Carefree Smile at Mission of Mercy

Dr. Samuel Swainhart and the team at Carefree Smile were pleased to volunteer at the annual free dentistry event, the Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy.  The December event, now in its seventh year and hosted at the AZ State Fairgrounds, delivered $1.9 million in free dental care by hundreds of volunteers.  Dr. Swainhart was joined by his team members, including two assistants and two dental hygienists.

“Giving back to the community is so important, and the Mission of Mercy provides such an excellent way for us to do that.  Arriving to the Coliseum in the early AM and seeing tents lined up with hundreds of people camping out for a chance at free dental care, is very humbling.”

Dr. Swainhart, a US Army veteran, has been involved with international mission trips to Haiti, Mexico, and Brazil.  He said, “You don’t have to leave Maricopa County to find the same desperate need that you might see in developing nations.  We have great need right here in our state.”

The Carefree Smile team provided nearly 50 dental extractions, as well as volunteered in the triage and radiograph areas of the event.  Other free procedures provided included cleanings, fillings, root canals, and dentures.

For more information about the Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy, please visit


Bethanie, Dr. Swainhart, and Gina in Oral Surgery


Gina, Kelly, Dr. Swainhart, Bethanie, Delea, and Gary at the Mission of Mercy

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

My dentist told me that my wisdom teeth are impacted.  What does that mean?

As wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) begin to emerge in one’s teenage years or early twenties, they may become stuck in bone and tissue if there is not enough room in the mouth for the teeth.  When a wisdom tooth is stuck in bone or tissue, this is called impaction or an impacted wisdom tooth.

What are the different types of impacted wisdom teeth?

A wisdom tooth can be impacted completely in the bone, partially impacted in the bone, or impacted in the gum tissue.  There are also different angles in which a wisdom tooth can be impacted.  For example a wisdom tooth could be impacted horizontally, diagonally, or vertically.  These different features contribute to the complications of leaving the wisdom teeth in place versus extraction.

Is it necessary to pull my impacted wisdom teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth can be ticking time bombs, waiting to cause pain at the least possible time.  A wisdom tooth could go years without being infected until it suddenly flairs up causing pain, swelling, and infection.  If a wisdom tooth looks like it could become symptomatic in the future, it is often better to be proactive versus reactive in extracting.

Do Dentists Use Mercury Fillings Anymore?

What is an amalgam filling?

Amalgam fillings, sometimes referred to as mercury fillings, have been a restorative dental material for over 100 years.  The amalgam is a mixture of metals including elemental liquid mercury, silver, tin, and copper.

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From Fort Hood to North Scottsdale

Dr. Samuel R. SwainhartAt three o’clock in an early April morning, Captain Samuel R. Swainhart of the US Army Dental Corps received a phone call he would not forget. It was the morning following the tragic 2014 shooting spree that had once again rocked the Fort Hood community, leaving four people dead and fourteen injured. Swainhart, a general dentist and the installation’s forensic dental officer, was called to provide identification of the shooter and victims.

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Simone Biles’ Beautiful Teeth and Perfect Smile

Simone Biles Teeth Smile

Simone Biles Perfect Teeth and Smile

Simone Biles has become the Team USA all-star of the Rio Summer Olympic Games. Not only is she tremendously gifted, talented, and beautiful, but she also has a perfect smile. We know that in past photos she was seen wearing braces, and the investment certainly paid off.  Her teeth are perfectly aligned.

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Is Fluoride Varnish Necessary for Adults?

Our mission at Carefree Smile is to help you achieve your optimal oral health and smile.  To that end, many of the treatments that we provide to our patients are preventative treatments, to help reduce the future likelihood of dental disease or dental problems.  At our dental practice in North Scottsdale, we treat children as well as adults.  Oftentimes, fluoride is readily accepted by patients as a valuable treatment for children, but many adults are unaware of the strong benefits that fluoride varnish provides for their dentition.

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What are these bony bumps on my jaw bone?

Do you have a bony growth on your jaw bone?

Bony growths on either the mandible or hard palate are known as tori or torus if there is only one.  Mandibular tori are bony growths typically found on the inside of both sides of the mandible.  A maxillary torus is a bony growth found on the hard palate.

Tori are fairly common, are more likely found in females, and are more likely in the upper jaw than the lower jaw.  Genetics play a large part in the development of tori, as well as local stresses such as clenching and grinding.

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What is best way to whiten my teeth?

Is there a “best” way to whiten your teeth?  The answer to this question has a lot to do with the current condition of your teeth, their shade, and the sources of discoloration.  As always, we recommend a consultation at our dental practice Carefree Smile.  We offer cosmetic and general dentistry procedures and serve communities in Carefree, Cave Creek, and Scottsdale, Arizona.  There are a few types of whitening products that Dr. Swainhart recommends: whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, Zoom!® whitening, and KöR® whitening or bleaching trays.

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