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How Is a Tooth Extraction Performed?

Our goal is to help you create a beautiful, healthy smile. Sometimes this means that we’ll need to remove a tooth or two so we can treat and improve your smile. What happens during a tooth extraction? Here’s what to expect from your procedure.

Why Are Tooth Extractions Needed?

Teeth are valuable and whenever possible, your dentist will work to repair your teeth using fillings, crowns, and other treatment options. Some teeth are too damaged to repair and need to be removed. We also remove teeth to prevent future problems or if they are infected. When a tooth needs to come out, we perform a tooth extraction.

What Happens During a Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is a relatively straightforward procedure. Here’s what may happen when you come into see us for tooth removal.

  • Detailed Examination- Before an extraction, we make sure that removal is necessary. We’ll take x-rays of the area to assess the condition of your teeth. These x-rays also help us to spot potential complications, like nerves or bone disease, before the procedure.
  • Create a Surgical Plan- We want your extraction to be as easy as possible. We’ll work with you to create a surgical plan. We try to remove as many teeth as possible during a single appointment to minimize your downtime. Tooth extractions can be performed using local anesthetics, IV sedation, general anesthesia, etc., depending on your needs, your pain tolerance, and your anxiety levels.
  • Tooth Extraction- We perform most extractions in our offices and patients return home to recover. During the procedure you may feel pressure, but you won’t experience pain. We have a variety of pain relief options available to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.

Simple vs. Surgical Extraction

Some tooth extractions are relatively easy. Others are very complex. We can give you a better idea of what to expect from your extraction after an examination and x-rays.

  • Simple Extraction- A simple extraction is performed on a tooth that is fully erupted in the mouth. The tooth is loosened and then pulled out using forceps. Many times this procedure can be performed by a regular dentist, without the need for oral surgery.
  • Surgical Extraction- Surgical extractions are needed when teeth are broken off or trapped within the bone. A small cut is made on the gums and the tooth is removed. We may need to remove some of the bone surrounding the tooth or may need to break the tooth up before removing it. Stitches may be required to hold the gums closed during recovery.

 

Call Hill Country Oral Surgery today and schedule your tooth extraction consultation.

Gum Grafting Recovery

Gum grafting sounds like an intimidating procedure, but in reality, the name sounds scarier than the procedure and recovery actually are. The surgery itself is over quickly and recovery takes a couple of weeks. If you need gum grafting, come see us and learn about your options. Gum grafting is an important process and can improve your oral health. This guide will help you prepare for the recovery process.

How Painful Is Gum Grafting Recovery?

Your recovery experience after gum grafting will vary, depending on the specifics of your procedure. Gum grafts can be performed with tissue harvested from your body, typically taken from the palate, with gum tissue from the area needing treatment, or with donor tissues. The extent of your procedure and the type of tissues used will impact your comfort levels during recovery. The good news is, we have many options available for pain management and will help you create a plan to ensure your recovery is as pleasant as possible.

The mouth heals quickly and most patients feel better in just a few days. After an examination, we can give you a better estimation of downtime and an expected recovery timeline. Come see us!

Oral Care During Gum Grafting Recovery

Special attention to your oral health can help you to avoid infections and complications after gum grafting. We’ll give you specific recovery instructions after your procedure, but here are a few recovery guidelines to keep in mind as you prepare for your procedure:

  • Let the Tissues Heal– Brushing and flossing are important, but after gum grafting, you’ll want to skip these activities for a few days in the treated areas. Don’t disturb the transplanted tissues and give them time to heal.
  • Keep Clean with Rinses- We often use oral rinses to keep the mouth clean and to minimize plaque development after gum grafting surgery. Rinse your mouth as directed using the special solutions and instructions we provide.
  • Limit Physical Activity- You may need to limit your physical activity after gum grafting surgery for a few days. Avoid strenuous activities until you’ve been cleared by your doctor. You may need to take a couple of days off from work while you heal.

What Foods Should I Eat After Gum Grafting?

A soft, easy to eat diet is important during the healing process. Avoid hot (temperature) and spicy foods. Focus on soft foods like:

  • Eggs
  • Pasta
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Soups

Cool any hot foods to a cool, comfortable temperature before eating. We’ll let you know when you can safely resume your regular diet.

Gum grafting may sound scary but can save your teeth and improve your smile. Let us help you restore your mouth to prime dental health. Call today and schedule a consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

Common Questions About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth are the last four teeth to erupt into the mouth. They grow in the back of the mouth, often coming in during the late teens or early twenties. Unfortunately, many people don’t have room for them and need their wisdom teeth removed. This guide will answer some common questions about wisdom teeth removal.

When Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Many people choose wisdom tooth removal between the ages of 15-20. At this age, your teeth may not be fully erupted, but wisdom tooth removal is often easiest before the wisdom teeth are fully developed. Some patients may need extraction at an earlier age to avoid damage to the surrounding teeth.  The best way to determine the timing of your wisdom tooth removal, or to determine if removal is needed, is to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. After an oral examination and x-rays, we can help you decide if and when wisdom tooth removal is needed.

If you have room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth and can keep them clean, they may not need to be removed.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth are often malpositioned due to space constraints. The teeth may be unable to fully erupt or may be growing at an angle, pressing up against the neighboring teeth. An oral surgeon can help you determine if your wisdom teeth are causing problems or if they are likely to cause problems in the future. Here are a few reasons you may need to consider wisdom tooth removal.

  • Jaw Damage– Cysts can develop around new teeth. If left untreated, they can cause permanent nerve and jaw damage.
  • Sinus Issues- Some patients with wisdom tooth issues experience sinus pain.
  • Damage to Other Teeth– Wisdom teeth can cause alignment problems with other teeth. Cavities and decay on the wisdom teeth can spread to the surrounding teeth.
  • Cavities- Many patients are unable to properly clean their wisdom teeth, leading to cavities and tooth decay.

What Happens During Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Your wisdom tooth removal will be customized to your unique needs. During your consultation, we’ll discuss your individual situation and make plans for appropriate pain relief, sedation (if desired), etc. We typically remove all four wisdom teeth at once, minimizing your downtime and inconvenience. Come see us and we’ll create a treatment plan together.

What Is Recovery Like After Wisdom Tooth Removal?

Recovery times vary after wisdom tooth removal, often depending on the difficulty of your extraction.  Plan on at least three days of downtime with prescription pain relief. Take it easy and get plenty of rest during the first few days. Most patients are sore for about a week, but able to resume regular activities. Complicated removals may require a longer period of downtime.

Not all patients need wisdom tooth removal, but if you do, we’re ready to help. Call our offices today and schedule your consultation.

Do I Need Bone Grafting Before Dental Implants?

Restore your beautiful smile with dental implants. If you’re missing teeth or have undergone severe dental trauma, dental implants can help you get your smile back. We often talk with patients that are interested in implants, but a bit apprehensive about the process, especially the potential for a needed bone graft. Here’s what you need to know about dental implants and bone grafting. Contact our offices and schedule a consultation to get personalized advice.

Do All Dental Implant Patients Need a Bone Graft?

Some patients will need a bone graft before dental implants and some will not. When teeth are missing or removed, the supporting bone begins to atrophy (or shrink). Dental implants are secured into the supporting bone. For the implant to hold up to the forces that teeth face, like biting and chewing, we need to use a sufficiently sized titanium screw. If the bone has atrophied too much, we won’t be able to place an implant that will hold up over time. Additionally, the bone provides the support for gum tissue. If the bone has atrophied, your gum line contours will not look natural.

In patients with significant bone atrophy, we can restore the supporting bone using bone grafting. During your consultation, we can help you determine if bone grafting is needed for successful dental implants. The longer your tooth has been missing, the more likely you are to need bone grafting.

Bone grafting may sound intimidating, but we find the results far outweigh the inconvenience. Bone grafting helps us to truly restore your smile and to create a natural look using dental implants.

Where Do You Get the Bone for a Bone Graft?

We obtain the needed bone for bone grafting from either a donor source or by harvesting your own bone.

  • Donor Bone– Donor bone, either from a bovine (cow) or human donor source, can be used for many patients. This bone is obtained from a tissue bank and is sterilized and specially processed before it is used. The advantage of using donor bone is that we don’t need to create a second surgical site on your body. This can make recovery easier.
  • Your Own Bone- For patients needing extensive reconstruction, harvested bone from your own body generally works best. This bone can be obtained with minimal risk and without cosmetic deformity.

Many patients feel intimidated by the possibility of bone grafting, but don’t let that stop you from achieving a beautiful smile. We regularly perform bone grafting with excellent results. If you have concerns, come see us. We can help you better understand the process and answer any questions you may have. Call us today and schedule your consultation.

Hill Country Oral Surgery Is One of the First Practices to Use Exparel® in Austin, Texas

Are you worried about pain after oral surgery? Many patients put off needed oral surgeries due to fear of pain. We are excited to minimize our patients’ pain and narcotic medication use after oral surgery with Exparel®. Get the procedures you need today. With Exparel®, pain isn’t going to be a problem.

What Is Exparel®?

Exparel® is a non-narcotic, injectable pain management option. It relieves pain in a specific, focused area, providing results for up to 3 days after surgery. We’ll inject the solution before your procedure and you’ll feel it start to work immediately. It will continue to numb the surgical site for the next 2-3 days. Often, no other pain relief is needed. We are one of the first oral surgery practices to offer Exparel® in Austin, Tx.

What Are the Benefits of Exparel®?

Exparel® has many benefits including:

  • Narcotic-free
  • Avoid the side effects of narcotic pain relief including nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • No risk of abuse or addiction to the patient
  • No pain after surgery
  • No need to remember to take pain medication

Exparel® is especially helpful to patients at risk for narcotic abuse. Finally, we have more than one option available for pain management. We’ll help you decide if Exparel® or traditional narcotic pain relief is the best option for you.

Can Exparel® Be Used with All Oral Surgery Procedures?

Exparel® is a useful option for many of our oral surgery procedures. It can be used to keep you pain free after:

We’ll help you determine if Exparel® is the right fit for your procedure.

Don’t let the fear of pain stop you from pursuing your needed dental treatments. We’ll help you alleviate your fears and can provide a pain-free surgical experience. Contact us today and ask for more information about Exparel®.

Tips for Recovering from Oral Surgery in the Summer

Are you getting dental implants or wisdom tooth removal this summer? If you are, keep reading. This guide will help you recover successfully this summer. Dental surgery isn’t always fun, but our goal is to make the process as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Take Advantage of Extra Time Off

Summer is a popular time for oral surgery. Students needing wisdom tooth removal often use their summer break to schedule the procedure. If you’re lucky enough to have time off in the summer, schedule any needed oral surgeries. Use the extra time to fully recovery, without worrying about missed classes or work.

Stay Indoors

Hot summer weather is hard on a body that needs to heal. After your surgery, recover in a cool, comfortable area. You’ll heal quickly, but for those first few days, stay indoors as much as possible.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Proper hydration can be difficult during the summer. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after surgery. You’ll know you’re getting enough liquids if your urine is close to clear.

Drinking sufficient liquid is important after surgery, but we have one big caution as you hydrate. Avoid using a straw if you’ve had a tooth extraction. This can lead to a painful condition known as dry socket, a condition that occurs when the blood clot becomes dislodged too early.

Focus on Hygiene

We’ll give you detailed instructions on proper dental hygiene after your procedure. These instructions will vary, depending on the procedure you’ve received and may include mouth rinses, brushing protocols, etc. Follow these instructions to prevent complications like infection, tooth or implant staining, etc.

Eat Soft Foods

Hot dogs and potato chips may be the official foods of summer, but aren’t the best choices right after oral surgery. For the few days, enjoy a diet of soft foods including mashed potatoes, soups, and pasta. Try not to chew over the surgical site for a week. Be careful with food temperatures to avoid burning yourself.

Take advantage of the break from school and/or summer vacations to schedule your oral surgery. Call today and schedule a consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

5 Places to go for Wellness + Balance in Austin

Everybody is in need of some TLC every now and then, which is why Hill Country Oral Surgery put together this list of 5 places in Austin where you can go to strengthen your overall health and wellness! Whether you’re looking for a studio to workout your frustrations or a place where you can relax and unwind, this list offers a variety of places for you to do so! Check out the full list below to find out all the services these places have to offer:

  1. Milk + Honey Spa is the perfect escape for when you’re in need of pampering and relaxation with its spa treatments and healing therapies.
  2. Serasana is a wellness center that helps you manage stress and pain with yoga, massage, acupuncture, and a tea bar.
  3. Yoga Yoga is a boutique studio that approaches yoga as a journey of self-discovery and teaches everything from Hatha to Vinyasa.
  4. Black Swan Yoga is a yoga community that features custom artwork and curated music and encourages you to express yourself freely.
  5. Kor180 is a Pilates and indoor cycling studio that sculpts your body using cardio and high-intensity interval training.

5 Places to go for Wellness + Balance in Austin

My tooth was knocked out! What do I do now?

 

No matter how careful we are with our teeth—accidents happen. A tooth that’s been knocked out, also known as avulsed tooth, can be saved and re-implanted back. However, it still depends on how the tooth is treated while it is outside the mouth. Acting quickly and wisely is the key to saving an avulsed tooth.

What You Can Do

When the tooth gets knocked out, the most important step is to remain calm — do not panic. Though the nerves and supporting tissues are damaged during tooth avulsion, a root canal procedure can bring the tooth back to its place. Rushing to the dentist as soon as possible will increase the chances of saving a tooth. It is also important to avoid damaging the tooth even more. The following are the steps that you can take to help you preserve an avulsed tooth:

  • Try not to touch the root of the tooth—the end of the tooth that was attached to the gums. It may worsen the damage.
  • If the tooth gets dirty, you can wash it using milk while holding it by its crown. If there’s no milk, you can rinse it with water. Remember not to dry it with a cloth or any fabric.
  • Always keep the tooth moist. You can do this by filling a glass with milk, and putting the tooth inside. If there’s no milk, you can keep it in your mouth, between your cheek. However, a child may not be able to this without swallowing the tooth. For children, you may ask the child to spit an amount of saliva in a glass, where the tooth can be placed. If none of these are possible, you can place the tooth in a glass of water.
  • Try to put the tooth back into its socket. There are many instances that the tooth will slip back to its place without you needing to put pressure on it. Make sure it is facing the right way, but never force it back in its socket. If the tooth can’t slip back to its location, the best thing to do is to keep it moist.

What the Oral Surgeon Can Do

If the tooth is still in a good condition, the oral surgeon might be able to put it back in its socket. The procedure can be easy or complicated depending on how damaged the tooth is. After examining the tooth and performing an X-ray to assess the condition of the tooth, the oral surgeon may attach the avulsed tooth next to healthy teeth. This would allow proper support so your tooth can deal. The oral surgeon will then decide how long the splint should remain until the tooth is fully healed. Usually, if the tooth is not damaged, it will take about six to eight weeks until it is repaired. The more damaged the area is, the longer it will take for its full restoration.

Get Optimal Oral Health!

Your teeth need proper care. If you or someone you know have an avulsed tooth, do the steps above and rush them quickly to our clinic. Achieve a more confident smile by reaching out to Hill Country Oral Surgery for your oral health needs.

Can I really have “Teeth in a Day”?

You may have heard about Teeth in a Day and thought: could it really be possible? We can’t blame you for being skeptical, but it’s true: today’s technology makes it possible to undergo the restoration of a full set of teeth within a single day. The secret behind this remarkable procedure? The latest in dental implant technology.

How Is It Possible?

Before, more dental implants were needed to reconstruct a single jaw. However, new dental materials available today allow the restoration of an entire arch of teeth using fewer implants. During the Teeth in a Day procedure, multiple titanium dental implants are implanted to support an entire arch of teeth, and then a set of prosthetic teeth are fixed to the implants. Usually, a procedure called All-On- 4 is performed for Teeth in a Day. All-On- 4 uses a minimum of 4 dental implants to support the whole arch of teeth. However, the number of dental implants needed will still vary in the case of each patient.

Teeth in a Day Procedure

After your consultation and a CT scan, our highly-skilled and well-experienced experts will create a template from your teeth to serve as a temporary implant guide for your surgery.

The Teeth in a Day procedure is performed by a team consisting of a surgeon, a restorative dentist, and sometimes a prosthodontist (a dentist that specializes in complex dental restorations). They will work together to assess the best dental template that is will work best for aesthetics and function.

A follow up checkup will be required the next day to assess the performance of the temporary teeth for chewing, biting, and aesthetics.

If the temporary teeth deliver a beautiful, natural, and a comfortable smile, and also gives you the freedom and confidence to laugh and eat the food you want, it will be worn for 4-6 months until the final bridge is made.

Get an Instantly More Beautiful You

The All-On- 4 procedure doesn’t just result in a confident and beautiful smile, it can also make you look younger.

Missing teeth can cause the underlying bone to deteriorate. Loss of bone can lead to your cheeks appearing sunken, making you look older than you are. The new set of beautiful replacement teeth will support your cheeks once again.

Teeth in a Day Could Be the Procedure for You!

You can have a new set of teeth that is more comfortable and efficient than dentures. Get a whole new smile within just a day. Find out if the Teeth in a Day procedure is the treatment for your needs by contacting Hill Country Oral Surgery.

What do Facial Trauma Specialists do?

 

A facial injury can do more than physical damage: it can affect your daily life and bring about emotional trauma. If you’re seeking help for repairing facial trauma, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than a facial trauma specialist. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our facial trauma experts strive to help patients heal their facial trauma and regain their self-confidence and sense of normalcy.

What Is a Facial Trauma Specialist?

Facial trauma specialists are surgeons who specialize on treating and fixing injuries of the face. Medical professionals like oral and maxillofacial surgeons are considered to be facial trauma specialists. A maxillofacial, or facial, trauma can involve soft tissue injuries like burns, bruises, nasal fractures, fractures of the jaw, and eye injuries. Facial trauma specialists are specifically trained and are uniquely qualified to manage such injuries. These experts don’t just consider how the fractures and physical damages will be treated, but they also use cosmetic skill and artistry to make the results as natural and aesthetically pleasing as possible. Facial trauma specialists typically treat the following injuries:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Intra oral lacerations
  • Avulsed (knocked out) teeth
  • Fractured facial bones (cheek, nose or eye socket)
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower jaw)

Facial Trauma Specialist Emergency Care Responsibilities

Though facial trauma is unlikely fatal, in several cases it can be deadly. During an emergency care, facial trauma specialists look at many factors to assure the patient’s safety. The most important elements to consider once the patient has been brought to the emergency room is the status of the airways, cervical spine, and blood circulation.

Maxillofacial injuries are usually complicated by a compromised airway. Location of the injury, the severity of the damage, the type of damage, and the patient’s condition (i.e. if he’s intoxicated with drug or alcohol) are several factors that may cause an obstruction in the air passage. Because a blocked airway can be fatal to the patient, the facial trauma specialist secures the patient’s airway condition to guarantee his safety.

The proximity of the cervical spine to the facial injury must be considered in the event of a maxillofacial trauma. From 1%-10% in all facial trauma scenario, the spine is affected, which typically results to more serious damages in health. The facial trauma specialist will assess the patient, depending if he is awake or unconscious, and perform a series of tests to determine if the spine is affected by the injury.

After addressing breathing problems, the facial trauma specialist will look for signs of damage in the circulatory system. The face has a large blood supply, which when damaged can result to a fatal hemorrhage. Bleeding must be controlled if the facial trauma causes excessive blood loss. Facial trauma specialists are well-trained to specifically manage these emergency scenarios.

Facial Trauma Specialist Acute Treatment Responsibilities

Acute treatment for facial trauma is usually done within 72 hours after the incident. This is a crucial stage of treatment. Necessary steps must be performed to prevent muscle atrophy. During the acute treatment, airway and hemorrhage issues are as well addressed. Facial trauma specialists perform necessary treatments to prevent the aggravation of infection, defect in appearance, and other life-threatening risks.

Facial Trauma Specialist Long-Term Reconstruction Responsibilities

Facial trauma reconstruction is also one of the responsibilities of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Long-term reconstruction may involve multiple aesthetic surgeries to reduce the damage of the facial injury. After the patient’s health has been addressed, a series of reconstructive surgeries may be recommended depending on the severity of the facial damage.

Facial Trauma Specialist Rehabilitation Responsibilities

Rehabilitation of maxillofacial trauma patients is another responsibility of a facial trauma expert. Damages brought by a facial trauma may cause impairments to facial tissues and muscles. These damages may lead to paralyzed facial movements and the inability to perform normal tasks. Prosthetics may be suggested as part of the rehabilitation. The facial trauma specialist will perform and suggest specific medical therapies to restore motor function like chewing and speech and to help the patient achieve normal oro-facial appearance.

Learn More About What a Facial Trauma Specialist Can Do

Our highly-trained, and well-experienced facial trauma specialists always give their best to every patient who needs medical care after a facial trauma. Aside from their physical treatments, our surgeons also help patients recover their self-confidence and mental strength. Find out more about what our facial trauma specialists can do. Reach out to Hill Country Oral Surgery today!