Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a tooth replacement option designed to provide the form, stability, function, and aesthetics of a natural tooth using an implanted titanium post topped with a specialized restoration. The titanium post, which acts as a root for the new tooth, is implanted into the jawbone. Once the jawbone has healed, a customized dental crown (or another type of restoration) is firmly attached to the post to complete the process.
With this state-of-the-art dental procedure our cosmetic dentist—Robert Rioseco, DMD—can reconstruct either a single tooth, a series of teeth, or full-arches of missing teeth with results that are designed to be comfortable, natural-looking, and long-lasting.

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What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are some of the most innovative treatments to come along in the field of dentistry in quite some time. With dental implants, you can achieve a number of benefits over traditional denture options.

Benefits of dental implants can include:

Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Candidates for dental implants have one or more missing or severely damaged teeth that need to be replaced. Depending upon the number and location of the missing teeth, Dr. Rioseco offers different types of dental implants that can restore a full smile and help patients to chew and speak confidently. Ideal candidates for dental implants must have sufficient jawbone volume to support the implant. Candidates who have inadequate jawbone tissue may require a bone grafting procedure prior to receiving dental implants. Individuals with certain diseases or conditions that can hamper proper healing after implant placement may not be good candidates for the procedure. To determine if dental implants are a good fit for your needs, contact The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rioseco.

What Types of Dental Implants Are Available?

Dr. Rioseco offers three main types of dental implants at The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. During your consultation, he will perform an oral exam to evaluate the condition of your dental health, assess your tooth replacement needs, and discuss your goals to help you decide which type of dental implants are best for you. Types of dental implants we offer include:

Single Tooth Implants

A single tooth implant is designed to replace one tooth. This type of dental implant is comprised of one titanium post and one crown restoration.

Multiple Teeth Dental Implants

If you are missing three or more adjacent teeth, a multiple teeth dental implant may be the best option. Using two or more dental implant posts, a single custom restoration, such as a dental bridge or partial denture, can be secured in place without the need for pastes or adhesives. The patient’s jawbone density is a factor in determining how many implant posts are needed to keep the restoration secure.

Implant Dentures

For patients who are missing all of the upper and/or lower teeth, implant dentures can effectively replace full arches of teeth. Implant dentures, also known as anchored dentures, are typically secured with four or more dental implants per arch. The number of implants needed depends largely upon the patient’s jawbone density. Both upper and lower arches may be replaced in a procedure referred to as a full mouth reconstruction.

What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?

The dental implant procedure is a multi-stage process. A titanium post will be surgically placed into the jawbone, where it will fuse to the bone over the next few months. This post will ultimately serve as an artificial tooth root. During the fusion period, a temporary dental crown can be placed over the implanted post. Once the fusion is accomplished, the implant has become a permanent part of your mouth. Dr. Rioseco will then attach a custom-made permanent dental crown to the post, giving you a beautiful restoration that looks and acts like a natural tooth.

Analyzing & Adjusting the Bite

Once the implant restoration has been placed, Dr. Rioseco can create a bite that feels natural with the help of Tekscan® bite force analysis technology. To evaluate the bite with Tekscan® patients must first bite down on a thin pad which collects the necessary data using sensors. The system software then uses this information to create a detailed digital image illustrating the contact points between the upper and lower teeth. The image will also reveal the amount of pressure that each upper and lower tooth experiences on impact. If there are problematic points of contact, Dr. Rioseco will make any necessary adjustments so the implant restoration can function and feel as natural as possible.

Dental implants can be an effective way to improve common aesthetic and functional problems caused by missing teeth without the drawbacks of traditional dentures.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

On average, the price of a single tooth implant can typically range between $5,000 – $7,000; however, since many variables factor into each customized treatment plan, there is no specific fixed price for dental implants. The location(s) of the missing tooth (teeth), the number of missing teeth, the type of dental implants selected by you and your dentist, and the overall complexity of the procedure can all influence the cost of dental implants. If a patient requires jawbone grafting surgery prior to the dental implant procedure, the cost may also increase. When comparing the price of dental implants among different practices, keep in mind that the experience of the dentist, the quality of their work, and the geographic location of the practice can impact the final price.

We work with two third-party lenders that provide financing for dental care. CareCredit® and Lending Club offer loans and flexible payment plans to approved applicants. Online applications are quick and easy to submit and many of our patients have taken advantage of these dental financing options to make the cost of their care more affordable and budget friendly. To learn more about financing the cost of your dental implants, please speak with a knowledgeable member of our team.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

When dental implant surgery is planned and performed by a properly certified, highly trained, and experienced implant dentist, the procedure can provide a safe and effective method for replacing missing teeth. We recommend choosing a dentist you can trust who demonstrates a consistent record of success with dental implants, rather than selecting a dentist who offers the lowest prices. Prior to the procedure, you should be thoroughly examined and evaluated to ensure you are well-suited for dental implants. Once the implants have been placed, closely adhering to post-operative care instructions, avoiding smoking, attending all follow-up appointments, and maintaining good oral health can greatly minimize complications. If you have concerns about safety, Dr. Rioseco can answer your questions, explain his approach for reducing dental implant problems, and discuss how he helps his patients achieve the best possible results.

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

A combination of local anesthetics and a sedative medication should prevent you from feeling any discomfort during the placement of dental implants. Following the procedure, it is common to experience some soreness that can be easily relieved with prescription medication or ibuprofen. Within a few days, most patients no longer need analgesics to remain comfortable.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime when properly cared for and maintained. For the longest-lasting results, Dr. Rioseco recommends that patients keep up with twice daily brushing and flossing, as well as regularly scheduled dental exams at least two times a year. It is important that the bone tissue, gums, and surrounding teeth remain healthy to reduce the risk of problematic disease and complications. If you notice any inflammation or discomfort related to your dental implants, you are encouraged to contact The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry for a prompt appointment to identify the cause. Early detection is the best way to achieve a successful treatment outcome.

While the titanium implants are virtually indestructible, it is possible for the durable ceramic restorations to sustain wear or become broken in rare instances. Fortunately, restorations can be easily repaired and/or replaced if needed. Dr. Rioseco suggests wearing a custom mouthguard when playing contact sports to reduce the chance of damaging any restorations. If you are known to clench or grind your teeth while you sleep, use of a nighttime bite guard can help mitigate bite forces that could harm implant restorations.

If you have more questions about how long your specific type of dental implants could last, we encourage you to speak with Dr. Rioseco during an in-person visit to our office.

Dental Implant Alternatives

We offer several alternatives for patients who may not be good candidates for traditional dental implants, or those who desire a less expensive tooth replacement method:

All-on-4®All-on-4 implant dentures use a minimum of four dental implants to secure a full arch of replacement teeth. This option is commonly suitable for patients who lack the jawbone density and volume to properly retain single tooth dental implants.
Removable Full Dentures and Partial Dentures – Conventional dentures and partial dentures can replace either a full arch of missing teeth or several missing teeth, though unlike implant dentures, they are designed to be removable. Dr. Rioseco can evaluate your needs and suggest the type of removable tooth replacement option that can best meet your goals.
Fixed Dental Bridges – Used to replace one tooth or multiple teeth, a fixed dental bridge is bonded between two crowns to create a single row of artificial teeth. The supportive crowns on the bridge are firmly attached to prepared teeth on either side of a gap to restore a full smile.

For more information about tooth replacement methods that can help you achieve a confident, natural-looking smile, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rioseco to review your options.

Additional Dental Implant FAQs

Are dental implants covered by insurance?
Dental implants are not typically covered by insurance, as they are generally considered an elective dental procedure; however, it is worth checking your insurance plan to be sure. Our knowledgeable office team can review your policy and let you know whether your dental implant treatment plan qualifies for coverage. We can also show you exactly how much your out-of-pocket costs will be. If your insurance does not cover dental implants and you would like to take advantage of financing offers, we can help you submit applications to third-party lenders for loans designed to be affordable, flexible, and convenient.
Do dental implants look natural?
Dentists and patients agree that dental implants are the most natural-looking option for replacing missing or extracted teeth. Additionally, Dr. Rioseco’s aesthetic expertise, experience, and technology help him create results that harmonize beautifully with your natural teeth and appearance.
How do I clean dental implants?
Single dental implant crowns can be cleaned just like a natural tooth, with twice daily brushing (soft bristled toothbrush) and flossing. Implant-secured bridges, partials, and dentures may require slightly different dental hygiene regimens, which in addition to brushing can include cleaning along the surface underneath the restoration or soaking removable restorations overnight. You will be instructed on the best way to care for your specific dental implants and restorations once they have been placed. It is also important to get twice yearly professional cleanings and exams, in addition to continuing to properly care for your gums and natural teeth.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
The period between surgical implant placement and full healing generally lasts about three to six months; however, the time it takes to complete the whole dental implants process depends on a variety of factors:

  • How many implants you need
  • Type of implants you are receiving
  • Condition of your oral health
  • Condition of your jawbone
  • How long your implants take to fuse with bone and heal
  • Complexity of your treatment plan

Each patient’s dental implant timeline is unique, and Dr. Rioseco can provide an approximation of how long the process could take based on the details of your comprehensive treatment plan. Dr. Rioseco’s number one priority is placing and restoring dental implants properly to minimize the possibility of complications or implant failure. In some cases, this attention to detail means the process can take a little longer, but patients agree that the long-term benefits and beautiful results are worth it.

Does smoking affect dental implants?
Smoking tobacco products before and/or after the surgical placement of dental implants can interfere with proper healing and increase the likelihood of complications or implant failure. When evaluating your candidacy for dental implants, Dr. Rioseco will inquire about your smoking habits and explain how long you should be prepared to abstain from smoking (prior to and after surgery) to benefit the outcome of your procedure.