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What is an Integrative Dentist?

What does it mean to be an integrative dentist? Dentists often have different explanations for this term. At our dentist office, Lifetime Smiles, we use a comprehensive approach to cosmetic and restorative dentistry. We do more than simply evaluating teeth, and that’s what makes us different — and we believe better — than many other dentist offices.

The way we work is unique because, yes, we look at your teeth, but we also consider your bite and jaw function, your bone and gums, and how you want your smile to look. We go even further and consider how all the above relate to each other and to your health. This is not something most other dentists do.

Why is our dentist office different?

forester-office
Everybody that goes to dental school graduates with a bare minimum knowledge of how to do things involving dental health. For the most part, people come to dentists with something broken. And dentists try to fix the problem to the best of their ability.

Many of the dentists today who don’t have enough training or experience will simply try to repair, repair, repair. And over a lifetime, a patient can end up with a mouthful of hodgepodge repair dentistry. The patient will also spend a fortune on their dental care because they are continuing to repair, instead of getting healthy.

Many dentists choose to stick with their minimal training and expertise. They only do the minimal amount of continuing education needed to maintain their license. Other dentists develop more skills, often in one niche, spending time trying to master that one area.

Finally, there is a small group of dentists who choose a long, difficult journey trying to become the best they can be to practice the best dentistry possible. These dentists commit to excellence — And our dentist Dr. Forester is one of these dentists.

He has been fortunate to learn from some of the best clinical dentists around the world. He continually expands his education and has completed intensive coursework at the Pankey Institute, the Dawson Academy in Florida, and one of the country’s leading institutions of advanced dental training, the Kois Center in Seattle.


We think of our way of working as a wellness model, rather than a repair model.

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Here is how we work: We take more time with each patient upfront, and then determine what is causing any problems in their mouth. We do our best to eliminate the cause. This way we help our patients get healthy for good. And in the long run, this means our patients’ oral care will be much less expensive.

To better understand our care, this is an analogy our well-established, experienced dentist Dr. Forester likes to use:

Say you walked into your kitchen one day, and your kitchen window was broken, and you saw glass in the sink. Your first thought would probably be, “What caused this?”

Now, if you found a baseball in your sink, you would know the broken window was caused by the neighbor kid who threw it there. You would fix the window and not worry about it breaking again, unless the kid threw another ball of course.

But if you walked into your kitchen and didn’t see any cause of the broken window, you would scratch your head and maybe you would repair the window. And then, a month or two later, it may be broken again, and you’d have to replace it again.

Then, one day you would happen to be in the kitchen when it was storming, and the wind was blowing hard. You would see the tree next to the window blow over, and a limb would break the glass. And you would think, “Aha, that’s why the window is continuing to break.” And when you would replace the glass, you would also need to take care of the source of the problem, which would be the limb. So you’d cut the limbs back or make other changes and you’d fix the problem.

That’s how we work at Lifetime Smiles. We look at the root cause of the problem and seek to fix this, rather than simply repairing the problem.

Dentistry hasn’t always operated on this repair model. Years ago, it was common knowledge that your teeth could make you sick. But over time, dentistry became more about fixing teeth and less about fixing health.

We are part of a movement back toward total body wellness, and we believe you will be happy with our approach. But you don’t have to take our word for it …

Here are what some people have said about our office:

  • “Dr. Forester is the best dentist I ever had. I am so thankful someone recommended him to me. He truly cares about your health, not about how many procedures he can recommend to make money like many dentists I have had in the past.”
  • “I now look forward to going to the dentist rather than dreading it!”

Our comprehensive dentistry approach

Dr. Jim Forester Johns Creek Dentist
At Lifetime Smiles, there are four different areas we look at and blend together. Obviously, we are dentists, and we look at teeth because that’s what we are about. But teeth are in your mouth. So, we look at the gums and bone that hold your teeth, and we consider the whole gum disease model.

And the teeth have to work together. That includes the bite and the occlusion — They have to be in harmony with each other.

And the last segment is how the teeth fit in your face. We want them to look good. Some people don’t care how their mouths look. But in today’s world, most people want a pretty smile. And a good smile makes you look younger and more attractive, which is never a bad thing.

Our comprehensive dental exams are able to detect minor issues before they become huge problems that can negatively impact your health. For example, we offer oral cancer screenings, as well as screenings for periodontal disease. If these two conditions are not caught early on, they can cause significant damage to your entire body and may even lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other serious issues.

We also examine other dental-related issues that may be causing you difficulties. These include acid reflux, grinding the teeth, snoring, sleep apnea, diet, gum disease, high blood pressure, and more.


We want to empower our patients to have healthy smiles

Another thing we do is to educate our patients. We want you to be able to take care of your own teeth and not just come to the dentist when you have a problem.

We listen to your concerns, and take the time to answer your questions fully and honestly. This way you can make informed choices from our available treatment options.


Choose Lifetime Smile, for a beautiful — and lasting! — smile

At our Johns Creek, GA, dentist office, we really care about our patients. We treat each patient with respect, as if they are a member of our own family. We give each person a lot of personal attention, and we take the time to develop a long-term relationship with each person too.

We would be happy work with you to co-develop a customized plan of treatment that meets your needs and desires and also allows you to achieve a beautiful smile at a pace that is comfortable to you. And we want you to keep that smile for a lifetime.

Though we focus on quality, not volume, we are accepting new patients. We would love to have as many Johns Creek residents as possible to have healthy smiles.

If you are new to the Johns Creek area or you are ready for a new dentist, we hope you will choose Lifetime Smiles and see the difference in our care for you and your family.

Call 770-282-9239 today with any questions you may have or to setup an appointment for you or your family member.