Archive for dentist

State-of-the-Art Technology to Enhance Patient Care

dentist North AustinLike other healthcare providers, our dentist practice utilizes state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat a number of conditions that affect the teeth, gums, and mouth. Advanced technology allows our team to diagnose and treat conditions in their earliest stages when patients receive routine checkups and cleanings. Early diagnosis and treatment typically allows our dentist to treat conditions as conservatively and minimally invasive as possible. Some of our technology includes digital radiography, laser-assisted cavity detection, intraoral cameras, and iTero Digital Scanners.

Digital Radiography

Digital radiography eliminates the need for radiographic film. Instead, a sensor on the X-ray machine will relay images in digital format to a high-resolution computer monitor. Once the images are uploaded to the monitor, our team can zoom in and out with ease. This makes for precise and accurate diagnoses as well as a great tool for explaining conditions and treatment to patients.

Laser-Assisted Cavity Detection

When cavities are detected early on, the restorations used to fill in dental caries are typically smaller. The smaller the restoration, the more tooth structure can be retained. Diagnodent is a laser-assisted cavity detection device that utilizes light waves to evaluate the density of teeth and therefore detect tooth decay in its earliest stages.

Intraoral Cameras

Similar to digital radiography, intraoral images are uploaded in digital format to high-resolution monitors. This camera is useful for studying the health of soft oral tissue, especially in hard-to-see areas of the oral cavity. Essentially, an intraoral camera gives our team (and our patients) a detailed tour of the entire mouth.

iTero Digital Scanners

iTero digital scanners allow our team to take impressions of one’s mouth for crowns and bridges without the traditional putty material associated with dental molds. Digital scanning improves patient comfort and reduces the time spent preparing impressions. Using a handheld wand, the iTero scanner produces accurate and precise images for custom restorations.

We are proud to offer residents of our community the latest technology. Call our practice today to ask questions or reserve a cleaning or checkup.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

New City, New Dentist: Tips to Find your New Dental Provider

dentist north austinMoving to a new location can be a stressful experience, but it does not have to affect your underlying health and wellness. Of course, regular checkups and treatments are necessary to stay healthy, so finding new medical and dental providers in your new city is essential. After moving to a new city, consider using these tips to find your new dentist.

Contact your Benefits Department

Dental insurance is a great option for affordable care. However, many insurance providers limit your options when it comes to coverage, so consider contacting your benefits department for a list of in-network dental providers.

In many cases, your benefits department will offer you a few local dentists that all accept your insurance coverage.

Ask New Neighbors and Coworkers

If you are searching for a dentist in your new city, your new neighbors and coworkers can offer suggestions on friendly, experienced, and affordable dental providers in your new area.

Ask your Primary Care Physician

If you have already found and established a primary care physician in your new city, allow them to offer recommendations on local dental providers. Since your doctor has access to your medical records, they can give you suggestions on dentists that will suit your oral and medical health needs.

Schedule a Consultation

Contacting your insurance provider and asking for recommendations may give you some ideas on new providers in your city, but you should schedule a consultation to meet before deciding on your new dentist.

It is important to tour the facility, meet all of the staff, and undergo a full exam during the consultation. Ask your potential dental provider what treatments they recommended for healthy, appealing teeth. In addition, meet with the billing department to learn how their payments and claims are arranged with patients and insurance providers.

Moving away from old neighbors and coworkers can be challenging, but you can find a good quality dentist with a bit of effort. If you are new to the area, contact our office at Balcones Family Dental to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

Dental Myths: Only Children Get Cavities

North Austin dentistIt may seem like children are more prone to experience dental decay, but cavities are not restricted to youngsters. Children may be less likely to perform the correct daily oral hygiene regimen that many adults maintain, and their diets may not be as closely monitored as an adult. In addition, the minerals that help to preserve our teeth and keep them healthy are just forming, making children’s teeth seem more susceptible to decay.  These factors can lead to plaque build-up … one of the leading causes of dental decay. Seeing your dentist every six months does not replace daily dental care and good diet choices.

In addition to plaque build-up on teeth, dental decay can occur any time the dental enamel is breached. Adults suffer from stress that can lead to teeth grinding. Grinding away on dental enamel can lead to cracked or broken teeth. Decay or even more serious problems can occur from this condition.

Ineffective or negligent brushing and flossing allows food particles to build and harden on teeth. Improper care can lead to dental decay no matter your age.

Lifestyle habits like smoking (or tobacco use of any kind), illicit drugs, over-indulgence of sugar laden foods alcohol abuse are all factors contribute to the dental condition. Adults that participate in any or all of these actions greatly increase the likelihood of experiencing dental decay or gum disease.

Many medications that are designed to improve a physical condition may produce negative results for dentition.

A dry mouth is a leading cause for dental decay. The inability to produce sufficient saliva can result from illness, medication, or a temporary condition. Staying hydrated or using one of the over the counter products intended to help this situation is recommended.

Chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease seem to go hand in hand with dental problems making the need to maintain appointments with the dentist very important.

As we age, forgetfulness becomes an issue. Keeping reminders around or making sure needed dental tools are readily available may be helpful.

Infants, children, teens, young adults, and senior citizens are all candidates for dental decay. Prevention means limiting sugary snacks and beverages, brushing daily with a fluoridated tooth paste, flossing daily and seeing our dental team every six months.

If decay does occur, having it treated right away may prevent costly and time consuming restorative treatment later. So don’t delay and call our office today to schedule your next appointment!

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

How to Keep the ‘Treats’ from Playing ‘Tricks’ On Your Child’s Teeth

north Austin dentistHalloween is a beloved holiday and for good reason; children and adults alike get to be anything they want to be for an evening. For children, it’s a magical night filled with possibilities, community engagement, a little bit of healthy fright, and of course, candy. While a few bites of candy aren’t going to ruin your kid’s oral health, there are steps parents can take to ensure healthy teeth and gums – even during Halloween festivities. Our dentists provide quality oral healthcare to children in our area.

Healthy Tips for Halloween

One thing that parents can do is encourage moderation and monitor when any leftover candy is eaten. Since candy is full of sugar and sometimes acid, it can lead to tooth decay and bacterial growth. If your child has collected a surplus of candy that will easily last beyond Halloween, consider keeping the candy in a safe place where you can administer it as you see fit. An easily accessible bag of candy could mean that your son or daughter sneaks bites before supper or after nighttime oral hygiene.

During candy collection on Halloween, bring bottled water with you. Encourage kids to take sips of water throughout the night. This will help dilute harmful particles and rinse the mouth of sugar and acid. Diluting and rinsing the mouth after consuming sugar is important because sugar is the natural food source for bacteria. When candy is ingested, bacteria literally go into a feeding frenzy.

If you host a Halloween party at your home for children in your neighborhood, consider fun and tasty alternatives to candy. For instance, you can “bob” for apples and serve snacks such as celery with peanut butter and raisins. While these foods have sugar, they are healthier alternatives to store bought candy.

Before bedtime on Halloween and any subsequent days where candy is eaten, watch over your children’s oral hygiene routines to make sure they are brushing and flossing properly.

Our practice would like to wish our community a happy and safe Halloween. Call us to schedule a checkup or cleaning.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

A Healthy Mouth is a Gateway to a Healthy Body

dentist north AustinDaily brushing and flossing coupled with a visit to the dentist every six months for a complete teeth cleaning, polishing, and dental exam to catch potential problems in their earliest stages are the best ways to protect your oral health. But did you know that lapses in dental care can impact your overall health as well?

Research continues to link the incidence of diseases of the mouth to immune disorders like diabetes and arthritis; in addition, the correlation between gum disease and those suffering from heart disease demands further study.

If you have an illness, all parts of your body may suffer. But the same can be said if you are experiencing problems associated with your teeth and/or gums.

A toothache can totally ruin your ability to function at work or play. And if you ignore that toothache or try to mask the discomfort with analgesics, the problem can escalate.

Dental decay or gum disease often starts due to an inefficient or missing daily hygiene regimen. Brushing twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste is essential; flossing at least once per day will remove the food debris your tooth brush may have missed; visiting the dentist every six months for a proper cleaning will allow plaque built up since your last visit to be removed.

If you are not in compliance with these basic oral care functions you are running the risk of experiencing dental problems. These can include dental decay or gum disease. And that’s not even mentioning the problems associated with dental trauma that can lead to broken or lost teeth.

If you have lost teeth, you may experience remaining teeth shifting creating bite issues. Lost teeth may mean adjustments in your diet that could prevent consumption of nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables. A daily diet that lacks proper nutrition impacts the body’s overall health.

Other detrimental actions that can affect both your oral and overall health include tobacco use; illicit drug use; over consumption of alcohol; unhealthy snacks and beverages; lack of proper hydration; and insufficient rest.

Providing excellent care for your oral health may not prevent the onset of physical ailments, but patients that honor the needs to take the best care of their teeth as possible will likely enjoy the use of their own teeth for their lifetime.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

Oral Piercings: Hidden Risks to Your Health

dentist 78729Many people get oral piercings because they look cool or trendy, but these patients may fail to consider the dental health risks that such piercings present. When deciding on a tongue or lip piercing, it’s important to weigh these factors as you make your choice.

Here is a list of a few dental hazards that you may face as a result of an oral piercing.

  • Infection – Any piercing introduces an outlet for bacteria to enter the body, and an oral piercing is no exception. Oral infections can be devastating to your oral health and have the potential to spread throughout the body if they are able to access the bloodstream.
  • Damage to the teeth – If a stud or hoop contacts the teeth, those teeth can easily be chipped or cracked. This could create the need for a restoration or possible introduce the risk of infection in the tooth’s inner core.
  • Gum disease – Patients with oral piercings seem to face a greater risk of gum disease, which can ultimately lead to tooth or bone loss.
  • Disease transmission – Oral piercings can increase a patient’s risk for acquiring diseases like hepatitis and herpes.
  • Difficulty chewing – An oral piercing may interfere with your ability to chew properly, potentially compromising your nutrition.
  • Allergic reactions – Some patients will have an allergic reaction to the metal in the piercing. This risk can be serious if the tongue swells as a result, as a swollen tongue can obstruct the airway opening in severe cases.

This list is not intended to be a comprehensive one. Your dentist can advise you of additional concerns, including ones that are specific to your case.

If you do decide to move forward with getting an oral piercing despite the possible health risks, it’s essential that you take good care of it and do your best to keep it clean and free of the oral bacteria that can wreak havoc on the rest of your mouth. Your dentist can advise you on this matter as well.

Before deciding to pierce your tongue or lip, get your dentist’s advice on this process. If you are thinking about such a piercing, we strongly encourage you to contact our office to speak with our experienced team of professionals about this issue.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

I’m Postponing Dental Treatment Because It’s Not Bothering Me

north Austin dentistWe all exist in a stress-filled, action-packed, and not-enough-hours-in-the-day world. But postponing the inevitable can often exacerbate the condition making it much worse than if you had dealt with it immediately upon discovery. If your dentist diagnoses a problem, do not delay dental treatment just because it is not bothering you right now.

A dental cavity is literally a hole in the enamel of your tooth. You may not yet feel the effect, but as bacteria builds, the hole becomes bigger and the tooth decay builds. Your dentist has the tools to identify this condition at its earliest stage … take advantage of treatment right away to eliminate problems later.

Postponing having a cavity treated can lead to the need for intervention to save your tooth eventually. Decay can lead to infection which can advance to an abscess. That little cavity could have been filled in minutes, but the delay has led to the need for a root canal and a crown to salvage the tooth. The end result is costly and time consuming treatment that could have been prevented.

You’ve noticed your gums are starting to bleed, but you aren’t having any discomfort. You brush your teeth every day and floss every once in a while. You may have skipped a couple of dental visits, but since your teeth feel good, you’re not concerned.

You may be experiencing the early onset of gum disease known as gingivitis. Without treatment symptoms grow including red, swollen gums; chronic bad breath; receding gum tissue; and the possibility of losing one or more teeth.

Both dental decay and gum disease are very preventable conditions. But they require daily attention and keeping consistent dental visits. Daily attention includes brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel at least twice each day.

Flossing daily is critical. This removes food particles from between teeth that your tooth brush can’t reach. In addition, gum tissue is stimulated which aids in keeping your gums healthy.

Finally, your dentist can play a huge role in your dental health. Your teeth will be cleaned removing plaque that has built up since your previous visit; teeth will be polished; a complete dental exam will reveal issues that should be addressed; and you will receive the advice needed to maintain excellent dental health for life.

Contact Balcones Family Dental at 512-200-7422 to schedule your next visit.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

The First Signs of Gingivitis

dentist 78729Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and is often the result of minimal or absent daily hygiene care and missed visits with the dentist for a complete cleaning and dental exam. Some of the indicators you should watch for include:

Bleeding gums – Gums may bleed if your brush vigorously or use a hard bristle tooth brush. The answer is to lighten up – scrubbing teeth too hard may be doing more harm than good. A soft bristle tooth brush is recommended … an electronic tooth brush is a solution as no pressure is needed. All you have to do is guide the brush, and let it do the work.

If gums are bleeding without provocation, you may be dealing with gum disease. Healthy gums do not bleed.

Gum appearance – Healthy gum tissue is pink … gums that are red and swollen may be infected.

Chronic bad breath – Strong foods and beverages can give you bad breath, but if halitosis is on-going you are probably dealing with some type of infection. Sinus and throat illness can produce a sour odor, but if you believe your teeth are the source of your bad breath, a visit to the dentist is needed.

If gum tissue has started to recede or teeth feel loose, you are no longer in the gingivitis stage of gum disease. You are now dealing with the more advanced condition, periodontitis. The bacteria that has been left on your teeth from a lack of brushing, flossing, and dental visits has now grown below the gum tissue and is destroying the bone structure that is holding your teeth in place.

Gum disease can impact one tooth or one area … the entire mouth does not have to be involved to require treatment. And even the most diligent can be faced with gingivitis. This is why early childhood care is so important. Many adults dealing with gum disease can point to a lack of or improper care growing up; this is more evident if parents and siblings also deal with gum disease.

You can break that cycle. Daily flossing is possibly the most important contributor to maintaining healthy gum tissue. Brushing with a fluoridated tooth paste at least twice each day coupled with consistent visits to the dentist for a thorough cleaning and dental exam will result in healthy teeth and gums.

Contact our team at Balcones Family Dental today to schedule your next professional exam.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

What Can I Expect to Happen to My Teeth and Gums as I Age?

dentist north AustinThe entire human body evolves over time. Just like changes to skin, hair, and physical attributes; teeth and gums are likely to change as we age as well. One of the things that can improve the chances of maintaining excellent oral health throughout life is to keep appointments with your dentist every six months.

At these bi-annual dental appointments, you are receiving:

Thorough cleaning – all plaque that has built-up since your previous dental visit is removed. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on teeth that can result in dental decay and/or gum disease.

Polishing – Your teeth will look their best because after plaque is removed, your dental provider will use a high speed instrument to polish teeth to remove stain and brighten your teeth’s appearance.

Exam – Your dentist is not just looking for cavities during your appointment. You are being checked for problems associated with oral cancer, gum disease, broken or cracked teeth, TMJ, worn enamel (from teeth grinding and jaw clenching), and gum recession … as well as decay.

Your dentist is not just looking for cavities during your appointment.

You can assist your dentist and improve your chances of maintaining great dental health by following a few rules:

Brush at least twice each day with a fluoridated tooth paste or gel. Use a soft bristle tooth brush and do not use excessive pressure when brushing. A heavy hand can lead to premature gum recession.

Floss daily especially at night to remove dental debris your tooth brush did not reach. Daily flossing not only helps keep plaque limited, but gum tissue is stimulated each time you floss.

Monitor your diet to limit sugary snacks and beverages. Too much sugar increases plaque which contributes to dental decay and gum disease. This will be good for your waistline as well.

Do not smoke or use tobacco in any form.

Research has proven there is a correlation between dental health and overall physical health. People dealing with diseases of the immune system and/or heart disease face a greater chance of developing gum disease. Gum disease can affect people of all ages, but the risk increases when coupled with poor overall health.

While genetics may play a role in our ultimate dental health, taking great care of our oral health throughout life may allow us to keep our biological teeth for a lifetime of smiles.

Call Balcones Family Dental today and set up an appointment with one of our caring dentists.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →

Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

north Austin dentistOn your regular visits to the dentist, you probably receive a fluoride treatment about once a year. These treatments help protect your teeth from decay and can even reverse decay in its very early stages. With these regular treatments, your teeth stay as healthy as possible.

How Does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride is one of a few minerals that help keep the teeth strong. Teeth are constantly being eroded by acids in the food we eat and beverages we drink. In addition, bacteria in the mouth create waste products that are also highly acidic and damage the teeth. If acidic food remnants or the plaque bacteria leaves behind are not cleaned away, they eat into the outer tooth surfaces. The early stage of this process is called demineralization. Eventually, the acids can eat through the enamel, creating decay.

Fluoride, however, helps rebuild the enamel through a process called remineralization. Fluoride strengthens the damaged areas and reverses the earliest stages of tooth decay. It also helps your teeth remain stronger and more resistant to acid erosion. This is why it’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste on a regular basis. In many places, fluoride is also added to drinking water, which helps keep teeth healthy, as well, especially the teeth of children, who have more difficulty maintaining regular dental care.

Fluoride strengthens the damaged areas and reverses the earliest stages of tooth decay.

Why Do I Need Extra Fluoride?

Fluoride treatments are a common procedure in dentistry. But if there is fluoride added to our drinking water, and we use toothpaste with added fluoride, why is it necessary to have fluoride treatments when we go to the dentist? The answer is that a dentist can use a stronger, more concentrated form of fluoride, and can apply it to your teeth in a variety of ways.

In the dental office, fluoride can be applied as a gel, foam, or varnish. Regular fluoride treatments are typically a gel or a foam, which helps strengthen the teeth and reverse minor decay that regular-strength fluoride hasn’t been able to remineralize. Fluoride varnishes can be used to reduce sensitivity and to seal the teeth to further protect from decay, so these applications of fluoride work even more thoroughly to protect your teeth.

Call our office at 512-200-7422 to set up your next appointment.

Posted in: dentist

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 4 1234