For years, dental x-rays have been used to diagnose oral health complications and detect decaying or damaged teeth. X-rays provide a unique view of the mouth that isn’t possible with a visual exam alone. When x-rays are taken, the teeth and bones absorb the majority of the ray, making them highly visible on film or on a screen. Nearly all new dental patients are x-rayed, although you may instead request that previous x-rays be transferred from another dental provider to your new dentist. By comparing your x-rays with your full mouth examination and dental history, your dentist can prescribe effective treatment and recommend a plan for preventative care.

Did you know…

that dental x-rays deliver very low levels of radiation and are considered completely safe? In fact, x-rays are even considered safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding so long as a leaded apron and collar are used to protect your body from exposure. If you are pregnant or think you may be, tell your dentist so proper precautions can be taken.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get dental x-rays?

Yes. Dental x-rays are capable of identifying tooth decay and damage beneath the surface of the teeth where caries are less visible during an examination. Furthermore, x-rays provide a reference point for the progression of decay in your mouth over time. You should have x-rays taken on a regular basis, but especially if you are experiencing oral health complications or are planning to undergo a dental procedure, such as a root canal.

What should I expect when I get dental x-rays?

Getting traditional dental x-rays can take several minutes. A thick paper tab is placed into the mouth, which you will be asked to bite down on. Most patients find that dental x-rays are completely painless and do not inflict any level of discomfort. In some cases, dentists intraoral x-rays, as well as extra-oral x-rays that snap images of the face, jaw and skull. Extra-oral x-rays are typically used to identify impacted teeth, such as wisdom teeth.

What happens after my dentist has taken x-rays?

Your x-rays will be saved either on film or digitally. In the future, your dentist may request additional dental x-rays every few years to monitor the health of your teeth, gums and jaw over time. If you are considered to be high risk for oral disease or are exhibiting symptoms of complications, your dentist may prefer to take x-rays more frequently.

A tooth extracted at River Run Family Dentistry

On many occasions, a tooth can be saved with a wide range of procedures depending on the condition. Typically, a root canal is a last-ditch effort when it comes to saving a tooth when either infection or damage has reached the pulp – the center of the tooth. But when all other options have been exhausted and it has been determined that it is the best often–an extraction is called for. At River Run Family Dentistry we only want the best for our patients.

Do Extractions Hurt?

With modern medicine, we can eliminate the pain that would otherwise occur when a tooth is pulled. We and any other dentist office will use anesthesia to eliminate the pain. You will experience some discomfort a few days with full recovery in 1-2 weeks after the procedure. This is the harder part for the patient overall.

What Reasons Would A Tooth Need to Be Pulled?

A tooth might need extraction for several reasons. If the tooth affects the rest of the mouth, then that can be a big reason for it to be pulled.

Impacted Tooth

Teeth that have either grown at an odd angle or a blow to the mouth has moved it out of the place can affect a person’s bite and/or ability to chew food properly. The former is the reason why so many people have their wisdom teeth removed – because they oftentimes do grow at an angle that pushes against other teeth, specifically the molars. 


If a tooth has become infected beyond repair such as intense levels of tooth decay, an extraction is the best option. Severe gum disease can also require tooth extraction if the gums have receded far enough to expose the roots.


If a tooth has become too damaged, options such as a crown, bonding agent, root canal, or other options will not save the tooth, the best option is to have it pulled.

Recovery Process

As touched on above, the recovery process can take between 1 to 2 weeks with the first 24 hours leaving you the most vulnerable. For the first day you will be advised to not rinse your mouth to avoid opening the formed blood clot which is known as dry socket. Ensuring that this clot does not open is essentially the main goal through the recovery process. You will be advised to eat soft foods at first until the area has healed.

Replacing an Extracted Tooth

If the extracted tooth leaves a gap that is easily visible by others and/or is affecting your ability to chew, you are likely wanting to get it replaced. Bridges, implants, and partial dentures aim to replace missing teeth in their own way. You can talk to us about which option is best for you and we will ensure you lead a happy, healthy mouth! At River Run Family Dentistry we want to make sure each patient feels at home when they see us. You can call 830-387-3040 to ask any questions or schedule an appointment. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Dental mouth guards have long been used to protect the teeth, gums and supporting tissues from damage, injury and trauma. There are two types of sports mouth guards – over the counter and custom. While OTC guards are helpful for occasional use, many dental patients require the benefit of a customized dental mouth guard fitted by a dentist to effectively prevent injury.

Caring for your new custom mouth guard is simple.

The American Dental Association recommends keeping protected in a sturdy container in between usage. You should also be careful to clean your mouth guard after use and occasionally soak it in cool, soapy water for thorough sanitation. Custom dental mouth guards are designed for durability, but it is important to check your mouth guard for signs of wear every few months. Mouth guards for children and teens must be replaced frequently to account for growing jaws and changes to the teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a dental mouth guard?

There are many reasons why wearing a dental mouth guard could be right for you. A few examples include:

What should I expect when my dentist fits me for a mouth guard?

Your visit will consist of taking an impression of your teeth that will be used as a mold for your new mouth guard. You may even be able to leave your dental appointment with your custom mouth guard in-hand.

Should I follow any special instructions?

Before you leave your dentist’s office with your new mouth guard, you’ll receive instructions on how and when to wear it. If you suffer from TMJ disorders or bruxism, for example, you will likely wear your mouth guard at night. If you participate in recreational sports, however, you may only need to wear your mouth guard during physical activity.

Your smile is the first impression that others have of you, so it makes sense that you would want it to be bright, white and healthy. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than 99 percent of all American adults believe that a smile is an important asset for social situations. Perhaps that is why so many patients are electing cosmetic dental procedures to improve their smiles and boost self-confidence.

Did you know…

that cosmetic dentistry is more than just teeth whitening? Your cosmetic dentist is also capable of transforming your smile’s shape, color, alignment, as well as filling in gaps and discreetly restoring decayed or damaged teeth with tooth-colored fillings. In fact, modern advancements in cosmetic dentistry have made it possible for patients to achieve nearly perfect teeth with cosmetic enhancements and restorations that are virtually undetectable to friends, family and peers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for cosmetic dentistry?

You may be a candidate for cosmetic dentistry if your healthy teeth have imperfections that you would prefer to be changed to enhance the appearance of your smile. It is important to recognize that esthetic dental treatments are not meant to alter your overall appearance, but rather to provide a positive change that compliments the health and natural appearance of your teeth. If you think cosmetic dentistry is right for you, contact your cosmetic dentist today to schedule a consultation.

What should I expect from my cosmetic dental visit?

Due to great strides in dentistry, cosmetic, restorative and general dentistry can overlap in a single visit. You can expect your cosmetic dentist to discuss health implications, as well as esthetics at your appointment.

What types of cosmetic treatments are available to me?

There are many types of cosmetic treatments available, from in-office teeth whitening to total smile make-overs. The types of treatments available to you will depend on your overall goals, but may include professional whitening, tooth-colored fillings, bonding, crowns, veneers, or dental implants.

What should I expect after receiving a cosmetic treatment?

You will receive special care instructions following your treatment. For example, if you have your teeth whitened you should avoid highly pigmented beverages and foods for several days to prevent staining. On the other hand, a dental implant make-over may require a significant amount of down time, as well as a temporary, but limited diet.

General dentistry encompasses a broad range of diseases and disorders of the oral and maxillofacial region. Everyone should see a general dentist for routine oral health examinations, twice-yearly cleanings, and treatment of routine oral health complications, such as minor tooth decay. General dentistry is as much about prevention as it is about treatment. Patients who visit a general dentist can expect professional oral health care, as well as education and advisement about self-care between office visits.

Did you know…

that the American Dental Association recommends that every American visit a general dentist a minimum of one time every six months? Doing so can aid in the detection of decay, oral disease and other dental health problems before the progress and become severe. If you are at risk for certain complications or have a history or periodontal disease and advanced decay, you may need to visit your general dentist on a more frequent basis. Patients who visit their dentist regularly and as recommended are more likely to retain their natural teeth and enjoy a lifetime of good oral health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to visit a general dentist?

Yes. Even if you are not currently experiencing any symptoms of tooth decay or gum disease, it is important to visit your dentist for a thorough examination and cleaning. Despite daily brushing and flossing, your teeth can still accumulate tartar that can harbor bacteria. These bacteria can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if not professionally removed at your dentist’s office.

What should I expect during my dentist visit?

Your visit will begin with a general inspection of the condition of your teeth. If you have not been to the dentist in a while, your dentist may order x-rays. An oral hygienist will then use special metal instruments to gently scrape away tartar along your gum line. Later, your dentist will review your x-rays and discuss any symptoms you may have been experiencing. He or she will then make a recommendation for treatment (if applicable) and answer any questions you may have.

Are there any special instructions I need to follow after seeing my dentist?

Based on the results of your dental check-up, your general dentist may recommend that you return for treatment or follow a special at-home oral care plan. You may also be referred to a dental specialist for treatment of advanced oral health conditions.

Icon Treatment

Patient who received teeth whitening from River Run Family Dentistry
Woman in sun hat with brilliant white teeth from River Run Family Dentistry in New Braunfels, TX

Having bright white teeth is one of the most desired traits when it comes to dental cosmetics. Certainly, you can achieve this by brushing twice a day with whitening toothpaste, but this can take weeks which is sometimes not conveniently available. If you have a job interview, wedding, or just want a boost in confidence in general, getting your teeth professionally whitened is a fast, safe and efficient way to dramatically see results. At River Run Family Dentistry we are here for your oral health and cosmetic dental needs.

The Whitening Procedure

The procedure for whitening teeth is also known as bleaching. This process involves the dentist applying a gel made up of 15 – 45% hydrogen peroxide. Essentially, the hydrogen peroxide is helpful for breaking down and removing stains from the teeth. The dentist then applies either a heating lamp or laser treatment to complete the process. This is repeated as many times as necessary for around an hour. The results from this are shockingly white teeth in no time at all.

You can keep your bright white smile for years with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. And depending on exactly what level of procedure you have chosen; you can be given a custom tray for at-home bleaching to keep the freshly-whitened effect going for a while. 

Is This Safe?

This procedure is completely safe. And it is more beneficial than you might think. While it isn’t a cleaning per se, the substance used to whiten the teeth removes plaque and kills bacteria. It isn’t a replacement for a regular check-up, but it does indeed remove build up on the teeth itself.

Things to Keep In Mind After The Procedure

Because this is a cosmetic procedure, meaning it is highly likely that the visit is paid for out-of-pocket, it is very helpful to remember that the bleaching effect can be reversed if you end up eating and drinking foods that stain teeth — as well as failing to practice positive oral hygiene. 

You don’t entirely have to give up your favorite beverages, we recommend using a straw for stain-heavy drinks such as coffee and red wine. It may be a little different at first, but it helps in protecting what is essentially an investment for your teeth.

In addition to this, it is still important to brush twice a day and floss once a day. You can use toothpaste that is made with whitening in mind. These will usually have small amounts of hydrogen peroxide and/or baking soda. If you keep this up every day and eat a healthy diet, you are sure to keep your white smile for a very long time!

Talk To Us About Your Dental Cosmetic Needs

At River Run Family Dentistry we are fully committed to providing both oral health and cosmetic dentistry services to help you achieve a smile you can count on and live happily with. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call our office at 830-387-3040. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Patient with teeth veneers from River Run Family Dentistry

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, there are quite a few options to work with to improve your smile. Whitening, bonding, and crowns can all be effective in achieving the desired results. But there’s another option that can make your smile gorgeous without having to change the teeth themselves. We will be going over dental veneers and how they could be the right option for you. At River Run Family Dentistry we are committed to providing patients with cosmetic dentistry they can count on to deliver the smile they desire.

What Are Veneers?

Veneers are a bit like dentures, but purely for cosmetic purposes. Veneers require teeth for them to be put on–typically covering the top teeth and they are usually bright white and shaped to be aesthetically pleasing. The material used is either porcelain or composite resin with porcelain used for permanent veneers. Porcelain mimics the look of natural teeth better and holds up to stains very well.

Who Are Veneers For?

The main reason why someone would opt for veneers is that they give users a gorgeous smile without having to go through the process of wearing braces and bleaching to achieve a similar effect. While veneers may not change your natural teeth, they will give you the desired results without others knowing you are wearing veneers. They are particularly excellent for those who see a lot of people daily or are attending an important occasion. They have grown in popularity as people saw celebrities use them to achieve a picture-perfect smile.

It is important to remember that veneers are for appearances, if you have teeth that are misaligned to the point it is affecting your bite and/or ability to chew properly. It is best to get a form of braces – invisible aligners and lingual braces are available if you are not keen on traditional braces.


Veneers are quite durable for their intended purpose. Porcelain veneers that are well cared for can last over 10 years. They are permanently attached to your teeth and thus they are there with you with whatever you do. The key ways you can make veneers last a long time is avoiding hard foods or foods and beverages that are known for staining such as coffee and excessive levels of tomatoes. Alcohol consumption should also be limited as it negatively affects the bonding agent.


Price is the most important deciding factor for many. Veneers are excellent at doing their job and we think you will be very pleased with the results. Traditional veneers are custom made specifically for you and are priced on a per tooth basis, so they cost varies between person to person. On average porcelain veneers can cost about $1500 per tooth while composite resin veneers can average $600 per tooth. The pricing can seem higher as they are not covered by insurance due to them being a form of cosmetic dentistry. 

Snap-on veneers are much lower in cost as you are paying for a row of composite resin teeth that can be attached and removed at home. You can expect to pay under $1000 for quality, custom made temporary vendors.

At River Run Family Dentistry we want to help you achieve the best smile possible, if you are interested in talking to us about veneers or another form of cosmetic dentistry, you can call our office at 830-387-3040 to ask any questions or schedule an appointment. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren’t following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times each day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath.

Did you know…

that the type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? The ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but these brushes can actually cause abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my brushing habits?

You may need to change your brushing habits if you are experiencing signs of poor oral hygiene. Examples of common symptoms include bleeding or reddened gums, excessive plaque build-up, decaying teeth and receding gum lines. To find out if you are brushing correctly or if you need to change your brushing habits, make an appointment with your  dentist for a full consultation.

What should I expect if I begin brushing my teeth correct?

The benefits of proper tooth brushing techniques may not be experienced immediately, but they are noticeable long-term. Over time, brushing too hard or not brushing enough can produce oral health complications that cannot be reversed and require special treatment. By adopting proper brushing habits, you could avoid expensive dental bills in the future.

Is there anything else I need to do in addition to brushing properly?

Yes. It is important that you also floss daily and use toothpaste that contains fluoride each day. You should also schedule dental exams and professional cleanings in at least twice per year.

Having bad breath can be an embarrassing problem – especially if you are regularly face to face with other people. Known professionally as halitosis, bad breath plagues many people every day. Most cases of bad breath can be remedied by efficiently brushing the teeth. However, some types of bad breath are chronic or recurring, which may warrant a visit to the dentist.

Did you know…

that bad breath can be caused by something as simple as eating too much garlic, or that it could be a serious symptom of a disease? Some of the most common causes of bad breath include dry mouth, certain medications, use of tobacco, poor dental hygiene, and oral infections. In rare cases, bad breath may be a sign of diseases like cancer or gastroesophageal reflux.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need treatment for my bad breath?

If your bad breath does not improve despite self-care techniques, such as dietary adjustments and thorough tooth brushing, you may need to see a dentist about pursuing professional treatment. Keep in mind that short-term remedies like gum, breath mints, and mouthwash may temporarily freshen breath, but they are not a solution to the underlying problem.

What should I expect my dentist to do about my bad breath?

Your visit will begin with an examination and questions about your daily habits, such as the types of foods you eat and the medications you take. Your dentist may then inspect your mouth for signs of decay, infections or gum disease that could be causing your bad breath. If your chronic bad breath cannot be traced to an oral problem or daily habit, you may be referred to a physician for further evaluation.

Is there anything I can do to maintain better breath?

Yes. If bad breath is a source of embarrassment for you, try to keep breath fresheners on-hand at all times. Sleep with your mouth closed, as this prevents dry mouth and helps tame morning breath. Eliminate odor-causing foods from your diet, such as garlic and onions, and make an effort to brush your teeth and tongue every morning and night. Finally, be sure to visit your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice per year to remove built-up plaque that can cause chronic halitosis.