Our Blog

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!

4 Fun Apps To Help Care For Your Teeth

July 27th, 2020

 

 

OUR SMARTPHONES are never farther than an arm’s length away and help us do everything from track our calendars to track our calories. Today, we want to show you the wonders they can do for our daily hygiene routines with the help of these apps!

Brush DJ

Brushing for two minutes, twice a day is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It can be hard to keep track of the time if you don't have a toothbrush that does it for you, so why not get some help from your favorite songs with Brush DJ!

Brush DJ is a free app that will play 2 minutes of music from your music library. It also has a visual display guiding you on where to brush and for how long. Brush DJ also lets you set reminders to change your toothbrush, floss and go to regular dental appointments.

Philips Sonicare for Kids

Phillips Sonicare created an app for kids to help take the nagging out of getting kids to brush.  Introducing Sparkly! A furry, friendly creature with a big smile who asks your child for help battling bacteria bugs! Brush your Sparkly’s teeth using the Bluetooth connected toothbrush and your child will win presents and other perks. Along the way your child will learn better brushing techniques, get healthy food tips, and receive awards for consistent brushing

Chomper Chums

Getting kids excited about brushing their teeth can sometimes take a bit of creativity.  Chomper Chums is a dental hygiene focused app designed to help parents teach children proper brushing techniques while keeping them engaged and entertained.

Children earn rewards within the app for brushing their teeth which they then use to buy food or drinks for their virtual Chomper Chums pet. The app encourages children to choose healthy food for their on-screen friends as well, so they learn about healthy eating choices in addition to building better oral hygiene habits.

My Invisalign

You know we love to care for our patients with Invisalign.  The My Invisalign app helps deliver healthy, beautiful smiles by allowing its users to manage their entire Invisalign® journey from their mobile device.  You can use it's reminders to let you know when it's time to switch to the next set which is especially helpful if Dr. Powell or Tiller placed you on an individualized schedule like every 10 days which is much harder to remember than say "Thursdays."  It also has other interesting features.  You can use the QR code on your Invisalign baggie to let it know who you are and it will track how far you have come and how far you have to go!

Have You Used One Of These Apps?

Or, do you know of other great dental apps for your smartphone or tablet? Comment and share below! And if you decide to try out one of the apps above, let us know how you like it!

We appreciate you, and hope these help make life easier!

Single Tooth Anesthesia: The Wand

June 18th, 2020

To make the process of getting dental care more comfortable, Powell & Tiller Dental Care has incorporated the Wand Single Tooth Anesthesia system. Instead of numbing the entire area around your damaged tooth, the Wand discreetly numbs the individual tooth we need to work on. The Wand STA System is also unique because it delivers a computer-controlled flow of anesthesia rather than one large, stinging injection, creating a more comfortable numbing experience.

State-Of-The-Art Design

The Wand component of the STA System looks like a small pen with a cord attached to it. At the tip of this wand, there is an extremely small needle that is used to deliver the anesthesia. Because the Wand looks so benign, it is perfect for our patients who are nervous about shots and needles, such as children who haven’t had much practice with injections or adults and teens with dental phobias or anxiety.
As we work on your teeth, we can control the flow of anesthesia to keep you as comfortable as possible. The Wand delivers the medicine at precisely the right rate for the tissue density of the area, offering our patients the pain relief they need immediately. In fact, most of our patients report that injections with the Wand STA system are completely painless.

No Collateral Numbness

One of the biggest benefits of the Wand STA system is the fact that only the damaged tooth or teeth are numbed, instead of entire sections of the mouth. This makes it possible for our patients to return to work or school immediately after appointments, without worrying about how they will look, talk, eat, or drink. The localized numbness is much easier to manage than a more widespread effect, so you can get back to your life more easily.

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care we are dedicated to creating the best patient experience possible. To learn more about the Wand STA System, contact us to schedule an appointment for a checkup today.