Reasons to Be Thankful for Your Rapid City Dentist

Rapid city dentist

Rapid city dentist

​​A GREAT THING to remember for your list of things you’re grateful for is your Rapid City dentist. We’re almost at the end of another year, and one of the best parts of the holiday season is getting some time to take stock of all the things we’re grateful for. From our families to our careers, our homes to our country, those lists can be pretty long, and if you live in Rapid City, SD one more great thing to add to your list is your dentist!

We Owe Our Smiles to Our Dentists

You might think it’s silly to include your dentist on the list of things you’re thankful for, but we can give you a few great reasons why they should make the cut. Between their advice on how to take care of our teeth and their treatment of dental problems that arise, dentists do a lot to keep us healthy and happy.

Thanks to dentists, we know…

  • …the right way to brush our teeth. Brushing too little leads to plaque buildup, cavities and gum disease. Brushing too hard contributes to gum recession and strips away enamel. Thanks to our dentists, we know to brush twice a day for two minutes with soft-bristle brushes.
  • …how often to floss. When we don’t floss, plaque can build up between our teeth even when we brush the rest away from the outer surfaces. Daily flossing like the dentist tells us to keeps the in-between spaces just as clean as the rest!
  • …tricks for beating bad breath. While bad breath can have a variety of causes, good habits like daily brushing and flossing, making sure to clean our tongues, and breathing through our noses instead of our mouths can really help!
  • …how important dental check-ups are. One of the best things we can do to keep our teeth and gums healthy is to schedule twice-yearly dental visits. It’s always better (and cheaper) to catch dental problems early on than to suffer through the pain and have to get more intense treatment later on!
  • …what to eat (and avoid) to reduce tooth decay. Cutting down on sugary foods and drinks means giving less food to the bad bacteria in our mouths, which means our teeth and gums are healthier. We can replace them with fruits, vegetables, and sugar-free treats.

And We’re Just as Thankful for Our Patients!

We love helping our patients in Rapid City keep their smiles healthy, which is why we love nothing better than getting to see you when you come in for your appointments. You make our days and our lives brighter! We hope to see your smiling faces again soon! You can learn more about our practice on our business page, and make sure to get directions before you head our way.

Make the end of this year wonderful!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

6 Ways to Find the Best Dentist Near Me

Dentist near me in rapid city

Dentist near me in rapid city

Dentist Near Me in Rapid City, South Dakota 

Maybe you’ve just moved to a new neighborhood and are looking for a family dental practice? Whatever the reason, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. You want to find a dentist who can provide comprehensive dental care for your healthy smile for years to come.

Most communities have plenty of dentists, but finding someone you feel comfortable with and trust can take a bit of research. If you’re wondering “how do I find the best dentist near me,” check out our six simple tips:

Family & Friend Recommendations

When looking for the best ‘dentist near me’, the first thing to do is ask family, friends, and even neighbors. They certainly have a little bit of experience and can suggest someone they trust in the area. Gather a few recommendations, and then narrow down the options by considering the proximity of the dental office, their services, and whether they accept your insurance. 

Internet Search

To find a dentist near you, search Google using terms such as “dentist near me,” or “best dentist near me.” Research all the dentists your family and friends recommend and check out their websites to learn more about their staff, credentials, and dental specialties. 

Your family will mainly require regular dental cleanings. But, do they offer various dental care treatment plans like gum disease treatment, dental implants, and root canals? Do they provide oral surgery for wisdom teeth or have cosmetic dentistry treatments like teeth whitening? Consider what you need now in dental treatments and what you may need in the future.  

Patient Reviews

Look through patient reviews to learn more about their specific dental experience. You can find patient reviews on the dentist’s web page, social media, or review pages such as “Yelp” or “Google Reviews.” 

Please do not assume that one bad review means the dentist isn’t a good choice for you and your family. 

Dental Associations

The American Dental Association keeps a registry of all active dentists. You can use the database to search for dentists near you. Their website is an excellent resource for learning more about each dentist you consider. 

Visit the Practice

We highly recommend stopping by each practice to get an in-person impression. Notice how the staff greets you. Are they helpful, friendly, and eager to assist you? Does the dental practice look state of the art and clean?

By taking the time to interact with the staff and possibly even the dentist, you can get a better feel for whether or not you’ve found the right dentist for you. Aside from the above tips, there are several questions you can ask of each potential dentist. These might include:

  • Do the hours fit your schedule?
  • Are they located near your house or work?
  • How do they approach preventive dentistry?
  • Do they provide after-hour care for emergencies?

Spend some time getting to know a potential dentist before moving forward. You want a relationship that you can be comfortable with for many years. 

Come In and Learn More About Our Dental Team!

Now that you’ve found the “best dentist near me,” we invite you to meet the team at Rushmore Dental, your friendly Rapid City dental practice. 

Please call your dentist in Rapid City, SD, to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you achieve excellent oral health and a beautiful smile that makes you proud! 

Who is Your Cosmetic Dentist in Rapid City?

Cosmetic dentist in rapid city

Cosmetic dentist in rapid city

So Many Reasons Why You Should Choose a Cosmetic Dentist in Rapid City

Your smile is the first thing people see, and it says more about you than you might think. Having discolored, missing, or chipped teeth can affect a person’s judgment about who you really are. Today, there is so much pressure on having a great smile that even minor chips, cracks, and discolored teeth can be highly stressful. Cosmetic dentists specialize in beautifying your smile and making it your best feature.

Read below for nine reasons to consider cosmetic dentistry:

#1 One Chance for a First Impression

Having a crooked smile can lead to people making blind judgments about your success, intelligence, and overall health. We know that a person’s teeth are not an accurate reflection, and the team at Rushmore Dental can help you get a smile that will set people’s opinions straight!

#2 Improve Professional Success

It is sad but true, but Americans perceive people with nice teeth as 45% more likely than those with crooked teeth to get a job, regardless of experience level. Don’t risk getting passed over in an interview just because your teeth aren’t straight or white enough. Money spent improving your smile will payout in the long run.

#3 Comfort

Chipped or cracked teeth can lead to painful sensitivity when drinking hot or cold beverages and an increased risk of cavities. Cosmetic dentists can use tooth-colored fillings, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers on the tooth surface to mask imperfections causing you pain.

#4 Increase lifespan

Chronic stress accelerates aging and reduces your lifespan. So, in theory, fixing a flaw that stresses you out can add years to your life.

#5 Oral Health

After investing your hard-earned money into your smile, you’ll want to do everything to maintain it, thus improving at-home hygiene. Beyond that, straight teeth are easier to clean when they’re no longer crowded and overlapping. 

#6 Boosts Self-Confidence

If you’re trying to catch the eye of that special someone, a friendly smile is essential to drawing them in. There is only one thing more attractive than a great smile — a confident smile. Cosmetic dentistry plays a considerable role in improving self-confidence regardless of the procedure. Nothing holds you back from flashing those pearly whites when you are proud of your smile.

#7 Recover from an Accident

Cosmetic dental work can repair the damage from injuries like a blow to the face, a car accident, or tripping and falling. Dental implants, dental crowns, dental veneers, and inlays and onlays can get you back to a beautiful smile.

#8 Psychologically Healing

Not all problems are physical. Cosmetic dentistry in Rapid City, SD, can significantly boost mental health. Some people may have negative feelings because of getting bullied over imperfections.

Perhaps someone has a fear of rejection because of negative comments said to them about their teeth when they were young. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can change all of that and set the record straight.

#9 It’s a Great Investment

We’ve proven that cosmetic dentistry can:

  • lower stress
  • help you advance professionally
  • boost confidence
  • make you more healthy
  • make you feel better about yourself

Talk about a great return on investment! The best part is that it is less expensive than you think. Cosmetic dentistry ranges in price and there are often affordable payment plans.

Contact Your Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Kelley and his team in Rapid City, South Dakota, have years of experience to make your smile enhance your natural self. We would love to be your cosmetic dentist. Call today to schedule an appointment.


Why Dental Health is a Personal Investment

Dental health is a personal investment

We all know the saying: “health is wealth” – it never gets old because we know it always rings true. Health is a treasured source of wealth because it spares you from many serious conditions and illnesses, as well as the accompanying costs that come from the required treatment. The same is also true in the case of dental health. Maintaining your dental health is an easy way to invest in your own health and well-being.

Perception Of The Self

So how is dental health a personal investment? Many scientific studies suggest that self-confidence, feeling of self-competence, and importance of body investment are essential influencers of self-reported dental health status and behavior. Dental health is a personal investment because it affects how you perceive yourself – it’s a part of feeling confident, competent, and happy.

Negative Effects Of Poor Dental Health

Poor dental hygiene can have adverse and far-reaching effects on your overall health, wellness, and happiness. First, poor dental health can affect your quality of life. Some people with poor dental health might also lose interest in social functions and even romantic relationships. For example, lack of oral hygiene leads to potential problems such as a severe case of bad breath or halitosis which may have serious negative effects on their romantic relationship with a significant other. Secondly, untreated tooth cavities and toothache can also reduce one’s productivity at work. For example, delaying a much-needed visit to the dentist can force someone to endure a serious pain unnecessarily.

Minimizing Risks

When we invest in our dental health, we minimize other health risks. For example, if left untreated, gum disease leads not only to the loss of teeth but also the development of more serious conditions like respiratory diseases. Bacteria build-up in the mouth can travel and spread in the lungs. Moreover, maintaining dental health also requires specific steps that also benefit the overall physical health. For example, avoiding smoking, making healthy food choices, and drinking lots of water are part of an optimal dental health regimen, and these steps are extremely beneficial to overall physical health and happiness.

In sum, maintaining dental health is a personal investment because it boosts self-esteem, prevents the negative effects of poor dental health to many aspects of our lives, and minimizes risks for the development of other diseases.

Is Prolonged Soreness After a Dental Filling Common?

Sore after fillings

If our expert dentists find a cavity in a patient’s tooth, we work to treat the cavity as soon as possible. After all, rapid response can prevent the decay from spreading and causing further damage. Often, we repair cavity damage with a filling. Many ask if it is common to have prolonged soreness after a dental filling. Read on to learn about this common restorative procedure!

What Is a Dental Filling?

Dental fillings restore the function of your natural tooth after it has been damaged by decay. During the procedure, our first step is to remove the decay from your tooth and clean out the area. Then we fill the cavity with a special dental material to strengthen your natural tooth and to protect it against further damage and decay.

Are There Different Kinds of Dental Fillings?

There are multiple materials that can be utilized for dental fillings, such as gold, silver (amalgam), composite resin, and porcelain. During your consultation, our team will explore the pros and cons of the available materials to determine which is best for your smile, especially if you want a tooth-colored filling to match your natural teeth.

Does Getting a Dental Filling Hurt?

We use a local anesthetic when removing decay and repairing teeth with fillings so the actual procedure will only cause minor discomfort. After the procedure, it is possible you could experience some sensitivity when consuming very hot or cold foods and beverages. You may also feel some soreness when pressure is applied, such as when biting or chewing. This will usually go away after a few days. But occasionally, patients experience an allergic reaction to a filling or can have a loose or cracked filling that is causing prolonged discomfort. If you experience continued pain or an issue with your new filling, let our office know as soon as possible.

More Questions? We Have Answers!

Unfortunately, cavities won’t magically heal themselves. But dental fillings are an effective treatment to ease tooth pain and sensitivity from advanced decay. They fortify your tooth for proper chewing and speaking, and with modern-day techniques and materials, fillings can blend into your smile so no one will know you ever had a cavity. To ask our team any questions about dental fillings or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today.

Relaxation Options for Anxious Dental Patients

Anxious dental patient

A mother with two small children. She knows the value of dental treatment, and takes her children to the dentist regularly. Their teeth are healthy and clean, and so far have had no cavities.

But her teeth are another story entirely. She doesn’t know of the new relaxation options for anxious dental patients. When she was a child, dental techniques were not so gentle as they are today. She recalls the hour spent in the chair with horrible tastes in her mouth with no way to swallow or be comfortable. She remembers sitting in agony with no anesthetic while a cavity was being prepared and filled. She remembers the smell of the antiseptic and the feeling of being trapped in a chair.  And though her teeth desperately need a dental visit and she knows modern dentistry is better, she remains reluctant to go or even schedule the time.

If this sounds familiar, you’re dealing with the realities of dental anxiety…and help is available!

Behavior Modification

As with any form of anxiety, behavior modification can provide a source of relief. When you become aware of the connection between your mental state and physical tension you may find ways to relax.

Yoga can train you to focus your mind, breath, and muscles together. Those who practice yoga often have a calmer, more peaceful outlook on life.

Breathing: Many focused breathing guides can be found online. There are several basic ones that may work for you, here. Include visualization, such as breathing in a golden light representing peace, and exhaling or releasing any anxious feelings.

Bring a friend of family member with you to your appointment. Having someone who can provide a calming influence may make you feel better about your time in the chair.

Sedation and Anesthetic

Aside from behavior techniques that may provide relief to your dental anxiety, you should know that the dental office is more comfortable and provides a wider variety of options for pain and relaxation. There is no longer any reason to perform a treatment or extraction without an anesthetic or sedation. Even standard exams and cleanings can be done under a light sedation if necessary.

Local anesthetic numbs nerves in a small, immediate area. Fortunately, numbing gels and newer anesthetic techniques make getting numb not so uncomfortable!

Nitrous oxide sedation (“Laughing Gas”) provides fast, gentle relaxation that can be reversed 100% so that you can drive yourself home afterward.

Oral sedatives allow you to experience more of a dream-like state, where you are semi-conscious but unlikely to remember anything about the appointment.

Don’t Be Afraid of The Dentist Anymore!

If you are like the mother of two who is afraid to go to the dentist, it’s time to get the gentle dental care you need.

At Rushmore Dental, not only will you receive excellent dental care for long overdue issues, you’ll also have a comfortable exam with a gentle touch. Contact our Rushmore Dental office to schedule your appointment.

Four Things to Know About Porcelain and Composite Fillings

Porcelain composite

When you’re faced with a choice of fillings, the chances are you want ones that will look natural in your mouth and also last for a long time.  At Rushmore Dental, you have a few choices available. We want you to have the information necessary to make the best decision for your health and your smile!

Here’s what you need to know:

Match Your Teeth

The older type of filling material, amalgam, is a blend of different metals. While this is an effective and strong material, it leaves your teeth looking grey. Even metal fillings like gold and silver can be very obvious in the teeth. With the (wrongful) stigma that goes along with obvious dental restorations, there’s no that wonder metal fillings often have the effect of making patients self-conscious, and hesitant about smiling. The good news is that both porcelain and composite fillings are great choices for fillings and they match your teeth! You’ll feel confident smiling and laughing!

Not All Cavities Are the Same!

Surface cavities can be repaired in a single visit under local anesthesia. For this type, one that is between your teeth or very small, a composite filling is the best choice.  Not only does it match your teeth, but it is installed with and bonds quickly to your tooth!

The repair for a deeper cavity may be more extensive. Depending on the structure of the tooth, Dr. Kelly may decide that a porcelain filling is better. If you have to choose one or the other to make up the majority of your tooth, porcelain is a better aesthetic and minimally-invasive choice.  Large porcelain fillings, however, are usually put in as an inlay or an only.  What this means is that an impression of the cavity area is taken, and a lab-made filling is designed to fill and/or cover the space. It requires more than one appointment and a temporary filling in between.

Choose for Tooth Size!

The larger the tooth, the more pressure it has to withstand while you are chewing hundreds of times during the day.  So, a smaller tooth, like one of your front teeth or canines, may have a cavity that is easily corrected with composite filling, the same size cavity in a bicuspid or molar may need the stability of a lab-designed porcelain inlay.

Cavities are nothing to wait on. They can cause sensitivity, infection, bad breath, and abscessed roots.  Food can get caught in them. They can spread to other surrounding teeth if not treated early on.

If you think you might have a cavity in one tooth, don’t delay: it’s time to call Rushmore Dental for a dental exam and X-ray.  Restoring your smile to health is one of our primary goals.

Three Times You Might Need A Filling – Even If Your Tooth Doesn’t Hurt!

Do you need a filling

Have you ever been surprised on a visit to the dentist?  Sometimes, even if you’ve been having your six-month cleanings and keeping up with your dental hygiene, you still get a cavity.

They don’t necessarily hurt, but cavities need to be fixed as soon as they’re found, to prevent further destruction to your teeth! Here are three examples of cavities that you might not feel, but need to be treated…quickly!

The cavity in the top of your molar. Your molars, the teeth toward the back of your mouth, are meant to grind food. They are creased and creviced. You may notice that certain foods get caught in them: seeds from berries, bread, pieces of meat. When this happens, you might have a very slight cavity in the biting surface of the back tooth. The more food gets stuck, the worse the cavity will get since it’s very difficult to remove food debris from an uneven crevice.

The cavity between your teeth. If you don’t floss well or often, and especially if your teeth are close together, you may tend to cavities between them. Food gets caught there, breeding acids and breaking down enamel, leaving a food supply for the bacteria that cause plaque. The process eats away at teeth adjacent to it too, and works its way deeper into the dentin of your tooth. Since a toothbrush cannot get into that space to clean, it’s at a higher risk. Your cavity may start in one tooth, but the bacteria and decay will spread to the next tooth, leaving you with two cavities if you don’t have the first one filled.

The cavity on the back of your tooth. The back of your teeth is a hard spot to clean. You have to open your mouth wider than is comfortable and reach the toothbrush around, or stick both of your hands in to floss. This spot is prone to cavities and to inflammation in your gums.

Any of these cavities are likely to go unnoticed by the naked eye; you’ll only be able to see them with a set of dental x-rays.  In fact, if you can see a cavity or feel a cavity, it’s past time to have it restored!

Fillings and Restoration in Rapid City

Pain and sensitivity in a tooth or gum and persistent foul breath are indicators of a cavity. But by the time you’ve having these symptoms, the decay has probably gone through the outer layers and into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth, making you prone to an abscess. At this point, the root is open to infection, and is likely to be very sensitive to heat, cold, and sweetness. It’s likely at this point that you will need more than a filling, like a root canal or crown.

Don’t put off your dental appointments or fillings! Even if you don’t feel pain from a cavity, it’s working its way through your tooth. Rushmore Dental can help you enjoy better dental health. Call today!

How to Know What Your Dental Insurance Covers

Dental insurance

Has it been a while since you last saw a dentist? At Rushmore Dental, we’re committed to help our patients minimize the financial impact of their oral health care. We believe that you deserve to know what you need to pay for, when you’re required to pay for treatment, and how much your insurance plan really covers.

Your Treatment Plan

After your comprehensive exam and consultation, our North Vancouver dentist will discuss which types of treatment are recommended for your unique situation. In some cases, you’ll have a choice to choose between different options.

Together, we’ll create your customized treatment plan to outline:

Which procedures need to be completed

The number and length of appointments involved

The fees for each service

An estimate of what your insurance plan is expected to cover

As our treatment coordinator walks you through your care plan, you’ll have a chance to see exactly what fees are involved. Because Rushmore Dental works with various insurance companies, we can generally provide a close estimate of what your particular carrier is expected to pay in a given circumstance.

Is Your Insurance Accepted by Your Dentist?

When you call Rushmore Dental for the first time, or if you’ve recently changed dental insurances, our patient coordinators can let you know whether or not we take your particular type of coverage. In most cases, all dental insurance plans are welcome. There may be certain exclusions that don’t allow you to select the office where your benefits are active, so it’s always best to call us first.

When do You Pay?

How can you know when and how much you’re responsible for paying toward your dental treatment? Here are some of the most common situations when our patients may need to pay at the time of service, or following their procedure:

If a deductible is due. Deductibles are the flat dollar amount that must be paid prior to your insurance benefits being accessible. For instance, if you need $500 in treatment but have a $200 deductible, the $200 must be paid before the insurance claim is accepted by your carrier.

When there is a copay. Copays are the percentage or fixed amount that you need to pay at the time of your appointment. A common example is when a specific type of treatment is covered at a set percentage; you would pay the remaining balance at the time of service, and then the insurance claim would be filed.

When there are exclusions or the claim is rejected. Perhaps your insurance plan doesn’t take effect for 90 more days, won’t cover a particular procedure, or has rejected a claim for one reason or another. When this happens, the patient is responsible for the total fee for service.

Maximize Your Coverage

At Rushmore Dental, our Rapid City dentists understand that an unexpected dental expense isn’t something that anyone likes. That’s why we’re committed to helping you maximize your insurance coverage to limit any out of pocket expenses related to the care you need.

Ask us about payment plans when you call, or during your treatment plan consultation. Schedule your next appointment at Rushmore Dental today!

The Cost of Skipping Dental Care

A trip to the dentist may seem like a harmless thing to postpone. Schedules get busy and arranging to visit your family dentist can cost time and money, depending on the type of coverage you have. In the long run, however, the cost of skipping dental care and preventative check-ups and early treatments is greater than the cost of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. When more invasive treatments are needed, the side effects can be greater and the procedures and materials end up costing more.Cost of skipping dental care

When good oral health habits are practiced at home, it can be easy to assume that professional dental care is not needed, especially when no symptoms of decay or other issues are present. Even for patients with healthy teeth, it is recommended to visit your family dentist once every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Dental hygienists are trained to use special tools to remove tartar from the teeth when plaque has hardened and can no longer be removed through brushing alone. Your family dentist has the expertise to identify other potential oral health issues early on, such as:

Early signs of decay and cavities

Signs of gum disease or infection such as bleeding or inflammation

Repairs needed to previous dental work such as fillings

Early signs of mouth or throat cancer

Other suspicious growths

Any concerns with the general condition of the bones in your face and jaw

Preventative and Restorative Care

Your family dentist can recommend preventative treatments such as fluoride and sealants. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the teeth and makes them more resistant to acid and decay. Dental sealants are gel coatings that are painted onto the chewing surface of the molars to protect the teeth from bacteria and food particles that can collect in the grooves of the teeth.

When tooth decay has already occurred, your family dentist can give you a filling by clearing the decay and filling the affected area with composite resin or amalgam. When a deep cavity is left untreated, the pulp pf the tooth can become infected. In this case, a root canal is needed to remove and fill the pulp of the tooth, sometimes requiring a post to be inserted to help support the filling.

The Cost of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

When a tooth is damaged beyond repair it must be extracted to prevent the spread of infection. To replace a damaged tooth, your dentist can insert a post into the jawbone and attached a prosthetic tooth. This is known as a tooth implant. Although you can live without a full set of teeth, it is important to note the implications associated with not having a missing tooth replaced. The impacts of missing a tooth or teeth include:

Cosmetic effects: The aesthetic of your smile will be affected by having a gap in the teeth, and you may feel self-conscious about your smile and overall appearance.

Gum disease: When the gum is left uncovered and unprotected it increases the chance of germs getting into the gums and spreading infection to neighboring teeth.

Bone loss: When the roots of a tooth are no longer embedded in the jawbone it leaves a gap that can cause the bone to weaken over time. The weakened bone structure can eventually affect neighboring teeth.

Difficulty eating: A missing tooth can cause discomfort when chewing and limit the foods you are able to eat and bite in to.

Overall health: In addition to potential limitations on eating healthy foods, reduced oral health is associated with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pre-term birth.

Speech problems: Missing teeth can affect the way you pronounce and articulate words.

If you don’t invest in the proper preventative care and treatment, you may ending up paying the price later on. If you are in the Rapid City area and are in need of a dental exam, book an appointment today. Your local dentist can advise on the many options for preventive care, restorative treatments, and high quality tooth replacement.