Ever heard of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Treponema denticola or Fusobacterium nucleatum? Must admit those all sound like they belong in a certain catchy Disney tune. Just as we sincerely hope that song is not stuck in your head, we also hope those bacteria just mentioned don’t end up stuck in your heart.
Unfortunately, the likelihood of this happening is fairly high, because a disease found in more than 50% of adults over age 30 has been found to injure the heart’s major arteries. A new peer reviewed BaleDoneen study, published in the April issue of Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ) is the first to reveal this new, treatable cause of cardiovascular disease. Surprisingly, there is an Oral-Systemic Connection, meaning: it starts in your mouth and spreads throughout your body.
In fact, a landmark 1954 study was the first to show that oral germs, such as those that cause gum disease, frequently enter our bloodstream and begin racing their way through all of the body’s hairpin turns via our arteries. Among the seemingly unfair ways this can happen are through periodontal cleaning, tooth extractions, your twice daily tooth brushing, and (even though it’s something our mothers told us to do) simply chewing our food. This can lead to a wildfire of chronic inflammation, which causes cardiovascular disease (CVD, also known as heart disease), diabetes and sadly even some forms of cancer.
While poor oral health has also been linked to dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and even pregnancy complications, according to the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, this new research suggests that harm to our hearts caused by gum disease is due to those high-risk oral bacteria with the now not-so-funny names mentioned earlier.
Remember that old game show, Press Your Luck, where people would yell “Big money, no whammies!” over and over in between long commercial breaks? Well, cardiovascular disease (CVD) results from a TRIPLE whammy known as the atherosclerotic triad. Atherosclerosis is plaque buildup (and of course we already knew plaque was bad) in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This new BaleDoneen study is the first to show that these bacterial monsters can intensify each piece of the triad, creating a perfect storm of whammy destruction. Here’s how:
For one we’re likely to diagnose and manage periodontal disease differently, since the research shows it’s important to find out if people with PD have these high-risk bacteria in the first place.
Instead of only evaluating the severity of symptoms such as the depth of pockets in the gums, how much bleeding is present, or how loose teeth are, the study suggests using available tests from companies that measure Oral Pathogens through DNA analysis. A sort of forensic genealogy, if you will. Therefore, our office might utilize tests such as OralDNA, OraVital, or Hain Diagnostics, to determine if your gum disease is due to high-risk bacteria. This extra step protects your overall health, most especially your heart health.
The BaleDoneen Method hopes this study will lead to better treatment or even eradication of high-risk oral bacteria and by extension, optimization of systemic wellness. Instead of pressing your luck, feel free to ask us what you can do to improve your oral health and prevent these whammies from winning. Please consider your regular Austin dental visits an essential weapon in the fight against heart attack and stroke!
Have you ever discovered an off-the-beaten path vacation spot so perfect you might have dreamed it? Maybe you stumbled upon a coffee shop where they made your drink perfectly and you became fast friends with the baristas? Perhaps you dined at a new restaurant whose food transported you back to your favorite homecooked meal? Have you ever been welcomed into a friend’s home and immediately felt like part of the family?
Those feelings of belonging and connection are the centerpiece of Dr. Bell’s dental office. It’s a feeling around which he has built his practice, why the staff love coming to work each day, what keeps patients returning for years (sometimes 30+) and has them referring friends and family.
Maybe you’re in the market for a new dentist because you recently moved to Austin, you have new coverage, or you’re simply looking to make a change in your provider. Finding a dentist is about finding someone you like and trust. The practice you choose should feel like home and offer one convenient location for your dental health. You should feel welcomed, comfortable, and be greeted by name as you walk in the door. The dentist’s office should be convenient to your home or work and should offer personalized care for your unique needs.
According to several recent studies, most people are more concerned about convenient location (62%) and friendly office staff (56%) than success rates (22%) of their chosen dentist. In fact, some of the top reasons people choose a dentist include:
– Acceptance of insurance plan (72% to 83%)
– Doctor’s office location (57% to 69%)
– Bedside manner/empathy (60%)
– How long it takes to get an appointment (47%)
– Convenient office hours (43%)
– Practice specialty (38%)
LOCATION: Dr. Bell’s office is well located on the border of West Lake and Downtown Austin.
HIGH STANDARDS: Dr. Bell offers the latest dental technology.
PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE: the gentlest bedside manners.
EASY BOOKING: Dr. Bell and his team make booking an appointment easy and efficient.
Spring in Westlake Hills is many of my patients’ most favorite time of year in Austin – and mine too! Those gorgeous bluebonnets are blooming across the Hill Country, sun is shining, and Central Texas rain has made everything new. The beauty of the area, and the wonderful patient relationships I enjoy makes me proud to be a Westlake dentist.
Having just transferred to a new system providing clients with a fully comprehensive test of dental needs, my practice has the solution you’re seeking for efficient optimal overall health.
Whether you are new to our practice or a long-standing patient mine, you may not have been offered a complete exam in many years. An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, it’s critical your next Austin dental exam packs a powerful punch at a great value!
Our Comprehensive Dental Exam is valued at $1,200, and I offer it at just $400.
This exam is a great bundle value as well as a time saver. If needed, my office can set up a separate treatment consultation at no charge for complex cases.
The exam includes:
– 1.5h appointment with a hygienist
– 45min with me reviewing your medical record, dental history (hour to an hour and a half with patients aged 40+)
– 3D oral scanner and 3D x-ray which will detect the smallest problems such as cysts or tumors
– Based on the exam results, I determine a treatment plan appropriate for your unique case. This case by case and holistic approach supports and prevent larger problems down the line and offers maximum long-term value.
Our new Dentsply Sirona Primescan intraoral scanner is a beauty, inside and out! You may not want a family photo shoot with it (as us Central Texans do those bluebonnets), but it’s worth scheduling your family for a visit.
The Dentsply Sirona Primescan intraoral scanner allows for more accurate, faster and easier scanning of all dental materials and hard to access areas. The increased field of view visualizes larger areas with fewer sweeps and more immediate precision.
I am now able to consolidate more than 50,000 images per second and can quickly process the exact data needed to provide you with the fastest, most accurate, comprehensive and holistic care possible.
More exciting still than amazing new tools, is the privilege of providing patients with quality care at a great value. Recently, Michael C. Bell, DDS, PC was named a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite. Thanks, happy patients! As new Westlake and Austin area neighbors travel the web in search of “Austin’s Best Dentist,” I’d be honored to be selected as your neighborhood favorite!
Most people, it’s safe to assume, brush their teeth once, maybe twice a day. After breakfast, perhaps. Again before bed. Maybe in between. For years, this has been considered fine: brush your teeth a few times a day and enjoy peak oral health for a lifetime.
The truth is, brushing your teeth isn’t complex, but it’s not as simple as you may have been led to believe. Even the most thorough among us may be able to optimize their brushing routine (and in so doing their oral health) by giving a little bit more attention to this first line of defense against tooth decay, root canal infections and gum disease.
First things first, you need a good toothbrush to effectively clean your teeth. We strongly recommend the Diamond Clean Sonicare.
Sonicare smart brushes deliver up to 62,000 brush movements per minute, giving you the equivalent results of a whole month’s worth of manual brushing in just two minutes! To us this is the most effective and yet gentle clean you can get.
Besides a good toothbrush, it is also important that your toothpaste contain fluoride – a mineral essential for keeping enamel strong. The Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, the American Public Health Organization, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage its use in both toothpaste and water.
With your fluoride toothpaste and electric toothbrush, you’re ready to get started. Here’s what you do:
Even if you have the most impressive at home routine, it cannot help but benefit from professional care. Many oral health issues can occur quickly – even in healthy individuals – making biannual visits an important part of your overall healthcare routine.
Remember, issues like gum disease can increase risks for serious health problems including heart attack, kidney failure, pancreatic cancer, and dementia. The better care you take of your teeth, the lower your risk of these potentially deadly conditions.
To schedule your next appointment at Dr. Bell’s office, please call 512-327-7750 today. During this visit, we can discuss ways for you to optimize your daily routine and answer any questions you have about the best and most effective ways to brush your teeth.
“Nothing is as important than taking the next breath,” said Dr. Roger Price, Director of Professional Services at the Graduate School for Behavioral Health Sciences during a recent continuing education course that Dr. Bell and two of our rockstar dental hygienists, Diana and Lou Ann, recently attended.
The course, which was sponsored by the San Antonio Academy of General Dentistry, focused on the importance of nasal breathing for the body to function effectively and covered the latest research on breathing from Dr. Price.
In Dr. Price’s words: “The medical model has failed and it is time for the dentists to take over. Sleep does NOT disorder breathing; it just makes already dysfunctional breathing worse.” Dr. Price coined the phrase, Breathing Disordered Sleep, which is the breathing that causes sleep issues (not sleep disordered breathing).
Our team learned how to screen for undiagnosed breathing disorders that are impacting your quality of life. We’re able to evaluate your breathing to see if there is an issue, and if one is detected we can help you to retrain yourself to breath effectively with Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy.
teaches a patient how to use the proper posture and function of the muscles of the face and mouth. Improper function of these muscles can negatively impact breathing, breastfeeding, proper growth and development of the face and jaws, chewing, swallowing, alignment of teeth, speech, bite, snoring, sleep, jaw joint movement and function, stability of orthodontic treatment, gum disease, and more. Who knew it was so important?! This therapy can be used for patients that have suffered a stroke, young children with jaw malformation, and also with kids who have ADD diagnosis.
Do you think you may have a breathing issue? Call us to schedule an appointment and our team can help!
Dr Bell is committed to always providing the best treatments available for all of his patients and has paid tuition for Lou Ann who is nearing completion of her Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Certification.It will be so exciting for us to be able to offer these screenings and services in our office soon.
At Dr. Bell’s dental practice, one of the things we pride ourselves on is our commitment to providing excellent care that consistently exceeds expectations. We love welcoming new patients into our practice and are proud of the highly efficient, personalized, and in- depth experience that we take pride in offering on a patient’s the first visit.
Check out this video to take a glimpse into what it’s like to walk into our practice for the first time— from the moment when you walk in and are greeted by our smiling dental admin assistants, to when Dr. Bell comes to meet you and take you on a tour of the entire office, to the comprehensive consultation and dental exam, culminating with the creation of a personalized treatment plan designed based on your needs and concerns.
Do you have a friend or family member who needs a dentist? Dr. Bell offers $10 worth of “Bell Bucks” for any goods or services at our office. Oh yes, and you will also get a $5 Starbucks card and a personal thank you from Dr. Bell when you make a referral!
This month, communities across Austin, West Lake Hills and the country are preparing for a new school year. Dr. Michael Bell, your General and Cosmetic dentist in 78746, wants to remind you that you can start off with a beautiful, confident smile with a quick back-to-school teeth whitening treatment!
We’re excited to announce a new Back-to-School, End of Summer Whitening Sale for dramatically brighter smiles! Now through the end of September, we are taking $100 off our in-office whitening and $50 off the take-home whitening.
The take-home whitening consists of professionally made whitening trays made from accurate dental impressions, with 16% or 22% Venus White Max Gel. In-office whitening is done in about an hour and a half with a direct application of Venus White Max (a 36% hydrogen peroxide whitening gel). When in-office whitening is chosen, a set of custom whitening trays are also made and given with touch-up gel for at home use. We usually recommend touching up about every 3 to 4 months depending on habits like smoking, heavy tea and coffee consumption.
Tooth discoloration and staining is a natural side-effect of aging — or, as we like to think of it, of a life well-lived. Repeated exposure to highly-pigmented items like coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate causes the teeth to gradually darken over time. Tobacco use, poor dental hygiene, and certain medications also play a role in dental discoloration. Chronic mouth breathing can darken teeth as well. If you have started to notice your teeth looking a little dingier than you’d like, it’s time for a professional teeth whitening. After the application, teeth are dramatically whiter — and you are flashing your most confident smile yet.
With so many whitening options available at the pharmacy, what’s the point in investing in professional teeth whitening? It’s a valid question — but we want to remind you that nothing is as strong as the professional-grade whitening solution found with the Venus White Max Whitening offered by Dr. Bell. Over-the-counter options just don’t whiten as well. What’s more, Dr. Bell can take special factors, like tooth sensitivity, into consideration. And since when was a smile one-size-fits-all? White strips and other generic teeth whitening kits can put your gum tissue at risk for exposure to the bleaching gel. For the best, safest, most effective results, professional teeth whitening at the dental office is the way to go.
Immediately after you have completed your professional teeth whitening treatment, your teeth will be more susceptible to the items that caused them to discolor in the first place. To avoid diminishing your whitening results, do not use tobacco and stay away from dark foods and beverages for the first two days. These include coffee, dark soda, ripe berries, red wine, rare steak, and other items. A good rule of thumb is that if it can stain your shirt, it can stain your teeth. Protect your smile by sticking to white or light-colored foods right at first. Baked chicken and potatoes, anyone?
Get ready to look your best this fall with a quick back-to-school teeth whitening with Dr. Bell and his team! Contact us to schedule an appointment today before this limited time special ends. We can’t wait to show you just how fantastic your smile can look.
It’s no secret that everyone wants beautiful, straight smiles! To help our patients achieve this, ClearCorrect invisible braces are a great alternative to metal braces. No wires and no brackets … just clear, convenient comfort — and lots of great reasons to smile.
With ClearCorrect, we can straighten your teeth using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth.
This remarkably effective and discreet solution aligns and straightens a broad range of conditions. Compared to traditional wires and brackets, clear aligners are:
Dr. Bell had metal braces before invisible braces were an option, and we asked him to share a memory or experience from that time with us. In case you’re in need of a chuckle, here’s what he said:
“I was having a nice dinner at Pecan Street Cafe with my wife at the time, and we were splitting an order of blueberry crepes. I said something witty (I thought) and smiled. Then she started laughing hysterically, and I kept asking her what was so funny? She couldn’t stop laughing every time I talked, and finally she told me to go look at my teeth in the bathroom (while still laughing). I went to the restroom and discovered I had soft blueberries in every wire and bracket of my braces! It looked so bad I started laughing hysterically too!”
On the flip side of that story, our amazing longtime patient Katie Blackwell is one of the many fans and users of ClearCorrect at our dental office. Katie says:
“I love picking up my Clear Correct aligners so my teeth can be even more straight and perfect! Huge thanks to the BEST dentist in all of the land, Dr. Michael C. Bell. ♥️”
Contact us today to find out if you are a good candidate for this minimally invasive technique for straightening teeth. To find out more about Dr. Bell’s clear orthodontics, click here.
CEREC Primescan is a breakthrough computerized 3D technology and replaces the CEREC Omnicam with improved ease of use for the patient and accuracy for the dentist. This technology allows us to create custom dental crowns and veneers right in our office. By using this advanced technology, we can give our patients custom excellently matched and, superbly fitted dental crowns— all during a single appointment!
The creation and placement of a custom-designed dental crown is one of the most commonly performed treatments in dentistry. Dental crowns fit over the entire tooth and are typically used to reinforce a tooth that is heavily damaged or decayed. They are also normally required for restoring teeth after root canal procedures and placing teeth on dental implants. Crowns are one of the most predicable and long-lasting dental restorations.
In the past, crowns and other types of dental restorations traditionally required a time-consuming process that would normally take weeks. With advances in the CEREC in-office milling system, that process can be completed in about TWO HOURS rather than TWO WEEKS! No temporary crowns, no second visit to fit the crowns! CEREC crowns can be made right here at the Westlake Hills office of Dr. Michael C. Bell in a single appointment!
CEREC dental crowns also do not require you to have a physical dental impression, which necessitates placing a gooey impression material in a tray in your mouth for several minutes. With CEREC, the impression is taken digital scan and a digital file is created, then a computer program is used to design your dental restoration to a very custom dental anatomy based on incredible algorithms to mimic your existing natural teeth. The result— Westlake Hills dentist Dr. Bell will create a precisely fitting and natural looking dental crown.
CEREC crowns are ultimately superior to Lab made crowns. Studies show that CEREC crowns are more accurate than a lab-fabricated crown.
The process in which a lab crown is made has so many steps involved which can introduce inaccuracies from the initial impression to the variability of the laboratory techniques and skill of the lab technician. Even if all the variables in the impression and laboratory are as perfect as they can be, it’s still not as accurate as a direct 3D scan of the mouth directly into the computer, and the milling process is much more accurate in the fit of the final crown.
While the large majority of our crowns will be scanned and made ‘in house’, there are situations where the optical scanner may not be able to ‘read’ the whole tooth. So, if the crown must go way below the gumline due to decay or an old restoration that was placed deeply to begin with, the technique with impressions and temporary crowns will be necessary. This will be the exception, but will give the better result in certain cases where the scanner optics cannot ‘see’ below the gumline.
With CEREC Primescan, your restoration is scanned accurately within a few microns and then the crown is milled in less than five minutes. We then will place the crown in our porcelain oven to crystallize, harden and characterize the porcelain to match your other teeth. The CEREC crowns often times need virtually no adjustments and is placed the same day. This is especially beneficial for multiple crowns as the computer will design everything as ideally as possible, taking into account the patient’s bite and current dentition, as well as the patients desires and Dr. Bells care, skill, and judgement.
The Primescan and CEREC milling technology is an outward sign of our commitment to provide the most advanced and comfortable care for our patients. It is a pleasure to be of service to you, your family, and friends
See if you are a good candidate for the CEREC crown.Schedule a Consultation today
Our dental office in the heart of Westlake Hills has completed an in-depth curriculum called Total Health Academy. What does it mean to be a certified practice in Total Health Dentistry, you ask? It means we can help our patients play a critical role in their oral and their overall systemic health.
It wasn’t too long ago that dentists thought the mouth was its own private space and that not much of what went on in there was linked to the rest of the body– and vice versa. Signs of the most prevalent systemic diseases we encounter today, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, acid reflux, fungal infections, and food sensitivities show up in abundance inside the mouth. This makes it impossible to ignore the many connections between the mouth and the body.
As well, oral diseases (such as periodontal disease, caries, oral pharyngeal cancer, and bite and jaw problems) often aggravate and can wreak havoc with the rest of your systemic health. Our goal is to become a health resource to direct you to excellent practitioners who agree with our philosophy… We want to help you maintain and improve your health, not just treat problems and disease as they arise.
Our new knowledge in total health dentistry means we can play a critical role in ensuring you live a happier, healthier life. We know you’ll experience a wonderful difference with Best Austin Dentist Dr. Bell and his Westlake Hills dental practice. From ages 12 to 105 years old, we will work together to prevent, predict, and preempt disease. And we’ll help you achieve your healthiest self at every age with a great smile to boot!