Implants or Fixed Bridge? What Is Your Best Option?

Missing teeth? Let’s restore your smile. The two primary options for treating missing teeth are implants and dental bridges. Which option is best for you? Keep reading to learn about your options for tooth replacement. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we can restore your smile and your confidence.

We’re here to offer personalized advice. Call us to schedule a consultation at our Austin, TX oral surgery practice.

What is a Fixed Bridge?

A dental bridge replaces a missing tooth, or series of missing teeth. It bridges the gap between missing teeth and healthy teeth, using the surrounding teeth as a support. A bridge is made up of two outer crowns that cover the supportive teeth, also called abutment teeth, and one or more false teeth in between. Once in place, a dental bridge functions much like natural teeth, allowing patients to chew and smile with confidence.

Although bridges generally use your natural teeth for support, they can also be used in conjunction with dental implants. Our All-On-4 full arch dental rehabilitation system combines implants with dental bridges to restore both function and beauty to a full arch of missing teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are another replacement option for missing teeth. They consist of a titanium screw, an abutment, and a crown (the part of the implant that looks like a tooth). Implants are implanted into the jaw. Once you’re fully healed, they function much like a natural tooth. Like a bridge, implants also maintain the bone and jaw structure by providing the necessary force to keep the jawbone healthy.  We often perform extractions before placing a dental implant to remove severely damaged or decaying teeth.

Dental implants can replace a single tooth or an entire smile, depending on your needs. Patients with dental implants can eat and chew normally. Implants are also cared for in the same manner as natural teeth. You’ll brush, floss, and visit the dentist for cleanings.

Implants can last for a lifetime if they are properly placed and cared for. They are comfortable, stable, and have no loose parts.

Dental Implants vs. Fixed Bridge: Which Option Is Best for Me?

If you want to restore your smile, start your journey with a consultation at our Austin, TX oral surgery practice. Our trained oral surgeons will help you explore your options to determine if dental implants or a bridge is the best fit to replace your missing teeth.

Each option has benefits. Understanding the unique positive benefits of each treatment can help you choose the right tooth restoration option for you.

The benefits of dental implants include:

  • As easy to clean as a natural tooth
  • Longer lasting than a bridge, often offering lifelong tooth replacement
  • Does not require healthy surrounding teeth for effective replacement

The benefits of a dental bridge include:

  • Lower initial cost
  • Can replace multiple missing teeth
  • No need for gum grafting if bone recession has occurred

Come in for an examination and we’ll talk about your best options for tooth replacement. Call us at 512-327-7233 to schedule an appointment.

 


The Most Common Causes of Tooth Loss Explained

If you want to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime, it’s important to understand the common causes of tooth loss. This will allow you to take preventive action to ensure your smile stays healthy. Top reasons for tooth loss are outlined below but be sure to contact your dentist if you have any questions or concerns. They can provide personalized advice for your oral health.

If you have lost a tooth, treatment options are available. Come to see us discuss dental implants, All-On-4 restorations, and other options. Your teeth are an integral part of your overall health and should be preserved when possible, but help is available for patients experiencing tooth loss.

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss has many causes, some avoidable and some out of your control. Some of the most common reasons for tooth loss include:

  • Trauma – Trauma can dislodge it from the jaw or damage a tooth beyond repair. If you experience dental trauma, call your dentist right away. Sometimes teeth can be saved with prompt treatment.
  • Tooth Decay and Cavities – A small cavity doesn’t typically doesn’t mean the tooth must be extracted, but when small parts of decay go unchecked, bacteria can spread throughout the tooth, eventually affecting the dental pulp, roots of the tooth, and even underlying bone. This type of infection can be treated with a root canal in some cases, but not always. Severe infections may require tooth removal.
  • Gum Disease – Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. Gum disease is preventable with proper dental care and treatable once it develops. Severe periodontitis that compromises bone and causes significant tissue recession frequently creates tooth loss, however. Talk to your dentist about your options.
  • Impaction – Some teeth may be impacted and unable to fully erupt into the mouth. Wisdom teeth are commonly impacted, but canines are also affected. Early recognition of the problem and prompt treatment can mean that these teeth, or others, are extracted to make room in the smile for proper eruption.

The best way to prevent tooth loss is to see your dentist regularly. They can spot problems as they develop before they become serious. Don’t wait to go to the dentist until you have a problem. Remember, dental visits are largely preventive. If you have experienced bone loss as the result of a several dental infection or long missing teeth, our oral surgeon provides grafts and teeth replacement to meet your needs.

Keeping Your Mouth Healthy to Avoid Tooth Loss

Proper dental care and healthy habits can help you to prevent many causes of tooth loss. These tips will help you keep your pearly whites healthy and strong.

  • Don’t Smoke – Patients that smoke is more likely to experience tooth loss.
  • Brush and Floss Daily – Daily brushing is a must for a healthy smile. Brush twice a day and floss once per day; these are the minimums. Your dentist may recommend a different hygiene schedule or the use of certain dental tools, depending on your needs.
  • Visit Your Dentist – Regular dental visits are important. Ask your dentist how often you should come in for routine care, which includes dental X-rays and teeth polishing.
  • Address Dental Problems – As problems arise with your oral health, get treatment as soon as possible. This can minimize the risk of tooth loss and help to preserve the bone.
  • Live a Healthy Lifestyle – Diet and overall health affect the strength of your smile. Many diseases like diabetes or osteoporosis can negatively impact oral health. Likewise, a diet that includes sticky foods that adhere to teeth and foods with added sugar can impact the health of dental enamel and increase chances for decay and gum inflammation.

Hill Country Oral Surgery is proud to provide Austin, TX with tooth extraction, dental implants, and other oral surgery services. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

 


Jawbone Recession and How to Prevent It

Your jawbone serves as the foundation for your lower face and your smile. Without a strong jawbone, the shape of your face can change, teeth can shift, and other oral health complications can arise. What causes jawbone recession? What can you do to prevent it? Learn more about this common condition below.

At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we’re committed to improving the oral health of our patients in Austin, TX. Contact us at 512-327-7233 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about the oral surgery services we offer.

What Causes Jawbone Recession?

Jawbone deterioration occurs when the bone in the jaw begins to recede, become weaker, or deteriorate. It can happen to the upper jawbone, lower jawbone, or both. There are many reasons why this may occur including:

  • Tooth Extraction- The teeth play an important role in jawbone health. Each time you bite down, your teeth stimulate the jawbone, keeping it strong and healthy. Missing teeth, often from an extraction, leave bone unstimulated and in time, it can begin to degrade.
  • Trauma- Injury or trauma to the jaw can lead to deterioration, especially if teeth are knocked out or shifted in their positioning.
  • Dentures or Dental Bridges- Dentures and dental bridges provide cosmetic replacement for missing teeth, but they do not stimulate the bone. Many patients experience jaw deterioration in the areas under dentures or dental bridges.
  • Misaligned Bite- If your teeth aren’t properly aligned, your bite may not stimulate the jawbone sufficiently to maintain a healthy bone structure.
  • Gum Disease- Periodontal disease, including gingivitis, can destroy the support for your natural teeth by eroding the bone and tooth structure.
  • Disease- Tumors, bacterial infections, osteoporosis, and other diseases can lead to jaw deterioration and tooth loss.

Early action can help to slow and stop jawbone loss. If you’ve had a tooth removed or experience dental trauma, early treatment can save your jawbone’s structure. Proper dental care and early treatment of gum disease can also help to preserve your bone health.

A Strong Healthy Jaw Is Important… Here’s Why

The jaw plays a critical role in dental health and appearance. If you’re at risk for jawbone recession, get treatment now to avoid these common complications.

  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Increase in tongue size
  • Change in facial structure and appearance
  • Inability to support dental implants
  • Changes in fit or comfort to dental restorations
  • Shifting tooth positioning
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty eating and obtaining proper nutrition
  • Sinus expansion

The sooner you seek treatment, the less advanced the bone loss will be. We encourage patients to visit their dentist regularly and to seek out advanced dental care from an oral surgeon as needed.

Treating Jawbone Recession – What Are My Options?

If you have jawbone deterioration, treatment options are available. Learn more about your options below or call our offices for a consultation. During your consultation, we’ll provide personalized treatment advice, customized for your dental needs.

  • Dental Implants- When a tooth is removed, a dental implant can provide the biting forces necessary for dental health. We recommend placing an implant as soon as possible after extraction to minimize the need for bone grafting.
  • Bone Grafting- Bone grafting, using donor or harvested bone, can restore the structure of the jaw. This treatment is ideal for patients with significant bone loss. In many cases, bone grafting can create sufficient bone structure to support a dental implant.
  • Sinus Lift- Missing teeth can cause the sinus cavities to shift. A sinus lift puts things back into position, facilitating a better implant placement.

Regular dental care can also improve your oral and jaw health. Avoid smoking and live a healthy lifestyle. Your mouth is part of your body, and a healthier body means healthier teeth.

Restore and protect your jawbone health at Hill Country Oral Surgery, one of Austin’s top oral surgery practices.

 

 


Avoid Dry Sockets with These Tips

Dry socket is one of the most dreaded complications after tooth extraction. It can occur whenever a tooth is removed but is more common after wisdom tooth removal than other types of extractions. The good news is, with a few preventative tips, you can dramatically reduce your risk of this painful condition.

Dry socket is relatively common. Ten to twenty percent of patients develop this complication after a tooth extraction. It is more common in women and smokers. The risk of developing a dry socket shouldn’t keep you from pursuing necessary dental work. Leaving teeth in that need to come out carries its own set of risks. Our highly skilled oral surgeons will help you navigate your tooth removal, helping you to avoid complications for a pleasant recovery experience.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Socket?

When a tooth is removed, it leaves a hole in the bone, called a socket. A blood clot forms in this socket, protecting the bone and nerves underneath during the healing process. Dry socket occurs when this blood clot becomes dislodged too soon. This leaves the bone and nerves exposed. Dry socket is not an infection but does require treatment.

Common symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Pain that starts about two days after tooth extraction.
  • Severe pain, often radiating to the ear.
  • Bad breath.
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • White or dry appearance at the extraction site.

If you have any of these symptoms after wisdom tooth removal or any other extraction, call your oral surgeon and let them know. Treatment for dry socket can reduce the pain, severity, and duration of the symptoms.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

Taking a few simple steps after tooth extraction can dramatically reduce the risk of dry socket.

  • Good Oral Hygiene- Oral hygiene is always important, but even more so after an extraction when there is an open hole in the mouth. We’ll give you detailed instructions for cleaning your teeth, rinsing the extraction sites, and using oral rinses if needed.
  • Don’t Smoke- Smokers are at a significantly higher risk for dry socket. Avoid smoking for at least three days after your procedure.
  • Do Not Touch the Extraction Sites- Leave the extraction sites undisturbed. Do not touch them or brush them, or the adjacent teeth, with a toothbrush.
  • Do Not Use a Straw- Sucking on a straw can dislodge the blood clot. Do not use a straw for at least three days.
  • Focus on Soft Foods- Soft, easy to eat foods are best after a tooth extraction. Avoid foods that leave particles in the mouth, like rice or nuts.
  • Medications- Some medications can increase your risk of dry socket. Let us know about all medications that you’re taking, both over-the-counter and prescription.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have Dry Socket?

If you notice any signs of dry socket after a tooth extraction, call our offices and let us know. The condition is painful, but also very treatable. Most patients feel better within 1 hour of their treatment.

Dry socket is treated by gently irrigating the area to remove food particles and placing a medicated dressing into the socket. This procedure is repeated after 5-7 days. Most patients will require 2-3 dry socket treatments.

Learn more about wisdom tooth removal in Austin, TX by scheduling a consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery. Call today at 512-327-7233.

 



Good Habits to Adopt for a Beautiful, Healthy Smile

“Say cheese!” When it’s time to smile to do you show off those pearly whites with a big grin or do you close your lips tight and hide your teeth? At Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX we want our patients to be proud of their teeth, knowing that their smile is healthy and beautiful. We can’t achieve this goal on our own. If you want a stunning smile, you’ll have to put in the work.

How do you get your smile looking its best? A change of habits may be the key. Here are five good habits to adopt if you want a beautiful, healthy smile.

1. Visit the Dentist Regularly

Professional maintenance can make a big difference in your oral health. Visiting the dentist allows you to check in on your smile, finding potential problems while they’re still small. It is much easier and less invasive to fill a tiny cavity than to perform a root canal. Your dentist will also check for signs of oral cancers, measure gum and bone health, and provide treatment and home care recommendations.

A good dental visit typically includes a cleaning. This isn’t a substitute for at-home care. The hygienist will tackle your trouble spots, those areas where build-up has collected, in spite of your best home dental care efforts. A dental cleaning complements the brushing and flossing you do at home.

How often should you visit the dentist? Many dentists recommend at least two visits per year, more if you have gum disease or other dental health problems. Talk with your dentist to find out how often you need to go in.

2. Brush Your Teeth at Least 2x Daily

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes a session. These tips will help you master the art of brushing your teeth.

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Your toothbrush size should easily fit into your mouth and should allow you to easily reach all areas.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste, unless your dentist has instructed otherwise.
  • Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Brush all tooth surfaces including inner surfaces, outer surfaces, and chewing surfaces.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, sooner if the bristles fray. As your toothbrush wears out, it can’t clean your teeth as effectively.
  • Brush for at least two minutes, two times daily.

If you have questions about brushing your teeth, talk with your dentist.

3. Don’t Forget the Floss!

Nearly a third of U.S. adults never floss their teeth. Another third floss, but not every day. Daily flossing is a must for optimal oral health. Flossing is a type of interdental cleaning and helps keep your mouth healthy by removing build-up and bacteria from between the teeth and under the gumline. If you’re not sure how to properly floss, talk with your dentist for some tips and a demonstration.

When to floss is a common question. Timing is less important than actually getting it done. You can floss in the morning, at night, or any other time you choose. You can floss before or after brushing, or even without brushing. Getting your daily flossing done is what really matters.

4. Less Candy and More Vegetables

If you want to have a healthier body, eat better. The same holds true for your teeth. What you eat plays an important role in the health of your teeth and gums.

What does a good diet for oral health look like? Pack your plate with foods like:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Low-fat dairy

Sugar causes tooth decay by interacting with plaque to create acids that break down tooth enamel. Cut down on sugary foods to reduce the amount of sugar in your mouth. Snacks can be problematic for your teeth too. When you snack, your body releases less saliva than during a meal. Saliva washes away foods and sugars and lessens the impact of acids on the teeth. If you need a snack, choose a healthy one.

This healthy habit isn’t just beneficial for your teeth. Eating right will improve your overall health, from head to toe, not just the mouth.

5. Treat Existing Dental Problems

Smiles aren’t always healthy or beautiful. Life happens and you may be in need of some dental work before you’re ready to show off your smile. We know that getting dental work done can be intimidating. We’ll work with you to reduce nervousness. We want you to find dental solutions that work and we have many options available. Come talk with us and see how easy dental work and oral surgery can be. Our treatments include:

If you’re embarrassed of your smile or if you have existing dental health problems, come see us and explore your options.

Are these good habits already part of your life or is it time to make a change? Let’s improve on your smile together!


The Next Steps After Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction is often the first step to correcting dental problems and restoring an attractive, healthy smile after extensive decay or dental trauma. If you need to have a tooth removed, call our office and schedule a tooth extraction consultation with one of our highly trained and experienced oral surgeons. Getting that tooth removed is important, but it is only the first step to a healthier mouth. This guide will explain the next steps to take after tooth extraction.

Tooth Extraction in Austin, TX- What to Expect from Your Procedure at Hill Country Oral Surgery

We realize that you may be nervous about your upcoming tooth extraction. We are here to help throughout the process. Get in touch with questions and let us know if you have concerns. Our goal is to help you get your smile back, on your terms.

As we prepare for your tooth removal, we’ll talk about what to expect before, during, and after your procedure. There are many different options and variables that can affect your treatment plan. We’ll talk with you about anesthesia options including local anesthetic, nitrous (laughing gas), oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia.

Tooth removal is often paired with other treatments like bone grafting or placing a dental implant. Performing these treatments at the same time as your extraction can speed up your treatment timeline, helping you to achieve your oral health goals with fewer trips to the oral surgeon and less recovery time. We’ll talk with you about your options during your consultation.

Most extractions are performed in our offices on an outpatient basis. You’ll return home shortly after your procedure. Depending on the anesthesia used, you may need someone to drive you home.

Recovery After Tooth Removal

Most patients resume regular activities shortly after tooth extraction. If you’re only getting a single tooth removed, you may be ready to return to work the very next day. We recommend taking a day off if you can, but it isn’t always necessary.

More extractions typically mean more downtime. Impacted teeth may also require a longer recovery period as removal is more invasive. Pairing your tooth removal with bone grafting or implant placement will prolong the recovery period. Plan on missing some work if you’re removing multiple teeth, removing an impacted tooth, getting bone grafting, or having implants placed.

Tooth Replacement- Do I Need Dental Implants?

Losing even a single tooth can have a big impact on your oral health and appearance. Dental implants can replace a missing tooth, improving both the appearance and function of your mouth. Implants feature a surgical-grade titanium screw that is placed into the jaw, an abutment that connects the implant with your crown, and the crown (replacement tooth). Dental implants stimulate the gum and bone tissues much like a natural tooth and play an important role in maintaining oral health after tooth extraction.

If you’re missing multiple teeth, we may be able to use a dental bridge to reduce the number of implants needed. We also offer All-on-4, a type of full arch dental rehabilitation that replaces an entire arch of teeth with four or more implants.

To ensure good results from a dental implant, we may need to perform bone or gum grafting first. An examination and consultation will help you determine your next steps.

Continuing Oral Care

Restoring your smile after tooth removal may require multiple visits to your dentist or oral surgeon. We’ll work in conjunction with your regular dentist to repair damage, address cosmetic issues, and improve your oral health. Once your full restoration is complete, continuing oral care will help to maintain your smile and minimize future tooth damage.

Good oral health habits are important throughout the restoration process. We’ll provide detailed information about proper oral care after any procedures. We also will encourage you to work with your dentist to determine proper oral care after you’re fully recovered from surgery.

  • After an Extraction- We recommend salt water rinses for the first several days after an extraction if you consume anything other than water. Brush your teeth normally, taking care to avoid the extraction sites.
  • After Bone Grafting- Use a salt water rinse after eating or drinking. Brush your teeth normally, but not directly over the graft site.
  • After Dental Implants- Do not brush directly over dental implant sites for at least a week. You can, and should, brush the adjoining teeth. Use Peridex, a dental rinse that we’ll provide, twice a day. Brush your teeth 30 minutes after using the rinse to prevent tooth staining. Rinse with salt water after you have anything to eat or drink.
  • Long-Term Oral Care- Caring for your teeth after tooth removal or dental implants is very similar to caring for natural teeth. Your dentist can provide more information on brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.

Proper dental care will help you preserve your remaining teeth and avoid complications after tooth extraction.

Call our offices to schedule your consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery. We look forward to helping you with your dental health needs.

 


Five Benefits of the All-On-4 Treatment Method

Advances in dental implant materials and technology now allows us to replace an entire arch of teeth with much fewer implants. In the past, we would have to place more implants to reconstruct a single jaw, which means it would be more expensive. The All-on-4 treatment is not only more cost effective, but has many other benefits as well!

Five Benefits to the All-On-4 Treatment method include:

  • Replacement teeth are permanent. No adhesives necessary!
  • With the specialized implant design, bone grafting may not be necessary.
  • Your restored smile will look, feel, and function naturally.
  • Only 4 implants are needed to restore an entire arch, upper, or lower.
  • You can eat all of your favorite foods without fear of displacing prosthetics.

Schedule your consultation today!


Oral Surgery Procedures You Should Never Wait On

Your oral health often gets put on the back-burner. With busy lives, many patients procrastinate, putting off necessary care and prevention until they have a serious dental problem. Many patients believe specialized treatments like oral surgery can wait until the timing is better, but there are times when your oral health needs to be a top priority, such as when teeth are severely damaged or painful.

If you have a bothersome dental problem, don’t delay treatment. Call Hill Country Oral Surgery to learn more about how we can help you.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you need your wisdom teeth taken out, earlier is better than later. Extraction gets difficult as you get older and the risk of complications can increase in older adults. The average age at which patients have their third molars removed is between 15-20. Timing varies substantially, and you may need yours out sooner or later. Schedule an appointment with us to find out when and if you need wisdom tooth removal.

Delaying your wisdom tooth surgery can lead to complications including:

  • Infection – Wisdom teeth may only erupt partially, depending on their angle and position within the bone. Bacteria and food can become trapped in the gum tissues around a partially emerged tooth, leading to painful infections and related health problems, such as bone loss.
  • Shifting Alignment – If your teeth are beautifully aligned, and you have no room in a jaw arch to accommodate new molars, the emergence of wisdom teeth will cause bothersome dental crowding,
  • Decay – Wisdom teeth are often difficult to keep clean because they are located far back in the jaw. This can lead to the development and spread of tooth decay.
  • Cysts – Some patients develop cysts around their impacted wisdom teeth. These can damage teeth, bone, and the jaw.

We recommend that all patients receive proper screening to determine if wisdom tooth removal is needed. An examination and X-rays can help us determine if you need your wisdom teeth taken out. We can also help you figure out the appropriate timing for your procedure.

Impacted Teeth

An impacted tooth is stuck in hard or soft tissue and is unable to erupt. Wisdom teeth are most commonly impacted, but they aren’t the only teeth that experience this issue. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we often treat impacted canines. Unlike wisdom teeth that aren’t necessary for routine oral function, the canines are a necessary part of your dental arch and bite. Whenever possible, impacted canines are preserved and brought into proper position, not removed.

Quickly treating impacted canines is essential. There is a limited window for treatment, and once it passes, the teeth cannot be saved. The earlier we begin treatment, the better our chances for success. Early treatment also means less invasive care.

Often, canine teeth become impacted because they are blocked by retained baby teeth or tightly crowded adult teeth. By removing select teeth, we can clear a path for a natural eruption. This works best if the necessary teeth are removed before age 11-12. In the early teens, we may be able to pull the impacted teeth into proper position and have patients visit orthodontists for appliances that can include a small chain and bracket. By the early 30s, the impacted canine is often fused permanently into the jaw. At this point, extraction is needed. A dental implant or fixed bridge can be used to fill in the missing space on the arch after removal.

If you have impacted canines, the clock is ticking. Don’t wait to consult with an oral surgeon about your options.

Apicoectomy

Root canals removed infected tissue from the inside of the tooth, but they may not be thorough enough is the infection has moved beyond the roots of teeth. If this is the case for you, you may need an Apicoectomy, also known as root-end surgery. This procedure may be able to salvage a deeply infected tooth, preventing the need for extraction and replacement.

Facial Trauma

When a traumatic injury occurs, it is always an emergency. At Hill Country Oral Surgery we are uniquely qualified and extensively trained to treat facial trauma. This includes:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Intra-oral lacerations
  • Avulsed teeth (knocked out)
  • Fractured facial bones
  • Fractured jaws (upper and lower)

Timely treatment improves outcomes. If you experience facial trauma from a vehicle accident, sports injury, accidental fall, work-related injury, contact us as soon as possible to explore your treatment options.

Dental Implants

If you’ve lost a tooth or had it extracted, start exploring dental implants as soon as possible. Without a tooth in place, the supporting bone begins to deteriorate. If you wait too long for dental implants, there may be insufficient bone to support the implant and overall oral health. When this occurs, patients require bone grafting before their implants can be placed.

If you’ve lost a tooth and are considering implants, don’t wait. Placing your implants shortly after tooth removal and healing provides the best results, minimizing the need for bone grafting. Once placed, implants stimulate the bone, much like a natural tooth, ensuring that the jaw remains strong and healthy.

Don’t procrastinate when it comes to your oral health. If you need to see an oral surgeon for any of the procedures above, call us today and schedule your consultation.


School’s Out and Your Wisdom Teeth Should Be Too

School, sports, and homework fill the calendar during the school year, leaving little time for necessary dental care. Summer vacation, however, presents the perfect opportunity to schedule wisdom teeth removal. When the procedure is scheduled over summer break, patients recover with ease, without worrying about missed school or having to go back to class when they still don’t feel great. If it’s time for your child – or even you – to have your wisdom teeth removed, call and schedule a consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

At What Age Should Wisdom Teeth be Extracted?

Wisdom tooth removal is a common rite of passage for high school students. We typically recommend patients consult with their dentist or oral surgeon early to determine when and if removal is needed. The average patient will need to have these third molars extracted sometime between the ages of 15-20. Since the late teens and early 20s are an important time for education, it can be challenging to fit wisdom tooth removal in during the school year.

If you haven’t spoken to your dentist about your wisdom teeth, see us. A careful examination and a series of X-rays can help us get a better idea of how third molars are positioned and in what direction they are moving.

Downtime after Wisdom Tooth Removal: What to Expect

Should you schedule your child’s wisdom tooth removal this summer or wait until the school year starts again? Summer is a convenient time for many of our patients, but since downtime is minimal, this procedure can be performed throughout the school year as well. Recovery timelines vary depending on the complexity of your extraction.

Most patients require at least three days of downtime. During this initial period, prescription pain medication may be needed to manage discomfort. We don’t recommend going to school or work during this time. To reduce time off, many patients schedule their procedures for the end of the week and use the weekend as part of their recovery period.

High school and college sports can complicate wisdom tooth removal. Most patients need at least a week off from strenuous physical activities. You may be sore for the first week or two after surgery. This shouldn’t interfere with your daily activities, like school, but heavy exercise should be avoided until you’re cleared to resume more strenuous activities. Try to schedule your procedure around important sporting events or seasons. Many of our student-athletes have summers off and can get their wisdom teeth removed without missing critical events.

Don’t Wait for Extraction!

The teenage years are busy, but that shouldn’t mean putting-off important procedures like wisdom tooth removal. If you’ve been told you need your wisdom teeth out, schedule your procedure this summer. Waiting to remove your wisdom teeth can lead to oral health complications like:

  • Tooth Decay – Wisdom teeth can be difficult to keep clean. This can lead to changes in the bacterial balance in the mouth. Keeping your wisdom teeth in when they need to come out can lead to cavities and decay that affect your other teeth too.
  • Changes to Alignment – If there isn’t room for your wisdom teeth in the jaw, they’ll push and squeeze to make a space. This can cause your other teeth to shift, changing dental alignment and crowding other teeth.
  • Infection – Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can become infected as bacteria collect around soft tissue. If infection sets in, you may experience severe pain and potentially dangerous health complications.
  • Difficult Removal Later – Wisdom teeth can be more difficult to remove later in life and the risk of complications increases, especially for older adults. If your teeth are going to cause problems later, it is often best to remove them sooner.

If you or your child need your wisdom teeth out, don’t delay this important procedure. Call Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX to determine if this procedure is necessary and when.

Do You Need Wisdom Tooth Removal This Summer?

Summer goes by so quickly. If your child needs tooth extraction this year, call us today and schedule your consultation. We’ll explain options for wisdom tooth extraction and help you plan for the surgery and recovery period. Many of our wisdom tooth extraction patients are teenagers, and we welcome questions from both parent and patient throughout the process. Call today and your wisdom teeth out while school is out.