Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

brunette girl wearing a scarf and jacket with a fur hood looking up and smirking

It’s almost a rite of passage: before heading off to college, or perhaps while still in college, many young adults will get their wisdom teeth removed. Then there are some people who don’t have them extracted until years later. But why do people get their wisdom teeth removed, and is it actually necessary? Let’s break it down.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?


Wisdom teeth are a set of extra molars that come in in the very back of our mouths. Most people don’t have sufficient room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth, and that is why they are so often removed. It’s a common procedure that many people go through, but some people do prefer to keep their wisdom teeth and forgo the minor surgery that removal entails.

Why We Remove Wisdom Teeth


Removing wisdom teeth can prevent major dental problems later on. When wisdom teeth grow in and crowd your mouth they can leave you prone to all sorts of issues, like jaw problems, damaged nerves, cavities, misalignment, and gum damage. Not to mention, wisdom teeth coming in can be painful itself! Removing them can help you avoid all of these concerns.

A Personal Choice


While many people have their wisdom teeth removed, some don’t, and the bottom line is that it depends on the person. Every person’s wisdom teeth are different, and only your dental professional can tell you if they should be removed or not. Perhaps you are one of the lucky few who have enough room in their mouth for wisdom teeth. Your dentist will be able to examine your mouth and see things you can’t see.

No matter what, it’s important to be informed and know what your options are so you can make the best medical decisions for yourself. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, contact us at Rigby Advanced Dental!

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

dark chocolate bar

Halloween, and all the candy that comes with it, is just around the corner. But it’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth, causing cavities and even tooth decay. So what can you snack on this Halloween that won’t make your dentist cringe?

Why Is Candy Bad For Teeth?

Sugar is acidic, and acid causes erosion of the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of the tooth. When enamel wears down, you can develop cavities and experience painful tooth decay. Consuming large amounts of sugary, sticky candies is a major culprit when it comes to tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Fresh Fruit

Ditch the processed sugar for equally sweet and much healthier fruit. Apples, berries, and grapes are all great alternatives for your favorite candies. Feel free to get creative and make healthy baked cinnamon apples or freeze grapes for a refreshing treat. Just try to avoid dried fruits and citrus, since they can be damaging to teeth due to their sticky and acidic qualities.

Yogurt

Creamy, tangy, and packed with calcium, yogurt is a tooth-healthy and delicious alternative to candy. Add nuts, berries, cinnamon, or honey to the mix for an even more delicious snack.

Nuts

Some of our favorite candy bars contain almonds and peanuts, so why not just have them on their own? Mixed nuts are a great way to get vitamins and protein in your diet without having to sacrifice on taste. Nuts are also full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full so that your sugar cravings won’t get the best of you.

Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is bad for you! A couple squares of dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cacao) will satisfy your cravings for the sweet stuff and also give you a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Peanut Butter Toast

A slice of peanut butter toast as a snack is a sweet and delicious alternative to a candy bar that is loaded with sugar and saturated fats.

Protect your teeth this Halloween with these healthy candy alternatives, and remember that now is a perfect time to also see your dentist and make sure that your teeth are healthy and strong. Our team at Rigby Advanced Dental is here to assist you with your oral healthcare needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

5 Tips to Freshen Your Breath

tin box of breath mints

From eating foods with too much garlic to even taking certain medications, bad breath can put a damper on anyone’s day. Here are five surefire ways to freshen your breath even if you’re pressed for time.

Chew Gum or Mints

Chewing mints and mint-flavored gum is an easy way to freshen your breath when a toothbrush isn’t handy. We recommend mints and gums that contain the sugar replacement xylitol, since sugar can wear down tooth enamel and actually lead to bad breath. Want a more natural breath freshener than mints or gum? Try chewing on fresh mint leaves!

Use Mouthwash

Some people avoid mouthwash because of the strong sting from the alcohol, but there are many alcohol-free options on the market that are just as effective at freshening breath. While mouthwash is a great way to freshen up your breath and kill bad breath germs temporarily, it should not replace traditional brushing and flossing in your everyday routine.

Ditch the Coffee

We all know that coffee causes bad breath because of its high acidity. Instead of your usual morning coffee, opt for a mint tea. Strong mint teas like peppermint and spearmint are known for their breath enhancing qualities. Best of all, you can get it hot or iced depending on the season! If tea doesn’t appeal to you, swapping out coffee for plain water is an excellent choice, since water naturally washes away bad breath germs.

Eat Healthy

Eating crunchy, nutritious foods like apples, celery, and almonds can clear away plaque and bacteria from your mouth while also satisfying your hunger! Avoiding acidic foods like citrus and candy will keep your breath fresher longer.

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing are the most effective way of getting rid of plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, too, since most bad breath germs live there. If you have the time and access to sink, it’s always worth a quick brush to freshen up your breath.

If you are still having difficulty managing bad breath, our team at Rigby Advanced Dental can help you find a solution. Contact us to book an appointment today.

Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth

apples in a wooden crate

As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” While brushing and flossing are great ways to maintain a beautiful smile, they are not the only things you must do for your oral health! Try eating more of these smile-saving foods and keep the cavities at bay.

Apples

A crisp, fresh apple is full of fiber and water, cleaning your teeth with every bite. Try to avoid dried apples and other dried fruits, though, since they’re full of sugar that can actually wear down tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Nuts

Certain nuts, like Brazil nuts and cashews, are packed with phosphorous, a mineral that delays tooth decay.

Celery

Those stringy fibers that get stuck in your teeth actually helps clean them! Celery is also full of vitamins A and C.

Dairy

Milk, cheese, and yogurt all contain calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. They also lower the acidity in your mouth, slowing down the decaying process.

Leafy Greens

Spinach and kale are excellent for teeth since they are rich in calcium and folic acid, which support strong and healthy teeth and gums.

Tea

Tea contains polyphenols, which can actually kill bacteria in your mouth. It’s important to drink tea in moderation, however, since it also contains tannins that can stain your teeth.

Garlic

One of garlic’s many health benefits is that it can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Ginger

Ginger not only prevents bacteria growth in your mouth, it also freshens your breath!

Strawberries

Did you know that strawberries can whiten teeth? They are a great source of malic acid, which can actually brighten tooth enamel.

Water

A glass of water acts the same way that saliva does, washing away bacteria from the surface of your teeth. If your water is fortified with fluoride, even better!

Foods to Avoid

Try to stay away from sugary, acidic foods that can wear away your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Citrus fruits, sugary candies like lollipops and gummy bears, and soda are all known for wearing down enamel.

Your diet can have a major impact on your oral health, but it’s also important to schedule a routine cleaning every six months for your cleanest, brightest smile. Our staff is happy to assist you with all of your dental care needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

woman looking off to side thinking

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

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

Full Mouth Reconstruction Procedures

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

Who Should Consider Full Mouth Reconstruction?

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

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

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

What Procedures Does a Prosthodontist Do?

guy looking at book in library

What is a prosthodontist?

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

Who needs a prosthodontist?

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

What procedures can a prosthodontist provide me?

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

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

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

How Do You Fix a Cracked Tooth?

small figure chipping at tooth with tools

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

Fillings

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

Dental Crown

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

Veneers

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

Dental Implant

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

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

How Will Dental Care Be in the Future?

what's next written on chalkboard

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

Technological Advancements

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

No More Pain

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

Ultimate Comfort

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

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

Dental Instrument Sterilization Methods

dental treatment room

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

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

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

Autoclave

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

Dry Heat

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

SuperHeated Steam

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

Rapid Heat Transfer

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

Unsaturated Chemical Vapor Sterilizer

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

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

Muscles in the Mouth, Explained

cat opening mouth wide

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

Mastication Muscles

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

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

Tongue Muscle

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

Throat Muscles

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

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