Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

A blog about implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, general and family dentistry and a healthy living.

Archive for Implants

Mini Dental Implants

If you use dentures but still feel self-conscious about the state of your smile, dental implants are proven to work as an alternative that function just as well as regular teeth. But if you’re concerned that the regular implant procedure is too invasive or costly, or if you’re wary of bone grafting procedures that may be needed in your case, you may want to consider mini dental implants, which offer their own unique benefits

All In the Name

Dental implants have been known to work wonders but not all patients qualify, usually due to the depleted bone volume. Fortunately mini dental implants can serve as an alternative in those cases, since they can be applied to tissue of varying strength and quality. Like their larger counterparts, mini implants are made of titanium, which provides the jawbone with a strong foundation. And since these implants, as the name suggests, are smaller, the procedure itself is less invasive and can even be a one-day appointment.

Benefits of Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants have their own unique perks, which include but are not limited to:

• Less expensive than conventional implants
• Existing dentures can be retrofitted to fit minis
• No bone grafting or sutures required
• Supports dentures, bridges, fixed crowns

Though mini dental implants are considered an alternative to regular implants, they share the same overall benefits:

• Healthy, natural looking smile
• Comfortable and more efficient chewing, leading to better digestion
• Improved self-esteem, which may have been affected by tooth loss
• Lasting results, with proper care

Making the Right Choice

If you’ve been researching dental implants and are not sure if they’re a right fit, take comfort in knowing that there are many ways to improve your smile. Remember – whether you go with regular or mini dental implants, it’s important to get those vacant spots in your smile filled for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Gotun is well versed in implant dentistry and offers mini implants as a means to secure full dentures. If you’re worried that you aren’t a candidate for full-sized implants, or if you’ve been turned down by another dental office, schedule an appointment with Austin Smile Creations to see how we can help. We are committed to providing the best in implant dentistry with flexible treatment options.

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A Life Without Your Natural Teeth

You may have missed this video from around the web last week, but if you press play, you’ll see Danica Patrick (famed NASCAR driver and GoDaddy.com spokeswoman) exercising her funny bone in this stunt that shows the unsuspecting public what life would be like without their natural teeth.

It’s something that not all of us think about — if you brush and floss your teeth twice a day, you’re doing all you need to keep your teeth for life, right? While more people are keeping their natural teeth into later years, it’s possible to miss big problems (like tooth infections, abscesses, and signs of gum disease) that lead to tooth extraction, if you aren’t making your routine trips to the dental office.

If you do happen to need a tooth extracted, however, you won’t necessarily find yourself having to live in Danica’s new reality – liquefying your meals to make them easier to eat. Modern restorative dental treatments give patients options for keeping their ability to bite and chew – actions we take for granted, but that are impacted by the loss of even a few teeth.
These treatment options include:

  • Dental Implants – The most sturdy way to replace teeth, a dental implant can take the place of a whole tooth (from root to crown) or can be used to permanently secure a full arch of dentures. Dental implants are long-lasting and versatile in their ability to support new teeth and help patients improve their overall oral health.
  • Full and Partial Dentures – These tried and true prosthodontics are sets of replacement teeth that are either held in place with adhesive (full dentures) or are attached to a retainer-like device and replace a few missing teeth (partials). Either option helps you enjoy better aesthetics and function.
  • Fixed Bridges – Another choice for replacing one missing tooth, or a small group of teeth, is fixed bridges, which are permanently bonded in place and make use of sturdy dental crowns. Fixed bridges are another popular restoration that also improve the appearance of your smile and make it easier to eat.

Danica’s message hits home for many Americans who don’t put their oral health at the top of their priorities list. While it’s always best to keep your own natural teeth – you don’t have to live without full biting and chewing function in the event of tooth loss. Call Austin Smile Creations if you have questions about dental implants or other cosmetic and restorative solutions for replacing teeth in Austin, TX.

Why Dental Implants Fail: How You Can Get Successful Treatment with Dental Implants

Dental implants have a high track record of success for restoring teeth — they’ve provided significant benefits to patients looking for ways to get new teeth that are strong and contribute to improved oral health. However, as successful as implant treatment may be, there are still issues that can prevent a dental implant from doing its job.

We take care to give our patients the best in dental implant placement. Below, we’ve listed common causes of implant failure, and how our office helps patients deal with those issues:

Lack of bone density – Your new tooth, or teeth, use a titanium post as a base for stable support. That post is surgically placed and extends into bone in your jaw, where it integrates with bone and acts as a real tooth. This process is a significant factor in the success of your dental implant treatment. If you have diminishing bone density, there’s a chance that the implant post doesn’t have sufficient tissue to anchor itself.  Before recommending dental implants, we perform a thorough oral health exam where we determine the quality and density of bone in your jaw; we won’t place an implant if it won’t actively contribute to your oral health and wellness.

Poor placement – Selecting the right angle and location for surgical placement of your implant is an important part of getting a strong restoration. Placement is critical to how the final restoration will fit into its new environment between other teeth – closing gaps, having the right angulation, and following the natural patterns of the teeth are all essential. Without properly pinpointing placement, your implant could become loose or cause discomfort.  Dr. Gotun uses cone beam imaging, 3D scanning, to create a treatment plan fitted to your needs. This diagnostic imagining creates a guide for precise implant placement that greatly boosts the success of your dental implant.

Patient health habits – Inefficient brushing and flossing practices, failing to keep your implant clean after placement, symptoms of periodontitis, and even smoking can contribute to implant failure. If gum tissue isn’t healthy, or your ability to heal from treatment is compromised from tobacco use and poor oral hygiene, there is a higher likelihood that your dental implant will fail. Our office treats periodontal problems and helps manage symptoms to improve your oral health. We help you restore ideal tissue health so that you can benefit from dental implants. 

Dr. Gotun has over 30 years of experience in helping patients restore smiles with dental implants — and we can help you too. If you have questions about getting long-lasting treatment with dental implants, contact our Austin dental office to speak to our team.

Get a Clean Slate for your Oral Health with a Smile Makeover

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and wanted a complete change for your smile, you’re not alone. We can help you start fresh and get back both your best smile appeal and oral functionality with a smile makeover at our Austin dental office. Also known as a full mouth restoration, this treatment plan can include a number of different general and cosmetic dentistry procedures, depending on your goals and the condition of your teeth.

Dental Treatments to Transform Your Life

With more than three decades of experience as a general and smile makeover dentist in Austin, Texas, Dr. Gotun can perform a full range of full mouth restoration treatments. Prerequisite periodontal care can involve scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), as well as working with you to improve basic oral hygiene habits so you can the best foundation for a sparkling smile.

  • If your major complaint is damage or decay, Dr. Gotun can provide tooth-colored fillings, onlays and onlays, or porcelain crowns — which sit over your real teeth, offer both protection and strength.
  • If you’re missing a tooth, Dr. Gotun might recommend a fixed bridge for you. Connected to adjacent teeth with either crowns or metal “wings” secured with dental cement, these give you a false tooth to fill your gap. If a bridge isn’t workable for you, removable dentures can address just one missing tooth or up to all of the teeth in the jaw. The king of smile makeover treatments in terms of stability, however, is the dental implant. Dr. Gotun will place a titanium rod in the jaw and cap it with a crown or fixed denture. Most patients find implants to be the most long-lasting, comfortable and natural-looking out of their tooth replacement choices, although they’re not right for everyone.
  • Misaligned teeth can be put into more ideal placement with treatments such as retainers and braces. You can get porcelain versions that are harder to see and notice than metal ones. If you really want to keep your dental work inconspicuous, your best bet is a clear tray-based system such as Invisalign®. Additional bite and jaw problems such as TMD can be fixed with simple oral appliances such as splints, which move the jaw into good alignment or keep you from grinding your teeth.

Dr. Gotun is prepared to address the aesthetic needs of your smile makeover in Austin, Texas with procedures such as laser tissue removal, tooth whitening, composite bonding and veneers. These treatments can make the gums less prominent, fill nooks and crannies in the teeth, eliminate gaps, give the teeth a truly uniform size and shape and give your smile a radiant look.

Get Back Your Smile and Be Confident

For full mouth restorations in Austin, Texas, Dr. Gotun is one of the most experienced and trusted dentists you can find. To get your customized treatment in a state-of-the-art, comfortable environment, call (512) 277-5140, or submit your appointment request through our online form.

Dental Implants: The Smart Choice for Oral Health

If you have a missing tooth, there are several options available to help restore your bite and smile. The most advanced method for tooth replacement involves the use of dental implants, so your new tooth can be both secure and the most seamless fit for you. If you’re considering getting a dental implant in Austin, Texas, let’s first take a look at alternatives and why implants have become the popular choice for tooth replacement.

Your Non-Implant Options

Your implant alternatives are typically fixed bridges and full or partial dentures.

Getting a fixed bridge involves placing two caps on the teeth adjacent to the tooth gap. These are connected to a false tooth that sits where your normal tooth used to be.

A removable partial denture uses a molded retainer and base that hugs your real teeth and holds a false tooth, usually made of porcelain. You can take the denture out when needed for cleaning or eating.

A removable full denture can work if you are missing all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw (or both). Prosthetic teeth connect to a custom-fitted base, which sits over your gums. Removable full dentures are secured place with denture adhesive and removed at the end of each day.

Problems with Bridges and Dentures

Both bridges and dentures come with potential drawbacks that are worth considering:

  • Fixed bridges are supported by healthy teeth, which require that those existing teeth be altered to make room for the crowns that hold the fake tooth.
  • Partial dentures restore your smile’s appearance, but they don’t do much in the way of improving your bite power. Full dentures can shift and irritate the gums, and they have a tendency to look less natural. It’s common for them to interfere with eating and talking. Many patients notice that they make a noticeable clicking sound, with some people complaining that they also get in the way of tasting foods.

A Superior, Permanent Solution: The Dental Implant

A dental implant eliminates many of the issues associated with bridges and dentures; there’s no preparation of the adjacent teeth, so you don’t have to alter healthy structures to replace a tooth or teeth. Dental implants’ real claim to fame, though, is the stability you get. The titanium rod fuses directly with your jawbone, so you typically get strength and function that is similar to what you’d have with a real tooth. The connection to the bone also means that your implant can help keep up healthy jaw bone volume, in the same way as a real tooth. As a final bonus, dental implants usually last longer than the alternatives — properly cared for, they can last a lifetime.

Ready for your Dental Implant? Make Your Appointment!

Dr. Tor Gotun is one of the most experienced and skilled implant dentists in Austin, Texas, with more than 30 years in the dental field. To make your consultation appointment with him at Austin Smile Creations, use our appointment request form or call (512) 329-5140.

Correcting Oral Health Problems with Cosmetic Dentistry

If you’re struggling with a less-than perfect smile, you’re not alone. Cracked and chipped teeth, as well as teeth that are misaligned or stained, are common problems that almost everyone can relate to experiencing. If you want a better-looking smile, the process doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated. We’re happy to help you on your way to a more attractive smile that’s healthy as well. Check out our list of fixes for common dental problems: What Cosmetic Dentistry Can Fix • If you have a mild case of crooked and discolored, you might want to consider veneers, which are made from porcelain and which attach to the front of your teeth. They can make your smile look straighter and brighter in just one treatment. o If your case of misalignment isn’t ideal for veneers, clear braces with Invisalign® are a popular choice for both young and mature patients. Invisalign® uses a system of clear trays to gently pull your teeth into the right position. These clear braces offer ideal comfort and are completely discreet. • If you’re dealing with missing teeth, we can recommend a fixed bridge, which puts two crowns on the teeth next to the gap, filling the gap with a false tooth (pontic). Another option is a dental implant. Dr. Gotun can insert a titanium rod directly into your jaw and cap it with a crown. You also can turn to a full or partial denture, which can be anchored on multiple implants. • Teeth that are decayed or have cracks and chips can be corrected with crowns that protect your teeth from further damage and make your smile look as it did before any injury took place. • Stained teeth are easy to brighten with whitening gels. We create custom trays that are made to fit your smile and provide a professional whitening agent that can boost your smile’s appeal in just a few applications. Change Your Appearance and Get Healthy With our menu of cosmetic dental services, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get your smile back to its best. If you have questions about getting cosmetic dentistry in Austin, Texas, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Gotun at Austin Smile Creations at (512) 277-5140 or use our online contact and appointment request forms.

Real-Time Dentistry: Effective Implant Planning with Three-Dimensional Scans.

Implant dentistry has evolved significantly with more predictable outcomes within the last twenty years, as most dentistry has. During those twenty years, we have seen many an implant at Austin Smile Creations, and many patients have sought Dr. Gotun’s expertise for many a reason. Typical scenarios we encounter are patients who have had teeth extracted 20+ years ago, have lost significant bone throughout those years of wear and tear, and are now ready for a solution to their missing tooth problem. We have patients who have failed implants where we are able to salvage the implant or place a new one, rebuild bone and soft tissue where it’s lost, and recreate a healthy functional bite. We also have patients who have lost most of their chewing capacity and are unable to taste food due to having dentures. Luckily, implants have proven to be a sustainable option for those patients. Whatever the situation, even the direst, we find a solution, which is why many patients pursue us. It’s the beauty of advanced, quality dentistry that our team offers.

It seems simple to our patients, but implant dentistry requires accurate diagnostics and significant planning to deliver the seemingly simple and painless to our patients. Nowadays, we are able to virtually plan implants from computed three dimensional images- called a CBCT scan (cone beam computed tomography)- that reconstruct the bony anatomy of a patient’s head in digital form, as seen below.

What kind of information do we then get from this specific scan? When we import the scan into an implant planning software, we can measure to exact units the quality of bone and how much bone a patient currently has, how far an implant will be from other anatomical structures, and abnormalities. With this information, in exact measurements, Dr. Gotun can determine the size of implant or if an implant can even be planned at that time. Information is more readily available with more certainty, which facilitates our conversations between patients about bone regeneration, sinus lifts, augmentations, allowing our patients to make an informed decision about how far they want to go and what they desire for a result. In other words, we ask and address the tough questions and concerns with precise information.

On the other hand, when implants are straightforward for our patients, Dr. Gotun virtually plans the placement, angulation and size of the implant on the software aforementioned. A surgical guide is fabricated for the exact placement of the implant, and surgery is scheduled. Illustrated implant planning can be seen below.


Essentially, everything comes back to our philosophy in our practice. And when planning implants (as with all dentistry), you can eliminate guesswork through proper planning from the most accurate diagnostics, plan success for treatment, eliminate failure, facilitate solutions to longstanding problems, and provide flawless results for your patients. In our practice, it’s this thoroughness that has always paid off.