Dentistry

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!

Wisdom Teeth: What You Need To Know

July 6th, 2017

GETTING YOUR WISDOM TEETH REMOVED is such a common procedure these days that it’s almost a rite of passage among teenagers. But why do some of us have to get them out anyway, and why do we even have them in the first place? In today’s blog post we’re going to answer these and a few other common wisdom teeth questions!

Wisdom Teeth Are Remnants Of An Ancient Era

The most widely accepted theory about wisdom teeth’s origins goes back to our early human ancestors. Because they had a very different diet–mainly roots, raw meat and fibrous plants–they needed extra molars to grind up tough food. These days, we eat much softer foods. We also have smaller jaws that don’t fit in those third molars quite as well.

Wisdom Teeth Are Removed For A Number Of Reasons

While some people never get their wisdom teeth, they’ll show up for most of us between the ages of 17 and 21. Unfortunately, they don’t always come in the way they should, which is why a lot of us have to get them removed.

If Dr. Powell or Dr. Tiller recommends getting your wisdom teeth taken out, it is likely for one of the following reasons:

  1. They become impacted. This means that the wisdom teeth don’t come through the gums because they are angled in such a way that there isn't a clear path and become trapped in the jaw, under the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can form cysts around them and do significant damage to nearby teeth and bone.
  2. There isn’t enough space for them. This can cause damage to nearby teeth, crowding, and pain.
  3. They don’t come in correctly. Wisdom teeth that come in partially or aren’t in the right position can make flossing more difficult, allowing food and bacteria to become trapped and cause problems.

Some dental work may require wisdom teeth removal as well. However, if your wisdom teeth come in correctly and you are able to clean them properly, you will most likely not need to have them removed. And that means that you’ll have some extra molars in your mouth to chew with—awesome!

Remember These Tips If You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Out

To facilitate healing after wisdom teeth removal, make sure you get plenty of rest. Drink lots of water and avoid alcoholic, caffeinated and hot beverages for the first 24 to 48 hours. Ice packs on and off for the first 24 hours will keep swelling down.  And of course, everyone’s favorite part of the healing process, eat soft foods such as ice cream, yogurt, and applesauce for the first day. You can add in soups one to two days after the procedure, but stay away from hard or chewy foods for about a week.

We Want What’s Best For Your Smile

We treat wisdom teeth removal on a case-by-case basis. We will monitor them closely as they come in and together, we will make the best decision for your smile! And remember, having your third molars come in may cause some discomfort, but if it causes pain, come and see us immediately.

Do you have any more questions about wisdom teeth? We’d love to answer them! Comment below or on our Facebook page to let us know!

Thank you for placing your trust in our practice!