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.

 

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.

The Effects of Tooth Loss on Your Health and Appearance

 

Losing even a single tooth can have a major impact on your health and appearance. Often the full consequence of losing a tooth isn’t realized immediately as these changes are subtle and occur over time. The good news is, with modern dental restoration, we can we can eliminate many of the negative effects of missing teeth, improving both health and appearance. Are you missing teeth? Learn how your missing teeth are impacting your life and then call our offices to learn about your options for dental restoration.

Loss of Dental Stability

Your teeth work together, supporting and helping to keep each other in place. When you lose a tooth, a hole opens up, allowing the surrounding teeth to shift and move positions. This can cause alignment issues and over time can affect how your teeth fit together and how you chew your food.

Bone Loss

Chewing is essential for good dental health. Your teeth help to maintain the strength of the bone that supports them. Chewing forces help keep the bone strong and dense. If you lose a tooth, the supporting bone slowly begins to atrophy. This can make dental implants and other restoration options more difficult in the future.

If it has been a long time since you lost a tooth, your bone has likely degenerated significantly. Often bone grafting is needed for successful dental implants.

Gum Recession

As the bone shrinks, so do the gum tissues. Your gums may become thinner and more delicate over the area where there is a missing tooth. Thinning gums are easily inflamed and injured by dentures and false teeth.

Changes to Facial Appearance

Missing teeth affect your appearance by more than just your smile. Bone and tooth loss can accelerate facial aging, changing the overall structure of your face. Changes to the appearance of the lips, chin, and nose are common after tooth loss. By some estimates, losing teeth can add up to 10 years to your appearance. Many patients don’t realize that these changes are caused by missing teeth and attribute them solely to aging.

Difficulty Eating

Are your favorite foods difficult or impossible to enjoy? Many patients that use dentures or have missing teeth struggle to eat certain foods. Don’t let missing teeth make you miss out on your favorite foods.

Lack of Nutrition

Patients that eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains generally enjoy better health. Unfortunately, missing teeth can lead to missing nutrition. Lower intakes of fruits and vegetables are common in denture wearers, often because these foods are too difficult to eat.

Poor chewing performance can also lead to difficulty digesting. When foods aren’t chewed as thoroughly, nutrition may not be adequately absorbed by the body as the food travels through the digestive tract.

Changes in Speech

Your teeth affect your speech. Patients with missing teeth often notice changes to their speech including slurring of certain words, lisping, or spitting. Missing teeth can also cause the tongue to increase in size, further affecting speech difficulties.

Impact on Confidence

We want our patients to laugh, smile, and enjoy life with confidence. When you have missing teeth, you may be embarrassed of your smile. Missing teeth have a negative impact on both appearance and self-confidence.

Minimizing the Negative Effects of Missing Teeth- What Can You Do?

In a perfect world, no one would ever lose a permanent tooth, but of course, this isn’t reality. Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons including trauma and decay. Losing a tooth is a serious problem, but it is treatable. Proper treatment can help to reduce the negative effects of missing teeth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, call our offices to learn more about your options for dental restoration.

  • Dental Implants– Functioning much like a natural tooth, a dental implant consists of a titanium screw that is implanted into the jaw and a replacement crown that is attached to the implant. Dental implants can help maintain bone strength and density and tooth positioning after a missing tooth.
  • All-On-4- For patients requiring full arch restoration, we offer All-On-4 dental implants. Four or more implants are placed into the jaw to support a full arch restoration. This can be a more affordable option for patients that require many dental implants. This isn’t the right fit for every patient.
  • Bone and Gum Grafting- Bone and gum loss are common after losing a tooth, especially if it has been an extended amount of time. Bone and gum grafting can restore bone and gum appearance and density.

Losing a tooth can have a negative impact on your health and appearance, but dental restoration can eliminate many of the problems associated with tooth loss. Call us today and learn about your options for restoring your smile and your dental health.

Is All-On-4 Right for You?

 

Missing teeth aren’t just a cosmetic issue. If you have damaged or missing teeth, you may struggle to chew and enjoy your food or feel self-conscious whenever you smile. Don’t let missing teeth control your life any longer. Now, more than ever, you have options available for treating missing and damaged teeth. Dental implants are a popular choice but can be expensive and time-consuming, especially when full arch replacement is needed. All-On-4 is another option available for full mouth teeth replacement. Is All-On-4 right for you? Learn more about this treatment below and then call our offices for personalized advice about the best restorative dentistry options for your situation.

What Is All-On-4?

For patients with extensive dental restoration needs, All-On-4 offers full arch replacement with fewer dental implants. This makes it more affordable and achievable to use dental implants for replacing a considerable number of teeth. A full arch dental restoration is created and then attached to the jaw using four or more implants. The restoration is fixed, is not removable, and can restore both function and appearance to the treated arch. At Hill Country Oral Surgery we like to call this procedure Full Arch Dental Rehabilitation.

Your treatment will be customized to your needs. Many patients only require four implants to support a full arch of teeth, but more implants may be needed. Placing sufficient implants to properly support the restoration is essential for long-lasting results following this procedure.

How Long Does the Extraction and Replacement Process Take?

You may have heard the term “Teeth in a Day” referring to the dental implant process. This term can be a little deceptive and doesn’t accurately describe the full process for implants or Full Arch Dental Rehabilitation. It is true that many patients will be able to remove and temporarily replace their teeth in a single day, but additional appointments and a recovery period will be needed before the full restoration is complete.

When we can, we perform any needed extractions and place dental implants and a temporary restoration in one day. During this initial surgical appointment, we’ll secure a temporary set of teeth into the implants. These temporary teeth will be fixed in place and you will not be able to remove them yourself. These temporary teeth allow you to “test drive” your new smile. Once you’ve healed from surgery, you’ll be able to eat and use these teeth, evaluating their function and appearance. We’ll meet with you before fabricating your permanent teeth to discuss any changes you would like to make. This ensures that your final teeth will meet your specific needs and desires.

Unfortunately, not every patient is a good candidate for removal and replacement in a single day. Sometimes there are other structures in the way that must be treated prior to placing implants. Some patients have been without their teeth for many years and require bone or gum grafting. Many factors affect the placement and timing of implants.

From start to finish, the full restoration process can take several months as you prepare for your initial surgery, recover from surgery, and wait for the final placement of your permanent teeth. Teeth in a day isn’t always possible, but we’re creating something lasting. It may take longer than a day, but you’ll hopefully enjoy your new smile for the rest of your life. Take the time to do things right.

Is All-On-4 Right for Me?

All-On-4 dental restoration makes full arch restoration a possibility for many patients that would be unable to afford the procedure otherwise. Come see us and learn more about Full Arch Dental Rehabilitation if:

  • You are unable to eat and enjoy your favorite foods due to missing or damaged teeth.
  • You have extensive dental damage on one or both arches.
  • You are self-conscious about the appearance of your smile.

Come see us to explore your dental restoration options including All-On-4 and dental implants. The best way to determine if you’re a candidate for this procedure is to come meet with us. After an exam, we can assess your needs and make treatment recommendations. Each patient is different and a consultation is the only way to determine what your specific needs are.

Are missing or damaged teeth running your life? Get back in control of what you eat and when you smile with dental implants. Our Full Arch Dental Rehabilitation process has allowed many patients to restore their smile using fewer implants. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.

5 Reasons For Dental Implants

Dental implants are a replacement for missing teeth that resemble natural teeth and are designed to not be rejected by the body. Implants are beneficial in many ways: they help keep the other teeth healthy, will last a lifetime and improve the appearance of your smile. Check out 5 reasons below that you should consider getting dental implants if you have missing teeth!

  • The integrity of your facial structure will be preserved or restored.
  • Your teeth will remain healthy.
  • Dental implants can last a lifetime.
  • You will get a self-confidence boost.
  • Dental care is simple and easy.

Dental Implant or Bridge- Which Is Best for You?

Missing teeth? Should you get a dental implant or bridge? We’ll compare these two popular tooth restoration choices so you can choose the best replacement option for your situation. Contact our offices to schedule a personalized consultation and to get expert advice from our oral surgeons. We love helping people to get their smile and dental health back on track.

What Is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are much like a natural tooth. A titanium screw is placed into the tooth position, supporting a crown. After the screw is placed, the bone will grow around it, anchoring the screw into the jaw and providing long lasting support for the replacement tooth. Dental implants are specially designed to not be rejected by the body and, with proper care, can provide lifelong tooth replacement. Since the titanium screw is placed into the jaw, in most situations, the only visible part of the implant is the crown, which is formed to perfectly match the surrounding natural teeth. Oral surgeons with implant experience are the best choice for dental implants.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

Dental bridges are used to hide the gap caused by missing teeth. The natural teeth surrounding the gap are used to support the replacement crowns, which float between the supporting outer teeth. Placing a bridge does not require surgery and can often be performed by a regular dentist. Unlike implants, bridges aren’t always natural looking and can be a temporary solution to missing teeth.

Implant vs. Bridge

Dental implants and bridges are both used regularly to replace missing teeth. Here’s a quick look at some of the differences between these two options.

  • Cost– Generally, a bridge is less expensive than dental implants. Costs vary widely depending on the type of bridge or implant used, the number of teeth that need replacement, the amount of time since the tooth was removed, etc.
  • Longevity– Implants can last for a lifetime with proper care. A dental bridge can be difficult to clean resulting in a shorter lifespan, and generally more problems.
  • Surgical/Non-Surgical- Placing implants is a surgical procedure. Provided you have healthy surrounding teeth, a bridge can be placed without surgery.
  • Damage to Surrounding Teeth- To fit a bridge, the supporting outer teeth will need to be modified significantly. Implants are self-supporting and do not impact the surrounding teeth.
  • Dental Health– Since an implant is placed into the bone, much like a natural tooth, it preserves the underlying bone and jaw structure with little to no gum and bone loss. With a bridge, bone and gum loss do occur.
  • Care– Care for implants just like natural teeth by brushing flossing, and visiting the dentist every 6 months. Bridges require some different care, including specialized floss and brushes.
  • Appearance– Implants look like natural teeth. They provide superior results to bridges in terms of appearance.
  • Special Considerations– Implants require healthy bone for placement. If the tooth has been missing for an extended period of time, bone or gum grafting may be needed before an implant can be placed due to natural deterioration that occurs without a tooth in place.
  • Timeline– Bridges can be made and placed in a couple of weeks, start to finish. Getting implants is typically a longer process. Bone grafting, gum grafting, and other needed procedures can extend the amount of time required for full replacement.

Both implants and bridges have unique pros and cons. We’ll work with you and your dentist to choose the best tooth replacement option for you. In general, implants provide better results, but they are more expensive and require surgery to place. Since implants function much like regular teeth, they are the best option for truly getting your teeth and smile back.

All-On-4

For patient that need extensive oral restoration, we offer a procedure that offers full arch tooth replacement with only four dental implants. We call this procedure All-On-4 or Full Arch Dental Rehabilitation. Four or more implants are carefully placed in the jaw and are used to support a full arch of replacement teeth. By using fewer implants, we can offer full arch restoration at a much lower price. Many patients will come in for the procedure in the morning and will leave with replacement teeth in place. This option is best for patients that need all or many of the teeth in the jaw replaced.

What Is the Best Tooth Replacement Option for Me?

Choosing between tooth replacement options can be difficult. We recommend working closely with your dentist or oral surgeon to explore the pros and cons of dental implants, dental bridges, and full arch restoration. Call us today to schedule your consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

Our Guide to Taking Proper Care of Your Dental Implants

Get your smile back with dental implants. Once you have implants, help your new smile to last by taking proper care of your implants and your oral health. Here’s what you need to know about caring for dental implants. We’ll give you more specific care instructions as we meet together, preparing for your implant placement surgery. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Implant Care- Very Similar to Caring for Natural Teeth

Brush, floss, rinse, repeat. Caring for dental implants is very similar to caring for natural teeth. Even better, replacement teeth can’t get cavities, although they will wear over time. With proper care, your implants have the potential to last for a lifetime. Here are some details on the basic care your implants will need.

  • Brush– Regular brushing is an important part of caring for your teeth. You can use a manual, sonic, or electric toothbrush, unless your dentist has a specific recommendation for you. Brush your teeth twice a day, at a minimum, to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth. If you have tight or hard to reach spaces because of your implants, you may need to use specialized brushes like an interproximal brush to clean these areas.
  • Floss– Floss your teeth and implants at least once a day to remove plaque from areas that can’t be reached with a toothbrush. You may need to use a floss threader to get floss around implants, under bridges, and through bars to properly clean the teeth. Your dentist will help you learn how to properly floss around an implant. Many people are poor flossers, but with implants especially, it is important to step up your game and get in the flossing habit. Avoiding infection and keeping your mouth clean is important for the longevity of your implants and for your overall dental health.
  • Visit the Dentist– Regular dental cleanings will keep your smile in tip-top shape. Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up in hidden, hard to clean areas. Regular cleanings will remove this build-up, before it becomes a serious problem. Regular dental visits also check for problems with the implants, ensuring they remain strong and healthy. Your dentist will help keep your body healthy by looking for oral cancers and swollen lymph nodes. Most patients will see their dentist every six months with dental implants, but some may require more frequent visits.
  • Specialized Tools– Your dentist may recommend some specialized tools to make caring for implants more successful. Some patients use water flossers, antimicrobial oral rinses, gum stimulators, and other tools to maintain oral health. Talk with your dentist for specific recommendations about tools that may be helpful to you.

If you want your implants to last, regular care is essential. These steps may sound basic, but they are the key to good dental health, with or without implants.

Right After Implants- Care for Your Implants During Recovery

Once your implants are established and healed, you’ll care for them similarly to natural teeth. However, right after placement, they will require special care during the recovery process. Here’s how to care for your implants during recovery.

  • Stay on Top of Pain Control– Most patients find that implant placement is less painful than tooth extractions. We recommend that you start using pain medications before the surgical anesthetic wears off.
  • Do Not Brush the Site for a Week- Avoid brushing the surgical site for a week after surgery.
  • Rinse with Peridex- You’ll need to rinse 2x daily with Peridex, a prescription oral rinse, in the morning and at night. Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after using Peridex as it can stain the teeth. For the first week, rinse with salt water after eating or drinking.
  • Do Not Play with Sutures– Your sutures should stay in place for 5-7 days and will fall out on their own. Do not play with the sutures or they may fall out too soon.
  • Do Not Chew on the Surgical Site for a Week- Maintain a soft diet for the first few days. Avoid chewing with the implants for at least a week. We recommend that you avoid hard foods like chips and nuts for a week after treatment as they can irritate the healing tissue around your implants.
  • Keep Up with Follow Up Care– We’ll see you again about 2-3 months after placement to ensure the bone is healing properly around the implant. In most cases, you’ll be able to see your dentist for a final restoration around this same time. If the implant is not exposed, you’ll need a small procedure to uncover it after 2-3 months.
  • Practice Good Dental Hygiene- Don’t wait to start good dental hygiene practices. You should resume regular brushing the day after placement, avoiding the site for about a week. Follow our recommendations for brushing, flossing, etc. as soon as possible. Dental problems can develop quickly if good hygiene isn’t practiced.

With proper care and maintenance, your dental implants can provide long lasting beauty and function to your smile. Call us today to schedule a dental implant consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

Dental Implants Don’t Have to Be Scary

Ghosts and goblins can give you a fright, but one thing you shouldn’t worry about this Halloween is getting dental implants. At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we focus on making oral surgery as comfortable, understandable, and accessible as possible. We’ll answer any questions and address your concerns to help alleviate any fears you may be experiencing. Dental implants don’t have to be scary and at Hill Country Oral Surgery, we focus on taking the fear out of oral surgery.

Are You Nervous About Dental Implants?

Are you nervous about replacing missing or damaged teeth? Dental implants are one of the most effective ways to repair the functionality and aesthetics of your smile. For many patients, the unknown of a new procedure can feel intimidating and even scary. Come in for a consultation and let us address your concerns. As you learn more about the procedure and get answers to your questions, the fear surrounding dental implants will dissipate. Get answers so you can get your smile back.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a long-lasting solution to missing or damaged teeth. A special titanium screw is implanted into the bone in the jaw and used to support a replacement tooth, or in some cases a bridge of multiple teeth. These teeth will look and function like your natural teeth. You’ll be able to chew and smile with confidence.

Dental Implants- Your Questions Answered

Do you have questions about dental implants? We’ll answer some common questions below, but don’t hesitate to reach out if you don’t see your questions on this list. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have until you feel comfortable and confident with your decision to pursue dental implants.

  • Are Dental Implants Painful? – Dental surgery shouldn’t be a painful experience. We utilize a variety of anesthetic options, before and after surgery, to ensure a comfortable experience for each of our patients. We use a personalized combination of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), local anesthetics, IV sedation, or general anesthetics, depending on your unique needs. We also offer prescription pain relief and Exparel, a non-narcotic pain relief treatment that provides relief for up to 3 days after surgery. We’ll discuss your options during your consultation and will work with you to ensure that you’re comfortable as you recover from dental implant surgery.
  • Why Should I Consider Dental Implants? – When you lose a tooth, the bone supporting that tooth will begin to deteriorate. This can cause premature aging and changes in your facial structure. Dental implants preserve the bone and help keep your teeth and jaw healthy. Missing teeth also interfere with your ability to eat and your confidence to smile. Dental implants are easy care, just brush like regular teeth, and can last a lifetime.
  • Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants? – If you have missing teeth, you need to learn more about dental implants. Many patients are good candidates for this restorative treatment. If you have periodontal disease, additional treatment may be needed before you’re ready to receive implants. Patients with diabetes or those that smoke may be unable to receive dental implants.
  • How Long Does a Full Dental Implant Restoration Take? – Restoration times vary, depending on the number of teeth being replaced and the condition of your jaw. Some patients will be eligible for immediate restoration, or an implant that is placed at the same time the tooth is removed. The restoration process takes 3-6 months for most patients. We can estimate your timeline during your consultation.
  • Can You Replace Multiple Teeth with Dental Implants? – Dental implants can replace a single tooth, a bridge of multiple teeth, or even an entire arch.
  • Are Dental Implants Successful? – Dental implants are extremely successful. With more than 50 years of clinical experience and over 1 million patients, statistics tell us that dental implants have a 98% success rate. We use the latest technologies and most advanced techniques to ensure that you receive the safest, most effective care possible.
  • What’s Recovery Like After Dental Implants? – Recovery times vary, depending on the extent of your procedure and how you manage your recovery. Single implants without bone grafting require the least amount of recovery while multiple placements or extensive bone grafting can prolong the recovery period and increase the amount of discomfort experienced.

We love a good scare, but not when it comes to dental work. Come into Hill Country Oral Surgery for a scare-free dental implant experience and get your Halloween thrills at the haunted house instead. Call us today to schedule your dental implant consultation with some of the best oral surgeons in the Austin, TX area.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for Dental Implants? Yes!

Do you have leftover money in your flexible spending account (FSA) this year? If you have missing or damaged teeth, come into Hill Country Oral Surgery and get dental implants. Dental implants are an FSA authorized expense. Call us today and schedule your consultation to get started.

What Is an FSA?

A flexible spending account, also known as a flexible spending arrangement, is a special account where you can put pre-tax funds aside for medical expenses. You don’t ever pay taxes on FSA funds, so an FSA can save you money on your medical expenses, as much as your usual tax rate. An FSA must be obtained through an employer that offers the program. All the funds must be used for authorized medical expenses during the designated year.

FSAs can save you money on medical expenses, but they require careful management to get the maximum benefits. If you don’t spend your FSA funds during the designated year, you lose them. Many employers offer a short grace period at the beginning of the year to spend any remaining funds. Check with your employer to learn more about contribution limits, reimbursement deadlines, and important dates for your FSA. Don’t let your funds expire or you’ll lose money. There are so many ways to use FSA funds, including oral surgery and dental implants.

Can I Use My FSA Funds on Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an FSA eligible expense. That means that you can use any remaining funds in your FSA to help pay for the procedure. Redemption policies vary, depending on your FSA. Some patients receive a debit card they can use for certain FSA authorized expenses. Other policies may require you to pay for the procedure up-front and receive a reimbursement after treatment. Talk with your employer for detailed information on how to redeem your FSA funds.

Does Everyone Have an FSA?

FSAs are only available through your employer. If you don’t have an FSA, talk with your employer to find out if one is available. Not all employers offer FSAs. If you don’t have an FSA, don’t worry. Medical expenses, like dental implants, are still tax deductible in many cases. Some private insurance policies, especially those with a high deductible, offer a health savings account (HSA) which is similar to an FSA.

Affording Dental Implants- What You Need to Know

Dental implants can improve both the function and appearance of your smile. They are also a significant financial investment. If you have an FSA, your leftover funds may make the procedure more accessible and affordable. If you don’t have an FSA, you may still be able to afford dental implants.

  • Finest Care at the Most Reasonable Cost- We strive to provide our patients with the highest standard of care in oral and maxillofacial surgery. We also try to keep our costs reasonable and fair. Come in for a consultation and quote so you know how much dental implants will cost.
  • Insurance– We accept insurance and many policies pay a significant amount toward dental implants. We are happy to submit insurance claims for you. Remember, you are responsible for the entire cost of your procedure, whether your insurance company pays or not. Talk with your insurance company to find out if your policy covers dental implants.
  • Payment Policy- Our policy is that payment must be made at the time of the treatment. If you have insurance, we will ask you to pay your portion of the payment at the time of the procedure.
  • Accepted Payments– We accept a variety of payment options including cash, check, debit cards, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and Care Credit.
  • Financing for Dental Implants– If you need help financing the cost of your procedure, look into Care Credit. They provide a medical/dental credit card upon approval. This card can be used to pay for services from our offices and services offered by many other medical providers. Call our offices to learn more about Care Credit or visit their website to fill out an application.

With a variety of financing and payment options, we can provide dental implants to many patients that originally worried the cost of the procedure was out of reach. Come see us to explore your options and learn more.

The end of the year is quickly approaching. If you want dental implants and have leftover FSA funds, come see us and put them to good use. If you don’t have an FSA, let’s talk about financing options. During open enrollment time, right now for many of our patients, you’ll have more options available for changing/adding insurance or getting an FSA. If you’re hoping for dental implants in the near future, come in now so you can get the information you need before open enrollment closes. Call us to schedule your consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

Dental Implants: The Process

Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces the roots of the teeth with titanium screws and substitutes missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function as normal teeth would. Dental implants are a great option for teeth replacement as they help keep the other teeth healthy, will last a lifetime and improve the appearance of your smile. The doctors at Hill Country Oral Surgery put together this graphic to help you better understand the dental implant process, if you would like to learn more about the surgery, consult with one of our doctors by calling 512-327-7233 or contacting us here!

Dental Implant Process Infographic