to meet you.

“DIY” and “Braces”: A Dangerous Combo?

By | Orthodontics

Are at-home aligners a smart choice for your wallet or your oral health?

 

Conduct a quick Google or Facebook search about orthodontic care — you’ll be bombarded with ads touting at-home aligners. These companies promise to cut treatment costs and provide an alternative to traditional orthodontic care. 

While these companies may provide convenience and savings, what are you being asked to sacrifice in order to achieve those aims? Your budget is an important part of your treatment choice, and no one likes the idea of assuming another bill. But when it comes to your teeth, you want your money’s worth. 

Here’s what you’ll be sacrificing if you choose at-home DIY treatment:

1. The team of office professionals devoted to your wellbeing

When you call Sturgill Orthodontics, the phone will be answered by a knowledgeable individual who knows you by name, knows your interests, knows your unique financial situation, and knows your schedule. You are not a customer, but a patient. You are not one of many, but one that matters.

2. The team of skilled dental assistants and lab technicians

At-home aligner companies cut costs by shifting responsibility for certain orthodontic tasks to unlicensed auxiliary staff and to their customers. Moreover, they limit the amount of correction to only extremely minor corrections. For example, customers are expected to take their own molds and are provided with the materials to do so. Sounds simple, right? In actuality, taking and making dental molds is a complicated task best performed by a licensed dental professional. Slight errors in the process could result in aligners that do not fit or do not properly shift your teeth. Still sound simple?

3. The licensed, highly-educated orthodontist of your choosing

While at-home aligner companies state that a dentist reviews each case, customers are not permitted to choose which dentist, do not know how much time the dentist spends reviewing their case, and do not receive a proper clinical exam. Many of these dentists are foreign-trained and pressured to never deny a case. 

When choosing your orthodontist, you should consider their educational background, their work, and their patient reviews. You want a care-provider who fits your needs; and you should be able to choose that dentist. Moreover, clinical exams are a vital part of your treatment. Your orthodontist examines you, talks to you, and considers factors such as your oral health and skeletal structure when reviewing your case. At Sturgill Orthodontics, you will see Dr. Sturgill at every visit: reviewing your case, chatting with you, and making sure you are progressing well.

4. The full comprehensive treatment you deserve

Many at-home treatment companies limit the number of trays provided as the movement that occurs is very minimal (1mm or less). In actuality, comprehensive aligner treatment could require several rounds of aligners, not to mention enameloplasty, occlusal equilibration, elastic wear, or interproximal reduction. “Straighter” teeth does not necessarily mean “straight” teeth. At Sturgill Orthodontics, additional aligners — called a “refinement” — are part of your fixed treatment quote. We will do whatever it takes to get you the perfect smile you deserve, without cutting corners. Furthermore, at Sturgill Orthodontics, you pay for your final results. This means that even if Dr. Sturgill determines that you need braces to get ideal results, he will do so at no additional cost, because we guaranteed a Sturgill Smile. We won’t settle for a job half-done; your teeth won’t be “a little better” but beautiful!

Remember that moving teeth is a medical procedure best performed by a licensed orthodontist. When choosing your care provider, make sure you have all the facts and make the selection that best suits your needs. 

Curious about your smile? Call us to schedule your free consultation and learn about your options! Or follow us on Instagram and Facebook to hear directly from our wonderful patients.