What Is All-On-4 or Teeth-In-A-Day?

Here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, TX we strive to bring our patients the most up-to-date techniques and long lasting restorations. One such advancement we are happy to offer is full arch immediate load implant supported prostheses.  Dental implants have changed the treatment options available in dentistry over the last 15-20 years. They have been nothing less than a miracle in the replacement of teeth whether it be a single tooth, multiple teeth, or as anchor and support for a denture. As any technology matures, new advancements and techniques come into the fold. One of those newer procedures is called All-On-4 Dental Implants. This dental procedure allows for the placement of four dental implants in an arch (hence the name all-on-4 dental implants), and a screw retained full arch restoration to be placed on the same day. Patients leave the office with secured teeth. For this reason the all-on-4 dental implant technique is also called “Teeth-In-A-Day“.

Who Would Want All On 4 Dental Implants?

The patients who choose all on four, do so for many reasons including, poor fitting existing dentures, terrible trauma causing tooth loss, tooth decay or advanced periodontal disease causing progressive tooth loss. The most common patients to choose all on four, are not existing denture wearers. They are patients who have been fighting an uphill battle for a while and know that they are losing their teeth slowly. These individuals have been trying to hold on as long as possible because they do not want to have any time in their life without teeth, and the thought of a removable denture is not an option for them.

All On 4 Dental Implants Procedure Explained

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure was developed in the mid 1990′s. The all on 4 dental implants system has allowed for a variety of patients who, for various reasons, were not considered good candidates for traditional dental implants to now become candidates.

All On 4 Dental Implants For A New Smile!

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure uses four dental implants per arch (upper or lower). The dental implants in the back are placed on an angle to take maximum advantage of the existing bone structure. Special dental implants were developed that could support the immediate fitting of replacement teeth. This treatment is attractive to those with loose dentures or those in need of full upper and/or lower restorations. With the All-on-4 dental implants procedure, qualified patients receive just four dental implants and a full set of new upper or lower replacement teeth in just one appointment. This usually able to be done without dental bone grafts.  The real attraction to the all on 4 dental implants procedure is how quickly permanent dental implants can be placed. This allows patients the ability to leave the same day with a denture that is fixed in place and stabilized by the dental implants.

In the past, the  approach to restoring a full arch of teeth (either upper or lower) generally meant dental bone grafts, six or more dental implants, and as much as 18-24 months of treatment. During that time, the patient would be wearing an interim denture while the dental bone grafts and dental implants heal and integrate into the bone. This can be very expensive, time consuming, and uncomfortable for a patient to continuously go back for more and more treatment.

What Appointments are Needed for All On 4 Dental Implants?

The All on 4 Dental Implants procedure consists of the following visits:

Initial Visit(s) – The initial visit(s) for the all on 4 dental implants procedure is necessary for the dentist to develop the right treatment plan for you. These dental visits will include gathering important medical history information, needed X-rays, dental impressions, photographs, and a CAT Scan. The dentist will then be able to review all the information with the patient and develop a custom treatment plan.

Actual All On 4 Dental Implants Procedure Visit – At this visit the patient will undergo the procedure for placement of the 4 dental implants. Following placement of the dental implants, the dentist will place the denture in the mouth and the patient will leave in the afternoon with a beautiful set of fixed, functional teeth.

Follow-up Appointments – The patient will need to return to the dentist for occasional dental examinations over the next several days, weeks, and months to ensure comfort and fit. In about 6 months, the patient will return for a final set of dentures. The reason for the 6 month wait is to give the tissues in the mouth time to heal properly, correct anything the patient wishes to change (both cosmetically and functionally), and to allow the implants to properly integrate into the bone.

All on 4 Dental Implants Conclusion

Over 100 million people in the United States alone are missing between 11 and 15 of their permanent adult teeth. By the age of 60, almost 70% of these people are completely without teeth and in desperate need of complete oral rehabilitation. This is where the all on 4 dental implants procedure comes in and is able to restore people’s teeth and change their outlook on life. Restoring not only their teeth but also their self esteem and self confidence.

For more information about the all on four techniques and other immediate load prostheses please call now and schedule a consult with Dr Rigby. Contact Rigby Advanced Dental today and take a step closer to having the smile you have always wanted!!!  Now is the time to trust your smile in the hands of an expert! We are conveniently located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave and Lakeway TX.

Prosthodontic Full Mouth Rehabilitation in Austin, Texas

One of the common treatments patients seek out and discuss here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Bee Cave, TX is the need for Full Mouth Reconstruction (FMR). Also commonly referred to as Full Mouth Rehabilitation or Full Mouth Restoration.  No matter what you call it, all of these terms describe the same process and can be used interchangeably when one is considering rebuilding or simultaneously restoring all of the teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.

Full mouth reconstruction typically involves a Prosthodontist who is specialty trained through an ADA accredited specialty program to perform complex restoration.  A Prosthodontist performs procedures like crowns, bridges, implants and veneers much like a general dentist can.  The difference between the two is the level of training and experience performing full mouth reconstruction procedures.  On average, a prosthodontist will see many more cases involving rehabilitation, than a general dentist, and thus their overall experience treating difficult cases is greater.  Often to achieve optimal results during a rehabilitation a multidisciplinary approach is utilized and Dr Rigby incorporates other dental specialists like oral surgeons (surgical procedures), endodontists (root canal procedures), orthodontists (movement of teeth) or periodontists (specializing in the gums).

Full mouth reconstruction may be needed or recommended for those who present with:

  • Extensive dental neglect or periodontal disease
  • Esthetic concern
  • Congenital (hereditary) disorders of the teeth
  • Multiple teeth missing due to decay or trauma.
  • Multiple teeth that have been injured or fractured.
  • Abnormal eating habits or behavioral habits altering the normal wear and tear on the teeth leading to severe wear.   A few examples are acid erosion (foods, beverages, acid reflux) tooth clenching or tooth grinding (Bruxism).
  • Ongoing TMJ concerns or complaints of jaw, muscle and headache pain.  These symptoms may require establishment of a new bite (occlusion).

What is the process and how does Full Mouth Reconstruction begin

Often, individuals already know they are candidate for Full Mouth Rejuvenation and the tough question becomes, “Who am I going to choose to complete the work?” Finding a practitioner with enough training and experience can be daunting task. Any dentist can create credentials and look like a master on a website, but only few are qualified to undertake such complex dentistry.  Rigby Advanced Dental suggests going with a Prosthodontist as a first step when deciding on your dentist of choice.  You deserve the care of an expert clinician who is accustom to treating complex issues on a regular basis with high quality long term results in mind from the very beginning of treatment.

Once a practitioner has been decided upon one should schedule a consult to meet and discuss your concerns. Both parties (patient and doctor) should be in agreement and be comfortable proceeding with treatment. A bit of advice……if you do not like the practitioner, then they likely do not like you either, so choose someone you genuinely like to be around to complete the rehab. At the consult appointment, it is likely that a diagnostic work up will be recommended to record and gather information about your mouth before undertaking any definitive work.  The philosophy of, “Measure Twice, Cut Once” is one we live by here at Rigby Advanced Dental and one any good dentist sticks to. The diagnostic appointment consists of a comprehensive exam, making impressions of both arches, clinical photos and any necessary X-rays (radiographs).  This diagnostic information will be reviewed outside of the diagnostic appointment and used to devise several treatment plans……keep in mind, that there is more than one way to treat most issues and it is in the patients best interest to hear and discuss the options available to them.

A treatment discussion appointment will follow the diagnostic gathering appointment where several treatment options will be presented and discussed. After the pros and cons of each plan have been discussed, a final treatment plan will be decided upon by you and your practitioner. A comprehensive, step-by-step treatment plan will be created to correct any deficiencies found. If you do not understand the procedure being described to you, ask for a detailed written description of the proposed treatment plan so you can review it. This can be helpful if you want to get a second opinion. Be sure you understand the risks and benefits of the recommended procedures and treatments BEFORE undertaking them!

Sequence of Appointments for Due Diligence, Discussion and Treatment Plan

  1. Consult
  2. Diagnostic Work-Up
  3. Treatment Plan Presentation and Discussion

During the course of your treatment work-up the dentist will examine your mouth to determine the extent of the problem and the treatment options that can be used to correct it. A few of the areas of interest examined are:

  • Teeth: The condition of your teeth will determine what restorative procedures may be needed, such as porcelain veneers or full-coverage crowns, inlays or onlays, bridges or implants restored with a crown. In particular, your dentist will make note of any cavities and decay, tooth wear, cracks, short/long teeth, root canal issues and any tooth movement.
  • Soft (gums) and Hard (bone) Periodontal Tissues: If the foundation of your mouth is not healthy, or ideal, it will be recommended that this type of treatment come first. Correcting the periodontal tissues will ensure that the Picasso you are about to invest in will last as long as possible. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) will be recommended.  If bone or soft tissue deficiencies are found, such treatments as bone or soft tissue grafting may be recommended to help build up your gums and underlying jaw bone. A comprehensive exam will look for deep pockets, excessive or insufficient gum tissue, periodontal disease and bone density irregularities.
  • Temporomandibular Joints, Jaw Muscles and Occlusion: A stable bite – one in which you are not in pain when you close your mouth or chew and one that does not cause wear or destruction of your teeth – is important to your overall oral health. Occlusal changes need to be taken into consideration when your dentist plans your restorations. In fact, you may require orthodontics or some other type of treatment (night guard or bite reprogramming orthotic) to correct occlusion before additional restorative procedures can be performed.
  • Esthetics: The color, shape, size and proportion of your teeth, and how they appear in relation to your gums, lips, mouth, side profile and face, are also important factors in full mouth reconstruction treatment.
  • Expectations: Patient expectations need to be in-line with what is realistically achievable with the technology available.  If not, then difficulty can be expected during the course of treatment. Perfection is sought after in every case, but is rarely attained. Keep in mind that the final results are often dictated by the foundation one presents with and since most Full Mouth Reconstruction patients are presenting with a less than perfect foundation the practitioner is limited with the results achievable. The saying, “compromised situations have compromised solutions” holds true.

What Type of Procedures Can I Expect With Full Mouth Restoration?

Only your dentist and the team of specialists working on your full mouth reconstruction can determine what procedures are needed for your specific case. Other treatments may also be available, so ask your dentist about all possible procedures that might be required for your case and under what circumstances.

Most full mouth reconstructions involve multiple phases and office visits. It is not unreasonable to expect treatment to take 12 months or more, depending on your situation. The following procedures may be involved, depending on your needs:

  • Prophylactic teeth cleaning and periodontal care.
  • Crown lengthening to expose healthy, sound tooth structure for possible crowns or bridges.
  • Orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw.
  • Contouring of the gum tissue to create balance and harmony in your smile.
  • Preparation (reduction) of your natural tooth structure so crowns, bridges or veneers can be placed.
  • Placement of temporary restorations so you can become accustomed to your new teeth and the feel of your new mouth or bite alignment.
  • Placement of permanent restorations, such as crowns, veneers, inlays/onlays or bridges, made from ceramic, ceramic supported by metal or a combination of both.
  • Orthodontics (braces) in order to move your teeth into the optimal position for reconstruction.
  • Implant placement and restoration to replace missing teeth and/or anchor bridge restorations.
  • Bone or soft tissue grafting to enhance the stability of your teeth, proposed implants and/or other restorations.

Full Mouth Rejuvenation vs. Cosmetic Smile Makeover

How does full mouth reconstruction differ from smile makeover? A smile makeover is something that you elect to have performed, while a full mouth reconstruction is something that you need.  This however does not mean that with a full mouth reconstruction you can’t achieve a smile makeover.

As the makers of dental materials respond to increasing consumer demands for beautiful, natural-looking dentistry, it is becoming hard to draw a line between purely “cosmetic” (such as elective) dentistry and “restorative” (necessary) dentistry. For example, it is now possible for your dentist to treat tooth decay with a tooth-like filling material that looks natural. If you need full mouth reconstruction, the materials available today make it possible for your dentist to provide you with durable, functional and clinically sound treatments that also look natural.

It is also important to note that a smile makeover – though performed primarily to improve the esthetic appearance of the smile – requires the use of clinically proven dental materials and treatment techniques, as well as exceptional knowledge, training and skill on the part of the dentist. Many of the same techniques and equipment used for full mouth reconstruction are also used to ensure the success and long-term stability of smile makeover treatments.

Full Mouth Reconstruction Costs and Insurance Coverage

Most full mouth reconstruction cases involve all teeth in the mouth, but every case is unique and depends on your clinical situation. The approximate cost (at a minimum) could be about $800 to $1,500 per tooth. That figure does not include any charges for oral surgery, crown lengthening, periodontal treatments, etc. It is not unreasonable to expect a full mouth reconstruction to cost approximately $30,000 to $45,000 or more.

Dental insurance may pay for some costs associated with full mouth reconstruction. This will depend on your diagnosis and the treatment plan your dentist has developed, as well as your dental insurance coverage. Do not however, assume that dental insurance will cover the costs of a Full Mouth Rehabilitation. Remember dental insurance is a for profit corporation. It has been our experience that while insurance may help, it leaves much left to the individual to cover the costs of the type of work being discussed. Third-party financing may be available through your dentist’s office to assist you in making affordable monthly payments.

For more information about full mouth rehabilitation call now and schedule a consult with Dr Rigby. Contact Rigby Advanced Dental today and take a step closer to having the smile you have always wanted!!!  Now is the time to trust your smile in the hands of an expert! We are conveniently located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave and Lakeway TX.

What Should I Look For When Choosing a Dentist?

This is a very common question we get here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Bee Cave, TX.  No matter your age, your profession, or how busy your schedule might be, finding a good dentist is one of the most important things you can do. It can also be a struggle. So, how can you get started? What should you keep in mind as you look for a dentist for yourself and your family? Here are five things to consider.

Patient Reviews

Find out beforehand if the doctor you’re considering has any patient reviews or testimonials. Many practitioners today use third party patient review websites to get feed back from their patients on how to improve the practice and appeal to the general public. Another good tip is to check and see if the dentist has a portfolio or a before-and-after picture gallery you can see. Often looking at the office’s website or other online content can be a good indicator of the type of practice it is. This can be a great way to get to know a dentist and his or her work. Make sure to check and verify that what you are viewing on the web is actual work performed by the dentist and actual patient reviews (often stock photos or reviews are used on websites and can be deceiving).

Experience

Knowing where a dentist studied, what they studied and what credentials were awarded can help you decide on a dentist. Typically, you can find information like this on a doctor’s webpage, under the “About the Office” or the “About Our Team” page. Be aware that practitioners are selling themselves to potential patients on their website and awards or additional credentials can be embellished, much like a resume.  The ADA recognizes nine areas of dentistry that an practitioner can specialize in (Endodontics, Periodontics, Pediatric, Prosthodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery,  and Dental Public Health). These credentials are awarded by completing a comprehensive program associated with an approved university and typically the practitioner will recognize these accomplishments on the information provided to patients.  A common mistake made in advertising is a dentist saying they specialize in family, cosmetic or implant dentistry…….when there is no such recognized specialty in these areas. If you are looking for a specific procedure or experience, being thorough in your research of the practitioner of choice pays off in the long run. A good place to start, is asking dental professionals in the area who they would see for the type of treatment desired.

Technology

Whether you’re looking for general care or specialty care, finding a practicing with cutting-edge technology can be important. Dental technology is continually changing and getting better. Having a dental practitioner that knows the latest and greatest technology tempered with clinical and literature knowledge of what really works and why is a valuable attribute in a dentist. Tools like digital radiography expose patients to 90% less radiation while laser dentistry can make periodontal therapy more comfortable than traditional therapy with a scalpel and stitches. What advanced tools are important to you and will encourage you to seek the care you deserve?

Services

One of the most important questions to ask yourself as you look for a dentist is, what services do you and your family need? Do you already know that you need to have a specific procedure performed? For advanced surgical care, many dentists refer patients to a specialist. When referred, the practitioner referring is putting you in the care of someone they trust and desire the best results possible for their patients. A referral is not a bad thing……take it as a compliment that your practitioner values your care and wants it to be in the best hands available.

Comfort

If you have trouble sitting for long periods of time or you struggle with dental anxiety, finding an office that keeps patient comfort in mind can be very important. Some dentists do this through sedation dentistry, while others do so by advertising spa amenities. Keep in mind that these items/amenities often come with increased expense if used.  Figure out what you are wanting out of your experience and then find the practice that suits your desires.

We enjoy being able to provide dentistry with the above mentioned tips in mind.  Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, TX provides dentistry for the whole family with a comprehensive approach.  From the first appointment to teeth restoration we want to make your dental experience as positive as possible.  If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule a dental appointment today (512) 992-2822.  Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.  We are locate in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, TX.

5 Steps to Straighten Teeth without Braces

We are happy to announce that Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, Texas, is now offering Invisalign® as part of its comprehensive approach to your dental care.  Clear aligner technology has finally reached a point that predictable and stable results can be achieved time after time.  Dr. Rigby is excited to provide this smile changing procedure to his patients and wants to emphasize the following message from the creators of Invisalign®.

Choosing Invisalign® is an important decision worthy of careful consideration.  Before you even begin treatment, we suggest you take the time to follow these five steps. The more time and thought you put into making your decision, the more confident you’ll feel that Invisalign is the right choice for you.

1.  Take the Self Assessment

This first step is a quick and easy way to gauge whether or not Invisalign will fit your needs. Once completed, you’ll receive detailed results on whether or not you’re a candidate, based on the answers you provided. The best part is that it’s free and can be taken in just a few minutes by clicking here. If you’ve already taken the Self Assessment and have determined that Invisalign is right for you, you’re ready to move on to Step 2.

2.  Locate Invisalign Preferred Providers in Your Area

Find a Doctor makes it easy to locate all the Invisalign Preferred Providers in your area. Simply type in your location to search, and we’ll provide a list of eligible doctors nearby, complete with contact information and experience level. Not all providers are the same, so we’ve made it easy for you to find doctors with high levels of Invisalign treatment experience. Looking for an Invisalign provider for your teen? We’ve also highlighted Invisalign Teen providers here — these are providers with specific experience treating teen cases with Invisalign.

3.  Do Your Research, and Schedule a Consultation

Once you find potential doctors in your area, you might want to do a bit of online or word-of-mouth research before you contact them and schedule a consultation. This, along with a face-to-face meeting, is the best way to determine which doctor is the right match for your needs. Find out if they offer a free consultation. Many doctors now offer this service. You may even want to bring a printout of your Self Assessment results so that you can discuss more details about your specific case. You can also go over any questions you may have or further detail you may need. Please refer to our FAQs and Questions for Your Doctor sections for topic suggestions.

You’ll find that each doctor may vary when it comes to pricing, patient interaction and treatment recommendations. Meeting with more than one doctor increases the likelihood of finding one you feel most comfortable with.

4.  Choose the Doctor That Best Fits Your Needs

You might form a rapport with the first doctor you meet and decide that he or she is the right choice for you. Or you may decide to meet with a few more. Either way, you are the one who ultimately decides which doctor works best with your circumstances. Once you find the right doctor and make your choice, you’ve taken that first step toward actually starting treatment.

5.  Begin Treatment

Now that you’ve chosen your doctor, he or she will be able to answer any additional questions you may have before starting treatment. At this stage, your doctor will map out a detailed treatment plan with your goals in mind. An exciting part of Invisalign’s technology is that, once your doctor takes impressions and molds of your teeth, he’ll be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move during treatment. You can learn more about the entire treatment process by visiting the Invisalign Treatment Process page.

We enjoy being able to provide dentistry for the whole family with a comprehensive approach.  From the first appointment to teeth restoration we want to make your dental experience as positive as possible.  If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule a dental appointment today (512) 992-2822.  Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.  We are locate in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Austin, TX.

What To Do and Expect After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Bee Cave, TX we consider the removal of impacted teeth a surgical procedure and post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and swelling can be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.

Immediately Following Surgery

  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a half hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not sit upright become excited or agitated. Please be sure to avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has little beneficial effect and can be replaced with the application of moist heat to the sides of the face. This is generally beneficial in reducing the swelling and increasing the range of motion of your jaws.

Pain

For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every three to four hours or Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil) three 200 mg tablets may be taken every 6 hours.

For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Diet

After general anesthetic or I.V. anesthesia, liquids should be initially taken. Drink from a glass. You may eat anything soft by chewing away form the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Refer to the section on suggested diet instructions at the end of the brochure. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat. Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

Keep the mouth clean

No rinsing should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.

Discoloration

In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows surgery. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.

Antibiotics

If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help treat or prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions.

Nausea and Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.

Other Complications

  • If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As stated before surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. So be careful. Call us if you have any questions.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
  • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You were not able to eat or drink prior to surgery. It was also difficult to take fluids. Taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You could get light headed when you stand up suddenly. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute then get up.
  • Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots, they are the bony walls which supported the tooth or teeth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by the doctor.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
  • Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days.
  • Stiffness (Trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.

Finally

  • Sutures are placed the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged; this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. Most sutures will dissolve on their own and do not require removal. If necessary, the removal of sutures takes just a moment and requires no anesthesia or needles. There is no discomfort associated with this procedure.
  • The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur please call our office for instructions.
  • There will be a socket or a cavity where the tooth was removed. The area will gradually fill in with the new tissue over the next month. In the mean time, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt water rinses or a toothbrush.
  • Your case is individual, no two mouths are alike. Do not accept well intended advice from friends. Discuss your problem with the persons best able to effectively help you: your dentist.
  • Brushing your teeth is okay – just be gentle or avoid the surgical sites.
  • A dry socket may be when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the walls of the tooth socket. Symptoms of severe and/or throbbing pain at the surgical site 3-4 days following surgery, that does not respond to pain medication, can indicate a dry socket. Call the office if this occurs.
  • If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.

We enjoy being able to provide the best dental care possible to the people of Bee Cave, Lakeway and other surrounding Lake Travis areas!  If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule and appointment today (512) 992-2822.  Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.

Wisdom Teeth…..The Dreaded Third Molars

Wisdom tooth removal is a very common dental procedure and one discussed often here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Bee Cave, TX.  Dr Rigby carefully examines each case, discusses and educates the patient on the pros and cons of wisdom tooth extraction.  If removal is indicated then a decision is made with the patient on how they would like to have them removed and what level of sedation they desire.

Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early twenties but may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. The most common type of impacted wisdom tooth is “mesial”, meaning that the tooth is angled forward toward the front of your mouth.

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, you may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.

Each patient’s situation is unique. Your dentist will usually take a panoramic X-ray to determine whether your wisdom teeth will need to be removed. If your dentist recommends removal of your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them removed sooner rather than later.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the teeth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier, as well as making the recovery time much shorter.

To remove a wisdom tooth, your dentist first needs to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Your dentist can use additional medication to safely sedate you during the extraction if you are feeling nervous about the procedure. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and imbedded in your jaw bone, your dentist will need to remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. To minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, your dentist will often “section” your wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone.

Once your wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Healing time varies depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction. Your dentist let you know what to expect and will provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.

We enjoy being able to provide the best dental care possible to the people of Bee Cave, Lakeway and other surrounding Lake Travis areas!  If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule and appointment today (512) 992-2822.  Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.

Treating the TMJ and TMD

A significant amount of the population suffer from recurrent or chronic Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) symptoms.  Here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, Texas we take careful measures to help treat and alleviate these symptoms. Dr. Brent Rigby utilizes his additional training and knowledge as a prosthodontist to diagnose and treat TMD symptoms. Lets take a closer look at the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), the symptoms of TMD and interventions with today’s post.

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the occlusion, jaw joint (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ) and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.

WHAT IS THE TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT?

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The temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints move smoothly up and down and side to side and enables you to talk, chew and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control its position, movement and articular disc location.

WHAT CAUSES TMD?

The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the occlusion and/or with the parts of the joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck, such as from a heavy blow, from sports injuries can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:

  • Grinding or clenching the teeth (which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ).
  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball (mandibular condyle) and socket (temporal fossa).
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ.
  • Stress……one of the most common causes and often difficult to treat.  When stressed a person tends to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth leading to TMD symptoms.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TMD?

People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40, and occurs more often in women than in men.

Common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain)
  • A tired feeling in the face
  • Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
  • Swelling on the side of the face

Other common symptoms include toothaches, headaches, neckaches, dizziness, and earaches and hearing problems.

HOW IS TMD DIAGNOSED?

Because many other conditions can cause similar symptoms — including a toothache, sinus problems, arthritis, or gum disease — Dr. Rigby, or your dentist, will conduct a careful patient history and clinical examination to determine the cause of your symptoms. Your temporomandibular joints will be examined for pain or tenderness: listened to for clicking, popping, or grating sounds during jaw movement; looked at for limited motion or locking of the jaw while opening or closing the mouth; and examined for bite and facial muscle function.

Sometimes panoramic x-rays (radiographs) will be taken. These full face x-rays allow Dr. Rigby, or your dentist, to view the entire jaws, TMJ, and teeth to make sure other problems aren’t causing the symptoms. Sometimes other imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), are needed. The MRI views the soft tissue such as the TMJ disc to see if it is in the proper position as the jaw moves. A CT scan helps view the bony detail of the joint.

Dr. Rigby, or your dentist, may decide to send you to an oral surgeon (also called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon) for further care and treatment. This healthcare professional specializes in surgical procedures in and about the entire face, mouth, and jaw area.

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR TMD?

Treatments range from simple self-care practices and conservative treatments to injections and open surgery. Most experts (prosthodontists, physical therapists and chiropractors) agree that treatment should first begin with conservative nonsurgical therapies and the more aggressive surgical interventions should be left as methods of last resort. Many of the conservative basic treatments listed below often work best when used in combination.

Apply moist heat or cold packs – Depending on what provides symptom relief, apply a hot compress or ice pack to the side of your face and temple area for approximately 10 minutes. Doing this several times a day and paying attention to what feels best can help alleviate TMJ symptoms. It may also be of worth to do a few simple stretching exercises for your jaw (as instructed by your dentist or physical therapist).

Eat soft foods – Eat soft foods such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, soup, scrambled eggs, fish, cooked fruits and vegetables, beans, and grains. In addition, cut foods into small pieces to decrease the amount of chewing required. Avoid hard and crunchy foods (like hard rolls, pretzels, raw carrots), chewy foods (like caramels and taffy) and thick and large foods that require your mouth to open wide to fit.

Take medications – To relieve muscle pain and swelling, try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve), which can be bought over-the-counter. Your dentist can prescribe higher doses of these or other NSAIDs, or other drugs for pain such as narcotic analgesics. Muscle relaxants, especially for people who grind or clench their teeth, can help relax tight jaw muscles. Anti-anxiety medications can help relieve stress that is sometimes thought to aggravate TMD. Antidepressants, when used in low doses, can also help reduce or control pain. Muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants are available by prescription only.

Wear a splint or night guard — Splints and night guards are plastic mouthpieces that fit over the upper and lower teeth. They prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming together, lessening the effects of clenching or grinding the teeth. They also correct the bite by positioning the teeth in their most correct and least traumatic position.  Avoid splints that are soft, as they may unintentionally encourage you to clench, chew or grind on them.

The main difference between splints and night guards is that night guards are only worn at night and splints are worn full time (24 hours a day for 7 days). Your dentist will discuss with you what type of mouth guard appliance you may need.

Correct dental problems – Replace missing teeth; use crowns, bridges, or braces to balance the biting surfaces of your teeth or to correct a bite problem.

Avoid extreme jaw movements — Keep yawning and chewing (especially gum or ice) to a minimum and avoid extreme jaw movements such as yelling or singing. Do not rest your chin on your hand or hold the telephone between your shoulder and ear. Practice good posture to reduce neck and facial pain.

Just breath — If you feel yourself clenching or over stimulating the joint……relax, take a deep breath in and blow it out. Doing this will separate your teeth, relieve pressure on the joint and help your body to relax and release stress. To control clenching or grinding during the day, try placing your tongue between your teeth and make a conscious effort to keep your teeth apart.

Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw. Ask Dr. Rigby, or your dentist, about the need for physical therapy or massage. Stress reduction therapy, with biofeedback may be recommended.

When or if the basic treatments listed above prove unsuccessful, Dr. Rigby, or your dentist, may suggest one or more of the following alternative therapies:

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – This therapy uses low-level electrical currents to provide pain relief by relaxing the jaw joint and facial muscles. This treatment can be done at the dentist’s office or at home.

Ultrasound – Ultrasound treatment is deep heat that is applied to the TMJ to relieve soreness or improve mobility.

Trigger-point injections – Pain medication or anesthesia is injected into tender facial muscles called ‘trigger points” to relieve pain.

Radio wave therapy – Radio waves create a low-level electrical stimulation to the joint, which increases blood flow. The patient experiences relief of pain in the joint.

Surgery — Surgery should only be considered after all other treatment options have been tried and you are still experiencing severe, persistent pain. Because surgery is irreversible, it is wise to get a second or even third opinion from other dentists. There are three types of surgery for TMD: arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery. The type of surgery needed depends on the TMD problem.

  1. Arthrocentesis – This is a minor procedure performed in the office under general anesthesia. It is performed for sudden-onset, closed lock cases (restricted jaw opening) in patients with no significant prior history of TMJ problems. The surgery involves inserting needles inside the affected joint and washing out the joint with sterile fluids. Occasionally, the procedure may involve inserting a blunt instrument inside the joint. The instrument is used in a sweeping motion to remove tissue adhesion bands and to dislodge a disc that is stuck in front of the condyle (the part of your TMJ consisting of the “ball” portion of the “ball and socket”).
  2. Arthroscopy – Patients undergoing arthroscopic surgery are given general anesthesia. The surgeon then makes a small incision in front of the ear and inserts a small, thin instrument that contains a lens and light. This instrument is hooked up to a video screen, allowing the surgeon to examine the TMJ and surrounding area. Depending on the cause of the TMD, the surgeon may remove inflamed tissue or realign the disc or condyle. Compared with open surgery, this surgery is less invasive, leaves less scarring, and is associated with minimal complications and a shorter recovery time. Depending on the cause of the TMD, arthroscopy may not be possible, and open-joint surgery will need to be considered.
  3. Open-joint surgery – Patients undergoing open-joint surgery also are given a general anesthesia. Unlike arthroscopy, the entire area around the TMJ is opened so that the surgeon can get a full view and better access. There are many types of open-joint surgeries. This approach may be taken if the bony structures that comprise the jaw joint are deteriorating, there are tumors in or around your TMJ, or there is severe scarring or bone chips in the joint. Compared with arthroscopy, open-joint surgery results in a longer healing time, and there is a greater chance of scarring and nerve injury.

CONCLUSION

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the site where the upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) meet. TMJ disorders are a group of complex problems with many possible causes. Symptoms of TMJ disorders include headache, muscle soreness, ear pain, dizziness, and fullness or ringing in the ear. There are many treatment options for TMJ disorders. Please see a trained professional for proper diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

We enjoy being able to provide the best dental care possible to the people of Bee Cave, Lakeway and other surrounding Lake Travis areas! Our dental office is located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria. If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule and appointment today (512) 992-2822. Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.

What To Do If A Child Knocks A Tooth Out On Accident

Here at Rigby Advanced Dental in Bee Cave, TX we believe in being prepared for any dental emergency whether it is in our dental office or out.  One of the most common dental emergencies we see for children is an loose or knocked out tooth.  Here are a few pointers to help you in the important triaging and handling of the situation.

When your child has a dental emergency, it can be quite stressful – not only for your child, but also for you.  Some dental emergencies, such as a tooth knocked out, can produce quite a bit of blood, which can quickly send you into panic mode. Being prepared for the unexpected is your best defense. Knowing how to handle your child’s dental emergency will make the ordeal less stressful for both of you.

The first thing to do is stay calm. Your child will only become more frightened if you panic. Keep your cool and contact Dr. Rigby or your child’s dentist asap. Provide the dentist with needed information, including how the injury happened and how much pain is involved.  Other good information to know is, how long the tooth been out and what you have done to help remedy the situation. Often the longer the time the tooth has been out of the mouth the poorer the prognosis for being able to re-implant the tooth. Don’t waste valuable time, contact us immediately for further direction. Dr. Rigby or your dentist will determine if you need to come for immediate treatment or if you can come in later.

If a tooth has been knocked out, hold it by the crown and wash it off (best results are with hank’s solution, saline or milk when washing). Attempt to place it back in the mouth and hold it in place until you reach the dentist’s office. If you cannot put it in the mouth, place it in a container with a safe solution, such as milk or saline and seek immediate care. If saline or milk is available please use this to wash the tooth prior to putting it back into the mouth, regular water can desiccate the viable cells on the tooth’s surface and decrease the overall prognosis……but if it is the best you’ve got go for it. If you arrive at the office and the tooth has not been placed back in the mouth Dr. Rigby will determine if the tooth can be put back into the socket.

If a tooth has been knocked out of place, use a cold pack to reduce swelling. Try to coax the tooth back into place. Hold it in place and seek treatment. Dr. Rigby will place a type of splint on the dislocated tooth to hold it in place while it heals. The splint is made out of a type of cement and after about ten days, it will be removed.

If a tooth has been broken, use a cold pack to minimize pain and swelling. Dr. Rigby will determine if the tooth can be repaired. Sharp edges will be removed and a composite material may be used to rebuild the broken tooth. If you are ever in doubt of what to do if your child has a dental emergency, contact Rigby Advanced Dental or your dentist for advice.

One of the things we recommend having on hand in the first aid kit is Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (Save A Tooth Solution) which can be purchased for a reasonable fee thru a local drug store or over the internet like the above link. You never know when it may come in handy!

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We enjoy being able to provide the best dental care possible to the people of Bee Cave, Lakeway and other surrounding Lake Travis, TX areas! If you are looking for a dentist to treat your whole family and provide the best care possible please come and visit our office located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria. Our unique location offers something for everyone in the family to enjoy, just steps from our door. If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule and appointment today (512) 992-2822.  Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.

 

Another Dental Implant Placed in Bee Cave, TX

Another wonderful dental implant was placed at Rigby Advanced Dental this week in Bee Cave, TX.  With Dr. Rigby’s extensive training in dental implant surgery and prosthetics we enjoy being able to offer these services to our patients in and around Austin, TX.  Both the patient and Dr. Rigby were pleased with the outcome and look forward to completing the treatment soon.

Before Dental Implant Placement
After Dental Implant Placement

At Rigby Advanced Dental a set clinical protocol is followed for all of our dental implant patients, doing this ensures our best possible effort has been made to achieve success.  Through his extensive training as a Prosthodontist, Dr Brent Rigby has been able to master the many aspects of dental implant therapy.  Rigby Advanced Dental not only offers complete implant care, but also offers a variety of other dental services from cosmetic dentistry to everyday family care.  Please visit our website Rigby Advanced Dental for details.  Our office is conveniently located in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, TX.

A Little About Rigby Advanced Dental

Welcome to Rigby Advanced Dental’s blog.  Here is a quick video we recently filmed to introduce and explain a little about our office to the fine residents of Bee Cave, Lakeway, Barton Creek, Dripping Springs and other areas of Lake Travis, TX.  Our office is located in The Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, TX.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

Rigby Advanced Dental About Our Office

We enjoy being able to provide dentistry for the whole family with a comprehensive approach.  From the first appointment to teeth restoration we want to make your dental experience as positive as possible.  If you have any questions, feel free to call and schedule a dental appointment today (512) 992-2822.  Rigby Advanced Dental is here to take care of all your dental needs.  We are locate in The Offices at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave, TX.