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.

5 Facts About Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Wisdom teeth, often called third molars, are the final four teeth that erupt into the mouth. More times than not, there is not enough room for these teeth to come into the correct position, and many times they don’t emerge in a way that allows for proper cleaning and hygiene maintenance. If these malpositioned teeth are not removed, damage to the neighboring teeth can occur. Below are 5 important facts to know about wisdom teeth extraction!

Make the Most of Your Post-Wisdom Tooth Removal Recovery

Tooth extraction is often a last effort if a tooth cannot otherwise be saved, but in the case of wisdom teeth, removal is necessary as a preventive effort. Many of our patients don’t have room in their jaws for these final teeth to fully erupt. Impaction, partial eruption, and difficulty keeping the wisdom teeth clean are common problems. Without treatment, wisdom teeth can cause alignment issues, foster tooth decay, and can lead to the development of cysts and other dental problems.

At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our expert dental surgeons and caring staff make the extraction process as easy as possible. Call today to schedule your consultation and to learn about your options for wisdom teeth removal.

Healing and Recovery after Extraction Surgery

Taking time out of your busy schedule can be difficult but is important to ensure proper healing. Most patients find that they are back to work, school, and other activities quickly. However, be sure to give your body the time it needs to heal and don’t rush into your usual routines. Returning to activity too soon can lead to complications after wisdom tooth removal.

How much time do you need for recovery after getting your wisdom teeth out? Basic timelines are provided below. Our team also provides personalized recovery recommendations before your surgery, so you know exactly what to expect.

  • Most patients will need at least 3 days of downtime and prescription pain medication. Don’t plan on attending work or going to school during this period. Many of our patients schedule their procedure for the end of the week and use the weekend as part of their recovery. This can mean less downtime if you’re worried about missing work or school.
  • You may still have some minor soreness after you’re able to return to work and school. Minor soreness typically lasts for about a week after surgery. This soreness should not interfere with your regular daily activities.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for at least 5 days after surgery.
  • Complicated wisdom tooth removal may require a longer recovery period.

Your recovery is an important time of healing. By giving your body the care it needs, you can feel confident knowing you have healed successfully and your oral health is protected.

After Wisdom Tooth Removal- What to Expect

Your recovery will progress through stages. For most patients, their comfort significantly improved after their second day of rest.

  • Right After Surgery – You’ll return home shortly after you have recuperated from sedation. You’ll need someone to drive you and help care for you, as you may be groggy. Bleeding is common at this stage, and you’ll need to change your gauze periodically. You can eat right away, even if you’re still numb. We recommend eating and taking your first dose of pain medication before the surgical anesthetic wears off, typically 2-8 hours after surgery.
  • The First Day – Rest as much as you can. You’ll be sore, but you can use pain medications to improve your comfort. Eat, rest, and take it easy. Ice packs can also be used to reduce swelling.
  • The First Couple Days – Most patients can return to daily activities after 2-3 days. You may be a little sore. Swelling and pain will decrease substantially each day after surgery.

Recovery Essentials- 3 Tips for Comfortable At-Home Care

Many of our patients are surprised by how quickly they heal after wisdom tooth removal. Our staff does our best to help you feel comfortable and rest while you are at home. These tips will help you have a better recovery from wisdom tooth removal surgery.

  • Call with any Questions – You aren’t alone during your recovery. Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns throughout the recovery process. We want to hear from you if you’re not healing as expected or if something doesn’t feel right.
  • Follow Your Recovery Instructions – We’ll give you detailed recovery instructions with tips for controlling bleeding, what to eat, medications, avoiding dry sockets, and how to carefully brush your teeth. Follow these instructions closely. We have created the recovery instructions to help you have a pleasant experience and avoid complications.
  • Avoid Common Mistakes – Many patients make the misstep of changing the gauze too soon or too often, waiting to take pain medications until the pain starts, not eating before taking pain medications, and getting physically active too soon. Avoid these common mistakes and you’ll avoid uncomfortable complications like nausea, infection, and pain.

Make wisdom tooth removal a more pleasant experience by using your recovery period to the fullest. Contact us to schedule your wisdom tooth removal at Hill Country Oral Surgery, top oral surgeons in Austin, TX.

 

 

Wisdom Teeth – To Pull or Not to Pull?

Getting your wisdom teeth pulled is a teenage rite of passage, but is it really necessary? Do all wisdom teeth need removal? You would think the answer to the question, “Should I pull my wisdom teeth?” would be a simple one, but in reality, it’s quite complex. The oral surgeons at Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX help us dig into this heated debate below.

Why Would You Pull a Perfectly Good Tooth?

All your life you’ve been cautioned to take care of your teeth. Brush, floss, rinse, repeat. Morning and night, you’ve taken care of your pearly whites. And suddenly, we’re talking about taking teeth out. Wait a minute, why would you pull a tooth that isn’t having problems? Don’t you need all your teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a little different; essentially, wisdom teeth are the final four teeth to erupt in the mouth. And like your roommate’s BFF that crashes at your apartment and never pays rent, there often isn’t enough room for these late-comers. When there isn’t enough space, the wisdom teeth may be difficult to clean, or in some cases, may not fully erupt into jaw. These impacted, or stuck, teeth can be a source of cysts and benign tumors in the jaw. And who wants that? If you can’t fully clean the teeth, decay can develop, causing gum disease and damage to neighboring teeth. Your wisdom teeth might not be a problem now, but give it time. Many people develop problems with their wisdom teeth later in life. Think of them as a ticking time bomb in your mouth.

Wisdom tooth removal isn’t always necessary. If you have enough room for the teeth to fully come in and you can get them clean, you can probably keep them. Don’t get too excited though. Most people will need to have their wisdom teeth removed.

Can’t I Wait Until I Have a Problem with My Wisdom Teeth?

If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing a problem yet, do they really need to come out now? Many oral surgeons advocate preventative removal of wisdom teeth for one simple reason: it’s often easier in the teens and early twenties. When wisdom teeth are first coming in, the roots are less developed. The older you get, the more established the roots become and the more difficult tooth removal becomes. Younger patients heal more easily and quickly. Early removal can reduce complications and lead to faster recovery after surgery. It also keeps dental problems from developing due to wisdom teeth that just don’t fit. Why delay the inevitable?

What’s the Best Age for Wisdom Tooth Removal?

So, you need to have your wisdom teeth removed. When should you have it done? At Hill Country Oral Surgery, we typically recommend that patients remove their wisdom teeth sometime between the ages of 15-20. You may need to remove them sooner or later. Visit an oral surgeon for an exam and X-rays to find out if you’re ready to get your wisdom teeth removed.

I’m Terrified of Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery

Surgery is scary, right? Many people put off their first visit to an oral surgeon because they are nervous about getting their wisdom teeth removed. If you need to get them out, go see an oral surgeon to explore your options. A consultation isn’t anything to worry about. You’ll open wide and we’ll take a quick peek at your teeth. Typically, wisdom tooth consultations also include X-rays to give us a better idea about what’s going on underneath the gums. You don’t have to worry about shots, pain, or incisions during a consultation. It is simply an opportunity to look at your mouth and figure out a plan for the future.

After an exam, your surgeon will be able to give you a better idea of the next steps. Maybe you’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief because your wisdom teeth can stay. If not, your oral surgeon can discuss surgery and the many options available to make the procedure less intimidating. Remember, your surgeon is on your team and wants you to have a pleasant experience, even though surgery isn’t fun.

Oral surgeons have a variety of tricks up their sleeve to make wisdom tooth removal a more comfortable process. Oral, IV, or nitrous oxide sedation may be recommended to help you feel more relaxed and less nervous about the surgery. There are many pain relief options available during and after surgery, including non-narcotic pain relief. Don’t stick your head in the sand and forget about your wisdom teeth. Get information and make an informed decision. With a skilled oral surgeon, wisdom tooth surgery is quick and relatively easy.

To pull or not to pull? It really depends of what you’ve got going on in your mouth. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones that gets to keep your wisdom teeth. And if not, stock up on the ice cream and enjoy a television binge for a day or two while you recover. We hear Stranger Things Season 2 just came out on Netflix.

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.

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.

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth or third molars often erupt during adulthood. By this time, the mouth has developed a complete set of teeth, and the size of the jaw has stopped growing. It could be the reason why wisdom teeth frequently become problematic. When there is no room in the mouth for another molar, or when the third molar protrudes in an awkward position, it typically results in complications. For this reason, numerous doctors suggest wisdom tooth removal. A third molar surgery is usually performed between the ages of 15 to 20. The situation of your wisdom teeth can be detected with an x-ray. If you don’t feel any pain, but your third molar/wisdom teeth may soon cause a mouth problem, your dentist will recommend removal. There are various reasons why third molar removal is necessary. In this section we will know when the wisdom teeth can be kept or removed.

When Wisdom Tooth Removal Becomes Necessary

The Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Damage to Other Teeth

The new set of growing molars may push the existing teeth, which may cause pain or bite problems. The new wisdom teeth may also damage other existing teeth by pushing against them as they grow. This problem can be prevented by removing wisdom teeth that can potentially damage teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Jaw Damage

Cysts can form around the wisdom teeth. These cysts can hollow out the jaws and damage the nerves.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing a Sinus Problem

An impacted wisdom tooth may cause further sinus problems leading to sinus pain, pressure, as well as congestion.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Inflamed Gums

The location of wisdom teeth may cause the gums to swell and become difficult to clean. This could lead to more complicated issues such as infection.

Wisdom Teeth Will Cause or are Causing Cavities

Wisdom teeth can cause the gums to swell. The swollen gums can result in formation of pockets where bacteria grow. Thus, resulting in cavities.

Wisdom Teeth Will Affect or are Affecting the Teeth Alignment

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause overcrowding to the existing set of teeth. The new third molars may push against other teeth, which may affect the original alignment.

When Wisdom Teeth Can Be Kept

  • You have healthy third molars
  • Your wisdom teeth are positioned correctly
  • The third molars do not affect other teeth
  • The third molars are fully erupted
  • The wisdom teeth and surrounding gums can be cleaned easily
  • The wisdom teeth don’t cause pain or swelling

Schedule Your Consultation

Schedule a consultation and let our best surgeons assess your teeth. The only way to find out if your wisdom tooth must be removed is through an X-ray, and then analyzing its results. Get your questions asked during your consultation, our highly trained medical staff will be glad to provide answers. For the healthiest teeth and mouth possible, call Hill Country Oral Surgery today.

Top 5 Things to Do while Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth removal is one of the most common rites of passage for adults. It’s a simple procedure, although once your wisdom tooth has been removed, it is normal to feel some pain and discomfort. The removal of wisdom teeth is still a surgical procedure, and it’s essential that you follow your surgeon’s instructions for your recovery. Here are the 5 things you can do to make your wisdom tooth removal recovery successful.

1. Allot Substantial Time for Resting

Before your surgery, make you’ve set aside at least a couple of days for resting. If you live alone, you may want to have someone look after you while you heal. Take things slow during the recovery period. Keep your head elevated for the first day of recovery. You may also want to avoid exercising immediately after the procedure. You can begin performing strenuous workouts and weightlifting 5 days after your surgery.

2. Eat the Right Foods

Your surgeon will instruct you to only drink clear liquids and eat liquid food after your wisdom tooth extraction. You can gradually shift to soft solid food. Pudding and jello are good foods to eat during your recovery. It’s essential that you avoid spicy foods and using straws until your socket fully heals.

3. Rinse Mouth with Salt Water

You can brush your teeth normally after the surgery just avoiding the surgical sites. Once the bleeding stops you can use a salt water rinse to keep your mouth clean. You can use this salt water mixture several times a day, especially after eating. It helps with healing, reduces swelling and pain, and lowers the risk of infection.

4. Control Bleeding

You can control bleeding in the socket by using a gauze pad to apply a light pressure. If the bleeding is excessive, you can shift to using damped tea bags to control the bleeding. You can apply light pressure on the site by gently biting down.

5. Exercise Your Jaw

Opening your mouth after the surgery may feel uncomfortable. Your mouth could feel stiff. However, it’s important that you open your mouth every once in a while. Otherwise, the stiffness may turn permanent. For the first time you open your mouth after your tooth has been extracted, do it slowly and gently.

Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

If you have questions about wisdom tooth extraction, the highly-skilled medical staff of Hill Country Surgery will be glad to answer. Reach out to Hill Country Oral Surgery, and learn everything you need to know about this procedure.

Can I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted without Narcotic Pain Medications?!

Opioid treatment for postoperative pain has long been an integral part of treatment following oral surgery.  Although very useful and well tolerated by many people, these medications come with their own issues.  Before recently we did not have a lot of options for those patients who wanted to avoid post-operative opioid medication use.  With the advent of Exparel, a local anesthetic specially formulated to provide pain relief for up to 3 days following the surgery, WE NOW HAVE OPTIONS!

I am often faced with a myriad of situations for which patients would like to minimize the use of post-operative narcotics.  There is the patient who would like to return to work earlier with a clear head, or the student who needs to get back to the books for an exam.  Believe it or not there are those patients for whom narcotic medications do not even work, and some patients who just cannot tolerate the side effects.  If you are one of these patients, then we have an answer for you.

Exparel is administered at the time of surgery along with other traditional local anesthetics, and then the surgery is completed as usual.  The anesthetic has a special structure that prevents it from diffusing away from the surgical site, and allows it to be metabolized slowly over time.  The result is a constant level of anesthesia at the surgical site that lasts days, allowing you to avoid those times when the pain is at its highest level.  For many patients this can allow us to avoid opioids altogether.

Contact us today, for more information on narcotic-free recovery from wisdom tooth extraction and other oral surgery procedures.