Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

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

Archive for Westlake Hills smile makeover

Dentist in Westlake Hills, 78746, for 20 years!

Providing Westlake Hills With the Best Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry for Over 20 years!

Dr. Gotun established his practice in Austin in 1985, but he moved to Westlake Hills, 78746, in 1994. In 2014 we have celebrated our 20th anniversary in this fantastic community! Having been part of its history and a witness to all the evolution in Rollingwood and Westlake Hills here in Austin, Dr. Gotun is proud to tell his patients all the stories about the area ( and he knows many!), all the celebrity clients that he has had over the years, all the iconic figures he had the privilege to meet.

Learn from the Best!

A mentor and a patron for the students in Westlake High School, Dr. Gotun got to educate many young aspiring students about the joys and the challenges of the dental profession. Having participated in Westlake High School Independent Study Mentorship program for many years, our practice feels fortunate to have had a chance to help the students explore careers, discover their true passions and find a direction in life and their professional future. It is an exciting time in their life and we are glad to be a part of it by showing them that excellence in dentistry can be achieved through a lifetime of dedication to continuing education and  ever-evolving experience and practice. With such a commitment at stake, it is crucial to make the right choice for a successful career in the future!

Award-Winning Westlake and Rollingwood Community Member. Come and Meet Your Neighbor!

Westlake Picayune has also featured Dr. Gotun’s Lifelong Service and Recognition Award in 2012 for his rare dedication to continuing education and contribution to the field of dentistry.This is a rare honor and Dr. Gotun is the only dentist in Central Texas to ever receive LLSR.

Local Westlake dentist receives rare honor from peers

Visit us in Westlake Hills! We are located at the first stoplight of Bee Caves Rd west of MoPac. Take a right onto Edgegrove and turn directly into our private parking lot. Our office is right across from Collectic Home and Trader Joe’s.

Our building is surrounded by private calm and beautiful green park and one can enjoy the views of the Eanes Creek out of the floor-to-ceiling windows in every operatory in the office.

2724 Bee Caves Rd, Austin, TX, 78746. Serving Central Austin, Westlake Hills and Rollingwood.

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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.

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.

A Failed System. Why Doesn't My Insurance Pay For This?

Given the current trend with the American healthcare system taking a drastic change, insurance is undoubtedly the hot topic among Americans. We have briefly discussed this trend previously, but have yet to dive into what insurance means within the dental world. More specifically, what it means for a practice like Austin Smile Creations where a whole body approach to optimal dental health means choosing an almost solitary journey and certainly a journey away from what insurance considers the dental standard.

Unlike many practices and dentists, Dr. Tor Gotun and the Austin Smile Creations‘ team choose a path that is far above dental insurance standards. There are not very many general practices that are adding bone, titanium mesh plates, and membranes to generate growth of new, healthy bone, so patients can plan to keep their teeth for a lifetime (or at least the most biocompatible and structurally compatible prosthetics available to their natural teeth- implants). Even the most necessary of procedures that allow patients to keep their teeth and therefore sustain a quality of life that cannot be compared, many dental insurances won’t even consider covering.

We must then explore what are dental insurance companies’ standards? Since there aren’t any regulations on how insurance companies decide on reimbursement levels, there is no way of knowing what they will actually pay until a claim is submitted and an explanation for that claim in sent back to the provider. Think of one dental insurance company. One dental insurance company has hundreds of plans underneath it’s umbrella. Now, take twenty-three large dental insurance companies, hundreds of third party, smaller insurance companies that link themselves to several of the large companies, hundreds of plans that an employer has the option to pick from, and hundreds of different guidelines for 10,000 different dental codes. To say in the least, it’s a mess and clearly meant to confuse it’s consumer- the patient. Consider everything outside of actually extracting teeth is optional. This is what dental insurance companies believe, an archaic principle. It applies to eighteenth century folks who didn’t have the technology and education available that we have at our fingertips today. So if everything except extracting a tooth is optional, it would make sense that dental insurance pays the least expensive alternative treatment, like a composite (white) filling at an amalgam (silver filling) rate. It would make sense that they have age limits, exclusions, pre-existing conditions, deductibles and annual maximums for the year. On one end, patients who need several major procedures performed to improve or even sustain a quality of life, the expense becomes mostly out of pocket for the patient. On the other end, patients who only need minor work and routine cleanings, end up paying a higher premium than what’s actually used at their dental office. Either way, insurance companies make money.

What we do different at Austin Smile Creations is that we have chosen to be of service to each patient. Patients have individual needs for treatment and therefore have highly specialized and individual treatment plans. If insurance weren’t in the business of making money, they would understand the medical necessity for procedures that dentists like Dr. Gotun provide: allografts, autografts, PRP, PRGF, sinus lifts, and bone augmentations to name a few. The Austin Smile Creations’ team knows the quality of dentistry they provide to each patient, and such, continue on this uphill battle against insurance companies standards. And we continue on this journey, refusing to accept an unacceptable standard of care.

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!

Austin's Dentist Standard of Care. Planning in Dentistry.

Clinically, planning is everything in dentistry. It’s what we believe at Austin Smile Creations, your Westlake Dentist. We drive this point home among colleagues, patients and, well, really anyone we have the pleasure of meeting. Planning is the difference between success and failure, we believe. While any dentist may experience success without planning, it’s the risk they are willing to take at a patient’s expense. Planning goes hand-in-hand with perfection in all areas of dentistry, and because we strive for perfection in all areas of dentistry, the key to reaching that is all in Dr. Gotun’s expert planning.

So what does this mean for the patient? Put simply, we give each patient the best quality and most individualized care that can be offered in dentistry. When we say Dr. Gotun tackles each case on a case-by-case basis that’s exactly what we mean. He dissects each case individually, after thorough examination and in-depth diagnostics. Remember all those x-rays that are taken at an initial appointment- 18 to be exact? Or what about the gooey impression material needed to create exact replicas of each individual’s teeth and bite? Or maybe a 3D image called a CBCT scan- Cone Beam Computed Tomography– basically a 3D map of both head and jaw? All are diagnostics, which are part of necessary planning in what we consider our only option at Dr. Gotun’s office: taking really good care of people. Because we care about each patient’s health in it’s entirety (did you know your dental health affects your overall health? More on that later…), we are absolutely keen on proper planning for patient’s to recieve only the best dental care.                                                  

From a patient perspective, if you ask me, there’s nothing else I would want more than knowing and trusting I’m getting the best dental care. Any dentist has the ability to cement a crown, but is that dentist looking at how that crown will affect your bite? Does the dentist look at the way the temporomandibular joints align and possible tension on those muscles and joints naturally? Do they study if a procedure will affect your comfort? Are they using a semi-adjustable articulator to analyze your models before even beginning to plan treatment? Do they complete in-depth research of what will treat the problems and not just the symptoms? This is our standard of care at Austin Smile Creations, because this is the philosophy we all believe in.

Ultimately, we want patients to know what kind of quality they receive in our practice. We want patients to be involved, understand and ask about treatment options. We dedicate ourselves to finding the longest lasting results, because we want to have the happiest patients! For the team at Austin Smile Creations to reach these goals and provide exceptional dental care all begins with proper planning in every stage of dentistry.