Dr. Konig's Cosmetic Dentistry Blog

Houston Cosmetic Dentist Serving Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands Pearland & Nearby TX Areas

February 15, 2017

Patients often lose their molars and this presents functional and sometimes cosmetic dentistry problems. Dental implants are often an excellent option that can be used to replace single or multiple teeth.  When dental implants are used, there are many important factors and planning that should be considered.   The photo shows two molars replaced with dental implants and porcelain crowns.

Notice how natural the dental implants appear.  This does not happen by change.  When planning dental implants the following should be considered:

1) A 3D scan is the standard of care for planning.  This allows us to see plan the case without any guesswork.

2) Placement:  the implant needs to placed in the center and not offset to onside or angled.

3) The use of a custom abutment is essential in almost all cases.

The photos show how nice the results can be when proper planning, surgical placement, and restorative care is done properly.  The use of custom abutment also allows for greater longevity as it allows the implant cement to be at the gumline as opposed to underneath near the implant where we are unable to get access too.  This means easier oral hygiene as well.

Another advantage of using dental implants, is not having to grind down adjacent teeth for a bridge.  Having a new "tooth root" takes stress off the other teeth as well. Finally, all the proper planning and protocols lead to a better cosmetic dental result as well.  This allows us to help make the implant crowns look and feel natural.

If you have any questions about Houston Dental Implants or Houston Cosmetic Dentistry, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA, 713-425-1302.

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January 31, 2017

Your smile is typically the first thing someone notices about you. Whether it’s a job interview, a first date or a performance, you need a smile you’re proud to show off. Our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Konig, believes in an individualized approach when it comes to your dental work. You’re unique, and your smile should be a reflection of who you are.

Karan has been a patient of ours for the last four years. She’s a professional singer, and her teeth are broadcast to the entire crowd when she performs. When Karan came for her first appointment with Dr. Konig, the first thing that struck her about our cosmetic dentistry office was the friendly atmosphere we strive to provide. Karan’s biggest concern was avoiding a smile that looked “fake” and “unnatural.”

Dr. Konig crafted a smile design for Karan, and now she has a welcoming smile that she can show off while she wows the crowd with her talented voice. Learn more about Karan’s experience with Dr. Konig and our experienced staff in the video above.

We offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry options including:

If you’re unhappy with your teeth and overall smile, please contact Dr. Konig in Houston today at (713) 425-1302 to schedule your consultation. Ronald W. Konig, DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIACA serves clients throughout Texas including Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Pearland and surrounding areas of Texas. 

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January 24, 2017

Is Your Jaw the Cause of Your Arm Numbness and Tingling? | Houston TMJ DentistYour body has an intricate network of nerves, which rely on each other to maintain a healthy, pain-free life. When just one aspect of this complex web is off, it can create a number of problems that may not seem connected. A TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder is a common problem that often goes undiagnosed due to the array of symptoms associated with the condition.

Arm numbness and/or tingling in the arms and hands could be a sign that you have a TMJ disorder. The body has an interesting way of compensating for a misaligned jaw such as tilting your shoulder or hips the opposite way to create an “even” balance. This compensation can lead to tension and muscle spasms in your shoulder and pinch the nerves that cause numbness in your arm and hand.

Numbness or tingling in your arms, hands and even your feet can be caused by a TMJ disorder, but may also be a sign of:

  • Neuralgia
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Stroke

However, TMJ disorders typically arise with several TMJ symptoms including:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Shoulder, back or neck pain
  • Popping/clicking jaw
  • Ringing ears
  • Dizziness
  • Earaches

A TMJ evaluation with our neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Konig, could help you identify what’s causing your arm numbness and tingling, especially if your general practitioner or other doctors have been unable to determine the cause behind your symptoms. Dr. Konig specializes in TMJ treatment and can perform a thorough examination and develop the right treatment plan for you.

Schedule your TMJ evaluation with Dr. Konig in Sugar Land today by calling (713) 425-1302. Ronald W. Konig, DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIACA provides TMJ treatment, general and cosmetic dentistry to clients in Sugar Land, Houston, Katy and The Woodlands, Texas.

 

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January 20, 2017

5 Ways an Eating Disorder Causes Damage to Your Teeth | Houston DentistThousands of Americans struggle with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. These illnesses can quickly have a severe impact on your overall health, including your oral health. Your teeth are sometimes the first to show damage, but your TMJ (temporomandibular joint), gums and other soft tissues may pay the price for your malnutrition.

Our dentist in Houston, Dr. Konig, recently became a treatment provider for Houston Eating Disorders Specialists and is available to help you or a loved one reverse some of these dental signs of an eating disorder:

  1. Malnutrition and Gum Disease: Calcium, iron and vitamin B deficiencies promote the growth of tooth decay and gum disease. You’re more susceptible to mouth sores, bad breath, canker sores and your lips may even suffer from dehydration as well.
  2. Vomiting and Tooth Enamel Erosion: Throwing up repeatedly subjects your teeth to strong stomach acid, making the protective enamel coating your teeth erode. This causes an array of serious problems such as brittle, translucent teeth that may break off and become vulnerable to infection.
  3. The Jaw Joint and Arthritis: TMJ disorders (TMD) are fairly common among men and women and often go undiagnosed. Eating disorders can lead to degenerative arthritis in the TMJ, which hinges your lower jaw to your skull, leading to chronic headaches, issues opening or closing your mouth and other TMD symptoms.
  4. Soft Tissues and Scrapes in the Mouth: The soft palate on the top of your mouth is a sensitive area. These tissues can become red and could be scratched or cut due to repeated purging. This is a sign that an eating disorder is extremely severe as it takes a lot to damage this area.
  5. Purging and Salivary Gland Enlargement: The consistent cycling of binging and purging associated with bulimia can eventually lead to the visible enlargement of the salivary glands, which can become painful and emotionally distressing.

Eating disorders are all too common. There are many groups advocating for awareness and speedy treatment of individuals suffering from anorexia and bulimia. There are many ways to approach treating these illnesses, and they require a team of doctors and specialists. Dr. Konig can help treat the dental signs arising from your or your loved one’s condition.

If you’re struggling with an eating disorder and have noticed changes in your oral health, please call Ronald Konig, DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIACA in Houston today at (713) 425-1302 to schedule your dental exam. Dr. Konig serves patients in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, The Woodlands and surrounding areas of Texas. 

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January 15, 2017

Porcelain Veneers can be utilized in many ways to correct a wide range of issues with cosmetic dentistry  procedures.  Simply placing veneers on teeth without planning and evaluation will often yield less than acceptable results.  This lady had never been happy with her smile or the shad e of her teeth and felt like she did not disply enough tooth when smiling.  Her first attempt was to try Invisalign in which it failed to help her with her concerns..

 Whereas Invisalign is an excellent service for many cases., there are several issues that it cannot address:

1) The shade of her teeth

2) The tipping of the smileline to the left

Even after Invsialign the teeth are discolored and also tipped up to the left side.  These cosmetic issues are not usually able to be corrected with Invisalign.  In this case, porcelain veneers were used to correct the smileline and shift to the left.  The alignment of the teeth now appear to level and more tooth structure shows when she smiles.  This patient wanted whiter teeth as well.  The veneers were used to align the smileline and all ceramic crowns used to replace the opaque metal/porcelain crowns on the back teeth that were distracting.

This case shows that there are usually several cosmetic dentistry options that cosmetic dentists should advise patients to consider or at least advise of the different outcomes.  In many cases combined cosmetic dentistry options often helps create excellent results.  It is truly important that cosmetic dentists listen to the paitents desires and needs.

If you have any questions regarding Houston Cosmetic Dentistry or Houston Porcelain Veneers  please feel free to call Ronald W. Konig DDS,FAGD, LVIF, 713-425-1302.

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January 11, 2017

 

 

Deciding where to go for headache treatment or TMJ treatment is no easy task.  The internet provides too much information and can lead to many roads.  When someone has debilitating headaches the following are often professionals that patients seek:

  • Family practitioner
  • Neurologist
  • ENT  (ear, nose, throat medical professional)
  • Endocrinologist
  • General Dentist
  • TMJ Specialist
  • Chiropractor
  • Physical Therapist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Orthopedic
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Osteopath

The problem is that headaches from TMJ are most often overlooked.  Family practitioners usually do not diagnose headaches or migraines from TMJ issues, rather refer to other medical specialist or prescribe medications to try and relieve pain.

Unfortunately, many referrals to other medical professionals also leads to more tests and more medications.  For dizziness, however, an ENT can often run certain test to see if there is something wrong with the crystals in ear.  I have found that some ENTs do actually understand that headaches and ear pain are very often TMJ related.

Some patients ask their family dentist about their headaches who most likely will recommend a night guard to see if that helps you.  A night guard is designed to keep you from grinding and wearing down your teeth.  It is not designed to treat or correct TMD issues such as popping, headaches, migraines, facial pain, ear pain, ringing of ears, or neck pain.  

Sometimes a dentist will use an NTI appliance.  This is popular, as it requires no training or advanced studies to use them.  Most general dentist do not treat complex TMJ cases and this NTI appliance is what they often try to use or refer cases out to TMJ specialist (dentists with special interest and training in TMJ).  If you do have an NTI, it is important to only use it very short term as it can cause an open bite, meaning you will not be able to get your front teeth together as it moves these teeth.  It is often a quick fix and can cause problems with long term use.

Having a dentist “equilibrate” your teeth, or re-contouring the biting surfaces of the teeth.  This unfortunately can further compress your jaw joints backwards and make the problem worse. 

Patients can also see a neurologist.  This is often a common choice.  Most neurologist are very thorough and the good news is they can rule out a medical issues such as tumors, cyst, etc.  At the end, even after all testing is performed; many often wind up with more prescription drugs for headaches.  A common complaint we see is these drugs make them feel drowsy or offbeat.

This has led the medical profession to try Botox for headaches.  Botox has helped some patients, however, actually acts as a band-aid, masking the true problems.  It requires repeated having multiple injections every 3 months.  Does it make true sense to keep injecting botox into your head and neck? The other issue is the fact that not correcting the underlying problem can lead to further damage of joints, ligaments, etc…

What if there was a way to find out what was making these muscles to be unbalanced and cause headaches in the first place?

Other patients might seek out the help of orthodontists.  Most orthodontist do not treat true TMJ, however, some do.  The real question is does your orthodontist find the correct physiologic position for your jaw, joints, and muscles or move teeth until they are straight? It the pain is caused by muscles and joints, it is imperative to treat them first and then find where to move the teeth too and not vice versa.

Finally, some patients are referred to Oral Surgeons.  Oral surgeons do surgery, most TMJ patients are non-surgical cases, or should be.  Although, there are some surgical procedures that can be used such as arthrocentesis, condylectomy, and arthroscopy, these should be last resort and not the starting place.

Chiropractors and physical therapists do a great service for many people and can help them feel better.  The problem is that the TMJ and the jaw is the top of the chain.  If the head, neck, and jaw are not properly aligned any adjustments will not last or hold.  To treat TMJ related headaches and problems, one must get to the true problem.  Often chiroprators and physical therapists are used in conjunction with TMJ treatment.

These are common scenarios often seen with chronic TMJ patients seeking relief. 

Dentists who have advanced training in TMJ should be focused on treating the underlying cause and not the symptoms.  Physiologic or Neuromuscular dentistry focuses on finding, diagnosing and treating the underlying cause of the pain, usually overworked muscles and damaged or compressed jaw joints caused by this unnatural strain.  There are many ways to diagnosis this.  Along with a through exam, a 3D scan of the head and neck can show the problems and help with the diagnosis.

Very briefly, underlying treatment is geared to finding the correct physiologic position for your teeth to meet in when the facial and neck muscles and jaw joints are relaxed and not strained.  This is not done by laying the patient back in the chair and taking an arbitrary bite.  Several methods can be used to relax the muscles such as ultralow frequency TENS for at least an hour along with other ways to relax the neck muscles too.  Sophisticated computerized EMG’s like EKGs can be used to help find this position for the patients as well.  Once this position has been found, an orthotic, fixed or removable (preferably fixed) can be used to “test drive” your bite and allow the muscles and joints to heal and to be sure the headaches resolve.  This herein gives you direction as where the teeth need to be for long term health and stabilization which is the next phase of treatment.

In short, it is important to know where you are going with the diagnosis before treatment begins.

Be sure to ask questions about the treating dentists training and experience in treating these complex TMJ issues before beginning treatment.

If you have any questions regarding Houston TMJ Pain, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF 713-425-1302

 

 

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December 19, 2016

TMJ pain is something that can be debilitating.  Fortunately most TMJ issues can be treated non-surgically.  A common question that patients ask is do I have to wear this plastic TMJ splint the rest of my life? “

“Wearing a large plastic removable splint is not practical or functional for most patients who are seeking a long term solution.”

If one peruses the Internet they will find a wide range of websites with information on a numerous types of treatment.  A common treatment that one will find is about using a “splint”.  It is important to understand that a splint is simply a plastic piece that many dentist place between the teeth to try and eliminate TMD issues.   The majority of these types of splints are simply made to an arbitrary bite position and hoping that it will work.  They can work in some cases, however, in many cases they do not and can make patients worse.

Additionally, common concerns with this arbitrary splint are:

  1. Inability to speak well with the splint in place
  2. Inability to eat with the splint
  3. Having to wear the appliance the rest of their life
  4. Lack of long term solution

There are better solutions for many cases.  Rather than arbitrarily place a removable appliance between the teeth, technology has allows advanced TMJ dentists who are trained in physiologic TMJ treatment to find the correct physiologic position of the bite so the muscles, joints, teeth, and neck can work together in harmony. It is imperative to look at the whole system, not just the teeth.

Utilization of what we term, a fixed orthotic, with the bite determined physiologically with aid of computerized muscle reading, electrosongraphy, 3D imaging and working the the neck as well, allows a test drive with the new bite.  This looks and feels much more natural than a “splint” and is functional in terms of eating, speaking, and swallowing with this fixed appliance which also looks like teeth.  The fixed orthotic can be adjusted by adding to or balancing this as ones muscles, joints, and neck return to a more normal physiologic position for comfort and stability. 

This not only helps the patient feel better but also gives direction as to the non-surgical options for the next phase of treatment, which is long term stabilization.

If you have any questions about Houston TMJ Pain, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, (713) 248-8868

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December 14, 2016

TMJ is the term used to describe a condition where the temporomandibular joint, which connects the skull to the jaw bone, is out of alignment. TMj can cause clicking and popping in the jaw, pain while chewing, headaches, neck pain, and muscle pain. Find out more about TMJ in this infographic:

TMJ Treatment | Neuromuscular Dentistry | Houston, TX

To schedule a consultation about your jaw pain, please contact Dr. Konig at (713) 425-1302. We are proud to help patients in Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas.

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December 12, 2016

Many patients google, “The Best Cosmetic Dentist in Houston” and will see a page full of names of dentists.  How does one really know if these dentists are really providing excellent cosmetic dentistry?

To begin with, there is no American Dental Association recognition for Cosmetic Dental Specialist.  This means patients should use caution when searching for a qualified cosmetic dentist.  Cosmetic dentistry is an art and science and requires clinical skills and training as well as an excellent ceramist.  However, it is the cosmetic dentist who needs to guide the ceramist and not vice versa.

There are almost always several options for patients who are considering cosmetic dental care.   Not everyone needs a full smile makeover.  Prior to beginning any treatment, a thorough consult and evaluation should be completed.  The dentist should discuss with the patient the patients objectives and work from this point.  Many times whitening of the teeth can be completed and then only a few teeth may need veneers as opposed to doing ten veneers. 

A really good way for patients to see a cosmetic dentists skills and care is to ask to see before and after photos of similar cases.  Make sure that close up photos are viewed and not just full facial photos in which one cannot see the details.  Details that can be seen on retracted photos are : 

 (these before and after photos show many characteristics of the art of cosmetic dentistry as listed below)

  1. Anatomy of the tooth
  2. The finish at the gumline (no black lines or dark tooth showing)
  3. Texture and the way the veneers or crowns reflect light
  4. Proportions of the teeth to each other
  5. Making certain they do not look like chiclets
  6. Seeing how the smile follows the lipline
  7. Ensuring the teeth are proper size and shape for the individual

These are all factors that an astute cosmetic dentist should take into consideration when creating smiles for patients. Cosmetic Dentistry should embrace all facets of dentistry from single tooth restorations to dental implants to veneers and crowns and even implant dentures.

Another discussion is experience and how conservative the dentist can be to achieve the desired results.   There are ways to calibrate the exact amount of preparation to needed.

There are also several ways to allow the patient to “test drive” their new smile design before placing the long term veneers or crowns.  The provisionals or temporaries should be designed to reflect the long term ones.  In this manner, the patient can see on themselves the length, shape, contours, and approximate shade as well.

Additionally, if your teeth are really worn down and broken, there may be other underlying problems with your bite or jaw that have caused this.  Simply, doing cosmetic dentistry on these teeth may not last and they may break, wear, chip as well.  This would be similar replacing tires on a car that is out of alignment and balance, and not aligning and balancing them when the new tires are placed.

An experienced and qualified cosmetic dentist will have numerous photographs of similar cases to show patients, not just one case.  Look carefully and ask questions.  Take a look at their website and see how you feel about the care.

On a final note, there are many wonderful cosmetic options to help patients have the smile they feel comfortable with.  Choose carefully, ask questions and make sure the options are clearly discussed.

If you have any questions about Houston Cosmetic Dentistry, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA,  713-425-1302

 

 

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December 06, 2016

Some patients have a mild gag reflex and others more pronounced and this often leads to fear of even doing cosmetic dentistry  or difficulty in dental care.   Good news is that the Qi Laser can help patients with gag reflexes and make dental procedures more comfortable for them.

What causes the gag reflex?    Stimulation of the soft palate of posterior pharynx.  This is a natural response to keep things from entering one's throat that would lead to choking. In general when something touches the soft palate the throat contracts, hence the gagging feeling. This is the reason that patients gag in the dental chair or during impression taking or sometimes with digital xrays.  Through the years numerous products have been developed to try and help patients with gag reflex.

Recent research has shown accupuncture can stop the gag reflex but who wants needles!  Rather a Qi Laser , which is a 365 nanometer pulse of Chi has been shown to be effective in controlling gagging.  The laser is used in place of the accupuncture points for 15-60 seconds prior to any treatment that makes you gag and it dramatically decreases the gag reflex! This truly helps patients and is easy to do.

This is one more tool we use to make dentistry more comfortable for our patients.  

If you have any questions about Houston Cosmetic Dentistry, please feel free to call our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA, 713-668-2289

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