4 Reasons You May Need a Tooth Extraction

At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our goal is to preserve your natural teeth for as long as possible. We know that no dental implant or teeth replacement option will ever look and feel as good as your own pearly whites, so we do our best to save them with state-of-the-art restorative procedures.

However, on some occasions, dentists have no choice but to perform a tooth extraction, so we are also trained to help you with that. We understand that oral surgery can be stressful for many patients, so we strive to make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible during the surgery.

Still, we want our patients to be aware of why we might decide on this course of treatment. This information will help them do their best to take care of their radiant and healthy smiles and avoid invasive procedures. Below, we listed the most common reasons why a patient might need a dental extraction:

1.     Extensive Tooth Decay

When cavities are left untreated for a long time, they become deep and extensive. They start by affecting the enamel, which is strong and resistant, but as soon as this protective layer disappears, the bacteria that causes the decay quickly invade the rest of the tooth. At this point, the tooth loses too much structure and gets so weak that no filling or root canal can save it.

2.     Advanced Periodontal Disease

Later stages of periodontal disease affect the bone tissue that anchors the teeth. The same bacteria that attack the gums and cause inflammation also invade and degrade the bone tissue over time. As a result, the affected tooth becomes too loose, and no treatment can save it from extraction.

3.     Severe Dental Trauma

Sometimes, extensive dental fractures cannot be fixed. This usually happens when the tooth is broken into too many pieces or if the root has been severely compromised. In these cases, our dentist will suggest the removal of the affected tooth and a tooth replacement treatment to restore your smile’s beauty and function.

4.     Orthodontic Treatment

When teeth are too crooked, orthodontists need space to shift them into the correct position. For this reason, they might indicate the extraction of two or more healthy teeth – typically the premolars. This might sound strange at first because no patient would like to have healthy teeth pulled out, but it’s the only way to achieve a balanced and functional bite and the correct alignment of the patient’s smile.

Gentle Teeth Extractions at Hill Country Oral Surgery

Do you relate to any of the reasons mentioned above? Whether you suffer from periodontal disease or tooth decay, have been involved in an accident, or are simply under orthodontic treatment, our team is always ready to help. Do not hesitate to contact our office and schedule a consultation with one of our expert oral surgeons!

How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?

Getting dental implants is the first step, but implant aftercare is just as important. To avoid unnecessary discomfort, pain, and complications, you must take special care of your new smile.

The text below will explore dental implant aftercare, including the day of your surgery and the weeks that follow.

Begin Aftercare Immediately

As soon as the surgery ends, your dental implant aftercare begins. Start by resting on the way home. Have someone drive you home if you have had general anesthesia or IV sedation because the effects of anesthesia will not have worn off.

Most implant recovery symptoms are not a big concern. Just adhere to your dental implant post-surgery instructions right away and continue for the next several days.

Control Bleeding

Pink or red saliva or bleeding at the implant site may continue up to three days after receiving your implants. Bite down on gauze for an hour is the best way to control it. Change the gauze once an hour until stopped.

If your bleeding is excessive, bite down on a black tea bag, as the tannic acid will constrict the blood vessels and promote blood clotting.

Also, remain calm if possible. Sit upright and refrain from any activity. Don’t lift heavy objects or bend over. Spitting forcefully, smoking, or sucking on a straw will encourage excess bleeding.

Manage Pain

Take your pain medications as prescribed, and please do not add any over-the-counter medications unless it has been recommended by your doctor.

Take it before the anesthesia wears off to get ahead of the pain. Follow instructions concerning the packaging. We’ll give you insight into what products and dosages you might take.

Generally, dental implant surgery is not very painful, and does not require very much recovery.  You will likely feel fine the next day.  You may experience some stiffness in the throat and have difficulty swallowing. If symptoms persist, give us a call.

Minimize Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling on the gums and appearing on your face will happen on the day of surgery. You may also experience bruising around the eyes and nose. These discolorations peak after two or three days, then disappear on their own.

Ice packs help. Apply them for 15 to 20 minutes, take a break, and repeat this process for 48 hours after your procedure. You can also avoid salt, sleep with your head upright, and drink plenty of water.

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep helps the healing process. So, it makes sense to get plenty of rest, especially during the first few days. This will allow your body to relax and let a big part of the healing process take place.

Learn More

If you would like more information about dental implant after-surgery care, contact us at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

Call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation today to learn more.

Best Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

Does the idea of eating ice cream or having a cold drink make you wince? If so, you may be dealing with a common dental issue — sensitive teeth.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, roughly 40 million people in the United States face tooth sensitivity daily. This painful zinging is hard to ignore, especially when it happens continually.

Fortunately, you can address sensitive teeth with multiple strategies, without needing to avoid cold and hot foods for the rest of your life.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

A critical substance called enamel protects your teeth. Sensitive teeth develop when that enamel erodes, revealing its underlying layers: cementum and dentin.

The dentin layer contains microscopic canals and tubes loaded with nerve endings. Healthy teeth have enough enamel to shield the dentin layer and protect tooth sensitivity.

When enamel wears down or our gums recede, it exposes the cementum and dentin layers. This problem makes cold and hot foods and drinks aggravate cells and nerves to cause painful sensations and sensitivity.

Sensitive teeth develop from these factors:

  • Cracked teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth grinding (bruxism)
  • Tooth decay
  • Enamel erosion from sugary and acidic foods
  • Harsh or forceful brushing

Regular dental visits and oral hygiene are essential to keep teeth from becoming sensitive. If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, here are some additional things you can do to help resolve the issue.

Desensitizing Toothpaste

For minor tooth sensitivity, desensitizing toothpaste is a practical solution. These kinds of toothpaste contain active agents like strontium salts, fluoride, and potassium.

Potassium decreases fluid flow through tubules in the dentin. Clogging the tubules decreases dental nerve activity. When used twice daily for consecutive months, desensitizing toothpaste will reduce the number of sensory signals reaching the brain.

When shopping for desensitizing toothpaste, choose one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which ensures the product meets its criteria for safety and effectiveness.


If desensitizing toothpaste does not address your sensitive teeth, you may require professional fluoride treatments. This procedure involves applying a potent fluoride gel to your teeth to restore damaged enamel and protect against future decay.

In-office treatments supplement the fluoride already in your toothpaste. You also may need custom trays and prescription fluoride for home treatment.

White Fillings or Crowns

If tooth sensitivity results from a decaying or cracked tooth, a crown or filling may be the best solution. Tooth damage exposes a nerve. A crown or white filling can recover the roots and restore your damaged tooth back to health quickly.

Root Canal

When the root canal experiences decay or injury, the nerves may cause pain or sensitivity. Root canal therapy removes the infected pulp. The process is typically painless thanks to anesthesia. It resolves exposed nerves in the root canal, eliminates sensitivity, and saves the tooth.

Get Help With Your Sensitive Teeth

Don’t suffer the discomfort or pain of sensitive teeth. The team at Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin is here to provide exceptional dental care for your comfort and appearance.

Call our Austin oral surgery office at 512-327-7233 to request a consultation.

Keeping the Bleeding Down When You Get a Tooth Extracted

After having a tooth pulled, it is essential to follow these necessary aftercare instructions to maximize your healing. If your gums don’t stop bleeding, you should contact us immediately to determine the best course of action. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to practice after a tooth extraction to reduce excessive bleeding.

Stop the Bleeding

Take a piece of clean gauze, fold it into a square, and rest it on top of your wound. Bite firmly down for about an hour. Ensure the dressing is well-positioned to get enough pressure at the site of the extraction.

Another hint is to bite down on a tea bag using the same instructions as above. The tannic acid found in tea aids in the formation of blood clots, making tea bags particularly effective to stop the bleeding.

Ensure Blood Clot Formation Stays Within the Tooth Socket

Critical steps to take in protecting the development of blood clotting within the first 24 hours after a tooth is pulled:

  • Avoid vigorous spitting and rinsing.
  • Avoid drinking hot liquids.
  • Minimize differences in air pressure. Avoiding the creation of tension within your sinuses or mouth will prevent the risk of dislodging the blood clot from the empty socket. Smoking or sucking liquid through a straw can cause this type of pressure through suction. Also, blowing your nose and playing wind instruments can create stress as well.

Keep Heart Rate Down

Physical labor or strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least two days. Bending down or lifting heavy objects can increase your heart rate and may cause bleeding.

While relaxing or sleeping, you should keep your head above your heart (or nipple). This lowers your blood pressure and helps control excess bleeding.

Prepare for Swelling

After a tooth is pulled, gum tissue undergoes trauma and will become sensitive and swell. The degree of swelling is different from patient to patient.  Applying cold compresses to the area from outside the mouth can help control inflammation and swelling. Some of our patients moisten sponges and freeze them in plastic bags – these are perfect cold packs to minimize swelling during the first day or two after your extraction.

Don’t Smoke

You should refrain from smoking for at least 48 hours after tooth extraction. Not only does the pressure encourage bleeding, but smokers experience more complications after any type of surgery.

Proper Eating

Try to keep your diet to soft food or liquids for 24 hours after having your tooth pulled. Don’t chew anything vigorously, and avoid crunchy, hard foods that may negatively affect the extraction site and cause bleeding. Avoid hot liquids that can dissolve a blood clot.

How long should it take for a tooth extraction to stop bleeding?

It is typical for bleeding to continue for up to 24 hours after having a tooth extracted. However, the bleeding should remain minimal and tolerable. If excessive bleeding continues past 24 hours and is causing discomfort, that’s cause for concern. However, minor bleeding in the area where the extraction occurred is nothing to worry too much about, as long as it’s within the first day.

If bleeding persists or continues to worsen, schedule a dental visit to ensure there are no concerns that need immediate attention.

Can I sleep if my tooth extraction is still bleeding?

It’s not safe to fall asleep with gauze or padding in your mouth, since you might choke on it in your sleep. If your mouth is still bleeding at bedtime, rest on your back with your head elevated. This position will prevent choking, reduce swelling, and encourage clotting. You may also want to cover your pillow and clothes with towels to prevent stains in case blood drains from your mouth overnight.

What is the fastest way to stop bleeding after tooth extraction?

The fastest way to stop bleeding after a tooth extraction is to wet a small piece of gauze and fold it into a small square that easily fits over the empty socket. Apply pressure by biting down on it for 45 minutes to an hour. Most dentists and physicians recommend this method, which can stop bleeding within an hour.

It’s also beneficial to keep your head elevated when you lie down. When your head is higher than your heart, bleeding slows as your blood pressure reduces. You can easily do this by propping your head up with an extra pillow during rest or sleep.

You can also try putting a wet tea bag in your mouth. Black tea has a natural coagulant called tannic acid that will aid in the clotting process.

Can you leave gauze in too long after tooth extraction?

We recommend changing your gauze dressing every 30 minutes, depending on how much you are bleeding. It’s not necessary to keep using gauze if the empty socket has stopped bleeding and formed a clot. Aside from being unpleasant, if you leave gauze in your mouth for too long, it won’t sufficiently encourage the clotting process and can lead to infection.

For More Information on Stopping Bleeding after Tooth Extraction

If you are experiencing excessive pain or bleeding after your tooth extraction or if you need more information about a tooth that is giving you problems, please contact us or call us today for more details and your consultation.

Want to learn more? At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our goal is to provide you with the highest level of care in our welcoming, state-of-the-art facility. Dr. Cavaretta, Dr. Rasmussen, and our staff are committed to giving you the benefit of the latest, proven techniques and technological advances and tailoring our care to fit your needs.

Is Bone Grafting Necessary After Tooth Extraction?

Whether the cause of your problems was trauma or tooth decay, tooth extraction is sometimes the best solution for preserving a patient’s oral health. However, removing teeth can impact a person’s wellbeing in other ways. Bone grafting is an excellent solution to help protect dentition and prepare an individual’s smile for future restorative care. Here’s why.

Why Do You Need Bone Grafting?

You wouldn’t know it from looking at your teeth, but every part of your smile plays a critical role in preserving your oral health. Below the surface, teeth roots provide valuable stimulation to the supporting jawbone, which in turn maintains your bite position and ability to chew, speak, and much more. 

When teeth are missing, the jaw loses this important stimulation. When combined with the inability to bite and chew, the jawbone can begin to degrade and shrink. This opens the door to a number of other potential health issues, which can require much more extensive treatment. Bone grafting, or the placement of donor tissue along the deteriorated area, can help reinforce the structural integrity of your smile while preparing your dentition for future treatments such as dental implants. 

Exploring Different Bone Grafting Techniques

Different oral health scenarios call for different bone grafting solutions. Thanks to innovations in modern oral surgery, patients have a number of advanced bone grafting options that can be tailored to meet their needs. Depending on where teeth are missing as well as each patient’s long-term treatment strategy, our Austin, TX oral surgeon may recommend one of the following popular grafting solutions:

Socket Graph

Typically recommended if the original tooth is still in place, socket graphs help limit potential jawbone deterioration by immediately adding graft material into the space left after a tooth is extracted. This helps maintain bone stimulation while also supporting bone fusion with the grafted tissue. 

Block Bone Graft

In some cases, patients have to wait before bone grafting can be completed. This disruption in stimulation can cause the surrounding bone tissue to deteriorate, ultimately requiring more grafting material in order to rebuild the jaw. Block bone grafts refer to procedures in which a small “block” of tissue is taken from the patient’s chin or lower jaw and placed in the deficient area. Over the recovery period, the surrounding bone tissue accepts the grafted tissue and fuses to it – creating a strong and healthy foundation for dental implants.

Sinus Lift Graft

Missing teeth from the upper jaw can have secondary consequences for an individual’s overall health. As the surrounding bone tissue gradually deteriorates, the bone separating the oral cavity from the nose becomes thinner. This can make implant placement more difficult without a sinus lift graft (sinus augmentation). During this procedure, an experienced oral surgeon will delicately lift the sinus membrane and place the bone grafting material between the sinus membrane and bone. Once the grafted material has fused to the upper jawbone, patients can proceed with further restorative care. 

Choosing the Right Materials

Modern oral surgery techniques have also brought along new types of grafting material. While each individual’s unique oral health conditions will dictate the appropriate bone grafting material, patients have many options to choose from:


Xenograft tissue is bone tissue taken from an animal source, often bovine. This type of bone grafting material has a long and successful surgical history. Although xenografts have not been shown to directly stimulate bone production, surrounding bone tissue will still successfully adhere to the tissue.


This form of synthetic material also is a popular option, particularly for patients who cannot provide their own bone grafts or are unable to tolerate xenografts. Readily accessible and commonly used in surgery, alloplastic grafts have no risk of disease transmission, making them an excellent option for vulnerable patients. However, the synthetic material will not stimulate bone tissue development. 


Autografted tissue is tissue taken from one part of the patient’s body and grafted to another. Since it’s coming from the same patient, autografts have high tolerability – most patients are able to accept the grafted tissue easily, and the use of your own bone can help stimulate healthy bone development. However, this type of graft can require multiple procedures – first to harvest the tissue and then to place the graft. 


Similar to autografts, allografts leverage human bone tissue to repair bone deterioration. However, in the case of allografts, donor tissue is coming from other individuals, not the patient. The best matches typically come from relatives of the patient to ensure the bone tissue accepts the graft. While allografts may not stimulate a patient’s cells to produce bone tissue, they can heal small defects on their own and readily fuse to the surrounding bone tissue.

Learn More at Hill Country Oral Surgery

At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our goal is to help our patients put their best smile forward. To learn more about the benefits of bone grafting post-teeth extraction or to explore your options for bone grafting, call Hill Country Oral Surgery at 512-327-7233. Our expert oral surgeons, Dr. Cavaretta and Dr. Rasmussen, are here to help you achieve optimal oral health!

Dental Options After Tooth Extraction

For many patients, tooth extraction can be traumatic. Every time you look in the mirror, it reminds you of what’s missing. It’s common to feel a profound sense of loss. Many patients try to avoid or minimize smiling due to embarrassment from a missing tooth.

You can live with empty space after a tooth extraction, but with many available treatments, you don’t have to. Let’s explore your dental options after tooth extraction. Treating your missing tooth can improve your oral health and reduce bone loss after tooth loss. It can also improve the quality of life and self-confidence.

Dental Implant

A dental implant is the tooth replacement option most like a natural tooth. A screw implanted into the jaw holds a replacement tooth in place. Since the artificial tooth is part of the jaw like a natural tooth, it doesn’t require a lot of special care. You’ll brush, floss, and visit the dentist as usual with your dental implants.

Implants can last a long time, potentially for a lifetime with proper care, preparation, and maintenance. We can replace one or more teeth with implants. They look almost identical to natural teeth.

The standard dental implant replaces one tooth using an implanted titanium screw and an attached false tooth, but there are other options available, such as the following.

  • Metal-free dental implants: Patients who need to avoid a metal screw can opt for a ⦁ metal-free implant. These feature a strong zirconia base. Metal-free dental implants are excellent for patients with a metal allergy. They are also a good fit for patients with thinning gums. The white base of the zirconia implant blends into the jawline better, reducing discoloration in patients with thin gums.
  • All-on-4: Dental implants are an investment, but for patients with many missing teeth, financially they can feel a little out of reach. In some cases, we can replace ⦁ multiple teeth using fewer implants. We may be able to replace an entire arch using four or more implants. The implants provide the base and structure for your tooth replacement, supporting bridges of false teeth. This method can significantly reduce the cost of dental implants. It also eases recovery and discomfort by lessening the number of implants needed and the invasiveness of implant surgery.

Dental implants work best in patients with a strong jawbone. The bone can degrade after tooth loss or due to dental problems. To ensure our patients achieve a good result, we carefully prepare for implant surgery using bone grafting or guided placement in challenging cases.

Dental Bridge

A bridge spans a gap of missing teeth using custom-made false teeth. The natural teeth on either side of the missing teeth support this type of dental prosthesis.

Bridges can achieve a good aesthetic result, but they may require a little specialized care. Your dentist will teach you how to clean your replacement teeth using specialized flossing techniques and dental tools. If you have a bridge, you won’t be able to remove it yourself. If yours needs to come out for any reason, your dentist will need to assist.


One of the least invasive and most affordable options for tooth replacement are dentures. A denture is a removable plate or frame that holds replacement teeth.

Dentures stay in place with a close fit along the underlying gum and bone tissue. The layer of saliva between the gums and the denture help keep this oral health device in the mouth. People with dentures often remove them daily for cleaning.

Dentures can negatively affect the ability to eat some types of foods. Some patients struggle with nutrition due to an inability to eat properly. Modern, well-fitted dentures are much more effective than older styles.

Dentures don’t have to replace a full arch of your smile. Partial dentures can restore the appearance of missing teeth in smaller areas. These dentures are removable. Specialized clasps attach to the surrounding teeth and hold them in place.

Hill Country Oral Surgery for Your Tooth Replacement Needs

Smile with confidence by replacing your missing teeth. Come in for a consultation and explore your options for tooth replacement with one of our skilled oral surgeons. Call us at 512-327-7233 to schedule a visit to our Austin, TX oral surgery office.

Your Guide to Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Whether you’ve had one tooth extracted or all of your wisdom teeth removed, your recovery will be supported through a combination of rest, pain medication, diet, hygiene and avoiding certain activities for a few days. Your doctor will explain the keys to recovery before the procedure and send you home with specific instructions after your procedure. Following those instructions is important for proper healing and your comfort in the following days.

Every patient’s mouth heals a bit differently, depending on the location and extent of the extraction(s). To learn more about proper aftercare for the various tooth extraction procedures, contact Hill Country Oral Surgery in Austin, TX, at (512) 327-7233.

Time off after tooth extraction

Patients might need to have a single tooth removed for a number of reasons, including decay or infection, damage from trauma, crowded teeth, or gum disease. While there may be some soreness, most patients can usually return to work or normal activity the next day. However, if at all possible, give yourself that next day to rest and recover.

If you need to have multiple teeth removed or your teeth are impacted, you should plan to rest for two to three days and avoid physical activity for five days.

Not all patients will require prescription pain medication. Some chose to use only over-the-counter options. If you chose to take prescription pain medication, it should already be working by the time the anesthesia wears off in two to eight hours.

Aftercare for wisdom teeth extractions

Because it is a more extensive surgery, there are several factors that will play into successful recovery from a wisdom tooth extraction.

Most people will recover in three to four days. If your teeth were impacted or came in at an awkward angle, it could take a week for recovery. The wounds won’t be completely healed for a few months, so it’s important to follow instructions to avoid an infection.

Wisdom teeth extraction FAQs

What should I expect after I get home?

Many surgeons insist that you have someone drive you home, or they will call a cab for you. Your mouth will be numb, but you can eat shortly after surgery, starting with clear liquids and soft foods. Suggested drinks include water, juice, milk and sports drinks. Do not drink carbonated beverages for at least four days. Doctors recommend food items that won’t require much chewing, such as soup, pasta, and mashed potatoes. Stock up before your surgery so you’re not scrambling afterward. Do not use a straw for at least the first week, because sucking could dislodge a blood clot that is an important part of the healing process. Avoid hard foods that could become stuck in the sockets.

What about ice and meds?

If you require prescription pain medication, you’ll be given a prescription and instructions before you’re sent home. You can begin taking them after you’ve had some food. You should also begin using an ice pack on your face. A sponge that has been soaked in water and then frozen in a plastic bag makes a great ice pack. 

Your doctor will let you know the best protocol for icing as you heal, including for how long and how often you should apply your ice pack. In general, you should be careful not to keep the ice on your face for more than 15 minutes at a time. 

How long do I leave in the gauze?

Keep it in place with pressure as long as the site is oozing or bleeding. After about an hour, remove the gauze and evaluate the site. If you need fresh gauze, dampen it before applying it. Do not replace gauze if you are not bleeding because it could dislodge the clot.

Do you have hygiene tips?

After the bleeding stops, you can rinse your mouth with salt water after eating and drinking. Put one teaspoon of salt into an eight-ounce glass of warm water. You can brush your teeth, but be sure to avoid the extraction areas.

How much rest is necessary?

Sleep with your head elevated. Try to get as much rest as possible for the first few days after surgery and avoid strenuous activities for five days. You’ll experience minor soreness for approximately a week, but you’ll slowly be able to return to your normal daily activities. The recovery time could be longer if the extraction was more complicated.

Should I be concerned about dry socket?

Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that should have formed after the surgery is either accidentally dislodged or never formed. The risk remains until you’re fully healed, which usually takes seven to 10 days.

If there are any problems or difficulties, or even if you just have questions about how to best care for your mouth as it heals, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to give you the advice to address the issue and alleviate your concerns.

Contact Hill Country Oral Surgery today at (512) 327-7233 for further information about aftercare for extractions.

3 Techniques That Make Tooth Extraction Recovery Quick and Manageable

Wounds in the mouth heal ten times faster than cuts on the body, making recovery from dental surgery much easier than recovery from other surgeries. Your mouth is primed to heal and with these simple techniques, you can help facilitate the process. Here are our best tips for quick and manageable recovery after tooth extraction.  We’re on your team before, during, and after oral surgery procedures. Here is the advice we offer our patients to help them maximize their recovery.

Control Your Pain

We want our patients to enjoy a comfortable and successful recovery from their tooth extractions. An important part of ensuring comfort is pain control. Your oral surgeon will likely recommend some type of pain medication, especially for the first days after your procedure. 

There are many options for pain control after tooth extraction. These include:

  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers- Most patients will use an over-the-counter medication, like Tylenol® or Advil®, to control discomfort after surgery. Over-the-counter treatments have been found to be more effective at reducing pain than opioid analgesics and have far fewer side effects. We’ll give our recommendations for safe over-the-counter options and how to use them effectively to control your discomfort after wisdom tooth extraction
  • Prescription Pain Medication– Some patients may need prescription pain medication for their recovery. Commonly prescribed pain relievers after oral surgery include Vicodin® and hydrocodone. These pain relievers are effective, but carry many side effects and can be addictive, especially if they are used improperly or for extended periods. 
  • Exparel®- We also offer a long-lasting, non-narcotic pain control option called Exparel. This medication is administered in our office right before your procedure and provides pain relief for up to three days. With Exparel, patients enjoy effective pain relief without having to remember medications. You’ll also avoid the side effects of narcotic pain medications including nausea, vomiting, constipation, and the potential for medication abuse. 

Controlling pain effectively helps you to rest and recover so your body can heal quickly.

Don’t Smoke

Nicotine is a powerful vasoconstrictor, meaning it constricts the blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients available to your surgical site. Fewer nutrients mean slower healing and an increased likelihood of complications. Smoking can also cause dry socket, a painful complication that can sometimes arise after tooth extraction. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms over the healing area dislodges prematurely. 

We ask our patients to stop smoking for several weeks before tooth extraction and throughout the recovery process.

Follow Your Recovery Instructions

Many of our patients are new to tooth extractions, but we’re certainly not. We perform this procedure frequently and have lots of experience guiding our patients through the recovery process successfully. We’ll provide detailed recovery instructions and we are available if you have any questions or concerns. Following our instructions closely will ensure that your mouth can heal effectively. 

If you have questions or concerns about the instructions we provide, reach out and let us know. We’re always happy to answer questions. If you experience any side effects that you weren’t expecting, get in touch. 

Schedule your tooth extraction in Austin, TX by calling Hill Country Oral Surgery at 512-327-7233.

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.