Traditionally, replacing missing teeth meant using the surrounding teeth and oral structures for support. While these restoration options are better than leaving teeth unreplaced, they aren’t always the ideal option. Dental implants allow us to replace missing teeth from the roots up, recreating the lost form and function of teeth. If you want to learn more about your tooth replacement options, call to schedule a tooth replacement consultation at San Pedro Smiles in San Antonio. We’ll review your smile and help you create a treatment plan to deliver picture-perfect smiles.
Part of the process of choosing the best tooth replacement option for your unique needs is understanding the benefits of each potential solution. Some of the benefits of dental implant supported tooth replacement include:
Dental implants are versatile, allowing us to replace any number of missing teeth using a strategic number of implant posts. Every case is different, but we will usually recommend the following:
Dental implants are a larger investment than other tooth replacement options, but they will last for two or more decades with proper care. Compared with other tooth replacement options that need to be restored every five to ten years, this is a significant improvement. Your implant tooth replacement plan is completed over the course of two main steps, and you can pay for the costs of these treatments individually, which helps to make implant restoration more affordable.
Even after more than two decades, dental implants have a remarkable success rate of over 90%. That said, they still require some basic maintenance in order for them to last as long as they do. Fortunately, dental implant care in San Antonio is relatively simple – in fact, it’s essentially the same as caring for natural teeth! Still, we’ve included a few handy tips below on how to make your dental implants stand the test of time.
No matter how many natural teeth you have left, you’ll need to keep up with your normal oral hygiene routine. Yes, dental implants cannot get cavities, but your remaining teeth can. Plus, bacteria and plaque can build up on your gums and implant restorations. If these harmful substances are not removed, they can lead to peri-implantitis, a gum infection that’s the leading cause of dental implant failure. To keep your teeth (real and artificial) in good condition, you should brush twice daily for two minutes at a time, floss every day, and rinse with an ADA-approved mouthwash.
In today’s busy world, it can be all too easy to grab a quick snack like a bag of potato chips or a candy bar. Unfortunately, overconsumption of these sweet and starchy foods can be detrimental to not just your whole-body health, but your dental implants as well. Swapping these snacks out for items like fresh fruits and leafy greens will promote healthy gums, which is vital for the success of your dental implants in San Antonio.
If you want to avoid an emergency dental visit, it’s time to kick bad oral habits. Smoking, eating ice, chewing on pencils, and using your teeth to open bottles or packaging can harm your implants in addition to your natural teeth. Not only can this be painful, but it may be quite expensive to fix. Protect the investment you made in your smile by breaking damaging habits.
Do you play sports? Do you grind your teeth while you sleep? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” then ask your implant dentist in San Antonio about getting a customized mouthguard. These oral appliances fit over your teeth to shield them from damage, whether it’s due to a sports-related injury or bruxism (chronic teeth grinding).
Even if all of your teeth have been replaced with dental implants, you’ll still need to visit our dental office twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. We’ll have the chance to make sure your implants, remaining teeth, and gums are in good shape. If we spot any signs of trouble, we can address the issue early on, making the treatment more successful (and less expensive!). These regular appointments will keep your smile bright and healthy for years and years to come.
Do you still have questions about dental implants in San Antonio? We have answers! Below are some of the most common questions we hear from patients about implant treatment. Keep reading to learn how long dental implants last, whether you should take a couple days off work after implant surgery, and more.
If you don’t see your question addressed in this FAQ section or if you feel ready to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Gonzalez, do not hesitate to contact our office.
One major advantage of dental implants is their long-lasting nature. With proper care, dental implants could easily last for 30 years or more! This is considerably longer than traditional bridges and dentures, which usually must be replaced every 7 to 15 years.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and practicing excellent oral care can help ensure your dental implants last as long as possible. Follow these tips to keep your implants in great shape:
Dental implant placement typically does not cause any serious pain or discomfort. Before the procedure begins, your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic. You may also be sedated, which lowers the body’s ability to register pain.
After your dental implants have been placed, it is normal for your mouth to feel a bit sore for the first few days. Taking prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication as directed by your dentist can help alleviate this soreness. Holding a cold compress to the affected area can also help. If your discomfort worsens instead of improving after a couple days, do not hesitate to contact our office.
When placed by an experienced implant dentist in San Antonio, dental implants can have an extremely high success rate of over 95%. The success of your implants will depend in large part on your overall health and behavior. A healthy diet, excellent oral hygiene, and routine checkups every six months can help ensure successful implant treatment and the long-term health of your implants. The location of implants can also influence their success. For example, since molars experience more pressure from chewing than front teeth, they may be slightly more likely to fail.
In general, patients who get dental implants in San Antonio only need to take one to two days off to rest and recover. However, if your job is physically demanding, you should consider taking up to four days off or scheduling implant surgery around a weekend. Heavy physical labor or even exercise can divert blood away from the implant site and delay healing. In the end, every case is slightly different. Rest assured, Dr. Gonzalez will recommend how many days you should take off based on your custom treatment plan and unique situation.
If you are missing teeth at a young age, you may want to wait until your early or mid-20s to undergo implant treatment. Most people’s jaws are not fully developed until young adulthood. For this reason, most dental professionals will not place implants in patients younger than 18. If dental implants are placed before the jaw is finished growing, it could interfere with future bone development and lead to implant complications.