Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

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

Archive for Austin smile makeover

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.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a general term that covers many different dental treatments used to help improve your smile. But that can mean that cosmetic dentistry is a confusing topic for some. We help clarify what cosmetic dentistry can do by answering some of the most common questions we hear about treatment:

What are my options for whitening my teeth? Generally, there are two ways to whiten your teeth with professional treatment: in-office whitening or at-home whitening kits. Both treatment methods effectively lift stains on teeth. At Austin Smile Creations, we offer the convenience of customized whitening trays for use at home under the doctor’s supervision, due to its better outcome predictability and reduced sensitivity side-effects.

How can I repair a chipped tooth? – There are many options for repairing a chipped tooth, depending on the severity of the chip and which tooth is damaged. For less severe damage, it’s possible to restore a tooth to its natural appearance with a porcelain veneer or composite bonding. For a tooth in need of more comprehensive care, a porcelain dental crown can be placed. Any of these choices allows you to get a fully-restored new tooth.

If I have a lot of aesthetic smile problems, do I need extensive treatment? Not necessarily! A treatment like porcelain veneers is capable of correcting multiple flaws, such as severe discoloration, mild misalignment, cracked chipped or cracked tooth, or even teeth that are unevenly sized. However, in some instances, additional care may be required. For example, it’s always best to build a new smile on top of healthy gums, so your treatment lasts as long as possible. For this reason, Dr. Gotun may recommend periodontal therapy for patients with advanced gum disease.

What do I do for small problems like gaps between teeth, or teeth that are tipped and tilted? For mild cases of misalignment and tilted teeth, a treatment like porcelain veneers – as mentioned above – can provide a total transformation with minimal treatment. Because getting porcelain veneers requires prepping teeth and placing a thin shell of porcelain on top of them, your teeth can be re-designed to be straighter and more even.

I need to replace a whole tooth – what can I do? There are many tooth-colored and life-like options for replacing teeth. For many patients, the ideal solution is dental implant. Implants are strong and last a lifetime with proper care. However, for patients who prefer removable, or non-surgically placed, prosthetic teeth, other options include partial dentures and bridgework.

I have several decayed teeth – how can I make them look healthy again? This depends on the severity of decay on each tooth. For teeth with very small spots of decay, a tooth-colored composite filling will do the trick and leave you with a smile that looks totally natural – no metal amalgam. For moderate decay, there are onlays and inlays – pieces of porcelain (that sometimes look like puzzle pieces) which are used to replace decayed portions of teeth. In the event that there’s too much damage for a filling or an inlay/onlay, a tooth-colored dental crown can be used to restore your smile’s healthy appearance.

When it comes to helping patients get the cosmetic smile repairs they need, our office provides top-of-the-line, customized care. Dr. Gotun uses strong and beautiful tooth-colored material for all crowns, inalys, onlays, veneers, and bridges.

If you have a question about cosmetic dentistry that we didn’t answer here, contact our Austin dental office for more information.

What to Look for in an Excellent Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized dental specialty, which means anyone calling themselves a cosmetic dentist is not required to complete extra training or certification to use that title. Outcome for aesthetic dental treatment therefore varies widely from one dental office to another. But here’s how you can find a cosmetic dentist who is able to help you achieve your goals, and provide you with the best in cosmetic dental care:

Treatment Options – There are many dental treatments that help you achieve similar goals. For example, a fixed dental bridge can replace a missing tooth, but it won’t last as long or look as natural as a dental implant. A good cosmetic dentist will help you pick the treatment that provides long-lasting results and looks just like your real teeth.

Choices in Materials – Furthermore, it’s important that the materials chosen for your cosmetic restoration are the best for aesthetics. A porcelain-over-metal dental crown will look natural when brand-new, but tends to age poorly – showing a black line against your gums. Restorations made from solid porcelain, ceramic, and zirconia look more like real dental enamel and are just as strong as metal crowns.

Experience and Training – While cosmetic dentistry may not be a dental specialty, there are still professional development courses in dental aesthetics that dentists can take to hone their skills. You can measure a dentist’s commitment to the best in cosmetic and restorative dentistry by how many education hours they take that go beyond the minimum required to keep their license.

Recognition – Perhaps the best measuring stick for a dentist’s cosmetic treatments are how patients, and the community, respond to their care. Before selecting a cosmetic dentist, read their patient reviews on popular sites like Google+ Local and Yelp to get an idea of their treatment approach and how satisfied past patients have been.

An Extensive Portfolio – You can further your research by visiting the dentist’s website, or even their office, to view their before-and-after portfolio. Use these images to get an idea of what finished treatment has looked like for other patients. This information will help you decide, beyond a dentist’s technical qualifications, if you actually like the way they’ve treated other patients’ smiles. Check to make sure that the cosmetic dental restorations look natural and that you’d want the same look for yourself.

At Austin Smile Creations, Dr. Tor Gotun offers the best in cosmetic dental care with options like dental implants, dentures, porcelain crowns, teeth whitening, and porcelain veneers. He has even completed over 3,000 hours of continued education, which has included specialty training in prosthodontics, TMJ therapy, and restorative dentistry. For more information about cosmetic dentistry, and to view our Before and After gallery, visit our website or schedule your consultation online.

Why Choose All-Ceramic Cosmetic Dentistry?

Treatments like dental crowns, fixed bridges, and veneers help patients get beautiful new smiles, but these prosthetics have historically been made with metal – which isn’t the best for cosmetic benefit. Many modern dental patients choose all-ceramic dentistry to help improve their oral health and the naturally beautiful quality of their restored smiles.

Our all-ceramic dental treatments provide the following benefits for cosmetic dentistry patients:

No Visible Aging – Metal-based prosthetics can begin to show a black line on gums as they spend more time with your smile. All-ceramic cosmetic treatments don’t have a metal base, and won’t end up looking unnatural over time.

Strength and Durability – Many patients choose metal-over-porcelain treatments, believing them to be the best choice for long-term durability. While metal restorations are indeed strong, all-porcelain dentistry can be just as sturdy as their metal-based counterparts. Our office proudly offers Empress® crowns, veneers, and bridges, which provide increased strength for cosmetic dental restorations; these treatments are heat-pressed to offer a stable and strong base for renewed smiles.

Better Match for Natural Teeth – While porcelain-over-metal crowns and bridges could be color-matched to your natural teeth, all-ceramic cosmetic treatments more closely mimic the properties of natural dental enamel; ceramics offer a natural translucency that metal dental treatments can’t match up to.

Reduced Sensitivity to Heat and Cold – Metal conducts heat and cold, unlike ceramic materials, which means that your metal dental crowns or metal fixed bridge can cause zings of discomfort when you bite into something hot, or drink an ice-cold beverage. Metal restorations also expand and contract with temperature changes, increasing the risks for cracked teeth as the size of your restoration alters with differing temperatures.

Same-Day Production – Advances in dental technology have made getting quicker, more customized care, a reality for a greater number of patients. Machines like the E4D system in use at our office create crowns and other restorations from a solid block of porcelain or ceramic in at little as one office visit. In comparison, metal-over-ceramic treatments take weeks to be created at an outside dental lab.

We help our patients get the best in cosmetic dentistry, porcelain dental restorations, and custom-made crowns and bridges at our Austin, TX dental office. If you have questions about getting all-ceramic dental treatment, contact us to learn more or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gotun.

Dental Implants – Discount, express? So many choices, methods, applications. Which one is right for you?

One of the latest trends in healthcare and dentistry in particular is exploring all of the opportunities to keep your health as long as possible in the best condition. In dentistry, dental implants are starting to push full and partial dentures to the sidelines. Dentures are still a valid option for many people, but no matter how well they are maid ( and there is a huge difference between an inexpensive denture and an expensive one) they still do not compare to feel and function of the natural teeth. We won’t even talk about all those sticky pastes we see advertised on TV so often that long-term can cause all kinds of complications in your overall health, like ongoing yeast infections and a myriad of other issues. Dentures reduce your chewing capacity to 10% of normal and most people don’t even use them when they are not in public because they are so uncomfortable. If you are missing all teeth on an arch – a full implant-supported denture may be a great option for you. Four implants are used to serve as anchors to hold a denture in place. All-on-four is another solution to the problem as well, which is a set of porcelain teeth set on a frame that will be held in place by implant-anchors. And then, of course there are single tooth implants which are a great replacement to missing teeth. So many implant options are available to patients nowadays, but how do you decipher what implant solution and what implant office is the right one for you?

With many implant clinics available as a choice, patients should consider their options carefully. They may choose to go to a clinic that specializes in implants and does them all day long. Many people choose that and are happy with the result. Some may prefer a more personalized approach, so they feel like there is a strategy tailored specifically to their personal condition, especially when there are multiple problems at hand that will require several specialists addressing several different problems. So that approach can involve one of the two options. One is going to a general dentist ->be referred to a periodontist or implantologist-> then back to the general dentist or prosthodontist who will complete the job. The other is finding a professional who can complete the whole process by himself. Needless to say the treatment is very multifaceted, so it would require a highly qualified and extensively trained dental professional who can offer you all those services under one roof. It is not easy to find a professional like that, but Austin is lucky to have a few of the best.

In our practice we advocate that approach because it is a comprehensive one, with one professional being in charge of diagnostics, treatment planning and execution on all stages. One person is responsible for the whole treatment is a great benefit to a patient. We often hear that it is the best thing about our dental office – from general, to cosmetic and implant dentistry – you can have it all done in one place, call the same doctor with any concerns or questions, and it also saves you time and money. So choose your dental implant professional wisely! Do your homework. You would not want an express or discount heart or brain surgeon, would you? Read the rest of this entry »

Why Cosmetic Dentistry at Austin Smile Creations? It’ll Change Your Life.

The more I learn working for a Master Dentist at Austin Smile Creations in Westlake, TX, the more I see why cosmetic dentistry the way Dr. Gotun approaches it not only makes sense, but literally changes patients’ lives. And I mean literally. I’ve been a bit skeptical in the past about a smile actually changing a person’s life, but I’ve been lucky enough to see the transformation in person. Forget about the level of quality we provide at Austin Smile Creations for a second, cosmetically changing a patient’s smile automatically boosts their confidence and they often don’t even realize it.

At Austin Smile Creations we gauge this transformation by studying a patient’s body language. We are heavy on greeting every patient with a smile, so we notice when patients don’t smile and, yes, we take note of smiles, non-smiles and compensated smiles. This past week we started on the provisional crown phase for a patient, consisting of reconstructing his entire upper arch. Side note, this patient told us at the beginning of this transition he will be our hardest patient to convince that new teeth will make a difference in his life. By the way, we get a lot of these. Prior to creating cosmetic work of this magnitude for this patient, he rarely ever smiled. After we completed seating the provisional crowns, we had the patient come back to get feedback about functionality, aesthetics, and review post-op care instructions. This is all part of the provisional phase of treatment. We never complete the final phase of crowns without proper diagnostics, and provisional crowns allow for any changes. All so we can make sure we hit perfection for the final crown phase or as Dr. Gotun likes to say, we hit Bingo! Needless to say, when this patient walked through the door, he walked through the door with a smile. And we noticed. After all, we’re in the teeth business. I won’t go into all the other details about non-verbal changes the patient exhibited, but in three days the change was obvious and pretty significant.

In thirty years of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Gotun can attest to how much cosmetic work changes patients’ self-esteem, gets them out of pain, and has a residual effect that ultimately emulates one concept: patients are all together happier. It’s why we love cosmetic, reconstructive, diagnostic dentistry. It not only inspires and motivates us, but we get to witness the quality of our service firsthand through patient satisfaction. We finish patients and we help them get healthy. And that is the biggest reward.

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.