Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

A blog about implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, general and family dentistry and a healthy living.

Archive for Dentistry

What is Dry Socket and How to Avoid It

At Austin Smile Creations, we do everything in our power to avoid the complications of dry socket after tooth extraction.  However, dry socket can be a common complication after a tooth is pulled, especially after wisdom teeth removal surgery.  So, what is dry socket and how do you prevent it from happening to you?

Dr. Gotun and his team have created this blog to ensure a comfortable recovery after oral surgery at our office.

How to Tell if You Have Dry Socket

After a tooth is pulled, normal healing processes create a blood clot at the treatment site.  The clot acts as a protective layer over nerve endings and bone in the socket the tooth once occupied, creating a healthy foundation for new bone growth and soft tissue.  Dry socket occurs when that blood clot dissolves or is somehow dislodged prior to successful healing.

Here is a list of tell-tale signs that can indicate that you have dry socket.

1. Pain at the extraction site several days post procedure.  This includes pain that you can feel around your eyes, ear, template, neck.
2. Strong unpleasant taste and/or odor in your mouth
3. Fever
4. Swollen lymph nodes

You can typically tell if you have dry socket a few days after the extraction(s). If you are experiencing this or any of the other signs listed above, contact our office for additional care.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

Prior to any extraction, our team discusses aftercare instructions with our patients to prevent dry socket.  Habits you can avoid to reduce the risk of this condition are smoking and spitting or sucking through a straw. If you take estrogen or are on birth control, let our team know, as this hormone can affect your body’s ability to create a blood clot.

You should be careful to only rinse your mouth as Dr. Gotun recommends. We know it’s tempting to want to rinse and gargle after a procedure like this, but if you take care to follow instructions closely, your recovery can be as comfortable as possible.

What to Do If You Get Dry Socket

Over-the-counter medications do not help in providing relief for the cause of symptoms of dry socket.  You will need to schedule a visit with Dr. Gotun soon as possible for treatment that promotes effective healing.

Dr. Gotun and his team are skilled in all components of advanced dentistry, including oral surgery for wisdom teeth removal.  Your health and comfort is important to us.  Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your plan for a healthy smile after surgical extraction.

Why Should I Consider Guided Implant Surgery?

If you are one of the many American adults missing one or more natural teeth, you were likely recommended dental implants as a restorative solution. Implants prevent the deterioration of bone and muscle around the site of a missing tooth. While implant placement occurs in many dental offices, treatment approaches vary and can incorporate advanced imaging processes for a guided approach to implant surgery.

Austin Smile Creations believes in utilizing the best dental implants technology available. At our practice, this means computer-assisted implant surgery for safe and predictable results. Dr. Tor Gotun, our highly rated implant dentist, discusses this approach with you and how it is used for a personalized treatment plan.

Before starting this conversation, let’s evaluate the benefits offered by guided implant surgery:

Safety

With guided implant surgery, Dr. Gotun can see your dental architecture prior to the procedure. A 3-D model of your mouth is created using CBCT scans and implant planning software to determine the ideal placement site for your implant. Equally important, this computerized model highlights sections of the jawbone that are too weak to support implant placement. Pre-operative healing is improved and complications are minimized.

Safe placement is enhanced by the use of a custom surgical guide created from a patient’s CBCT scans. Components built-in to the guides allow implants to be placed only as deeply as needed to ensure they are safe and secure.

Predictability

Guided implant surgery is designed to produce predictable results. This is achieved through digital technologies that shift the focus from decision-making at the time of the procedure to highly accurate pre-operative preparation and planning. By taking scans and designing implant treatment in advance, implant procedures become faster surgeries that produce reliable outcomes. Surgery for a single tooth implant can take less than 20 minutes, and full arch implants have been completed in less than an hour using guided techniques.

With this technology, Dr. Gotun ensures patients are included in the decision-making process. He provides an accurate model of their mouth and shares projections on the outcome of the planned procedure before it takes place. Patients are given realistic postsurgical expectations for each treatment option as it relates to their specific dental condition.

If you are ready to see how guided implant surgery can safely and predictably restore your smile, contact our office! Set up a consultation with Dr. Gotun at Austin Smile Creations today.

How to Pick the Right Dentist

Finding a dentist to provide quality dental care for every member of your family is important, especially if you haven’t seen a dentist in a while and need comprehensive care. Here are some pointers on what to look for when choosing a dentist to fit your needs:

Training and Know-How

Dentists are trained professionals who complete many years of schooling and must maintain certification by fulfilling requirements for continuing education credits annually. It’s worth asking about the extent to which a dentist is experienced and educated in the treatments you’re interested in receiving, especially if they’re specialty procedures, like prosthodontics or periodontics. Some dentists are highly skilled in multiple areas and so can be considered for a wide range of services.  It’s important to find someone who has the experience to deliver quality results.

Services that Apply to Your Concerns

Does the dentist’s list of treatments reflect what you need? Patients with young children may consider finding a family dentist with flexible hours who caters to making children comfortable while visiting their office  Other patients who need a total oral health overhaul may want to find a dental office that excels in periodontal care and restorative dentistry.

Technology

Technological developments in dentistry have provided patients with an entirely different experience – one that is quicker and more comfortable. Even replacing teeth can be done in relative comfort, thanks to advancements in the field.  If you’re seeking comprehensive treatment, consider looking for a dental office that users digital technology, dental lasers, or any other equipment that shortens treatment time, provides for customized care, and reduces the number of return visits you have to make to their office.

Reputation

Search for dentists, or look up a dentist you’re considering visiting, on Google+ Local, Yelp, and other popular review sites. Getting a feeling for how the community reacts to a dentist’s services is a good indicator of what you can expect from treatments.  For further endorsements, consider asking friends and family if they have offices they like and would recommend.

If you have questions for a dentist, call Austin Smile Creations for assistance. We provide a range of treatments, from dental implants to cosmetic dental care, to help you achieve excellent oral health.

What to Look for in an Excellent Cosmetic Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is not a recognized dental specialty, which means anyone calling themselves a cosmetic dentist is not required to complete extra training or certification to use that title. Outcome for aesthetic dental treatment therefore varies widely from one dental office to another. But here’s how you can find a cosmetic dentist who is able to help you achieve your goals, and provide you with the best in cosmetic dental care:

Treatment Options – There are many dental treatments that help you achieve similar goals. For example, a fixed dental bridge can replace a missing tooth, but it won’t last as long or look as natural as a dental implant. A good cosmetic dentist will help you pick the treatment that provides long-lasting results and looks just like your real teeth.

Choices in Materials – Furthermore, it’s important that the materials chosen for your cosmetic restoration are the best for aesthetics. A porcelain-over-metal dental crown will look natural when brand-new, but tends to age poorly – showing a black line against your gums. Restorations made from solid porcelain, ceramic, and zirconia look more like real dental enamel and are just as strong as metal crowns.

Experience and Training – While cosmetic dentistry may not be a dental specialty, there are still professional development courses in dental aesthetics that dentists can take to hone their skills. You can measure a dentist’s commitment to the best in cosmetic and restorative dentistry by how many education hours they take that go beyond the minimum required to keep their license.

Recognition – Perhaps the best measuring stick for a dentist’s cosmetic treatments are how patients, and the community, respond to their care. Before selecting a cosmetic dentist, read their patient reviews on popular sites like Google+ Local and Yelp to get an idea of their treatment approach and how satisfied past patients have been.

An Extensive Portfolio – You can further your research by visiting the dentist’s website, or even their office, to view their before-and-after portfolio. Use these images to get an idea of what finished treatment has looked like for other patients. This information will help you decide, beyond a dentist’s technical qualifications, if you actually like the way they’ve treated other patients’ smiles. Check to make sure that the cosmetic dental restorations look natural and that you’d want the same look for yourself.

At Austin Smile Creations, Dr. Tor Gotun offers the best in cosmetic dental care with options like dental implants, dentures, porcelain crowns, teeth whitening, and porcelain veneers. He has even completed over 3,000 hours of continued education, which has included specialty training in prosthodontics, TMJ therapy, and restorative dentistry. For more information about cosmetic dentistry, and to view our Before and After gallery, visit our website or schedule your consultation online.

Why Choose All-Ceramic Cosmetic Dentistry?

Treatments like dental crowns, fixed bridges, and veneers help patients get beautiful new smiles, but these prosthetics have historically been made with metal – which isn’t the best for cosmetic benefit. Many modern dental patients choose all-ceramic dentistry to help improve their oral health and the naturally beautiful quality of their restored smiles.

Our all-ceramic dental treatments provide the following benefits for cosmetic dentistry patients:

No Visible Aging – Metal-based prosthetics can begin to show a black line on gums as they spend more time with your smile. All-ceramic cosmetic treatments don’t have a metal base, and won’t end up looking unnatural over time.

Strength and Durability – Many patients choose metal-over-porcelain treatments, believing them to be the best choice for long-term durability. While metal restorations are indeed strong, all-porcelain dentistry can be just as sturdy as their metal-based counterparts. Our office proudly offers Empress® crowns, veneers, and bridges, which provide increased strength for cosmetic dental restorations; these treatments are heat-pressed to offer a stable and strong base for renewed smiles.

Better Match for Natural Teeth – While porcelain-over-metal crowns and bridges could be color-matched to your natural teeth, all-ceramic cosmetic treatments more closely mimic the properties of natural dental enamel; ceramics offer a natural translucency that metal dental treatments can’t match up to.

Reduced Sensitivity to Heat and Cold – Metal conducts heat and cold, unlike ceramic materials, which means that your metal dental crowns or metal fixed bridge can cause zings of discomfort when you bite into something hot, or drink an ice-cold beverage. Metal restorations also expand and contract with temperature changes, increasing the risks for cracked teeth as the size of your restoration alters with differing temperatures.

Same-Day Production – Advances in dental technology have made getting quicker, more customized care, a reality for a greater number of patients. Machines like the E4D system in use at our office create crowns and other restorations from a solid block of porcelain or ceramic in at little as one office visit. In comparison, metal-over-ceramic treatments take weeks to be created at an outside dental lab.

We help our patients get the best in cosmetic dentistry, porcelain dental restorations, and custom-made crowns and bridges at our Austin, TX dental office. If you have questions about getting all-ceramic dental treatment, contact us to learn more or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gotun.

Dentist in Westlake Hills, 78746, for 20 years!

Providing Westlake Hills With the Best Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry for Over 20 years!

Dr. Gotun established his practice in Austin in 1985, but he moved to Westlake Hills, 78746, in 1994. In 2014 we have celebrated our 20th anniversary in this fantastic community! Having been part of its history and a witness to all the evolution in Rollingwood and Westlake Hills here in Austin, Dr. Gotun is proud to tell his patients all the stories about the area ( and he knows many!), all the celebrity clients that he has had over the years, all the iconic figures he had the privilege to meet.

Learn from the Best!

A mentor and a patron for the students in Westlake High School, Dr. Gotun got to educate many young aspiring students about the joys and the challenges of the dental profession. Having participated in Westlake High School Independent Study Mentorship program for many years, our practice feels fortunate to have had a chance to help the students explore careers, discover their true passions and find a direction in life and their professional future. It is an exciting time in their life and we are glad to be a part of it by showing them that excellence in dentistry can be achieved through a lifetime of dedication to continuing education and  ever-evolving experience and practice. With such a commitment at stake, it is crucial to make the right choice for a successful career in the future!

Award-Winning Westlake and Rollingwood Community Member. Come and Meet Your Neighbor!

Westlake Picayune has also featured Dr. Gotun’s Lifelong Service and Recognition Award in 2012 for his rare dedication to continuing education and contribution to the field of dentistry.This is a rare honor and Dr. Gotun is the only dentist in Central Texas to ever receive LLSR.

Local Westlake dentist receives rare honor from peers

Visit us in Westlake Hills! We are located at the first stoplight of Bee Caves Rd west of MoPac. Take a right onto Edgegrove and turn directly into our private parking lot. Our office is right across from Collectic Home and Trader Joe’s.

Our building is surrounded by private calm and beautiful green park and one can enjoy the views of the Eanes Creek out of the floor-to-ceiling windows in every operatory in the office.

2724 Bee Caves Rd, Austin, TX, 78746. Serving Central Austin, Westlake Hills and Rollingwood.

4 Signs You May Need Wisdom Teeth Extracted

Third molars, better known as wisdom teeth, can cause a number of complications that may warrant surgical extraction in some individuals. If you’re concerned that your may need your wisdom teeth removed, we’re here with some important tips for those with concerns about wisdom teeth:

Why Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

There are four main reasons people have wisdom tooth surgery:

  1. Impaction – Third molars often become stuck, failing to erupt properly through the gum and bone. Impaction often happens simply because there isn’t enough room in the jaw. Some people have no symptoms of impaction and aren’t even aware the problem exists, but more commonly, the impacted wisdom tooth ends up pressing on nearby tissues or getting infected and inflamed.
  2. Damage to healthy teeth – Infections from impaction can spread to nearby tissues. Even if the tooth is not impacted, food and bacteria can become trapped between the third molars and the adjacent teeth. Over time, the bacteria can cause cavities.
  3. Crowding of other teeth –  Third molars can push on other teeth, if not erupting at the appropriate angle, and cause them to shift and twist. Shifting can throw off your existing alignment, requiring further dental information.
  4. Formation of Abscesses – You might not be aware that third molars, like all your teeth, are encased in a sac in the jaw as they develop. Occasionally, fluid fills this sac, forming abscess that requires immediate attention.

Does Everyone Need Wisdom Teeth Out?

Wisdom teeth extraction is something that we discuss with patients on a case-by-case basis. A thorough exam, that includes advanced digital imaging, can reveal any potential problems with the third molars. For a select population of patients for whom wisdom teeth removal isn’t necessary – where there is enough space in their smile and wisdom teeth are erupting at the right angle and won’t cause damage or discomfort. It’s important to keep up regular dental check-ups so both you and Dr. Gotun can stay on top of any potential issues with wisdom teeth.

For Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction, Visit Our Trusted Dental Office

Even though wisdom tooth extraction requires oral surgery, the procedure has become routine in dental offices everywhere. Dr. Tor Gotun can perform wisdom teeth extraction in Austin, Texas at Austin Smile Creations. Let him put his state-of-the-art facility, thousands of hours of continuing education and more than three decades of experience to work for you!

Make your appointment by calling (512) 277-5140, or use our appointment request form.