Dental Implants – Longview, TX
Restoring Longview Smiles
If you’ve ever looked into replacing one or more missing teeth, you may have been given recommendations for a tooth replacement option that only restored those parts of teeth visible above the gumline. Luckily for Longview Dental Center patients, we offer dental implant-supported tooth replacement. The dental implant posts are positioned below the gum line where they mimic tooth roots. Then, we attach one or more replacement teeth creating a natural-looking and -feeling smile. If you’re missing a single tooth or a full arch, contact our team to schedule a consultation for dental implants in Longview.
Why Choose Longview Dental Center for Dental Implants?
- Partnered with the Best Local Dental Implant Specialists
- Longview Dentist with 25+ Years of Experience
- Insurance Accepted & Financing Options Available
What Are Dental Implants?
Traditional tooth replacements, like dentures and dental bridges, only bring back the visible sections of the teeth. As realistic as they might look, they fail to address many of the underlying problems of tooth loss. Dental implants take it one step further by replicating every part of a missing tooth.
The dental implant itself is a small titanium post that is placed directly in the jawbone where the root of a tooth once was. Then, it actually merges with the surrounding bone and tissue, creating a strong foundation for your replacement teeth. A metal abutment is placed on top of the implant, which allows a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture to be secured into place, completing your smile. The end result is a solution that looks and feels exactly like what Mother Nature gave you!
The 4-Step Dental Implant Process
The process of recreating your missing teeth with dental implants will occur in several steps. After all, rebuilding your teeth from the roots up is a complex process. Rest assured that this lifelike, durable solution is worth the wait! Here’s what you can expect while on your journey to a complete smile.
You’ll need a thorough consultation to ensure you’re a candidate for dental implants. Most patients who have good oral and general health can benefit from them, but Dr. Stoddard will need to perform an extensive examination to look for any indicators that might cause complications. Besides a visual exam, he will also review a CT scan of your jaw to look for any hidden issues, like infection or bone loss. Based on the results, you may need additional procedures before moving forward with your placement surgery, like periodontal therapy or bone grafting.
Dental Implant Surgery
After you’ve healed from any previous treatments, you’re scheduled for your dental implant placement surgery. Sedation or anesthesia is used to ensure that you’re comfortable during your procedure. Your gum tissue is opened to access your jawbone. A small hole is strategically drilled into it to insert the post. Once the post is in place, your gum tissue is sutured closed, and you’ll spend the next several weeks healing.
Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment
The implant post acts as a root, stimulating your jaw to encourage new bone growth. Your jaw will fuse to the post through a process called osseointegration. After your bone has healed, your dental implant can stay in place forever with the right aftercare, like maintaining your oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.
When you’re ready to move on to the next step in your plan, you’ll need to undergo a second procedure to attach an abutment to your post. Your gum tissue is opened to expose the post to affix the special fixture that connects your restoration to the implant.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations
It will take a couple of weeks to heal from your procedure. In the meantime, the dental lab will be designing and creating your restoration from all-ceramic material. It will be made to match the appearance of any remaining natural teeth to blend in when you smile, so no one will know it isn’t real.
Benefits of Dental Implants
The benefits of dental implants are many, most of which cannot be achieved using other forms of tooth replacement. Some of these benefits include:
- A longer-lasting restoration that can remain in place for decades or more with proper care
- An easy to clean fixture that only requires regular oral hygiene habits and continued visits to the dentist’s office for regular checkups and cleanings
- No chance of your restoration decaying
- Greater functionality when it comes to eating, speaking, and chewing
- Improved oral health because of the implant’s ability to stimulate the jawbone and prevent changes in the facial shape as well as additional bone and tooth loss
Improved Oral Health
No other restorative solution mimics your natural tooth, nor do they replace the entire structure from the root up. This method of treatment allows for improved oral health because the jawbone continues to be stimulated by the titanium post that acts just like a tooth root.
Dental implants are designed to last decades, if not a lifetime. While the restoration (i.e. crown, bridge, denture) will need to be replaced over time, the implant itself should never need replacing.
Easy to Maintain
There are no additional products or instruments needed to keep your dental implants clean. Instead, you can simply continue to brush, floss, and rinse as usual.
If you want to speak, chew, and eat without worrying about your restorations, dental implants give you that freedom. You’ll never need to worry about your implants slipping or accidentally falling out while among friends and family.
While dental implants are not created to solely improve your aesthetics, it’s a fact that they do. Not only does your oral health improve, but you’ll begin to feel much better about your appearance, allowing you to exude the confidence you need.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
If you want a versatile solution that can be applied to one or more of your missing teeth, look no further than dental implants. They can complete your smile no matter how may teeth you’ve lost.
Missing One Tooth
For a single tooth, a dental crown is attached to an implant post.
Missing Multiple Teeth
In many cases, two crowns can be fused and attached to the same implant post to replace consecutive teeth. For patients missing three or more consecutive teeth, the row of replacement teeth will be fused and attached to two implants posts, one on each end.
Missing All Teeth
Patients with advanced tooth loss will likely receive a partial or full denture. These prosthetics use gum-colored bases to support numerous replacement teeth. The gum-colored base material of partials is molded to fit between remaining teeth preserving the healthy structure. Full dentures are formed to fit against the gum line. In most cases, we’re able to attach the partial or full denture to about four implant posts offering a complete smile with improved stability compared with traditional dentures.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Each stage of the dental implant process incurs a fee. When meeting with our team, you will not only learn if you are eligible for dental implants, but you will also receive an estimated cost for your new smile. Multiple factors are considered when drafting your estimate, some of which include:
- The number of implants you will need to have placed
- The location of the implant placement
- Pre-implant dental work, if necessary (i.e., bone graft, sinus lift, periodontal therapy, tooth extraction)
Most dental insurance companies do not cover the costs associated with dental implants; however, some are coming around to the idea that implants are a necessity for some individuals and are beginning to offer coverage. The only way to know if you are covered is to contact your insurance company. If you need help, a member of our team will be happy to work on your behalf to help get the answers you need to make the right decision about your dental health.
Types of Dental Implants
To address each person’s unique dental concerns, there are three types of dental implants: implant crowns, implant bridges, and implant dentures. Since each requires a different amount of dental implants and has a unique procedure, the cost varies depending on which type is used to address your unique dental needs. However, across the board, they are similar in that they are lifelike in look and feel, extremely durable, and built to last!
What Are the Stages of Dental Implant Treatment?
Dental implants continue to be a leading tooth replacement solution year after year, but many patients are unaware that the process is completed in stages. For example, while some patients may need periodontal therapy or bone grafting, others can move straight to the implant surgery. From there, there is the possible addition of an abutment and the placement of the final restoration. Each stage of the process incurs a unique cost. Fortunately, this allows you to break up the price into chunks, instead of having to pay it all upfront.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?
Although dental implants are more of an investment than traditional prosthetics, the unique benefits they come with make them absolutely worth it. Currently, they are the only tooth-replacement solution on the market that replaces your tooth from root to crown, which effectively stimulates your jawbone to prevent bone loss. Plus, they last 20+ years with proper care. On the other hand, dentures and bridges need to be replaced about every decade or so. And that doesn’t even include the benefits of a completely restored biteforce, no adjustment appointments or special cleaning solutions, and no extensive dietary restrictions!
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Although dental insurance doesn’t typically cover dental implants, some of the components of your care (like periodontal therapy or the initial consultation) may be covered in part. Unsure how to go about understanding your coverage? We’d be more than happy to help. Not only do we welcome all dental insurance plans, but we are an in-network provider with many of the nation’s leading carriers. Don’t have a dental plan? Don’t worry! We also are happy to accept low-to-no interest financing through CareCredit. That way, cost isn’t the determining factor in getting the full, healthy, gorgeous smile you deserve.
Want to learn more about the cost of dental implants? Don’t hesitate to contact our office and set up an initial consultation. From there, we can discuss your unique dental needs and lay out the details of your treatment plan.
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Like any restoration, dental implants will last longer and yield the best possible results when you take good care of them. How will this change your regular dental routine? The answer is: not by very much. Many of the steps you’ll need to take to maintain dental implants are similar to things you already have to do to protect your natural smile. We’ve outlined these steps below, but if you’d like additional tips, you can always call our office.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Dental implants cannot get cavities, but the tissue supporting them can still be affected by gum disease. If such an infection remains untreated, it could lead to dental implant failure. Your best option is to prevent gum disease altogether through careful brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Make sure that you’re thoroughly cleaning your implant and the area around it at least twice every day. Every brushing session should last for at least two minutes at a time.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Sugary and starchy foods increase your risk for gum disease and other oral health issues, thus putting your dental implants at risk. A treat every once in a while is perfectly okay as long as your sugar consumption is carefully moderated. If you’re looking for foods that are beneficial for your dental implants, focus on those that are rich in calcium and vitamin C; calcium promotes a strong jawbone, and vitamin C strengthens your gums, protecting them from gum disease and preventing your implants from loosening.
Break Bad Habits
Biting your nails, chewing on pen tips, tearing open packages with your teeth, and crunching ice are all habits that are known to destroy tooth enamel. They can also break dental implants as well as the restorations they support, so to protect your investment, you should start identifying potentially problematic behaviors early on and work on correcting them. One approach is to stock up on sugar-free gum so that you have something harmless to chew on when the urge strikes you.
Protect Your Dental Implants
If you grind your teeth when you’re stressed, you should get a customized mouthguard to keep your smile safe at night. Similarly, you should always wear an athletic mouthguard whenever you play sports or participate in any kind of physical activity where you could get hit in the face or mouth. A well-made oral appliance can help you avoid serious dental damage from long-term bruxism or sports-related accidents.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Having dental implants gives you one more reason to keep up with your regular dental checkups. We’ll be able to evaluate your implant posts and make sure that they’re still firmly in place; we can also check on your restorations to ensure that they haven’t become damaged or worn down. Any small problems we find can be addressed before they turn into a time-consuming, costly issue.
Dental Implant FAQs
If you’re just now learning about them, you’ll quickly find out that dental implants are by far one of the most comprehensive solutions for tooth loss to date. However, if you are feeling apprehensive about treatment, Dr. Stoddard is here to help. He’s included a list of the most common questions regarding dental implants as well as detailed answers. If your question is not mentioned below, please reach out to us directly.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are known for lasting an incredibly long time once they are placed. Unlike dental bridges and dentures, which have an average lifespan of 10 and 7 years respectively, dental implants can last between 25 years and a lifetime! As long as you practice daily oral care and visit our office regularly for checkups and cleanings, your dental implants will withstand the test of time with relative ease.
Are dental implants better than dentures?
Not necessarily. It truly depends on what the patient wants first and foremost. However, we highly encourage you to consider dental implants even if you are missing several or all the teeth in your smile. After all, with a few strategically placed dental implants, you can receive a denture that is customized to specifically fit on top of dental implants. This provides a far more reliable fit, the restorative benefits that come with dental implants (i.e., stronger biting force, better esthetics), and a long-term solution that dentures cannot.
What can you eat with dental implants?
One of the most notable benefits of choosing dental implants to replace teeth is the ability to eat all the foods you used to enjoy. That includes tougher foods like apples, nuts, steak, beef jerky, and just about anything that you would likely struggle to eat if you only had dentures or dental bridges. Since implants stimulate the bone inside of your jaw, you can regain your biting force and chew the foods you enjoy with confidence.
How do dental implants stay in the body?
Dental implants consist of a titanium post, which acts as the replacement tooth root. This root is the component that binds and integrates with your organic bone and soft tissue. Since other methods do not rely on this process, known as osseointegration, you cannot expect the same reliability from them as you can from dental implants. After the implant is placed, Dr. Stoddard will make sure that it is healing properly and fully before placing a restoration on top.
What is the success rate for dental implants?
Many people don’t realize that, when placed by a professional, dental implants actually have an incredibly high success rate. This is in large part because they’ve been around for several decades and had a very long time to be studied and perfected. On average, they reach success rates as high as 98 percent and as low as 90 percent. We’ll make sure that you are eligible to receive dental implants before beginning treatment, ensuring that your tooth replacement is a complete and total success.
Does getting dental implants hurt?
While dental implant surgery may sound somewhat daunting at first, we assure you that you have nothing to fear. We partner with trusted local implant specialists to ensure that this crucial step of your treatment goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. Not only will you be able to rest easy knowing that your smile is in the hands of a highly trained specialist with years of experience, but you can expect the placement of your dental implants to be practically painless. Your implant dentist will thoroughly numb your mouth to ensure you don’t feel any discomfort during the surgery. Plus, they may recommend dental sedation to help you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. All in all, our patients are typically pleasantly surprised to find that getting dental implants doesn’t hurt.
What can cause dental implants to fail?
While dental implants boast an impressive success rate, there is still the remote possibility of failure. You increase your risk of dental implant failure by:
- Using tobacco products: Smoking or chewing tobacco dramatically reduces your body’s natural ability to heal, which can prevent your dental implants from fully integrating with your jawbone. Tobacco also leaves your mouth susceptible to infection, which can destroy the connective tissues that help hold your implant in place. We highly recommend you quit smoking if you want to get dental implants.
- Practicing poor oral hygiene: The leading cause of implant failure is an infection called peri-implantitis. While you could develop it because of your tobacco habits, it’s most often caused by lacking dental hygiene and poor oral health. Thankfully, keeping peri-implantitis at bay can be as simple as brushing and flossing every day.
- Maintaining bad chewing habits: Less commonly, dental implant failure can be brought about chewing on hard objects or taking a blow to the face. Long-term overexposure to pressure or a sudden mouth injury without the protection of a mouthguard can knock your implant loose, so don’t chew on inanimate objects and always wear a mouthguard while playing sports.
Am I too old or young to get dental implants?
We don’t recommend dental implants for patients under the age of 18, since the jaw is still developing at that point. However, there is no upper age limit for dental implants! As long as you are healthy enough for minor surgery, are free of conditions like cavities and gum disease, and have a strong, healthy jawbone, you can get dental implants no matter how old you are.
Can I get dental implants if I smoke?
As we mentioned previously, smoking can significantly increase your risk of dental implant failure. While is can be possible sometimes, you will typically need to quit for at least several weeks before and after your implant placement surgery. However, we encourage you to make getting dental implants your excuse for finally kicking this bad habit!
Are dental implants an eligible FSA or HSA expense?
In most cases, dental implants are eligible for FSA or HSA reimbursement. However, the specifics of every plan are different, so your knowledgeable dental team will need to take a look at the details of your policy. We’ll be happy to review them with you and ensure that your out-of-pocket costs are being minimized.