Because Life is Better with Teeth

Services & Solutions

  • 3 Steps to Great Oral Health

  • Preventative Dentistry

  • Improving Your Smile

  • Treatment for Gum Disease

  • Restoring & Replacing Teeth

  • Root Canal Treatment

  • Tooth Removal Treatment

  • Dental Care for Kids

  • Dental Emergencies

  • Sedation Options

  • Technology

3 Steps to Great Oral Health

Step #1: The Mechanics

The mechanics of great oral health are fundamentally basic: Brushing and flossing to physically remove the gunk that sticks to your teeth. If you don’t get rid of it, it can weaken your teeth and lead to cavities, bad breath, and bleeding gums.

Brushing

Tools: a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.

Duration: 2 minutes every time you brush.

Frequency: 2 times a day – in the morning and just before bed.

Method: purposefully. You have to be thoughtful about your brushing. Make sure to target the gum line and chewing surfaces, brushing the cheek and tongue sides of each tooth.

Flossing

Tools: regular or waxed, mint or plain — so long as you use it, it doesn’t really mater what kind you use. Even “flossers” that utilize plastic handles are better than nothing. A lot of products push stuff out from between your teeth, but only floss actually travels between your teeth from the chewing surface to the gum line.

Frequency: at least once a day – it’s great to be a frequent flosser!

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brushing your teethBrushing

why flossing is importantFlossing

 

Step #2: The Chemistry

Cavities are caused by acids that weaken the teeth. The acids may be in the foods and beverages you eat and drink, they may come from the break-down of plaque on your teeth, or they may come directly from your stomach. You can use chemistry to help fight against the acids that attack your teeth. There’s a huge selection of products available today, and we can help you narrow in on specific items that might benefit you. Here are a few of the basics when it comes to the chemistry of great oral health.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. When fluoride is applied to the surfaces of your teeth, it makes tooth enamel stronger. Stronger enamel means that your teeth are less likely to develop cavities. The fluoride in toothpastes and mouth rinses and in treatments provided in our office can even reverse early signs of tooth decay.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar found in trees, fruit and vegetables – it’s also found naturally in the human liver. Unlike table sugar, xylitol is not broken down into acids, so it’s not a threat to your teeth. In fact, studies have shown that xylitol can help reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. For the best effect, you should consume 6-10 grams of xylitol each day. Look for xylitol in mints, gum, toothpaste, even in the baking aisle at the grocery store. One word of caution – although xylitol is beneficial for people, it can be dangerous for dogs. Be sure to keep xylitol products away from Fido!

Saliva

You may be surprised to learn that your saliva plays a vital role in keeping your mouth healthy. Fighting for you 24-7, saliva rinses away food and other debris, it neutralizes acids, and it’s an important part of your immune system. Not having enough saliva can contribute to extensive tooth decay, among other problems. If you feel that you have symptoms of dry mouth, let us know. While you can’t run to the grocery store to pick up saliva supplements, there are a number of over-the-counter oral moisturizers available and in severe dry mouth cases, prescription medications may help stimulate salivary flow.

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tooth decay issuesTooth Decay

 

Step #3: The Right Choice

For a lot of people, this is the hardest part of the equation. You can know everything about how to keep your mouth healthy, but none of it matters unless you decide to convert that knowledge into action. It’s kind of like making a commitment to take care of your body by going to the gym. The good news is that taking care of your teeth is so much easier — you simply have to go to the sink!

Every day, you get to choose whether you’re going to brush and floss, and you get to choose food, beverages, and products that give your mouth an advantage for strong teeth, healthy gums, and fresh breath. When you’re living your life, making these decisions, we’ll be in the background cheering you on and looking forward to celebrating your successes the next time you’re back in the office!

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when to see your dentistWhy You Should See Your Dentist

your diet can hurt your dental healthSip and Snack All Day? Risk Decay!

Preventative Dentistry

Excellent home care habits and regularly scheduled professional dental cleanings and exams: that’s your combination for dental success. When you see the dentist and hygienist every 6 months, you can catch potential issues before they become major problems. Regular professional cleanings and exams help to deter gum disease and tooth loss, give you a brighter smile, eliminate bad breath, and maintain good overall health. Prevention is powerful!

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preventative teeth brushing
Brushing
flossing is very important to your dental care
Flossing
mouth and throat cancer
Mouth & Throat Cancer
why you should see your dentist
Why You Should See Your Dentist

Improving Your Smile

James Taylor sang it best, “Whenever I see your smiling face, I have to smile myself…” Smiles are contagious, and dentistry in the 21st century is full of possibilities for improving your smile! From customized teeth whitening options to conservative bonding or porcelain veneers, you can enhance the color and shape of individual teeth to give you a more confident appearance. With advanced tooth-colored filling materials and porcelains, even the most basic filling or dental crown can blend naturally, and often undetectably, with your adjacent teeth.

If you hide your smile because of minor tooth crowding or spacing, we can help there, too. Our doctors are proud to be providers of Clear Correct and Invisalign. These orthodontic systems use clear, removable aligners to change the position of your teeth and improve your smile. If you’re interested in a subtle change or a total smile makeover, let us know. We’ll talk with you about various options, pros and cons, and we’ll help find the path that’s right for you.

  • clear correct retainers
  • invisalign retainers

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improving your smile
Improving Your Smile
teeth whitening
Tooth Whitening
veneers options
Veneers
braces & orthadontics
Braces & Orthodontics

Treatment for Gum Disease

Gum disease, aka periodontitis, is the number one reason adults in America loose teeth. It is a progressive, destructive disease. It starts with an invisible, sticky biofilm, bacteria and plaque that accumulate on the teeth, harden into calculus, and lead to gum inflammation, infection, bone loss, and eventually tooth mobility and loss. Worse than tooth loss, periodontitis may also affect your overall health by interfering with diabetic control and increasing your risk of cardiac problems and stroke. Periodontal disease has also been linked to pre-term births.

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, we’ll help you know how to most effectively keep the disease at bay through a combination of professional specialized cleanings (scaling and root planing procedures), effective home care, and possibly adjunctive recommendations like short-term anti-microbial rinses. Gum disease can be defeated, but it takes diligent, continuing effort and a partnership between our team and you.

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preventing periodontal disease
Preventing Periodontal Disease
treating periodontal disease
Treating Periodontal Disease
gum recession
Gum Recession
healthy mouth, healthy body
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

Restoring & Replacing Teeth

Our hope is that preventative dental care is all you’ll ever need. We know, however, that at some point in their lives, most people will need restorative dental care. When and if the time comes, we’re here to help. Small cavities generally require simple fillings; we conservatively remove the bad part of the tooth and replace it with composite resin or, in a few select cases, silver fillings. When larger parts of teeth need to be replaced or when teeth are cracked, we may recommend a crown or onlay to provide greater support and longevity. Crowns and onlays provide protective coverage over the tooth.

When it comes to replacing one or more teeth, you have a variety of options that can fit any budget and lifestyle. Dental bridges not only replace missing teeth, but they may also help restore chewing and speaking ability, maintain facial shape, and prevent movement of surrounding teeth. The non-removable nature of a dental bridge is one of its greatest advantages.

Removable partial dentures and full dentures are removable appliances used to replace missing teeth and surrounding gum tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth, and they can even improve your smile. Today’s dental implants are often a great choice for replacing teeth. They can provide strong, predictable, long-term results that are both natural looking and highly functional. Implants can replace single or multiple teeth, and they can even be used to help stabilize full or partial dentures.

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getting dental implants
Dental Implants
tooth replacement options
Tooth Replacement Crowns
getting a dental bridge
Bridges
dentures and replacement
Dentures

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is often an important procedure for eliminating pain and saving a badly infected tooth. Thanks to modern techniques and 3-D imaging, today’s root canal treatments are more predictable, more comfortable, and have better long-term results than ever before. Before you consider tooth removal, our doctors will talk with you about whether a root canal procedure might be right for you.

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root canal treatment
Root Canal Treatment
dental emergency procedures
Dental Emergencies

Tooth Removal Treatment

Life is better with teeth, but as much as we like to save them, sometimes teeth need to say, “goodbye.” Whether it’s a tooth that is non-restorable due to very large cavity or fracture, or a crowded wisdom tooth, our doctors have the training and skill to take care of most removal needs in the most comfortable manner possible. We’ll also discuss replacement options with you so you can restore function and appearance as quickly as possible.

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tooth extraction procedures
Tooth Extraction
tooth replacement options
Tooth Replacement Options

Dental Care for Kids

A lifetime of dental success begins in childhood! The attitudes, habits, and understanding we develop as kids often stay with us into our adult lives. That’s why we work so hard to make your child’s visits to our office truly positive experiences. We know that we’re not only checking for cavities, evaluating brushing habits, and fixing problems when needed-we’re helping to lay a foundation for your child’s future.

Did you know that dental pain is the primary culprit for missed school days? Baby teeth matter! They are critical for your child’s speech, appearance, and even academic and emotional development. Starting with first visits around age 1 (as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry), and continuing throughout the childhood and teen years, we’ll work with you and your kids to establish good routines and provide guidance on dental prevention, nutrition, habits and orthodontics. Your child’s small dental victories now are like stepping stones that lead to better oral health later on in life.

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your child's first trip to the dentist
Your Child's First Dental Visit
your child's baby teeth
Baby Teeth
Sealants
healthy smilies for kids
Healthy Smiles for Kids

Dental Emergencies

The benefits of comprehensive and preventative oral care are unparalleled, but if a dental problem sneaks up on you, the doctors and team at Hill Country Dental Associates are here to help. Issues like painful, abscessed teeth, swollen gums and broken or knocked-out teeth need to be addressed promptly.

If you are facing a dental emergency, call us at 830-257-3000. We’ll work to address your urgent needs as quickly as possible.

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dental emergencies
Dental Emergencies

Sedation Options

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, helps take the edge off. It’s an easy, economical, and safe option for kids and adults who are a little nervous about receiving dental care. The sedative effects of nitrous oxide begin within minutes and can be adjusted throughout the procedure. Once the gas is discontinued at the end of the appointment, the effects subside almost immediately. Drs. Jamie and Jennifer Bone and are both certified to administer nitrous oxide. Our Hygienists Trish and Lyndel, along with all of our Dental Assistants have received their certifications for nitrous oxide monitoring, as well.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation provides a deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide. It involves the use of oral medications, often in combination with nitrous oxide, to help provide relief from mild to moderate dental anxiety. Another benefit is that oral sedatives often have an amnestic effect, meaning that you may not remember the actual dental procedure. Drs. Jamie and Jennifer Bone are certified to provide oral sedation.

IV Conscious Sedation

IV conscious sedation allows you as the patient to reach a deeper level of sedation compared to nitrous oxide and the use of oral sedatives. This form of sedation takes effect quickly, it often provides an amnestic affect (you may not remember the dental procedure itself), and it can be customized throughout the procedure to meet your individual needs. Drs. Jamie and Jennifer are certified to provide IV Conscious Sedation.

Technology

Digital X-Rays

Dental x-rays help us see inside a tooth and underneath the gums. They are critical tools for diagnosing problems like cavities, gum disease, and infections. Our office uses digital x-rays, which provide several advantages to our patients. The most important difference is that they need only a fraction of the time and radiation exposure required for x-rays made using traditional x-ray film–up to 80% less! Additionally, the contrast, color, image size and magnification of digital x-ray images can be adjusted to reveal subtleties that may not be apparent on traditional x-rays. This means we can detect disease earlier and treat problems when they are less complicated and less costly.

Even though the radiation exposure for digital x-rays is practically negligible, we still take it seriously. We routinely provide lead aprons (or the modern-day lead-free protective aprons) and thyroid collars to provide another later of protection.

Planmeca Promax 3D (Cone Beam CT Imaging Unit)

Dentistry is turning more and more to highly sophisticated imaging to improve outcomes and predictability. The high-resolution, 3-D images provided by cone beam CT units have numerous applications, from implant planning and 3rd molar evaluation, to orthodontics and root canal treatments. The need for this type of specialized imaging in the hill country used to mean a trip to San Antonio, but now we’re proud to offer this cutting-edge technology right here in our own office! Our Planmeca Promax 3-D unit offers all of these advantages and more:

  • Planmeca Ultra Low Dose TM imaging protocol, which enables 3-D imaging at an even lower radiation dose than that needed for standard 2-D panoramic imaging. The protocol also complies with the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle.
  • An outside-the-mouth sensor–great news for those of you who have small mouths, strong gag reflexes, or who find traditional x-rays uncomfortable.
  • Superior digital panoramic and bitewing images in seconds.
  • Open patient design means you won’t feel claustrophobic.
Intraoral Imaging

We use small, intraoral cameras–about the size of a pen–to help evaluate the condition of your teeth. With this advanced technology, we’re able to zoom in on areas of concern like cracks in teeth and cavities. The images are saved in your electronic chart, so you and your dentist can view them together on a monitor while discussing treatment options. Since pictures are sometimes easier for patients to understand than x-rays, using intraoral imaging helps you partner with the dentist in determining how best to proceed with your care.

Isolite System

The award-winning Isolite System provides greater patient comfort by allowing the jaw joint to rest during treatment. It not only enhances your comfort level, but also increases your safety and yields better clinical results through improved moisture control and visibility for the doctor.

Telescopic Loupes

To reach our goal of providing excellent, long-lasting dentistry, we often wear specialized glasses called surgical telescopic loupes. The magnification achieved with loupes helps us see fine detail that would otherwise go undetected with the naked eye.

Electric Handpieces

We understand that for most people, the sound of the dental drill runs a not-so-distant second to the sound of nails on a chalkboard. So when we equipped our new office, we selected KaVo COMFORTdrive electric headpieces, the “quietest high speed headpiece[s] on the market today.”* Not only are they quieter, but they are also designed with features to increase precision and patient safety. It leads to better dentistry and a better experience for you.