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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dry Sockets

We strive at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group to make sure our patients understand their post-op instructions. A dry socket is no fun. However, if it does occur, we want patients to know we can treat it.


A dry socket occurs when the blood clot which covered the extraction site dissolves or falls away prematurely. This will leave the socket vulnerable to painfully drying out and becoming infected. If you can see the bone at the bottom of the socket, the blood clot failed to form or has fallen away. We’ll need to confirm that a dry socket is the source of your pain by examining it, at which point we can provide a painkiller and clean the socket with a vacuum. We’ll use a medicated wound dressing to cover the extraction site and replace the dressing every few days until it is healed. Patients are also typically provided with antibiotics to fight or prevent infection.


Dry sockets are more likely to form if the extraction was complicated, and we want our patients to be on the lookout for them so they can seek treatment right away. Smoking and taking birth control put patients at higher risk of disrupting their blood clots, and we always recommend patients avoid sucking through straws after getting extractions and that they rinse their mouths gently with saltwater.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.


 

Friday, May 12, 2017

What to Do if You Lose a Permanent Tooth

The Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group specializes in replacing lost teeth, but in some cases, it is possible to save them. If a person’s tooth has been knocked out but is still intact, it is imperative that they see a dentist as quickly as possible and follow this guide.


Only hold the tooth by the crown (the part that’s not the root). The soft tissue surrounding the root is delicate and easily rubbed off. Rinse the tooth with saltwater or milk, and, if possible, put it back in its socket. Biting down on gauze or a cotton ball can help keep a tooth from the upper jaw in place. If the tooth cannot be reinserted or you are unsure which way it is supposed to face (this may not immediately be obvious with molars to a layperson), the tooth should be held in the patient’s cheek. Failing that, it should be held in a container filled with saltwater or milk.


This advice assumes a first-aid kit stocked for dental emergencies is not immediately available. The American Dental Association does recommend cleaning and transport items for lost teeth, which are best to use, if convenient. It also assumes that the tooth was a permanent, natural one. Baby teeth should not be replaced, as they may disrupt the growth of other teeth, but children will be given a spacer to keep the gap open for when the permanent tooth erupts. Implants cannot be replaced until the patient’s jaw bone has healed, at which point the patient will be given a different implant. Lastly, while a tooth’s odds of being saved are best if it is treated within an hour of being knocked out, patients should not prioritize it over injuries which need to be treated in an emergency room.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.


 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Crowns

Dental crowns are placed like a little cap on top of a tooth.  Crowns are used to protect teeth that are cracked, chipped, stained or so decayed that a filling wouldn’t restore the tooth up to strength.  Your dentist can tell you if a cap is the right solution for a decayed or damaged tooth.


When you need a crown, it can typically be completed within three appointments. First, your dentist will drill out any remaining decay and may need to perform minor contouring the existing tooth to ensure the crown will fit perfectly over it.  An impression is then taken of the tooth to use as a mold for the crown, and the crown is manufactured in a dental lab. Your dentist may have temporary crowns available to wear while you wait for your custom crown.


On your final visit, the crown is bonded over the top of the tooth and should blend in with the surrounding teeth. Once the crown is placed it should be cared for like your own tooth. If you think anyone in your family would benefit from a dental crown please contact us.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Scaling and Root Planing

In its most advanced stages, gum disease can lead to gum recession and even tooth loss.  Dr. Frederick Shaw, DDS and the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group want to help you make sure it never gets to that stage.  When sticky bacteria called plaque builds up on a tooth, the gum starts to pull away from the tooth and form a pocket around the buildup.  This only leads to more gum recession.  Scaling and root planing are used to treat this buildup and prevent the later stages of gum disease.


Scaling and root planning are two parts of a deep cleaning procedure your dentist can perform to help repair gums. The procedure begins with scaling, the process of removing plaque from the surface of your teeth all the way down to your gums. This is followed by root planing, which involves minor contouring to smooth the surface of a tooth near the root.  Once the plaque has been removed and the tooth root has been smoothed, the gums that have pulled away have a clean, smooth surface to reattach to.   Local anesthetic is used during this procedure, and your dentist may recommend completing the treatment over a series of appointments. 


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Why are Wisdom Teeth Extracted

It’s rare that patients hear about wisdom teeth in any context outside of their extraction, and people may naturally wonder why that is. Since the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group is experienced in tooth extractions and often handles complicated cases, we thought we’d explain why wisdom teeth are so often removed.


The third and largest set of molars, wisdom teeth are the last to erupt. Unfortunately, they usually do so after a person’s face has settled into its adult form and their skull bones have fused together, leaving the wisdom teeth without room to erupt fully. However, in their attempt to push through the gum line, they often shove other teeth out of place and pose a threat to orthodontic work the patient has already undergone.


In simple cases, the patient will be numbed during extraction and the only cutting necessary will be to the tooth itself. In cases where a large amount of the tooth is trapped below the gum line, it may be necessary for the patient to be sedated while the incisions are made. Standard post-extraction care will apply: patients should avoid using straws until they have fully healed and may need to return to have stitches removed.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.


 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What is Periodontal Splinting?

When teeth are so badly damaged that they need to be extracted, we at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group have a number of removable and permanent replacements for them. But what about when teeth are loose enough to cause problems, but not bad enough to justify replacements? A middle ground procedure we offer is periodontal splinting, also known as teeth binding.


An important note about teeth binding is that it is a means of distributing bite force across numerous teeth, not actually a way of tying teeth together. When binding the front teeth, we dip a porous fiber into resin and cement it to the back of the incisors. In the past, the resin and cement created a large and intrusive ridge, but with modern technology, the splint is much less annoying while remaining just as strong. During the application process, the teeth will be etched with acid, in the same way they are when orthodontic brackets are applied, in order to give them more surface area and a stronger grip. Gaps between the teeth will be temporarily filled with a gel to shield the gums.


Splinting won’t repair any damage that has been done to the teeth or the gums, but it does relieve the demand on individual loose teeth while the patient is biting.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit FrederickShawDDS.com and fill out a contact form.


 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cancer and Oral Health

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than one-third of all cancer patients develop complications that affect the mouth. These effects can range from mild to severe and may include mouth sores, dry mouth, and/or sensitive gums. Maintaining your mouth before, during, and after cancer treatment could lessen these side effects, so it’s important to make Dr. Fredrick Shaw of Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group part of your cancer care team.


Dental care may understandably be the last thing on a patient’s mind, but it’s important to pay attention to basic oral health so that the condition of your mouth doesn’t hinder treatment. Patients undergoing chemotherapy should be aware that it can affect the teeth, gums, salivary glands, and other oral tissues. Though cancer treatment side effects vary from patient to patient, you should always keep your mouth extra clean by carefully brushing with a soft-bristled brush and mild-tasting fluoride toothpaste after every meal. Depending on the side effects the patient experiences, Dr. Fredrick Shaw can develop a treatment plan to make this process as comfortable as possible.


If you have questions regarding oral health, please give us a call. To learn more about Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin, TX, call us at 512-451-7491 or visit our website, www.fredrickshawdds.com