Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bite Collapse

The main advantage of coming to the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin is getting care from specialists who understand how to do complicated jaw reconstruction. One of the most severe results of the absence or wear of multiple teeth is the loss of vertical dimension in the bite, or bite collapse, which is why we want patients to feel that they have a solid understanding of it.

Loss of vertical dimension can occur when the teeth themselves have lost height or the back ones are missing altogether. This would cause the remaining teeth in front and their supporting bone structure to tilt outward as they are subjected to bite force, which may result in a bite that is open as well as short. Besides making chewing difficult, the loss of vertical dimension is a source of pain in the temporomandibular joint, which can radiate to the rest of the head, neck, and shoulders, and causes the face to appear wrinkled and the chin to be disproportionately large to the mouth.

Fixing bite collapse requires careful attention to both functional and aesthetic issues. To ensure extensive restorations are the proper height, the patient will often first wear temporary crowns or veneers. If they have been without teeth for a long period, it may be necessary for them to undergo bone grafts in preparation for implant-supported bridges or dentures. During this period, we will work closely with the patient to ensure that the final restorations are the desired color and the height of the patient’s face will be returned to its healthy appearance.

Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Examining Cracked Teeth

At the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group, we’ve devoted our practice to assisting patients with cracked and chipped teeth. Cracks can cause many different kinds of damage, and depending on what has happened, different treatments will be needed. But it is often the case that it is difficult to determine exactly how severe a crack is without very thorough testing.

The least dangerous types of cracks are called craze lines. They look unpleasant, but occur naturally and are too shallow to compromise the integrity of the tooth structure. However, a tooth that is truly cracked at the crown or root requires urgent treatment. Often, cracks will not appear on x-rays. In order to determine how far down the tooth a crack goes, it may be necessary for a dentist to probe it and have the patient bite down on something and report their comfort while we observe their bite function. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove fillings to get a better view. When investigating cracked roots, cutting a flap in the gum tissue may be necessary. While we sympathize with patients’ frustration with these tests, it is vital to their health to determine whether their dental pulp has become infected before a new dental crown can be made, as well as whether they will need a full implant. To avoid cracking, do not chew ice or anything similarly hard and ask your general dentist for help with nighttime tooth grinding.

Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Causes of Cavities

Cavities are a form of tooth decay that is caused by specific types of bacteria. Though cavities are common in children, they can form in adults as well. If a patient has a diet that is high in sugar and carbohydrates, they increase their chances of developing cavities. Though Dr. Fredrick Shaw, DDS has filling options to repair the tooth or teeth that have been decayed, he would much rather his patients practice prevention.

If a cavity is in its early stages, a patient may feel no pain at all. After time passes, however, the teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold beverages. To prevent cavities, it’s important to visit our office twice a year for professional cleanings and oral exams in addition to brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Cavities that are diagnosed in the early stages are reversible, but if harmful acids continue to attack the tooth or teeth, Dr. Fredrick Shaw, DDS will need to take additional steps to correct the problem.

If you have questions or concerns about cavities or dental fillings, please give us a call. To learn more about our sedation options and all the services we provide at the practice, visit for more information.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.