Dental Services2017-01-31T19:24:17+00:00

Dental Services

We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. We can create tooth-colored restorations that are not only beautiful, but also add strength to weakened teeth.

Disadvantages of Silver fillings: Silver (or mercury) fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of these fillings tend to wear down, becoming weak and ultimately breaking. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums. Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Tooth Colored Restorations.

Advantages of Tooth Colored Restorations: There are many advantages to tooth colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger. Since the resin used in tooth colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums! The result is a beautiful and healthy smile! Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!

Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves acting as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach. Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed. Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.
What are porcelain veneers? Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front and top surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. With veneers as an alternative, there is no reason to put up with gaps between your teeth, teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. A veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct these maladies, simply and quickly, to help you achieve a beautiful smile!

Will they look like normal teeth? When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options. Because they are thin, light can shine through them and they take on the natural color of the underlying tooth.

How durable are porcelain veneers? With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for well over a decade. Dr. Shah will ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available.

The Procedure: This procedure will require three appointments: Diagnosis and Treatment planning, Preparation and Bonding

Diagnosis and Treatment planning: You will want to take an active role in planning your smile design. Dr. Shah will review the corrective limitations of this procedure and help you plan your new smile, using digital photographs and study models of your teeth.

Preparation: The second appointment will take one to two hours. Although the porcelain veneer is very thin, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the added thickness. Approximately one half of a millimeter of tooth is removed. This may require little or no local anesthesia. Then a mold is taken of the teeth and sent to the lab for fabrication. Temporary veneers will be placed at this time. The veneer should be ready in approximately two weeks.

Bonding: At the time of your third appointment, Dr. Shah will first place the veneer on your teeth with water or glycerin to check their fit and color. At this point the color of the veneer can still be adjusted by the shade of the cement used to adhere it. Once the color is determined, and the veneer is ready to be applied, the tooth is cleansed with specific chemicals to achieve a bond. A special cement is placed between the teeth and the veneer and a visible light beam is used to harden the cement. This appointment takes approximately one to two hours.

Care and follow up: Brush and floss daily. Return for a follow-up visit after one to two weeks.

Maintenance of your new veneers: Brush and floss as you normally would. Don’t be afraid that you will damage your veneers by brushing and flossing. Non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended. A good home care regimen will insure the best esthetic success of your veneer. You may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold after placement of your veneer. This is due to the amount of enamel left on the tooth after preparation. Sensitivity is totally normal and should dissipate after one to two weeks. If sensitivity persists please call the office. If you are a known clencher (bruxer), please be sure to let us know. Dr. Shah may recommend a night guard for you to wear to minimize stress placed upon your teeth while you sleep. It will also help to protect your beautiful new smile. We will ensure that your new veneers fulfill your esthetic goal. With proper home care and scheduled visits, they are sure to provide you with a beautiful smile for years to come.

When over 1/2 of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay. This is a more conservative and cost-effective treatment option than a full crown.

What are inlays and onlays? Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth; an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth. Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.

How are they applied? Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth taken, and sent to a lab for fabrication. Dr. Shah will then apply a temporary sealant on the tooth and schedule the next appointment. At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed. Dr. Shah will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. Once the fit is verified, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.

Considerations: Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, being bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.

Bonding can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored or misarranged, and is an alternative to veneers.

How does it work? The tooth is prepared for the procedure by lightly etching the surface and applying a bonding liquid. Once the liquid sets, a plastic resin is applied and artistically sculpted into the desired shape by the dentist. Once set, the resin is trimmed, smoothed and polished to a natural appearance.

Considerations: The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip or break than natural teeth. Bonding typically lasts three to five years before repair is needed.

Dental implants are an exciting break-through in tooth replacement therapy. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. Dental implants are highly successful with a worldwide success rate above 95%. They can be used to replace single teeth, multiple teeth, bridges, and dentures.

In fact, Dr. Shah himself has benefited first-hand from dental implants! He had his placed over 20 years ago after an accident knocked out two of his teeth. Dr. Shah always calls this accident his “blessing in disguise,” as this is one of the reasons he became a dentist.

If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by Dr. Shah or by an Implant Surgeon suggested by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.

Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life. Call Austin Dental Arts to see if you are a candidate for dental implants at 454-2583.

Procedure: Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear a temporary crown or denture during this phase. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final crown(s) or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.

After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Your oral surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Then, Dr. Shah will be able to begin making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure may take up to six months to complete, however recent developments in implant technology are allowing us to deliver the final teeth even faster. In some cases, the implant can have a tooth placed on it the same day. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.

You and Dr. Shah may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed; others may have advanced periodontal disease, or have broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth), or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, in most cases, Dr. Shah will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth.

The Extraction Process: At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic. During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.

You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected. If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction please let us know right away.

Sectioning a tooth: Occasionally, some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Tooth Extraction: After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times to staunch the flow of blood.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Use pain medication as directed. Call our office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious, soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

Having a beautiful smile may be even easier than you think. Many people achieve the look they’ve been dreaming of with our simple “bleaching” procedure. It’s safe, quick, and inexpensive. Just let us know at any appointment if you would like to begin whitening.

In only a week your custom trays will be ready for you to pick up. We provide you with a special whitening agent that you put into the clear, almost invisible trays. With only a few hours of wear per day, our special whitening agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel in a very short time without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way. When your teeth reach the brightness you want, only occasional treatment is needed to maintain your new smile. We’ll want to take “after” photos at your next appointment.

Dental bleaching can be used to correct many tooth discolorations. These discolorations may have been caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using the latest in bleaching technology, we can offer a safe method for creating a beautiful, “brilliant” smile. In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or veneers may be the only choice. But because of the low cost of bleaching treatments, bleaching is nearly always worth a solid try.

Key Benefits
1. Corrects brown, yellow and mottled tooth staining
2. Works on people of all ages.
3. Is a near permanent solution for a “dull” smile, restoring brightness and bringing a smile alive.

How is it done? An impression is taken to make a specialized “mouthguard” or “stent” to hold the bleach against the teeth. The material is used each night for about 1 hour for a week or two, after which significant whitening will occur. In some cases, the change is nothing short of brilliant. For confidence in appearance, bleaching technology offers improvements in yellowing, aging or stained teeth. For very severely stained teeth, crowns or veneers may be more appropriate.

Considerations: Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available at drug stores and pharmacies. However, since these products can harm the gums and teeth, it’s better to use products that our practice recommends.

Click here to read more about the ZOOM!® In-Office Whitening System.

All of your teeth play an important role in speaking, chewing and in maintaining proper alignment of other teeth. Tooth loss doesn’t necessarily have to occur as you age, but if you do lose teeth, they must be replaced to maintain proper function of your mouth. Fortunately, there are options for correcting tooth loss.

Options: A bridge — a device used to replace missing teeth — attaches artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth, called abutment teeth. Bridges are either permanently attached (fixed bridges), or they can be removable. Fixed bridges are applied by either placing crowns on the abutment teeth or by bonding the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth. Removable bridges are attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments. Sometimes, they can even be used in conjunction with dental implants to help with stability and preserve jaw bone. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be aware of their importance to your appearance and dental health. Your teeth work together for many daily functions from eating to speaking. With missing teeth, it’s difficult to do these things. Missing teeth can and should be replaced. Fixed bridges are a great way to restore your dental health and appearance.

What exactly is a bridge or fixed partial denture? A bridge (fixed partial denture) is a device, which fills the gap where teeth are absent. Fixed bridges are bonded into place and can only be removed by a dental professional. Removable bridges, as the name implies, can be taken out and cleaned. Fixed bridges offer more stability than their removable counterparts.

Why do I need a bridge? Oral functionality and appearance are important reasons for wearing a bridge. A bridge helps support your lips and cheeks. The loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to sink and your face to look older. Dental health is the most important reason for a bridge. Teeth were designed to complement each other. Unusual stresses are placed on the gums and other oral tissues when teeth are missing, causing a number of potentially harmful disorders. Increased risk of gum disease has proven to be one of the worst side effects of missing teeth and can be minimized with a bridge. Missing teeth can cause speech disorders as they are used to make many of the sounds we use to speak clearly. While fixed bridges are still used in dentistry, today most patients opt for dental implants to replace the missing tooth.

How is a bridge attached? The attachment procedure usually takes two or three appointments to complete. At the first appointment Dr. Shah will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap by removing a portion of the enamel and dentin. Since the bridge must be fabricated very precisely to ensure correct bite and to match the opposing tooth, impressions of the teeth are taken and sent to a lab where the bridge will be constructed. Fixed bridges are typically cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth. A pontic (false tooth) replaces the lost tooth. Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.

What materials are used? Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either precious or non-precious metal.

How do I take care of my bridge? A strict regimen of brushing and flossing will keep the bridge and surrounding teeth clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge relies on the neighboring teeth for support.

All dental lab work initiated, fabricated, and completed in the United States.

Most dentistry looks like dentistry. Our goal is to provide dentistry that is undetectable. We replace existing crowns and fillings with restorations that look and feel like your natural teeth.

Where damage to a person’s teeth is extreme, and apparently beyond repair, we can use porcelain or porcelain “pasted on gold” crowns to make the smile appear “as new”. This is an extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe of dental problems, even permanently replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite. We are renowned for the quality of our work and the fantastic changes we make for people using this technology. These treatments are used for a long lasting correction of major dental problems. It is usual for these treatments to last for 10 to 20 years, which is as close to permanent as dental treatment can get.

How long does it take? Fitting a crown requires at least two visits to our office. Initially, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and fit it with a temporary crown that matches your other teeth. On the subsequent visit we will remove the temporary crown, and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth.

Key Benefits
1. Replaces missing teeth
2. Offers support to misshapen teeth or badly broken teeth
3. Looks completely natural
4. Fixes “smile” and functional chewing problems.

What are the capabilities of crowns? Crown and bridgework is a very reliable solution for major dental problems caused through accidents, diseases or wear and tear. Major problems can usually be corrected using these techniques. Material used in these repairs is either high-grade porcelain, or porcelain bonded to gold. A higher strength of the porcelain and gold materials is recommended to treat the most serious of dental problems. Where accidental damage has occurred, resulting in lost teeth, or where teeth have broken away through excessive wear, or as the result of old fillings breaking, crowns and/or bridges can be used as a long-term solution.

Many people have unexplained pain from filled back teeth, which is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain and allows a return of full dental function for these teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause “appearance” problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage.

All dental lab work initiated, fabricated, and completed in the United States.

If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll be able to eat and speak—things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.

There are various types of complete dentures. A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed which may take several months. An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed. Dr. Shah takes measurements and makes custom models of the patient’s jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period since the dentures are delivered on the day of surgery.

Even if you wear full dentures, you still must take good care of your mouth. Brush your gums, tongue and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.

Today we can use implants to help retain your dentures, resulting in more confidence when eating and speaking. Loose dentures are a thing of the past. Ask us how we can use dental implants to help secure your dentures.

All dental lab work initiated, fabricated, and completed in the United States.

If you experience high levels of anxiety with dental treatment you may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Shah is Board Certified to administer (oral conscious) sedation, also commonly referred to as “Sleep Dentistry.”

Sedation Dentistry

Sleep dentistry provides many advantages to patients:

1. Treatment completed in a more relaxed frame of mind
2. More comfortable for patients who have difficulty sitting through long procedures
3. Performing more dentistry in a single visit, instead of requiring the patient to return again and again
4. Larger restorative cases for patients who were previously reluctant due to anxiety
5. Minimizes post-operative discomfort and recovery

Once upon a time, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called a root canal therapy you may save that tooth. Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don’t remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After the pulp is removed, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Dr. Shah will then place a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.

Recent developments in endodontic technology have improved the speed, comfort, and predictability of root canal therapy.

Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to two visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.

Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
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