Invisible Braces Bring Visible Results

Invisible to Visible

Invisalign® utilizes 3-D computer technology with clear, plastic removable “aligners” to move teeth at a rate similar to traditional braces, but without any metal or wires. The “aligners” can be removed to eat and clean your teeth and are generally undetectable when worn. The computer imaging technology can predetermine and develop a treatment plan from the initial position of the patient’s teeth to their final desired position. From this a series of custom-made “aligners” are fabricated. Each “aligner” moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
For years, orthodontists and dentists have used removable appliances for limited treatment. Now Invisalign treats a broader range of cases with greater precision. The principal difference is that Invisalign not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Most people experience temporary, minor discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign is working – sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new “aligner” in the series.
This procedure is especially popular for adults who previously had orthodontic treatment when they were younger and have experienced regression as they’ve aged. Rather than repeat the inconveniences and discomfort of braces all over again, Invisalign provides an appealing alternative.
A common concern is whether or not this treatment is covered by dental insurance. Because dental benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces. When treatment is complete, some patients might need a positioner, or conventional retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes. Please discuss these possibilities with our office. Every patient is different and outcomes vary.

Considering Dental Implants?

Important Facts to Help Make Your Decision

Many people are unaware of the consequences of losing their teeth or the effects of wearing partial or full dentures upon their jaws and bones. When teeth are lost, the surrounding bone immediately begins to shrink [atrophy]. Implant treatment, for tooth replacement therapy, can be the optimal treatment plan. Here are some important facts to take into consideration.

  • Wearing dentures [plates] accelerates bone loss, and old dentures become loose because of this bone loss. It is possible to watch and wait for bone to disappear to the point where treatment success of any kind is in doubt.
  • At the end of a five-year period, only 40% are still wearing the original partial denture made for them. This is not a great testimonial for value and utility. Those lucky enough to have a functioning partial denture after 5 years are still losing valuable supporting bone.
  • Of those patients who wear a partial denture, 50% chew better without it.
  • One study showed that after 8 years, 40% of the supporting teeth [abutments] that the partial hooks onto were lost through tooth decay or fracture.
  • Patients with natural teeth can bite with about 200 pounds of force. Denture wearers can bite with approxiametly 50 pounds of force. Those wearing dentures for 15 years or more can bite with only about 6 pounds of force, and their diet and eating habits have had to been modified accordingly.
  • The average lower full denture shifts from side to side during chewing and is a significant problem that new denture wearers must get use to and accept.
  • Denture wearers have decreased nutritional intake, a ten year shorter life span, and 30% of denture wearers can only eat soft foods.
  • The single tooth implant success rate is above 98%, and unlike a bridge, the teeth adjacent to the implant are no more at risk than if no teeth were missing.
  • Implant-supported bridges or dentures have 95% success rates over 10 years without the severe loss of supporting bone.

For bone maintenance, the health of adjacent teeth, the longevity of the restoration and patient comfort, implant therapy is the treatment of choice. Implants can restore chewing function to the equivalent of someone with natural teeth. If you have questions or want to know if you are a good candidate for implant tooth replacement therapy, please call our office.  (520) 297-9069

A Beautiful Smile Is Precious And Priceless

Get Shades Lighter using Teeth Whitening with ZoomDid you know that the shape, shade, length and spacing of your teeth could significantly affect your smile? And our smiles can greatly affect our self-esteem and confidence. Common conditions that impact negatively on your smile include broken, cracked or worn teeth, discolored teeth, missing teeth, crooked teeth, decayed teeth, gaps between your teeth and/or “gummy smiles.” The good news is that with modern technology and improved materials, these situations can be dramatically changed to create natural looking and long-lasting beautiful smiles. Each patient and each specific circumstance must be evaluated on its own merits. Factors such as occlusion [bite], oral habits, available space, health of the gum tissue, severity of the problem and patient expectation must be taken into consideration while planning your cosmetic makeover. Depending on the situation, there are a variety of choices that all result in excellent esthetic outcomes. For whiter natural teeth, in-office or at-home bleaching [whitening] techniques are available. Repairing teeth or closing spaces may be accomplished with tooth-colored composite resin bonding, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns. These procedures vary in time and cost and have differences in longevity and appearance. If you’re not satisfied with your smile or want to learn if you’re a good candidate for any of these remarkable techniques, call our office for a cosmetic consultation.

Does My Dental Insurance Pay?

If you have dental insurance coverage, like most people, you want to know how much of the treatment will be covered and how Tucson dentistmuch out-of-pocket expense will I have?

Most dental benefit plans arise from an agreement between an insurance company and a plan sponsor [employer or union]. There are literally hundreds of plans with endless variables concerning limitations, exclusions, deductibles, annual of lifetime maximum benefits, co-payments and fee schedules. If you have changed jobs, your new plan may not have any resemblance to your old one.

If you are being offered a plan, ask if there are several plans from which to choose. Beside yourself, who in the family will be covered? See if the plan you choose covers pre-existing conditions. If the plan is provided by your union or employer, is there any direct cost to you? If so, how much? Compare this with what you understand the benefits of the program to be.

If you already have dental insurance, we need you to bring in specific information for us to give you the best advice as to your coverage. We must have your insurance policy and ID number. Most important, bring your benefits booklet. If you don’t have one, call your employer or insurance company and request it.

Once we read the benefits book, we can project a general idea for what services and treatment are covered and the percentage of reimbursement. Many third party payers request a “predetermination of benefits” on treatment plans. We can submit the proper form and appropriate records to the insurance company. They will return it with the accepted, allowable treatment and the exact amount of coverage.

Once we have reviewed your plan, we should be able to answer most of your questions. Some plans will only allow the least expensive way to treat a problem, regardless of your choice or our recommendation. We would hope that you don’t base your dental needs and oral health solely on what benefits your plan allows. Our office will be happy to discuss a variety of financial arrangements that will make it possible to receive the treatment you need, while maximizing your insurance benefits.

Lumineers – Your Solution For An Easy, Beautiful Smile

Lumineers allows you to experience the smile you’ve always wanted in a quick, easy and comfortable procedure.

Lumineers is a contact lens-thin porcelain technology that corrects imperfections in the teeth while preserving your natural tooth structure.

If you have…

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Noticable gaps
  • Permanent stains
  • Broken or misshapen teeth
  • Pre-existing crowns or bridgework

then Lumineers may be the answer to the beautiful smile that you have always wanted.



Call Dr. Riley, a certified Lumineers provider, today at 297-9069 and begin the transformation of your smile.

Invisalign – Clearly The Best Choice To Transform Your Smile

Invisalign or “clear aligner therapy” provides the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day to day life. Invisalign gradually moves your teeth through a series of custom-made, removable, nearly invisible Aligners.

It has been shown that straighter teeth will provide you with…

Healthier Gums – Properly positioned teeth are easier to brush and floss than teeth that are crowded, crooked or even spaced too far apart.

Improved Chewing and Speech – In many cases, speech problems result from poorly positioned teeth and jaws.  Invisalign therapy can correct your bit and help improve chewing and speech.

Decreased Risk of Dental Trauma and Abnormal Wear – Properly aligned teeth are less stressful on the supporting bone and jaw joints.

Invisalign is clearly your best choice to straighten your teeth because:

  1. It’s removable for good hygiene. You can brush and floss normally, which can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.  Some other orthodontic appliances, like braces, can cause gingivitis.
  2. You can still eat what ever you want. You Invisalign Aligners are removable so you can eat what you want and enjoy your meals.
  3. They are comfortable. The edges of Invisalign are smooth so they won’t irritate your teeth or gums.


Begin the transformation of your smile today with Arizona Dental Medicine.

Cosmetic Dentistry – Which Procedure Is Right For You?

Tucson Cosmetic Dentistry

Modern dentistry has come a long way. Today there are numerous ways to improve and enhance your smile. To begin, a professional cleaning in your dental office can eliminate stains and brighten your teeth.

To achieve the smile you have always dreamed about there are many more options available with your professional Tucson dentist.


This procedure lightens or whitens stained or discolored teeth without and work done to change the shape or placement of the teeth in your mouth. Best results are usually attained in the dental office but there are take-home kits that are available.


Veneers are thin, porcelain laminates can be bonded to the front teeth. This procedure closes gaps and/or changes the size, shape and color of your teeth.


This procedure is used to fill spaces between teeth or to repair chips and alter tooth shape. Composite material is bonded to your tooth and then shaped by your dentist and polished to best function and look.

Fillings & Inlays

Are you tired of your unsightly silver fillings? This is your answer. Your dentist will replace your silver/mercury amalgam fillings with a composite material that matches your tooth color. Besides being color matched, porcelain inlays save more tooth structure than fillings.

Bridges or Implants

Your dentist uses bridges or implants to fill a space where teeth are missing. There is newer technology available that uses a titanium implant in the jawbone to support artificial teeth.

Porcelain Crowns

If you have badly damaged or decayed teeth then a procelain crown is your answer. Your dentist will remove the the damage and decay and cement in a toothlike cap that is optimally matched to your tooth color.


This includes the varied procedures used to realign your teeth and change your bite to enhance both your smile and your overall oral health.

Confused as to where to begin?

The first step is to talk things over with your dentist.  Talk candidly about your concerns and your overall goals.  Simple problems are often quickly and easily resolved.

Ideally you will receive a full evaluation and diagnosis from your dentist.  She can then discuss options in detail with you.  Advantages and disadvantages of each procedure will be discussed and a treatment plan constructed.

Make sure you talk about cost and see if your insurance plan covers procedures you are considering.


Ready to get started?

Then call Dr. Riley at 520-296-9069 today to schedule and appointment and take the first step towards creating the beautiful smile you have always wanted.

Are You Endangering Your Health With Silver Fillings?

tucson dentistAmalgam, the common silver substance used to fill cavities, has been used in dentistry for more than 100 years.  It is a combination of metals like silver, mercury, tin and copper and has traces of zinc, indium or palladium.  Generally amalgams contain 50% mercury 35% silver and 9% tin and 6% of copper and traces of zinc and other metals.  As alternatives there can be amalgams made with larger percentages of other metals like copper or indium which can bind mercury strongly and can decrease its release from this mixture.

Mercury is used in amalgam because it helps make the material more pliable.  It creates a compound that is soft enough to pack into the teeth but quickly hardens to withstand the actions of biting and chewing.

Being cheaper compared to other fillings and due to its capability to with stand pressure caused due to chewing it has long been the preferred choice of material to use as dental fillings. Millions of people currently have amalgam fillings and some dentists are still using it today. However he harmful effects that mercury has on human health has been well documented for centuries.

The fact that mercury can have a accumulative harmful effect on human health has to be taken into consideration carefully. According to one source, mercury can attach through the sulfhydral groups on amino acids in your CNS (Central nervous system) unless actively removed for as long as 15-30 years. In other words, the longer you are exposed to the mercury the greater your risk of creating toxicity in your body.

We are exposed every day to mercury through various sources like water, air, occupation but using amalgam filling exposes you to mercury every day on a consistent basis.  Although the risk of exposure to mercury through use of amalgam fillings is a controversial issue but it cannot be ignored that chewing, brushing and intake of hot foods can stimulate the release of mercury therefore exposing oneself to its possible toxicity.

Supporters of amalgam fillings claim that the amount of mercury released from amalgam fillings is negligable.  However  animal studies have conclusively shown labelled mercury traces appearing in kidneys, brain and intestinal walls.  These mercury traces occurred from the amalgam. Some European countries have banned the use of amalgams as dental fillings.

Additionally there are reports showing a link between amalgam fillings with autoimmune disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and thyroid problems along with other problems such as food allergies, kidney dysfunction, infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome and neurotransmitter imbalances causing tremors, insomnia, polyneuropath and paresthesias.

Why risk your health with mercury fillings?  Today you have a choice with composite fillings.  Composite is usually make of a quartz resin and most often has a light sensitive agent in it.

Composite fillings actually bond to the tooth thus helping the tooth be restored its original strength.  Mercury fillings actually weaken the teeth making them more susceptible to breaking.  Composite fillings restore the natural appearance of your teeth thus making it more aesthetically pleasing.  And composite fillings are less sensitive to hot and cold that teeth filled with mercury.

The choice is simple.  For health and cosmetic reasons have your teeth restored with mercury-free fillings.  Arizona Dental Medicine is a mercury-free practice!  Call Dr. Riley today and let her help you get on the path of improved health.  520-297-9069

Cosmetic Dentistry – More Than Just A Pretty Smile

Modern cosmetic dentistry offers many ways to enhance your smile.  Often times teeth whitening is the first thing that pops into tucson dentistpeople’s minds when thinking or talking about cosmetic dentistry.

However there are numerous procedures available to help beautify your smile.  These include veneers, bonding to fill spaces or repair chips, fillings and inlays, bridges or implants, porcelain crowns and orthodontics or teeth realignment.

A bright, beautiful smile is important.  Studies have conclusively shown that a great smile not only makes you have more self-confidence but other people feel that you are more attractive, intelligent and successful.

Yes, creating a beautiful smile with cosmetic dentistry can be a positive life changing experience.  But there are more things to consider besides aesthetics.  You also want your “smile” to function properly.  Malocclusion (bad bite) is many times the main contributing factor towards needing cosmetic dentistry.

Correcting your bite as part of any dental treatment plan is paramount towards insuring proper jaw function as well as the longevity and durability of your cosmetic procedures.

Restoring or realigning your bite and a cosmetic procedure together will most likely require  a more complex treatment plan.  This could include major reconstruction of your teeth, orthodontics or even both.

Proper correction of your smile and your bite will depend on many factors that your dentist will evaluate and consider.  Many times these factors are signs and symptoms of underlying problems with the way that your teeth fit together.  Your dentist must conduct a thorough evaluation of your dental history, examine your mouth thoroughly and carefully and may even perform one or more tests.

It is of vital importance that your dentist determine the status of your occlusion (bite) before designing and going forward with a treatment plan.

For best results you and your dentist should consider tooth shade (color) as well as tooth width and length.  Your treatment plan may also include non-tooth concerns about the appearance of your gums and lips.  These will be taken under consideration in the overall creation and implementation of your treatment plan.

For example, if too much gum shows in your smile, a simple process called crown lengthening may be used.  Bonding or reconstruction procedures can make the lips more full and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.

Begin by discussing your concerns and overall goals with your dentist. Simple problems or procedures can most often be quickly resolved.  If more comprehensive work is needed your dentist will schedule a full evaluation and diagnosis.

Ready to get started creating a beautiful, functional and healthy smile?  Call Dr. Riley today – 520-297-9069.  General dentistry with a cosmetic flair!

Bullet-proof Your Smile With Zirconium Crowns

In the past, dentists have relied on full-cast gold and porcelain metal crowns and bridges.  Using such materials guaranteed durability and strength.  One of the downsides to such crowns is the look and taste of metal that is then ever present in your mouth.Tucson Dentist

Today there is a solution provided by BruxZir.  BruxZir makes a product that is made from virtually unbreakable, biocompatible medical-grade zirconium.  This is the exact element that is used to make bulletproof military armor.  There is no porcelain overlay so it is more resistant to chipping, cracking or breaking in the mouth.  This makes BruxZir  dental crowns and bridges ideal for people who grind their teeth, or those who have broken their natural teeth or porcelain restorations in the past.

If you are in need of a crown or bridge why not consider Bruxir…not only is it virtually unbreakable, it is visually pleasing as your dental professional can make your BruxZir crown look like your natural teeth.

Call Arizona Dental Medicine today to see if BruxZir zirconia crowns and bridges are your ideal solution for your dental needs.

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