It’s been quite the journey for Dr. Andres Guerra-Andrade, an oral surgeon in Lutz who began his lifetime passion of helping people as a 14-year-boy in his native Venezuela. It was then that he began going on medical mission trips with his Catholic school that provided dental and medical care to people in need.
“I did anything the medical and dental staff asked, even assisting with tooth extractions,” said Dr. Guerra. “I was so amazed at what they did, that I set a goal of becoming an oral surgeon myself one day.”
Before that could happen, Dr. Guerra first needed to become a dentist, which he accomplished when he graduated from dental school in La Universidad Central de Venezuela at Caracas in 2001. He spent the next two years volunteering at a public hospital assisting oral surgeons, while also working by day as a general dentist. This experience led to his acceptance to the oral and maxillofacial surgery residency program in 2004 at the University of Puerto Rico, and his graduation six years later with a Degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and a Master’s in Dental Sciences.
Following graduation, he spent two years as an assistant professor at the University of Puerto Rico, where he met his future wife, Denisse, who was studying to be a pediatric dentist. The couple married in 2008, and soon afterward Dr. Guerra was accepted to a fellowship in Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Knoxville.
“It was, of course, very difficult to be apart from my wife so soon after we married, but Denisse was still completing dental school in Puerto Rico, and this was an amazing fellowship that I could not pass up,” explains Dr. Guerra.
The ability to help people and relieve their pain was something Dr. Guerra always wanted to do. And now that he was an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Guerra was able to help even more people.
“Oral surgery is such a rich specialty and profession. It is so much more than just being a dentist. It gave me the surgical skills needed to remove cancerous tumors and save a person’s life, and that is so humbling,” said Dr. Guerra. “I am very passionate about my profession, and have tremendous knowledge from 15 years of education that I want to share.”
In 2011, after Dr. Guerra completed his fellowship, and his wife graduated from the pediatric dentistry residency program, the couple had an opportunity to move to Tampa. Dr. Guerra was hired at James A. Haley VA Hospital as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and Denisse began work as a pediatric dentist.
“I loved working with veterans. They give their all for our country and the world, and their military service often leads to a myriad of health problems. Working at the VA helped me appreciate all the things veterans do for us and the world,” said Dr. Guerra.
Dr. Guerra worked for the VA for three and a half years, and then joined a private oral surgery practice in Trinity, Palm Harbor and Spring Hill. In 2017, the Guerras decided to build a dental specialty office in Lutz on Van Dyke Road, and opened practices next to each other. The location was less than 5 minutes from their home and their children’s school, something that was very important to the couple.
Their new office opened in 2018, and the additional space has allowed Dr. Guerra-Andrade to expand his surgical offerings.
“We now have the ability to perform all patient surgeries ( adults and children) right here in our office,” Dr. Guerra-Andrade said. “Patients love this because they don’t need to go to the hospital, and they receive top-notch care from the same staff, from beginning to end.”
Most of Dr. Guerra’s 10 employees have worked with him for many years. “We are blessed to have such a caring and competent staff, who have truly become part of our family,” he said. “We’re nothing without our staff.”
Tersa Means Smooth
Dr. Guerra recently changed the name of his practice to Tersa Oral and Facial Surgery, to make his business name encompass the two main components of his practice, oral and maxillofacial surgery and facial cosmetic surgery, and to have a unique name.
“In Spanish, Tersa means smooth, beautiful skin, and that’s how we view our practice — making our patients beautiful in a setting that is smooth and efficient,” said Dr. Guerra-Andrade.
Tersa Oral and Facial Surgery has two primary facets to its practice — dental oral surgery and facial cosmetic surgery.
Dental surgery encompasses tooth extractions, implants, bone grafts, exposure of impacted teeth, sinus elevations, biopsies, soft tissue grafts and gingival surgery. Dr. Guerra-Andrade also performs All-on-4 Teeth protocol in one session, a procedure that replaces traditional dentures for implant-supported dentures.
In the facial cosmetic sector, he performs multiple surgical procedures such as facelifts, otoplasties, eyelid and brow lifts. Nonsurgical procedures, such as Botox, fillers, and skin tightening, are offered at Tersa Oral and Facial Surgery. Tersa also has its own skin care line.
As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Guerra provides patients with safe, effective outpatient anesthesia, including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, IV sedation and general anesthesia.
“My specialty is the only one in medicine that allows the doctor to anesthetize patients outside of a hospital. This requires extensive education and certification, and for patients, it is a tremendous convenience and cost savings,” said Dr. Guerra.
It’s this high level of skill and specialty that make maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Guerra-Andrade the best choice for facial cosmetic surgery.
“If you are considering plastic surgery on your face, such as a face, brow or eyelid lift, you will get the best results when you go to a surgeon who only specializes in the face, and does not also do tummy tucks, vascular surgery and other procedures beyond the face,” said Dr. Guerra-Andrade.
“There are multiple bones in the face, and no one is better trained on how to work on the face than a maxillofacial surgeon. My specialized and extensive training makes me exceptionally qualified and a trusted professional for facial cosmetic surgery.”