You Broke a Tooth. Now What?

You’ve clenched and ground your teeth until one of them broke, or tooth decay weakened your tooth enough that the right amount of pressure caused it to break. Or, perhaps you were in an accident, or a fight, and your tooth broke from blunt force trauma. Regardless of how it happened, your tooth broke, and your next step should be to fix it as soon as possible.

What a Broken Tooth Means

Given the fact that teeth break quite frequently, you might be surprised to know that your teeth are protected by the most resilient substance your body produces, tooth enamel. (more…)

Keep Austin Weird, but Keep Your Toothpaste Weirder

Let’s say that you brush your teeth twice daily over a period of 20 years. That’s 7,300 days, or 14,600 brushing sessions! Now, think about the typical drugstore offering of toothpaste flavors. Ice mint, fresh mint, polar mint, spearmint…you can see where we’re going with this. After 20 years of mint, why not consider shaking things up with a new flavor? Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, a general dentist near UT Austin, shares his list of wonderful and weird toothpaste flavors. (more…)

The Long Arm of Gum Disease

Chances are that you’ve heard of gum disease before, but are you aware that it is the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America? As it affects nearly 70% of America’s adult population with different levels of severity, gum disease should not be taken lightly, especially in light of research that suggests the mechanisms of the disease may contribute to other chronic systemic illnesses. To help you understand the importance of controlling this destructive dental issue, your Austin dentist, Steven Van Wicklen, examines how gum disease can travel beyond your mouth to affect your overall health. (more…)

Cure Bad Breath Before Valentine’s Day

Sometimes, bad breath is the result of respiratory or gastrointestinal problem. Sometimes, it’s due to a health condition, like diabetes. Usually, however, bad breath persists because poor hygiene has allowed bacteria to overwhelm your mouth and release volatile sulfur compounds that taint your breath as it passes through your mouth. If your bad breath doesn’t bother you under normal circumstances (and it really should), then perhaps Valentine’s Day being right around the corner is motivation enough to bring your breath under control. (more…)

What Difference Do Dental Implants Make?

Tooth replacement comes in different forms for different people, assuming they choose to replace their lost teeth at all. Patients who’ve lost several or all of their teeth have different needs than patients who’ve only lost one or two of theirs. Dental implants, however, can be combined with a dental crown, bridge, partial, or complete denture, and are therefore suitable for nearly every tooth loss situation. A dental implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone, and can support your replacement teeth with the stability of healthy teeth and their roots.   (more…)

What is a CEREC Dental Crown?

Many people have had or will need a dental crown placed over a tooth at some point in their lives. By duplicating your tooth, Dr. Van Wicklen can help restore damaged or unhealthy tooth structure without having to extract it or work on it extensively. In the past, placing a dental crown required at least two visits; one to prepare and measure the tooth, and another to place the dental crown after it’s delivered from a trusted dental lab. With CEREC technology, Dr. Van Wicklen can reduce your treatment by digitally designing and crafting your porcelain dental crown during a single visit. (more…)

Things to Know About Gum Disease

If you haven’t been told that you have gum disease, then it may not seem like such a big deal. Your teeth are sturdy, your gums don’t hurt, and the destructive consequences of gum disease may seem like a distant threat. Austin dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, warns that such detachment might lead you to become slightly less diligent in your fight against the destructive condition. Poor hygiene and neglect can allow gum disease to gather force, often unnoticed, and advanced gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the country.

There’s More than One Kind of Gum Disease

Gum disease that experts most warn about, the disease that can cause you to lose teeth, is more precisely known as periodontitis, and is a severe form of gum disease that can attack the jawbone underneath your gums. Before the condition becomes so severe, gum disease begins as a bacterial infection of the gums, called gingivitis. Some oral bacteria release toxins that cause your gums to separate from your teeth, creating pockets for more germs to accumulate. Others incite inflammation, causing the redness, swelling, and bleeding associated with gingivitis. Treating gum disease depends on the stage at which it’s caught, and can range from a deep cleaning and improved hygiene to a surgical gum graft and tooth replacement. (more…)

Are Dental Cleanings the Most Important Dental Treatment?

Every six months or so, you should visit your dentist for a comprehensive checkup and cleaning. Along with brushing and flossing your teeth twice every day, regular checkups are a well-known factor in good dental health. In many respects, dental checkups and cleanings with your Austin dentist may be the most important professional dental treatment you receive. Periodic cleanings help ensure that bacteria don’t accumulate enough to become a threat, and routine inspections allow Dr. Van Wicklen to detect and treat issues early, should they develop. By preventing dental diseases from forming and maturing, your dental cleaning appointments can help you avoid the need for extensive treatment later down the line. (more…)

Cosmetic Dentist Explains Treatments for Improved Smiles

If you ever feel dissatisfied by the appearance of your smile, whether you have small imperfections, like chips, or more widespread issues like discoloration, cosmetic dentistry is your ticket to a more beautiful smile. From treating a single issue to addressing multiple concerns at once, your Austin Tx cosmetic dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, will improve the appearance of your smile. He will sit down with you to create a cosmetic treatment plan tailored to your particular goals. Keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry can often address mild misalignment, as well. If you are under the impression that you need braces to correct small spaces or gently overlapping teeth, speak with our team at Steven Van Wicklen, DDS, so we can guide you toward achieving the smile of your dreams.


Cosmetic Dentist Discusses Smiles

Whether you know it or not, your smile is a major influence upon your emotional state and your life. Smiling releases “feel good” chemicals into the brain including endorphins and the anti-depressant serotonin. What, then, will happen if you are embarrassed by your teeth? Chances are that you will be reluctant to smile, and consequently, you may begin to feel unhappy.

Thankfully, you can change your feelings about your smile with cosmetic dentistry. Your Austin TX cosmetic dentist, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen, offers several popular cosmetic treatments including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and cosmetic bonding. With these treatments, Dr. Van Wicklen can transform your smile from a source of self-doubt to a source of confidence, making your day-to-day life much more enjoyable. (more…)