Mysterious Dental Questions Answered

After years of visits to the dentist, one might suddenly wonder: why does a dentist perform certain tests? How are they pertinent to the job of cleaning and checking my teeth? Perhaps some tasks have a greater importance than ensuring cleanliness or even saving your teeth from permanent damage due to plaque and gum disease. Find out the answers to some of your dental questions.

Why Do Dentists Take Your Blood Pressure?

blood-pressureHigh blood pressure is one of several signs that someone could suffer from a heart problem, even if he or she is unaware. While your dentist or hygienist is in the middle of a complex procedure, he or she does not want to cause you any stress, especially if you have high blood pressure. For some patients, dental treatment is often associated with anxiety or fear of needles, tooth sensitivity, or other. Anyone who is anxious could consider asking for a dental sedation to be provided when making an appointment. Taking a patient’s blood pressure could also clarify something a dentist suspects after checking the client’s mouth. Certain oral conditions, such as periodontitis, offer a warning that the patient’s heart health could be at risk.

Why Do Dentists Look Under Your Tongue?

Under tongueUnder the tongue is a good place for bumps and lumps to hide. Dentists, however, are eager to chase them down and take a good look. Some of those lumps are simple injuries caused by food. A few, however, are tumors. Mouth cancer is easy to spot with regular visits to the dentist, and even easier to get rid of if caught early. It is not usually checked for by your doctor, whom you probably visit as seldom as possible. Thousands of Americans suffer from mouth cancer annually, so don’t forget to get regular dental exams.

Why Do They Wax Dental Floss?

waxed-flossFloss comes in several formats, including waxed and un-waxed. Dentists typically do not advocate one over the other, but waxed floss is better for people whose teeth are very close together. If you are unsure of which floss to get, think about the last time you used un-waxed floss. If it broke mid-floss, waxed products are better for you. They will do a better job, be more comfortable to use, and consequently prevent you from giving up the routine entirely.

Why Do You Need Dental Fillings?

dental-fillingDental fillings are required when a cavity has dug into a tooth and must be drilled out. To protect the drilled spot, one or several materials are used to fill the gap. If you avoid this step and let the cavity get worse, other teeth might also become decayed and require treatment. Other reasons you might need a filling include wear on the teeth. If you grind your teeth down, your dentist might recommend having the procedure.

Dental Questions Answered

Some answers to dental questions are simple. They are based on the client’s comfort and preference, not clinical trials or opinions. Other answers might have come as a surprise. Checking your blood pressure might not be routine at your family dentist, but maybe you should ask. A shocking number of people experience oral cancer in Texas, over 2,000 just a few years ago and similar numbers for several years before that. Many of those affected individuals might have been non-smokers and light drinkers. The importance of visiting a dentist regularly is more than a tooth-issue. Dental check-ups save lives.


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Tooth Enamel Explained: What It Is And How To Protect It From Decay

Being confident about your smile is one of the things that helps you feel good both inside and out. A person’s smile is what draws other people to him therefore it is highly important for each individual to take great care of their teeth. If you are looking for an easy way to maintain your pearly whites, you should remember that brushing your teeth regularly is not enough. This post will show you everything that you need to know about taking care of your teeth especially that certain part called the tooth enamel.

What is tooth enamel and what does it do?

toothTooth enamel is the semi-translucent thin outer covering of the tooth. It is known as the hardest and the most highly mineralized tissue in the human body. In fact, it is even harder than the human bone. It covers the outer layer of each tooth and is the most visible part of the tooth. The main purpose of the enamel is to prevent tooth decay and to protect your teeth from daily use such as chewing, biting, grinding and crunching. This is why it is of utmost importance to know how to take care of it properly.

What causes tooth enamel erosion?

When you chew your food you are also putting your teeth at risk because you expose it to certain acids and substances that are harmful to your teeth. Foods that contain starch or have very high sugar content are the most damaging to your teeth and they pose as a threat to the enamel. The following are some of the factors that causes tooth enamel erosion:

  • Drinking too much soda or soft drinks is harmful because soda contains high levels of phosphoric and citric acids
  • Excessive drinking of fruit juices is also harmful because they contain acids that are even more erosive than battery acid
  • Having improper nutrition that results in a diet involving high sugar and starches
  • Taking of medications such as aspirin and antihistamines
  • Environmental factors such as stress, wear and tear, friction and corrosion
  • Poor eating habits that lead to bulimia. Binge eating and vomiting is a source of acid that causes severe erosion to the enamel as well as cavities.

How can you prevent tooth enamel erosion?

Once your enamel is destroyed the body cannot make anymore to replace it. This is one of those few parts of the body that does not contain any living cell therefore it cannot regenerate. How do you make sure that you are taking good care of your teeth? First, you will need to change your eating habits. Drinking soda, fruit juices and eating sugary foods are fine as long as you do not do it in excess. Second, make sure that you observe proper oral hygiene habits. Regular brushing of your teeth and regular flossing help keep your teeth enamel strong.

Having a great smile is not at all that difficult to achieve. You just have to take care of the enamel, which is the part of your tooth that protects it from tooth decay. Engaging in healthy eating habits, getting regular dental exams, and proper oral hygiene are two ways in which you can ensure that you will always have that dazzling, pearly white smile.


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The Different Types of Dentures

Before we discuss the different types of dentures, it is important to define what a denture is and how it is used. A denture is simply a replacement for missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. The common types of dentures are complete dentures and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of a patients teeth are missing while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth still remain. In this blog post we will discuss complete dentures and partial dentures.

Partial Dentures

complete-partial-denturesA removable partial denture or bridge generally contains replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic foundation, which is joined by a metal framework that holds the denture in position within the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth stay in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (long-term) bridge replaces one or more teeth by putting crowns on the teeth on either phase of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into position. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it keeps other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns.

Complete Dentures

There are two types of complete dentures to be aware of, conventional and immediate. Conventional dentures are typically placed in the mouth 8-12 weeks after teeth have been removed to allow for “healing time” of the extracted teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and are positioned into place as soon as the teeth are removed. Every patient is a unique case so determining the best approach involves a free consultation to assess your situation. As noted, dentures not only replace teeth, but also replace surrounding tissue as well.

When it comes to getting dentures for replacing your teeth, it is important to know all of your options. A dentist that is experienced with many denture cases can not only advise you on complete vs. partial dentures, but also explain other possible solutions such as dental implants. Dentures have come a long way and now are made more comfortably and look more natural than ever. With proper care, your dentures will last you a very long time.


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What to Look For in a Dentist Office

Choosing a dental office can be a difficult task for dental patients looking to find somewhere to place their trust for their dental care. Of course choosing a dentist should be the most important thing you should consider, the dental office is also a really important factor to think about. So what exactly separates a fantastic dentist office from the poor one? We’ll take a look at four key areas to consider when choosing a dental office in the following blog post.

Dental Equipment

The equipment used at a dental office is very important to the care you receive. If the equipment is old or outdated, you should probably look somewhere else. The advancements in dental equipment have drastically improved the patient experience and also allow for advancements such as ultra low radiation X-rays.

Dental Appointments

Another important consideration when selecting a dental office is the ease at which you can get appointments. In today’s busy world, patients need to be able to request appointments outside of standard business hours. Typically this is handled via the dental practices contact form. Make certain the dental office you are considering allows for appointment requests via an online form when outside of the normal business hours.

Office Amenities

One of the most overlooked considerations when selecting a dental office is Wi-Fi. With so much spotty data reception on phones, it is important to have a Wi-Fi connection as a backup in case you need to send out that important email. Additionally, you want to be as relaxed as possible when visiting the dentist, features such as reading rooms or media rich offerings is always welcomed.

Office Staff

The final consideration when selecting a dental office should be the staff. You will want to check several sources of online reviews of the dental office you are considering to make sure the office staff (and dentist) is well received by the existing patients. In the end, dentistry is still about people more than anything else.

Silver Screen Dental

Silver Screen DentalSilver Screen Dental places a lot of care and attention to the patient experience when it comes to providing a professional and comfortable dentist office. It all starts with a theater in the waiting room to help pass the (short) time prior to your visit. We also provide free Wi-Fi throughout the office for active smartphone users. We even have a computer you may browse the Internet with or to send out that important email. Our equipment is state-of-the-art including ultra low radiation digital X-ray equipment and adjustable monitors in the treatment rooms. We also offer the most professional and friendly staff in the Austin Texas area.


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History of Dental Tools and Dental Practices

Have you ever wondered who and when the first dental chair was invented or who and when the first dental drill was invented? Was there dentistry in 7000BC? What kinds of dental myths were there (hint: tooth worms)? Dentistry, and its instruments, has made tremendous leaps and bounds in the past 100 years. Today, you can get clear braces when just a few years back only uncomfortable metal braces were the only option. In this article we will take a look at the advancements in dentistry and the evolution of dental tools.

Dental Inventions

dental-chairSince we teased the dental chair and dental drill in the opening paragraph, let’s start things off with those two dental tools. The very first dental drill was a foot driven instrument devised by John Greenwood in 1790. Like your first cell phone, it was very different than the high-tech drills we have today. It was essentially a modified version of his mom’s foot treadle spinning wheel. The next leap in technology for the dental drill came in 1957, but John Borden, who devised a high-speed contra angle hand piece that produced 30k RPMs.

As for the dental chair, Josiah Flagg an American dentist invented that in 1790. As you will note, both the drill and dental chair were invented in the same year. As with the drill, the chair evolved to a reclining chair in 1832 by inventor James Snell that improved on an already good first design seeing as the original chair came with a headrest and a chair for instruments.

Dental Myth – Tooth Worms

teeth-wormsIn 5000 BC, the Sumerians concluded that tooth worms caused tooth decay. This idea came about as a result of observing the holes that would result of the tooth rotting away, for which they concluded must be tooth worms. The idea of tooth worms has been found in writings of many cultures, including: Egyptian, Greek philosophers, ancient Indian, and Chinese cultures.

While the idea of tooth worms may seem absurd today, there are still many dental myths that people believe in to this day. For example, many people still believe that teeth bleaching weaken your teeth. Bleaching products are generally harmless if used according to the directions and not used too frequently.

Dentistry in the United States

The first dentist in the U.S. was William Dinly in 1630 who came over from the Plymouth Colony. Some believe that “dentists” early blacksmiths were the first true dentists, with their primitive tooth pulling. However, there is no mention of tooth extraction equipment until 1734 when an ad appeared in a New York journal for one.

Today’s Dentistry

We live in an age where dental instruments and dental practices are as good as they have ever been. Dentists today are more educated and utilize the most advanced technology for everything from dental crowns to teeth straightening. Walk into any grocery store and you will be greeted by literally hundreds of options for toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes. We even have electric toothbrushes and water pics. There really is no excuse not to have that perfect smile you always desired.


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Help! I Have Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can make drinking your morning coffee or eating an ice cream cone a distressing experience. Having sensitive teeth makes it hard to enjoy warm weather treats, but you don’t have to limit yourself to drinking out of a straw. There are many things that can cause your enamel to wear down and make your teeth extra sensitive. Harsh chemicals as well as physical damage may cause tooth sensitivity.

Options for Tooth Sensitivity

There are numerous changes you can make, but reversing tooth sensitivity isn’t always a quick fix. As we age, tooth sensitivity develops for a variety of reasons, some more serious than others. One possible trigger: You recently changed to a brand new toothpaste or mouthwash or started using bleaching strips or another whitening product.

tooth sensitivityIt’s always wise to minimize your consumption of acidic drinks like coffee and soda as well as other acidic foods, like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and juices. The acid in all of these wears away at tooth enamel and makes sensitivity worse. And although it may seem counter-intuitive, don’t brush within 30 minutes of drinking your morning java–that’s as soon as the acid level in your mouth may be the maximum and tooth enamel is most prone to damage, so brushing can do more damage than good. To help minimize too exposure to these acidic drinks, you can use a straw with all juices, sodas, and other acidic drinks. This helps keep the acid from landing directly on your teeth.

If none of that does the trick, contact us to determine if tooth sensitivity is caused by an inherent problem (such as worn tooth enamel) or if something else such as grinding your teeth when you sleep, a cracked tooth, a cavity, or an open root. All of these have to get treated by a professional dentist.

Next Steps

Teeth sensitivity is caused by dentin exposure. Dentin is the soft tissue beneath your tooth enamel — the hard, outer layer of your own tooth. Typically, tooth enamel protects dentin. Worn enamel can leave dentin vulnerable and trip moderate to severe pain. Regular dental checkups will not only remove the plaque and bacteria that bring about gum disease, but your dentist will have the ability to help you determine the best treatment choice for you and your tooth sensitivity.


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Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

While most people would love to have well-aligned and straight teeth, some people have misaligned teeth and even misaligned jaws. In some cases, people may even find it hard to have a normal social life or a confident work life due to their dental problems. Up to 99.7% of people surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry said that a perfect smile is an invaluable asset in the work place as well as in social settings. To correct misaligned teeth, orthodontists use dental braces especially during early teenage years. Adults can also benefit from wearing dental braces. Read on to learn about some of the main differences between Invisalign and traditional braces.

Traditional Braces

Traditional braces consist of small brackets that the dentist attaches to the front of each tooth using a dental bonding agent. In addition, the brackets hold wires that pull and move teeth to align them properly. Materials used to make these brackets include ceramic, plastic, and stainless steel. Your dentist may also use place springs on the arch wires to open or close gaps between teeth. The problem with braces attached to the front of the teeth is they look unsightly. In some cases, dentists attach the braces to the back of the teeth to hide them from view. However, braces attached behind the teeth can be more expensive.


Unlike metallic or ceramic braces, Invisalign braces are clear and barely visible. They work the same way as traditional braces and straighten misaligned teeth. To make the braces, a dentist or orthodontist creates an impression of your teeth and sends this mold to an Invisalign lab. At the lab, technicians make the clear braces and send them back to your dentist. Your dentist then fits the braces and you can go on with your normal life. After about two to three weeks, you have to go back for a new set of Invisalign braces.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

  • Invisible – To start with, Invisalign braces are barely visible. This is a big advantage because most people would not be able to notice them.
  • Removable – You can easily remove and reattach the braces before and after eating. This makes it easy to clean your teeth and the Invisalign braces as well. You can also eat whatever you want without worrying about food particles slipping into the braces, plaque buildup, or tooth discoloration.
  • Comfortable – The Invisalign braces are made of plastic material to ensure you feel comfortable wearing them. In comparison, the only way to deal with uncomfortable metallic braces is to have them removed completely. Furthermore, the process of making the braces ensures that everyone gets a set that fits his or her teeth perfectly.

If you have misaligned teeth, you do not have to stay indoors or shun social events and gatherings. You can visit Dr. Booth to have Invisalign clear braces fitted. Although traditional braces work, you may not be comfortable smiling in front of co-workers or strangers. On the other hand, Invisalign braces are custom made and barely visible. You can also take them off to floss and clean your teeth.


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Lumineers vs. Porcelain Veneers

There are many reasons people choose Lumineers or porcelain veneers every day for cosmetic dentistry. Some may have some dental issues that need to be corrected. Others may simply want to restore their smiles to a previous state. In either case, is it better to choose Lumineers or porcelain veneers? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to know a little about each option. Each choice has its own benefits as well as some disadvantages, but a comparison may also show that porcelain veneers just may be the better option for you.

What Are Lumineers?

Lumineers involve a process in which the teeth are corrected without having to shave away or drill down the teeth. The veneer is placed over the teeth without the painful process of numbing the mouth and drilling in order to accommodate the veneer. Rather, Lumineers are bonded to the teeth as they are. There is no need to remove sensitive teeth structures and the veneers use a curing light to set them in place. Furthermore, these veneers can be set in place with only two visits to the dentist.


What Are Porcelain Veneers?

As with Lumineers, porcelain veneers are used to fix teeth that are discolored, broken, chipped, worn down, misaligned or have gaps. However, this process tends to take at least three trips to the dentist: first to diagnose and plan treatment, second to prepare the teeth, and third to bond the veneers. The first trip involves an examination to make sure the patient is a good candidate, and if so, to get an impression of the teeth for the lab. On the second trip, a very small part of the tooth enamel surface is removed. Last, the dentist will test the veneers and trim them to size before permanently bonding them to the teeth.

Veneers Austin

Lumineers or Porcelain Veneers?

Knowing how Lumineers and porcelain veneers are bonded may be a good way to help determine which process is the best option. While the Lumineers process may seem ideal, it may not be the best solution for some patients. However, porcelain veneers are thicker and are permanently bonded to the teeth so they cannot be removed like Lumineers can. It really is as simple as choosing the right procedure for the right case.

While both the Lumineers brand and porcelain veneers have their benefits, porcelain veneers may be a better long term solution.
At Silver Screen Dental, we are experienced in working with both Lumineers patients and porcelain veneers patients. If you would like to improve your smile, why not give Dr. Booth a call at 512-345-8800 to get a free consultation to determine if Lumineers or porcelain veneers are the best solution for your teeth. Contact us now.


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Best Austin Orthodontist

Typically when someone is looking for the best orthodontist in Austin, they are looking for for the best braces/teeth straightening/Invisalign experience. At Silver Screen Dental, we have a before and after Invisalign gallery and a smile gallery for you to see exactly how we go about correcting any kind of teeth straightening issue you may have. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Austin Orthodontics

When you think of orthodontics, do you picture metal braces, colorful wires, and neon rubber bands? While this method of teeth straightening may still be commonly used with children, there are better alternatives.

One of the latest innovations in orthodontics is Invisalign technology. This revolutionary process delivers straight, perfectly aligned teeth associated with traditional orthodontics in an attractive, convenient format. If the thought of committing to metal braces for a period of a few years does not appeal to you, Invisalign might be an ideal solution for you. Contact us now to see.

Instead of metal braces, you could be using clear plastic trays to realign your teeth. The trays are usually switched at two-week intervals, meaning that you start seeing change quickly. It’s a system that uses incremental change to create a desirable smile, in sharp contrast to the sudden (and often painful) adjustments made with metal braces. The trays are completely removable, so you can take them out any time you need: for eating, drinking, or even just important occasions. Invisalign will never hold you back from the lifestyle you desire. With each new tray change, you are one step closer to the smile you desire.

orthodontist Austin

The Latest Advancements in Orthodontics

If you’re searching for an Austin orthodontist, take a closer look at the newest technology from Invisalign and check for a provider who is certified. Dr. Booth is “Premier Provider” of Invisalign which is a rank that only the top dentists are able to achieve. So when you are looking for the best Austin Orthodontist, look no further than a “Premier Provider.” With this endorsement, you can trust that your teeth will be given the best, most comprehensive treatment available and a smile you’ll love.

When you start the Invisalign treatment, Dr. Booth will make an impression of your teeth. This initial impression will be scanned and digitally converted to 3-D format. Expert technicians then create the entire set of trays by digitally “moving” your teeth into their perfectly aligned positions step by step. Once you’ve received and starting wearing your first trays, the entire process typically takes about a year (cases may vary) which is much less time than traditional braces.

Dr. Booth is a true Invisalign expert, and you can trust that your results will be all that you hoped for and more. In addition, with Silver Screen Dental’s extensive dentistry offerings, you won’t have to visit both a dentist and an orthodontist. From orthodontics to bleaching to regular cleanings and dental health check-ups, you can get the dream smile you’ve always hoped for—all in one Austin location. Call today to schedule a consultation, or book online at your convenience.


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How Much Does Invisalign Cost?

invisalign-costWhen doing online research for Invisalign, one of the most common questions is related to pricing. Pricing is mostly determined by the individual case and treatment needed for that case. However, at Silver Screen Dental we understand that most people are just looking for a general idea of what Invisalign will cost. In this blog post, we will discuss specifically “how much does Invisalign cost” so you have a general idea of what to expect for your treatment.

Invisalign Treatment Cost

The good news is that Invisalign’s investment tends to be inline with the cost of traditional braces, yet Invisalign has many benefits over traditional braces. As mentioned previously, the actual price you will pay will depend on your particular case. Factors that can determine overall cost of Invisalign relate to the complexity of your treatment. Every patient has a unique set of corrections such as overbites, overly crowded teeth, gaps in teeth, crossbites, and so forth.

Invisalign Express

What is Invisalign Express? Invisalign Express simply means a treatment program that requires less teeth movement and therefore a shorter treatment term. It is very common to see pricing for Invisalign “Express” and pricing for “full cases.” The reason for the difference is because the amount of trays used will obviously be less for an Express case than with a more complicated full case.

Silver Screen Dental Invisalign Pricing

With the disclaimer that all cases may vary, Silver Screen Dental is excited to announce that as of May 2013 we are currently offering a special on Invisalign for $2,500 for Express and $5,000 for full cases. Contact us now for a free consultation on your case or reach us by phone at 512-345-8800.

This discounted pricing of $2,500/5,000 is for a limited time only, so if you are reading this blog post at a later date, please contact us for accurate pricing.

If you are reading this post outside of the Austin Texas area, please note that Invisalign cost varies not only from dentist-to-dentist, but also varies by location with average pricing being $5,000 to $7,000.

Be sure to see our before and after Invisalign pictures and to visit our Invisalign service page for more details on Invisalign.


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