Archive for January, 2012

What is a Snap-On Smile?

Many patients long for a more attractive smile, but they may be wary of permanent cosmetic dental treatments that irreversibly change the structure of their teeth.

Now, those patients have an alternative. North Austin dentists can use a Snap-On Smile to improve a patient’s smile instantly with minimal impact on the teeth. A versatile device, the Snap-On Smile can conceal a variety of flaws, such as stains, crooked teeth and gaps. In fact, the product’s tagline is “A Multi-Purpose Restorative Appliance.”

A Snap-On Smile slides over the teeth, attaching to them without a need for drilling or adhesives, and no invasive procedures are involved. Unlike veneers, a Snap-On Smile does not require that any alterations be made to the enamel.

If you choose a Snap-On Smile, the process takes just two visits to your dentist. At the first appointment, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth that will be used in creating your new smile.

At this planning appointment, you will also select the aesthetics of your Snap-On Smile. Your dentist can customize the device to your specifications. You can choose from 18 different smile designs and 23 shades for the material. A Smile Style Guide is available to help you navigate that decision-making process.

All of that information is then sent to the technicians tasked with making your Snap-On Smile. When your dentist has received the device from them, you will come back to the office for a final fitting.

The appliances are made of high-quality materials. The resin used in the Snap-On Smile is quite thin and flexible, but strong, durable and stain-resistant at the same time. Patients can even eat and drink while wearing the device.

Another advantage of the Snap-On Smile is cost. The Snap-On Smile is much more affordable than some alternative cosmetic dentistry procedures. When cared for properly, the appliance can last up to five years. Your dentist can help you develop a plan to maintain your Snap-On Smile.

If you are dissatisfied with your smile’s current appearance but reluctant to consider permanent cosmetic dentistry techniques, contact Balcones Family Dental at 512-200-7422 and ask if a Snap-On Smile would be effective for your case.


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Complete vs. Partial Dentures

Patients in need of dentures have a wide variety of options at their disposal. Dr. Paul Lounsberry, your dentist serving North Austin, can make recommendations based on the number of teeth that need to be replaced in addition to your identified treatment goals.

The two main denture categories are complete and partial. Complete dentures are appropriate when no biological teeth remain in an arch, while partial dentures can be used to fill in for a stretch of missing teeth when some natural teeth are still present.

Dr. Lounsberry can fit patients with two types of complete dentures: immediate or conventional. Patients can wear immediate dentures as soon as any remaining teeth are removed. Alternatively, conventional dentures require patients to wait for 6-8 weeks to be fitted with their appliances. This period gives the gums sufficient time to heal from the tooth extraction.

In planning for immediate dentures, the dentist will take impressions and measurements and create models before the teeth are removed. This sequence allows the denture to be crafted in advance and ready for insertion when the patient’s remaining teeth are extracted.

Immediate dentures often appeal to patients who prefer not to go toothless while their gums heal following teeth extractions. However, immediate dentures can be prone to losing their fit if the gums and jawbone shrink during healing. When this occurs, the dentures will need to be relined so that they will continue to fit the patient’s mouth.

Some patients may choose an immediate denture as an interim solution and then follow up with a conventional denture after the healing process is complete.

Certain patients may also choose yet another appliance, the overdenture, to replace absent teeth. An overdenture fits over remaining teeth and restorations and offers added stability while enhancing the entire smile’s appearance.

In comparison, partial dentures fill in a gap and fit around the remaining teeth in the mouth. Unlike a fixed permanent bridge, partial dentures can be removed. They are linked to adjacent teeth with a system of clamps or some other attachment device.

The different categories and types of dentures are suitable for different situations. If you are considering dentures, talk with Dr. Lounsberry at Balcones Family Dental to determine which approach will be the most appropriate for your specific needs.


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