Dental Implants — North Central San Antonio, TX
Restoring Your Smile From The Roots Upward
Decay, gum disease, traumatic injuries – there are multiple ways to lose one or more natural teeth. Regardless of the cause, patients are often left devastated. Tooth loss can make day-to-day life much more difficult and frustrating, including everything from eating your favorite meal to smiling for a photo. If you’re ready to reclaim the complete, confident set of pearly whites that you need to feel at 100% again, it’s time to consider dental implants. This unique treatment is excellent for restoration your smile from the roots upward! If you’d like to learn more or schedule your consultation, don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Why Choose Legacy Dental SA For Dental Implants?
- Partnered with Local Specialists for Seamless & Precise Results
- Permanently Replace Any Number of Missing Teeth
- Fair, Honest Prices and Flexible Payment Options.
What Are Dental Implants?
Other tooth loss solutions like dental bridges and dentures only replace the visible portion of a missing tooth or teeth. On the other hand, dental implants are designed to replace the entire structure of your missing pearly whites. Below the gumline, a small titanium implant post is anchored into your jawbone to replace the roots of your missing teeth, which provides lifelike comfort and stability for your new smile. Above the gumline, a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the post with a small connector piece called an abutment. When you rebuild missing teeth from the roots up, you get a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like natural! That’s why dental implants are widely regarded as the gold standard of tooth replacement by both dentists and patients alike.
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
Dental implants in North Central San Antonio are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. This revolutionary treatment offers durable, lifelike, comfortable, and long-lasting results that you simply can’t get from more traditional methods. Although the dental implant process is a bit more complex than that of getting dentures or a fixed dental bridge, each step adds to the long-term success of your newly rebuilt smile. Learn more about this unique journey below, and contact Dr. Brian Eck and his friendly team at Legacy Dental SA when you’re ready to schedule your consultation!
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
The first step on your journey towards a complete, beautiful smile is a dental implant consultation with Dr. Eck. After answering any questions you may have about how dental implants work in North Central San Antonio, he’ll closely inspect your mouth and go over your medical history with you. He’ll be looking for any factors that may lead to implant failure, like gum disease, tooth decay, or inadequate jawbone density. Once these issues have been addressed, the dental implant process can continue.
Dental Implant Surgery
Next comes the surgical placement of your dental implant. Dr. Eck partners with local specialists to achieve the best results for missing teeth in North Central San Antonio. That way, you can trust that you’re receiving the best possible care from highly trained and skilled oral surgeons.
To mimic the roots of your missing tooth, small, biocompatible titanium posts will be inserted into your jawbone. As you relax under sedation or anesthesia, small incisions will be made in your gums to access the jawbone. Once the posts have been planted into the bone tissue, the gums are sutured closed, a protective cap is placed over the post, and the healing process begins.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment
Over the next several months after your surgery, the titanium post will naturally fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. As your jaw heals, it provides a solid foundation for your new tooth that promotes jawbone health and long-lasting results. While this step may take four to six months to complete, the results have the potential to last a lifetime!
Once your jawbone and gums have fully healed, you’ll return to our office for the next step in the dental implant process. During this appointment, Dr. Eck will access the top of your implant posts to place small connector pieces called abutments that will eventually hold your new teeth on top of the implant post. He’ll also take impressions of your mouth, which will be used to create your final restoration.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations
After your gums have healed for several weeks, you’ll be ready for the last step in completing your smile! By now, your new dental crown, bridge, or denture will be ready and you’ll return to our office. The restoration will be attached to the abutment to become a seamless, beautiful, and permanent addition to your pearly whites. In the end, getting your dental implant may have taken more time than other tooth replacement options, but you can fully expect your newly restored smile to last you a lifetime with the proper care!
Benefits of Dental Implants / How Dental Implants Can Change Your Life
Dental implants in North Central San Antonio offer a variety of unique benefits, which is why they come so highly recommended by patients and professionals alike. Here are some advantages you’ll be able to enjoy when you choose to restore your smile with the latest restorative procedure:
- Natural Look & Feel: Implant-retained restorations are built to resemble the real deal since they restore the entire structure of missing teeth.
- Versatile Restorative Procedure:Whether you need to replace a single tooth or an entire arch, dental implants can accommodate a variety of restorations.
- Prevention of Bone Deterioration:Because dental implants replace the roots of missing teeth, they continue to stimulate the jawbone and prevent deterioration.
- Long-Lasting Replacement Teeth:With the proper maintenance, dental implants can last for up to 35 years.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
At Legacy Dental SA, Dr. Eck will be happy to guide you through the process of replacing missing teeth with dental implants. By working with a surgical specialist and custom-designing new restorations that look just like the genuine article, our team can leave you feeling ready to smile again! During your initial consultation, Dr. Eck will determine what type of restoration will best fit your needs.
Missing 1 Tooth
For a single gap in the mouth, we’ll likely recommend an implant-retained dental crown. Unlike a traditional bridge, your surrounding natural, healthy teeth won’t need to be altered in order to hold in place.
Missing Multiple Teeth
For multiple missing teeth, we can place two or more dental implants that will secure a partial denture or bridge in place. Bridges held in place with implants will continue to provide stimulation and blood flow to your jawbone, which can’t be said for traditional bridges.
Missing All Teeth
To replace an entire arch of teeth, we’ll likely recommend an implant denture that is held in place with four to eight implant posts. Since these dentures will be securely anchored into your jawbone, you won’t have to worry about slipping, shifting, or causing gum irritation.
In addition to traditional implants, our team also partners with surgical specialists in order to provide All-on-4 and Teeth-in-a-Day restorations as well. In these cases, both the implants and the restorations are placed on the same day in order to maximize convenience and prevent the patient from having to spend any time without a full set of functional teeth. The prosthetic is designed to restore a full arch of teeth, and they cover four implants that are strategically angled in the bone and gum tissue to support it as effectively as possible.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
It’s impossible to know how much your treatment is going to cost before getting a consultation because the price relies on a variety of factors that are unique for each patient. Some of these include:
- Whether you require preparatory treatments
- How many implants you need to have placed
- What type of restoration you need
- Whether you require sedation
During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss your treatment timeline and answer any questions that you’ll have about the process. At Legacy Dental SA, we also do everything we can to maximize your dental insurance benefits and even offer additional financing through CareCredit!
Maintaining & Caring For Your Dental Implants
Dental implants are incredibly durable, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some TLC on a regular basis. Much like you would perform daily oral care for your natural teeth, dental implants need them too. By taking a few aftercare tips into account from our office, you’re sure to get decades of use out of your brand-new tooth replacements! These tips include brushing and flossing, but they also include habits you should avoid to prevent implant failure and potential dental emergencies.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Your dental implant needs as much attention as your natural teeth, which is why you should continue brushing at least twice a day for two minutes at a time as well as using a fluoridated toothpaste when you do. Flossing should be done once a day to remove food debris from around and underneath the implant. To be extra thorough, it’s worth including an oral mouth rinse in your routine as this can kill harmful bacteria responsible for creating plaque and tartar.
Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the most common side effects of tooth loss is nutritional deficiency. Dental implants enable you to eat all of your favorite foods as well as expand your diet. However, you’ll still need to make the effort to include a healthy amount of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates into your meals. When it comes to your oral health, vegetables not only contain essential vitamins and minerals that protect your teeth and gums, but they act as natural scrubbers for your enamel. This means they are quite effective at loosening food debris that may be stuck on teeth without posing much risk to plaque development.
Break Bad Habits
There are many bad habits you should kick to protect your smile, whether you have dental implants or not. The post that replaces your root may be made from titanium, but that doesn’t mean chewing pens and pencils, opening bottles and packages with your teeth, and tearing at your fingernails won’t cause implant failure. In addition, you should avoid all tobacco products after receiving dental implants (as well as before your surgery) as this has been proven to negatively affect its ability to integrate with the bone.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Are you quite active in a sport where the risk for impact is high? Just like how you should have protection for your head and other vulnerable areas of your body, you will need to have a dedicated mouthguard that protects your teeth and dental implant. The same applies if you have a teeth grinding habit, which can damage the restoration that rests on top.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Dental implants require routine exams and professional cleanings from a dentist every six months. Not only can our dentists confirm that it continues to be properly bonded with existing bone tissue, but they can confirm that no decay or infection in the gum tissue surrounding the implant is present. While dental implants cannot develop decay, the implant can still fail if it doesn’t receive the professional attention it needs.
Advanced Dental Implant Procedures
When given the right foundation, dental implants can last for decades and even the rest of the patient’s life. This is exactly why Legacy Dental SA partners with local specialists to perform advanced services that make your dental implant treatment as successful as possible. Even if they determine that your mouth cannot receive dental implants in its current state, there are other options available to you. Consider the many advanced dental implant procedures that make your tooth replacement possible!
Dental implants must fully integrate with bone tissue to remain in place. This occurs during a process known as osseointegration. In the event there is not enough bone tissue present, which is common for patients who have been missing teeth for many years, bone grafting can be performed. This treatment is designed to expand the volume of the jawbone by taking another portion from the patient directly and placing into the jaw. Alternatively, the bone can be provided by a donor as well. Once the bone is placed, the tissue is stitched closed and the bone is given several months to heal and integrate.
Bone loss in the upper arch, specifically by the maxillary sinuses, can make it too difficult for dental implants to be placed without causing them to protrude into nearby cavities. Also referred to as a sinus augmentation, sinus lifts work to add bone back to the mouth nearby the upper premolars and molars. This treatment is more often performed when dental implants are needed to replace these specific teeth. Once the sinus membrane is gently lifted upward, the grafting material is placed into the open hole and the nearby gum tissue is sutured closed.
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma and PRF stands for platelet-rich fibrin. PRP treatment has been increasingly utilized to increase wound healing, bone maturation, and tissue regeneration. This ensures the dental implants integrate more quickly and effectively after placement. PRF treatment is a more recent treatment that has shown to be even more effective thanks to its higher concentration of platelets, white blood cells, and stem cells produced during processing. This makes the healing of damaged tissues in the mouth even more rapid, creating a more favorable healing environment for dental implants after they’ve been placed.
The ridge bone refers to a portion of bone that specifically supports and surrounds teeth. When teeth are removed, the ridge can rapidly break down (or atrophy), making it too risky to place dental implants. Through ridge expansion, the ridge is split into two distinct segments (labeled as outer and inner), then wedged apart in order to make room for a bone graft. Once the graft is placed, the gums can be stitched closed and the graft can be given time to heal. The scope of your ridge expansion may vary depending on the number of implants you intend to have placed.
Dental Implant FAQs
At Legacy Dental SA, we want all of our patients to be informed enough to make the right decisions when it comes to their smiles. While there’s no questions that dental implants are the most comprehensive and beneficial solution to tooth loss currently available, it’s perfectly natural to have a few questions about the process beforehand. That’s why your implant dentist in North Central San Antonio has answered a few frequently asked questions about dental implants below. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, though, feel free to give us a call!
Does It Hurt to Get Dental Implants?
Getting a titanium post inserted into your jaw may sound painful, but most dental implant patients are pleasantly surprised by how comfortable their procedure was. In fact, if you’ve ever had a tooth extracted, you can expect your implant placement surgery to feel similar.
Before the surgery begins, your mouth will be fully numbed with local anesthetic, and you will most likely be sedated. Your mouth may feel a bit sore for a few days afterward, but your procedure itself shouldn’t hurt.
What Is the Recovery Process Like After Getting Dental Implants?
The dental implant procedure is considered a minor oral surgery, so you can expect mild to moderate tenderness and swelling in the area. In most cases, this lasts for a few days to a week at most. Taking prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication should be more than enough to alleviate any discomfort. However, we usually recommend taking the next day or two off from work to rest. If that’s not feasible for you, you could schedule your procedure on a Thursday or Friday so that you can recover over the weekend.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Modern dental implants have been widely used for about four decades now. When they are placed by a trained professional, dental implants have a success rate of more than 95%. Just to be on the safe side, we’ll closely examine your mouth and overall health to ensure that dental implants in North Central San Antonio are a safe option for you.
How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?
The length of the dental implant process can vary from patient to patient depending on how many implants you’re getting and whether you require any preliminary treatments first. For instance, recovering from a bone graft may add another several months to your timeline, but it will be worth it to create a strong foundation for your new teeth. For most patients, it takes between three and six months for the implants to integrate with the jawbone before we can place your restoration.