Creating Wonderful Smiles
Ever heard of the Damon System?
These braces have taken over West Coast orthodontics and are slowly making their way to East Tennessee.
Knoxville orthodontist Jim Pickering is very skilled with the Damon System, and his practices have won Cityview’s top spot, thanks to his determination to stay on top of dental advances, his friendly bedside manner, and his welcoming staff.
“I’m honored and humbled to be voted number one because that means our patients are happy with the services we provide,” he says.
His partner, Dr. Tyler Allen, agrees.
“It’s Dr. Pickering’s professionalism, kind heart, clinical experience and caring staff that won the award,” he says.
It was an accident many years ago that Pickering calls “a blessing and a curse” that led him into dentistry.
“I was 14 and two months from getting out of braces when a baseball knocked out six of my front teeth,” he says. “They were able to save them, but I had to have braces put right back on. I had a fantastic orthodontist named Tom Townes. He started straightening my teeth and I became fascinated that he could put everything back the way it’s supposed to be. I thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’ There are very few people who know what they want to do in middle school.”
Pickering went on to dental school at the University of Tennessee and then to Vanderbilt University for orthodontic training, becoming Vandy’s first orthodontic resident. He says he always knew he wanted to come back to Knoxville, though.
“I grew up here,” he says. “This is where my family’s from…I’ve been in business since 1995.” Since then, Pickering has brought on a like-minded partner, Dr. Tyler Allen. “We offer big beautiful, broad smiles, and great bites. How do we accomplish that? Through Damon braces and Invisalign.”
Pickering was the first Knoxville orthodontist to offer Damon braces. He explains that, while their cost is roughly the same as other braces, they are less stressful on the bones and give quicker and more comfortable results. While they are about the same size as traditional metal braces, they use a specialized slide that helps reduce the amount of pressure on the tooth. Patients need fewer adjustments since there are no elastic bands to replace.
This quick, comfortable system benefits both teenage and adult patients. It also has tremendous benefits for children with cleft lip and palate, whom Pickering treats as the orthodontic consultant to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
Due to the severity of his accident and limitations of braces at the time, only his front teeth could be straighened. A close colleague even noted Pickering was the orthodontist with “the bad bite”. Eventually he got to experience the Damon system for himself.
“At age 48, I decided to ‘take a dose of my own medicine’ and give myself a great bite and a wonderful smile. I used three different types of Damon braces during my treatment to see what each felt like and be better able to treat my patients.”
In addition to the Damon System, Pickering and Allen have also treated hundreds of patients with Invisalign trays. The custom-made clear plastic aligners help shift teeth into the proper position without being noticed. They can be removed to eat, drink or brush.