By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Health & Beauty | Issue: November 2014
Dr. Michael Riggs, owner and founder of Shortline Dental, strives to make early dental care available and affordable to all families.
Many parents may wonder, when should a child first see a dentist? Dr. Michael Riggs, D.D.S. and owner of Shortline Dental, says, “When the first tooth comes in.” This is typically around six months, but no later than one year.
This may seem early, but tooth decay can start with the first tooth. Continued preventive pediatric dentistry can keep a child’s teeth healthy by removing plaque build-up and food debris that may be stuck in his or her teeth. “This is an important part of dental care because it prevents bacteria from continuing to grow, which may eventually lead to other dental diseases such as tooth decay or inflammation of the gum tissue,” he explains. It is also an opportunity for the dentist to evaluate proper oral and facial development and to explain proper at-home dental care to parents. This includes eating habits and proper brushing and flossing.
A recent report issued by the Centers for Disease Control links early dental care to long-term health benefits. The study notes that poor oral health has been liked to lower than ideal body weight, having low birth weight babies, and developing heart disease or suffering a stroke as an adult.
Dr. Riggs understands the importance of preventive pediatric dental care, and he has made it his mission to reach out to as many families as possible in the Tulsa area. While doing his residency in dentistry and later in anesthesiology, he noticed that many people with serious problems did not make regular visits to the dentist.
Money was a major factor. His research led him to Tulsa, where he found a population that was under-served with affordable dental care. In 2006, Shortline Dental was born. Dr. Riggs now has three Shortline Dental locations in Tulsa to handle all dental services. These include cleanings and exams, fillings and crowns, extractions, root canals, dentures, implants, wisdom teeth removal, sedation dentistry, general anesthesia, emergencies and special needs dentistry.
The professionals at Shortline Dental can address any situation. People who are afraid of going to the dentist can be put to sleep by an in-house dental anesthesiologist so they will not be aware of the procedure.
Shortline Dental also treats patients with special needs that many other practices cannot treat effectively. These include people who are extremely anxious and phobic, as well as those who have medical background concerns and issues, such as cancer. They also treat individuals with mental and physical challenges, c-spine injured athletes, post-cardiac surgery valve replacement patients needing IV antibiotics, stroke patients, Alzheimer’s patients, seizure disorder and neurologically impaired patients, children, adolescents and adults who have ADD, ADHD, OCD or bipolar disorder, and those who are wheelchair confined.
Dental services are as simple or as complex as needed. Appointments are welcome, but not necessary. All three locations offer extended evening hours, as well as Saturdays. Shortline Dental accepts all insurance coverage, Medicaid and SoonerCare. Payment options are also available.
Dr. Riggs emphasizes that good dental care for children is available, necessary for their future well-being, and it is affordable.
For more information, contact
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.