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.
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.
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.
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.
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.