Category Archives: Tips From Your Dentist
The Stress-Free Guide to the Top 3 Tooth Replacement Options
Tooth replacement is a very personal process with a lot of variables. Healthy teeth and gums can change more than just the way you eat; your quality of life and overall happiness depend upon them. When replacing teeth, it’s important to know the differences between the methods and the pros and cons of each.
Luckily, the experts at GPS Dental have broken down the details of the most common teeth replacement options. The more you know, the easier your decision will be.
3 Ways to Replace a Tooth
The three types of tooth replacement are implants, bridges, and dentures. Each type is vastly different, and your specific needs must be taken into consideration for each. Take a look to determine which is your best tooth replacement option.
- Dentures replace the entirety of the upper or lower arch, including the teeth. They are completely and easily removable, and require regular cleaning. Though dentures have a bit of a reputation, the latest techniques and technology have made dentures feel more natural and comfortable.
Related Read: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got My Dentures
- Bridges also span the width of either the upper or lower arch. They are connected to one or two replacements on either side. The bridge connecting the two is bonded to the arch, itself. This replacement option isn’t removable, and the patient will need to be on the lookout for tooth deterioration around the bridge. On the other hand, dental bridges are less expensive than a full implant.
- Implants are the replacement of one or more teeth, completely and with no additional supports. They look, feel, and behave the same way natural teeth do, without the use of a bridge. An implant will allow you to eat any foods of your choosing, no problem. They are, however, the most expensive type of tooth replacement, requiring surgery and time to create a specialized crown to fit your mouth. Learn more about whether or not implants are right for you.
The type of tooth replacement that’s best for you depends upon a number of factors, including price and the overall health of your teeth and gums. It’s imperative that you consult with your dentist in all aspects of the replacement, as there are many aspects of your care that can make you a good or bad candidate for any of these options.
For more information about tooth replacement, why not schedule an appointment with GPS Dental? Just give us a call at (210) 633-3477, and our friendly staff will be happy to help you!
On-The-Go Snacks for Healthier Smiles & Happier Parents
Summertime is full of fun things to do and fun places to go – which also means spending time in the car and away from home. Trips to the zoo, the beach, and the park usually involve travel and hungry kids.
Snacks during these adventures can be pitfalls both for your dental visits and your patience as a parent. Popsicles and s’mores have their place in summer fun, but can make a mess both inside your mouth and out of it. GPS Dental is sharing how a little careful planning and shopping can stock you up with summer snacks that will keep teeth healthy and on-the-go snack serving and cleanup a breeze.
Related Read: 4 Tips for a Great Back-to-School Checkup
Set The Stage
Identify the equipment you’ll need and make a place for it. A small cooler or insulated tote will carry most summer snacks while keeping them cool. Select a particular “home” for it in the car and in the house, so it is always where you want it.
Add some reusable water bottles and small resealable containers to your collection and you are ready to go. This is a great opportunity to involve your children. Have them pick out their water bottles and snack containers, and find a good place for the cooler.
Choose crunchy and fresh over sticky and processed. Sugary and sticky snacks are more likely to stay on teeth after snacking and attract the bacteria that cause tooth decay. They also stay on hands and mouths and stick to seats and car doors. Ick. Crunchy foods like fresh fruit, veggies and whole-grain crackers will not coat your smile or muck up your cup holders.
Related Read: Is Chewing Gum Bad for My Teeth?
Bite Size Is Better
Bite-size snacks are easier for kids to eat and prevent messes. Celery sticks, baby carrots, grapes, berries, cheese chunks or sticks, and crackers are all travel-friendly snacks. They also portion out quickly into smaller containers for your snack cooler.
Wash It Down With Water
Nothing is more refreshing than ice-cold water on a hot summer day. Water also washes our mouths and keeps gums and teeth healthy, instead of introducing more sugar in juices and soda. Reusable water bottles are also a great spill-free alternative to juice boxes.
Have a great idea for summer snacking? Share it with us! Head over to the GPS Dental Facebook page to share your great snacks, or get some more ideas!
How Can My Dentist Help My Sleep Apnea?
While dentists are known for creating beautiful smiles and keeping your mouth healthy, your dentist could help you with so much more! The team at GPS Dental, for example, could help you get a better night’s sleep!
Curious to see what else your dentist can fix? See the other services you didn’t know we offer.
If you’re tired when you wake up, even after an eight-hour period of rest, you may be one of 25 million Americans who suffers from sleep apnea. Although a common disorder, sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed for years, interrupting the sleep cycle and contributing to conditions like:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- an increased risk for accidents
Understanding Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when a person’s muscles relax during sleep. In this state of relaxation, soft tissue in the throat momentarily collapses and block your airway. As a result of this obstruction, you may gasp for air in your sleep or even stop breathing.
People with obstructive sleep apnea have reduced oxygen levels because of this disorder. They often wake up gasping for breath, preventing them from getting the full cycle of sleep. It’s common for a person who suffers from this condition to feel chronically tired.
Dental Solutions for Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, you may be a candidate for oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance can help maintain an unobstructed airway while you sleep.
Your dentist can help fit you with a custom mouth guard-like device to wear each night. Many people find that a dental appliance is less intrusive – and just as effective – as breathing masks. A dental appliance can also be a good alternative to a procedure or surgery.
How Your Dentist Can Help
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and want to learn more about dental appliance options, the best way to get started is to contact your dentist for an appointment. There are over 100 designs to choose from with the help of a dental professional. Each individual case of sleep apnea is different and an appointment can help your dentist fit you with the best appliance for your needs.
If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, give us a call at (210) 633-3477 or get more information about the sleep apnea services at
The Best & Worst Parts of Getting Dental Implants
The American Dental Association calls the development and use of implants, “one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years”.
When you lose a tooth and you need a replacement, dental implants are often considered the most discrete, natural-feeling option available. However, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s important to consider both the pros and the cons of dental implants before you decide on the best form of replacement for you. Luckily, GPS Dental breaks them down for you below.
The Great Things about Dental Implants
Of course we’ve noticed how losing and replacing a tooth can make our patients feel very self-conscious. The ideal solution looks and feels like a regular tooth, which is why dental implants are such a desirable choice.
A dental implant allows you to eat whatever you like, and caring for your new tooth is just the same as your natural teeth. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the learning curve of dentures; your implant won’t make noise or interrupt your speech the way other forms of replacement might.
Related Read: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got My Dentures
Not only do dental implants look and work like your natural teeth, but they also don’t influence or rely on other teeth for support. Unlike bridges, your dental implant is a stand alone tooth, with it’s own form of root and support, so other teeth aren’t stressed or shaped around the new tooth.
The Not-So-Great Parts
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to dental implants, and one of the most notable drawbacks is their price. Placing dental implants is a lengthy process, involving multiple visits which can be very expensive. Adding to that burden is the fact that many dental insurance plans don’t cover implants, so you might be paying for either part of or the entire process out of pocket.
Also worth mentioning is that the long, involved nature of dental implants means more time spent in your dentist’s office, sometimes undergoing surgery. Because bones heal very slowly, there will be additional time spent waiting for your jaw to heal between your initial surgery and the final visit.
Finally, like most artificial implants, your dental implant isn’t guaranteed to last forever. Over time, the crown of your implant may wear out and need to be replaced. If your implant isn’t properly cared for, bone loss can occur around the root of the implant, meaning you’ll need to repeat the entire process with a new, larger implant.
If you’re dealing with a missing tooth, you’ve got options. Even better, you’ve got the number of a dentist who can help you decide on the best option for you! Give GPS Dental a call at (210) 633-3477 to set up your appointment.
How to Plan Tooth-Friendly Lunches, Despite School-Year Madness
Kids, parents, and dentists alike get excited about a new lunchbox and the delicious, nutritious meals it will hold each day – helping to replace the less desirable fast-food type school lunch with tooth-healthy food.
But unfortunately, by the end of September, that wonderful new lunchbox has lost some of its shine. Even with the best of intentions, it’s hard to keep coming up with great, healthy lunches each and every day! Thanks to our full-steam-ahead, hurry-and-get-out-the-door, grab-whatever-will fill-you-up, busy family lifestyle, the sticky lunchbox is forgotten in the mudroom and a crumpled lunch ticket takes its place.
GPS Dental knows the hurry and scurry of most families create a headache when dealing with lunchbox shopping and packing. A simple plan will help parents keep the healthy lunch ball rolling long after the excitement of a new school year has passed.
Get the Tools:
You already have a lunchbox on your list. Make sure to add a cooler pack, and – if you’re a soup family – a thermos.
Plan Menus Now:
While you and your kids are excited about the upcoming school-year, plan out a variety of lunches that you will approve of and they will enjoy . Get their input. The success of your personal “lunch program” will depend heavily on the buy-in of your kids. You want them eating and enjoying their lunches so they have healthy, fueled brains and bodies for their school day.
We suggest meals that are high in protein and calcium, and include fresh veggies and fruit. Here’s a sample menu list for a tooth-friendly lunchbox:
- Back to Basics: Turkey and cheese sandwich with carrot and celery sticks, apple slices with a nut-butter for dipping, and a bottle of water.
- Simple and Sweet: Peanut butter and low-sugar jelly sandwich with apple slices, nuts and raisins, and a thermos of milk.
- Progressive Palate Pleaser: Chicken avocado wrap, sliced cucumbers, fruit yogurt with granola, and a thermos of ice-cold lemon water.
- Winter Warm-up: Hot soup, cheese, crackers and celery sticks, fresh strawberries and a bottle of water.
Tip: Leftover soup makes a perfect school lunch. Choose a family favorite and make enough for the next-day lunch thermos. Warm it up in the morning and a good thermos will keep it hot for hours. Veggie beef, chicken noodle with carrots and celery, and chili are all high in protein and healthy veggies.
- Feeling adventuresome? Grab some recipes online. Here is a great link at Pop Sugar, or some other tooth-healthy eating tips in our blog.
Once you have determined your menu items, make sure the fixings for them are on your regular shopping list. Establish and maintain a place in the fridge and cupboard exclusively dedicated to your lunchbox items.
Routine, Routine, Routine:
This is perhaps the most important part of maintaining the lunchbox momentum throughout the school year.
- Emptying and washing the box, bottles and containers – as well as re-freezing the cooler pack – will be a regular job and can easily be added to the after-school or evening chore routine.
- Along with that chore, kids can decide (from your menu) what will be in their boxes the next day.
- Make time for morning packing or you will find yourself sending a baggie of cereal and a juice box out the door in their backpack.
Bend So You Don’t Break:
Healthy eating is not perfection; it is a lifetime of more positive choices than negative ones. Sometimes the convenience of school lunch outweighs the advantage of something from home, and kids often enjoy the freedom of choosing which meals they would like to eat at school.
If you shoot for an all-or-nothing result, by the middle of October, you will probably end up with nothing. Determine what you can consistently accomplish and stick to it. If you need to make some exceptions on lunchbox frequency or contents to make the plan work for you, do it.
GPS Dental looks forward to sharing more tips to help you and your family make tooth-healthy choices.
School shopping? Check.
Lunch prep? Check.
Back to school dental check up? Call GPS Dental at (210) 633-3477
Your Dentist Can Fix That: Services You Didn’t Know We Offer
When you’ve got an aching tooth or lousy breath, you probably think to make an appointment with your dentist.
However, at GPS Dental in San Antonio, we can handle much more than cavities and gingivitis. We’ve summed up some of the reasons we see our patients every day that have nothing to do with pulling teeth!
Rehab Your Smile with Dental Implants
Dr. Skrobanek has been working with patients to transform their smile with implants for more than a decade. A dental implant may be the best option for restoring your smile if you’ve lost a tooth. Simply put, an implant is an artificial tooth that is surgically placed in your jaw.
Depending on the extent of the work needed, a bridge can then be anchored by that implant, leaving you with a stronger, more confident smile. The work, including both the surgery and restoration process can be completed in our office.
Teeth Whitening Options for All
Teeth whitening doesn’t have to be a DIY project. Infact, while our office offers whitening treatments, we can do more than help take the stains away! Beyond traditional teeth whitening, patients looking for a whiter smile should consider options like veneers or cosmetic bonding. These procedures actually cover the top layer of the tooth, giving you an instantly whiter smile!
For those patients who are more concerned with the shape of their teeth than the hue, we have options for you, too! Cosmetic bonding and enamel shaping procedures allow us to help rehabilitate a patient’s smile in the face of not only yellowed, but even crooked, chipped, overlapping, or cracked teeth.
Check out all the ways GPS Dental can help you achieve a more beautiful smile!
Dr. Skrobanek’s Sleep Apnea Correction
Could Dr. Skrobanek help you get a better night’s sleep? If you’re one of the 25 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea, the answer is yes. We don’t usually think to visit our dentist with sleep problems, but there are many forms of sleep apnea that can be corrected with oral appliance therapy, a specific type of specially fitted mouthguard.
However, with more than 100 options to choose from, it’s important to come in for a consultation to address your sleep apnea. Dr. Skrobanek can help you figure out the best treatment plan for your sleep apnea. Treatment is even covered under many insurance plans.
If you could use a whiter smile or better sleep, why not make an appointment? Give GPS Dental a call at (210) 633-3477!
Power Up Your Flossing with an Electric Flosser
One of the latest trends in dentistry is aimed at getting more people to floss regularly. Because most people cite the difficulty and the extra time flossing takes as their reason for skipping it, new products have emerged to make flossing easier and faster. Enter the electric flosser.
Find out how to use this new technology to achieve a healthier, cleaner mouth with GPS Dental’s expert tips!
What Is an Electric Flosser?
Electric flossers, also known as water flossers, use a thin, targeted stream of water to help clean between teeth. This form of flossing is particularly useful for patients who have a difficult time with traditional floss, such as those with braces or bridges.
Related Read: What I Wish I Knew Before I Got My Dentures
While they certainly help our patients get a healthier smile, electric flossers are not a replacement for traditional flossing. Both traditional and electric flossing specialize in reaching certain areas of the mouth, and when they’re used together, the two can seriously reduce plaque.
Guide to a More Powerful Flossing Routine
While there are plenty of benefits to using an electric flosser, getting started with one can be intimidating. Before you power up your flosser for the first time, take a look at these tips to do it right. Don’t forget to check your flosser for directions or instructions that may come with it!
- If this is the first time you’re powering up your flosser, fill it with water and set the pressure to the highest setting. Spray the flosser into the sink until you get a steady stream.
- Bring the pressure back down to the lowest setting, or, at your preferred setting if you’ve used your flosser before.
- Lean over the sink, as using an electric flosser is a little messier than traditional flossing. Place the tip of your flosser in your mouth, closing your lips gently around it to prevent water from splashing out.
- Turn your flosser unit on, and let the water flow out of your mouth and into the sink.
- Move your flosser along your gumline. Starting with your back teeth, move the flosser forward, aim at a right angle and pause slightly between teeth.
- Once you’ve made your way past every tooth, turn your flosser off and take off the tip for cleaning.
Flossing not the only part of dental care you’ve been skipping? Schedule a Netflix binge & dental checkup! Give GPS Dental a call at (210) 633-3477 to make your appointment!
Don’t Worry! 3 Tips to Reduce Dental Anxiety
Somewhere between 12% and 25% of people suffer from a fear of the dentist, otherwise known as dentophobia or odontophobia.
There are many causes for this widely shared fear, but there are also many ways to make trips to the dentist’s office easier on anxious patients.
Talk about Your Nerves
Dentists see a lot of patients who experience anxiety in their office. Many have strategies in mind for those patients who dread their appointment. Knowing that you’re prone to nervousness in the dentist’s chair, the dentist and their team can work to help alleviate your anxiety.
Sharing your anxiety with friends or family can have multiple benefits. By letting someone know about your fears, you might find out you’re not alone, and your friends may have some helpful tips for you.
Filling in someone, like a significant other or close family member, can also help keep you accountable for going to the dentist regularly. Patients who experience dental anxiety often avoid check-ups, and don’t see their dentist until they have a serious problem. By the time they come back in, they may need more extensive (and stressful) treatments.
Need another reason to make your appointment? Find out why you should visit the dentist before the end of the year.
Cover Those Anxious Ears
Before you head to your next appointment, grab your headphones. In the waiting room, your favorite comedian or a funny podcast can help you loosen up and relax before going in.
A book on tape or soothing music can help ease your nerves in the chair. Just check with your dentist to make sure your headphones won’t get in the way!
This technique helps in two ways. First, you hear less of the tools, which can sound much more menacing than they really are. Second, music you enjoy or a good story can distract you from where you are. Use the narrator’s voice as something to focus on, instead of the unfamiliar sensations you’re experiencing.
Ask for Information
Oftentimes, the cause of dental anxiety is fear of the unknown. When a dentist is working on your teeth, you can’t see what they’re doing, and this adds another layer of stress for some people. Speak up if you’re feeling nervous and ask your dentist what they’re going to do. Even a simplified explanation might be enough to put your mind at ease.
If you think about it, it’s completely natural to be afraid of strange, pointy tools being aimed at your face. Dental tools can be intimidating in their looks alone, and even more so when you don’t know what they’re going to be used for. Ask your dentist what the different tools he has out will accomplish. Some dentists are willing to let you hold their tools to get a better look to decrease your anxiety.
Another great way to feel more comfortable at the dentist is to get to know the professionals working with you! A familiar face can make all the difference. Learn more about the GPS Dental team, or get to know Dr. Skrobanek. Then, give GPS dental a call to schedule your next dental visit at (210) 633-3477.
Why You Should Visit the Dentist Before the End of the Year
Before you know it the holidays will be here and another year will have made its mark. But before this happens make sure you take care of a few timely matters, such as visiting your dentist. GPS Dental explains a few reasons why it’s in your best interest to schedule a dentist visit before the holidays get here.
Dental Benefits Expire
Most dental insurance plans span the entire calendar year, meaning that your insurance deductibles reset January 1st. Fitting in your denal visit before the end of the year can help save you hundreds or thousands of dollars thanks to your insurance company. If you wait until early next year you risk having to spend large amounts of money out-of-pocket for your visit. Timing really is everything.
Protect Your Pearly Whites
Visiting your doctor now for routine cleanings and dental work can also benefit you by preventing tooth decay and other issues that can be painful and expensive if left untreated for long lengths of time. With all the over indulgences and sweets we consume around the holidays, it’s better to take care of any dental issues now before they flare up.
Look Your Best
The holidays are a time to gather with family and friends, and usually there are a lot of fun parties and get togethers. Look your best and smile with abandon! Whether it’s taking care of dental work like caps or veneers that you started earlier in the year, or just whitening your teeth professionally in office, don’t put it off. Schedule your appointment today and prepare your mouth for all of the smiling that you’ll be doing over the holidays. Plus, a healthy smile looks great in holiday pictures.
Now you can also give the gift of oral health to someone you love! Gift certificates are available in any denomination.
Make sure to book your appointment early though. There is an end of the year rush with students coming back from college, and kids on school breaks for the winter season. Call the most trusted dentist office in San Antonio, GPS Dental at (210) 633-3477.
Back-to-School Dental Checkups: Try These 4 Tips for a Great Visit
The summer flew by, and now it’s back to school for kids and the return of a more normal schedule. This is also a popular time of the year for families to resume their bi-annual dental checkups. To start the school year off on the right foot, and in a healthy manner, here are four surefire tips to make sure your upcoming dental checkup with kids goes smoothly.
Make a Plan
With a busy summer schedule full of fun, it’s easy to let the details of a new school year slip your mind until it creeps up on you. And there is no shame in that, we have all been guilty. But putting off scheduling your kids’ dental checkup can make it more difficult to schedule your appointment. We see a lot of patients around the back-to-school rush, and typically see a schedule backup, as any healthcare office does this time of the year. So keep that in mind when scheduling.
Pick the Right Time for Your Appointment
Speaking of scheduling, also make sure you pick a time that’s right for your child. Steer clear of scheduling a time of day when your child is typically cranky or irritable to avoid a meltdown in the office. We want your kids to enjoy their visits with us. It helps encourage them to see dental care as a good thing.
Promote Age-Appropriate Dental Habits Year-Round
Encouraging good dental habits at home all year-round is the best way to ensure easy office visits. A cavity free visit is the best type of visit. Parents can help make this a reality by encouraging your kids to brush twice daily for two minutes, as well as flossing once a day.
Ages 6 & Under: Let them take the reigns, but be there to jump in when needed. Kids on the upper end of this range may have molars coming in that they don’t know how to care for just yet.
Ages 7-12: Kids these ages know what they’re doing when it comes to dental care, but they don’t always want to do it. At this stage it’s important to nudge your kids to stay consistent with their habits.
Ages 12-18: Kids these ages may not have grown up with a lot of cavities, which is great, but at this point it could cause some issues. Teens get set in their ways, and may not be doing a more thorough job even though they may have more freedom in their diets at these ages (consuming sugary drinks and candy at school when mom and dad aren’t around). This can lead to cavities and set them up for dental issues now and in their early adulthood.
Set an Example
Even if you are a bit nervous when headed into the dentist office, try to keep that anxiety in check around your kids. Kids are led by their parents’ example, and if you walk into the office cool and collected, they will take note and follow suit. It’s a small thing that can go a long way in keeping your bi-annual visits with us smoother.