Tooth loss can be a devastating blow for your oral health and your self-confidence. You may find it difficult to interact with others because you are worried about them focusing on the gaps in your smile. Not to mention, there are other consequences that are brewing beneath the surface, like an increased risk of periodontal disease, additional tooth loss, and decreased bone density. To regain a complete, confident smile, Dr. Mark Gray and Dr. Marlayne Newman have the solution for you – dental implants in Houston. Contact us to learn more about how dental implants can benefit you!
A dental implant is basically a prosthetic tooth root made of titanium that is placed directly into the jaw in the space left by a missing tooth. There, the implant actually bonds to the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration, making it extremely strong and stable. This is then attached to a restoration that replaces the visible portion of the tooth, giving it the same look and strength as a natural tooth. Depending on how many missing teeth you need to replace, this custom-made restoration can be a dental crown, bridge, or denture.
Other tooth replacements simply sit on top of the gums, only replacing the visible crown portions of the teeth. Dental implants are the only option that can recreate the tooth’s root structure, help it feel and function just like your original pearly whites. That’s why most dental professionals agree that dental implants are the ideal option for most patients.
Dental implants have become the clear frontrunner in tooth replacement because they are durable, natural, and beautiful. One of the main aspects of dental implants that stands out from other treatments involves the use of an implant post to replace the root. As the only tooth prosthetic to do so, they can preserve the density of your jawbone. By stimulating new bone growth, it improves your oral health while also providing you with an option that offers several unique benefits. As you navigate the decision-making process of how you plan to replace your missing teeth, it’s important to consider the benefits of dental implants in Houston, some of which include:
As a dental implant dentist in Houston, Dr. Gray is pleased to provide implant placement and restoration in-house, making it a more convenient and streamlined process for all patients. Because almost anyone can receive dental implants, he and our team will complete a full examination to determine if you are eligible for treatment. If not, you’ll be pleased to know there are methods we can use to strengthen and improve your oral and facial structure for future implant placement. With more than 5 million dental implants placed each year according to the American Dental Association (ADA), it’s no surprise more and more individuals living with tooth loss are turning to this superior prosthetic solution.
Unlike other tooth replacement solutions, dental implants are a possible solution for almost any adult. When meeting with Dr. Gray for your consultation, he will consider the following criteria to determine your eligibility:
Even if you do not believe you will be eligible for dental implants, it is best to allow a trusted implant dentist to perform a full examination. Should problems be present during your initial consultation, preliminary treatments can be performed (i.e., bone grafting, periodontal therapy, tooth extractions) to create a more stable and functional jawbone and oral structure for future implant placement.
We can fill the space of a missing tooth with a single implant post and crown. A biocompatible implant post will be surgically placed into your jawbone. Over the next several weeks, your bone will fuse to the post. After adequate healing has occurred, an abutment is attached to it to allow a custom-made crown to be connected. Known to be much sturdier and longer lasting than a dental bridge, we will not have to remove healthy enamel from adjacent teeth, which can cause sensitivity and result in weaker teeth over time.
When consecutive teeth are missing, we can insert two dental implant posts into the outer sockets that will support a customized dental bridge. Successfully filling in the gap of your smile, we will avoid touching healthy adjacent teeth that are normally used as anchors and instead, place the entire prosthetic into the vacated areas of the mouth. If multiple teeth are missing throughout the mouth, we can use several implant posts to anchor a partial denture.
Even patients with extensive tooth loss can benefit from dental implants. Just four to six posts can be used to attach a full implant denture directly to the jawbone, giving patients a bite and stability way beyond what can be expected with a traditional prosthetic. Instead of resorting to a traditional denture that can easily slip or no longer fit properly, your implant denture will remain affixed to your jawbone, effectively restoring your smile and improving functionality.
You may also be a candidate for All-On-4 dental implants, which is an ideal solution for patients who have less jawbone density likely caused by prolonged missing teeth. Anchoring a full denture using only four dental implants, the process is a great alternative for patients looking for a more permanent tooth replacement solution.
The cost of dental implants in Houston can be more than traditional tooth replacement options; however, they allow you to make a long-term investment because they can last for decades. The amount you will have to pay will be based on your individual treatment plan. There are several factors that can influence the cost, such as how many teeth are being replaced, if any additional procedures are needed, and your dental insurance coverage. During your consultation, we will provide you with an estimate and discuss your payment options.
Every patient’s treatment plan will vary based on their individual situation. Factors like the number of missing teeth, the position of lost teeth, and the materials used to craft the implant posts will impact pricing. The bulk of the cost of implants comes from the price of the dental implants themselves and their placement. If you choose to invest in dental implants, you can expect to experience a number of benefits, including improved stability, longevity, and oral health. For many patients, an implant-supported tooth replacement is the best option to ensure a healthy smile for life.
In addition to the cost of the dental implants and their surgical placement, patients will need to take the following factors into consideration when budgeting for their treatment:
Dental insurance providers are notoriously slow to change. Most policies have had the same annual maximum between $1000 and $1500 since the 1960s. In recent years, insurance providers have started to offer allowances to give patients some coverage for dental implants. However, even if your benefits do not cover the price of the implant posts or their surgical placement, other aspects of your treatment will still be covered.
Our knowledgeable team will help you maximize your benefits for preparatory tooth extractions and tissue grafts, dental sedation, and replacement teeth. Additionally, we will bill for each step of your treatment plan individually so you can budget for the payments in advance. We are also happy to accept payment through flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts that you may have as part of your benefits package. We can assist you with getting third party financing through reputable financiers that specialize in offering low and no interest payment plans for healthcare services.
As mentioned above, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime due to their permanent integration with the jawbone. However, if you want to extend their lifespan as much as possible, you’ll need to take good care of them. You’ll be pleased to know that dental implant care in Houston is remarkably similar to maintaining your natural teeth. Just follow these five simple steps to help you enjoy your new smile for decades to come!
Unlike real teeth, dental implants are cavity-proof. However, that doesn’t mean you can slack on your oral hygiene. Any natural teeth you have left can still become decayed without brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing once daily. Not to mention, poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which is the most common cause of dental implant failure. Add rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral care routine if you really want to go the extra mile.
Dental implants let you eat practically anything you want, so feel free to enjoy a varied diet. Keep in mind, though, that while sweets like cake and ice cream are fine in moderation, overconsumption of sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay and infections. Be sure to add plenty of mouth-healthy foods into your diet as well. Leafy greens, lean proteins, yogurt, and cheese are great options that provide the nutrients your gums and jawbone need to provide a healthy foundation for your dental implants in Houston.
It’s no secret that dental implants aren’t exactly cheap, so you’ll want to do everything you can to protect the investment you made. This means breaking habits that could damage your new pearly whites. Whether you bite your nails, smoke, eat ice cubes, or chew on pens/pencils, you’ll need to find ways of kicking these habits (such as chewing sugar-free gum or joining a smoking cessation group) if you want to keep your implants in great condition.
Playing sports is a great way to stay healthy, but some sports come with a risk of injury to your smile. If there’s a chance that your mouth or face will come into forceful contact with another player, a piece of equipment, or the ground, then it’s in your best interest to wear a mouthguard. That way, the chance of severe injury due to impact is much lower. In the same vein, you should wear a nightguard if you deal with bruxism (chronic teeth grinding), which can cause severe wear and tear over time. As an implant dentist in Houston, Dr. Mark Gray can make you a custom mouthguard or nightguard that delivers stellar protection while fitting comfortably.
Just because you’ve lost teeth doesn’t mean regular dental checkups aren’t still important. When you visit us every six months, we can examine your implants, remaining teeth, and other oral structures to make sure everything looks pristine. If we spot any signs of trouble, we can treat them early on before they lead to implant failure.
Thinking about getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth? You’ll find countless dentists and patients alike singing their praises online, but it can be tough to find answers to some very basic questions. That’s why we have taken the time to answer some of the most frequently asked dental implant questions we receive every day. This is a great placed to get started, but if there is anything else that you’d like to know about implants, don’t hesitate to give our dental office a call.
With a commitment to good oral hygiene, you can expect dental implants to last a lifetime. All you have to do is brush and floss your implants just as you would your natural teeth and don’t forget to schedule regular dental checkups at least twice each year with your dentist in Houston. At these appointments, Dr. Gray will ascertain the integrity of your implants and examine for infection.
If you’ve received one implant, then the healing time runs between three to six months. However, more implants will lengthen the time you need to heal. During this time, the implant and surrounding bone tissue fuse together. Called osseointegration, this process is what anchors the implant, providing a solid footing for your tooth restoration.
The average cost for a single dental implant in Houston is approximately $2,000. This can fluctuate if you need more than one implant. The type of restoration you need will also influence the final dollar amount. Dental insurance plans may not cover the cost of implantation, but they often cover a portion of the restoration, so be sure to check the details of your policy.
Receiving dental implants involves a minor oral surgery, so we understand why you may be worried about pain. However, many of our dental implant patients have been pleasantly surprised by how relatively comfortable the procedure is. We’ll be sure to numb your mouth beforehand. We can even prescribe pain medication if we believe that you’ll experience discomfort afterward. Your mouth may be sore for the next few days, but the procedure itself shouldn’t hurt.
In addition to having almost four decades of experience in the dental field under his belt, Dr. Mark Gray has earned a Fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. This is the world’s leading organization on dental implant techniques. By becoming a Fellow, Dr. Gray has demonstrated his dedication to improving his implant expertise through continuing education courses. You can trust that if you see Dr. Gray for your dental implant treatment, your smile will be in good hands!