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Latest News

Is it Safe to Go to the Dentist? Scottsdale Smile Center Dentists Discuss Coronavirus Safety Measures

Scottsdale Smile Center dentists discuss office safety measures to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The dental team at Scottsdale Smile Center has implemented several additional safety protocols to reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure in the office environment and help patients obtain the care they need.

Scottsdale, AZ – Of the many businesses and services that had to close their doors during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, dental offices were among the most notable. While many practices remained open for dental emergencies, options for routine and preventive care, cosmetic dental treatment, and restorative procedures were significantly limited or completely unavailable during the closures. During this time, dental practices such as Scottsdale Smile Center began preparing their offices for the day they could reopen to elective dental treatment while maximizing the safety of patients and employees. Scottsdale dentist Brandon Ryff, DDS along with Dr. Don Chiappetti and Dr. Jonathan Coombs, who oversee Scottsdale Smile Center, say their entire team of dental professionals rallied together to implement a comprehensive COVID-19 risk mitigation plan and reopen the practice in early May with enhanced safety measures designed to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus while helping patients receive the care they need: “Safety comes first and the extreme focus and dedication of our team during this challenging time is a testament to that mission.”

The dentists say they were fortunate to begin with a solid foundation: as a state-of-the-art dental office, high standards of infection control and sterilization had already been in place for many years. Closely following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association, the practice held well over 100 hours of didactic lecture and training sessions for its clinical and administrative team covering a multitude of topics, including the etiology, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and control of infectious diseases. The trainings were extremely detailed and rigorous, designed to ensure the team could consistently and effectively execute on the various components of their COVID-19 risk mitigation plan on a daily basis. The dentists also devised certain engineering controls designed to keep both their patients and their team members safe. The doctors implemented a policy requiring all patients to receive a pre-procedural rinse, which they note is a safe and effective measure against viral and bacterial pathogens. The dentists also installed over a dozen HEPA-13, medical-grade air purification systems to maintain the cleanest possible air inside the office. Although this is not a new policy for Scottsdale Smile Center, high-touch surfaces are routinely disinfected throughout the day.

The team at Scottsdale Smile Center begins each day with a 30-minute meeting during which time all patients and their respective medical histories are discussed in detail. In advance, the team identifies patients with ages and/or health conditions associated with greater risk—additional special arrangements are made to help protect the vulnerable. Numerous changes to scheduling protocols have been implemented to ensure patients are not waiting, and if so, are always able to maintain more than adequate physical distance from others in the waiting area. All doctors, clinical support, and administrative staff have tested negative for the coronavirus. The staff touts their commitment as a team to remain healthy themselves by absolutely avoiding unnecessary risk in their personal lives so they may continue to care for patients. Still, the doctors note, all members of the dental team must pass a health screening—including a temperature check—before entering the facility each day.

The dentists explain that patients visiting the practice will also be given a brief questionnaire and a general health screening upon entry. Patients are also administered hand sanitizer upon arrival and are required to wear masks while not actively being treated. Those who are ill are asked to reschedule their appointment and not enter the practice. Patients are also asked to attend their appointment alone, unless it’s absolutely necessary to bring a companion, in order to minimize the number of individuals in the practice at any given time. Vendors, salespeople, non-patient visitors, and even delivery persons are not permitted to enter. The practice is continuing to offer virtual consultations that can be conducted via FaceTime for individuals who are wary of an in-person appointment.

The doctors at Scottsdale Smile Center understand that these are very challenging times for all Americans. Dr Ryff remarks: “Now more than ever, it is our responsibility as healthcare providers to stay abreast of the latest science behind infection control protocols so that we may deliver much needed care, but in the safest manner possible.”

For years, the doctors at Scottsdale Smile Center have shared in common the philosophy that oral and overall systemic health are inextricably linked. In fact, the doctors note that they have already seen the deleterious effects on patients’ health following delays for routine dental care relating to COVID-19 fears and concerns. The dentists say they recognize the legitimate fears and concerns shared by many individuals and reiterate the importance of not dismissing those concerns, but addressing them head-on by doing everything in their power to help minimize risks. The doctors acknowledge that, despite their best efforts, the risk of contracting COVID-19 can never be completely eliminated. However, they warned that delaying preventative dental cleanings and routine dental care does not come without its own cost to one’s health. “While we all hope this coronavirus nightmare ends tomorrow, it’s unlikely. Choosing to forgo dental treatment early on in the crisis was certainly not unreasonable; however, for most individuals, avoiding the dentist long-term or even indefinitely comes with its own risks and costs as well.”

About Scottsdale Smile Center
Scottsdale Smile Center is a dental practice located in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area that offers a comprehensive array of treatments designed to improve and maintain oral health, restore dental function, and enhance smile aesthetics. The dentists at Scottsdale Smile Center are experienced with virtually all facets of dental care, including cosmetic dentistry, reconstructive dentistry, and preventive dentistry. Options at the practice include routine dental care services as well as treatments such as porcelain veneers, dental implants, teeth whitening, Invisalign® orthodontic aligners, and full Smile Makeovers. The team of dentists who oversee the practice hold membership in a variety of respected dental organizations and regularly attend continuing dental education courses that enable them to provide patients with the latest dental techniques.

For more information, visit scottsdalesmile.com and facebook.com/ScottsdaleSmileCenter.

Contact:

Scottsdale Smile Center
5410 N Scottsdale Rd
Ste D-500
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
(480) 991-2180

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044
www.rosemontmedia.com

How to Remove Yellow Stains from Teeth

Most individuals will experience some degree of yellowing or discoloration on the teeth at some point in life. Even if you have taken excellent care of your teeth and do all the right things to maintain the best possible oral health, factors both within your control and outside your control can cause the teeth to develop a progressively yellow appearance. The natural aging process, tobacco use, and consuming common foods and beverages that contain staining agents over many years are factors that are largely responsible for this effect. With that in mind, it’s important to know that dental stains and discoloration can be successfully improved with advanced treatments designed to refresh and renew your smile with beautiful results.

Here are two of the most popular (and effective) ways to address signs of yellow stains on the teeth:

Teeth Whitening
Professional-grade teeth whitening treatments can provide significant improvement for teeth affected by mild to moderate levels of discoloration. An in-office procedure involves the application of powerful (yet safe) whitening agents to address stains that have developed deep within the enamel over a long period of time. A professional teeth whitening treatment at Scottsdale Smile Center is capable of making the teeth several shades lighter, ultimately reducing signs of discoloration and creating a whiter, healthier-looking smile. Our take-home kits can also provide effective teeth whitening, and contain stronger whitening agents when compared to many of the standard over-the-counter products available.

Porcelain Veneers
Some individuals may have particularly severe staining and discoloration of the teeth. In these cases, porcelain veneers can often serve as the ideal treatment option. Porcelain veneers are custom-designed dental restorations that are securely placed over the front and sides of the affected teeth. They are made to look exactly like natural teeth, and will ultimately serve to “hide” the stains behind cosmetic restorations that are color-tinted to produce a more refreshed look. Porcelain veneers can be exceptional options for patients with significantly noticeable yellowing and dark stains that have formed on the teeth, and they can last for decades with the proper care.

Both porcelain veneer treatments and teeth whitening procedures can be effective options on their own, or they can be part of a full smile makeover for comprehensive cosmetic dental rejuvenation. If you feel your smile has been aesthetically compromised by discoloration, please contact our dentists today to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to talk with you about the best options for your needs and goals.

Invisalign Vs. DIY Teeth Straightening

There have been many recent commercials and online advertisements for what’s known as “direct-to-consumer” options for teeth straightening. These do-it-yourself teeth alignment systems are designed for individuals to use at home, and often look similar to orthodontic appliances such as Invisalign®, which is the technique we offer here at Scottsdale Smile Center. We would like to take a moment to evaluate the many significant distinctions between Invisalign® and direct-to-consumer teeth straightening treatments, because these differences are very important when it comes to the treatment process and the potential results.

Invisalign® is an orthodontic treatment that is only available by prescription. The entire process is developed and supervised by one of our experienced dentists, which allows the final outcome to be more accurately predicted. Some DIY teeth straightening options may not require ongoing, in-person treatment monitoring by a dental or orthodontic professional. This lack of real-time oral evaluations can be a disadvantage in terms of obtaining clear, professional examinations of how the orthodontic treatment process is progressing. Unforeseen challenges and inefficiencies can arise during the treatment process, and if they are not addressed quickly, it could have a pronounced effect on the results. In addition, Invisalign® is able to treat other orthodontic concerns—such as mild to moderate overbite, underbite, and crossbite issues—whereas a direct-to-consumer option may not be designed to correct those types of problems.

DIY teeth straightening systems typically offer several benefits that can sound very enticing, and it’s certainly understandable why individuals feel they may be more convenient. However, we believe that Invisalign® is the best option when compared to those treatments, particularly for patients who are experiencing “rotated” teeth and/or conditions such as infections and cavities that require regular evaluation during the orthodontic treatment process. Most orthodontic cases involve crowding or overlapping teeth, which almost always requires a very precise procedure to slightly slenderize the crowded teeth prior to attempting to move them. This procedure is what creates just the right amount of space, so there is room for the crowded teeth to move into proper alignment. DIY orthodontics not only lack the expert supervision of a dentist, but without this slenderizing process, most people end up being very unhappy with the results of DIY orthodontics. While DIY orthodontics may slightly improve alignment in a handful of cases, at the end of treatment, most patients find that their teeth are still crowded.

Ultimately, in-person customization of the treatment plan and consistent monitoring to ensure the treatment is progressing as smoothly and effectively as possible can make a world of difference once the results begin to become noticeable!

To learn more about Invisalign® and other advanced treatments that can renew the appearance of your smile, please don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Smile Center today. We look forward to answering any questions you may have. We can also schedule an initial consultation with one of our dentists so that you can have a thorough oral evaluation and talk with him about the best options for your needs and goals.

Hidden Consequences of Tooth Loss

While it’s understandable for many individuals to think that the loss of one or two teeth, particularly if they are in less noticeable areas of the mouth, may not be of serious concern, the fact is that even a single missing tooth can lead to a number of severe oral health consequences. In addition to overall smile aesthetics, missing teeth can cause problems with speaking and chewing, as well as structural deterioration that may require major dental intervention later. The good news is, our dentists at Scottsdale Smile Center offer a number of effective treatments to replace missing teeth, including dental implants, implant dentures, and dental bridges. These advanced options can create results that significantly reduce oral health risks and improve both function and aesthetics.

Some of the dangers caused by missing teeth that remain untreated include:

Teeth Shifting

Just one missing tooth can create a chain reaction among the natural teeth that surround it, ultimately causing them to become loose and shift position. When this occurs, teeth misalignment, changes in bite, and problems chewing may result.

Jawbone Degeneration

Since natural teeth help stimulate bone growth in the jaws, bone density in areas where teeth are missing may begin to recede. This jawbone degeneration can lead to a loosening (or even complete dislodgement) of surrounding teeth.

Gum Recession, Periodontal Disease, and Risks to General Health

If the jawbone deteriorates due to missing teeth, the gums may follow suit. Gum recession can then develop into severe gum (periodontal) disease, which can increase risks to overall health if left untreated. Periodontal disease has been linked to a large number of serious, even life-threatening general health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, dementia, certain kinds of cancer, and others.

Altered Facial Appearance

When teeth are lost in specific areas of the mouth, a condition known as “facial collapse” may occur. In some cases, the proportional distance between the chin and the nose can be shortened when missing teeth are not replaced. This can significantly alter one’s overall facial aesthetic and ultimately create an appearance that may look much older than they truly are.

Fortunately, missing teeth replacement can successfully address these concerns for many individuals. If you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Smile Center for additional information on treatment options, or to schedule an appointment.

Discreet Orthodontic Treatment for Adults

The thought of having to wear prominent metal appliances on the teeth for an extended period of time often makes the prospect of orthodontic treatment unappealing to adults who wish to correct teeth misalignment. Fortunately, there have been many innovations over the years that make it possible for both adult and adolescent patients to resolve common orthodontic concerns without compromising smile aesthetics during the treatment process.

Our dentists at Scottsdale Smile Center offer two popular options that can correct the appearance of misalignment, crowding, excessive spacing, and other issues in the most discreet way possible:

Invisalign®
Invisalign® is capable of straightening the teeth and even correcting mild to moderate bite irregularities without reliance on metal brackets and wires affixed to the teeth. Made of a translucent plastic material, Invisalign® is a flexible and removable orthodontic appliance designed to gradually correct misalignment by moving the teeth into a new position. The Invisalign® aligners are so thin and clear that it’s difficult to notice them when they are on the teeth, even at a close distance.

Porcelain Veneers
In some cases of teeth misalignment and crowding, ongoing orthodontic treatment may not be necessary. Cosmetic dental restorations such as porcelain veneers can be placed in areas exhibiting signs of spaces or a “crooked” appearance. These custom-designed restorations are attached to the front part of the teeth in the area targeted for treatment, and are color-matched to surrounding teeth to produce natural-looking results. In effect, porcelain veneers are able to “mask” certain types of orthodontic concerns and give the teeth a straighter, healthier look. These treatments typically require just two office visits and create results that can last years into the future.

In some cases, patients may choose to undergo a very short-term, limited Invisalign® treatment prior to receiving veneers. In many cases, going this route makes sense because it can reduce the number of veneers that may otherwise be necessary to achieve the same result. While not every patient is a candidate for this approach, many individuals appreciate a more conservative approach to treatment. Also, by reducing the number of veneers, sometimes Invisalign® treatment can reduce the overall, total treatment cost.

Are you considering orthodontic treatment? If so, please contact us today with any questions you may have, or to schedule a consultation. Our dentist can talk with you about your concerns and recommend the treatment option that is most ideal for your needs.

How to Fix a Chipped Tooth

Teeth that have been broken or “chipped” can have a significant aesthetic effect on your smile. In fact, even a small chip can be quite noticeable. Although the teeth are naturally strong and durable, they are certainly not impervious to harm. A traumatic injury or using the teeth to pry open a package/bottle are the most common ways to chip a tooth. Fortunately, individuals who experience this condition have several options that can effectively address a chipped tooth and restore its appearance. 

Some of the most popular treatments for chipped teeth include:

Porcelain Veneers 
Porcelain veneers are typically the most ideal options for teeth affected by chips and other aesthetic dental imperfections. A veneer is delicately and precisely designed to mimic the appearance of the natural tooth. This restoration covers the front surface of the affected tooth and “hides” the chip by recreating the tooth’s original shape and contour. Porcelain veneers are often the best treatment for chipped teeth because of their ability to produce natural-looking outcomes and results that can last for decades. 

Cosmetic Dental Bonding 
Another effective way to fix a chipped tooth is a treatment known as cosmetic dental bonding. This option utilizes special dental materials and techniques to rebuild the affected tooth and eliminate signs of the chip. Our dentist will carefully apply a tooth-colored resin to the tooth and shape it to restore its original appearance. Compared to porcelain veneers, cosmetic bonding does not produce results that last quite as long; however, the treatment can yield outcomes that last for several years with the proper care. 

Dental Crown 
If a chip is particularly severe, a dental crown may be recommended. Crowns are typically necessary when the damage is so significant that the health of the tooth is at risk. This restorative option is custom-designed to produce the most natural look, fit, and feel possible. Unlike porcelain veneers, dental crowns cover the entire tooth rather than just the front portion, which can ultimately prevent the tooth from additional deterioration. Our practice offers advanced CEREC® dental crowns, which can be designed, produced, and placed in a single appointment. 

To learn more about our cosmetic and restorative dentistry options, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center.

Scottsdale Smile Center Now Offers BOTOX® to Treat TMJ Disorder

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Brandon Ryff is now a member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics and is certified to perform BOTOX® injections and dermal filler treatments! Commonly used for cosmetic purposes, BOTOX® is a purified protein form of botulinum toxin, a solution that can also effectively treat the root cause of TMJ Disorder (also referred to as TMD). TMJ Disorder is a condition related to problems with the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Often triggered by a misaligned bite, persistent teeth grinding, or simply overuse of the temporomandibular joint, TMD and overactive musculature along the joint can lead to a number of symptoms that negatively affect everyday life. These may include:

  • Jaw and/or lower facial pain
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Headaches
  • Neck, back, and shoulder discomfort
  • Numbness in the arms and/or fingers

When strategically administered around the jaw and head, botulinum toxin injections work to temporarily relax hyperactive muscles in targeted areas, providing significant relief from the effects of TMD. The results of treatment generally last three months or more, so routine follow-up injections are recommended to maintain long-term relief. With that in mind, Dr. Ryff says many patients experience longer-lasting results with subsequent treatments, and often need less BOTOX® during these follow-up procedures since the muscles are essentially being retrained to reduce hyperactivity.

Botulinum toxin treatments (including brands such as BOTOX® and XEOMIN®) can be utilized for TMJ Disorder treatment, dental aesthetic enhancement, and can even be effective for some patients experiencing a “gummy smile.”

BOTOX® may not be the most effective solution for everyone suffering from TMJ Disorder, which is why seeking the expertise of a dentist who has received advanced training and certification in performing botulinum toxin injections is critical. During a consultation at Scottsdale Smile Center, Dr. Ryff can thoroughly assess your symptoms to determine the proper course of action. Based on your unique needs, he can administer the injections with an optimal degree of safety and precision, or he can recommend another treatment for TMJ Disorder that is better suited to your specific case.

For more information about TMD treatment, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment at our office, please don’t hesitate to contact Scottsdale Smile Center today.

Sparkling Water: Friend or Foe?

It seems flavored sparkling water varieties are becoming more and more popular. We like them because many are touted as having zero calories, zero sugar, and many with no artificial flavoring—yet, they taste great! The best part: the bubbles! We love the fizz, even more when served ice cold.

While flavored sparkling water may sound like a drink made in heaven, there is one major potential drawback: Any kind of sparkling water, flavored or not, can wreak havoc on your smile!

Why? Well the answer is simple. We all know soda is acidic. This acidity comes from carbonic acid, which is an unavoidable byproduct of the carbon dioxide used to give soda its carbonation. This process is no different for sparkling water.

But do not despair, here are some tips on how you can enjoy your bubbly H2O and still keep your teeth.

  1. Drink it, don’t sip it. For 30 minutes since taking your last drink, your mouth remains acidic and precious enamel is breaking down. So, if you take small sips from even a single can, your oral environment could remain acidic all day.
  2. Chase it with regular water after you are done.
  3. Avoid the common habit of “swishing” your carbonated drinks. Some people like the way the bubbles feel, but trust me, your teeth do not like it one bit.
  4. Do not brush your teeth within 30 minutes of drinking a carbonated beverage. Recall from above: acidic environment. I once used a brush and acid to remove a rust stain in my driveway. Let’s not brush our teeth with acid.
  5. Consider watering-down your sparkling water with 1 part regular water, 2 parts sparkling water. You may be surprised to see, it still bubbles and has great flavor, but with reduced acidity.
  6. As always, we recommend using a fluoride toothpaste and regular visits to your dentist.

Dr. Brandon Ryff

Dentists at Scottsdale Smile Center Announce Move to New, State-of-the-Art Facility

Drs. Brandon Ryff, Don Chiappetti, and Jonathan Coombs say the new location in Paradise Valley will open its doors on March 5th, 2018.

Scottsdale, AZ – A well-known dental office in the Scottsdale area is moving to a new location. Scottsdale Smile Center will be relocating its services, in addition to its entire dental team, to a state-of-the-art facility just 1.5 miles from its current location. The new office in Paradise Valley, officially opening its doors on March 5th, is located at 5410 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite D-500.

The Scottsdale dentists who oversee the practice – Drs. Brandon Ryff, Don Chiappetti, and Jonathan Coombs – say the facility will provide an upgraded experience for their patients and offer the same advanced technologies and dental treatment options they have come to expect at Scottsdale Smile Center. The doctors note that the new office has been designed and built with patient comfort and convenience in mind. “We trust that the new facility will be an ideal environment to continue our longstanding tradition of providing our patients with high-quality dentistry and outstanding service.”

Patients of the practice can expect to see the same dental team they have become familiar with, as all of the doctors, hygienists, and support staff will be moving to the new office. The dentists say that all patient records will be automatically transferred to the Paradise Valley office by the fifth of March to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for patients. They note that patients can still go to the practice’s present location for treatment before March 5th.


About Scottsdale Smile Center

Scottsdale Smile Center is a comprehensive dental practice offering a full array of high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and family dental care options. Treatments include porcelain veneers, Invisalign®, dental implants, teeth whitening, laser dentistry, and other advanced procedures. The dentists at the practice maintain active membership in a variety of prestigious dental organizations and regularly pursue continuing education to stay abreast of the latest developments in dental care.

For more information, visit scottsdalesmile.com and facebook.com/ScottsdaleSmileCenter.

Contact:

Scottsdale Smile Center
New Location
5410 N Scottsdale Rd Ste D-500
Paradise Valley AZ 85253

Current Location
Lincoln Plaza Medical Center
7125 E. Lincoln Drive, Suite 106
Scottsdale, AZ 85253

480-991-2180

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044
www.rosemontmedia.com

Scottsdale Smile Center Featured in The Washington Post

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We are thrilled to announce that our practice was featured in an article published by The Washington Post! The column focuses on the strong divide the 2016 presidential election uncovered in our nation; a divide that ran deep into our communities, penetrating even our innermost circles. Led by Scottsdale dentist Dr. Brandon Ryff, learn how our team (who was divided ourselves) has put politics aside and come together to recognize how truly similar we are as friends, co-workers, and Americans. In the grand scheme of life, it’s not about being a Republican or Democrat—it’s about understanding your neighbor and uniting with your fellow man to celebrate life!

To read The Washington Post article, click here.