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Repair and Improve Your Smile with Lumineers

Everyone wants a bright shining smile, but yellow or discolored teeth, misaligned teeth, and chipped or broken teeth can mar your smile. Today’s dentistry practice has an answer to repair and improve your smile. Lumineers are thin porcelain shells placed over your teeth which look just like natural teeth. They are a cost effective and attractive way to have the smile of your dreams.

Restorative Dental Lumineers

Many times, your doctor will recommend Lumineers to help correct your smile. Your teeth may be misaligned, broken, cracked, or yellowed. While Lumineers will not cure the underlying problem since they are bonded to the surface of your teeth, they can give you an improved smile and increase your confidence. The secret to movie stars smiles? Many times, it is Lumineers.

Unlike traditional dental veneers, which take at least three visits to fit, Lumineers can be fitted and placed in just two visits. There is no need to take any enamel off your teeth as in traditional veneers. Since Lumineers don’t require the removal of any of your enamel, they are reversible. Lumineers are thin translucent porcelain shells which reflect light much in the same way as your natural teeth and last up to 20 years.

Getting Your New Smile

Getting your Lumineers usually takes just two visits. At the first visit the doctor will discuss your goals and take impressions of your teeth. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab where your new Lumineers are milled. Once they are delivered, you’ll come back and have them placed and bonded. Lumineers are generally placed on your front teeth and not your molars because they can’t withstand the grinding involved in chewing. Placement takes about an hour, and then you have a bright perfect smile which lasts for many years.

If you want a perfect smile which will last for many years, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about Lumineers.

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Wisdom Teeth Myths and Facts

Your wisdom teeth (third molars) usually come in when you are in your late teens or early adulthood. Their name implies you have collected some “wisdom” by the time they come in. Not everyone’s wisdom teeth come in. Approximately 35 percent of Americans never develop wisdom teeth. Most people who have their wisdom teeth need them extracted. This is because they usually come in crowded against your other teeth, or become impacted in the gum. They may also become infected and need removal. So how much do you know about wisdom teeth? Here are some interesting myths versus facts.

Wisdom Teeth Must Always Be Extracted

One of the most common misconceptions is that all wisdom teeth must be removed. Today, dentists don’t automatically remove your wisdom teeth unless they become infected, impacted, or they are crowding the rest of your teeth.

Wisdom Teeth are Throwbacks of Evolution

While at one point we may have developed wisdom teeth to help us eat and speak. Wisdom teeth aren’t essential for eating and speaking today, and our ancestors may have had larger jaws promoting the development of wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, there is no scientific data to support this notion.

Wisdom Teeth Always Come In Crooked

Around 85 percent of people will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Generally, they come in one of five ways.

  • Correctly (vertical)
  • Crooked towards the front of your mouth (mesio-angular or mesial)
  • Crooked towards the back of your mouth (disto-angular or distal)
  • At a 90 degree angle on its side (horizontal)
  • Failing to break through the gums

If your wisdom teeth come in like the last four examples, they will need to be removed.

Extraction of Your Wisdom Teeth is Always Done Surgically

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, or have not broken through your gums, you may need oral surgery. But most wisdom teeth can be extracted under local anesthesia or with sedation. Today you doctor has new techniques and technology to make extraction easier and painless.

If you have questions about wisdom teeth, or you need an appointment because of pain, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today.

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Snoring or Sleep Problems? A Sleep Device May Help You Get a Good Night Sleep

Snoring or Sleep Problems? A Sleep Device May Help You Get a Good Night Sleep

You’ve probably seen the humorous commercial asking if there is a moose in your bed. While snoring can be funny, it’s not funny if your sleep, or the sleep of your loved one, is being affected by snoring. Snoring is not only disruptive to sleep, but it can be a sign of a deeper problem such as sleep apnea.

Why Do I Snore?

If you or a loved one snore, you’re not alone. About 90 million American adults snore. Snoring is caused by the vibration of the soft palate and the uvula (the little piece that hangs down in the back of your throat). The flow of air from your nose or mouth cause these tissues to vibrate making you snore. Many times, this vibration is caused by an obstruction or narrowing in the airway. For example, people with obstructive sleep apnea have a blockage caused by the relaxation of the soft tissue in their throat which blocks the airway.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Your doctor has an easy solution to snoring, an oral appliance. An oral appliance is worn only when you are sleeping and is a custom fitted appliance which can improve your sleep and stop the snoring. It does this by holding your mouth in the correct position so that your airway remains open. It is also an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.

Your doctor will fit you for a custom oral appliance by taking physical and digital impressions of your teeth. These are then sent to the dental lab where your custom appliance is fabricated. Once your appliance is ready you will return to the office and the doctor will adjust the appliance for maximum comfort and effectiveness. You’ll also be shown how to clean and care for your new oral appliance. Your doctor may schedule a sleep study to verify your new oral appliance is a success.

Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy

One of the main benefits of oral appliance therapy is an increase in the quality of your life. When you get a good night’s sleep you are more rested, feel refreshed, and feel healthier. Some of the other benefits include the following:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy to wear
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Easy to carry when traveling
  • Easy to clean and care for

    You don’t have to suffer from snoring and the disruption it causes. If you or your bed partner snores, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about oral appliance therapy. You deserve a good night’s sleep.

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Laser Bacterial Reduction Helps Treat Periodontal Disease

Your mouth naturally contains bacteria. Bacteria in your mouth produces a substance known as plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance which leads to tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. If left untreated the plaque hardens and becomes tartar. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove plaque and tartar. Brushing and flossing alone are not enough to remove these substances from your teeth. One reason is the plaque and tartar gets under the gums where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Planing and scaling are aggressive methods used to remove plaque and tartar. During this procedure, the doctor or hygienist gets under the gums and removes plaque and tartar and polishes your teeth. But sometimes this is not enough to treat advanced cases of periodontal disease. Today lasers are used to effectively treat periodontal disease by removing the bacteria and diseased gum tissue.

What is Laser Bacterial Reduction?

Laser bacterial reduction uses lasers passed between the gum and teeth to treat periodontal disease. The laser kills the bacteria and promotes healthy gum regrowth. The bacteria and affected gums are vaporized and new healthy gum tissue grows back. The lasers used are very safe and only treat a very small area at a time.

LANAP

One of the most common types of laser bacterial reduction is known as laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP). It was developed by Robert H Gregg II and Delwin McCarthy and has been in use since 1994. LANAP is a procedure which gives the doctor a way not only to treat periodontal disease, but to promote healthy gum tissue regrowth. Since the laser only remove diseased tissue, it is a precision method to treat periodontal disease. By removing the diseased tissue, new healthy tissue is agitated and encouraged to reattach to the bone. LANAP is practically pain free and very safe.

After Care

After the laser bacterial reduction procedure your doctor will instruct you on caring for your teeth and gums. An anti-bacterial rinse may be prescribed. You may be on liquids only for 24 hours after the procedure. Light bleeding and slight swelling is normal, but if you develop a fever or have excessive bleeding or pain, be sure to contact the doctor. Avoid chewing on the side you received treatment for at least a week. Don’t be alarmed if your gums change colors, this is a normal part of the healing process.

Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry and ask about laser bacterial reduction. This proven and effective therapy can treat periodontal disease and return your gums to health.

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dental implants at smith and cole dentistry

Repair and Improve Your Smile with Dental Implants

dental implants at smith and cole dentistryDental implants are a way your doctor can replace missing teeth and repair damaged teeth. They are also used as abutments for complete or partial dentures. Our doctors work in tandem with our oral surgeon so that you can get your new implants right here in our office. This helps maintain the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Smith and Cole Dentistry in Austin. Your new implant will look and feel just like your natural teeth.

Placement of implants takes several months and several appointments. The reason for this is because after each step you will need time to heal. An implant is made up of three key elements: the cylinder or post which is implanted into your jaw (this cylinder replaces the root of your tooth), the post extension or abutment which is screwed or placed onto the post, and the crown which is placed onto the abutment. Together these elements create a strong and natural looking replacement for your tooth, and with proper care will last for many years.
Implant Placement

Placement of an implant takes several visits and you will need time to heal between each visit. At the first visit the oral surgeon will talk to you about your general health and any medication you are taking. He will examine your mouth and jaw and determine if you need a bone graft. If your jawbone is too thin or brittle it will not be able to support the implant. Bone from another part of your body (usually your thigh) is grafted onto your jawbone and left to ossify, or heal.

Once you have healed from the bone graft the oral surgeon will place the post into your jaw. It may take several months to heal from this procedure. The next step is to place the abutment. The abutment extends the post. In some cases, you may be able to receive the abutment the same day you receive the post.

At the next visit the oral surgeon will take molds of your teeth and jawbone so they can be sent to the lab for the fabrication of your new crown. He may place a temporary crown while you wait for your permeant crown. When the new crown arrives from the lab you will come in and the doctor will place it onto the abutment and you will have a brand-new tooth that feels and looks just like your natural teeth.

Caring for Your New Implant

You may have some tenderness and pain after the placement of your crown, but these symptoms should go away in a few days. If you experience a lot of pain or fever, be sure to contact the doctor. Care for your new implant just like you do your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and keep up on your regular checkups and your new implant will last for several years.

If you have a damaged or missing tooth, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about dental implant options.

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Why Oral Cancer Screening is Important

During your regular oral exam your doctor will also be on alert for any signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a serious disease which kills more people than other cancers such as thyroid, cervical, and other forms of the disease. One of the reasons oral cancer is so deadly is not because it is hard to treat, but because many times it is not discovered until it has developed into the late stages of the disease. This is why oral cancer screening is so important. Here are some sobering facts about oral cancer:

  • Almost 50,000 people in America will be diagnosed with pharyngeal or oral cancer this year.
  • Oral cancer will kill over 9,500 per day which is roughly one person per hour, 25 hours a day.
  • Of those diagnosed just a bit more than half will survive over five years. This is because of the advanced stage oral cancer is diagnose.

Oral cancer is also so dangerous because many times there is no pain or obvious symptoms noticed by the patient. Your best defense against this disease is regular oral cancer screening done during regular dental exams.

Oral Cancer Screening

Screening for oral cancer takes only minutes. Your doctor will examine your gums, hard palette, and soft tissues of the mouth, look for any changes in tissue, and may take digital images. This includes the inside of your gums, tongue, and lips. Your doctor will also examine your neck and the symmetry of your face. Your doctor will also feel you neck for any swollen lymph nodes. Your doctor may do other procedures which are used for screening.

If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor may perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a sample of tissue which is then sent off to the lab for evaluation. A biopsy may be a simple swab sample, or you may need a surgical biopsy depending on where the area is and how far your doctor feels the disease may have advanced.

Don’t take chances with your health. If caught early, oral cancer has a high survival rate. Call and set up regular oral cancer screenings today.

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Is it Sleep Apnea or Just Snoring?

Many people snore, some snore more than others. But did you know snoring is a symptom of a very serious condition known as sleep apnea? Sleep apnea occurs because the soft palette in your throat relaxes while you sleep blocking off your airway. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Another type of sleep apnea is not as common and known as central sleep apnea occurs when the brain “forgets” to tell your body to breath during sleep. Sleep apnea is directly related to serious health issues such as high blood pressure and stroke, and if left treated even death.

Between 50 to 70 million in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea disrupts your natural sleep pattern leaving you feeling exhausted and tired in the morning. Since you stop breathing your body is not getting the oxygen it needs. This can occur several times a night causing your blood oxygen levels to drop to a dangerous level. You or your partner may notice you stop breathing or snore very loudly and often. Some of the other symptoms of sleep apnea include the following:

  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Rapid heartbeat upon waking
  • Feeling exhausted during the day
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Entering REM sleep (the sleep stage in which you dream) as soon as you close your eyes
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Irritability

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms speak to your doctor. Treatment of sleep apnea is fairly simple and straightforward. Some patients use a CPAP or Bi-PAP machine to provide positive airflow during the night while others may find relief with a mouth guard or dental appliance.

A dental appliance is custom fabricated to pull your lower jaw out a bit to keep your airways open. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth as well as digital images and send them to the lab. Once your appliance is finished you will return for a fitting and wear your appliance while you sleep. Many people find relief from sleep apnea using a dental appliance.

If you experience any symptoms related to sleep apnea talk to your dentist and doctor to formulate the best treatment for your case. Sleep apnea is a serious condition, but it is easily treated so you can stay healthy for many years.

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Why Smith and Cole?

In the Austin area you have many choices when selecting a dentist. You want a doctor who is experienced, caring, and easy to talk to. You want the practice to have friendly and caring staff as well as a modern clean clinic. At Smith and Cole you’ll get all this and more. Our staff is dedicated to serving your entire family. Our doctors care about you as a person and listen to your concerns and address them in easy to understand terms and language. They are happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have at each visit. Our staff loves their jobs and it shows in the level of expertise and courtesy they show each and every visitor. At Smith and Cole it is our people who make the difference.

Caring and Experienced Doctors

Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole both attended Abilene Christian University for their undergraduate work. They received their Doctorate degrees from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Both doctors have participated in several missions trips abroad and are dedicated to their faith in God. They live in the area with their wives and families.

Dr. Kristin Soileau completed her Advanced General Dentistry in the US Army. She spent the first seven years of her career serving in the Army and has been at Smith and Cole Dentistry for two years. She has participated in several mission trips and is an active member of her church. She lives in the area with her husband and children.

Dr. Albert Ouellette recently retired from the US Air Force after serving for 21 years. He is a Board certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMFS) and completed his Advanced Education in General Dentistry program in 1995, and his OMFS residency in 2003. He is now a member of the Smith and Cole Dentistry Family and thanks God for the opportunities provided to him. He lives in the area with his wife and children and is an active member of his church and loves to participate in mission trips.

Compassionate and Skillful Staff

We feel we have the best team available, it’s that simple. Our staff is dedicated to your comfort and oral health and this shows in the level of compassion and care you receive from the moment you are greeted to the time you check out. Many of our staff have been in the dentistry field for many years. They are skilled and experienced with the latest in dental technology and practices to give you the most up to date and pain free treatments. Once you visit our practice you will see it is truly our people who set Smith and Cole Dentistry apart from every other dentistry practice in the area.

Call or contact us today and schedule a visit to our practice. We’d love to meet you and your family and show you around. We’re confident you’ll see and feel the difference here and make Smith and Cole Dentistry your home for all your dental needs.

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Why Do I Need to See the Dentist Every 6 Months?

2015-04-20 04.12.08-1Your dental health is directly related to your overall wellbeing. Studies show a link to a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Your dental health also has an impact on how you feel about yourself. If you have a bright white smile then you will have more confidence. At Smith and Cole Dentistry we recommend you visit one of our dentists every six months. This is an important step for not only healthy teeth and gums, but toward your overall health as well.

The Connection Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Many people don’t realize the health of your mouth affects your entire body. According to the Mayo Clinic studies have shown a direct link between your overall health and the health of your mouth. Your mouth naturally contains bacteria. Good oral hygiene is important to keep the harmful bacteria at bay. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are painful enough, but they can also be contributing factors to serious conditions such as heart disease. If your health is compromised and you have a weak immune system, good oral hygiene and regular checkups are vital.

Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects over 40,000 Americans each year. If caught early during a routine visit, the survival rate is very high. Oral cancer can affect the gums, tongue, soft palette, lips, cheek lining, and jaw. When you have regular dental visits, your doctor will perform routine cancer screening which can catch the symptoms of oral cancer before the disease progresses. If you have a sore that won’t heal, red or white patches inside our mouth, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or if your teeth shift be sure to ask your dentist about oral cancer screening  as these are all symptoms.

Healthy Smiles

Besides good at home oral hygiene the number one way to keep your smile bright and white is with regular visits to your dentist. At a checkup the doctor will examine your teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken and the doctor will discuss your overall health and medications with you. If any problems are found they can be addressed before they become painful and expensive to fix. For example, if you have a cavity starting to form the doctor will identify it and address it while it is in the early stages. If you wait the problem could progress to the need for a root canal or extraction.

Regular dental visits are also very important for children. Since their adult teeth are forming beneath their baby teeth, their oral health will affect the condition and strength of their adult teeth when they come in. Doctors recommend beginning regular dental checkups on your child as soon as their teeth start to erupt through their gums.

Don’t take chances with your health. Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and set up a schedule of regular visits. We want you to have the best smile possible, and with checkups every six months your smile will be bright and white.

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What’s Zoom Whitening?

Your teeth may become discolored for a variety of reasons. Drinking tea, coffee, or red wine can cause your teeth to yellow. Some medications, smoking, and aging can also discolor your teeth. If you find your teeth are not as white and bright as you like, you can get them whitened easily and quickly at your dentist’s with Zoom whitening. Zoom is a safe and easy way to lighten your teeth and get a bright smile.

How Zoom Whitening Works

Zoom whitening uses a 25 percent hydrogen peroxide solution which is applied to the teeth. Your teeth are then exposed to the special Zoom light. The light reacts with the hydrogen peroxide and as the hydrogen peroxide breaks down it allows oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin of your teeth bleaching the stains and whitening them. The structure of your teeth are left unchanged but they appear much brighter and whiter.

The Zoom Whitening Procedure

Before the procedure begins your dentist will examine your teeth and gums. A regular teeth cleaning may take place before the Zoom whitening procedure. To begin the Zoom whitening session you lips and gums are covered and your teeth are left exposed. Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to the teeth and is left in place for 15 minutes while begin exposed to the Zoom light. During this time you can watch TV or listen to music. This is repeated two more times for a total of three 15 minute treatments (45 minutes). Right after the last treatment a sensitivity reducing fluoride paste/gel is applied to the teeth.

After Zoom Whitening

Your doctor will give you an at home kit to use for touch ups. This kit contains custom fit whitening trays and your doctor will instruct you on their use. Avoid things which will stain your teeth such as red wine, coffee, tea, and smoking. Continue to brush and floss and keep up on your regular dental visits. Your doctor may also recommend a whitening tooth paste to help maintain the whitening effect.

With the Zoom whitening service you can have a bright smile which will boost your confidence and make you feel great. Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about Zoom whitening.

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