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.

Painful Mouth Sores – Canker versus Cold

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All mouth sores are painful and irritating, and most of all… unsightly. Below you will find a description of two of the most common type of mouth sores. These are not pre-cancerous sores, but not all sores are created equal. Regular check-up of your teeth, gums, and oral tissues are critical to early detection.

Cold sores are a cluster of fluid-filled blisters known commonly as fever blisters. They may be found on the gum tissue, roof of the mouth or even on and around the lips. These types of sores are contagious and are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 or 2. The primary infection of this virus usually occurs during childhood and may often be confused with the cold or flu.

Once infected, the virus will remain dormant in the body. Recurrent cold sores may be triggered by irritants such as the sun, stress, illness etc. Once the blister breaks, the scab will form and all will be healed in about 7-10 days. Agents such as topical antiviral creams or systemic medications taken at the onset of symptoms may help to decrease the longevity, discomfort and severity.

Canker sores, unlike cold sores, begin as a red bumps. They may produce a tingling or burning sensation before they appear. There is no known cause for canker sores, and therefore, no exact cure. Treatment is palliative in nature and serves to minimize the discomfort. Like most benign sores, these too shall heal in about 7-10 days. Anything lasting longer warrants a visit to your dentist for examination.

Not all sores are harmless and short-lived. Arizona Dental Medicine provides visual oral cancer screening examination at all recare appointments. In addition, in-depth cancer screenings are provided using the ViziLite Plus examination. This enhanced evaluation improves our ability to identify suspicious areas that may have been missed during the conventional examination. Should you notice any changes in your mouth, painful or non-painful sores, call to schedule an appointment. Early detection of precancerous tissue is the key to possibly saving your life.

Tucson Endodontist – What Happens During A Root Canal

Tucson dentists root canalEndodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:

  1. The endodontist examines and x-rays the tooth, then administers local anesthetic. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist places a small protective sheet called a “dental dam” over the area to isolate the tooth and keep it clean and free of saliva during the procedure.
  2. The endodontist makes an opening in the crown of the tooth. Very small instruments are used to clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
  3. After the space is cleaned and shaped, the endodontist fills the root canals with a biocompatible material, usually a rubber-like material called “gutta-percha.” The gutta-percha is placed with an adhesive cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals. In most cases, a temporary filling is placed to close the opening. The temporary filling will be removed by your dentist before the tooth is restored.
  4. After the final visit with your endodontist, you must return to your dentist to have a crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
    If the tooth lacks sufficient structure to hold the restoration in place, your dentist or endodontist may place a post inside the tooth. Ask your Doctor for more details about the specific restoration planned for your tooth.

Call Arizona Dental Medicine today and schedule an appointment if you need endodontic treatment. 520-297-9069

Arizona Dental Medicine Celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month

posted in: Tucson Dental 0

tucson dentistDid you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month?

For the past 62 Februaries, the American Dental Association, or ADA, has sponsored National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health starting with children.

National Children’s Dental Health Month began as a one-day event in 1941 in a Cleveland dental clinic. In 1981, however, the program was extended to a month-long celebration known today as National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Tucson dentist Dr. Rochell Riley wants to emphasize that developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Has your child had their first dental exam? Or a checkup in the last 6 months? Call Dr. Riley today and schedule your child’s pediatric exam today!


2011 Insurance Benefits

Dentistry, Dental Benefits, Dental InsuranceTime flies…we are almost through 2011.


The end of the year will be upon us before we know it; and with the end of the year comes the end of your yearly dental insurance benefits. Did you know that each year insurance companies make millions of dollars off patients who forgo necessary and preventive dental care?


Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually.


Consequently, some patients are not scheduling the dental treatment they need, deserve, and have insurance to cover. Thus, the insurance revenues allocated to pay dental claims on many patients are never used, and, unfortunately, those dollars cannot be carried over year-to-year.


The bottom line: What the patient does not use they lose.


Clearly, it pays in many ways to schedule the preventive care or other dental treatment that you need.


We want to make sure that you take full advantage of any remaining benefits your family might have. Many times you may be able to save money by completing your treatment before year’s end and avoid having to pay a new deductible next year. We are here to help you secure the insurance coverage available to you on every dental procedure you schedule.


Give us a call today, and together let’s make sure you are in excellent dental health.


We look forward to seeing you again and sharing some of the many innovative means we now have available to provide you with superior dental health care.


If you have any questions about how much actual coverage remains on your insurance benefits, please call our office so that we can check on that for you. At that time, we can schedule you at the earliest available appointment to ensure you take full advantage of all the insurance benefits you pay for. Please call or email us to make an appointment before the end of the year.


We are scheduling November and December appointments at this time. Please don’t wait until the last minute! Our schedule usually fills very quickly in the last quarter of the year.

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.

Do You Have Crooked Teeth? Here Are Some Main Causes And Why You Should Have Them Fixed

posted in: TMJ, Tucson Dental 0

tucson dentistThere are many factors that cause your teeth to be crooked, overlap or become twisted.  In some cases, your mouth might just be too small for you teeth.  This causes the teeth to crowd together and the teeth will eventually shift to compensate for this.
In other cases, your upper and lower jaws may not be the same size.  Or the jaws may be malformed.  This will result in an excessive protrusion of the upper jaw (an overbite) or the lower jaw may jut forward extending beyond the upper teeth (an underbite).

Genetics is often the main cause of crooked teeth.  Just like you inherited your eye and hair color from your parents, you also inherited the overall structure of your jaw and teeth.

Other causes of misaligned teeth can be:

  • Improper fitting fillings or crowns
  • Gum disease
  • Early loss of adult or baby teeth
  • A jaw that is too small
  • A misaligned jaw due to trauma or facial injury
  • Habits such as prolonged thumb sucking, or using a pacifier beyond the age of three.

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can result in many problems like interference with proper chewing, keeping the teeth properly cleaned and plaque free, strain on the whole system which can lead to TMJ or broken teeth and self-esteem issues.

A visit to your dentist can determine if your teeth are crooked and bite misaligned through a routine examination of your mouth, teeth, jaw, and facial appearance. Your dentist knows what signs to look for and can refer you to a specialist if needed.

Call AZ Dental Medicine to help you get on the right track towards healthy, straight teeth.  You will be glad that you did.

Dangers & Risks of Cross-Border Dentistry

posted in: Tucson Dental 0

tucson dentistLiving close to the Mexican border as we do in Tucson, AZ offers many fringe benefits.  The beach is only a couple of hours away.  Unique shopping opportunities in border towns offer hours of entertainment and good deals.  And we have easy access to highly discounted medical and dental services in Mexico.

Many Americans are lured to Mexico to have dental procedures done.  And this is because of the extremely low cost rather than excellent care and quality service.   If you or someone you love is contemplating going across the border for dental work carefully consider the following:

Standards and Compliance

Dentists in Mexico do not comply with the same standards of care as those in the US.  American Dentists are under the regulation of BODEX, OSHA, and the Department of Health and Human Services.  American staff employees of dental offices are required to be vaccinated against Hepatitis.  Only 21% of Mexican dentists are vaccinated against Hepatitis.

Infectious Diseases

Contagious diseases threaten Mexico and the water system.  Life-threatening diseases such as Hepatitis, Tuberculosis, Typhoid fever, Amebiasis, and Shigellosis.

Hep A – transmitted through food and water

Hep B – contracted through exposure to blood or other infectious material

Hep C – viral infection contracted from blood to blood contact

Typhoid fever – contracted through contact with feces

Amebiasis – water or food borne parasite resulting in intestinal illness

Shigellosis – bacterial infection carried through water and food polluted by feces and contracted by hand-to-hand or hand-to-mouth contact.

Tuberculosis – transmitted through the air (coughing, sneezing etc.)

Don’t put your oral health or even your life in jeopardy by using discounted dental services across the border.

The American legal system and the Board of Dental Examiners cannot help when treatment in Mexico fails.”

At Arizona Dental Medicine your overall health is very important to us.  That is why we offer a variety of payment options to fit the budgets and needs of a wide variety of patients.  Call us today to schedule your professional dental evaluation 520-297-9069

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