Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

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

Archive for Austin dentist

Dental Implants: Beyond the Cosmetic Appeal

Tooth loss affects millions of Americans every year. Traditionally, dentures and bridges have been the go-to solution for this problem; however, as dental technology has improved, so have alternative solutions for replacing teeth.  Dental implants are not only cosmetically appealing, but also provide a resilient, long-lasting solution to tooth loss. In addition to looking natural, dental implants offer numerous benefits that can help you achieve and maintain great oral health. If you’re facing tooth loss, here are some reasons why dental implants may be an excellent solution for you:

Improving Overall Dental Health

Dental implants encourage better dental health in several ways: by replacing the root of the tooth with a titanium post, your new teeth act in the same way as your natural teeth and nurture bone health and oral function. In comparison to dental implants, dentures may cause inflammation, as well as canker sores, by rubbing on soft tissue.

Preserving Jawbone

Tooth loss can severely weaken the jawbone, putting you at risk of further tooth loss and dental complications. Through the process of osseointegration, the titanium posts of the dental implants fuse to and reinforce bone. This can prevent facial collapse and premature aging commonly seen in patients with multiple missing teeth.

Preventing Movement of Existing Teeth

Following tooth loss, the surrounding teeth gradually shift to fill the empty gap. This can have a domino effect on the alignment of your bite and jaw and lead to other health problems. To be held properly in place, traditional dentures and bridges rely heavily on surrounding teeth and bone. Implants help prevent the shifting of existing teeth by permanently filling in the gaps in your smile.

Implants Do Not Require Special Care

Dental implants are made of biocompatible materials and are permanent fixtures to your new smile; they require no additional maintenance aside from your regular oral hygiene routine. You don’t need special soaks, rinses, or flossing tools to keep your implant clean.

Flexibility

Dental implants provide an excellent alternative for patients requiring multiple restorations in the event of total tooth loss.  Implants can be strategically placed to provide maximum support for a customized, removable over-denture. Implant-supported dentures look and fit naturally, leaving the patient with a healthy smile.

With over 30 years of experience and more and 3,000 hours of continuing education, Dr. Gotun has helped many patients restore their smiles with dental implants. If you are interested to find out more about dental implants, contact our Austin office today to schedule a consultation.

How to Pick the Right Dentist

Finding a dentist to provide quality dental care for every member of your family is important, especially if you haven’t seen a dentist in a while and need comprehensive care. Here are some pointers on what to look for when choosing a dentist to fit your needs:

Training and Know-How

Dentists are trained professionals who complete many years of schooling and must maintain certification by fulfilling requirements for continuing education credits annually. It’s worth asking about the extent to which a dentist is experienced and educated in the treatments you’re interested in receiving, especially if they’re specialty procedures, like prosthodontics or periodontics. Some dentists are highly skilled in multiple areas and so can be considered for a wide range of services.  It’s important to find someone who has the experience to deliver quality results.

Services that Apply to Your Concerns

Does the dentist’s list of treatments reflect what you need? Patients with young children may consider finding a family dentist with flexible hours who caters to making children comfortable while visiting their office  Other patients who need a total oral health overhaul may want to find a dental office that excels in periodontal care and restorative dentistry.

Technology

Technological developments in dentistry have provided patients with an entirely different experience – one that is quicker and more comfortable. Even replacing teeth can be done in relative comfort, thanks to advancements in the field.  If you’re seeking comprehensive treatment, consider looking for a dental office that users digital technology, dental lasers, or any other equipment that shortens treatment time, provides for customized care, and reduces the number of return visits you have to make to their office.

Reputation

Search for dentists, or look up a dentist you’re considering visiting, on Google+ Local, Yelp, and other popular review sites. Getting a feeling for how the community reacts to a dentist’s services is a good indicator of what you can expect from treatments.  For further endorsements, consider asking friends and family if they have offices they like and would recommend.

If you have questions for a dentist, call Austin Smile Creations for assistance. We provide a range of treatments, from dental implants to cosmetic dental care, to help you achieve excellent oral health.

Why Am I Having Tooth Pain?

I’ve spent plenty of time thinking about the meaning of the saying, “long are the days, and short are the years.” We are a busy people, aren’t we? While the days can seem long, certainly each year continues to fly by without regard. Simply, time continues to slip away from us. Pertaining to dental health, there are various occasions patients call and can’t believe the amount of time that’s passed since the last time they’ve been to a dentist. All too often we don’t think about our health, and often much less our oral health, because we are just too busy! When we do get around to making that ever-elusive dental appointment, it’s frequently pain that’s the motivator. But there are all classifications of pain that can be associated with both teeth and the bony structures surrounding them. It’s helpful to know the causes certain tooth pains may be related to, so we’ve enclosed a guide to identifying the possible origins of those pains.

Sensitivity to cold– There are a variety of reasons someone can be sensitive to cold, but the common reasons we see most often in our practice are related to malocclusion (bite not being aligned), clenching and grinding habits, recession that exposes root surfaces, and/or tooth fractures.

Sensitivity to hot– Sensitivity to hot can often be related to having new decay or recurring decay from an existing restoration that’s failing/failed, an infection, recession that exposes root surfaces, and/or tooth fractures. Sensitivity to hot is often combined with being sensitive to cold, sweets and/or pressure.

Sensitivity to pressure– There are different kinds of pressure pain that can be associated with an infection, malocclusion (bite not being aligned), clenching and grinding habits, and/or tooth fractures.

Sensitivity to sweets– The main contributing factor to pain linked to sweets is when we have new or recurring decay under an existing restoration that’s failing/failed. In other words, it’s often a cavity.

Many of these tooth pains can be combined with others, meaning you can be sensitive to hot, pressure, cold and sweets at the same time, and any combination in between. At Austin Smile Creations, not only do we encourage patients to identify the specific tooth or area the pain is coming from, but also recognize when the pain arises and for how long. Are you drinking cold water and feel a sharp pain along your gum line? You could have some exposed root surfaces. Do you avoid chewing on one side of your mouth because there’s too much pressure on the other? It could be the source of wear patterns from clenching and grinding your teeth.

So, what can you do about it? Tooth pain can be complicated, so the more information and monitoring you’ve done as the patient, the better chance a dentist has of identifying the source of the problem. Of course, in order for a dentist to properly diagnose pain-related symptoms, you need to call and make an appointment with your dentist, as there are diagnostic protocols to follow to rule in or rule out the source of the pain. Once the problem is diagnosed, your dentist can formulate an action plan. And the good news is there is always a solution! While proactive, preventative trips to the dentist are the best attempt to staying away from tooth pains, we know as much as anyone that life gets busy. Pain is often the reminder to stop and take the time to care for our selves and our health.

Laser Away! Westlake Premier Dentist Introduces New Technology for More Comprehensive Approach to Dentistry for His Patients.

Technology is one hundred percent a language we speak in this twenty-first century. It advances and we adapt and evolve with it as a society. While it remains somewhat controversial, in medicine, technology has proven advantageous. Whether learning the benefits of certain advancements or to discontinue those systems and methods, learning happens. At Austin Smile Creations it is critically important to Dr. Gotun and his team to invest their skills in technology that ultimately delivers comprehensive, high quality dentistry while advancing patients closer to optimal health. Recently, Dr. Gotun and the Austin Smile Creations team invested in a laser to offer that more dynamic, comprehensive approach to dentistry for patients.

A little bit about lasers though, they’ve been used for diverse applications outside the medical world, though many people identify lasers with hair removal and eye surgery in medicine. Excitingly, dentistry itself is becoming more involved with lasers because of the benefits it provides. “It’s amazing how effective a laser procedure is when treating soft tissue abnormalities and periodontal disease in my practice, while synonymously providing no discomfort to patients and increasing healing time tremendously,” says Dr. Gotun. And when considering comfort level in dentistry, little to no discomfort is a thumbs up for patients. So, the success this practice has seen with their newly adopted laser has been substantial.

Below are before and after photos taken for a frenectomy performed with a laser in December 2013. In this particular case, the patient needed the frenulum removed due to the strength of it pulling on the gingivae essential for a future bridge or implant. The Austin Smile Creations team always follows up with patients to check the success of their work shortly after procedures are completed (it’s a major part of their philosophy in patient care). In this case, aforementioned patient came back three weeks after the procedure for a check. As seen below, the patient had completely healed without any bleeding involved, any post-operative medication needed, very slight numbing during the frenectomy required, and no discomfort or change in lifestyle the day after the procedure.

 

Before: 12/9/13                     After: 12/9/13                  3 weeks after: 1/2/14

“If we can obtain these types of results within a few weeks and offer patients treatment options that no longer cause any discomfort during a procedure nor post-operative, you can guarantee it’s a win in my practice,” Dr. Gotun claims. From a dentist who has been practicing for over thirty years, staying current and evolving with new technology has been and will remain to be a testament to this practice’s success. Take note.

Austin Smile Creations Introduces an Interview with a Master Dentist.

There are not very many opportunities an individual gets to speak or even work with one of the best in their line of work. It’s an even rarer occurrence to sit down every day and witness their thought processes. At Austin Smile Creations in Westlake, TX, we have that rare opportunity to not only work beside, but to have a close relationship with a true dental guru: Dr. Tor Gotun. But then we need to answer the following to obtain any credibility in that statement, how can anyone label another as the best? We could very well consider Dr. Gotun’s richness of qualifications to validate such a bold statement. Imagine 30,000 hours of continuing education beyond a Doctoral Degree, a 99% success rate in surgically complicated dental procedures, holding the title of a Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, mentoring and teaching some of the best in the dental field, genuinely caring and therefore individualizing each patient’s treatment plan, and persistently reading dental literature. In all this busyness, Dr. Gotun took the time to sit down with the Austin Smile Creations’ team and answer a few questions we had.

ASC Team: Dr. Gotun, what do you think sets your practice and you as a dentist apart from most other dentists out there?

Dr. Gotun: Let me start by saying there is nothing necessarily wrong with how other dentists practice, I just choose to practice differently. I take what I like to call a whole body approach to dentistry. The thing about it is that teeth are not independent of themselves. The body is a system in which all parts have the potential to affect other parts. An infection in your heart will eventually flow to other parts of the body. The same is true for teeth. I look at the body as a whole and how I can achieve the best results for each individual given their needs, medical and anatomical boundaries, and dental history. I collect so much information on a patient through accurate diagnostics that my ability to predict success and carry it out is exceptionally high.

ASC Team: What has kept you motivated to practice dentistry for 30 years?

Dr. Gotun: The medical field is not only a rewarding field to be in because you get to help people feel better and achieve a result they may not have ever imagined, but it’s also ever-evolving. It never gets old. There is always something else to read, try, see, participate in, and perfect. It’s my passion. It’s hard to describe because it’s in my bones, and truly something I love to do. Some people never find that passion. I am lucky to wake up every day and do what I love.

ASC Team: One more question Dr. Gotun, what made you choose not to specialize in the dental field, say a periodontist or an oral surgeon?

Dr. Gotun: It’s funny you all ask that, since most people think a general dentist doesn’t perform to the level of care as a specialist or may not know the extent of what a specialist may know. I never specialized because I am able to practice all forms of dentistry from crowns to periodontal surgeries, oral surgery to treating temporomandibular disorders, and orthodontics to endodontic therapy. It keeps my work interesting, as well as allowing me to provide a service unparalleled to my patient base where they can receive treatment all in one place.  

While Dr. Gotun’s accent can be intimidating at first, he is clearly a dentist who candidly cares about quality dentistry in an industry that claims anything besides extracting teeth are optional. Dr. Gotun is a dentist that visualizes dentistry in his dreams and thrives on perfecting his own technique. Such passion and conviction certainly set the standard high, keep his staff alive, his patients satisfied, and his practice thriving.

Reconstructive Dentistry. Austin's Best Cosmetic Dentist in Westlake 78746.

Working many years within the dental profession we notice smiles at Austin Smile Creations. Then again, don’t most people notice a smile or non-smile for that matter? Not only do we notice everyone’s smile, we are oftentimes extremely critical of our own. After all, we’re bombarded with images of beauty in this society every way we look. The most fantastic thing about working with Dr. Gotun is because he has the ability to completely reconstruct a smile to near perfection, as a team, we get to be a part of those life-changing moments with patients. And believe us when we say it’s life-changing.

We are in the healthcare profession, but we also consider ourselves esteem boosters, creative artists, and flawless visionaries. Reconstructing smiles is not a teeth-in-a-day process, because it’s literally impossible and much too risky (but they sure have the advertising down, don’t they?). Our multi-disciplined approach requires patience and commitment, but the results are unparalleled. We have seen patients get promotions in their line of work, change their outlook on life, find their soul mates, and just turn into all-around happier people when their smiles are made new.

We offer everything here at Austin Smile Creations from root canal therapy to periodontal treatment and maintenance to sinus lifts, implants, treating temporomandibular disorders, and complete smile makeovers. We provide excellent payment options to our patients, so you are able to invest in a smile you want and need. We ask you to regard your smile as an investment. After all, the more you smile the happier, healthier, more attractive, and confident you become!

Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry. Implants.

There are many situations that can lead you to loosing teeth. As much your dentist and the whole dental team preach good oral hygiene, it is not always the only answer as there are many other reasons that cause various periodontal conditions. As a result tooth extraction is quite common due to poor dental health and gum disease. Leaving the missing tooth space empty may not sound too serious, but the consequences of not filling in the space from the missing tooth can include:

* The teeth adjacent to your missing tooth can change position to fill the gap;
* The loss of your missing tooth’s root can cause your jawbone to shrink, making your face appear prematurely older; and,
* A missing tooth in the front of your mouth can affect your smile and your self-confidence.

In many situations, a dental implant is the most pleasingly aesthetic solution for replacing the missing tooth. An all-ceramic dental crown or dental bridge, secured to a dental implant, provides a complete and beautiful solution for improving your smile. A dental implant takes the place of the missing tooth’s root and helps prevent the above consequences.

Dental implants are both a cosmetic solution as well as an absolute necessity in some cases to restoring a healthy functional bite. It can dramatically improve your quality of life, as well as boost your self confidence and your desire to be around people. It is a permanent solution that is worth the investment. Many adults choose this option, since due to the evolution of new technologies and materials it is now a very predictable and relatively easy procedure, that is very different from what it used to be just a few years ago.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about implants from our implant supplier NobelBiocare.