Dental Implants – Boerne, TX
Get Your Smile Back for Life
Dental implants are widely considered the gold standard for replacement teeth. The implant was designed to mimic a natural tooth, and it’s the most lifelike solution that dentistry has to offer. At Boerne Dental Center, we’ve been closely following this breakthrough since the dental implant became commercially available in the late ‘80s, and we can provide dental implants in Boerne, TX for patients dealing with any degree of tooth loss.
Why Choose Boerne Dental Center for Dental Implants?
- Entire Procedure Completed Under 1 Roof
- Fellowship Training in Implant Placement
- Able to Replace Any Number of Teeth
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is actually a very small titanium post that is placed into the jawbone to recreate the root structure of a tooth. There, it firmly bonds to the surrounding bone (because titanium is very biocompatible with the human body), and it is topped with a new restoration like a crown or denture. Most other replacements only bring back the upper portion of a tooth, but implants are unique because they restore an entire tooth from bottom to top.
Specialized Training in Dental Implant Placement
Because dental implants require a minor oral surgery for the new roots to be placed into the jawbone, many dentists will refer their patients to a specialist for this part of the procedure. Dr. Luttrell has over 25 years of experience performing oral surgeries and is pleased to offer this service right in our dental office. This all-inclusive approach helps patients save time, money, and stress while rebuilding their smiles.
The 4-Step Dental Implant Process
Dental implants involve a more extensive process compared to traditional restorations like bridges and dentures, as they’re the only tooth-replacement option that replaces the roots of missing teeth. In general, the entire process can take several months to a year to complete, which is still a short period to receive a reliable solution that can potentially last you the rest of your life. During your consultation, we’ll give you a more specific timeline of your treatment and what to expect. Until then, here are the four essential steps for the procedure and how dental implants work in Boerne.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
Our team will first need to verify that you’re eligible for dental implant treatment. Fortunately, nearly any healthy adult who’s missing one or several teeth can be a good candidate for these titanium posts. That said, we’ll need to confirm that you don’t have any signs of oral health issues like dental decay, gingivitis, and insufficient jawbone density. If left untreated, these problems can cause your dental implants to fail later on. Our team will ensure to get you back on track with good oral health before moving on with your personalized treatment plan.
Dental Implant Surgery
Once you’ve undergone your initial consultation, we’ll schedule your surgery for another day. We also provide the entire dental implant procedure in-office, so you won’t have to worry about visiting an outside specialist or traveling between locations. To begin, your dentist will make a small incision in your gums for every dental implant that will be placed. This will allow them to reach the jawbone so that they can effectively insert the metal posts into their pre-planned locations. After this, your dentist will suture your gums and fit a protective cap over the implants before sending you on your way to recover.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment
One of the things that make dental implants so successful is the osseointegration process. This is when your dental implants will begin to bond with your jawbone tissue, forming a stable, natural-feeling foundation for your restorations. Although each patient is different, this portion of the treatment usually takes anywhere between four and six months.
Once you’ve properly recovered, you’ll come back to our office so that we can attach your abutments. These are small connector pieces that will link your new teeth to your implants. Afterward, we’ll take impressions of these areas and start fabricating your custom-designed restorations as your gum tissue heals over the following few weeks.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)
You will return to our office for the final stage of your dental implant treatment. This appointment will involve anchoring your new restoration (crown, bridge, partial, or full denture) onto your titanium posts. Our team will take the proper time to ensure your bite is comfortable and that you’re satisfied with your results. You can also feel free to ask any questions you might have and we’ll be happy to answer. Then, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your newly restored pearly whites!
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are considered the gold standard of tooth replacement – and it’s easy to see why. Our team recommends them to almost every patient hoping to replace their missing teeth because they are the option that most resembles real teeth. Not only are they extremely stable, but they are designed to blend seamlessly with your smile. With dental implants in Boerne, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits that you simply can’t get with traditional options like dentures and dental bridges!
We use our teeth every day for eating, speaking, and smiling. Therefore, it only makes sense that you’d want a solution that’ll allow you to live your day-to-day life with ease. By getting dental implants in Boerne, you can look forward to the following advantages:
- Easier Maintenance: You don’t have to worry about purchasing special products or incorporating complex steps into your oral hygiene routine. Caring for implants is as easy as caring for natural teeth!
- Increased Confidence: Since dental implants stay firmly in place, you don’t have to worry about them slipping and sliding around your mouth. As a result, you can perform everyday tasks with complete confidence.
- Ability to Eat Most Foods: What’s unique about dental implants is that they replace the entire structure of missing teeth, from the roots up to the chewing surface. Because of their stability, they can withstand the chewing of virtually any food.
In addition to improving your appearance, dental implants offer many incredible health advantages. Some of those include:
- Jawbone Preservation: Dental implants provide the jawbone with internal support, helping prevent the bone loss that’s incredibly common after tooth loss. It’ll also maintain the face’s overall shape for years to come.
- Protection for Natural Teeth: It’s common for teeth to shift after tooth loss. Luckily, implants can help keep every member of your smile exactly where it belongs.
- Better Overall Health: Studies have shown a correlation between tooth loss and an increased risk of multiple diseases. Because dental implants closely resemble natural teeth, it’s safe to assume they can help lower such risks.
Getting dental implants in Boerne will not only help in the short-term, but in the long term as well. Here’s what you can look forward to:
- High Success Rate: Dental implants have an impressive success rate of about 95 percent even 20 years after they’ve been placed.
- Youthful Appearance: Since dental implants stimulate the jawbone, they prevent the sunken, aged look that often comes with tooth loss. They’ll help you maintain a youthful appearance for years to come!
- Long-Lasting Results: You don’t have to worry about replacing your dental implants every few years. With proper care and maintenance, they can easily last a lifetime.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
Whether you’re missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all of them, dental implants are a viable option to bring back your smile. Our team can pair them with different types of restorations to meet the unique needs of each patient:
Missing Single Tooth
A dental implant root is placed between two healthy teeth and attached to an all-porcelain dental crown. Unlike a traditional bridge, this crown will be self-supporting and not put pressure on the nearby teeth, leading to a more comfortable fit and better longevity.
Missing Multiple Teeth
A small number of implants can be used to replace several teeth at once when attached to a partial denture or bridge. This is much more cost-effective versus using implants for each individual tooth, plus these prosthetics are much more stable compared to their removable counterparts.
Missing All Teeth
With just four to six implants placed along the jawbone, we can bring back an entire row of teeth using a full denture. Compared to regular dentures, implant-retained ones restore much more bite strength, plus they can be trusted to stay rock-solid and never shift unexpectedly.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants can be a sizeable investment, but they are designed to last for decades or even a lifetime. Thanks to their longevity, the price of getting implants is usually much lower compared to getting a traditional bridge or denture that needs to be replaced every seven to 10 years on average. It’s important to note that your dental implant cost will be unique based on your particular situation, and we can outline the price of your treatment and answer any other questions you might have at an in-person consultation.
To better understand the cost of dental implants in Boerne, take a look at the various factors your implant dentist will consider:
Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery
During your initial consultation with Dr. Luttrell, it may be necessary for you to undergo preliminary treatments if you have signs of periodontal disease, a weakened jawbone, or require the removal of a particular tooth. Not all individuals require additional surgery; however, it is important to remember that we will only recommend these preliminary treatments if they are necessary to the success of your future dental implants.
But it’s not just the preliminary treatments that can add to the total cost of your treatment. The actual surgery incurs its own fee as well. Fortunately, you will not have to seek a referral to have your implants put into place. Everything is performed in-house by an implant dentist in Boerne. This not only makes the entire process more convenient, but it also minimizes having to pay additional costs to an outside specialist.
The Parts of Your Dental Implant
Another cost factor many patients do not consider is the materials and brand of implants. While more than 92% of dental implants are made of titanium, some dentists prefer alternative options (i.e., zirconia, ceramic). Because each dentist chooses which brands and manufacturers to work with, you can trust that our team will be completely honest and transparent about the quality of the implant you will receive.
Although you can choose to pursue cheaper options, remember that you ultimately get what you pay for, and cheaper isn’t necessarily always better when it comes to dental implants in Boerne.
Final Dental Implant Restoration
Now that you know the surgery, preliminary treatments, and type of implant are all considered when creating your cost estimate, there is one additional aspect that must be included. Depending on the number of teeth that are missing, your restoration will be incorporated into the total cost. Naturally, a single tooth dental crown will be much cheaper than a full implant denture; however, don’t forget that these prosthetics are still much less expensive in the long run since you won’t need to replace them every few years.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
At Boerne Dental, we know how frustrating it can be when dental insurance won’t cover the cost of your oral surgery. Unfortunately, most insurers still do not offer available coverage for dental implants. Not currently viewed as a “medical necessity,” there is still a way to find out if your insurance company will pay a portion of the total cost. Whether it is the consultation, restoration, or preliminary treatments, you may find some financial relief through your insurer.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
If you need help to pay for your dental implant placement, not to worry! We are pleased to offer reliable solutions for those who are uninsured as well as those who need help to pay out-of-pocket expenses. Not only can you enroll in our in-house savings plan, which provides access to preventive care and discounts on other services for one annual fee, but you can also opt to apply for flexible financing through CareCredit.
At Boerne Dental, we’re here to serve you. Not only will we provide top-notch dentistry that lends beautiful results, but our team will be happy to help you navigate the cost of your implants and pay for treatment with much ease.
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Dental implants are a wonderful investment with the proper care and maintenance, and our team at Boerne Dental wants to make sure that you’re able to get the most out of your new and improved smile. Before you leave our office, we’ll make sure that you have all of the information you need to make the best choices for your dental implants. We’ve also included some helpful tips below so you can continue enjoying your smile more than 10 or even 20 years down the road.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Just like with your natural teeth, dental hygiene is a top priority for dental implant care in Boerne. It’s crucial to brush twice a day and floss daily, making sure that plaque and tartar don’t have an opportunity to build-up and lead to gum disease or other common oral health issues that can compromise your replacement teeth.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
If you love to snack on foods that are processed and high in carbohydrates and sugars, it may be best to make some substitutions with your new dental implants. These foods can fuel harmful oral bacteria, increasing your chances of developing gum infections, chronic bad breath, and other symptoms.
Break Bad Habits
Do you smoke or chew tobacco, like to crunch on ice in your drinks, or use your mouth to open packages and other items? It’s best to be mindful of all the bad oral habits you do that could compromise the success of your rehabilitated smile and find ways to break them.
Protect Your Dental Implants
While participating in any sport that could cause damage to your mouth, it’s important to wear a mouthguard that’s custom-fitted to provide you with maximized protection. Similarly, if you grind and clench your teeth at night, invest in a customized nightguard to keep the constant pressure and force from causing one of your dental implants to become loose or even fall out.
Schedule Routine Checkups & Cleanings
Along the same lines as maintaining good oral hygiene at home, it’s still important to visit your implant dentist in Boerne every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. During these appointments, our team will have a chance to make sure that all of your replacement teeth are secure and healthy. If we do find any issues developing, these regular appointments allow us to treat them in their early stages, before they’ve had a chance to compromise your replacement teeth.
Dental Implant FAQs
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants in Boerne are considered the most realistic option. Not to mention all of the benefits they offer that you just read about above. However, you likely have some questions you want to ask before you invest in the treatment. Not to worry; we’ve collected some of the dental implant questions we get asked the most often and answered them down below for your benefit. If you have a question about implants that you don’t see answered here, just give us a call and ask!
Why Do I Need a Bone Graft?
When you’ve undergone tooth loss, especially for a prolonged period of time, your jawbone gradually begins to deteriorate in that area. This is because it’s no longer being stimulated by the root of your lost tooth through biting and chewing. As a result, your jawbone is no longer strong enough to support a dental implant. For this reason, we can graft artificial bone material onto your jawbone. After waiting a few months for your bone to become stronger, it should be fortified enough to provide support for as many dental implants as you need to rebuild your smile.
Does It Hurt to Get Dental Implants?
Believe it or not, the majority of our patients report very little discomfort during the implant placement process. This is because before we place the implants, we use plenty of local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel a thing. Because it is a kind of oral surgery, you can expect to deal with some minor soreness and swelling for a few days following your procedure. Fortunately, this can be easily managed by taking your prescribed pain medication and applying a cold compress to your face for 10 minutes at a time.
Will I Have to See an Outside Specialist to Get My Implants?
Not at all! Dr. Luttrell, your trusted dentist in Boerne, is more than qualified to both place and restore dental implants, since he completed a General Practice Residency and Fellowship in Oral Surgery. He has more than 25 years of experience in oral surgery, which includes placing implants. You can rest easy knowing that your new smile is in his capable hands!
How Long Will It Take for My Dental Implants to Heal?
The answer to this question varies from person to person. It depends on whether you’ll need any preliminary procedures, like a bone graft or gum disease treatment. Those treatments might add a few months to your total healing time before you can receive your new teeth.
In general, it takes an average of three to six months for your implants to fully integrate with your jawbone and essentially become a part of your own anatomy. While your soft tissue may heal after just a couple of weeks, it takes longer for the bone to heal.
I Smoke – Can I Still Get Dental Implants?
Yes, but there are some risks involved. Tobacco use severely slows down the oral healing process that are crucial to the implant integration process. Because of this, you are more likely to experience implant failure. If you currently smoke or chew tobacco and are considering dental implants, we strongly advise that you quit beforehand.
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