Endodontics is a dental speciality that deals with treating the pain associated with tooth infection and/or injury. Since Liberty County is a rural community, certain dental specialities are not always widely available. Due to high demand at its Richmond Hill location, Coastal Endodontics, the office of Dr. Christopher S. Lea, DDS, is opening a second office in Hinesville at the end of this month.
Staffers at the new practice are looking forward to serving the area with a location that will be convenient for Liberty residents, especially those serving Fort Stewart.
“I am prior Army and feel obligated to take care of our soldiers and family members,” Lea said. He added that although there are a couple of oral surgeons and orthodontists in the Hinesville area, his Richmond Hill office was the closest endodontic office to Liberty County, and he thinks having an endodontist in the area will help local dentists in referring patients for speciality care.
“We would get asked all the time when we would open an office in Hinesville, so the seed was planted in our head,” he said. He added that the Hinesville office has been in the works for about three years now.
Lea and his wife, Jolene, are striving to make patients feel at home in their new office. They said that it does not look like a dentist’s office since they renovated a home in a historic housing district on East Mills Avenue.
“It’s more like a spa than it is a dental office,” Lea joked. He said his wife brings a more holistic approach to the practice — controlling the office environment to make it more soothing and relaxing by using specific music, aromatherapy and providing blankets for patients during treatment.
“It’s not your typical dentist’s office. ... There are no televisions in the office at all because watching TV raises blood pressure,” Jolene Lea said.
Dr. Lea was a general dentist for five years before becoming an endodontist and has nine years of experience in saving teeth and keeping people out of pain. He and his practice associates pride themselves on using technological advances in dentistry that can help make treatments more precise, decrease discomfort and speed healing
Advances such as 3-D cone beam computed tomography help him to detect fractures and cracks, hidden canals, sinus tracks and nerve bundles before starting any treatment — all things a traditional X-ray would not be able to find.
He uses the latest in digital X-ray technology, which displays a much clearer X-ray image on a computer screen and results in one-sixth the amount of exposure to radiation.
The Zeiss microscopes used in all procedures offer improved lighting, magnification and detection of root fractures and abnormalities. During surgical procedures, the microscope can minimize the size of the surgical site and improve suture accuracy, which will reduce pain and speed healing time, Lea said. Computer-generated anesthesia means patients no longer need to see a large needle going into their mouths. The anesthesia is completely controlled by the computer an ensures patients get just the right amount to keep the procedure pain-free.
Lea offers non-surgical, modern root-canal therapy; root-canal re-treatment; and post care. He performs apicoectomy surgery to repair damaged root surfaces and surrounding bone. He also specializes in repairs due to traumatic tooth injuries, cracked teeth and pupal revascularization.
The new office will consist of a staff of five, and Lea will work between the two offices at first until they bring on a new, full-time endodontist at the Hinesville location.
Lea and his staff will hold a grand-opening celebration for the community from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the new office, 111 E. Mills Ave.
The new office will begin seeing patients in Hinesville March 7. Since endodontics is a dental specialty, Lea said about 90 percent of patients come to him by way of referral.
To schedule an appointment or for more information being referred, go to www.coastalendo.net.