Dental Implants or Dentures – Pros and Cons

Statistics from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons show that nearly 70% of adults aged 35-44 years in the United States have lost at least one tooth. The reason for losing a tooth can be from accident, tooth decay, or gum disease, but all of those have the same result: the need for replacement!

Dental implants or Dentures?

Luckily, if you lose a tooth you don’t have to go the rest of your life without it, if that were the case I bet we’d all be a lot more conscious about our oral health! There are many alternatives available nowadays and today we’ll touch upon the most popular ones. Dental Implants and Dentures

Dentures

Dentures are false teeth that can be taken out and put back in your mouth. Over the years they have gotten more and more comfortable, although they will never feel exactly like your natural teeth. Dentures help with day-to-day functions like speaking and eating as well as boosting your confidence and appearance. Dentures typically take 6-12 weeks to make, although the time frame varies from patient to patient. You can also get partial dentures if you’re missing only your molars for example.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are better suited for replacing 1 or 2 teeth. Dental implants are installed by surgically placing a titanium post into your jaw, and once that heals, placing a crown (false tooth) on top of the post. Dental implants can last for up to 20 years with good oral hygiene, and look very natural with your existing teeth.

The conclusion?

Dental implants are a great solution for single teeth replacement, but if you are missing a lot of them, dentures are probably right for you. The option for implants also depends upon the healthiness of your gums and jaw, where they may be too weak to support implants. Also, if not secured well, dentures could become loose and slip out of place while eating or speaking, which can be embarrassing. Another option is implant-supported dentures that will place your dentures on top of 4 or 5 implants strategically inserted in your gums.

All in all, everybody has a different story to tell, and everyone has different needs. A consultation at Rigby Advanced Dental to examine your mouth and discuss your goals will be the most accurate way to determine exactly which procedure is right for you. There is no right answer, but we’ll find the correct one for you that will restore your smile!

Dental Emergencies

Here at Rigby Advanced Dental, we see an assortment of patients, all who have different and unique dental needs. Because we offer start-to-finish dental work and see emergencies promptly, we have the opportunity to restore smiles after trauma or incidents have occurred. If you or a loved one has experienced a dental emergency, please call us or drop in immediately.

emergency-dentist-bee-cave

What to do in a Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies can be stressful, whether you have a soft tissue injury or your child has had a tooth knocked out. Our goal is to keep you and your family as comfortable as possible. We leave time open in our schedule each day to ensure that we can attend to emergency patients quickly. Now, here’s what you can do to help.

Stay Calm

Easier said than done, right? Staying calm can help ensure that you don’t injure yourself further and help keep an anxious child calm as well. If this is proving to be difficult, we’re happy to help you relax with gentle and safe sedation options. These can also help ease the pain which makes it easier to stay calm.

Apply Pressure

If you see any bleeding around an oral injury, apply a cold compress to the area to help stop the bleeding. This can also help relieve any swelling or pain you’re experiencing.

See Dr. Rigby

Come to our dental office for YOUR EMERGENCY APPOINTMENT! Please don’t forget to bring any knocked out teeth, loose crowns, or chipped teeth with you.

Uses for Old Toothbrushes

Replacing your toothbrush every six months is important to maintain good oral health. The bristles on old toothbrushes become worn and can trap extra bacteria. Not to mention, those worn out bristles don’t have nearly enough scrubbing power to remove all the plaque in those hard-to-reach spots.

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Recycling Toothbrushes

Living near Austin makes all of us a little more conscious of the opportunity we have here to do good for the planet by recycling. So, instead of tossing that old toothbrush, give it a second life around your house! Getting the kids involved is also a good way to teach them about taking care of the planet.

Toothbrush Bracelets

This fun, family activity can help teach your kids about recycling and give them a fun new accessory! Toothbrush bracelets can be bright and durable kid-friendly jewelry. Learn how to make your own here.

Brushing Fido’s Teeth

While the yucky old toothbrush may not look too appealing to you, Rover probably won’t mind those wayward bristles. Help the family pet keep their teeth clean! Even better – get the kids to help. They won’t mind the drool so much.

Shoe Scrubbers

Family life can be busy and well… dirty. If your kids are mud puddle champions, let them use their old toothbrush to scrub their muddy shoes when they’re done. A quick rinse and scrub will keep those cleats (and your floors) shiny and new.

Wildest Teeth in the Animal Kingdom

Did you know that an animal’s teeth can tell you lot about the type of food they eat? For instance, humans have molars in the back of the jaws. They help us grind up fruits and vegetables, but we also have pointed teeth in the front of our jaws to help us rip into tougher things, like meat. Just like us, animals have different teeth to help them eat the foods they survive on, and sometimes those teeth can be pretty wacky!

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sharkSharks for instance. We all know that sharks have sharp teeth, but did you know that many sharks have 5 rows of teeth? Sometimes even more! A shark can go through thousands of teeth in a lifetime. That’s because, unlike us, sharks teeth aren’t rooted in bone. Instead, their jaws are made of something soft, called cartilage. Thats the same flexible stuff that we have in our ears, or the tips of our noses. Sharks feed by biting down hard in their prey, which can cause some of their teeth to fall our pretty easily. This is why sharks have the different rows of teeth, to replace the ones that fall out as they eat.

 

snakeVipers are a type of snake that have fangs. When a snake is resting these fangs actually fold into their mouth so that they are out of the way, but when a snake bits into its prey these teeth act like needles, passing toxic venom into its catch as they bite down. This makes catching their dinner easier and keeps them well fed.

 

walrusSome animals have teeth not only for eating, but for different reasons too. Walruses, for instance, have tusks. These tusks can grow up to a meter long, and keep growing throughout their entire life! Male walruses use their tusks like swords to fight with other males. Both males and females use their tusks while they are under water to to poke holes into the ice so that they can come up for air. They can also use their tusks to help pull their heavy bodes out of the water and onto land.

 

beaverOne animal, thats probably more famous than any other for their unusual teeth, is the beaver. Beavers are well known for their oversized incisors. These teeth never stop growing, which is why they are constantly trying to file them down by chewing on wood. You would think that chewing on wood al day would ruin the beavers teeth, but the front side of their teeth actually has iron in it. Iron is the same stuff that they use to make strong metals. Not only does this keep the beavers teeth extra tough, but it also gives them their unique rusty orange color. So it’s this extra strength that allows beavers to chew on wood as long as they want!

 

Now that you know some of the wildest teeth in the animal kingdom see if you can find others! It’s pretty amazing what the teeth of different animals can do.

Tips to Save for Restorative Dental Care

restorative-dental-rigbyIf you want to save up money for for a straighter, whiter smile, try cutting back on some of those every-day bad habits that negatively affect your dental hygiene anyways.

Instead of this: Driving to Work
Do this: Use Public Transportation
AustinMetro-rigby
If you work in downtown Austin, you may be paying anywhere from $5 to $15 a day for public parking. On top of fuel for your car, transportation can be expensive. Try getting a bus pass, bicycle, or carpool to save money. If you’re commute is on the longer side, try the Austin MetroRail. While it travels only north to south through town, it may be convenient for you. Plus, it’ll cut down on the time you spend sitting in traffic.

Total monthly savings: Up to $400

Instead of this: Fast Food Lunches

Do this: Home-Packed Lunches

Lunch-RigbyAdvanceDental
Fast foods and sugary snack packs are some of the worst dietary choices for your entire body, not just your teeth. If you’re in need of restorative dental work, cutting out these foods won’t only save you money, but will also help preserve your new smile. We all know the feeling of running out the door in the morning, only to realize at noon as your stomach begins to rumble that you’ve neglected to bring a lunch to work. So you head to the nearest spot for some quick and greasy food before going back to the daily grind at the office. Not ideal.

Packing a lunch at home will save you $75 or more a week, not to mention save the gas money and the hassle of going out to eat. Homemade lunches provide a more nutritious meal than Whataburger or Subway. Short on time to grocery shop? Here in the Austin area, there are tons of local farms and grocery delivery options. Need a hand getting the shopping done? Favor Delivery is a get-what-you-want-when-you-need-it service. If you’re short on time, having a Favor delivery person bring bags of groceries to your door might be just what you need. Alternatively, local farms like Johnson’s Backyard Garden offer CSA boxes full to the brim with healthy, seasonal veggies to supplement your grocery list and cut down on shopping time. Have the box delivered to your home or local grocery store, whatever is most convenient for you!

Total monthly savings: $300

Instead of this: Watching Television
Do this: Go to the Library
How much is your cable bill? $50? If you like to record your favorite shows, you might be paying as much as $250 per month for cable. I know you want to stay up to date on Game of Thrones or your favorite soap opera, but it’s just not worth it. There are other ways to catch up on those shows if you want, it just may not be as immediate. The Austin Public Library System has movies and television shows you can rent with your library card, along with some books to replace the time you used to spend watching so much TV.

Total monthly savings: $50 to $250

What else can you think of to save money for restorative dental care?

Are You Predisposed to Tooth Decay?

If you’ve had a few cavities or extractions, it may not just be from the food you eat or the age of your toothbrush. Some patients are predisposed to tooth decay, meaning that they have a higher chance of needing fillings, extractions, and root canals because of factors beyond their control.

What factors decide if you’re at risk for tooth decay? Maybe you were born that way.

Presdisposed to tooth decay

Acid and Drool

Your mouth is a delicate thing. Too much acid from soda, coffee, vinegar, etc can damage the enamel of your teeth. Acid is measured by pH level, which should stay between 6 and 8. If you’re exceptionally curious, you can order pH strips for saliva online or find them at a local drug store.

Saliva is your 24/7, always ready mouth rinse. If you have a dry mouth, that means there’s little saliva to wash away the acid and sugar that may linger in your mouth throughout the day. The more saliva you have, the better. If you think you may have a dry mouth, take care to drink more water to be sure you’re rinsing away any decay-causing substances.

Tooth Shape

If your teeth have deep grooves crevices that trap food and plaque, they’re susceptible to tooth decay. Even with regular brushing, the morphology of your teeth may make it difficult to really get them clean.

Some people also just naturally have softer enamel. Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects the inner layers. When your enamel is soft, acid and sugar can easily wear away at it and cause tooth sensitivity and decay.

Germs

Your mouth is home to a variety of bacteria. Most of these are not harmful, but there is one that can indicate a greater chance for tooth decay.

Streptococcus mutans

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? This bacteria is infectious, and can be passed on to family members easily. They create a more acidic environment in your mouth and allow plaque to build quicker. Sm uses sucrose to create dextran, which essentially feeds the plaque in your mouth, which is why it builds up so quickly.

Tastebuds

Know someone who loves cilantro, while you honestly can’t imagine why because obviously it tastes like soap? Your tastebuds may affect your food preferences. If cilantro tastes like soap to you, you’re more likely to seek flavor from sugary and acidic foods.

If you’re predisposed to tooth decay, ask Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, TX for a caring consultation. We’ll help you understand what your risks are for tooth decay, help you prevent it, and outline the treatments available for you.

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.