What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

woman looking off to side thinking

If you need to restore most, if not all, of your teeth, you should consider full mouth reconstruction, also known as full mouth rehabilitation. It is usually best to see a prosthodontist for full mouth reconstruction because prosthodontists have been specially trained to perform more intense procedures.

Our very own Dr. Rigby is a prosthodontist who is skilled in both the technical and design aspects of full mouth reconstruction, and he can come up with a successful plan to restore your smile.

Full Mouth Reconstruction Procedures

The treatments themselves can very greatly as no two cases are like. We take a good look at your mouth in order tailor a unique and effective procedure plan for you. We will always give you a cost estimate of your procedure before you hop into the dental chair, so don’t worry about sticker shock! We also offer flexible financing options to offset the costs of your procedure.

Who Should Consider Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Full mouth reconstruction can benefit those with missing teeth due to disease and decay, jaw pain, ill-fitting dentures, misshaped or misaligned teeth, and fractured teeth, just to name a few circumstances. In short, if your teeth are not in good shape, you may want to consider full mouth reconstruction.

You may think that your smile is beyond repair, but it is always good to schedule a consultation before you give up. Full mouth reconstruction allows you to have the smile you’ve always wanted and restore functionality of your teeth so you can lead a happy life. Take a look at our before and after photos to see just what a difference full mouth reconstruction can make!

To learn more about full mouth reconstruction or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

What Procedures Does a Prosthodontist Do?

guy looking at book in library

What is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in tooth replacement and restoration. In addition to regular dental school, prosthodontists must attend three extra years of training, in which they learn how to best restore your smile. Here are Rigby Advanced Dental, Dr. Rigby, DDS, MS, helps people every day with his training as a prosthodontist. Prosthodontists like Dr. Rigby must keep up with the latest research and literature about advanced methods for restoring your smile.

Who needs a prosthodontist?

You might need a prosthodontist if you have missing teeth that you’d like to replace, already have dentures, are interested in getting dentures, or just want a nicer smile in general. As we age our smile tends to degrade, so it is very common for people over sixty to see a prosthodontist.

What procedures can a prosthodontist provide me?

Dr. Rigby is experienced in dental rehabilitation, and he performs these procedures regularly:

  • Dentures & Partial Dentures: Dentures are a natural-looking, removable way to improve your smile and bite. Dentures fill in the space created by missing teeth, giving you back your smile.
  • Dental Implants: Implants are a permanent, durable, and preferred method for replacing a missing tooth, in which a metal post is inserted into to the jawbone and supports a crown which is cemented on to create a natural-looking tooth.
  • Bridges: Dental bridges help “bridge” the gap from a missing tooth with support from natural teeth on either side of the gap.
  • Crowns & Veneers: Crowns and veneers serve as coverings for damaged teeth. Crowns cover the whole tooth, while veneers cover only a tooth’s front surface, visible to others.

If you think you might need to see a prosthodontist, give our friendly office staff a call today at (512) 992-2822 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rigby.

How Do You Fix a Cracked Tooth?

small figure chipping at tooth with tools

Tooth enamel may be strong, but there are still plenty of ways you could crack your tooth, including chewing down on something hard like a pencil or suffering some sort of dental injury while playing sports. Cracking a tooth doesn’t mean you’ve ruined your smile forever. At Rigby Advanced Dental, we offer a few solutions to help make your smile good as new. Nobody will even notice that anything happened to your smile!

Fillings

Fillings are not just for cavities. If you have small chips in your teeth, a tooth-colored filling can do just the trick in making your teeth look like new. We only use tooth-colored fillings, so you don’t have to feel self-conscious about having them. On top of that, we use state-of-the-art, pain-free laser technology to ensure that you have effective and well-fitted fillings. No need for multiple visits to address the same problem!

Dental Crown

Dental crowns are a simple and easy way to restore your smile. A crown is essentially a false tooth that can be used by themselves, along with a dental implant, or in bridges. In the case of a cracked tooth, you will likely receive a crown by itself. Our porcelain and high-strength metal crowns are durable and natural-looking so you never have to afraid to smile.

Veneers

Veneers are like thin covers placed over teeth. We may be able to place a veneer over the crack to have your tooth looking good as new again.

Dental Implant

If your cracked tooth is unsalvageable, a dental implant is a great option. It’s a long-lasting, realistic solution that you can brush and floss just like a regular tooth.

You have your options at Rigby Advanced Dental when it comes to fixing cracked and broken teeth. To find out which solution is best for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment!

How Will Dental Care Be in the Future?

what's next written on chalkboard

Dentistry has come a long way in the last few decades. Gone are the days of painful procedures, difficult X-ray processes, and impersonal service. Where, then, can we expect things to go in the future?

Technological Advancements

The future of dentistry lies in technological breakthroughs. Already we have intraoral cameras that give us an up-close look at your teeth so that you can follow along with what we’re doing and so that we can gather more insight on your dental health. We can only imagine that in the future, we’ll have even more high-definition, smaller intraoral cameras to work with and X-ray technology that is radiation-free.

No More Pain

Many patients fear the dentist because they believe that they will experience unbearable pain during their visits. Pain-free dentistry may sound like an oxymoron to some, but it’s actually a reality today. Here at Rigby Advanced Dental, we offer our patients nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation so that you feel comfortable and pain-free during your treatments. While we believe that dental treatments will be pretty much painless in the future, we hope that there will also be a larger variety of sedation options for patients who feel jittery in the dental chair.

Ultimate Comfort

It’s no fun feeling like your mouth is stuffed and stretched with a bunch of tools. Tools like the Isolite® System, which illuminates your mouth to reduce shadows and increase treatment efficiency, are already helping patients feel more comfortable during their visits. We anticipate slimmer, more ergonomically designed tools that ensure optimal efficiency and comfort during your treatments so that you never have to dread your dental treatments again. In the future, visiting the dentist will be more like visiting the spa!

We currently offer all of the latest technologies to help your visits be more accurate and relaxed. Whether you are looking for a general, cosmetic, or more advanced treatment, you will receive the best care possible at Rigby Advanced Dental. Contact us to see and feel the difference!

Dental Instrument Sterilization Methods

dental treatment room

There are many different types of dental instrument sterilization methods. At Rigby Advanced Dental, we care about patient safety so we make sure to disinfect all of our dental tools and equipment using state-of-the-art dental sterilization technology.

Before sterilization, dental professionals soak instruments in water or a disinfectant to keep anything from drying on them. They also apply a rust inhibitor to prevent rusting of the instruments.

Here the various types of sterilization methods used throughout the years:

Autoclave

In 1879, Charles Chamberland came up with the autoclave, which is one of the most common sterilizers used to this day. It looks like a heavy microwave, and it sterilizes by heating moist air up to temperatures from 250°F to 273°F. The chemicals and heat can slightly wear down the materials, which afterwards have to dry.

Dry Heat

With this method, the air is drier so the process takes hours. The materials are placed in an oven-like object where the temperature rises to 320°F. The materials remain there for one to two hours. Because it isn’t wet, this process doesn’t wear down instruments.

SuperHeated Steam

This method is the same as the dry heat method but there is nearly no humidity and the temperature is 180°F. This process takes 30 minutes to complete.

Rapid Heat Transfer

This method sterilizes at about 375°F for 6 to 20 minutes and circulates heated air throughout the unit. At the end of the cycle, the instruments are dry.

Unsaturated Chemical Vapor Sterilizer

Here the temperature stays at 270°F for 20 minutes, and instruments dry quickly after the cycle.

There are many ways to sterilize instruments. Most differ in time and heat, but the end result is the same, immaculate instruments. Contact us if you have any questions about the sterilization methods we use. We’ll clean your teeth as thoroughly as we do our equipment!

Muscles in the Mouth, Explained

cat opening mouth wide

Every day we eat, drink, and spend a few minutes thinking about our teeth as we brush and floss. It’s not often, though, that we spend much time thinking about the muscles in our mouth that allow us to chew, swallow, and speak. The muscles surrounding the mouth are complex and hard at work and understanding them will give you a new appreciation for what they do for you every day:

Mastication Muscles

On the outside of your mouth, there are many facial muscles that form the cheeks and lips, and that assist in speech and facial expression. The orbicularis oris is the major muscle that immediately surrounds the mouth itself. Four major muscles are the ones responsible for mastication (chewing): the masseter, temporalis, medial pterygoid, and lateral pterygoid muscles move your jaw up and down, assisting in chewing, grinding, and speaking.

  • The masseter muscle is the main muscle used for chewing. It is the strongest muscle in the entire body, with the ability to close your jaws with anywhere from 55 to 200 lbs. of pressure.
  • The temporalis muscle originates above your temple and connects to the jaw. It assists in the side-to-side movement during chewing, closing the mouth, and grinding movements.
  • The pterygoid muscles are underneath the masseter and assist in chewing movements. It is responsible for opening the jaw, clenching, moving side-to-side and rotating, and projecting the lower jaw.

Tongue Muscle

Inside your mouth, your tongue is not only the most obvious muscle, it is also an extremely flexible one that actually consists of eight interwoven muscles covered in receptors which you know as taste buds. Your tongue helps to move food towards your teeth and eventually back towards your throat as well as playing a crucial role in speech. The tongue is rooted at the back of the mouth and contains blood vessels, nerve bundles, and glands that secrete fluids found in saliva.

Throat Muscles

There are over 50 pairs of muscles that are responsible for helping you to properly swallow your food. Your tongue pushes the food to the back of your mouth towards your pharynx and then your throat engages in that muscle contraction we all know as swallowing. During swallowing, your larynx muscle contracts tightly to halt breathing and allow food to pass safely into the esophagus and towards the stomach. Then you take another bite and the process starts all over again!

The complex way our bones, teeth, and muscles work together to deliver food to our stomachs and to enable human speech is not only fascinating, but it also shows the importance of taking care of your oral health. Strong teeth and healthy gums are an important part of helping your body to function well, and Rigby Advanced Dental offers comprehensive and gentle care for all of your dental needs. Dr. Rigby is a certified prosthodontist, specializing in the restoration and replacement of teeth, and has the expertise to provide you with a happy, healthy smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Why Chewing Too Much Gum Can Be Bad for Your Health

rows of gumball machines

Are you one of the millions of Americans who enjoy chewing gum? Chewing gum has become a common habit for a number of reasons, including stress reduction, to helping quit smoking, reducing food cravings, and just plain enjoyment.

Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless habit can a have a number of negative side effects on your health and can even damage your health.

Here are four gum-related side effects:

Gum Chewing Can Cause Tooth Damage

Chewing gum can expose your teeth to high levels of tooth decay-promoting sugar. Sugar-free gum is not much better for your teeth, but for a different reason. While all gums contain flavorings, sugar-free gum often contains higher concentrations of acidic flavorings and preservations, which can cause dental erosion. Dental erosion is a slow loss of calcium from your teeth, which, if allowed to continue long enough, can cause teeth to essentially dissolve. Worse, since sugarless gum, particularly those containing cavity-fighting xylitol, is perceived as being ‘healthier’, people also tend to chew more of it which exacerbates the potential for tooth erosion.

Gum Chewing Releases Mercury from Fillings

Some dental filling material can contain mercury. Although a toxic neurotoxin in pure form and in certain quantities, mercury is generally considered safe for dental use in fillings and poses no serious health risk when properly used. However, chewing gum can react with mercury amalgam, causing mercury fumes to be released when you chew gum. Although not considered a serious health risk, it is one more reason to avoid excessive gum chewing if you have fillings.

Gum Chewing Can Cause Gastrointestinal Issues

Chewing falsely signals to your body that you are eating, which causes the release of excess stomach acid along with enzymes and other acids used to digest food. This can cause a number of digestive issues in addition to bloating. In addition, artificial sweeteners used in sugar-free gum, such as sorbitol and mannitol, can cause diarrhea in otherwise healthy people.

Chewing Gum Can Cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)

Excessive gum chewing can cause or worsen a painful jaw disorder called TMD, a chronic, painful disorder in the temporomandibular or jaw joint. TMD symptoms include a popping or clicking when chewing or talking; headaches; pain in the jaw, face, ears, neck, or temple; and trouble speaking, moving your jaw, or opening your mouth.

If you are a frequent gum chewer who may be showing signs of any of the above symptoms of gum over-indulgence, we can help. At Rigby Advanced Dental, your smile is our specialty. Our dedicated team is dedicated to improving our patients’ lives one smile at a time by providing exceptional service.

From routine cleaning and preventive care to full-mouth restorations, Dr. Brent Rigby can provide a comprehensive range of compassionate, professional dental services for every member of your family. Contact us today for an appointment!

How to Floss Properly

young woman demonstrating how to floss

Flossing daily is an essential part of good dental hygiene and it helps prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath by cleaning the teeth and gums where brushing can’t reach. It’s important to know how to use the proper flossing technique to clean the teeth efficiently and without injuring the gums. Here is everything you need to know about how to floss correctly.

Floss Daily

The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day. It doesn’t matter if it’s before or after brushing, as long as you do it. You may want to save your flossing ritual for the evening to get your mouth clean before bedtime; but if you find yourself too tired at the end of the day, flossing in the morning is better than not flossing at all.

Use Enough of the Right Kind

Single filament floss looks like a skinny single thread and is stronger, thinner, and better able to get into smaller spaces. Multi-filament floss has many nylon fibers bonded together and is less expensive, but also more prone to breakage and snags on dental work like braces. Whichever kind you prefer, use about 18-24 inches of floss wound around your middle fingers and work with about an inch at a time, using a clean piece between each tooth.

Use the Right Technique

Very gently ease the floss in between your teeth, but don’t let it forcefully snap down into your gums or it can damage the soft tissue. Move the floss up and down around the curve of the tooth, and be sure to get all the way down into your gum line where the most bacteria hide. Remember to get the backs of your rear molars as plenty of particles can get trapped back there as well. When you are done, follow up with a rinse of plain water or a good mouthwash to clear away all of the old bits of food you’ve dislodged.

Talk to Your Dentist

If you haven’t had a regular flossing routine before, your gums may bleed a little at first, and they may feel sore afterwards. This can deter some people from flossing, but it is completely normal. It just means your gums are sensitive from having the decay that’s been sitting there removed. It gets better every time you floss and should subside within a week, but if you are concerned, it’s a good time to schedule an appointment with your dentist and let us know.

If you lack the dexterity to use regular floss or simply want to find an efficient alternative, there are a few options to make sure your teeth are still getting the cleaning they need. Portable floss picks are great for travel or when you are away from your medicine cabinet; floss threaders can help you get the floss between your teeth, especially if you have braces; electric flossers are easy and efficient; and water flossers are gentle and a great option for kids or people with gum sensitivity.

Rigby Advanced Dental offers comprehensive dental care and our staff is happy to assist you in establishing an oral care routine that is right for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Procedure Options For Full Mouth Restorations

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Oral health suffers when one or multiple systems of the mouth cease to function properly. Many patients suffer from dental problems requiring extensive treatment. Associated issues include missing teeth, teeth worn down from grinding, teeth with large fillings, and cracked or broken teeth. Sometimes, if the problem or problems are bad enough, full mouth restoration is required. 

Full mouth restoration refers to rebuilding and/or replacing of teeth within a patient’s mouth. It’s a process of using esthetics and restorative dentistry to improve oral health, mouth function, and appearance.  

Surgery, of any kind, can be a bit overwhelming. Understanding available treatment doesn’t have to be complicated and we’re here to help. Let’s discuss various procedure options for full mouth restorations

Crowns

Metal, porcelain fused to metal, or ceramic crowns cover or “cap” teeth to restore their function and appearance. Crowns, typically, are for teeth that:

  • Have large fillings
  • Had a previous root canal
  • Are fractured
  • Are worn from grinding
  • Are misshapen
  • Are discolored

Bridges

When a tooth is missing, a fixed bridge technique is very often used. First, teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth are prepared to receive a crown. Next, the false tooth is fixed to the crowns. Finally, the complete bridge is cemented to the prepared teeth. The bridge is then permanent. 

Veneers

Porcelain veneers help the shape or color of teeth. Typically, veneers are used with teeth that are mainly intact, but perhaps misshapen or discolored. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are etched and then bonded to a tooth’s enamel. 

Dental implants

Sometimes, when teeth are missing, doctors recommend dental implants. These are metal cylinders made of titanium surgically implanted in the jawbone to cover gaps left by the missing tooth. These implants replace the roots of missing teeth and assist single crowns, large bridges, and dentures. 

We hope you found this information helpful. To discuss your individual oral health, contact us today for an appointment

 

 

Dental Care for College Kids: Tips for Parents

college-students-dental-care

If your child is heading off to UT Austin for college, one thing you don’t want to have to worry about is their dental needs. While your child is becoming an adult, you still might want to encourage them to continue taking their oral health seriously. Here are four things parents of kids going away to college at UT can do to facilitate continued dental care.

1. Discuss Lifestyle Choices

While your child might be experimenting with their newfound freedom in college, the last thing you want is to for their oral health to suffer. Be sure to talk with your child about the dangers of smoking and drinking, and relate this back to their smile. They might not realize that new lifestyle choices could affect their oral health as well.

2. Dental-Related Care Packages

As your child settles in at UT, they will most likely welcome care packages from home. Be sure to throw in a few dental-related items, such as on-the-go flossers and replacement toothbrushes. Don’t worry about going overboard – they can share these with their dorm-mates as well.

3. Sourcing Local Dentists

While your child might be able to fit in a visit to the dentist when they are home on break, it might also help to have a dentist they can visit near the UT campus. This is a good appointment to set up right away on behalf of your child in the Austin area. In case your child has a dental emergency down the line, they will have a local dentist they can visit. Our comprehensive dental office handles routine appointments, emergencies, cleanings, restorative care, and everything in-between. If you would like to set up an appointment for your college student, call our office today!

4. Double Checking Travel Insurance

If your child will be going abroad or will be away from UT for a semester, make sure to check their travel insurance and see what will be covered when it comes to dental needs. This can help you rest easy if there are any emergencies while away from campus and abroad.

Sending off your child to college is a milestone to celebrate and you should be proud of your UT student. While you might want to give your child the space to grow and learn on their own in college, some help along the way when it comes to dental care for college kids will foster good habits through adulthood.

Preventive care is so important at this age, so if you have any questions about cleanings or scheduling appointments for check-ups, call Rigby Advanced Dental!