Everything Under One Roof

Quality family dentistry in Tacoma, WA

Preventative Treatments to Keep Your Smile for a Lifetime

Maintaining excellent oral health contributes to the well-being of your entire body.It’s never been more important to visit your Tacoma family dentist regularly.

Keep Your Smile Healthy

Learn more about our dentistry services for your family by clicking each photo.

Comprehensive Dental Exams - Close up on woman's teeth
Comprehensive Exams

A comprehensive dental exam includes a thorough look at your entire mouth, head, and neck area. We need to know your complete medical history and potentially request an X-ray for our records.

An important part is keeping your medical chart up-to-date. Dr. Macks appreciates knowing any health conditions that have come up since your last visit.

Children's comprehensive dental exams are also strongly recommended on a yearly basis. As with any children's dental compressive exams, it is better to find out early rather than later.

Many diseases can affect your mouth. For example, Diabetes patients are at a higher risk of periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases can affect your blood sugar levels and can make diabetes harder to control.

If you have been diagnosed with any diseases, let Dr. Macks know. It is important to know if you are taking any medications, which includes prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines. Even diseases that you may believe to be unrelated are important as we plan your treatment.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy of the Infographic: Why Comprehensive Dentistry Makes Sense.

Tacoma Extractions - Professional Man smiling

Dental extractions or tooth pulling most often happens with tooth decay, periodontal disease or dental trauma.

Tooth extractions are generally straight forward and usually performed when awake. A local anesthetic is administered for your comfort. Dr. Macks will first try to save the tooth if possible. If not then with gentle care Dr. Macks will make sure you are absolutely comfortable and begin the 5-15 minute process.

Reasons for Tooth Extraction:

  • Some teeth block other teeth from coming in.
  • Baby teeth sometimes don't fall out in time for permanent teeth to come in.
  • When getting braces, some teeth may need to be extracted to create room.
  • Patients receiving cancer treatment may need to have teeth extracted.
  • Patients getting organ transplants may need teeth extracted.

For the past 30 years, Dr. Macks has performed dental extractions and our goal is to get you back on course with the least amount of down-time possible.

Tacoma Sleep Apnea - Man asleep at desk
Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.

Sleep Apnea is a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep suffers. It is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

Dr. Macks treats Sleep Apnea in his Tacoma office right off I-5 and near the Tacoma Mall. If your Sleep Apnea goes untreated a few of the common side effects are listed below:

  • Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure.
  • Make arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats, more likely.
  • Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents.
  • Increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

Sleep Apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery and breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people.

Please ask Dr. Macks or staff about what the best options are for treating your Sleep Apnea condition.

Woman with big smile - Tacoma Wisdom teeth
Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third molars in the very back of your mouth. In many instances, Dr. Macks suggests having them removed sooner than later. Dr. Macks believes it is better to have your wisdom teeth removed before they can cause problems.

As the Wisdom teeth emerge partially through the gums, a passageway is created. This becomes a magnet for bacteria, which can cause gum disease and oral infection.

Wisdom Teeth may be necessary to remove if you experience any of the following changes:

  • Pain
  • Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Gum Disease
  • Extensive Tooth Decay

The decision to remove your wisdom teeth isn't always clear. At your appointment with Dr. Macks, he will explain your options or treatment plans that are available.

Man leaning back and resting - sedation dentistry

Dr. Macks is a strong believer in comfort for his patients. Not all patients enjoy going to the dentist and that is why Dr. Macks offers Nitrous Sedation.

Nitrous Sedation is one of the more commonly requested types of anesthesia from patients who are nervous about their trip to the dentist office.

Nitrous typically evokes a relaxed atmosphere while in the dental chair. It is administered through a small nose hood worn during your procedure. Nitrous Sedation offers a minimal or mild sedation that helps our patients achieve a relaxed feeling.

Woman with big smile - Tacoma Fillings

Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Alan Macks uses dental fillings in his Tacoma office for restorative dentistry. The Dental fillings are used to repair small tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged surfaces of the teeth.

The tooth decay, commonly known as a cavity, will be removed, cleaned of bacteria and debris then filled and polished. In some instances, Dr. Macks will apply the filling in layers according to the color of your teeth; once this has been done a special light will "cure" or harden each layer of material. When the multi-layering process is completed Dr. Macks will then shape the composite material to the desired result.

Dental fillings may include composite, porcelain or silver amalgam. Fillings can also be used to smooth out or even surfaces for better biting or chewing.

Before and after fillings replaced
Woman smiling outdoors - Preventative care

Dr. Macks' Preventative Dentistry plan emphasizes the importance of hygiene procedures such as daily brushing, flossing to prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases or conditions.

Combining at-home oral care with trips to Tacoma Dentist Dr. Macks is a great place to start. Listening and following Dr. Macks' instructions are a great way to keep your mouth happy and healthy.

Brushing and flossing after every meal is a great place to start. This will remove plaque that can build up. Fluoride use also strengthens your teeth and helps with tooth decay.

Diet is a dental health essential. Foods that have sugars and carbohydrates feed the bacteria that produce dental plaque while calcium-poor diets increase your chances of developing gum disease and jaw deterioration.

Regular Dental visits with Dr. Macks is important. Having a regularly scheduled appointment every 6 months will give you the best result. Detecting a problem before it becomes one is a major source of good dental health.

Man with big white smile - Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Therapy

Dr. Macks routinely performs Root Canal Therapy in his Tacoma office. Root Canal Therapy is necessary when decay has killed a tooth or is likely to in the future.

If the painful infection in the pulp of the tooth isn’t addressed, it will more than likely spread to other teeth causing further damage. Root canal therapy can also be used to treat infections that have developed into an abscessed tooth.

As Dr. Macks removes the infected pulp, he will fill it with the necessary filling materials. He will discuss the pros/cons of each material. This will effectively treat or prevent further infection.

If you do have an infected tooth, bacteria from the mouth have the potential to enter the bloodstream and potentially cause other infections to different parts of your body.

Because the root canal removes the pulp from inside the tooth, it becomes more fragile and potentially break if not covered up with a cap or crown. Dr. Macks and his staff will always walk you through our procedures and explain all your options before moving forward with treatment.

Children making each other smile - childrens dentistry
Children's Dentistry

How often should my children be seen by the dentist?

Dr. Macks believes firmly in starting your child's oral health off on the right foot. For over 30 years Dr. Macks has been providing Children's Gentle Dentistry at his Tacoma office.

Tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease affecting children today.

Parents play a vital role in the oral health of their child. Good oral hygiene and a balanced, nutritious diet for your child will help battle tooth decay and gum disease. Early prevention is where it all starts.

Today's all-natural and organic drinks have a high concentration of sugars. Children's drinking habits are going to be a big problem down the road. 2-4-year-olds are getting way too much at a young age.

Dr. Macks recommends the following for your children's oral health:

  • Wipe your newborn baby's gums with a clean washcloth.
  • Softly brush your toddler's emerging teeth.
  • Brush your preschooler's teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, make sure they spit it out.
  • Floss their teeth every day when two or more touch.
  • Supervise brushing and flossing until your child is 7 or 8.
  • Schedule checkups every six months.
  • A child's first pediatric dental visit should occur within six months of the first tooth.
  • Never put a baby to bed with their bottle.
  • Don't dip pacifiers in honey or sugar. Don't fill bottles with juice or sugar water.
  • Encourage drinking from a cup and giving up pacifiers at the age of 1.
  • Don't share spoons with your children as bacteria can pass from your mouth to theirs.
  • Protect teeth with sealants; a coating applied by the dentist which helps prevent decay.
  • Have children wear mouth guards when playing sports.

Woman holding hands to her mouth smiling - oral cancer screening
Oral Cancer Screening

Dr. Macks suggests having an oral exam during your routine visit to his Tacoma office. The goal would be to find any abnormalities early in the process.

Who should consider oral cancer screening?

  • Patients with the use of tobacco such as cigars, pipes, cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snuff among others.
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis.

Check with Dentist Dr. Macks to see if oral cancer screening is appropriate for you.

Also, ask for ways that you can reduce the risk of oral cancer.

Please call Dr. Alan Macks' friendly office staff with any questions. They can walk you through any insurance or private pay questions.

graphic of peeling off old teeth for new ones - teeth cleaning
Teeth Cleaning

What is the difference between routine teeth cleaning and a deep teeth cleaning?

Dr. Macks offers both types of cleaning at his Tacoma office located at 5319 Tacoma Mall Blvd. Tacoma, WA 98409.

Routine teeth cleaning involves a cleaning every six months. This is used as a preventative maintenance method for those who have a healthy mouth. One of our four dental hygienists will explain the procedure thoroughly and the importance of keeping on a schedule. Routine Teeth Cleaning includes removing tartar and plaque from your teeth and below the gumline. Your teeth will also be polished and screened for any potential decay or other issues.

Dr. Macks' office also performs what is called deep teeth cleaning. Deep Teeth Cleaning involves removing plaque, bacteria and calculus from the gum. This allows the tissues to start healing. The gums form a protective shield between the root of the tooth and outside environment around the teeth. Once inflammation starts to occur a deep cleaning is necessary. If it isn't treated in time, bone loss will occur.

Tacoma night guard tray being held by two fingers

Dr. Macks strongly believes in night guards to take the pressure off your teeth when you sleep. It also helps reduce headaches associated with teeth grinding. Custom-fitted night guards are a vital part of the process. Due to the use of the special material, extra time and work involved these tend to be a bit more expensive. But in the end, it provides much more comfort and protection over the long haul.

By not protecting your teeth from grinding at night a few different dental problems can arise. Sore jaws, constant headaches and in some cases tooth loss can all be problems of teeth grinding.

Steps to stop teeth grinding:

  • Reduce the stress in your life.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding usually intensifies after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils, pens or anything that isn't food.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek or in front of your earlobe.
  • Ask Dr. Macks his opinion on night guards and how it could help you stop the grinding at night.

Please call Dr. Alan Macks' friendly office staff with any questions. They can walk you through any insurance or private pay questions.

Older couple getting their quality of life back after TMJ treatment
TMJ/TMD Treatment

As your Tacoma family dentists, we're committed to providing comprehensive care to ensure optimal overall wellness. This includes taking a comprehensive approach to your dental care that looks beyond the teeth, such as TMJ treatment.

Are you suffering from the following symptoms?

  • - Chronic headaches or migraines
  • - Ringing in the ears
  • - Tingling fingers
  • - Popping in the jaw when chewing
  • - Worn teeth
  • - Facial, neck, or upper back pain

All of these symptoms are signs you're experiencing an unbalanced jaw joint, also known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This means your TMJ and bite are not in harmony with each other, and there are non-invasive solutions to help relieve your pain.

How can you get out of pain?

There are multiple solutions you can pursue to help relieve your pain. With our Tacoma dentists, we can use:

  • - Nightguards: When you sleep, you may be grinding your teeth, which is a standard indicator of TMJ disorder. Custom-fitted nightguards can protect your teeth from the nightly grind and relieve your pain.
  • - Botox: On top of getting a cosmetic benefit, Botox can help relieve TMJ pain and chronic headaches.

Stop living life in pain and get your life back! Contact our dental office for a comprehensive consultation.


We Practice Comprehensive Family Dentistry

Alan Macks & Associates family dentistry in Tacoma, WA is committed to taking a comprehensive approach — looking at your entire body health not just your mouth. Why?

Quality of Life

A healthy mouth means a healthy body. It’s all connected.


Disease Prevention

Your dentist can identify symptoms of serious disease.


Cost Savings

Prevent dental problems from recurring or ever happening at all. Save time and money!


Oral health is not just about a beautiful smile. Comprehensive family dentistry can help you achieve total body health and a beautiful, long-lasting smile.

Download our Comprehensive Dentistry Infographic!


To learn some of the benefits of comprehensive dentistry, we have created a free educational download.

Find out how comprehensive dentistry can save you time and money!


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