Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

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

Archive for Oral Surgery

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:


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.


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.

Mini Dental Implants

If you use dentures but still feel self-conscious about the state of your smile, dental implants are proven to work as an alternative that function just as well as regular teeth. But if you’re concerned that the regular implant procedure is too invasive or costly, or if you’re wary of bone grafting procedures that may be needed in your case, you may want to consider mini dental implants, which offer their own unique benefits

All In the Name

Dental implants have been known to work wonders but not all patients qualify, usually due to the depleted bone volume. Fortunately mini dental implants can serve as an alternative in those cases, since they can be applied to tissue of varying strength and quality. Like their larger counterparts, mini implants are made of titanium, which provides the jawbone with a strong foundation. And since these implants, as the name suggests, are smaller, the procedure itself is less invasive and can even be a one-day appointment.

Benefits of Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants have their own unique perks, which include but are not limited to:

• Less expensive than conventional implants
• Existing dentures can be retrofitted to fit minis
• No bone grafting or sutures required
• Supports dentures, bridges, fixed crowns

Though mini dental implants are considered an alternative to regular implants, they share the same overall benefits:

• Healthy, natural looking smile
• Comfortable and more efficient chewing, leading to better digestion
• Improved self-esteem, which may have been affected by tooth loss
• Lasting results, with proper care

Making the Right Choice

If you’ve been researching dental implants and are not sure if they’re a right fit, take comfort in knowing that there are many ways to improve your smile. Remember – whether you go with regular or mini dental implants, it’s important to get those vacant spots in your smile filled for a variety of reasons.

Dr. Gotun is well versed in implant dentistry and offers mini implants as a means to secure full dentures. If you’re worried that you aren’t a candidate for full-sized implants, or if you’ve been turned down by another dental office, schedule an appointment with Austin Smile Creations to see how we can help. We are committed to providing the best in implant dentistry with flexible treatment options.

When You May Need Dental Surgery

Many oral health problems, when caught early, can be treated without the need for surgical intervention. There are other times, however, when an oral health problem has advanced or a dental emergency causes a need for oral surgery.

Many oral surgeries are less complex and invasive than some patients believe and are often essential in restoring your health and oral function.  You may need oral surgery for any of the following:

Extracting a tooth: Simple extractions, such as removing a damaged tooth, often don’t require oral surgery. However, more complex cases – like with impacted wisdom teeth – do mean surgical intervention. In the case of tooth impaction, surgery is needed to safely remove the tooth and prevent damage to healthy, surrounding teeth.

Replacing a tooth: When a permanent tooth has been removed because of extensive decay, or has been knocked out in an accident, replacing it is the best choice for your health. Many patients with missing teeth are now opting for dental implants, which are whole replacement teeth and include a new root and crown. The process for getting an implant involves surgically placing the new tooth root, which makes your new tooth or teeth much stronger than most other prosthetics.

Treating gum disease:  Periodontal surgery is needed when a patient’s case of gum disease has progressed and is posing a threat to the health of their teeth. For patients with deep pockets of bacteria, where the gum tissue is pulling back from the teeth, pocket reduction surgery may be recommended. Pocket reduction surgery helps clean bacteria from very deep gum pockets, and helps gum tissue re-adhere to teeth in a healthy way.

Supporting other dental treatments:  When you need restorative dental care, you may also need some pre-treatments to support best outcomes. For certain restorations, such as dental implants and fixed bridges, patients will need healthy and dense supporting tissue to accommodate treatment, which is where oral surgery can help. Patients who have been missing teeth for some time may have lower jaw bone density. In these cases, a bone graft helps build-up healthy bone so your implant can be placed securely or so you can receive a fixed dental bridge.

At Austin Smile Creations, we’re able to provide experienced oral surgery care for patients in need of wisdom teeth extractions, dental implant placement, or any necessary pre-treatments, like bone grafting. We offer advanced oral surgery with the latest techniques, including PRP and PRGF, as well as Low Level Laser Therapy, which makes these procedures much easier, speeds up healing, and eliminates pain. Contact our office today for more information on the oral surgery treatments we provide.

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.