Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

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

Archive for Gum Health

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 You Should Consider Laser Dentistry for your Next Treatment

A dental laser might seem like a piece of science fiction to some patients, or may even be seen as a unnecessary treatment aid by people who never experienced it. The truth is, dental lasers provide significant benefits to patients in need of soft tissue treatment, like gum grafting, or periodontal deep cleanings.

If gum contouring, gum grafting, or a deep cleaning have been recommended as a part of your dental plan, here are ways a laser can help you get comfortable care:

Laser Root Scaling and Planing is Gentle

If you’ve ever had your teeth deep-cleaned with standard dental tools, you probably recall a feeling of soreness that resulted from a hands-on cleaning below the gum line.  While deep cleanings are important for keeping gum disease at bay, a dental laser is able to do the same job as more traditional dental tools, without similar force and without producing discomfort. With a laser, Dr. Gotun is able to clean below your gum line without the scraping action you would experience with standard dental tools.

Lasers Seal and Promote Healing

For treatments like gum grafts and gum contouring, where sections of soft tissue are removed, a dental laser is capable of doing this and then sealing the treatment site, so you heal faster and don’t have to deal with stitches. For some laser procedures, the treatment alone has become so comfortable that local anesthetics are often not needed.

Lasers are Precise and Quiet

Dental lasers are great at killing bacteria and targeting specific areas of teeth for treatment. With a periodontal deep cleaning, a soft tissue laser can more thoroughly clear-out bad bacteria than a dental pick would be able to reach.  In comparison to a dental drill, a laser doesn’t create the same buzzing noise that can cause anxiety in fearful patients.

If you have questions about how dental lasers can be incorporated into your treatment plan, call Austin Smile Creations for more information.  Dr. Gotun uses a diode laser to assist in periodontal disease treatment, gingivectomy, frenectomy, and other soft tissue procedures.

Get a Clean Slate for your Oral Health with a Smile Makeover

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and wanted a complete change for your smile, you’re not alone. We can help you start fresh and get back both your best smile appeal and oral functionality with a smile makeover at our Austin dental office. Also known as a full mouth restoration, this treatment plan can include a number of different general and cosmetic dentistry procedures, depending on your goals and the condition of your teeth.

Dental Treatments to Transform Your Life

With more than three decades of experience as a general and smile makeover dentist in Austin, Texas, Dr. Gotun can perform a full range of full mouth restoration treatments. Prerequisite periodontal care can involve scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), as well as working with you to improve basic oral hygiene habits so you can the best foundation for a sparkling smile.

  • If your major complaint is damage or decay, Dr. Gotun can provide tooth-colored fillings, onlays and onlays, or porcelain crowns — which sit over your real teeth, offer both protection and strength.
  • If you’re missing a tooth, Dr. Gotun might recommend a fixed bridge for you. Connected to adjacent teeth with either crowns or metal “wings” secured with dental cement, these give you a false tooth to fill your gap. If a bridge isn’t workable for you, removable dentures can address just one missing tooth or up to all of the teeth in the jaw. The king of smile makeover treatments in terms of stability, however, is the dental implant. Dr. Gotun will place a titanium rod in the jaw and cap it with a crown or fixed denture. Most patients find implants to be the most long-lasting, comfortable and natural-looking out of their tooth replacement choices, although they’re not right for everyone.
  • Misaligned teeth can be put into more ideal placement with treatments such as retainers and braces. You can get porcelain versions that are harder to see and notice than metal ones. If you really want to keep your dental work inconspicuous, your best bet is a clear tray-based system such as Invisalign®. Additional bite and jaw problems such as TMD can be fixed with simple oral appliances such as splints, which move the jaw into good alignment or keep you from grinding your teeth.

Dr. Gotun is prepared to address the aesthetic needs of your smile makeover in Austin, Texas with procedures such as laser tissue removal, tooth whitening, composite bonding and veneers. These treatments can make the gums less prominent, fill nooks and crannies in the teeth, eliminate gaps, give the teeth a truly uniform size and shape and give your smile a radiant look.

Get Back Your Smile and Be Confident

For full mouth restorations in Austin, Texas, Dr. Gotun is one of the most experienced and trusted dentists you can find. To get your customized treatment in a state-of-the-art, comfortable environment, call (512) 277-5140, or submit your appointment request through our online form.

Restore Your Gum Health with Laser Dentistry

Your gums are the foundation for healthy teeth. Because correcting periodontal problems are so important, Dr. Tor Gotun is always eager to find and use tools and methods that will best assist his patients. One of the latest advanced in gum treatment is dental lasers – Dr. Gotun is happy to use this technology to help his patients have healthy teeth and gums.

How Periodontal Disease Develops

In the battle for good oral health, your biggest enemy–the heart of periodontal disease–is bacteria. Failing to brush and floss regularly leaves these microorganisms to grow and spread, and eventually, they form a sticky film known as plaque. Plaque, in turn, can harden into calculus as it absorbs minerals in your saliva. Through this process, plaque tends to build up right where the tooth and gums meet. The plaque irritates the gum tissue, which becomes swollen, bleeds easily and fails to keep a good seal around the tooth. Bacteria find their way down into the pockets that develop as the gum tissue separates from the teeth, and plaque and calculus start to build up below the gum line. If the disease continues, toxins from the bacteria can start to destroy both gum and bone tissue, compromising the stability of your teeth.

How Lasers Fight Back

Dental lasers can whip your gums back to health by supplementing mechanical scaling and root planing. This procedure is essentially a deep cleaning for both the teeth and gums, getting all the way down to the root area. Dr. Gotun can use the laser to help remove plaque and calculus from both above and below the gum line. Dental lasers also can smooth out the rough areas you have on your root surfaces so that the bacteria can’t cling to them and build up as easily.

Some dental lasers are effective at reducing the number of bacteria in dental pockets after we finish mechanical root planing and scaling.

Lasers are also helpful in removing gum tissue through a procedure called gingivectomy. This treatment surgically removes diseased gum tissue, when necessary, and eliminates the pockets that have formed in the early stages of periodontal disease. With the pocket gone, bacteria no longer can hide and build up in that area, so the gums can heal.

Make Your Gums Healthy: Schedule Your Laser Dentistry Appointment!

For effective laser dentistry in Austin, Texas call Dr. Gotun at (512) 277-5140 or use our appointment request form to schedule your consultation now!