How Do I Keep My Teeth Healthy?

Cartoon family standing around a large tooth and toothbrush on a blue background

Good oral hygiene habits can lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth — and it’s never too late to start! This year, consider building some tooth-healthy practices into your routine. They’ll benefit your teeth, your smile, and even your overall health!

Am I Brushing My Teeth the Right Way?

We’ll start with the basics: you should brush your teeth twice daily, for two minutes each time. If you’re one of the many patients who attempt to brush your teeth vigorously in order to complete the process more quickly, we have bad news: vigorous brushing can damage your enamel, irritate your gums, and doesn’t get your teeth any cleaner! Instead, opt for gentle brushing in a circular motion throughout each quadrant of your mouth. Your teeth and gums will thank you. If you want help tracking the time you’re brushing your teeth or if you’re sick of your conventional toothbrush, most electric toothbrushes have timers that help you ensure you’re brushing for the right amount of time.

Is Flossing Really That Important?

If you regularly skimp on flossing, you should know that brushing only cleans 60 percent of your teeth. Flossing can clean those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush misses. Flossing cleans away food particles and other debris that can act as magnets for bad bacteria. It is also beneficial for your gum health. You should floss once daily, but you can do it either before or after you brush.

How Can I Supplement My Daily Routine?

Regular brushing and flossing are the building blocks of a healthy oral hygiene routine. However, there are many ways to supplement or tailor your habits. Dealing with tooth sensitivity? Consider adding a mouthwash with fluoride, since fluoride can strengthen tooth enamel and ease sensitivity. Dealing with bad breath? Don’t forget about brushing your tongue, or consider making modifications to your diet that may help. And don’t forget preventative visits every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Drs. Mark and Mike Shalaby and the rest of the team at Rigby Advanced Dental in Austin, Texas are always happy to suggest ways you can preserve the health of your pearly whites. To ask us any questions or to schedule your next appointment, call us today!

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Tips for Maximizing Dental Benefits By 2020

Artistic rendering of clocks superimposed with Happy New Year 2020 to remind you to use your dental benefits this year

The end of the year is almost here. That means it’s time to make sure that you’ve taken full advantage of your dental benefits for 2019! You’ve earned your benefit, so here are some quick tips to make sure that you take full advantage of what you have left.

Get Your Cleaning and Exam Now

Most dental benefits cover preventive treatments, so if you haven’t had a cleaning or exam lately, now’s the time to put an appointment on the books. It’s also good to get in the habit of biannual dental cleanings and exams. Staying on top of your oral health means that you won’t have to worry about getting costly restorative procedures done in the future.

Split More Expensive Treatments Between Calendar Years

If your dental benefits restart on January 1st, you can split up restorative treatments that will involve multiple dental visits between calendar years. This will take advantage of more dental benefits at your disposal. At Rigby Advanced Dental, our staff will work closely with you to strategize spreading out your dental appointments.

Know Your Plan

The best way to get the most out of your dental benefits is to fully understand what your specific benefits include. Be sure to get in touch with your provider to understand what is covered under your plan, and also be sure to stay on top of how much of your benefit you’ve spent this year. If you ever need any help navigating your benefits coverage, remember that our staff is also here to help you! At Rigby Advanced Dental, we will file all claim forms for you, provide postage for special claims, and track claims for you so you have one less thing to worry about!

Happy Holidays From Rigby Advanced Dental

As we enter the holiday season, remember to give yourself the gift of oral health with any unused dental benefits that you may have! While we accept insurance here at Rigby Advanced Dental, we also offer flexible financing through CareCredit® so that all of our patients can enjoy quality service at an affordable price.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When is an Emergency Tooth Extraction Necessary?

Dark haired man in dental chair with a pained look on his face and a hand on his cheek indicating the possibility of emergency tooth extractions

With the exception of wisdom teeth removal, tooth extraction is not optimal. We want you to keep all of your teeth and we’re sure you do, too. That’s why it’s important to know the common causes of emergency tooth extractions. If you know what can lead to these urgent situations, you may be able to avoid them.

Severe Tooth Decay

Cavities, also known as dental caries, can cause you to have a tooth that is damaged to the point of no return. The first option would be to perform root canal therapy to clean the infected area within the tooth to try and save it. Emergency tooth extractions become necessary if the infection has spread too far. Therefore, to prevent tooth decay and cavities, dental hygiene is a must. Brush twice daily for two minutes each day and be sure to floss daily. Avoid foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Finally, be sure to visit the dentist twice yearly. We can screen for decay and infection, provide a thorough cleaning by a dental professional to remove plaque and tartar and stop problems in their tracks.

Dental Trauma

Dental trauma is when a tooth gets damaged or knocked out from the outside. This usually happens while playing sports, but can also happen during falls or accidents. If a tooth is damaged and is knocked out, you can try to reimplant it yourself. Rinse it with water and hold onto the crown part of the tooth. If the tooth is broken and the damage is severe, you may need an emergency extraction. If this happens, we’ll discuss tooth replacement options with you.

Dental Abscess

Dental abscess is when a tooth becomes infected and swells with pus from the inside. The problem is that sometimes you may not be aware you have an abscess. If it progresses and infection worsens, you will need to have your tooth removed quickly. Untreated abscesses can have serious health consequences. To prevent this from happening, always treat toothaches as a dental emergency. Call us as soon as you notice the problem. We can help.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

Advanced periodontal disease can cause the bones of the mouth to become severely damaged, leading to loose and lost teeth. If the problem becomes too advanced, you’ll need an emergency extraction. Taking care of teeth and gums is the way to prevent periodontal disease. Brushing, flossing, and using an anti-gingivitis mouthwash will all help. Let us know at your next appointment if you notice bleeding, swollen gums or loose teeth. This could be a sign of periodontitis.

Rigby Advanced Dental Cares About Your Smile

We hope to see you soon and not in an emergency situation! Call us if it’s time to schedule an appointment.

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How Can Cosmetic Dentistry Improve the Appearance of My Teeth?

Pretty blonde, blue eyed girl with a wide smile showing off beautiful teeth

Teeth. We only get one set, so it might feel like you’re stuck with what you’ve got. Fortunately for so many of us with troubled teeth, that’s just not true. The wonder of cosmetic dentistry is that it can fix just about any woes you may have in regards to your smile. In this blog post we’ll explore how the cosmetic procedures we offer here at Rigby Advanced Dental can transform your smile.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Tooth discoloration can really bring you down, making you self-conscious of your smile. It’s a common problem, especially with so many of us reliant on tooth-staining coffee or committed to our nightly glass of highly-pigmented red wine. Luckily, it’s a problem we can address. With professional whitening, we can restore your teeth to their natural brilliance using safe and effective technology.

Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are the next step up in cosmetic dentistry. They are a true commitment, but one that will deliver you a brand new smile. Because the process involves removing a layer of the enamel before bonding the custom-made veneer to the teeth, the process is permanent. The result is a truly perfect smile, one that’s straight, bright and white, and is resistant to chips and discoloration.

Full Mouth Reconstruction

Looking for a full smile-overhaul? If whitening and veneers alone won’t cut it, we can use a variety of solutions to reconstruct your smile to fit your unique needs. While cosmetic services like veneers may be incorporated, we also draw from a range of restorative techniques to address issues such as missing teeth, broken or worn down teeth, misshapen teeth, jaw pain, and more.

Get Started Now!

If you’re ready to see an improvement in your smile, the first step is to set up a consultation. We’ll talk options, process, budget, and results! Give our office a call and we’ll get your visit on the books.

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What Are the Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry?

Young woman in dental chair with blue mask over mouth and nose

Dental anxiety is common and can get in the way of feeling comfortable and at ease during your dental appointment. That’s why we offer a variety of sedation options. The type of sedation you’ll receive depends on your anxiety level and what procedure you’re having. The side effects are usually minor, and many patients feel that they are worth the added comfort. If you’re unsure whether you’d like to receive sedation at your appointment and want to know what the side effects will be, here is all the information you need.

Common Types Of Dental Sedation & Their Side Effects

1. Nitrous Oxide

Also known as “laughing gas,” this drug is administered through a face mask that dispenses vapor. The effects are immediate and wear off quickly. A feeling of elation and relaxation will occur. The side effects of nitrous oxide are minimal, which is why this is the version most used in pediatric dentistry. Nitrous oxide does not cause grogginess. Patients can drive themselves home and resume normal activity after the appointment.

2. Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral sedation refers to a pill that will be taken before your dental appointment. It relaxes the nerves and helps calm anxiety. There will be some grogginess, so it’s recommended that you have someone drive you to and from your appointment. Possible side effects may include dizziness, nausea, headache, and dry mouth. All symptoms should resolve within a day of use.

3. IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation means that you’ll receive an IV treatment to help calm nerves. This is for more advanced cases of dental anxiety or pain sensitivity. It may cause sleepiness, so you’ll need help getting to and from the dentist. Side effects include grogginess, dizziness, and possibly pain or bruising at the injection site. All of these should resolve within a couple of days.

4. Sleep Sedation

For those who experience a great deal of dental anxiety and sensitivity, sleep sedation is available. You’ll be given general anesthesia, which will put you completely to sleep for your procedure. You won’t remember the appointment and it will pass quickly. Because this is the deepest form of sedation, it will take longer to wear off. You will be monitored following the procedure and discharged after the sedation effects wear off.

Your Comfort & Safety Are Important to Us!

Call us at Rigby Advanced Dental and let us know if you have any questions about sedation options for your next dental procedure. We are happy to help you prepare both mentally and physically for your upcoming appointment. We hope to see you soon.

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Do I Need a Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Smiling couple in their sixties with beautiful smiles
Functional teeth are a part of a healthy life that many of us take for granted. Missing teeth due to damage or a genetic condition can mean difficulty performing daily tasks like chewing and eating. The good news is that modern dentistry allows for restoration, no matter how advanced the issue is. Even individuals with no teeth at all can find their smile again with full mouth reconstruction. Dr. Rigby is an experienced prosthodontist who is skilled at providing full mouth reconstruction to those who need it most. Check out our Smile Gallery to see before and after photos of Dr. Rigby’s actual patients!

What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Full mouth reconstruction is the term given to replacement of all missing or damaged teeth. If you have suffered from injury, tooth decay, or other incidents that have led to multiple missing teeth, you are a good candidate for reconstruction. Those with genetic conditions that lead to missing teeth or bone loss are also good candidates. These include conditions like ectodermal dysplasia, cleidocranial dysplasia, ameliogenesis, or dentinogenisis imperfecta. After a full mouth reconstruction you’ll have a beautiful, natural-looking smile that restores function and appearance.

How Long Does It Take?

The answer to this question varies widely depending on your needs. There are many options for tooth replacements, including dentures, crowns and dental implants. At minimum, this process will take several appointments, including an initial consultation.

How Much Does It Cost?

Again, this depends on the materials used and your particular health needs. A consultation will help us assess the timeline and cost of your treatment. We offer several financing options for more costly procedures, including dental insurance and CareCredit.

Is It Right for Me?

Have you been embarrassed about missing teeth? Do you have pain because of cracked or broken teeth? Are you unable to eat your favorite foods? If you answered yes to any of these questions then come in for a consultation. If you’re not sure if full mouth reconstruction is right for you, we have answers to your questions. Don’t put off having a healthy and happy smile! Call us today.

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Are Dental Implants Painful?

Brunette woman with dental implants smiles brightly while wearing a striped shirt in Austin, TX

Many patients have experienced the wonderful benefits of receiving dental implants. Although it’s a multi-step process that involves surgery, the results are worth it. Dental implants mean years of strong, beautiful teeth that feel as natural as your own. So if you have missing or damaged teeth, they may be the solution for you. Here are a few answers to questions you may have about dental implants!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are used to permanently replace missing or damaged teeth. They consist of biocompatible titanium rods that are surgically implanted into the bone beneath the gumline. A custom-fitted crown or dental bridge is then placed on top of the titanium rod. Because dental implants are firmly rooted to your jawbone and can’t move around in your mouth. They look and feel just like your teeth so you can smile, eat, sing, talk, and laugh with full confidence!

Are Dental Implants Painful?

Because we use dental sedation, you’ll feel virtually nothing during the actual procedures. Though as the implant sites heal, and if a prior bone graft is needed, you will need to set aside ample time for rest and recovery. After surgery, you may experience minor bleeding, discomfort, and swelling of the mouth. This is normal and should subside within days. Over-the-counter or prescription medication may be needed to make you more comfortable.

How Long Does the Process Take?

You’ll begin with a dental exam and consultation to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Then, the process can include a series of steps, such as extraction of damaged teeth, bone grafts, jaw bone preparation, implant placement, abutment preparation, and crown placement. The entire process will take several months and require lifestyle adjustments to ensure a smooth recovery. Once placed, however, your new dental implants will last upwards of 10-15 years with proper care! All in all, it’s a worthwhile process for patients with missing teeth looking for a healthier, more functional smile.

Dental Implants in Austin, TX

Contact us today if you’re interested in dental implant surgery. We will help to put you at ease if you’re concerned about any step in the process. With our extensive dental experience, you’re in the best hands here at Rigby Advanced Dental!

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Will My Dentures Look Real?

Smiling older couple with dentures walks together outside holding ice cream cones
Patients who are curious about restorative dental treatments wonder if dentures are effective substitutes for missing teeth. Not only do dentures give you back your ability to speak, smile, and eat, but they are also natural-looking and perfectly fitted to your mouth and face. If you’re curious about how we create dentures to make them look as real as your natural teeth, the process is fairly simple.

Getting Your New Smile with Dentures

Your first step to getting a new smile with dentures will be to have a consultation at our office. Together, we will discuss your options for dentures, including regular dentures and implant-supported dentures, and help you decide which option is best for your unique dental needs and lifestyle. From there, to ensure they fit your mouth, we’ll get the exact right measurements and proportions for your custom-made dentures. When we design your dentures, we utilize a realistic-looking base that will look like your gums, and together we’ll select the shade you want your teeth to be so they look natural. Your dentures will be crafted to fit your mouth and look like they belong. Throughout the entire design, fitting, and adjustment process, we’ll do all we can to ensure you are happy with your new smile.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures attach to the gums via biocompatible titanium dental implants that are embedded in the bone of the jaw. This helps your dentures feel more firmly rooted in the mouth, and preclude the need for dental adhesives. If you have concerns about your traditional dentures slipping around in your mouth and not feeling sturdy, securing them with dental implants will increase your comfort. Dental implants will also help stimulate your jawbone and keep it from deteriorating.

Are Dentures Right for Me?

If you’re missing more than one tooth and it’s negatively affecting your quality of life, you may be ready for dentures. They will restore your ability to participate in your favorite activities with confidence! You’ll be pleased to find that once you receive your dentures, not only will you be able to speak and eat with ease, but they will prevent your cheeks from sinking in and give you a more youthful look. So if you’re ready to look and feel your best with dentures, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Bad Habits for Your Teeth

Even if you’re daily brushing, flossing, and eating well, you may be doing damage to your teeth with other oral habits that you don’t even realize are harmful. We’ve compiled a list of bad habits that can lead to long-term and irreversible damage to teeth. Read on to see if there’s something you need to work on!

Closeup of a woman holding and smoking a cigarette outside

1. Smoking & Using Tobacco Products

Using tobacco products and smoking are harmful for your entire body, including your teeth and mouth. They stain your teeth, lead to bad breath, and can cause oral cancer. If you use tobacco products, we advise you to consider stopping as soon as possible. But you don’t have to do it alone–help is available.

Closeup of a pencil with an end that has been chewed on

2. Chewing on Items That Aren’t Food

You may be chewing on non-food items without even realizing it! When nervous or stressed, we sometimes chew pencils, pens, our nails, and other items that can lead to chipped teeth. If you’re a nervous person who needs something to chew on, switch to sugar-free gum. It’s been shown to actually improve the health of your teeth!

A woman holds a cup of coffee with lots of sugar and milk in it

3. Drinking Sugar

Bad oral bacteria feed upon your dietary sugar and produce acidic byproducts that lead to tooth decay and cavities. But even if you’re not eating candy or sweets, you may be getting excessive amounts of sugar in your daily beverages. Do you add sugar to your coffee or tea? Do you drink sodas or juice on a regular basis? Are your favorite cocktails filled with simple syrup? Ask for “skinny” versions of your favorite cocktails to cut down on sugar. And whenever possible, switch to water, sparkling water (that isn’t citrus flavored), or milk instead of sugary beverages.

Aerial view of a basketball on a gray and orange basketball court

4. Forgoing Mouthguards While Playing Sports

Forgetting a mouthguard when playing contact sports can easily lead to a chipped or knocked-out tooth due to injury. Be sure to wear an athletic mouthguard whenever engaging in physical activity that could involve colliding with other players, getting hit in the face with equipment, or falling to the ground. At your next appointment, we can fit you with custom athletic mouthguard for optimal protection!

Brunette woman grinding her teeth as she sleeps

5. Grinding Teeth

Chronic grinding and clenching of teeth, called bruxism, is a common problem caused by stress. While sleeping, many patients grind their teeth without even knowing it. This can lead to headaches, jaw pain and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, chipped teeth, broken teeth, and worn enamel that increases your risk of sensitivity and decay. Let us fit you for a nightguard to protect your teeth as you sleep. You’ll not only have healthier teeth–you’ll sleep better too!

Closeup of a toothbrush with blue and green bristles with a smear of blue toothpaste

6. Brushing Too Hard

It might surprise you to learn that many people brush their teeth too hard. This can cause receding gums, weakened enamel, and sensitive teeth. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently in small circular motions for two minutes.

Need Help Kicking These Habits to the Curb?

If you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, do your best to adjust. We would be happy to help you improve your oral health habits so you can have a healthier smile! Contact us today for assistance.

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Rabbit Teeth: A Tooth Tour

A brown rabbit chews on a green leaf outside next to a metal fence with lights

If you’ve been wondering about how Bugs Bunny and the Easter Bunny keep their rabbit teeth clean, we may be able to shed some light! Rabbits have fascinating chompers that are different than that of humans. But like rabbits, we all must manage our dental health through proper care and nutrition. Here’s a little bit of information about the dental habits of rabbits.

All About Rabbit Teeth

Rabbits are herbivores, which means they eat plants and vegetables. They have two sharp front teeth (incisors) which we commonly think of when we think of bunny faces. These front teeth are incredibly sharp and can cut through tough plants and shrubbery, like carrots and celery. In addition to those two large front teeth, rabbits have flatter teeth at the top and bottom rows of their mouth. Those teeth are used to thoroughly chew fibrous vegetation after the front teeth cut them. Rabbits have teeth that continuously grow throughout their lives, unlike humans, who have only two sets of teeth in a lifetime.

What We Have in Common With Rabbits

Rabbits and humans both must care for their teeth to avoid dental problems. Like humans, if rabbits don’t eat proper nutrition, they may suffer. For example, being fed only pellets instead of real vegetation can lead to their teeth overgrowing, creating malocclusion. Malocclusion, or teeth misalignment, can lead to problems for humans and rabbits alike. Vegetables are good for you and your pet rabbit, so be sure to ask your veterinarian about a proper diet to help support their dental health.

Keep Up with Your Daily Preventive Dental Care!

This season of spring festivities may mean a lot of bunny-shaped sweet treats. Remember to enjoy sweet treats in moderation, and follow the rabbit’s example of eating fresh veggies whenever you can. Additionally, brush and floss every day, drink plenty of water, and chew only sugar-free gum. And make sure your next routine dental appointment is scheduled here at Rigby Advanced Dental. Contact us today!

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