Healthy Beginnings

Dr. J.S. McElhinney III, D.D.S.


A healthy mouth is the first step to a healthy body. Thanks to advances in dentistry, there are treatments to suit every type of patient and dental need. From periodontal laser therapy, to non-mercury fillings using principles of biomimetic dentistry, “Dr. Mac” prefers to educate his patients, in addition to treating them, because he believes that informed patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding their health and well being.

“Lasers may be a good alternative to the traditional drill, as anesthetic is not needed as often,” says Dr. McElhinney. “The procedure is more precise and can reduce symptoms and healing times associated with traditional therapies.” Lasers are often used for teeth whitening, ulcer excision, laser gum treatment (also known as periodontal laser therapy, or non- surgical gum treatment), cavity preparation and removal of decay. He says, “in the future, laser technology may be used to prevent decay by increasing the strength of the tooth.”

Unlike conventional dental instruments, lasers are whisper quiet, except for a slight popcorn popping sound during some procedures. You may experience the sound of a rush of air, since air suction is often used to keep the area cool and cleaner. You should be able to relax and be comfortable while the dental laser is in use. Laser treatment allows “Dr. Mac” to use less anesthesia. Plus, there is also a significantly lower loss of blood, swelling, and postoperative discomfort.

Dr. J.S. McElhinney, III, DDS has been practicing dentistry in Reno, Nevada since 1978. He graduated in the top seven percent of his class at Boise State College, and graduated in the top 25 percent of his dental school class at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a member of the Academy of Laser Dentistry, World Clinical Laser Institute, American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association and Northern Nevada Dental Society. He has been a member of several study groups in the past including the Reno-Tahoe Dental Excellence Study Group, which brought in guest lecturers and sponsored hands-on training courses in various specialty areas of dentistry, such as implants. He was a member of Los Medicos Voladores, and has been on several health care missions to poor villages in Baja, Mexico.

Although Dr. McElhinney is a “general dentist” by legal classification, his many years of extensive post-graduate education and training allow him to enjoy emphasizing comprehensive dental treatment, cosmetic rejuvenation, laser dental techniques and implants, and Geneva 2000 dentures customized for the most natural look. “Dr. Mac” is an avid alpine skier, enjoys hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and music, especially jazz (he’s currently on the board of For the Love of Jazz), and sings tenor in his church choir. He has two grown children.