3000 W. Alton Gloor Ste. D
Brownsville, TX

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Westlake Family Dentistry
November 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Learn about dental implants from your Brownsville dentists.

Embarrassed by missing teeth? Dental implants are the gold standard in the replacement of missing teeth and will do you and your smile a dental imlpantsworld of good. Dr. Humberto Nunez and Dr. Crystal Villarreal at Westlake Family Dentistry in Brownsville, TX, offer state-of-the-art dental implants to their patients. Here are the five best reasons to choose dental implants.

1. Beautify Your Smile

Missing teeth can ruin a beautiful smile. If you have an unattractive smile, it can affect the way you feel about yourself—and how others perceive you. Dental implants can fill in the gaps in your smile and improve your appearance. And when compared to other restorative options for missing teeth, implants are the most natural-looking option.

2. Prevent Bone Loss

When teeth are missing, the bone that used to suppot those teeth begins to deteriorate, to be reobsorbed by the body, because there are no tooth roots to stimulate the jaw bone. Implants provide the same function as tooth roots, including stimulating the healthy bone, thereby preventing the jawbone loss.

3. Improve Your Speech

Missing teeth can cause immediate problems with speech, such as speech that sounds mumbled or slurred. They can also make it difficult to pronounce some words. Dentures can also slip and side in the mouth. This often results in mumbling and slurred speech.

4. Improve Chewing Ability

The absence of teeth can make chewing difficult. With dental implants, you will experience improved chewing ability and will be able to chew your favorite foods again. Dental implants are the next best thing to real teeth.

5. Prevent Teeth Shifting

Are your teeth shifting? When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth begin to shift out of place. Unevenly spaced teeth could cost you a fortune down the road in orthodontic treatment. Dental implants can prevent your healthy, natural teeth from drifting out of place.

If you need dental implants, why wait? We can help you today! Call Westlake Family Dentistry at (956) 312-0284 today to schedule a consultation in Brownsville, TX. Dental implants will give you something to smile about.

By Westlake Family Dentistry
October 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

You’ve lived most of your life with crooked teeth and an imperfect smile. You feel you should have done something about it years ago, but now you’re approaching your golden years — what would be the point?

Here’s the point: there’s a growing trend of older adults undergoing orthodontic treatment. People are discovering the life-changing benefits of straightening their teeth — even if they’re no longer teenagers.

So, what’s really holding you back?

I’m too old to have my teeth straightened. Not true — teeth can be straightened at any age, not just during childhood or adolescence. If anything would prevent orthodontic treatment it would be the state of your oral and general health, not your age. Your teeth’s supporting bone must be reasonably sound and healthy; likewise, systemic problems like bleeding disorders, leukemia and uncontrolled diabetes can make orthodontics difficult. But if you and your mouth are reasonably healthy, you can have your teeth straightened.

It’s too much to spend just to look better. Yes, orthodontic treatment can transform your smile — but it can also improve your oral health. Misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean, increasing the risks for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease; they also don’t work well together so chewing is more difficult. By correcting your bite, you can reduce your chances of dental disease and improve overall mouth function.

I’d look silly at my age in braces. Self-consciousness about wearing these traditional appliances is common at any age. It’s understandable — the glint of metal is the first thing people see when you smile. But there’s a good chance you may be able to wear an alternative appliance that’s barely noticeable: clear aligners. These are a series of removable, clear plastic trays that you wear in sequence to gradually move your teeth. Not only are they less noticeable than braces, you can take them out for special occasions.

Don’t let these or other excuses keep you from a more attractive smile and healthy mouth. Visit your dentist for an examination to see if orthodontics can work for you.

If you would like more information on transforming your smile through orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Westlake Family Dentistry
September 12, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: retainer  

You’ve invested a lot of time and money in orthodontic treatment to improve your smile. If you’re not careful, though, your teeth could actually move back to their old positions. The reason why is related to the same natural tooth-moving mechanism we use to straighten teeth in the first place.

Teeth are held in place by an elastic, fibrous tissue called the periodontal ligament lying between the teeth and the jawbone and attaching to both with tiny collagen fibers. The periodontal ligament allows for incremental tooth movement in response to pressure generated around the teeth, as when we chew (or while wearing braces).

Unfortunately, this process can work in reverse. Out of a kind of “muscle memory,” the teeth can revert to the older positions once there’s no more pressure from the removed braces. You could eventually be right back where you started.

To avoid this, we have to employ measures to hold or “retain” the teeth in their new positions for some time after the braces come off. That’s why we have you wear a dental appliance called a retainer, which maintains tooth position to prevent a relapse. Depending on what’s best for your situation, this could be a removable retainer or one that’s fixed to the teeth.

Patients typically wear a retainer around the clock in the immediate period after braces, and then eventually taper off to just nighttime wear. Younger patients must wear one for several months until the new teeth positions become more secure and the chances of a rebound diminish. For older patients who’ve matured past the jaw development stage, though, wearing a retainer may be a permanent necessity to protect their smile.

Retainer wear can be an annoyance, but it’s an absolute necessity. Think of it as insurance on your investment in a new, more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on improving your smile through orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”

By Westlake Family Dentistry
August 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

In her decades-long career, renowned actress Kathy Bates has won Golden Globes, Emmys, and many other honors. Bates began acting in her twenties, but didn't achieve national recognition until she won the best actress Oscar for Misery — when she was 42 years old! “I was told early on that because of my physique and my look, I'd probably blossom more in my middle age,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “[That] has certainly been true.” So if there's one lesson we can take from her success, it might be that persistence pays off.

When it comes to her smile, Kathy also recognizes the value of persistence. Now 67, the veteran actress had orthodontic treatment in her 50's to straighten her teeth. Yet she is still conscientious about wearing her retainer. “I wear a retainer every night,” she said. “I got lazy about it once, and then it was very difficult to put the retainer back in. So I was aware that the teeth really do move.”

Indeed they do. In fact, the ability to move teeth is what makes orthodontic treatment work. By applying consistent and gentle forces, the teeth can be shifted into better positions in the smile. That's called the active stage of orthodontic treatment. Once that stage is over, another begins: the retention stage. The purpose of retention is to keep that straightened smile looking as good as it did when the braces came off. And that's where the retainer comes in.

There are several different kinds of retainers, but all have the same purpose: To hold the teeth in their new positions and keep them from shifting back to where they were. We sometimes say teeth have a “memory” — not literally, but in the sense that if left alone, teeth tend to migrate back to their former locations. And if you've worn orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, that means right back where you started before treatment.

By holding the teeth in place, retainers help stabilize them in their new positions. They allow new bone and ligaments to re-form and mature around them, and give the gums time to remodel themselves. This process can take months to years to be complete. But you may not need to wear a retainer all the time: Often, removable retainers are worn 24 hours a day at first; later they are worn only at night. We will let you know what's best in your individual situation.

So take a tip from Kathy Bates, star of the hit TV series American Horror Story, and wear your retainer as instructed. That's the best way to keep your straight new smile from changing back to the way it was — and to keep a bad dream from coming true.

If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.” The interview with Kathy Bates appears in the latest issue of Dear Doctor.

By Westlake Family Dentistry
August 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Teeth that are badly shaped or stained or even crooked can be improved with the help of veneers from a Brownsville, Texas dentist. After adental veneers thorough examination, Dr. Humberto Nunez and Dr. Crystal Villarreal from Westlake Family Dentistry can determine whether dental veneers are a great option for each patient’s oral health situation.

More About Dental Veneers

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or plastic (always made of a strong material that is durable) that are cemented over the front of teeth in order to change their shape, alignment or color. They are used by your Brownsville, Texas dentist on teeth that are discolored, oddly-shaped, unevenly spaced, chipped or even crooked.

Veneers have a longer life expectancy than bonding. They are especially great at resisting staining from coffee, tea or smoking. These veneers are made in a dental lab working from a model created by your dentist. Veneers are irreversible as it is necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to accommodate this covering. Porcelain veneers can help to mask imperfections and have been successful with hiding gaps in the front teeth and helping fix teeth that have had some type of injury.

Dental veneers usually take several appointments with our professional dentist - the first for diagnosing and planning, the second to prepare the teeth and the last to bond the veneers to the surface of the teeth. During the tooth preparation visit, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the thickness of the veneer.

After the veneers are applied, a two-week period of adjustment follows. A follow-up appointment with Dr. Gil is required to ensure the fit and bite are correct. To learn more about veneers from our Brownsville, Texas dentist, call to schedule an informative appointment today at (956) 312-0284.

Contact Us

Westlake Family Dentistry

3000 W. Alton Gloor Ste. D Brownsville, TX 78520