Tooth or Teeth Replacement (Dental Implants)

What Are Dental Implants?

smilingwomanmatureA dental implant is a long-term tooth replacement option comprised of a titanium post that is implanted in the jawbone and topped with a custom crown restoration. Dental implants can also be used to secure implant bridges and full-arch dentures.

Dental implants are the most advanced fixed replacement for missing or severely damaged teeth. At Coronado Classic Dentistry, dentist Jason Keckley, DMD performs all phases of the implant procedure, from implantation of the titanium post to fitting the custom crown onto the implant abutment. Completing the entire implant procedure in-house is not only convenient for patients, it maintains continuity of care throughout the process to provide the opportunity for optimal results. Starting with your consultation, Dr. Keckley will use the latest dental imaging technology to analyze your dental concerns and carefully develop an individualized dental implant treatment plan designed to restore your smile.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants offer several significant advantages as an effective method of tooth replacement. As one of the most reliable, functional, and long-lasting options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants continue to gain preference among dentists and patients alike.

  • Implant-based tooth restorations are often virtually indistinguishable from surrounding teeth.
  • Dental implants can preserve healthy surrounding teeth that would otherwise be modified to accommodate a fixed bridge.
  • Because they are fixed securely in place like a natural tooth, implants do not interfere with speech, eating, or smiling.
  • The implant post can help maintain jaw bone density by stimulating bone growth.
  • With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can provide a lasting solution for tooth replacement.
  • In the long-term, dental implants can be a cost-effective option for replacing missing teeth.
  • Dental implants offer unsurpassed strength and durability.
  • Implanted posts can be paired with single tooth restorations or used to secure implant dentures.

If you are interested in finding out if dental implants may be the right option for you, we encourage you to contact our practice today. A member of our team can help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Keckley.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Individuals who have one or more missing teeth and adequate jawbone density to support a dental implant typically make good candidates for the procedure. Ideal candidates will also be free of any dental or medical conditions that could increase the likelihood of risks associated with the procedure. Patients who are currently undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy may be ineligible for dental implants. The best way to find out if dental implants are the right option for you, is to schedule a consultation with our experienced implant dentist at Coronado Classic Dentistry.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

After an oral exam and a thorough discussion of your personal goals, you and Dr. Keckley will select the implant type that can deliver the results you want. Depending upon your unique needs, Dr. Keckley may recommend one of three types of dental implants:

Single Tooth Implants

Single tooth implants are designed to replace one missing tooth. Patients who have multiple missing teeth may choose to use several single tooth implants rather than a bridge or denture. Single tooth implants mimic the structure and stability of a natural tooth, allowing you to brush and floss as usual.

Multiple Teeth Implants

Multiple teeth implants are often referred to as implant bridges or partial dentures. For patients who have two or more missing adjacent teeth, a single custom restoration can be made to replace all of the teeth at once. This custom restoration is secured with dental implants to provide exceptional security and stability.

Implant Dentures

>Implant dentures are designed to replace an entire arch of missing teeth. This alternative to traditional dentures may be used for patients who are not good candidates for a full set of single tooth implants due to inadequate jawbone density. Some patients also choose upgrade from traditional dentures to implant dentures, which eliminates denture slippage, food restrictions, and the need for pastes or adhesives.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

When treatment with dental implants is planned and performed by a highly-trained, experienced dentist with a conservative approach, success rates are generally quite high. Dr. Keckley meticulously evaluates patients to be sure they are good candidates for dental implants and often performs treatments to improve oral health and strengthen the jawbone prior to implant placement to deliver high-quality results. Additionally, each patient’s level of dedication to following Dr. Keckley’s guidance when it comes to things like maintaining oral hygiene, pre- and post-treatment care instructions, follow-up appointments, and smoking cessation is equally as important to the safety of dental implants. Patients and Dr. Keckley must work as a team to create optimal oral conditions before implant placement, support proper healing after the procedure, and continue to maintain good oral health into the future. If for any reason Dr. Keckley believes that your medical history, oral condition, or ability to comply might jeopardize the safety of the dental implant procedure, he will discuss other treatment options for restoring your smile.

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

Dr. Jason Keckley is an experienced dentist who uses the latest techniques and technology to make each procedure as comfortable as possible for the patient. The dental implant procedure can be performed using a local anesthetic and patients are typically comfortable throughout the procedure. For patients who suffer from dental anxiety, Dr. Keckley offers a number of advanced sedation dentistry techniques to induce deep relaxation during treatment.

What Can I Expect During the Dental Implant Procedure?

dentalimplants-copy-300x210Once Dr. Keckley has formulated your treatment plan, the first step is preparing the area for implantation of the titanium post. This process may involve extraction of the damaged tooth if it has not yet been removed, treatment of the gum tissue to eliminate disease, or even bone grafting (in some cases) to build up the supportive structure of the jaw. When healing is complete, the next step is surgical placement of the implant post within the jawbone directly below the site of the missing tooth. A same day crown can be customized and placed atop the implant post. The color, shape, and size of the crown is customized to fit Dr. Keckley’s exact specifications in order to deliver a replacement tooth that is an ideal complement to your natural teeth. After the titanium post has completely fused and integrated with the jawbone, the dental crown can be placed to create the finished tooth. Typically, the end result can be a durable, functional dental implant that very closely resembles a healthy natural tooth.

What Is the Best Way to Care for Dental Implants?

Single tooth implants are designed to function exactly like a natural tooth. One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that they require no additional care beyond your daily oral hygiene routine. With dental implants, you can brush, floss, and eat as you normally would. Scheduling twice-yearly oral exams will give Dr. Keckley the opportunity to detect any changes or problems with your dental implants early on and promptly address the issue. If you opt for multiple teeth implants or implant dentures, Dr. Keckley will give you detailed care instructions designed specifically for these restorations.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Once the titanium post fuses to the jawbone, the dental implant becomes a permanent part of the mouth. Patients who are prone to clenching or grinding their teeth may put undue stress on the porcelain crown that completes the dental implant. These patients may benefit from wearing a night guard to protect the crowns during sleep. With proper care, good oral hygiene, and routine oral exams, dental implants can give you a beautiful smile that lasts decades.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Since each dental implant treatment plan is highly customized, there is no one set cost per procedure. Factors that can affect the total price of dental implants include the number of implants needed, the location of the implants, and the materials used to fabricate the restoration(s). At the end of your initial consultation with Dr. Keckley, you will receive an all-inclusive cost estimate for your custom procedure. Our office offers a number of dental financing options for approved applicants who are interested in qualifying for low interest loans or flexible payment plans. For more about implant cost, payment options, and financing, please contact a member of our team for more information.

Are There Alternatives to Dental Implants?

In addition to dental implants, we offer a full spectrum of more traditional tooth replacement options. These alternatives to dental implants include:

  • Fixed Bridges – These restorations use a replacement tooth or teeth fused between crowns to “bridge” a gap left by missing teeth. The teeth adjacent to the gap must be prepared to accommodate the crowns on either end of the bridge. Once properly fitted, the crowns are firmly cemented in place for lasting results. Fixed bridges can be custom-designed and crafted from durable, aesthetically pleasing ceramic materials for strong, natural-looking results.
  • Removable Partial Dentures (also called a removable bridge) – A partial denture is a removable prosthesis comprised of replacement teeth (and sometimes stabilizing metal wires) fused to a plastic base. Partial dentures can replace one or more teeth as needed and use remaining healthy teeth for support. Missing teeth do not need to be adjacent to one another in order to be replaced with a partial denture.
  • Removable Dentures – Removable dentures can replace a full arch of upper and/or lower teeth. Using suction and/or specialized adhesives, removable dentures are fit snugly over the gums and worn throughout the day to create a full smile. All aspects of the dentures are custom-designed to provide patients with a full smile that suits their appearance and looks natural.

Patients who are not candidates for a series of single tooth dental implants (due to a lack of jawbone density) are often surprised to learn they may be good candidates for implant supported dentures. During your personal consultation, Dr. Keckley can educate you about viable tooth replacement options, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each, and help you choose an approach that is well-suited to your needs.

How Do I Choose an Implant Dentist?

While there are plenty of dentists who offer dental implants, not all of them are capable of performing high-quality implant dentistry that is long-lasting and natural-looking. Beyond the appropriate credentials and qualifications, achieving success with dental implants requires extensive training, proven skill, and experience. To help you successfully navigate the process of choosing an implant dentist, we have compiled a list of questions designed to reveal the important information you need:

  • Experience – How many years of experience do they have with dental implants?
  • Education and Training – Have they received any education or advanced training in dental implants? Do they complete continuing education coursework to stay current with new techniques, technology, and trends in implant dentistry?
  • Success Rate – What is their dental implant success rate? What do they attribute this success rate to?
  • Degree of Expertise – Do they have the skill required to perform the type of implant dentistry you are interested in? Do they perform complex dental implant cases? Are there limitations to their skill? Are some cases referred to specialists outside of the practice?
  • Dental Implants – Which dental implant systems do they use? Do they use any advanced technology during the dental implant process? Do they have experience with different types of dental implants?
  • Collaboration – Do they work together with oral surgeons and/or periodontists during the implant process?
  • Examples – Can you see before-and-after photos of their dental implants cases? Can you see examples of cases that are similar to the work you are considering?

We highly recommend that your decision should only be finalized once you have had an opportunity to meet with your implant dentist in-person during a personal consultation. Your consultation should include a comprehensive diagnostic exam and a discussion of a custom treatment plan that addresses all of your needs. 

At Coronado Classic Dentistry, Dr. Keckley is available to meet with you to answer any questions you may have about his background and how he can help you achieve the healthy, beautiful smile you want with dental implants. Please contact our office to schedule your consultation.

Additional Dental Implants FAQs

Are dental implants better than traditional removable bridges and dentures?

Dental implants offer many advantages over more traditional methods of tooth replacement like bridges and dentures. Since dental implants mimic the form and function of a single natural tooth, no special care is required, aesthetics are natural-looking, surrounding tooth structure is spared, and jawbone density can be retained. Ideally dental implants remain firmly in place, which eliminates the possibility of slippage or gum irritation that can be common with removable tooth replacement options. Furthermore, with dental implants you can confidently chew all of your favorite foods without worry.

How will my dental implants look and feel?

Dental implants are designed to look and function just like natural teeth. The titanium post serves as the new tooth’s root for a secure and stable fit. At Coronado Classic Dentistry, we use Nobel Biocare® implant systems to take advantage of the latest developments in implant technology. These state-of-the-art implants are made to improve implant success rates, maximize placement accuracy, preserve jawbone density, and further enhance patient comfort. Each crown is then customized to match the shade of the surrounding teeth and shaped for a natural appearance.

Are dental implants covered by my insurance?

Generally speaking, dental implants are considered an elective procedure; however, there are some dental plans that may include benefits that are applicable toward dental implants. If you are wondering about your coverage, a knowledgeable member of our office team can review your benefits. Most patients have to pay for their dental implants out-of-pocket, so we try to keep our costs affordable while still providing the highest levels of care and quality materials. Many of our patients opt to use their flex spending accounts (FSAs) or health spending accounts (HSAs) to help cover the cost of dental implants if their plan allows. Our office team can help you maximize your benefits and financial resources to make your treatment as affordable and accessible as possible. We also offer in-house financing and payment plans with low APRs.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

The length of time it takes to get your dental implants will depend on a variety of factors, including the condition of your oral health and jawbone structure. Improving your dental health and jawbone may require preparatory treatments before implants can be placed. During your consultation appointment, Dr. Keckly can discuss every aspect of your proposed treatment plan and give you an approximate timeline for how long the process may take. Dr. Keckley uses a conservative approach for your benefit and longevity of your dental implants. For the best results, the dental implants process should not be rushed.

Are there certain foods I should avoid with dental implants?

One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that you can enjoy all of your favorite foods without worrying about malfunctions, embarrassment, or discomfort. Immediately following the dental implant procedure you will need to eat soft foods while you heal—this is the only time your diet will be restricted by your dental implants. 

Does smoking affect dental implants?

It is critical to the success of dental implants that patients stop smoking prior to and following the surgical placement of the implant posts. Smoking greatly interferes with blood circulation and the body’s ability to heal properly after surgery, which can compromise the integrity of your dental implants and lead to implant failure. Dr. Keckley will discuss how smoking can affect your implants as well as how long you should abstain from smoking (both before and after surgery) at your consultation so that you are fully aware of the consequences.

Contact Coronado Classic Dentistry

To learn more about dental implants, please contact Coronado Classic Dentistry. We can answer any questions you may have and schedule your consultation with our implant dentist, Jason Keckley, DMD.

Schedule Your Consultation Email Us 619-435-9191

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