Benefits of a Boutique Dental Practice

Are you tired of feeling like a number, not a person, when you go to the dentist? Do you want better care, personalized attention, and the latest treatment technologies in dental care? Consider a boutique dental practice. These personalized practices approach dentistry differently than a traditional practice and provide patients with many unique benefits.

Hill Country Oral Surgery is proud to be a boutique oral surgery practice located in Austin, TX. Call us at 512-327-7233 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our available dental and oral surgery services.

What Are the Benefits of a Boutique Dental Practice?

A boutique dental practice is a smaller, patient-oriented practice. Like a big box department store differs from a small independent shop, corporate and boutique dental practices differ, sometimes substantially. Both have benefits, but only a boutique practice can offer the personalized care that our patients desire.

Being a boutique practice allows us to offer patients a different kind of dental experience including benefits like:

  • Extensive Training– Our surgeons, Cavaretta and Dr. Rasmussen, are trained and experienced oral surgeons. We are dedicated to learning and are constantly striving to learn new skills and gain additional knowledge. Large, corporate practices often use inexperienced or minimally trained dentists.
  • Many Available Treatments– We offer a variety of oral surgery services including wisdom tooth extraction, impacted canine treatment, apicoectomies, jaw surgery, and dental implants.
  • Individualized Treatment– Each of our patients brings both their dental needs and their life experiences to our practice. Some patients find dental treatment scary and intimidating. Other patients may have medical needs that impact their care. Our patients vary in their budgets, insurance coverage, treatment priorities, and anatomy. We work with each patient to create an individualized care plan. We want to find solutions that work for you and that you’re comfortable with.
  • Consistency of Care– At Hill Country Oral Surgery, each patient develops a relationship with their surgeon and with the members of our staff. Our two surgeons are members of the Austin community. You won’t meet with a nameless, faceless, ever-changing surgeon here. You’ll know your oral surgeon and will receive consistent quality care with each visit.
  • State-of-the-Art Facility– Our facility is beautifully outfitted with the latest technologies in oral and maxillofacial surgery. We use 3D x-ray analysis, guided implant surgery, and 3D printing to provide our patients with the best available care.
  • Time– We take the time to listen to your questions, concerns, and thoughts. We want our patients to feel comfortable and give each patient our undivided time and attention. Building trust takes time.

Discover these benefits and more at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

How Do I Find a Boutique Dental Practice?

Finding a boutique dentist or oral surgeon can be challenging. Take your time, do your research, and keep looking if you’re unhappy with the quality of care you receive. Recommendations are a valuable way to find patient-focused dentists. We are grateful to our many wonderful patients for sharing our practice with friends and loved ones.

Boutique dental practices put the patient back into dentistry. We are excited to offer our patients some of the best care, training, and experience available in oral surgery. Call us to schedule a consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX.

 

 

 


Accidents Happen: How to Treat Injured Teeth

More than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year due to trauma dislodging the tooth from the socket. Teeth can be chipped, cracked, or displaced. Injuries can also affect the jawbone and gums. Dental injuries happen, and knowing what to do when they occur could be the difference between losing a tooth permanently and keeping it.

In Austin, TX, contact Hill Country Oral Surgery in the event of a dental injury. Our trained oral surgeons are qualified to treat many types of dental and facial trauma including facial lacerations, intraoral lacerations, avulsed (knocked-out) teeth, fractured facial bones, and fractured jaws.

Knocked Out Tooth? Seek Immediate Assistance

When a tooth is displaced or knocked out, the clock starts ticking. The sooner you obtain qualified dental assistance, the more likely you are to keep your tooth. The sooner a tooth is reimplanted, the better chances are for success. If you’ve lost your tooth, immediately start seeking dental care from an oral or maxillofacial surgeon.

Properly caring for the tooth while you wait to see the dentist can improve outcomes.

  • Do not rub or wipe the tooth as remnants of essential ligaments may still be attached to the tooth. These ligament remnants are needed for a successful reimplantation.
  • Hold the tooth only by the crown, not the root.
  • Store the tooth in salt water or milk until you’re able to get to an oral surgeon. Don’t wait; hurry in.
  • Seek immediate assistance from a qualified medical or dental professional and take all teeth and tooth fragments with you.

What Facial and Dental Injuries Can an Oral Surgeon Treat?

Our surgeons are well-trained in all types of facial and dental trauma. They are on-staff at local hospitals and provide emergency room coverage for many injuries. They have extensive training and hands-on experience in the latest methods for addressing these types of trauma. Our surgeons can treat soft tissue injuries, bone injuries, tooth problems, and trauma to other facial structures like the salivary glands.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Cuts and lacerations on the face are repaired with sutures. We strive to minimize scarring and repair using techniques that offer the best cosmetic results. We also carefully inspect the area to ensure surrounding facial structures, including nerves, salivary glands, etc., aren’t damaged. If trauma has affected these structures, we treat and address any problems.

Bone Injuries

Fractures of the jawbone or other facial bones can be treated by an oral surgeon. For some fractures, immobilization is needed. The jaw may need to be wired shut or plates and screws may be used to hold bones into position. When possible, plates and screws are often preferred as they shorten recovery times and allow patients to return to normal activities sooner. Our goal in treating bone injuries is to minimize change to facial appearance and minimize scarring.

Tooth Injuries

As trained oral surgeons, we have a lot experience helping patients with their teeth. We treat chips and fractures, dislodged teeth, and many other tooth concerns. Often, we collaborate with other specialists including endodontists and restorative dentists.

If teeth cannot be saved or repaired, we can place dental implants to restore a patient’s smile.

Dental injuries happen, and when they do, we have the experience, training, and skill to help you treat them. You can reach Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX by calling (512) 327-7233.

 

 

 

 

 


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.

 


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.

 

 


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.


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.


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.

 

 


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.


5 Questions to Ask Before Dental Surgery- Anesthesia Safety


Information is power. If you’re preparing for dental surgery, get the information you need to be safe and knowledgeable about your procedure. Ask the following questions about anesthesia safety to your dentist or oral surgeon before any surgical procedure.

What Are My Anesthetic Options?

We offer a wide variety of anesthetic options, allowing us to customize your treatment to your medical needs and anxiety level. We will carefully discuss your health, dental needs, and anxiety levels during your consultation and will recommend anesthetic options including:

  • Local Anesthetics- Local anesthetics block pain sensations in a specific area. These are often administered via injection near the area we will be treating. Local anesthetics can be used alone or paired with sedation options. Local anesthetics are very effective and most patients report little to no pain when using this option. Local anesthetics do not help a patient to relax, they only numb pain sensations.
  • Nitrous Oxide– Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, provides mild sedation for dental procedures. It is inhaled through a mask with oxygen and can help increase comfort during some procedures. You will be able to hear and respond while using nitrous oxide, but will feel calm and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide are short-lived and most patients return to normal shortly after the mask is removed. This is usually paired with local anesthetics.
  • Oral Sedation– Oral sedation uses oral medications for sedation before a dental procedure. This can reduce fear and anxiety before a procedure and can help you to relax during treatment. Oral sedation levels vary, depending on the patient’s response and the medication selected. You will be unable to drive if using oral sedation and will need someone to bring you to the procedure and take you home. You may not remember your dental procedure after oral sedation. This is usually paired with local anesthetics.
  • IV Sedation– IV sedation, also known twilight sedation, uses an IV (intravenous) medication for sedation. IV sedation relieves anxiety and encourages relaxation. IV sedation may cause you to not remember aspects of your dental treatment. Many patients describe the experience as drifting in and out of sleep. You will be unable to drive after IV sedation and will need someone to take you home.
  • General Anesthesia– General anesthesia leaves a patient totally unconscious and unresponsive during a dental procedure. This approach is generally reserved for those undergoing extensive dental work or those with high levels of dental anxiety.

We also have privileges at a local hospital and can perform complex procedures there for additional safety. Whether you’re receiving a simple extraction or complex gum grafting with dental implants, we have the right anesthetic options to keep you comfortable and safe throughout your procedure.

What Are the Risks and Benefits of the Anesthesia/Sedation Methods You’re Recommending?

Each anesthesia method has specific risks and benefits. We’ll discuss these in depth before your procedure. It is important to weigh the potential risks with the benefits that each option offers to find the ideal balance between results and safety.

If you’re uncomfortable with the anesthesia option we recommend, let us know. We can further explain our reasoning and help to alleviate your concerns. We may also be able to select a different anesthesia option that you’re more comfortable with. Dental surgery should be a collaboration between doctor and patient. We’ll work with you to find options that work best for your situation.

Is Dental Anesthesia Safer with a Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

Dental anesthesia can be performed in-office with excellent safety. Generally, an oral surgeon is a safer choice for dental anesthesia due to their advanced training. Regular dentists must complete bare minimum requirements to receive a dental anesthesia permit, but oral surgeons receive additional rigorous and comprehensive training in a hospital setting, training well beyond the basic requirements for an office anesthesia permit. Generally, oral surgeons are a safer, more experienced choice for office anesthesia.

How Have You Prepared for Emergency Situations?

No one wants to think about an emergency happening, but sometimes, they do arise. Ask your oral surgeon how they have prepared for emergency situations. At Hill Country Oral Surgery we are:

  • Certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
  • Properly permitted with anesthesia permits from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.
  • Dedicated to training for emergency situations including rescuing of patients and airway management in the intensive care unit and emergency room.
  • Outfitted with the most up-to-date monitoring systems in a state-of-the-art facility.

Before you receive dental anesthesia, ask these questions and any others you may have. Remember, knowledge and information are the key to a safe and effective dental surgery. We always welcome questions and are ready to address any of your concerns. Call us to schedule your oral surgery consultation today.