Dental Implants

Dental Implants in San Antonio, TX

embarrassed smileMore than 1/3 of American adults have missing or broken teeth. If you are one among the 100 million, don’t feel alone. While it is easy for broken or missing teeth to hammer your confidence, there is a solution. For many, dental implants are the perfect answer to missing teeth.

Implants, while they sound intimidating, are actually a great option for those with missing teeth. Implants are small posts secured into your jaw bone that support a crown, bridge, or denture. Because they are placed into the jaw bone, over time, your jaw will grow around them just like a natural tooth. This leaves your jawline and your smile stronger than ever. The best part is that implants last forever, as long as you maintain a healthy dental routine and continue seeing your dentist twice every year.

Dental Implant

Why Should I Consider Dental Implants?

Dental implants offer a lifelong solution to a damaged smile. Because the jaw bone grows around them, it is very difficult to differentiate these from normal teeth. Dental implants can also help you with the following:

  • Make daily habits easier, like chewing, eating, talking, and smiling
  • Help you avoid more extreme dental measures like partial or full dentures
  • Reduce bone loss and gum recession
  • Be as effective as a natural tooth in securing a dental bridge
  • Support dentures for a sturdier fit
  • Prevent face caving
  • Offer a lifelong solution

Not all implants are created equal. If you are looking at implants as an option for your smile, there are many different types available. Our dentists at Empire can help review the options with you and recommend the best ones for your mouth and lifestyle. We also partner with implant specialists in the San Antonio area, so we may refer you to one of their offices.

In some cases, like with a decaying tooth, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction first.

Types of Dental Implants

Four common types of dental implant procedures are Endosteal implants, Subperiosteal implants, implants supported bridges and All-on-4 implant supported restorations.

  • Endosteal implants: Endosteal implants are the most commonly used type of dental implant. These implants are placed directly into the jawbone and provide a stable base for single crowns, multiple crowns, and bridges. The two most common types of Endosteal implants are screw-type and cylinder-shaped.
  • Subperiosteal implants: Subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jawbone, rather than into it. A metal frame is secured to the jawbone and allows for a series of prosthetic teeth to be attached to it. Subperiosteal Implants are more suitable for patients who have insufficient jawbone density or height to support Endosteal Implants.
  • Implant supported bridges: Implant supported bridges are used when multiple teeth need to be replaced. Typically, two or more implants are placed in the jawbone and a bridge is secured to the implants. The bridge spans one or more missing teeth and is custom-made to match your existing teeth in color, shape, and texture.
  • All-on-4 implant supported restorations: All-on-4 implant supported restorations are used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth on either the upper or lower jaw. This procedure uses four implants in each arch to support a full set of prosthetic teeth. All-on-4 is one of the most popular implant-supported restoration procedures and is most suitable for patients who have lost all of their teeth due to periodontal disease or injury.

The Dental Implant Procedure

The exact process of getting a dental implant will vary depending on the type of implant you choose and the health of your mouth. But generally, it includes these steps:

  • An initial consultation: Your dentist or oral surgeon will evaluate your medical history and X-rays to determine if a dental implant is right for you.
  • Placement of the implant: The implant is placed directly into the jawbone. Depending on the patient, this can be done in one or multiple visits.
  • Healing time: After placement of the implant, you’ll need to give your mouth some time to heal. This usually takes a few weeks or months.
  • Attachment of abutment: Once your mouth has healed, you’ll need to have an abutment (a metal post) attached to the implant. This is done with a minor surgery and can take one or two visits.
  • Crown Placement: The final step in getting a dental implant involves placing a custom-made porcelain crown or bridge on top of the implant. This will help restore your smile and give you a natural feel.

The entire process can take anywhere from three to nine months, depending on the complexity of your case and any additional treatments that may be needed.

Dental Implants Aftercare

It’s important to take care of your dental implants after they are placed. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, are essential. Your dentist may also recommend a special toothpaste or mouthwash specifically designed for dental implants.

It is also important to have regular check-ups with your dentist to monitor the health of your implants. Your dentist may take X-rays or other tests to make sure everything is healing properly.

Risks of Dental Implants

The risks associated with dental implants are similar to those of any other type of surgical procedure. These include infection, nerve or tissue damage, and implant failure. Other risks include:

  • Damage to adjacent teeth during placement
  • Rejection of the implant by your body
  • Allergic reaction to the materials used
  • Sinus problems if having implant surgery in the upper jaw

Before you undergo a dental implant procedure, make sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can help you decide if dental implants are right for you.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Implants?

In most cases, dental insurance does not cover the cost of implants. But some policies may offer partial coverage for certain procedures related to the placement of the implant, such as X-rays or oral surgery. Check with your insurer to see what’s covered under your plan. In addition, many dental practices offer financing options that can help make dental implants more affordable. Ask your dentist about payment plans or other financial assistance that may be available.

Schedule an Implants Consultation with an Empire Dentist

Our dentists can help decide whether an implant is the right solution for you. In some cases, another cosmetic dentistry alternative may be a better fit.

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