Dr. Jennifer Rankin D.D.S., Dentist

Dr. Jennifer Rankin D.D.S.


5492 South Parker Road Aurora Colorado, 80015


Dr. Jennifer Rankin is a Dentist practicing in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Rankin specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions associated with the mouth and overall dental health. Dentists are trained to carry out such treatment as professional cleaning, restorative, prosthodontic, and endodontic procedures, and performing examinations, among many others.

Education and Training

University of Iowa

Board Certification

CEREC Certified

Provider Details

MaleEnglish 26 years of experience
Dr. Jennifer Rankin D.D.S.
Dr. Jennifer Rankin D.D.S.'s Expert Contributions
  • Is a dry socket an infection?

    A dry socket is not an infection. When the blood clot is lost, bone is exposed creating pain. You need to see the doctor who removed your teeth so that they can place a special packing that will reduce the discomfort. READ MORE

  • Why does my son have yellow teeth?

    The color you are seeing is likely coming from the second layer of the tooth called the dentin, and this is where all teeth get their color. For some that color is more grayish and others more yellow. You can discuss whitening options with your dentist, but if it does not bother your child, then the color is probably fine. READ MORE

  • What happens if my son's baby teeth don't come out?

    It is important to bring your son to the dentist office between 1 and 3 years of age for his first visit. There can be wide variation as to when children lose their baby teeth, but your dentist can monitor that. Sometimes the baby teeth don't come out even when the permanent teeth erupt and that may have to do with the position of the permanent tooth. Other times, there can be a genetic component where a permanent tooth never forms, so the baby tooth remains in place. In the latter case, that retained primary tooth is treated as if it is a permanent tooth and unless there are problems that occur, the baby tooth may last for a lifetime. If the tooth needs to be removed, a dental bridge or implant are options. There is no reason to be concerned at this time. READ MORE

  • How will chemo affect my oral health?

    First of all, I am sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. Radiation usually has a bigger impact, with the potential of decreased salivary flow, which can then lead to an increase in decay. Not knowing what the chemo meds are, I am not sure what the side effects are, but certainly I would look into that. If dry mouth is a side effect, be sure to stay hydrated with WATER. Other beverages do not count. Xylitol-containing products (gum, mints) have been shown to combat the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Biotene is a rinse that can be used to help with dry mouth as well. Even if dry mouth is not a side effect, it is extremely important to be very diligent with your home care, brushing 2-3 times daily and flossing every day. Your immune system is down, so flood your body with produce. The healthier you can keep your mouth, the healthier your body and vice versa. It is all connected. Hope this helps and best wishes as you go through your treatment. In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • How long is a root canal treatment?

    Typically, a root canal at a specialist's (endodontist) office will take an hour to an hour and a half for a molar tooth. Shorter for other teeth. Time may be similar at a general dentist office depending upon the experience. I would suggest calling the dentist office to get this information. READ MORE

  • What is the difference between an oral surgeon and a dentist?

    An oral surgeon specializes in the removal of teeth as well as more advanced jaw/facial surgeries. They go to school an additional 4-6 years longer than a general dentist. While a general dentist can remove teeth, when the removal is deemed more complicated than the general dentist feels comfortable taking on, patients are generally referred to the specialist, in this case an oral surgeon. In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • How young is 'too young' for braces?

    When there is crowding of the primary/baby teeth, that is often an indicator that a child may need braces. Other considerations are jaw sizes, discrepancies, narrow palate, habits (i.e., thumb sucking, etc.). So, there are times when it may be suggested that a 7-year-old see an orthodontist for an evaluation. Sometimes the orthodontist will simply monitor the child until the time is appropriate for braces. There are mixed ideas on whether orthodontics should be done in phases or when the adult dentition has fully erupted. Each patient is unique so there needs to be a decision that makes sense to both the patient/parent and the dentist/orthodontist. Second opinions are always a good idea. You, as the parent, need to be comfortable with the options. In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • What do sealants do?

    Sealants are a flowable resin material that fill in the deep grooves in the back (molar) teeth to help prevent decay. Toothbrush bristles cannot get all the way into the deep grooves, which means that decay can develop, even with brushing. In a nutshell, sealants are a preventative option to ward off development of decay. In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • What do healthy gums look like?

    Healthy gums should have a pink appearance to them (not red), be firmly attached to the tooth and not bleed with brushing or flossing. There are variations in color depending upon ethnicity, but firm and no bleeding always hold true. READ MORE

  • Is gum disease hereditary?

    While your family history can give you a predisposition to periodontal (gum disease), your habits and lifestyle choices can influence the development of that either positively or negatively. Avoid tobacco products, eat a diet low in processed foods and high in fruits, veggies, and foods you actually prepare at home (not from a box). Good oral home care including daily flossing and brushing 2-3 times per day as well as seeing your dentist and dental hygienist every 6 months are very important. You may want to consider having your dentist perform a quick 30-second saliva test so that the types of bacteria in your mouth can be evaluated, and if you do have high levels of bacteria associated with periodontal disease, you and your dental team can be proactive to prevent development of the disease. Hope this helps! In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • When is a periodontist preferred over a dentist?

    There are several reasons to see a periodontist. Below are a few examples: 1. After a deep cleaning and subsequent follow-up treatments, the patient is not responding to treatment and the disease is not stabilizing or is getting worse 2. Advanced bone loss requiring, either generalized or localized, that requires bone grafting 3. Advanced recession where gingival grafts are recommended 4. Placement of implants, especially in patients with periodontal disease While this is not an exhaustive list, it covers the most common reasons to seek a specialist. In all cases, there should be a continued working relationship between the patient, the general dentist, and the periodontist so that the most optimal treatment can be achieved. Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • How is TMD diagnosed?

    TMD is diagnosed through a series of clinical as well as radiographic examination findings in conjunction with the patient's described symptoms. Risk factors can include inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, and more. READ MORE

  • Does a teeth whitening have long-lasting effects?

    How long a whitening lasts depends on the whitening system and also habits such as coffee/tea consumption, smoking, red wine, dark berries, etc. Once you get to the shade that you are happy with, over time you may want to touch up every so often to maintain that shade. READ MORE

  • Can eating betel leaves cause oral cancer?

    From all that I have read, Betel leaves alone appear to have many very positive effects. It's when it's combined (quid) that there appears to be a potential increase in cancer, but the studies I have seen are on animals, not humans. READ MORE

  • How do you know when you need a dental crown?

    Crowns are recommended for several reasons: a significant portion of the tooth is broken off, multiple fractures in the tooth structure, existing restoration encompasses more than half the natural remaining tooth structure, tooth has had a root canal. Most of these are identified by the dentist and with intra-oral imaging, you, as the patient, can see some of this as well. There are some symptoms you may notice that would indicate your tooth may need a crown. The most notable is discomfort on biting down and sometimes there is more discomfort on release of the bite versus biting down itself. Pain on biting can also mean an abscess. If you have any concerns, I would recommend making an appointment with your dentist to catch any potential problems early. In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Are there any home remedies to treat dry mouth?

    Here is a link to information put out by mayo clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424 <https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424> Hope this helps! Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Is it okay to swallow the gel applied for a mouth ulcer?

    Yes, it is OK to swallow the gel. Typically, medications that are safe to be placed in the mouth are safe for ingestion in small amounts. Jennifer Rankin, DDS READ MORE

  • What should be done for a chipped "baby tooth"?

    The biggest concern is if the baby teeth were pushed upwards, as this could cause potential damage to the permanent teeth that are under the gum/bone as this time. If the baby teeth were not moved from the original position, then I would monitor them for changes in color (usually a grayish hue). The color change indicates that the nerve is damaged and dying and can result in an abscess. The abscess can negatively impact the permanent teeth. Outside of the chips being an aesthetic concern, if your child is not experiencing any discomfort, the chips do not need to be repaired. In any case, I would recommend visiting your dentist so that a baseline assessment can be obtained. Sincerely, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • How can I stop my husband from grinding his teeth in his sleep?

    There is not a straightforward answer to this issue. There are a variety of reasons he may be grinding including potential sleep apnea. Initially, I would have him see his dentist for an evaluation. Sometimes, an occlusal guard is sufficient to protect the teeth and decrease the grinding at night. However, if the problem is associated with sleep apnea, then he needs to see his physician. The MD can order a test to evaluate sleep apnea. So, in short, your husband needs to make an appointment with his dentist and/or MD. Over-the-counter mouth guards are not recommended as these often increase the grinding. Jennifer Rankin, DDS READ MORE

  • What calcium supplements do you recommend for my son's calcium deficiency?

    I, personally, am not a fan of isolated supplements unless they are used short term to treat a specific issue. Our bodies better able to absorb nutrients from food than from supplementation. There are many non dairy sources of calcium including: Spinach Kale Okra Collards Soybeans White beans Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout Foods that are calcium-fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal Plant milks (almond, soy, etc) often provide the same or more calcium than milk. Calcium absorption from calcium pills is poor and can lead to development of kidney stones so I will re-enforce trying to obtain the calcium from food. I hope this helps. READ MORE

  • How often should you floss?

    I would disagree with the recommendation not to floss every day. When done correctly, flossing is very effective in reducing bacteria and plaque between the teeth and just under the gum line. This in turn leads to healthier gum tissue and reduced decay between the teeth. If you are unsure if you are flossing correctly, be sure to ask your dental hygienist to demonstrate proper technique. READ MORE

  • Swollen and localised pain after done a deep cleaning; is this normal?

    You should continue brushing and flossing, but I recommend that you make a follow up appointment to see your dentist to re-evaluate the area. Swelling is not typical after scaling and root planing. READ MORE

  • Loose tooth

    It is important for you to go to your dentist. Typically we will assess the status of the tooth now and monitor it over time. Additionally, it may be indicated to stabilize the tooth to prevent too much movement. READ MORE

  • Can I do teeth whitening with a front half fake incisor?

    I would recommend whitening first to see what shade you are able to get the adjacent teeth lightened to and then do a crown. Crowns and fillings do not whiten. Hope this helps. Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Why am I so exhausted after removal of infected root canal molar?

    There may be several reasons for the "crash" you are experiencing, but the main thing to remember is that the mouth and body are connected. Generally people do not realize the oral-systemic connection, but it is real. Depending upon how long you had the infection, yes, your body may still be trying to recover. Were you on antibiotics and if so for how long? This may have disrupted your gut bacteria which is a primary player in the immune system. It is important to get not only that gut bacteria back into balance but also your immune system. This can be done through proper nutrition and possibly the addition of a probiotic. If you are still feeling down after 3 weeks total, I would consult with your MD to be sure there is not an underlying medical issue. If nothing is found to be medically wrong, I would seek out a professional nutrition experience (this could be a dentist, functional medicine doctor, naturopath and the list goes on). I hope this helps. READ MORE

  • Are electric toothbrushes any better for the teeth?

    Electric toothbrushes, when used properly, definitely do a better job in cleaning teeth compared to a manual brush. Hope this helps! Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Will frequent teeth cleanings remove spots from my teeth?

    It depends on if the stains are superficial or related to development of the teeth. Cleanings will remove superficial staining as will whitening products. You may also want to consider an electric toothbrush if you are not already doing so. Hope this helps. READ MORE

  • What could be the reason for my mouth dryness?

    There are several reasons for dry mouth. The most common is due to medications. Be sure to read the labels on any medications you might be taking to see if dry mouth is a side effect. Other causes are alcohol containing mouth rinses, diabetes or pre-diabetes, certain autoimmune diseases, and high salt intake. It may be worth a visit to your physician to rule out any systemic causes. In health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • How long does a dental filling last?

    That really is a loaded question as there are a number of variables that determine the longevity of a filling. One is the placement of the restoration by the dentist. If there was a gap in the restoration where the tooth and the restoration meet or if there was any type of contamination during placement, then there is greater chance for decay to develop. The patient's home care, including frequency of brushing and consistency of flossing, play a roll as well as the concentration of caries producing bacteria in a patient's mouth and the amount, consistency and components of saliva. With all that being said, it is very difficult to be able to provide a specific answer to your question. I hope, however, that understanding all the factors involved helps create a better understanding. Sincerely, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Is the yellow tinge on my teeth caused by smoking permanent?

    Over time, the staining becomes more difficult to remove. There is some permeability with the enamel so the smoke can stain permanently over time. There are some great whitening options that your dentist can provide, but the smoking will require more frequency in using the whitening products. Your best best, not only for your teeth, but your overall health, is to stop the smoking. There are several smoking cessation options available. Sincerely, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • What does bone loss in the teeth mean?

    Bone loss is typically the result of pathogenic bacteria that have invaded the bone. As a diabetic, your body is at higher risk for periodontal disease because your immune system is compromised. In order to reduce the bacterial invasion and further bone loss, it is important to see your dentist more frequently, usually 3-4 times per year as opposed to twice. This allows us to continually disrupt the bacteria and minimize the negative effects. You may want to ask your dentist if he/she does any oral DNA testing as this gives specific information on the bacteria that are at high levels so that treatment can be targeted. Your nutrition is also critical. Keeping systemic inflammation down aids in better oral health. I hope this helps. If you have further questions, I am happy to respond. In health, Dr. Jennifer Rankin READ MORE

  • Is higher or lower pressure better with water flossers?

    Yes, there is the potential to cause damage with too much pressure. The same holds true for too much pressure with floss and use of the tooth brush. I would leave the pressure at half way. Your hygienist would notice if there is damage being done. Sincerely, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Can calcium deficiency impact teeth?

    Lack of calcium absolutely impacts teeth and tooth development. However, there are many other sources of calcium than dairy, and many of these are better options anyway. For example: Dietary Sources The richest food sources of calcium include: - Cheeses, such as Parmesan, Romano, gruyere, cheddar, American, mozzarella, and feta - Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and yogurt - Tofu - Blackstrap molasses Other good sources of calcium include: - Almonds - Brewer's yeast - Bok choy - Brazil nuts - Broccoli - Cabbage - Dried figs - Kelp - Dark leafy greens (such as dandelion, turnip, collard, mustard, kale, and Swiss chard) - Hazelnuts - Oysters - Sardines - Canned salmon Foods that are fortified with calcium -- such as juices, soy milk, rice milk, tofu and cereals -- are also good sources of this mineral. This is the source that I took this from, if you wish to read the entire article: http://www.lifescript.com/health/a-z/adam/alternative_medicine/supplement/c/calcium.aspx <http://www.lifescript.com/health/a-z/adam/alternative_medicine/supplement/c/calcium.aspx> I hope this helps. In Health, Dr. Jennifer Rankin READ MORE

  • How often will I have to replace my braces?

    This is really a question for your orthodontist or whomever is doing your orthodontic treatment. Typically the braces stay on until the end of treatment and you will go in every 4-6 weeks for wires to be changed. Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, it is imperative that you wear your retainer FOR THE REMAINDER OF YOUR LIFE to prevent any relapse. Hope this helps, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Why are some people's canine teeth sharper than others?

    The shape of our teeth is genetic and we all start with somewhat pointed canines. People who have parafunctional habits like grinding, nail biting, or using their canines to "cut" things have a tendency to wear down the canine teeth so that they are flat or more flattened. In Health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • What is gingivitis and its risk factors?

    Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissues that surround the teeth. Gingivitis can range from slight to severe. In more severe cases, the gingival (gum) tissues look very red and puffy. Any bleeding of the gingival tissues indicate gingivitis and can be generalized throughout the mouth or localized in specific areas. Any time there is bleeding when you brush or floss, this is a sign of gingivitis. Generally it is not painful. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, characterized by bone loss and gingival inflammation. Your personal home care and regular appointments with your dental hygienist are the best way to minimize the risk. Home care includes brushing at least 2 times per day and flossing daily (proper technique here is critical). I like the addition of an electric toothbrush. =20 Certain medications and hormonal changes can also impact the gingival tissues, so be sure to always share your medical history with your dentist and dental hygienist. =20 In Health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Having an abscessed tooth? What could this mean?

    There are 2 different tooth abscesses. One is a periodontal abscess. In this case, it tends to infection related to the gum tissues and the nerve of the tooth is still healthy. This can often be treated with by thoroughly cleaning out the area, which will require anesthetic. Sometimes an antibiotic is warranted. If there is periodontal pocketing that is deep (beyond 4-5mm), and the patient is not diligent about regular dental cleanings, the abscess can re-occur when the bacteria builds up within the periodontal pocket. =20 The second abscess relates to the vitality of the tooth. If the nerve dies an abscess will result if the tooth is not treated. When the nerve dies there are 2 options: tooth removal or root canal therapy (with a subsequent crown to prevent the tooth from fracturing). Left untreated the infection can spread into deeper tissues and even into the brain tissues. =20 There is typically pain associated with an abscess, though this is not always the case. Usually, there is biting pressure with an abscess. Hot and cold sensitivity generally occur prior to an abscess occurring. =20 It is true that secondary infections can occur with a tooth abscess. The mouth and the body are connected and each one affects the other. =20 Hope this helps! Jennifer Rankin, DDS READ MORE

  • What can I eat or avoid eating to reduce plaque?

    If you are not using an electric toothbrush, that is the first thing I would recommend. There are several on the market, my favorite is Sonicare. Your manual toothbrush head should be changed every 3 months or when you notice that the bristles are beginning to splay. In terms of diet, sugars, of course, will contribute to some additional build up, but other foods that can contribute to the plaque are simple carbs =E2=80=94 crackers, highly processed breads and pastas, cookies, granola bars. These break down to sugars quickly. Get more produce in the diet and if you are going to eat these simple carbs, eat along with fruits and veggies as this will help to cleanse those foods and keep them from sticking. I hope this helps! In Health, Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Wisdom teeth removal

    There are several factors that determine whether wisdom teeth are removed by a general dentist or an oral surgeon. 1. The amount of experience the general dentist has with wisdom tooth removal 2. The position of the wisdom teeth 3. If the patient wants to be sedated, then usually, the oral surgeon will be recommended as most general dentists are not licensed for general sedation 4. Difficulty of the procedure 5. Patient medical history - the more complicated, the more likely to refer to the surgeon Keep in mind, the oral surgeon is considered the expert in this procedure and any general dentist is held to those same standards should he/she choose to perform the procedure. I hope this helps. Dr. Jennifer Rankin READ MORE

  • Skin is shedding on the inside of my mouth (my cheeks). Is this normal?

    It is possible that your toothpaste may be the cause. Have you recently changed the type of toothpaste you are using? I had a similar reaction using Crest Pro Health Toothpaste. It could also be a sensitivity to SLS (sodium laurel sulfate). Many toothpastes contain this ingredient as it makes the toothpaste foam more. SLS is also found in products like shampoo. I would try changing to a new toothpaste and see if the issue resolves. Then you will know for sure. I hope this helps! Dr. Rankin READ MORE

  • Bloody painful gums, what should I do?

    Hello. When was your last visit to the dentist? When the gums are bleeding, this is a sign of infection. Unless the bacteria, plaque and calculus are removed, the tissues will remain sore. Flossing will help and it is very normal for them to bleed right now when you are flossing, because of the infection. Warm salt water rinses may help for the short term, but I would urge you to go to the dentist for a comprehensive assessment. I hope this helps. READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

General Dentistry

Professional Society Memberships

  • American Dental Association, Colorado Dental Association

What do you attribute your success to?

  • Caring about each Individualized Patient

Hobbies / Sports

  • Water Sports, Cooking, Family

Accepted Insurance

Dr. Jennifer Rankin D.D.S.'s Practice location

5492 South Parker Road -
Aurora, Colorado 80015
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New patients: 303-690-4000
Fax: 303-672-6875

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