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Dental Implants

The Modern Way to Complete Your Smile

woman with dental implants in Highland Village holding a white mug

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, most dentists – including our very own Dr. Mark Wagner typically recommends dental implants above all other options. Why? Simply put, dental implants in Highland Village, TX are the only option that replaces the whole tooth, giving you back the missing tooth as well as its root. As a result, they last longer, feel more natural, and improve your oral health much more than a traditional denture or dental bridge can. Contact our team at Highland Village Family Dentistry today to set up a consultation and learn more about this innovative tooth replacement!

Why Choose Highland Village Family Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

model of a single dental implant replacing an upper tooth

A dental implant is a small metal cylinder (sort of resembling a tiny screw) that is surgically inserted beneath the gums, in the space left by the missing tooth’s root. Here, the titanium post fuses with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. Once the dental implant has fully integrated in the mouth, it is just as sturdy as your natural tooth’s root.

Dental implants can support a single crown, bridgework, or a full denture. They also prevent the degeneration of the jawbone that often occurs after tooth loss. Because dental implants provide the stimulation needed to keep bone matter healthy and whole, the implant-supported prosthetic fits properly from day one, and for decades to come. When properly maintained, dental implants can easily last a lifetime – no wonder they come so highly recommended by your dental implant dentist in Highland Village!

4 Step Dental Implant Process

Man with dental implants in Highland Village, TX, sitting in dental chair

Unlike conventional tooth replacements, the process of getting dental implants can take months. Your treatment will be personalized just for you, but you can generally expect it to be divided into four steps: initial consultation, surgery, osseointegration/abutment placement, and delivery of the final restoration. Thanks to the long lifespan and numerous benefits of dental implants, your new smile will be well worth the extra time. Read on to learn more about how dental implants work in Highland Village.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist pointing at parts of model of dental implant in Highland Village, TX

Are you eligible for dental implants? Will preliminary treatments be required before the surgery? We can answer these questions and more during the initial implant consultation. We will carefully examine your mouth and consider the steps that will have to be taken in order to successfully insert dental implant posts. Possible preliminary treatments that might be recommended include bone grafts, periodontal therapy, and tooth extraction. Once preparations are complete (or if no preparations are needed at all), we can move on to the next step.

Dental Implant Surgery

Oral surgeons placing dental implants in Highland Village, TX

We’ll refer you to a trusted oral surgeon to handle the procedure. As far as oral surgeries are concerned, dental implant placement is relatively simple. The mouth is numbed, the gums are opened, and small holes are created in the appropriate parts of the jawbone. Then the implant posts are neatly inserted at carefully chosen angles that will make it easier for them to successfully join with the bone tissue. At the end of the surgery, the gums are carefully sutured back up, and protective caps are attached to the implants.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Dental implant in Highland Village, TX with protective cap during osseointegration

The next step will happen on its own: your jawbone will merge with the implants over the next few months. The name for this process is osseointegration. The exact length of time for this process varies depending on each patient’s individual healing capabilities; usually, though, it’s within the range of 3 to 6 months. Before moving on to the next step, connector pieces called abutments need to be installed on top of your implants. The abutments are what your new teeth will be attached to once they’re ready. Since abutment placement calls for another minor surgery, you’ll have to wait again while your mouth heals.

Delivery of Dental Restoration(s)

Dental implant in Highland Village, TX having been restored with a crown

This step is handled in-house at Highland Village Family Dentistry. We’ll take an impression of your mouth, then have a dental lab create a personalized restoration for you. The restoration in question may be a crown, bridge, or denture depending on the number of teeth missing. Once we’ve received the finished product from the lab, we’ll schedule one final appointment for you. Minor adjustments may be made as needed, and then we will attach the restoration to your abutment(s). Your new smile will be complete at last, and you can look forward to using it to enjoy your favorite foods and speak with complete confidence.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman with dental implants in Highland Village, TX

When you ask a dentist what the best option for replacing teeth is, they’ll most likely say, “dental implants.” Traditional bridges and dentures are still used today, but dental implants are in a league of their own in terms of strength, stability, and health benefits. In fact, you can consider them the next best thing to having your natural teeth back. Below is a list of benefits of dental implants in Highland Village; consider them carefully when deciding what kind of tooth replacement you want to pursue.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Woman with dental implants in Highland Village, TX eating an apple

  • Full Diet: You can enjoy most foods with dental implants. With dentures, eating steak and other tough foods can be challenging, and many people end up avoiding certain foods altogether. Dental implants can stand up to virtually any food since they mimic the entire structure of your natural teeth – including the roots that hold them firmly in place. This greatly improves their chewing strength, putting it on par with what your natural teeth have to offer.
  • Confidence: When you have dentures that are prone to slipping, it can be difficult to smile. Your dental implants will hold your teeth in place, so you don’t have to worry about embarrassing mishaps. Furthermore, your new teeth will look and feel just like your natural teeth, and as a result your new smile will get all the right kind of attention.
  • Easy Oral Hygiene: Dental implants don’t drastically change your oral hygiene routine; you can still brush and floss the same as you did before. This makes taking care of your implants (and your smile as a whole) very simple.
  • Easier Speech: Dental implants allow you to speak clearly at all times, whether you’re casually chatting with your friends or having an important conversation with your coworkers. You don’t have to worry about your teeth slipping out of place while you’re trying to talk.

Health Benefits

Man with glasses smiling with dental implants in Highland Village, TX

  • Jawbone Preservation: You’ve probably heard that the jawbone starts to lose some of its density after tooth loss. With dental implants, you can stop this process by making sure the jawbone continues to receive stimulation.
  • Conservative Solutions: Choosing dental implants over traditional dental bridges means that we don’t have to remove any of your enamel, allowing more of your natural smile to stay intact.
  • Nutrition: Being able to eat whatever you want instead of having to stay away from certain hard-to-chew foods makes it easier to practice good nutrition to keep your body healthy.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior woman with dental implants in Highland Village, TX

  • Improved Appearance: Dental implants help maintain a full, healthy jawbone, which in turns helps you keep your face looking youthful.
  • Long Lifespan: The lifespan of dental implants is usually estimated to be around 30 years or more. Many people keep their dental implants for the rest of their lives, meaning they don’t have to pay for replacements.
  • High Success Rate: Even after 10 or 20 years, dental implants continue to have a high rate of success.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

senior woman admiring her new smile after getting dental implants in Highland Village

Thanks to dental implants, practically any healthy adult can enjoy a full, healthy smile no matter how many teeth they’ve lost! Whether you’re missing just one tooth, a few teeth, or even an entire arch, there’s a good chance that dental implants in Highland Village can restore your smile and oral function. When you visit our office for a tooth replacement consultation, Dr. Wagner will evaluate your dental health, review your specific needs and goals, and formulate a personalized treatment plan designed to get your smile back on the right track.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

patient talking to her dental implant dentist in Highland Village

As versatile as dental implants are, not everyone is eligible for the treatment right off the bat. In order for the implants to provide a reliable foundation for replacement teeth, they need to be placed in a strong enough jawbone. After teeth are lost, the jawbone loses the stimulation that those teeth provided, causing the bone to weaken over time. If your dental implant dentist in Highland Village detects that you have experienced jawbone loss, we may recommend a bone grafting procedure to ensure that your implants will have ample support.

Good dental implant candidates should also be free of any oral health issues. Gum disease is a condition that we commonly have to treat before dental implant surgery. After all, an implant is unlikely to thrive if the gum tissue that supports it is infected.

Once we have determined that you can move forward with the dental implant process, our team will recommend one of the following treatments depending on the extent of your tooth loss:

Missing One Tooth

one dental implant supporting a dental crown

Traditionally, a dental bridge is the solution for a single missing tooth. However, this prosthetic relies on the support of the two remaining teeth on the sides of your gap. Over time, these teeth weaken from the pressure of holding up the bridge. A dental implant solves this problem by being self-supporting. Placing a single implant in the gap and topping it with a personalized crown lets you enjoy the benefits of a full smile without compromising any of your healthy tooth structure.

Missing Multiple Teeth

two dental implants supporting a dental bridge

To replace multiple missing teeth in a row, we can secure a dental bridge onto just two dental implants, each one inserted at the end of the empty space in your smile. This solution is more cost-effective than replacing each individual tooth with an implant, and allows you to enjoy full chewing function. To replace several lost teeth that are not consecutive, a small number of implant posts can be installed throughout the mouth to secure a partial denture into place.

Missing All Teeth

four dental implants supporting a full denture

Even if you’ve lost all of your teeth on one or both arches, dental implants can help! A full denture can actually be anchored onto an average of four to six implants that have been carefully placed at strategic locations and angles in the jaw. Implant dentures eliminate many of the common complaints of traditional dentures, including the slippage, lack of chewing power, and the need for messy adhesives.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

patient smiling at her dentist

No matter if you are replacing a single tooth or an entire arch, dental implants are extremely versatile. As a result, it is impossible to determine how much your treatment will cost until our experts review your smile and formulate a personalized treatment plan. Although the process for receiving dental implants takes much longer than dentures or a fixed bridge, their superior benefits are well worth the investment in your time and money.

As you prepare to discuss the potential for dental implants to replace your missing teeth, you can expect to receive honest and transparent information about the process and estimated cost. Some of the factors that will contribute to the overall cost of your dental implants in Highland Village include:

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

dental implant being inserted into the lower jaw

Should we believe that you will need preliminary treatments before receiving your dental implants, you can expect these surgeries to be part of the overall cost. Poor gum health that requires periodontal therapy, weakened bone that requires bone grafting, or the need for a tooth extraction will be discussed during your initial consultation.

Also, the cost of your surgical procedure will be factored in. Because you will be referred to a trusted oral surgeon for placement of your implants, you will be expected to pay two separate fees. One will go to the implant dentist in Highland Village who is performing the surgery and the other will go to pay for your final implant restoration, which will be placed by Dr. Wagner.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

three dental implants lying on a flat surface

Every dentist chooses the brand, manufacturer, and materials used when offering dental implants to patients. At Highland Village Family Dentistry, our team will go to great lengths to discuss the type of implants used so that you can make sure you’re getting the best possible quality. Although there are cheaper options out there, remember, the lesser the quality, the likelihood for complications later on. Essentially, you get what you pay for. Titanium is most commonly used (92.5%) in the United States because of its ability to successfully fuse with the bone. Since the materials used to create these prosthetics can be of higher or lower quality, this will naturally affect the total cost.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

dentist showing a patient their X-rays

The final aspect of dental implant placement is receiving your custom restoration. Whether it is paired with an implant crown, bridge, or denture, the number of teeth you are missing and the type of restoration you receive will make a significant difference in the cost of your new smile. Naturally, a single dental crown will cost less than an implant denture, but no matter which type of restoration you receive, you can trust that the dental lab technicians will create a crown, bridge, or denture that looks completely natural, fits comfortably, and blends in with any remaining healthy teeth.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

two people looking at dental insurance information on a tablet

As much as your dentist would like to tell you that most insurance companies provide coverage for dental implants, they simply do not. Some are coming around to the idea and beginning to offer partial coverage; however, most still do not view these prosthetics as a “medical necessity.” However, it is possible that your insurer may agree to cover other aspects of your treatment, including your customized restoration, initial consultation, or even your preliminary treatments should you need them.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

dental team member showing financial options to two patients

Even if your dental insurance does not offer the level of coverage you need, there are still other ways you can keep your dental implant treatment affordable. If you’re uninsured or need an alternative way to pay any remaining balance after filing a claim with insurance, CareCredit can help. As a third-party company that offers flexible financing, you can break up the cost of your dental implants in Highland Village into manageable monthly payments.

Don’t let the potential for a lack of insurance coverage keep you from getting the smile you deserve. Our team at Highland Village Family Dentistry is here to help you better understand the cost of your treatment, maximize your benefits, and provide optimal care and service each time you visit.

Dental Implant FAQs

dentist showing a patient information on a tablet

Dental implants in Highland Village are an excellent solution to permanently treat your tooth loss. As the closest replica of your natural smile, they offer exceptional benefits that aren’t possible using any other treatment. Although you’re excited to rebuild your smile, it’s normal to have a few concerns before you’re ready to commit to the procedure. We understand your apprehensions, which is why we take the time to explain everything during your initial consultation. While you wait for your visit, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions patients ask us about dental implants to ease your worries.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

A dental implant is the most predictable and reliable option to treat missing teeth. They have the potential to last for decades with the right foundation and aftercare. Your jawbone will fuse to the post through a process called osseointegration, allowing it to potentially remain in place forever. You can ensure your dental implant thrives for a lifetime by maintaining your oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist regularly. Although your dental implant should never need to be replaced, your restoration will experience daily wear and tear, so you will need a new one about every 10 years.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Sedation or anesthesia is used during your placement surgery, so you won’t feel anything. As with any oral surgery, there will be a bit of a recovery process, which can include some discomfort. You can manage it using an over-the-counter pain reliever. Once your mouth has healed, you shouldn’t have any pain. Your dental implant will look and feel like a real tooth. If you develop any discomfort after you’ve healed, contact your implant dentist in Highland Village right away.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants have over a 95% success rate. The risk of failure is minimal; however, it’s best to take a proactive approach to protect your investment. You can reduce your risk of any complications by:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice daily for 2 minutes each session.
  • Flossing between each tooth and around the dental implants nightly.
  • Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
  • Wearing an athletic mouthguard if you play sports.
  • Treating bruxism with a nightguard.
  • Avoiding using your teeth as tools.
  • Avoiding chewing on inedible objects, like pens or your fingernails.

What Should I Do If My Dental Implant Feels Loose?

Your jawbone will integrate with your implant post, creating a secure and stable foundation. Your dental implant should never feel loose. If it does, it often indicates a problem, like an infection or bone loss. If the issue isn’t resolved quickly, it can lead to dental implant failure. If you notice your implant is loose or have any pain, don’t wait to contact our office. We’ll pinpoint the cause of the problem to provide the appropriate intervention to save your smile. If you develop any other concerns in between your routine visits, contact our office right away, like redness, swelling, or pain.

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