It’s true that there are multiple ways to replace teeth. Doing so puts your oral health in the right direction and is a fantastic investment compared to doing nothing at all. However, if you want the most natural-looking replacement that both looks and feels like a real tooth, there’s nothing quite like dental implants. Dr. Long is happy to meet with you directly, confirm your eligibility, and develop a treatment plan for the most advanced tooth replacement treatment in dentistry - dental implants from our West Lake Hills, TX dentist!
Dental implants are dedicated tooth replacements that rebuild not just the crown portion that makes up your smile, but the root that extends deep into the jawbone and surrounding gum tissue. They are typically made up of three components: a titanium post, a tooth-colored restoration, and an abutment to connect them together. Whether you need to replace one tooth or several, you can expect your implants to include these components.
In order to provide you with the safest and most effective treatment possible, Dr. Long partners with experienced dental implant specialists in the community. They’ll perform the surgical portion of your treatment, and then you’ll come back to our office to have your crown, bridge, or denture secured into place.
No two patients have the exact same experience when getting dental implants, but most treatments have the same four basic steps. We’ll go over the details in person, but for now, here are the basics of how dental implants work in Westlake.
The dental implant process starts with a consultation, where you’ll spend some time talking to Dr. Long about the expectations and goals you have for your new teeth. Then, she’ll closely examine your mouth and jaw to find out whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants. If you are, then she’ll outline what you can expect at every stage in the treatment, including preparatory work. It’s not uncommon for patients to need one or more preliminary procedures before dental implant surgery, such as bone grafting to strengthen a jawbone that has deteriorated after tooth loss.
Once you’re ready, we’ll refer you to a trusted implant dentist in Westlake for the surgical step of your treatment. By visiting a professional who has specialized in dental implant placement, you can rest easy knowing your care is in the best of hands.
The specialist will make sure your mouth is numb by administering local anesthesia. Next, they make small incisions at precise locations in the gums in order to access the jawbone. They insert the dental implant posts at predetermined positions, place caps over them to protect them during the healing process, and close up your gum tissue.
Next comes osseointegration. This process, which usually takes between three and six months, is essential for the long-term success of dental implants in Westlake. Immediately after your implants have been placed, your jawbone tissue begins to grow around them, to the point where they can serve as the roots of your new teeth.
When your implants have fully fused to your jaw, you’ll most likely undergo another procedure to have abutments secured on top of them. Abutments are little metal connectors that let Dr. Long attach your custom restoration and complete the visual part of your smile.
Healing from your abutment surgery should only take a few weeks. At that point, you’ll return to our dental office to have your new pearly whites placed at last! Dr. Long will secure your dental crown, bridge, or denture to your abutments. Because these restorations are made from impressions taken of your smile, you can trust that they’ll look just as natural as the teeth you were missing!
Since dental implants replace the root of the tooth, it can mimic all of its previous functions that were lost when the tooth was extracted. This includes bone stimulation, which helps you maintain your biting strength and makes it possible to eat your favorite foods without much concern. It also means the tooth can remain healthy in the jaw for long periods of time, typically 30 years or longer. This cannot be said for other options, which last between 10 and 15 years, on average, before needing replacement.
On top of feeling natural inside the mouth, dental implants are known for having an incredibly high success rate when placed by a professional. In fact, success rates hover between 95% and 98%, meaning you can smile, eat, and speak with confidence. Unlike dental bridges, you won’t even need to modify existing teeth since the tooth-colored restorations sit directly on the implanted titanium post.
Chances are if you’re missing teeth, you’re likely a candidate for dental implant treatment. Of course, you should have good oral health overall and sufficient bone density and volume so the implants can be placed effectively. Dr. Long can assess your unique situation to determine the best course of action. In the meantime, consider the following treatment options below to get a better understanding of what to expect!
A single tooth can easily be replaced by inserting an implant into the jaw, attaching an abutment, and covering it with a dedicated porcelain crown to ensure the best esthetics. The restoration can occur once the implant has fully integrated with the bone tissue, which is a process known as osseointegration.
While multiple implants are needed to replace multiple teeth, you don’t need as many as you might think. For example, a pair of dental implants can typically hold a bridge containing three to four crowns. Unlike traditional dental bridges, you won’t need to modify existing tooth enamel just so they can hold your restoration.
Dental implants are a largely customized treatment, which means that the cost of your care will likely vary depending on your needs. For example, replacing a single tooth is cheaper than replacing multiple teeth. Additionally, if preparatory treatments are needed before implants can be placed, this will increase the total cost as well. With that said, dental implants have better longevity and more versatility than other treatment options, making them a worthwhile long-term investment. Read on to learn about the cost of dental implants in Austin, or call our office to speak with a team member today!
Before getting dental implants placed, you may require preliminary treatments—like gum disease therapy, bone grafting, or tooth extractions. While these do factor into the overall cost of the procedure, they’ll also ensure a more successful smile in the long run. The location of your implant surgery and any necessary type of sedation can affect the cost of treatment as well. Fortunately, we’ll perform the entire process in-office, meaning you’ll only get a bill from our team.
The cost of your dental implants can also be influenced by the following parts:
While dentures or bridges initially seem more affordable, dental implants can provide a more cost-effective treatment. You won’t need to pay for replacements regularly as with dentures and bridges. You can also preserve them with minimal maintenance, making it easier to prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and any other costly oral health issues.
Many insurance plans won’t cover the actual dental implants, but they may help pay for other parts of your treatment. These may include your preliminary procedures or even parts of your final restoration, as these involve restorative care. Feel free to speak with our team so we can review and help make the most of your benefits.
If you don’t have dental insurance, then we can help make your implant treatment more affordable through CareCredit financing. With our trusty third-party lender, you can pay the cost of the procedure in monthly installments. The plans they offer also have little to no interest!
Do you have questions about dental implants? Don’t worry, as you’re not the only one. Many individuals who seek permanent prosthetics to restore their smiles often wonder if choosing this type of tooth replacement is a good idea or a worthwhile investment. After reviewing the information provided above, it’s okay to still want to know more about this superior form of treatment. This is why our team at Westlake Hills Dental Arts is here to provide clear and concise answers so that you have the information you need to make the right decision about your oral health.
Depending on how well you take care of your new teeth, dental implants are known to last a lifetime. Because they are seated within the jawbone and fuse with the remaining tissues, they are much more stable and durable than traditional dental bridges and dentures. As long as you commit to taking proper care of your teeth once they are in place, you can expect to enjoy them for the remainder of your life.
The success rate for initial placement is around 95%. After 10 years, this percentage only drops to 90-95%. It is safe to say that dental implants are considered one of the most beneficial forms of tooth replacement on the market.
The likelihood that complications will arise once your implant posts are in place is slim; however, trouble can occur if you do not maintain good oral hygiene or sustain severe facial trauma. In these instances, you will need to see a member of our team at soon as possible to avoid costlier and timelier care.
It is unlikely that our team will agree to put dental implants in place if you are a teenager or even someone in your early 20s. Your facial development has yet to cease at this point, so it’s important that we make sure your facial and oral growth does not become impacted by permanent prosthetics. After reviewing your oral anatomy during a thorough examination, we can determine how best to move forward with treatment. That may include dental implants, dental bridges, or traditional dentures.
It is a good idea to take off one or two days if you are having one dental implant put into place. Some individuals do return to work the following day; however, it’s recommended that you give yourself some time to heal from the surgery. If you require a complete implant denture, you’ll want to not only plan your surgery for later in the week, but you’ll want to take multiple days off, as your mouth will be sore once the anesthesia wears off. By asking your dentist if you can undergo the treatment on a Thursday or Friday, you can use your weekend to recover, cutting down on the number of days you need to ask off from work.