Our Blog

Dr. Powell Announces a New Beginning for Herself and Powell & Tiller Dental Care

January 4th, 2022

Dr. Tiller and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued trust and confidence throughout the years and for allowing us to be a part of your health care team and a part of your lives.  I have always said that my favorite part of being a dentist is the relationships I have with my patients, watching you grow up, or grow older, start school, go off to college or see you retire.

Many of you have heard already about my loss of acute vision in my right eye, and that I have had to step back from doing the fine-detailed work of restorative dentistry.  I am so thankful to Dr. Tiller and our team for taking over so many of my responsibilities during this time.  Dr. Tiller has worked extra days and long hours while I underwent procedures and consulted with specialists. Once it was determined that my vision was not going to improve, Dr. Tiller continued to work those extra hours for several months to allow us time to find just the right dentist to join our team. I am thankful to my patients for caring so deeply as I have been sharing my news, and I am also thankful that we have been able to find another wonderful dentist to join the team.

I am happy to announce that Dr. Kara Diemer, who joined our team in May of 2021, will be assuming the dental practice and the privilege and responsibility of continuing to care for our beloved patients. Dr. Tiller and I carefully evaluated many interested candidates before finding the right one. Dr. Diemer graduated with honors from our same esteemed alma mater, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, School of Dentistry in 2005.  Like us, she was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, which is the National Dental Honor Society, awarded to fewer than 10% of graduates each year. Dr. Diemer is a talented dentist who possesses the highest qualifications, and she is extremely skilled in all phases of restorative and cosmetic dentistry.  She’s also an attentive listener, a mom of two boys, a volunteer in the community, and a trustworthy leader.  She is a gentle and compassionate dentist who believes in preventative dentistry, conservative care, and is committed to using the latest technology.

Dr. Tiller and our same friendly staff will remain working in the practice alongside Dr. Diemer, and I know they will all continue to take great care of you. I really cannot imagine not seeing you guys every six months or so, but I look forward to hopefully running into some of you as a fellow patient of the practice.  Thank you for so many wonderful years of being not only patients to me, but my friends as well.

Introducing our latest 3D Technology

December 9th, 2021

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we are always excited when innovative advancements in dentistry come along. We just bought the latest digital scanner from iTero this past year. iTero was first introduced in 2007. Guess what year we got our first one? Yep, 2007! We were only the 4th office in all of Texas to purchase one. When other dentists would ask us about it, we'd say it is so good, don't even have the rep come demonstrate unless you are ready to write a really big check because you won't want to take a regular impression again after you've tried it!

Nobody likes those goopy old impressions we used to take, including dentists! Our patients didn't like that big ol' tray full of impression material coming toward there face, much less into their mouth and offering the gaggy-feeling only it was able to create! And neither of us liked when we took it out and sometimes found there was a bubble on the very spot we needed to see most and needed to take it again!

With digital scans, we just use a wand over your teeth that takes 3D images in real time and if there is a spot we need more clarity on, just one more quick click. We love that we are no longer adding all those impression trays and models to our landfills since they are just stored digitally!

There were also times when the impression or model was damaged in shipping or at the lab and we'd have to bring a patient in to take a new one! None of that with digital scans - we have as many copies as we want!

Fun fact: we owned an iTero before Align Technology (the company that owns Invisalign and now iTero too!). For years, we were asking Align if we could scan patients for Invisalign rather than taking impressions. And for years Align told us this was something they were looking into incorporating. The crazy thing was that Invisalign was all done in 3D technology. No models were used, but they still had dentists take impressions that they would then scan with an MRI to turn into an STL digital file! It made zero sense to us. Finally, the big day came that we could just plain send a digital file for Invisalign rather than making an analog impression to turn into a digital file! Then within 6 months of releasing this, Align technology bought iTero! (We told them they'd love it! I'm guessing a few others did too!)

So, how has iTero improved since our old 2007 model? The OG iTero took one image at a time, so top of the tooth-click, side of the tooth-click, other side, click, move on to the next tooth. Almost a decade later, the iTero Element was introduced and we were very ready for it! With the Element, we are able to just move the wand across the teeth and it takes thousands of pics as we go in real time. It is fast, easy and comfortable. We kept our old iTero and thought "well if two people need it at once, we can always use the old one" But the Element was so fast we ended up just waiting a minute for the new iTero and left the old one sitting in the back! We took one last photo of the old iTero, but he is definitely headed to "a farm upstate!"

Now we just added another iTero to the digital family. The iTero Element 5D. This one not only takes a digital impression of the teeth for 3D models, Invisalign, or 3D milling or printing of restorations, it also "sees" inside the tooth! It uses transillumination which can show decay or fractures inside the tooth without the use of x-rays!

Dentistry just keeps getting better! And we are committed to bringing those advancements to our patients.

Our 11 Month Relationship With Covid-19

November 24th, 2020

Can you believe it is almost the end of November already?!  In some aspects, 2020 has felt like a slow crawl to get to 2021, while in other ways, it feels like January was just yesterday.  As we reflect on 2020, we can all say we learned a few things along the way, especially when it comes to Covid-19.  At the beginning of the year, we were unaware of what the Covid-19 virus was, yet alone how it was transmitted.  Now, as the world educates itself everyday regarding the virus, we as a community, wear masks, sanitize surfaces, and have become more health conscious both personally and publicly.  We’ve been handling Covid-19 for eleven months now, the research has been done, and now the results are ready to become public knowledge, “even during a pandemic, it’s still safe to go to the dentist” (Pugle).

Initially, like other professions, we felt it was safest for our patients and for the staff at Powell & Tiller Dental Care to close our doors and only handle dental emergencies.  But as we became more educated on the virus, we discovered that a dental practice is one of the safest places to be during the pandemic, because of all the safety protocols we have had in place for decades!

Dentists have been experts in infection control for decades due to the AIDS/HIV epidemic and have been using precautions just as long.  From face masks, eyewear protection, gloves, our dentists and hygiene staff are constantly changing, sanitizing, and creating a safe work environment between each patient, like we have been for over twenty years!  Not only is every staff member at Powell & Tiller Dental Care wearing a mask, but we do daily temperature checks as a team every morning.  Each patient is walked in, screened, and then receiving a temperature check before they see the dentist.

When asked about how confident she felt returning to work as a high-risk individual, our Hygiene Coordinator Sandy said, “Our patients’ health is so important but that includes their oral health as well.  Our staff takes great care in making sure both patient and dentist are protected, and I feel like the extra safety steps we have created ensure everyone’s safety.  Our goal at Powell & Tiller Dental Care is to provide preventative care as well as restorative and cosmetic, but we can’t help prevent conditions if the patient doesn’t come in.  We understand their concerns about coming into contact with Covid-19, but the dentist is one of the safest places a person can go!”  Unlike other dental practices, Powell & Tiller Dental Care has individual rooms for each patient, and not just open bays.  We leave ample amount of time between appointments to deep clean the room, before we bring another patient in.  “In order to create the most sterile environment, we have removed some of the aspects of the reception area like the magazines and coffee, but we hope the patient’s understand.  We just want to make sure our patient’s are being provided with the care they need for as long as they need, without any concerns about Covid-19 exposure.  When a patient delays or cancels their appointment, they are putting their oral health at a higher risk, which can lead to higher costs and more invasive treatment in the future” stated our dental assistant Erica.  Oral conditions like tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss can seriously impact a patient’s overall health.  Left untreated, the conditions will only continue to get worse.

Compared to other essentials, our dental practice is an overall safer environment.  Each tool is sterilized and wrapped before each patient, with only the staff handling the equipment.  What other essential business gives us that much protection? “I always think about the grocery stores and how many hands have touched certain items.  The freezer doors, the boxes of cereal, it would just be impossible to adequately wipe down all of the surfaces in a grocery store, whereas at Powell & Tiller Dental Care I personally wipe and sanitize everything between each patient.  It’s been a safety procedure in our practice for years and it’s a constant part of my daily routine” said dental assistant Angela.  In these past eleven months, we have learned more about Covid-19, found ways its transmitted, and found ways to prevent it.  And while we may not know what our next eleven months with Covid-19 in the world is going to look like, our doors will remain open to continue to provide you a lifetime of smiles.

-Nicolette Estrada

Cited Works

Pugle, Michelle. “Dentists Are Reporting a Low Rate of Covid-19: Here's Why.” Healthline, 2020, www.healthline.com/health-news/why-dentists-are-reporting-a-low-rate-of-covid-19.

Versaci, Mary Beth. “ADA Study FInds Covid-19 Rate Among Dentists Less Than 1%.” American Dental Association, 2020, www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/october/ada-study-finds-covid-19-rate-among-dentists-less-than-1-percent.

Powell & Tiller’s Trick Or Treat Benefit!

October 23rd, 2020

2020 has thrown a curve in a lot of our daily routines, and as Halloween season approaches, 2020 is continuing to be... well... 2020.

In previous years at Powell & Tiller Dental Care we have hosted an Annual Sweet Swap, which has created lots of laughs and lots of memories.  As we all navigate 2020 we decided to help local charities and support everything that makes our Austin community such a great community! With that being said *drumroll please* we are excited to announce that this Halloween we will be hosting a Powell & Tiller’s Trick Or Treat Benefit to support Austin Pets Alive!

It will be a virtual fun experience for us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, but an at home experience for all our participants!

The rules are very simple!

1. Dress up your pet(s) in the Halloween costumes!

2. Snap a picture of your pet in the costume!

3. Upload to social media and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @PowellTiller

4. Enjoy the laughs!

From October 29th through November 2nd, for every post/picture we are tagged in on Facebook and Instagram, we will donate $1* to Austin Pets Alive!

We hope this benefit that supports our Austin community brings a little fun to your Facebook and Instagram timeline, as well as a smile to your face!

We look forward to seeing everyone’s pictures! Happy Halloween!

*We will donate until we reach our goal!