Southern Maine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Tenderness? Migraines? Jaw Pain? Botox for Fixing TMJ Symptoms!

If you enjoy chatting with friends, chewing your favorite foods, or smiling at loved ones, you can thank your temporomandibular joint or TMJ. All of these activities literally hinge on the TMJ, which is responsible for opening and closing the jaw. But for people with TMJ disorders, these everyday actions can be painful, sore, or downright impossible. 

But where some feel a problem, SMOMS Surgeon Dr. Meaghan Bradley sees a solution. “Oral surgery is all about solving a problem for a patient–whether that’s pain, a spatial problem, or form and function issues,” says Dr. Bradley. TMJ disorders hit all three of those problematic points, but Dr. Bradley is hitting back–with the help of a surprise sidekick: Botox! 

Botox, the well-known brand name in cosmetic injections, comes from the bacteria neurotoxin, clostridium botulinum. Used in microscopic doses in Botox, this neurotoxin effectively paralyzes and relaxes parts of muscle. When injected into the muscles around the jaw, this paralyzation and relaxation results in reduced pain for patients suffering from TMJ disorders.

TMJ disorders result in pain and soreness in the patient’s jaw. This pain reduces a patient’s jaw mobility and use–which only allows the pain to settle in and ultimately increase. This vicious cycle of pain and tension can spread, causing migraines, teeth clenching or grinding (bruxism), as well as pain in the patient’s neck and shoulders. An injection of Botox can break the cycle of pain, creating an opening for healing and relief. 

Dr. Bradley’s training gives her a precise and thorough knowledge of facial anatomy. From skin to bone, and everything in between, oral surgeons know faces inside and out. This makes oral surgeons a trustworthy source for any facial procedure. 

Although TMJ disorders can be treated with surgeries, Dr. Bradley is hesitant to jump straight to the scalpel. “There are steps for treating pain, and Botox is the last non-surgical step for patients,” Dr. Bradley explains, “it can give them their function back without surgery. In fact, around 95% of people with jaw pain don’t need surgery. These injections are great because we can keep people out of the operating room and relieve their symptoms with a minimally-invasive procedure!”

Like all first appointments at SMOMS, a patient can expect their first appointment with Dr. Bradley to be a consultation. At their consultation, the patient and Dr. Bradley will discuss and evaluate their unique case and symptoms, and create a treatment plan that fits them. If injections are part of that treatment plan, the injection appointment will be scheduled and completed by Dr. Bradley at one of SMOMS’ state-of-the-art offices. Patients can feel confident about having their Botox injections in a certified and surgically-cleaned medical facility! An added bonus is that injection appointments don’t take long–only about 30 minutes! 

If you or a loved one suffers from TMJ disorders, bruxism, or chronic migraines, call Southern Maine Oral Surgery at 207-774-2611 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Bradley and break the cycle of pain!

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A (Bon)Fireside Chat with Dr. Meg Bradley

“We’re always solving a problem for the patient–whether that’s pain, a spatial problem, or form and function issues. Oral surgery is very satisfying because we develop and execute a clear solution to a clear problem.”

Dr. Meaghan Bradley joins SMOMS in August 2022, after completing her residency at Boston University/Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. In honor of her summertime debut, we’re moving our “Fireside Chats” to the “Bonfire-side”! So grab a s’mores and read on about the newest SMOMS Surgeon:


Q: What inspired you to enter the oral surgery field? 

Dr. Bradley: I took a summer job for an oral surgery practice in college and was really interested in the procedures, so I asked to shadow one of the doctors during a surgery. The operating room setting was so inspiring that when I came back the next summer, I asked to be trained as an assistant. 

Q: What was the first surgery you performed?

Dr. Bradley: Just a basic tooth extraction. I feel like that’s everyone’s first surgery. 

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Dr. Bradley: Patients always have their own ideas about what a surgery and recovery will look like. Our job as the doctors is to make sure that we communicate the reality of their particular surgery and recovery, and manage their expectations. No matter if a procedure is big or small, sometimes it’s challenging to get everyone on the same page–but that’s essential to things going well. 

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

Dr. Bradley: We’re always solving a problem for the patient–whether that’s pain, a spatial problem, or form and function issues. Oral surgery is very satisfying because we develop and execute a clear solution to a clear problem.  

Q: What is your favorite surgery to perform? 

Dr. Bradley: TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder) surgery is pretty fun, but I like it all. At my residency in Boston Medical Center, we saw a lot of facial trauma cases, with the busiest emergency division in the region. It was my first choice for a residency program for that reason: because I really wanted to see everything.

Q: How does your career impact the way you see the world? 

Dr. Bradley: I do actually look at people’s oral situations when I meet them. They’ll be talking with me, and I’ll be thinking, ‘you could really benefit from some orthognathic surgery.’ I tend to analyze that sort of stuff all the time. 

Q: What are you most looking forward to in joining SMOMS? 

Dr. Bradley: I got to know (SMOMS Surgeons) Dr. Doss and Dr. Mitchell as my instructors in dental school, so I’m pretty excited to work with them. SMOMS is a private practice with a huge scope, and a great mission of providing good care in the community. That’s something I definitely want to be a part of. 

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone from history or alive today, who would it be? 

Dr. Bradley: Abigail Adams. She seems like such a fascinating lady.

Q: What is your favorite vegetable? 

Dr. Bradley: Loofah! I had no idea you could eat them until I was at a market with my fiance and we saw some. They’re actually really tasty. 

Q: What is your favorite cookie?

Dr. Bradley: Oatmeal Raisin. It’s always living in Chocolate Chip’s shadow and deserves more love.

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A (Bon)Fireside Chat with Dr. Rob Walsh

“Remember the old Snickers commercials ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’? People aren’t themselves when they’re in pain. They’re a radically different person. We give them that Snickers bar and fix the pain to get them back to who they really are, after the pain is gone.”

Dr. Rob Walsh joins SMOMS in July 2022, fresh out of his residency at the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. In honor of his summertime debut, we’re moving our “Fireside Chats” to the “Bonfire-side.” So grab a s’mores and read on about the newest SMOMS Surgeon.

Q: What inspired you to enter the oral surgery field? 

Dr. Walsh: When I was little, I wanted to be a brain surgeon. I guess I got pretty close! My father is a general dentist in my hometown in Rhode Island, so that influenced me as well. But through my time in dental school at UNE where the SMOMS surgeons teach, they were such supportive and encouraging mentors that I decided to pursue oral surgery.

Q: What was the first surgery you performed?

Dr. Walsh: Just a standard extraction. (SMOMS Surgeon) Dr. Mitchell actually oversaw the surgery, which was pretty cool. I’ve definitely honed the craft since that first extraction though.

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Dr. Walsh: Surprisingly, it’s not the actual, technical surgery. The surgery itself you can learn and pick up pretty quickly. No school can teach you how to work with your patients and manage patient expectations. You have to learn that on your own. Failure is also an inherent part of any learning curve–you can’t expect to be perfect at everything your first time around, and that little bit of failure can shake you up a bit. But it’s a natural part of learning, and it gets better. 

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

Dr. Walsh: Is it cliche to say ‘helping people’? Because that’s the answer. Operating on a patient who is in very bad condition–and to see them walk out afterwards is just an unbelievable feeling.

Q: What is your favorite surgery to perform? 

Dr. Walsh: Anything trauma related, just because it’s such a big transformation. At Brookdale Hospital where I completed my residency, we specialized in facial trauma. We saw some of the highest numbers of trauma cases in New York City, which is pretty incredible. 

Q: How does your career impact the way you see the world? 

Dr. Walsh: Remember the old Snickers commercials ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’? People aren’t themselves when they’re in pain. They’re a radically different person. We give them that Snickers bar and fix the pain to get them back to who they really are after the pain is gone. So I try to see people that way, who they are without pain.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in joining SMOMS? 

Dr. Walsh: Residency hours and responsibilities are pretty wild, and I haven’t spent as much time with my wife and kids as I’d like. So I’m looking forward to joining the world of private practice to have a little more freedom outside of work. 

Q: If you could have dinner with anyone from history or alive today, who would it be? 

Dr. Walsh: My wife. She’s awesome. 

Q: What is your favorite cartoon? 

Dr. Walsh: Probably CoCoMelon. Or Bubble Guppies. Can you tell that I have little kids? 

Q: What is your favorite fruit?

Dr. Walsh: Apples. No wait! Have you ever had Sumo Oranges? Those are the best fruit in the world.

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Certified SMOMS: Dr. Kris Cooper on Passing his Boards

After 4 years of college, 4 years of dental school, and 6 years of residency, you might think that Dr. Kris Cooper was all schooled out. However, SMOMS’ newest surgeon had one more academic dragon to slay as he settled into private practice: the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery’s (ABOMS) Board Certification Exam. 

ABOMS formed in 1946 to establish a comprehensive and uniform method for examining and certifying Oral Surgeons in America. Since its founding, the Board and its examination–along with the oral surgery practice itself–has seen some dramatic changes. Today’s iteration of the ABOMS Certification Exam consists of two parts: the Qualifying Examination and the Oral Certifying Examination. 

On his quest for Board Certification, Dr. Cooper first had to apply for and complete the Qualifying Examination (QE). The QE is a computer-based exam, testing applicants’ technical knowledge of the fundamental principles of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. The Qualifying Exam contains 300 questions, addressing 10 different subject areas of the practice!

After successfully completing the QE, Dr. Cooper had three years to take–and pass!–the Oral Certifying Examination (OCE) portion. The OCE presents candidates with 3 sections, each with 4 twelve-minute cases to work through. The total time for the OCE is 144 minutes! 

Dr. Cooper didn’t waste a single minute, and signed up to take the very first OCE available after successfully completing his QE. We are thrilled to announce that he has joined the venerable list of current SMOMS surgeons, all of whom passed the ABOMS Board Certification Exam on their first attempt! 

Blog SMOMS asked Dr. Cooper a couple of questions (just what he wanted!) about the ABOMS Board Certification process:

1. What was the most difficult part of the Board Certification Exam? This is the first and only oral exam that most people take in the OMS field. We are used to more traditional, multiple-choice tests. The exam is a lot of work. But it also takes a lot of work just to be Board Eligible! You have to have a dental degree, complete an accredited Oral Surgery program, have an active State Dental License, be actively practicing Oral Surgery, and have hospital privileges just to apply to take the test! 

2. What was your favorite way to study for the Exam? My favorite way to study was in-person with other applicants. We would take turns asking each other potential board questions. It was good just to practice talking through surgical management of patients–it mimicked the actual OCE perfectly. 

3. What advice would you give to someone about to take the ABOMS Certification Exam?  I would tell people to take it as soon as they’re eligible. The closer you are to having left your residency, the more likely you are to remember all of the little detailed information about complicated surgical training. Once you enter private practice, your scope naturally narrows a bit, and some of those minute details can get lost in the shuffle just because they’re not needed or used.

Next time you’re visiting SMOMS, be sure to ask your surgeon about how they continue their education to stay at the top of their field!

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Coming Up SMOMS

At the onset of COVID in 2020, SMOMS followed in the footsteps of other dental and medical practices, hiring Screeners for each of our offices. In addition to greeting our patients, our wonderful Screener Team took patients’ temperatures and ran through a standard set of health questions with our patients. SMOMS could not have opened our doors without the Screener Team, and we are grateful to everyone who worked in that role! 

Two of our screeners, Kelsie and Taylor, took their screening opportunity to the next level, turning it into a full-time position with our clinical staff! Blog SMOMS sat down with each of them for a little Q&A to learn more about their experience: 

Q: Why did you take the Screener Job? 

Kelsie: My step-mom works at SMOMS, so she told me about the job to begin with. I was working as a manager in the food industry, but a change sounded good to me! 

Taylor: I was fresh out of high school when I heard about the opportunity. One of our family friends works at SMOMS and asked if I would want a summer job. I didn’t want to be bored, so I took it!

Q: What was your experience as a Screener? From your perspective, what was the value of that role? 

Kelsie: From my first day, everyone at SMOMS was so welcoming, and everything was so organized! I really valued my opportunity to be the first face our patients saw when they came in. And even in between screenings, I found a way to help out doing other things for the office. I was always busy.

Taylor: Well I certainly wasn’t bored! The staff at SMOMS was always super nice to me, and helped me with any questions. I felt very happy at work, and talking to patients. 

Q: What made you want to change your role with SMOMS?

Kelsie: I heard through the grapevine that SMOMS was looking for new clinical staff, so I was curious and asked if I could shadow for a couple days. I was fascinated by the setup and breakdown of surgeries, and enjoyed taking patients’ vitals. It was such a rewarding, hands-on experience, I knew I wanted to make the change! 

Taylor: I wanted to interact more with the patients! It’s such a good, empathetic outlet. I also wanted to keep trying something new. The more I learned about the practice and surgeries, the more I was interested. When I heard that SMOMS was hiring new clinical staff, it seemed like a natural fit. 

Q: What made you want to stay at SMOMS?

Kelsie: Clinical staff are extensions of the doctor’s hands! That was a hard role to pass up. The staff here really made me feel comfortable about asking every question I had; learning on the job was really normalized and much easier with repetition. Every patient we cared for made me want to stay part of the team.

Taylor: Frankly, I was never a fan of formal school, so this was honestly the perfect opportunity and fit for me. I wasn’t going to pass it up. SMOMS really encourages practical, hands-on, and continuing education with the staff here. I’m taking a radiation course with some other clinical staff right now to get my certification!

Q: How has SMOMS supported you in your career?

Kelsie: There’s always an emphasis on continuing education. A lot of the new-hires are taking a radiology class right now. It’s challenging, but we have a really good staff study group that meets weekly. That’s the way the staff here is! Always supporting each other.

Taylor: Since my first day, the whole staff at SMOMS has been so welcoming and nice. When I say I have been trained by everyone, I mean that! I’m very appreciative of all of the on-the-job training I’ve received and all the questions people have answered for me–I’m already able to give advice to the newer staff! No one’s ever alone.


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Treat Your Teeth!

Feeling like the sugary Maine ice cream season is finally catching up to your teeth? Thinking about how you want your smile to look in back-to-school photos? Just invested in your teeth with oral surgery at SMOMS? Whatever your reason, now is the season to show your teeth a little extra T.L.C.! 

At Southern Maine Oral Surgery, we believe that every day is a good day to treat your teeth with love and care so we created a wish-list of five essential products that won’t break the bank–and will help you create your very home at-home dental spa! 

Toothbrush: Electric and manual toothbrushes can both be used effectively to clean your teeth. When hunting for your new toothbrush, look for soft bristles of varying bristle lengths and angles to reach every surface of your mouth. Whether electrically or manually powered, the most important part of a toothbrush is that it be used twice a day, for two minutes!   

Treat Yourself: Oral B Pro 1000 (Powered)

Treat Yourself: Nimbus Ultra-Soft (Manual)



Fluoride Toothpaste: Now that you have a shiny new toothbrush, you need some lush, sudsy paste to go on top! Don’t be overwhelmed looking at all of the options, and don’t be tempted by new or natural varieties. Keep it classic! Look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal on the box.

Treat Yourself: Crest Gum & Enamel Repair 

Floss: Flossing can seem like a gargantuan task after two minutes of brushing! In reality, flossing 32 teeth takes a little more than 32 seconds…and can add years to your oral health. Your gums are the frames to your teeth, so make sure they’re healthy and strong!

Treat Yourself: Oral B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Floss

Fluoride Mouthwash: Mouthwash is the cool, refreshing reward after the hard labor of brushing and flossing! Just like with your toothpaste, look for a mouthwash that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal on the bottle. Don’t forget to choose your favorite color!

Treat Yourself: Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash

Chewing Gum: Sugar-free chewing gum helps you continue your dental spa day between brushings! Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva flow by reducing plaque acids, which in turn strengthens teeth. The delicious fresh breath is a happy side effect!

Treat Yourself: Ice Breakers Sugar Free Ice Cubes

Interested in curating your own dental spa experience? Check out the ADA’s Seal Product List or ask our SMOMS staff for a recommendation next time you visit our office!  

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A Fireside Chat with Dr. Kris Cooper

At SMOMS, we’re excited to run a special summer edition of our Fireside Chat Series–We’ll call it a Bonfire Chat! Without further ado, we invite you to sit down, grab a s’mores, and learn more about our newest surgeon.

Dr. Kris Cooper joins SMOMS in July 2021, fresh out of his residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 


Q: What inspired you to enter the oral surgery field? 

Dr. Cooper: I wanted to be a dentist my whole life. My mom worked as a dental hygienist, so when I was choosing between medical and dental school, that definitely played a big part in my decision. I love working with my hands, so I naturally gravitated towards the procedure-based surgeries.

Q: What was the first surgery you performed?

Dr. Cooper: It was a wisdom tooth extraction! Tooth number sixteen! I can still remember the patient. It’s all very vivid. My first non-dental surgery was during my medical residency. My first rotation assignment was dealing with burns, so I did a lot of skin grafting. I’m not a squeamish person, but those were some pretty extreme cases. 

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Dr. Cooper: Millimeters. We live at the crossroads between surgeon and dentist, with a unique opportunity for the details of dentistry to shine through. That means that we’re dealing in millimeters and tenths of millimeters with our surgeries. It’s that precision nature of our specialty, but it requires intense focus. 

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

Dr. Cooper: I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and this job allows me to harness that in a really rewarding way. Solving an issue with one procedure is very satisfying to both the provider and the patient. 

Q: What is your favorite surgery to perform? 

Dr. Cooper: Orthognathic (Corrective Jaw) Surgery is exciting because it’s a huge change that happens all at once. It’s really cool to fix such a big problem in a relatively short window of time. That kind of surgery also has a huge impact on the patient; it can be very emotional and sometimes they cry because they’re just so happy at the change. It’s awesome to see that happiness.

Q: How does your career impact the way you see the world? 

Dr. Cooper: Honestly, it doesn’t change how I see people. I make a serious effort not to notice or comment on people’s teeth, because I think they get self-conscious already when they’re around a dental professional. I do get a lot of people asking me for my professional opinion on how to “fix” them. I don’t know what to say sometimes! 

Q: What are you most looking forward to in joining SMOMS? 

Dr. Cooper: I can’t wait to get to work and start treating people. I’ve worked so hard, and for so long, refining my skills in school and this is the moment it all comes together. Personally, I’m also really happy to be back in Maine. I grew up here, and it’s great to be back home.

Q: Do you have a hidden talent? 

Dr. Cooper: I can play the trumpet. But I guess that’s not very hidden when I pull it out and start playing. 

Q: What is your favorite cartoon? 

Dr. Cooper: Probably Trolls. My wife and I have three kids, ages 5, 3, and 1, so I have a pretty good pulse on the current cartoon scene. 

Q: What is your favorite vegetable? 

Dr. Cooper: Tomatoes–I know they’re technically a fruit! But I still love them. I love all vegetables though. I really enjoy gardening and landscaping.

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How do You Spell Oral Surgeon? DDS, DMD, MD, FACS…

Would you trade years of your life (and part of your life savings) for a handful of letters after your name? You might if they signified your commitment to your livelihood, your practice, and your patients!

The surgeons at Southern Maine Oral Surgery have a medley of letter combinations after their names: MD, DDS, DMD, and FACS to be precise. But what do these letters tell you about your surgeon or general dentist? Let’s unpack the alphabet soup of dentistry. 

DDS and DMD are the most common acronyms among dentists, and signify that this individual has graduated from dental school. The American Dental Association reports that the first established Dentistry Degree was awarded in 1840, to graduates of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. These degrees bestowed the title of Doctor of Dental Surgery–DDS. Twenty-seven years later, graduates from Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine received the degree of Dentariae Medicinae Doctorate–Latin for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry, or DMD!  

Whether your dentist or oral surgeon has a DMD or DDS chasing their name, they have fulfilled the same educational requirements to practice general dentistry. Both DDS’s and DMD’s are required to pass the National Board Dental Examination, as well as a clinical board examination specific to their regional area of practice. They must also earn a license to practice dentistry in their state through passing a jurisprudence exam about state laws on medical privacy, practice, and ethics. If a dentist or surgeon decides to move states, they must retest and receive a new license for that state.

Although they specialize in oral medicine, some dentists and surgeons choose to pursue their Doctor of Medicine degree, or MD. The path to earning an MD involves four more years of medical school, passing various national and regional licensure examinations, and completion of a medical residency. Depending on the intended specialty of the MD, their residency term length can vary from 3 — 7+ years. 

The final category of medical labels are Fellowships, such as Dr. Mitchell’s Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). In order to receive the title of Fellow, medical professionals must demonstrate a dedication to continuing their medical education through teaching, practice, and/or research. Additionally, aspiring Fellows must also receive a recommendation from current Fellows, who vouch for the applicant’s character, ethics, and excellence as a medical practitioner. 

Any way you spell it, the letters following our surgeons’ names are more than mere labels: they represent years of dedication to their education and practice of oral surgery and dental medicine. In addition to the individual words they stand for, those initials also stand for your surgeon’s ability to treat you with the highest level of care! 

Next time you visit SMOMS, ask your surgeon about their dental school experience! They’d love to tell you about their favorite part or biggest challenge in achieving their letter label.

Images courtesy of,, and

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Time after Time: How long does it take to place a dental implant?

Between depictions in pop culture and advertisements promising “teeth in a day”, the completion timeline of a high-quality dental implant confuses a lot of patients–and for good reason! The most intricate (and time consuming) part of placing a dental implant happens below the surface of the gum, unseen by the patient.

High quality dental implants do not happen in a single day. The average timeline from consultation to completion is 9 months. Depending on patient variables, an individual’s timeline from implant consultation to completion can range from 6 to 12+ months.

At Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (SMOMS), we want our patients to feel confident in their procedure, and that starts with having all of the facts! Keep reading for a realistic, general timeline for dental implants:

1. Consultation: Every patient walks into our office with a different degree of overall oral health; a patient’s oral health is the single greatest variable for their independent timeline of implant placement. During this initial consultation, one of our SMOMS surgeons will complete a thorough oral exam to determine a patient’s oral health, and to decide if they are a good candidate for dental implants. 

1A. Pre-Implant Treatments: Depending on the results of this exam, pre-implant treatments such as tooth extractions or bone grafts may be necessary. These procedures can add anywhere from 3 – 12 months to a patient’s individual implant timeline. However, they are absolutely necessary for the patient’s overall oral health and the success of the implant.

2. Fixture Placement: Our SMOMS surgeon will place the implant fixture into the patient’s jaw bone. The implant fixture is the screw-like part of the implant that holds the entire implant in place–just like the root of a natural tooth. After the fixture has been placed, it must fully bond with the patient’s jaw bone during a process called “osseointegration.” The osseointegration process takes roughly 3-6 months. 

3. Abutment Placement: Once the implant fixture has osseointegrated with the jaw bone, our SMOMS surgeon and team will place the implant abutment into the fixture. The abutment serves as a sort of landing pad for the implant crown. After the abutment is placed, the patient’s gums will need about 2 weeks to heal around the surgery site. 

4. Crown Placement: Finally a tooth! The crown of the implant is the part that can be seen above the gum-line. This is the part of the implant that will chew a patient’s food, be brushed and flossed, and smile at their friends and family. At this point in the procedure, the patient’s restorative dentist takes the wheel, and will place the crown on the abutment. This is a rewarding–and sometimes emotional–day for the patient! 

A high-quality dental implant is an investment in a patient’s oral and overall health. When placed properly in a healthy mouth–and treated with good care by the patient and their dental team–a dental implant is a smile solution that will last a lifetime. For more information about smile solutions, check out our Blog SMOMS Post: “A Tale of Two Smiles.”

If you are a current implant patient with SMOMS and have questions about your individual timeline, please ask! We look forward to answering every one of your questions. If you or a loved one would like to become an implant patient with SMOMS, call us at 207.774.2611 to schedule your consultation with our team.

(Images courtesy of Wilson Dental Group)

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A Fireside Chat with Dr. Tim Mitchell

At SMOMS, we are beating the winter blues with a series of Fireside Interviews with our fantastic doctors. Sit down, warm up, and learn more about the SMOMS surgeons!

Dr. Tim Mitchell came to SMOMS in 2001, and has been treating our patients with care, skill, and the wit that only an Irishman can supply. 

Q: What inspired you to enter the oral surgery field? 

Dr. Mitchell: I always wanted a job where I was helping people with problems. I definitely enjoyed dental school, but I chose oral surgery because it addresses the basic necessity of people having teeth and jaws that function properly. 

Q: What was the first surgery you performed?

Dr. Mitchell: A good ol’ fashioned tooth extraction! 

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Dr. Mitchell: Managing patient expectations can be challenging because you have to balance their wants with medical reality. Sometimes they don’t mesh very well, and we have to be that bridge to explain the difference.

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? 

Dr. Mitchell: I love meeting our patients. We meet so many people every day and get to work through the technical logistics of their specific case with them. I like seeing cases transition through from beginning to end. 

Q: Do you get nervous before surgeries? 

Dr. Mitchell: Not about the actual procedures, no. I think everyone on staff feels some pressure and nerves just hoping that every day goes well. But that makes us perform better, by doing our best to prepare for every day. We try to control as many variables as possible. 

Q: How does your career impact the way you see the world? 

Dr. Mitchell: I grew up surrounded by a very old-school and super-Irish view that life is hard and full of burdens. We see people at their worst–when they’re in a lot of pain, on top of their other everyday hardships. I see what I do as a chance to get something off of their list of burdens. 

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Dr. Mitchell: A policeman! 

Q: What is your favorite animal? 

Dr. Mitchell: My beagle is the greatest animal in the entire world. 


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