6700 West Gate Blvd, Suite 101 Austin, TX 78745

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Patient Comfort

blanket12-300x235At Westgate Family Dental, patient comfort is one of our highest priorities. We offer a large array of cozy comforts in addition to Conscious Sedation for those nervous folks that are white knuckled just by the thought of going to the dentist. We know that the dental office isn’t anybody’s desired place to be, so we do our best to generate the most relaxed atmosphere imaginable.

Our patients are like our family and when you come to Westgate Family Dental we want you to feel as if you are at home as much as humanly possible. We offer comfy plush leather operatory chairs coupled with a beautiful view of our 100 year old oak tree and plush green backyard. If you want to just unwind, close your eyes and disconnect, we also offer dark sunglasses and wireless headphones to drain out the clamor of the busy dental office. Got ESPN? We do! We have 32″ HD TV’s in all of our operatories that viewable when lying back in the dental chair. You can kick back, relax and watch your favorite daytime television program and use our wireless headphones to tune everything out but the TV! Got Pandora on your smartphone? We have FREE Wi-Fi and an available iPad for your convenience to listen to commercial free Pandora during your visit!

For clinical and health standards we tend to keep our office a little bit on the chilly side so we offer all of our patients plush fleece blankets, pillows and neck rests. We do our best to create an atmosphere of comfort and we want more than anything for you to feel like you are somewhere other than the dental office!

In addition to our cozy perks, we also offer IV Conscious Sedation and Oral Conscious Sedation. IV Conscious Sedation is safe, reversible and puts you in a relaxing rest while we efficiently complete your dentistry. IV Conscious Sedation is administered through an IV and has an almost immediate effect. Dr. Yarbrough was specifically educated to administer IV Sedation during a General Practice Residency program he attended after dental school. Overall, this is the best way to take care of your dentistry, not only does it relax you, it also relaxes the jaw muscles and makes for a speedier and pain free recovery!!

For a more cost effective approach, we also offer oral sedation which has almost the same sedative effect as IV Sedation excluding the immediate result. Both sedation practices require an escort to drive you to and from your appointment.

We also offer Nitrous Oxide (gas) which doesn’t require a companion, after your procedure we place you on Oxygen which safely removes the Nitrous from your system. You are done and are able to drive home immediately following your procedure. In addition to our sedation options we always administer a local anesthetic to numb the area of the mouth we are treating. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stay numb the rest of the day because we also offer Oraverse, an injectible reversing agent that eliminates your numbness!

Check out our list of Cozy Comforts!


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Finance Your Dentistry at 0% Interest!

We know that insurance companies can occasionally make reimbursement challenging, and even though we do our utmost to assist you in obtaining your maximum benefit from your insurance company we know however, that dental treatment can sometimes exceed your benefits. Because your dental health is our highest priority, we reassure our patients by offering several affordable financial alternatives. Completing dental treatment at the time of need not only saves you time but also saves you money. We want to provide you with every opportunity to pay for your dental treatment without the concern of not having dental insurance coverage or the burden of whether or not your dental insurance will pay their portion.

As a result, we offer our patients’ third party financing choices to help assist in affordably financing dental treatment over 6, 12 and sometimes 18 months at 0%. To do this, we work with two very reputable companies that allow us outstanding financing opportunities for our patients. Credit standards for these companies are different than Visa and MasterCard and approval ratings even with less than good credit, can still qualify. Let us take the worry and concern out your dental treatment! Apply now, by clicking one of the buttons below!


Got Crowding?

facebook square smile logoFor all of you that have made it through life thus far, without ever having to contend with braces or crowded teeth, consider yourself lucky! For the rest of us, braces and crowded teeth are a way of life and without braces, the complications associated with crowded teeth creates more monsters than you can shake a stick at!

Fixing crowded teeth is not just for aesthetics it is also for your overall oral health. Crowded teeth have a tendency to cause copious oral health difficulties. Why is this? Well, to start with your mouth is a living breathing thing. You have live tissues that need circulation and blood flow in order to provide life to your bone and tooth structures, ligaments and nerves around your teeth. When this blood flow is disrupted by bacteria, destruction supervenes.

Crowded teeth can be the cause of plentiful dental issues basically because crowded teeth prohibit you from properly cleaning your teeth and gums. Bacteria accumulates around those crevices causing, decay and sometimes this is unforeseen decay because of the crowding as it can be masked on an x-ray and sometimes doesn’t become evident until it has turned into a grander problem.

In addition to the devastation crowded teeth causes to our teeth, there are also the gums to consider as well. Your gums are your life force and protective covering for your bone and teeth. If bacteria sits on your gums and is not cleaned properly over periods of time, that bacteria will begin to eat away at your gum tissue causing it to recede, which will then give way to the bone as bacteria will settle in and round the bone which holds your teeth into place, creating a myriad of issues, bone loss, periodontal disease, gum disease, tooth loss, tooth decay, bleeding, odor. You get the picture.

There are several options to fix rotated, and crowded teeth, the orthodontic approach is the most common, braces. And now there is Invisalign, which can simply fix these issues with clear retainer, minus the brackets and long term commitment. For simple cases, Invisalign is a great alternative and Dr. Yarbrough is now an Invisalign provider. During your next examination, ask us about Invisalign and see if you are candidate. In more extreme cases, we can elevate your care to an orthodontist to help fix severe crowding issues with traditional braces. Our goal is to keep you worry free from long term dental issues, because the older we get the worse the crowding will become and the harder it is treat. So don’t wait, all us today and schedule your Invisalign consultation!


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The Importance of Dental X-Rays

Have you ever wondered why we take dental x-rays once a year? Sometimes the response from patients is they think that it isn’t pertinent or do not want to get exposed to radiation. At Westgate Family Dental we want to set up our patients with success and manageable oral health that doesn’t turn into expensive dentistry. This all starts with frequency. And with frequency we mean, cleanings every 6 months, exam 2 x’s a year and x-rays 1 x year. This sometimes seems like a lot, but look at as an investment into your oral health. And here’s why…

For starters we use digital sensor x-ray technology which is proven to be the safest and smallest form of radiation. Meaning, there is a 70% decrease in exposure to radiation than tradition x-ray films. On top of that, you receive more exposure to radiation from the being in the sun for 20 minutes than you would in a lifetime of dental x-rays once a year. For example, according to recent statistics, “a full series of 18 dental X-rays has 27 times less radiation than a lower gastrointestinal (GI) series and 20 times less radiation than one year of normal background radiation from the environment. The 4 bitewing X-rays taken during dental checkups have 79 times less radiation than a year of normal background radiation.” Digital x-rays are safer, clearer, and instantaneous; they also give us better diagnostic information than traditional films. We are able to diagnose better as clinicians and see things we were unable to measure and see before.

Frequency and Reason

Why do I even need x-rays and why do I need them so often?

First of all, without x-rays it is impossible to complete a full examination of the mouth. X-rays show us teeth, bone, tissues and cavities which better help us diagnose as they show us hidden dental artifacts and structures such as impacted wisdom teeth, bone loss and decay, all things that sometimes cannot be seen during a visual examination as these can be hidden either under tooth structure or tissue. Using x-rays during our examination allows comprehensive diagnosis and allows us to take care of smaller issues before they grow into larger, progressed lesions (cavities), abscesses, cysts, growths, bone loss or deterioration of tissues. If these things are caught early, they are more likely easier to treat and less inexpensive. Without x-rays, it is like driving blind and likely that decay in between the teeth can be missed in its early stages.

What are the different types of x-rays?

In our office we take different types of x-rays, for different types of reasons…

Bitewing X-Ray
These are called cavity detection x-rays. These are the x-rays we take once a year during one of your two cleaning appointments. These pictures show cavities between the teeth, bone loss and tissue recession. These x-rays are so vital to a complete examination; it is like getting your oil changed without putting oil in your car. You could probably start up your car and drive for a while but over time things will self-destruct. We do not take x-rays to make money; we simply do it because that is standard ADA protocol and it is to better help and serve our patients dental needs long term. By taking these x-rays once a year we are able to diagnose early on and avoid expensive treatment in the future.

Full Series of X-Rays or FMX
We take a full series of x-rays every 3-5 years. This series of x-rays shows us everything; we are able to see teeth, tissues, bone, hidden tooth structures and the roots of your teeth. These x-rays show us the entire crown down to the rip of the root; they also assist us in diagnosing any abnormalities in the root and bone structures in addition to abscesses, these are called periapical x-rays.

Panoramic or Pano
If there are issues with the development of wisdom teeth and possible impaction, we will take a panoramic x-ray. The reason for this x-ray is it is a full x-rays showing us the entire mandible, mandibular nerve structure and where the wisdom teeth are in relation to this nerve. It also shows the magnitude of impactions, and also assists us in implant placement by allowing us to measure the depth of bone. This can also assist in the discovery of tumors in the jaw bone as well.

When it comes to your oral health, x-rays are our best defense to the potential threatening oral diagnosis. X-rays allow us to see what we can’t see with the naked eye and in return create a more accurate treatment plan that represents the patients without guesswork. In the end, we are able to keep your dental costs down, by taking dental x-rays by catching things early on instead of allowing decay, bone loss, tissue recession, and abscesses to go without diagnosing. In the end, we want what is best for our patients, more importantly we want our patients to know and understand why we do what we do. Our patient’s best interest is always our highest priority!


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5 Simple Oral Hygiene Tips

Life has become more and more demanding every day and sometimes our oral healthcare takes a backseat as a result. In addition to having your teeth professionally cleaned/examined every 6 months, there are some home care tips that will help you maintain your oral health in between your 6 month checkups. You have to view your oral healthcare as maintenance and for lack of a better analogy you can compare your mouth to your car. Every 3-5000k miles we have our oil/filter changed to help maintain our engines and longevity of our car. In addition to that regularly scheduled maintenance, and driving reasonably we can prolong the longevity of our vehicle’s life far longer than if we didn’t. This plays true in oral healthcare as well. Over time, if you do not have good home care and you forego your regular cleanings/exam, a plethora of issues can occur such as: periodontal disease, bone loss, tooth loss, cavities and costly dentistry. Here are some home care tips that can help you effectively maintain your oral healthcare.

Brushing

Daily brushing is the most important first step anyone can take in achieving healthier oral hygiene. Brushing not only cleans the teeth but if done correctly, it cleans the gums as well. Trying to brush at least 1x day is good, but 3x’s daily is ideal. Brushing after every meal is even better, as you can remove plaque from your teeth and gums created from the food we eat. Also, using an electric toothbrush, any electric toothbrush is a worthy compliment to any brushing regiment. An electric toothbrush is able to do a more thorough job than the human hand and it implements the elliptical motion that is most effective when brushing. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on an electric toothbrush; you can purchase a $10 Crest toothbrush at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Make sure you use a soft or super soft brush head and when brushing let the electric toothbrush do the work. If you are manually brushing your teeth, brush in an elliptical motion (circular) and massage the gums as well as the teeth!

Flossing

Flossing is the most overlooked home care routine; yet the most imperative to your oral healthcare. Flossing is an assistant to your brushing; floss can get down beneath the gums and clean the roots of the tooth where the brush is incapable of accessing. The biggest technique error of flossing for most people is the idea that just flossing between the teeth is the accurate way to floss. This is partially true; flossing in between the teeth is just part of it; when flossing, it is essential to floss on both sides of the teeth and below the gum line as well. This in turns massages the gums, keeps the blood flowing to the tissues, and also removes plaque and debris from below the gum line in turn keeping your bone/tissue healthy and strong which in turn keeps your teeth healthy and strong. Flossing 1 x’s a day is great, flossing 2x’s a day is ideal. Then there is that common complaint of bleeding gums when flossing. Look at flossing like working out. The first time you work out ever, you find yourself sore and tired the next day. Think of flossing as the same thing, the more you floss the more you increase blood flow to the gums and maintain health gum tissue. After a couple for weeks of flossing, you will find that the bleeding will decrease and eventually stop all together.

Oral Rinse

Rinsing your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash will also help keep your mouth clean and free of bacteria. Mouth Rinse does not take the place of brushing and flossing your teeth, it simply helps with your oral health by killing bad bacteria inside of your mouth, on your gum tissues and teeth. There are several mouthwashes to choose from; however antiseptic mouthwashes are your best bet.

Drink Water

Believe it or not, drinking water can help with your oral health care. It is possible that you might not be able to brush your teeth after every meal; by drinking water throughout the day you can increase your salivary flow and also wash food particles away from your teeth and gums. This doesn’t take the place of brushing or flossing, but it will certainly help from a preventative standpoint. Not only is water better for your oral health but it is better for your overall health!

Xylitol Gum

If you choose to chew gum, chew sugar free gum with Xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener and is dynamically helpful for dental health, by reducing cavities by a third in regular use, and has also been shown to decrease the frequency of acute middle ear infections. “Early studies from Finland in the 1970s found compared to chewing sucrose-flavored gum, Xylitol resulted in nearly two fewer cavities or missing teeth.[15] Cavity-causing bacteria prefer six-carbon sugars or disaccharides, while Xylitol is non-fermentable and cannot be used as an energy source, interfering with bacterial growth and reproduction.”

By taking a few extra steps in sustaining a healthier approach to your oral health care, you can reduce cavities, bone loss and long term oral health problems. By adapting just a few of these tips, you can reinvent a healthier, happier you! And by all means, Smile!!!!


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Do not just brush, brush well!

Everyone understands the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day, but I find that many people underestimate the emphasis of brushing their gums as well. Although you cannot get cavities in your gums, they can harbor and accumulate plaque, thus creating bacteria that cause bad breath and gingivitis.

The most vital part of your gums that need to be brushed is around your teeth. The reason for this specifically is because this is where bacteria have direct access to your bloodstream. When brushing your teeth, point the bristles at a 45° angle towards the gum-line and use small circular motions, while focusing on feeling the bristles on the teeth AND the gums. This will sweep the bristles up underneath the gum-line to effectively remove more plaque. Your gums are living tissues that hold your teeth in place, so don’t forget to brush them well!


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What is CEREC®?

CEREC® is a revolutionary technology we use to fabricate our crowns “in house”. CEREC® affords us the ability to make your crown the same day you are here or in a shorter amount of time in comparison to sending it to a lab. If you are willing to have a longer appointment time, we can save you a trip and seat your crown the same day.

CEREC® crowns, require a precise tooth preparation technique and Dr. Yarbrough and his clinical staff are highly trained and skilled with CEREC® technology. There is a certain level of expertise and precision that is involved when designing a CEREC® crown. From start to finish we measure, design, stain and glaze and make sure that your crown/shade matches and fits your existing teeth.

By using a special camera that is attached to a computer, we are able to take a picture of the tooth previous to the preparation. From there we prepare the tooth to receive the restoration and take another picture for the design phase. We have the capability to design your crown to look like the existing teeth around it, from the thickness and stain to the tiny little fissure anatomies.

The material, lithium disilicate, used to make these restorations is more durable than regular porcelain and combines “high strength and high aesthetics” to achieve a natural looking tooth and product. This material has been extremely tested for it’s resilience and the failure rate is astoundingly low.

Designing the crown Taking the picture for the design


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Flossing Makes My Gums Bleed?!

Floss Makes Gums Bleed?!?

If you are not a daily flosser, you may notice when you do floss, that your gums bleed. Some people come to the conclusion that floss is making them bleed and some avoid flossing because of it! Actually, not flossing is what makes gums bleed.

Gums that bleed easily when touched are a sign of gingivitis. Other signs include redness, swelling, and tenderness. Plaque bacteria create toxins that cause these reactions by your gums, a condition known as gingivitis. But it’s not just a condition; because it is caused by bacteria, it is essentially an infection. If any other part of your body bled when you touched it, you would rush straight to the doctor!

It only takes the bacteria in your mouth 24 hours to settle in and start causing the toxins in great enough quantities to cause the signs of gingivitis. That’s why you should floss every day! Swishing with antibacterial rinses can help, but plaque is sticky, so it best removed with floss. So if you are not a flosser, at first your gums may bleed, but you have to keep the bacteria away long enough to give your gums a chance to heal. If they still bleed, get a check-up from your dentist. You may be overdue for a cleaning!


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Can you cure a cavity?

Cavities start in the outermost layer of the tooth, the enamel, where they can stay without pain for years or can rapidly progress into the next layer, the dentin. Cavities progress at different rates in different people depending on many factors such as diet and differences in enamel composition. Once they reach the dentin they progress much more rapidly and if reach the nerve and blood vessels cause an infection known as an abscess.

The first stage of a cavity is called demineralization, where acid byproducts from bacteria digesting sugars in your diet remove calcium from the enamel, softening it. In this beginning stage, the cavity can be stopped or “arrested” through remineralization. Use of a fluoridated toothpaste twice daily and professional treatments offered through your dental office can help aid in rehardendening the enamel. The enamel will be “scarred” as it is etched by the acid. These areas can appear as white spots or if present for longer periods of time can become stained and appear as dark spots.

So how do you know what stage a cavity is in? Only thorough examination with x-rays by your dentist can help determine if a cavity is only in the enamel or has progressed further and requires restoration. So, a cavity can’t be completely cured, but as long as it is only in the enamel you can prevent it from progressing.

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Do Not Wait Until it Hurts!

Many people think that if they don’t have any pain, that they don’t have any cavities. Early stages of
cavities are slower to progress and start in the enamel, which has no nerve endings. Some people do
become more sensitive to temperature and sweets, but most people have no idea that they have a
cavity until it gets closer to the nerve. Once cavities get past the enamel and enter the dentin, they
progress much faster. Many people don’t feel any sensitivity until the cavity gets into the nerve and
blood vessels. That’s when they develop an infection known as an abcess.

Dental exam with x-rays can catch these smaller cavities before they progress to the inner layers of the
tooth and do cause pain. Early detection is key. Cavities caught while they are small only require small
fillings. Often if you wait until you are in pain, the decay has progressed much closer, if not into the
nerve, where pain and lots of money are involved (root canal and crown). See your dentist every six
months for a cleaning and exam and get x-rays taken every year. Sure, that costs money too, but the
cost is spread out over time, you get to keep more of your natural teeth and you can stay away from
pain and costly procedures!…most of the time.

All you want for Christmas is an electric toothbrush, right?

toothbrushElectric toothbrushes have been around in the US since the 1960’s. Over time we’ve seen the electric toothbrush evolve from not just an electric toothbrush but also to a sonic toothbrush. We know you hear us hammer on about the importance of brushing and caring for your teeth, and procuring your oral health as a result. And let’s face it, some tooth brushing is better than no tooth-brushing. What if I told you that brushing your teeth with ANY electric toothbrush is almost 100 times more effective than the traditional approach? Yes, it’s true, traditional/manual tooth-brushing allows for approximately only 300 strokes per minute. This might seem like a lot but in the scheme of things and in this day and age of technology, it’s not.

One of the most frequent questions our patients ask is:What toothbrush should I buy and how much should I spend?

Answer: spend what you can afford and honestly any electric toothbrush is better than the traditional approach. However, always make sure you are using a soft toothbrush head and even the cheap $10 Crest electric toothbrushes give you the option of a soft toothbrush head. It is best to avoid using a hard or firm toothbrush head as the results can be quite destructive to your soft tissues. Hard toothbrushes and improper brushing can wear the supporting tissues around the teeth and can over time expose the roots of the teeth which are irreversible and can turn into an unconformable situation.

What’s the difference between a Sonic toothbrush and an Electric toothbrush?

The difference all comes down to rotations per minute. For instance, an Electric toothbrush outputs between 3,000-7,500 rotations per minute whereas a sonic toothbrush outputs between 30,000-40,000 rotations per minutes! Sonic toothbrushes tend to be a little bit more expensive and some people do not like the sound of a sonic toothbrush even though they are the most effective. However, both types of toothbrushes are definitely more beneficial when it comes to preserving your oral health, gum tissues, teeth and removal of plaque and bacteria in the oral cavity.

Benefits of an electric/sonic toothbrush:

  • Most powered toothbrushes have 2 minute timers built in for optimal brushing
  • Long Term Results
  • More Efficient Brushing
  • Faster Brushing
  • Proficient Stain/Plaque Removal

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Contact info

6700 West Gate Blvd
Suite 101 Austin
TX 78745
appt@dryarbrough.com
(512)447-0808