New Technology To Serve You
By Rosie Alexander
Where Silicon Valley and dentistry meet, Rio Del Mar Dental in Aptos is there at the forefront. Local dentist Tod Anderson, D.D.S., studied pre-med as an undergrad, and in the year 2000 moved to Silicon Valley working in tech start-ups in the medical field. He loved the innovation and entrepreneurial nature of his work, and being on the cutting edge of new discoveries.
After working in the tech world, he went to dental school at age 33. In 2009, he bought a dental practice in Aptos, but his love of innovation and start-ups never faded. He loves finding the next best thing in the dental field and bringing it to his patients.
This passion shows in his side project, a website called Curated Dental (www.curateddental.com) that sells high-end personal protective equipment and curates the best home care dental products for individual oral care. and provides directions on how to best use them. He was able to focus on this project when the practice closed due to COVID-19 in mid-March.
Another innovation Anderson is working with is a start-up called OrthoFX, which is an off-shoot of Invisalign. OrthoFX is an option for invisible aligners that is completely touchless and can be done from the comfort of your home.
This luxury is even more important now in the time of the coronavirus.
This whole dental experience can be done virtually from an app on your phone. With this app, gone are the days of constant dental appointments to refit and mold your invisible braces.
You scan your teeth at home and get a consultation from a dentist via the app to track the movements of your teeth while they align.
Anderson was the third dentist to adopt OrthoFX, and he is proud to be an entrepreneur for dentistry in this field.
He is excited to offer the OralDNA test kits to patients which tests for the risk of cavities and periodontal disease. He will be offering these tests on his website as well as in the office.
Another innovation is coming soon. Anderson is working with a startup company AltWorks, which has made a new chair for home offices, to make it easier for patients who are elderly and those with handicaps to get in and out of. He will be introducing this chair into dental offices; he considers it to be the most advanced chair on the market.
For eight years, Anderson worked without an associate, but that changed a few months ago. His new associate, Dr. Billy Vainer, 35, is an Aptos local who Anderson hopes will be his future partner in the practice.
Anderson appreciates Vainer’s energy and passion for the community. Vainer also helps with dental hygiene appointments for patients.
The past year has been the hardest on record for Rio Del Mar Dental, as it has been for a lot of local businesses. Anderson says he has not been able to pay himself in order to keep down costs and keep the business afloat. The most difficult factor has been that insurance companies have reduced what they pay for treatments.
Since reopening, Anderson reports he has never seen people so excited to go to the dentist. They are happy to be taken care of, and it feels good for him to take care of people.
Rio Del Mar Dental is taking precautions seriously, and going above and beyond the written guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety.
To make sure all the patients come back for their regular appointments, Rio Del Mar Dental has been using software to track appointments that were missed during the COVID closure, and from there the team is able to help the patient reschedule.
Anderson expects a lot of the cleaning and safety protocols put in place by COVID will stay in place even after a vaccine is in widespread use. He wants to keep his team safe from all potential viruses and health concerns going forward, and will require masks to be worn by all staff and patients even after the coronavirus is no longer a concern.
With a new associate in Billy Vainer, Rio Del Mar Dental is ready for you to come back for your regular check-up. Meet Vainer and Anderson at work, and let them help you with your oral hygiene.
Rio Del Mar Dental is at 9520 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Phone: 831-688-1006. Hours are Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed for lunch noon to 1 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments can be made online at www.riodelmardental.com/