The Day I Was Crowned (at Shades Creek Dental)

While this is a sponsored post, it is my honest and unbiased opinion based on my personal experiences at Shades Creek Dental. - Ericka (Note: Ericka paid for her work to be done.)

My Crowning Moment

After my first visit to Shades Creek Dental, Dr. MacBeth told me, “You need a crown.”

So, I was like, “I know, right?!” 

Miss America dreams die hard, and I was looking forward to getting something sparkly! 

[If you missed Part 1 of my experience with Shades Creek Dental, check it out here.)

Dr. MacBeth and me at Shades Creek Dental

Turns out he didn’t have that kind of crown in mind. Bummer. 

Dr. MacBeth and me at Shades Creek Dental

I learned really quickly that my teeth were in rough shape. Like . . . “We need to do a lot of work,” rough. Ouch.

I’d been through a really stressful (years-long) season, and that stress (coupled with past dental trauma) made me put off finding a new dentist in Birmingham. Big mistake! It turns out that long-term stress can cause systemic health issues that can negatively affect multiple things in your body, including your teeth.

My Little PSA

Mamas, consider this my PSA! If you’re going through a particularly difficult season, know it can take a toll on those pearly whites. Stress can cause acute grinding issues, acidic erosion, and vitamin deficiencies. These all can make you more susceptible to cavities. Stress can affect your teeth in many negative ways, so be sure to keep regular appointments with your dentist!

The Bad News . . . and the Good News

The bad news? I had a long list of dental issues that needed attention. The good news? I found a dentist that could do it all in-house! And did I mention he could do it in only two appointments with the assistance of some of the kindest, most compassionate hygienists ever?!

The Really Good News

And the really good news? Shades Creek Dental offers discounts through their “Dental Savings Plan!” Thank goodness!

Hooray for payment plans at Shades Creek Dental!

My first visit included a consultation and cleaning. My second visit addressed my other dental issues. I felt surprisingly calm and ready to get my (ceramic) crown. (Why, oh why, couldn’t it include rhinestones though?!)

Shanna took me back to one of the beautiful rooms in Shades Creek Dental and gave me a cozy blanket. Then Rhonda gave me a pep talk. Now it was time for my “happy gas!”

Looking lovely at Shades Creek Dental!

Nitrous Oxide Time

It’s always fun when you get to rock a glowing nose, right? I felt a bit like Rudolph’s girlfriend at this point. After a few minutes of nitrous oxide, I was happy and relaxed. I’d never used nitrous before coming to Shades Creek Dental, but I’m thrilled they offer it for all their dental procedures. It’s a low risk, low cost way to make a normally stressful experience much more bearable.

Instead of white knuckling it and fighting back tears (which is how I usually endure dental work), I remained calm. I love how they answered all my questions about the nitrous and worked with me to find a comfortable level.

Now the Numbing Gel

Once my “happy gas” had time to work, it was time for the numbing to start. I was pleasantly surprised to find they use numbing gel before shots to lessen some of the pain. To top it off, Shanna very sweetly rubbed my arm while I got my shots, which was so comforting! 

Ready for My Close-up!

Next came the inter-oral camera to take a 3D image of the area the crown would go. I love that I didn’t have to bite anything or have any icky compounds in my mouth to create a mold. After a few cute beeps of their “magic wand” (that sounded a bit like a wind chime), Dr. MacBeth had all he needed to create my crown.

While Dr. MacBeth worked to drill and fill some cavities in other teeth, his incredible 3D printer was creating my crown. Forty-five minutes later, they brought back this cute little lavender crown to check the fit. (As much fun as I thought it might be to have a lavender tooth, they assured me it would be white when they were done!)

My little lavender tooth (Shades Creek Dental)

The Perfect Fit

I was amazed! I’ve heard so many horror stories from friends and family about ill-fitting temporary crowns that break, fall off, or are swallowed. Then the temporary crown has to be replaced a second time, while still waiting on their permanent crown. It was incredible to have a permanent crown created in a matter of minutes. It was a perfect fit! 

In less than two hours, I had an old silver filling removed, multiple cavities filled, a cosmetic bonding repaired, and I’d been “crowned.” Dr. MacBeth even kept me entertained by singing some late ’90’s/early 2000’s music while he worked!

All smiles at Shades Creek Dental!

I am so thankful that after two short visits, I have three years of dental issues behind me. I’m grateful for a great dentist and his amazing staff that I trust and will use for years to come. My smile looks amazing, and it feels wonderful to know that these appointments are behind me.

If you’re looking for a place to get a crown (or just a wonderful dental office that will take great care of your teeth and of you), then give Shades Creek Dental a call today! 



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Just days after graduating from Auburn University, Ericka took a trip to Africa that changed her life forever. She discovered two unexpected things there: a passion for orphan care, and her husband Rusty! Together they founded The Sound of Hope, and have spent the past 10+ years working to provide holistic care to vulnerable children around the world. Though her heart (and time) is divided between other countries – she’s proud to call Birmingham, Alabama home! When Ericka & Rusty decided to grow their family through adoption, they never guessed it would take five heart-wrenching years to get their daughter home from Thailand. These days Ericka tries to soak up every moment of long-awaited motherhood to their beautiful little girl, Kate. Their Thai darling is growing up way too fast, and Ericka is mildly obsessed with over-documenting it all on Instagram and her blog! In addition to managing The Sound of Hope, Ericka and her husband run a video & photography business called RJackson Media. In her “free time" (do moms have free time?!) Ericka enjoys gardening, decorating, and DIY projects. She also loves singing, dancing, and acting – and was cast in her very first musical theatre role last year. She firmly believes that you’re never too old to try something new!