Your Guide to Dental Crowns

A closer look at the materials used to make dental crowns reveals that each type of dental crown has a different objective. Some materials are used in order to create strength. Others are meant more for cosmetic results. Still others seek to combine strength and appearance. With several possible options for dental crowns, it is important to know which type of crown will work best for you. The answer, according to your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, depends upon where your damaged tooth resides in your mouth. (more…)

What Causes a Broken Tooth?

It may seem strange that teeth, coated in the body’s hardest material (enamel), can actually break. However, when teeth break, it is not usually an instantaneous process. Oftentimes, teeth break after they have been weakened over prolonged periods of time. Thus according to your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, two of the most common causes behind a broken tooth are bruxism (teeth grinding) and tooth decay.

Bruxism can lead to a broken tooth by weakening teeth on a nightly basis. As teeth are forced to slide against one another, often without the knowledge of the person sleeping, they begin to wear down as enamel is scraped away. As bruxism continues, teeth will become more and more vulnerable to structural damage, and eventually, if bruxism is not treated, it is very likely that they will break.

Tooth decay works in a similar fashion to weaken teeth, although much of the damage occurs within the tooth. The larger a cavity grows, the weaker a tooth will become as it is hollowed out by decay. Eventually, the tooth will become so weak that it cannot stand up to the forces that are inflicted upon it, resulting in structural damage. (more…)

Have You Lost a Tooth? Your Austin TX Dentist Can Help.

Losing a tooth can be very alarming. After all, once you are past your primary teeth, there are no replacements left for adult teeth. However, if you have lost a tooth, don’t fret. Your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, can replace it with a lifelike prosthetic that can blend in with your natural teeth. Today’s prosthetics are able to achieve incredible levels of realism. In addition to mimicking the reflective and partially translucent qualities of living teeth, today’s prosthetics are customized to blend in with patients’ natural teeth with the result that it is very difficult to discern between the prosthetic and the living teeth. (more…)

Discrete Dental Fillings from Your Austin Dentist

The Popularity of White Dental Fillings

The dental filling is one of the most common dental restorations today, and has been for over a century and a half. Today, dental fillings are crafted to do more than just restore a compromised tooth; they’re often designed to blend in perfectly with a tooth’s natural color to keep the restoration discreet. In recent years, composite resin has become a staple of many conservative dental procedures, from cosmetic bonding to tooth-colored dental fillings. Austin dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, has extensive experience restoring and improving patients’ smiles, and often utilizes composite resin in place of traditional metal amalgam fillings.

Tooth Decay, Cavities, and Dental Fillings

Tooth decay is a bacterial infection that eats away at a tooth’s structure once it gains a hold. The infection results in small holes (called cavities) that grow larger with neglect. (more…)

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last? Austin Dentist Answers

Dental restorations, including crowns, are not meant to last a lifetime.While many patients have reported having their crowns for 15 years without any trouble, others might need a replacement crown much sooner. Many factors can cause crowns to fail. Thankfully, replacing a crown is common and quite easy.

Factors that Attribute to Crown Failure (more…)

Austin, TX Dentist Discusses One-Visit Dental Crowns

In the past, manufacturing dental crowns required the use of a ceramics lab; yet, with the help of CEREC technology, neither the patient nor the doctor needs to wait for dental restorations. It’s now possible to create one-visit dental crownswith an in-office milling machine.

To explain how CEREC technology works to create one-visit dental crowns, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, your Austin, TX dentist shares this information with his patients.

What Makes a One-Visit Dental Crown Possible?

The CEREC milling machine is a state-of-the-art, computerized milling system that allows dentists to create dental restorations right in the office. With CEREC patients can receive perfectly made, one-visit dental crowns. This means the days of waiting weeks for a ceramics labs to make dental restorations is now a thing of the past.

The way the system works is simple. Your Austin, TX dentist takes impressions and x-rays of your mouth, particularly focusing on the tooth requiring the crown. Then, the information is transferred to a specialized computer which generates a 3-D image of the patient’s mouth. Here, the dentist can alter the shape and color of crown to ensure it fits properly within the space and matches your surrounding teeth. After the necessary adjustments have been made, the machine mills a crown from a pure ceramic block, and within minutes, the dentist has the newly created crown.

Once the crown is made, the dentist walks the restoration over to the patient and permanently bonds it in place on the same day. Using CEREC cuts down on shipping costs and the dentist has full control over the manufacturing process.

Additional Restorations that CEREC Can Manufacture

Other than making one-visit dental crowns, dentists can make a number of porcelain-based dental pieces. This includes: veneers, bridges, crowns for dental implants, and even inlays and onlays. With this in-office system, dentists won’t require the use of temporary dental pieces since restorative procedures won’t need multiple appointments.

Furthermore, should anything happen to your porcelain-based dental piece, Dr. Van Wicklen can produce a replacement one in no time.

Get the Latest Dental Technology from Your Austin, TX Dentist

With the help of CEREC technology, Dr. Van Wicklen can provide his patients with better, more advanced dentistry. If you would like to learn more about one-visit dental crowns, simply ask Dr. Van Wicklen how the CEREC milling machine works. To schedule an appointment with our Austin, TX dental practice, call us at (512) 448-3131. Also, visit our website for services, patient forms, and to read more about the team. We happily welcome patients from Bouldin, East Cesar Chavez, South River City, Zilker, Riverside, Rosewood, Chestnut, and the surrounding areas.

Broken Tooth? Austin, TX Dentist Explains What to Do

Do you know how to treat a broken tooth? If you’ve answered no, you’re not alone. Many people don’t know how to treat or handle a dental emergency. However, by taking the correct steps, patients can avoid causing any further damage to the affected area.

Here, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, your Austin, TX dentist discusses what to do if you’re suffering from a broken tooth.

Take These Steps If You Break a Tooth

If you’re able to visit your Austin, TX dentist, do this right away. However, breaking a tooth isn’t usually that convenient. Therefore, if you’re unable to see the dentist, take care to follow these steps.

  • Gather the pieces. First, gather any pieces of the tooth that have broken off, if you can. This is especially helpful if you’re able to visit the dentist within three hours. For patients who meet this deadline, Dr. Van Wicklen might have the ability to reattach the missing pieces.
  • Clean the area. Sometimes, a broken tooth can cause some bleeding. Should this apply to your situation, place a piece of gauze on the tooth for 10 minutes to stop the bleeding.
  • Rinse with salt water. To help ward off the possibility of an infection, take care to rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Simply mix a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water and rinse until the entire solution has been used.
  • Take an NSAID. Address any pain you’re experiencing by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This helps alleviate the pain and reduce some of the swelling.
  • Cover the sharp edges. Broken teeth typically have sharp edges that can cause damage to the soft tissues in your mouth. To protect your mouth, place a bit of paraffin wax over the tooth. Covering the tooth also prevents bacteria from entering the exposed opening and causing an infection.

Restorative Dental Care is Available, from Your Austin, TX Dentist

For patients who have a broken tooth, take care to visit Dr. Van Wicklen as soon as possible. With the proper treatment, your smile can heal and become fully functional again. To schedule an appointment with our Austin, TX dental practice, call us at (512) 448-3131. Also, visit our website for services, patient forms, and to read more about the team. We happily welcome patients from Bouldin, East Cesar Chavez, South River City, Zilker, Riverside, Rosewood, Chestnut, and the surrounding areas.

Austin, TX Dentist: Why Have You Lost a Tooth?

Do you have a few missing teeth and wondered, why have I lost a tooth or two? Rest assured this a question many Americans ask themselves and their dentists. The answer is that there isn’t one clear-cut answer. The problem with tooth loss is that it can stem from a number of different reasons, which is dependent upon each patient and their individual oral health.

To explain the causes of a lost tooth, your Austin, TX dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, shares the following information with his patients.

Common Factors that Cause Tooth Loss

  • Poor oral hygiene. Not caring for you teeth properly is one of the leading causes for tooth loss. Improper teeth cleaning or poor oral hygiene in general causes tooth decay, gum disease, and the more severe cases tooth loss. The good news is that oral hygiene can always improve. During the next visit to your Austin, TX dentist, ask for oral care tips.
  • Malnutrition. An unhealthy diet not only wreaks havoc upon your body, it makes your teeth suffer, too. Patients who frequently eat acidic or sugary foods become more susceptible to tooth decay. Instead, try eating more crunchy fruits and veggies, which promotes a healthier smile and body.
  • Dental trauma. Sometimes losing teeth is the cause of dental trauma. This can happen during a rigorous sport like hockey or football. On the other hand, a severe car accident or fall could also cause patients to lose a tooth.
  • Teeth grinding habits. Nighttime habits, such as, teeth grinding and clenching can lead to tooth loss, if the it’s not treated properly. Teeth grinders have worn down and cracked teeth that lose their functionality. In the more extreme cases, a dentist may have to extract a tooth and replace it altogether.

Visit Your Austin, TX Dentist for Preventative Dental Care

If you have more questions about why or how you lost a tooth, talk to Dr. Van Wicklen. He can explain the main reasons why many people endure tooth loss and teach you how to prevent it from happening. To schedule an appointment with our Austin, TX dental practice, call us at (512) 448-3131. Also, visit our website for services, patient forms, and to read more about the team. We happily welcome patients from Bouldin, East Cesar Chavez, South River City, Zilker, Riverside, Rosewood, Chestnut, and the surrounding areas.

Austin TX General Dentist Helps You Perfect Your Homecare

In order to keep our teeth healthy, we must care for them daily by brushing and flossing. The simple act of cleaning our teeth, helps protect them from harmful bacteria, which can cause tooth decay and even gum disease. Thus, it is important that your homecare is the best that it can be, which is why your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, has put together the following list of homecare tips. (more…)

Austin TX Dentist: Three Reasons to Choose Dental Implants

Have you lost a tooth recently? Are you looking for a replacement for your missing tooth? If so, dental implants may be the answer to your dental problems. Dental implants are very popular among patients and dentists alike and are often referred to as the “gold standard” for tooth replacement. To learn more about dental implants, consult the list below provided by your Austin TX dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen. (more…)