As Greenville’s first prosthodontic practice, Upstate Prosthodontics has seen it all: tooth decay, gum disease, trauma to the face or mouth, birth anomalies, tooth wear, and cancer of the head or neck. Regardless of the condition or challenge, our team always works to identify and remedy your dental issues, while restoring your self-confidence, comfort, and peace of mind. Our singular goal is to give you the highest quality prosthodontic care you will find anywhere.


UP services crowns bridges


UP services dentures


UP services Implant FPO


UP Services TMJ


UP services Sleep Apnea


UP services PatientResources

Patient Resources


Fortunately for us all, dental technology provides a lot of options for restoring and replacing broken or lost teeth. Some of the most popular procedures involve the use of crowns and bridges. Dr. Donald Ridgell is well versed and experienced in these techniques and can give you a full, beautiful, functional set of teeth again.


Crowns have proven to be very useful for a lot of dental applications. When a tooth is badly damaged by trauma or decay, a crown may be just the thing to return you to full dental function. In the case of a decayed tooth, a root canal is often the recommended course of action. The result of a root canal is a tooth that has markedly less structural integrity than a healthy tooth, so while the roots may still be firmly attached, the tooth itself cannot stand up to the wear and tear that is required for a tooth to be useful. A crown is usually a good remedy for this problem. Likewise, when a tooth is broken, it will need some of its structure to be rebuilt. In other words, a crown, also known as a cap, creates a protective outer structure for the tooth. This is bonded to the remaining piece of tooth to work in conjunction with the existing roots. Crowns are also used as attachment points for bridges, a very popular way to replace teeth.


A bridge is a prosthetic designed to “bridge” the gap where a tooth has been lost. There are three kinds of bridges:

  1. The traditional bridge: this type of bridge consists of a prosthetic tooth or teeth and crowns that are fitted to the teeth adjacent to the gap.
  2. The cantilever bridge: this type of bridge is used when the missing tooth only has natural teeth on one side of the gap.
  3. The resin bonded bridge: this type of bridge is attached with metal “wings” that are bonded to adjacent teeth

If you have a cracked, broken, badly decayed, or missing tooth, call Dr. Donald Ridgell at (864) 232-3882 to schedule a consultation or an appointment. Call now and your treatment will be complete and you will have your smile again.


Dentures function as a replacement for your teeth and gums when you are missing any of them.

Denture Types

Partial Dentures: You may think dentures are for patients who have lost all of their teeth, however, that’s not always the case. In fact, many patients who’ve lost several teeth in one arch (side) can benefit from partial dentures. This type of denture is useful when the patient has lost more teeth than can reasonably be replaced with a bridge.

Complete Dentures: A replacement of all of the teeth in one arch, on a removable base. These can be fitted for top teeth, bottom teeth, or both, depending on the patient’s needs.

Immediate Dentures: As the name suggests, this type is available for use as soon as your teeth have been extracted. There are some benefits of immediate dentures over conventional dentures, one is the patient leaves with their new set of teeth that day. A drawback is that when the jawbone heals from the tooth extractions, the fit of the immediate dentures will change and need to be relined to fit the changes in your gums.

Call today so we can address these dental issues and you will rediscover your smile.


Thanks to advances in dental technology, a lost tooth is not exactly the tragedy that it once would have been.

What is a Dental Implant?

Implantation and Osseointegration

The dental implant procedure begins with the surgical implantation of a screw-like titanium post into the jawbone where the patient has lost a tooth. This is done by a surgeon. The implant is placed, then the bone and post are allowed to fuse together as the healing process takes place. This is called osseointegration, and usually takes between three and six months. For patients with insufficient bone mass, a pre-implantation bone graft may be required before you can proceed.

Our staff will coordinate all of your appointments to ensure that the team of dental offices make your treatment smooth and carefree. Dr. Ridgell will explain every procedure so that you have a full understanding of what to expect for your particular case.

Abutment placement, custom crown fabrication and placement

When osseointegration is complete, it essentially becomes a new tooth “root”. The patient is now ready to have a new tooth created and placed. This process involves having an abutment (which provides structure to place the crown) placed into your implant and digital impression of your mouth. This results in a custom-made new crown to replace the missing natural tooth.

Sometimes patients are able to replace more than one tooth with a single implant, and some patients actually use dental implants to hold full sets of dentures in place.

Caring for Your Restoration

Implant restorations require no more care than the usual dental hygiene routine. Brushing, flossing, and continuing to keep your cleaning and checkup appointments should be sufficient. Many patients report that after some time has passed, they even forget that they have a prosthetic tooth.

If you want to schedule a consultation or an appointment for implant restoration, call Upstate Prosthodontics at (864) 232-3882. We look forward to meeting you!


The Temporomandibular Joint (“TMJ”) is the complex joint that makes it possible to move your jaw. This joint can have internal problems, as well as, be affected by surrounding structures to cause TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction).

TMJ Disorder Causes

The cause of TMJ disorder is not always clear. Sometimes the problem is a result of malformation, or malocclusion, that puts stress on the joint. Other times it can be linked to brute force injury or even repetitive motion injuries such as bruxism (grinding the teeth) and clenching the jaw. Sometimes the small disc of cartilage that cushions the joint slips out of its natural place and the cushioning is no longer where it is needed. Other times it is due to conditions such as arthritis. Stress has been shown to have a marked impact on the condition.


In certain cases, TMJ may actually be asymptomatic. But most patients don’t start looking for treatment until there is some problem to be addressed.

  • pain, tenderness, swelling, in the face, jaw joint area, or neck
  • limited range of motion when opening jaw
  • jaw that gets stuck or locked into position
  • clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening the jaw or when chewing difficulty chewing or the feeling that the bite is suddenly “off”

Because dental pain is often difficult to pinpoint, a careful examination will be required to diagnose your TMJ disorder. Sometimes, a misalignment can be addressed and help the problem. Most often, a night-time mouthguard can be prescribed to help alleviate issues with night-time bruxism and clenching. Another alternative could be BOTOX® injections which could help affect the musculature especially for daytime habits.

Are you experiencing pain in your jaw or ears? Call today and let Dr. Ridgell help diagnose and treat your TMJ.


There are a few different types of sleep apnea and Dr. Ridgell provides treatment for the most common type, known as obstructive sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing intermittently during sleep. There are a few different types of sleep apnea and Dr. Ridgell provides treatment for the most common type, known as obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat relax and obstruct the airway. Many, if not most, sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea snore.

How Will I Know if I Have Sleep Apnea?

The most common way that sleep apnea is discovered is by the patient’s bed partner. Some signs are snoring and pauses in breathing. Patients who are without a bed partner have tried recording the sounds they make when asleep and checking for signs of sleep apnea like loud snoring or choking and gasping sounds.

Other signs of sleep apnea include:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness, even including falling asleep during the day without trying
  • morning headaches
  • memory or learning problems, trouble maintaining concentration
  • irritability, depression, mood swings
  • waking up frequently
  • dry mouth or sore throat upon awakening in the morning

What are the Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

There are serious risks involved with sleep deprivation. Sleep apnea creates a chronic sleep deficit that can have a negative effect on your overall health. Some problems that have been linked to sleep apnea induced sleep deprivation are:

  • high blood pressure and/or heart trouble
  • daytime fatigue
  • complications with surgery or other medical treatment
  • reduced liver function
  • relationship issues can be caused or exacerbated by sleep apnea as it affects the bed partner as well

Upstate Prosthodontics Can Help

For many mild-to-moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the treatment is as simple as using a mouthpiece that is designed to keep the airway open as you sleep. Two common such devices are:

  1. several different mandibular repositioning devices available depending on your needs
  2. tongue retaining device

If you have, or think you have, a problem with sleep apnea, schedule a consultation or an appointment with Dr. Donald Ridgell by calling (864) 232-3882. Let us help you and your bed partner get the recuperative rest that you deserve!

Patient Resources

To help educate our patients about dental health, we’ve provided the following information from Crest. Please click any link to read more about the topic.