Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

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

Archive for best dentist in austin

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.

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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.

Cosmetic dentistry – do you need a specialist?

Angy’s List posted a good article recently touching on a subject of cosmetic dentistry. This is a good article emphasizing in a way the importance of patient education in order to make informed decisions about their care.  It is not very in-depth and it does not answer some of the questions it poses, but it at least raises a little bit of awareness that not all dentists are created equal.

While some lives are being drastically improved by quality dentistry using a comprehensive approach and individually tailored modern treatment options, some lives will be changed in the opposite direction over time, if some existing conditions are not diagnosed and taken into consideration while treatment planning. It is a sad fact of life, as many people do not perceive their teeth as an integral part of their body, a live organ that if not treated or treated improperly – can turn your health upside down and even have fatal effect on your body.

When you are looking for cosmetic dentistry, do not look for the cheapest deal in town. It will get you in trouble, as you always get what you pay for. This aspect of dental care has become so highly commercial that sometimes it is hard to distinguish what is a good recommendation and what is a bad one, let alone the consequences it may have long-term. Look for your dentist’s credentials and level of education. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

While specialists do good work, Austin is lucky to have several highly qualified general dentists who can provide you with excellent care in various aspects of dentistry. If you choose to go to a general dentist, look for those with lots of continued education and if they belong to Academy of General Dentistry, an organization providing them with opportunities for continued education and fighting for the higher standards in the dental community. Masters or Fellows of AGD are setting a great example for the dental community. Or if you choose to go to a specialist, like prosthodontist ( dentists working with restoration of implants, dentures, doing crown and bridge work), look for similar credentials according to the field of specialty. Keep in mind, you will still need a good general dentist to help coordinate all aspects of treatment you need.

If someone finished dental school 30-40 years ago and is not staying updated on modern techniques and materials, odds are – they will not have a very good perspective on all of your options.  Dentistry can differ like night and day depending on who offers it and what it can do for a particular patient. Over the last decade so many things got revolutionized in the field that not updating your dental knowledge in it should be simply shameful. Yet, don’t be fooled by the latest and the greatest. It is not what you should look for. Look for experience that can distinguish between substance and trends, knowledge of research of what is a fact and what is a myth. For a patient being picky is very important, as in our practice, for example, a significant portion of our work is redoing previous work that was done without sufficient diagnostics, planning and adequate expertise and quality standards.

In addition, don’t expect your insurance to pay for quality work. Sadly, insurances did not evolve much since the 80s and only pay for the cheapest solutions that are outdated, and often not the best and lasting option. In general they don’t pay for cosmetic work at all.

So if you are looking for cosmetic dental procedures of any kind – whitening, veneers, crowns, implants –  consult with a qualified doctor first. It is what you don’t know that can make your out-of-pocket investment go to waste. A good dentist will never do crowns and implants on someone with advanced gum disease or insufficient bone. A good dentist will never do a teeth whitening for you if you have significant sensitivity already. Crowns, bridges and tooth-colored fillings do not bleach. All that you will find out from your dentist, and only after you invest into adequate diagnostics, which insurance doesn’t pay for 100% either. But quality work is a great investment, as it can lasts longer than statistical averages and can truly change your life by giving you health, beautiful smile, confidence and shed years off your appearance! Smile makeovers do change lives every day!

Read the article from Angy’s List.

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.

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!

Dental Crowns and Dental Caps Austin and Westlake. Best All Porcelain All the Way.

For those of you who have had the joy of extensive dental work, you are familiar with what a crown looks like. They are essentially caps that are placed over your teeth and are a sort of “last resort” for a tooth that has too much damage for a normal filling to fix. In your father’s day, technology was such that these special tooth caps had to be made of metal with a simple porcelain overlay to mimic the look of a normal and real tooth. But the metal underneath caused the crown’s look to worsen considerably over time.

Some of you may have this type of crown or have seen it in others. The aging of the crown can be seen even just while talking as metal is exposed at the gum line or in the way the color or stain of your crowned tooth just doesn’t match the rest.

But the dark ages are over and no one needs to know which of your teeth have crowns just by casting a glance. New technology is now available. Cosmetic dentists can now offer you all porcelain or all acrylic crowns. These crowns do a much better job of being inconspicuous among the rest of your teeth and give off a much more natural look. And now crowns can be done on the same day, no need for temporary crowns!
 
If you are interested in replacing your old crowns or are in need of crowns for the first time, call our dental practice to find out if all-porcelain crowns can be a good fit.