Dental Implants in Houston, TX
The superior answer for replacing missing teeth
A missing tooth or two seem innocuous enough, but you’d be surprised at the havoc they can create with your smile. The surrounding teeth move and your bite and alignment can become skewed. Plus, if the tooth is visible it can make a person hide their smile, and that’s a crime!
At SmileTexas®, Drs. Kline and Davis love replacing missing teeth with dental implants. They look and function just like natural teeth, you can eat whatever you like, and they often last the remainder of the patient’s life. What’s not to love?
SmileTexas® Porcelain Veneers
Before and After
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth. The tooth could have been lost due to injury or accident, or it could be so badly decayed that it cannot be saved. The name implant actually refers to the anchoring portion of the prosthetic. Shaped like a screw, the implant is made of titanium and screws down into the bone in the socket formerly occupied by the tooth root.
The bone then naturally grows around the implant, making it a part of the jaw. Once this process is complete, a post is placed into the implant and an artificial tooth atop that. Dental implants, because they are integrated into the bone, behave exactly like a natural tooth. At SmileTexas®, We offer a comprehensive amount of Dental Implant options.
Why replace a missing tooth With Dental Implants?
Many people lose a tooth or two and simply don’t replace them. Of course, this leads to cosmetic issues with front teeth, but it can also lead to the person avoiding certain foods if the missing tooth is a molar.
Beyond the cosmetic issues, missing teeth cause problems with the other teeth and lead to bone loss. Without the pressure to stay in place, the adjacent teeth tend to slide over into the open gap, creating problems with your bite and the alignment of your teeth. Plus, when a person chews, a tremendous amount of bite force energy is transferred through the teeth down into the bone.
This stimulation continually creates new bone mass. Without the stimulation (due to missing teeth above), the bone in that area begins to deteriorate and resorb. That’s why many people with many missing teeth appear as if their face is collapsing inward around their mouth.
Different Types Of Implants
A dental implant is an individual prosthetic that basically creates a new tooth. Implants can be placed individually to replace a single missing tooth, or they can be used to anchor full-arch prosthetics or partial prosthetics.
When replacing the entire arch, Dr. Kline has developed the Teeth by Tonight® procedure that places four to six implants as anchors on each arch. A full arch prosthetic of beautiful teeth is then permanently attached to those implants.
Amazingly, we can perform this procedure in just one day. Patients then eat a relatively soft diet as the implants become fully integrated into the jawbone. When the implants have fully integrated, the patient returns and we attach his or her permanent final prosthetic to the implants.
Most awesome staff there is. Dr. Kline is the best.
BEST DENTIST AND STAFF! My husband was so nervous about starting his dental work, five minutes after walking into this office we felt like family! Dr Rick Kline immediately addressed all of our concerns and eased all of my husbands fears. Dr Rick Kline is an ARTIST with teeth! I was a dental assistant for years and have never been so impressed by a doctor or staff like I was with this office! We will never go anywhere else!
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants function exactly like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to worry about them slipping and you can say goodbye to messy adhesives. You can eat anything you want without worry; favorite foods such as corn on the cob can return to your diet! Dental implants help with:
- Enhanced Esthetics
- Reduction Of Bone Loss
- Preservation Of Adjacent Teeth
- Easier Eating
There won’t be any gaps in your smile or whistling when you talk. And your confidence will soar with your beautiful new smile.
Dental Implant Before and After
Who are the Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants?
At SmileTexas®, we love the way dental implants change our patients’ lives. Confidence returns. They are proud of their smile. They can eat anything they want. To that end, we feel just about anyone is a great candidate for implants. If you have been missing teeth for a long time, you may have some bone loss. In those cases, we may need to use bone grafting before placing implants.
Otherwise, we feel that anyone with normal bone mass is a good candidate for an implant or implants. Other times a few implants may not be enough, which is why we also offer full-mouth restoration
The Dental Implant procedure with SmileTexas®
During your consultation with Dr. Kline or Dr. Davis, we will perform a full oral exam, along with a CT Scan, to determine if you have sufficient bone mass to support implants. Once that is decided, the process involves four steps:
With minimal gum disruption, the titanium implant is screwed down into the socket left from the natural tooth.
This is the process where the bone grows around the implant, fully integrating it. This can take from three to six months if only placing single implants (not Teeth By Tonight!™).
Once the implant has securely integrated with the surrounding bone, we attach a small metal post called an abutment to the implant. We then allow the surrounding gum tissue to heal for approximately another six weeks.
The final step is to attach the false tooth, known as a crown, onto the abutment. This false tooth is custom-made at a dental lab and perfectly matches the surrounding teeth. After placement, you’re ready to go out and use your new implants.
“SmileTexas® completely transformed my smile. I used to have small teeth and was always self conscious and went to SmileTexas® and got veneers. I absolutely love my smile now and get so many compliments on my smile. Everyone at SmileTexas® is so nice and friendly and I definitely recommend it. SmileTexas® changed my life!!” – Kelsey
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What Results Can I Expect from Dental Implants?
After the dental implant procedure, you will receive all the benefits of natural teeth with your dental implants. It is important to continue good oral hygiene with the implants to prevent bacteria buildup, which can cause gum disease or bone loss.
Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid After Getting Dental Implants?
For the first 24-48 hours after dental implant surgery, we advise only consuming soft foods and liquids to give your gums time to recover before you place pressure on them through biting and chewing.
For one to two weeks after your surgery, you’ll want to avoid the following foods:
- Tough, chewy foods like steak, and jerky
- Crunchy foods like chips, popcorn, and raw vegetables
- Hard foods like nuts, ice, and hard candy
- Spicy and acidic foods, including oranges, tomatoes, and hot peppers
- Sticky foods like taffy or caramel
- Scorching foods and liquids
Additionally, using a straw after implant surgery can put undue pressure on your implants and hinder healing.
It’s important to note that you will have no dietary restrictions once your dental implants fully heal and your final prosthetic is placed.
Are There Activities I Should Avoid After Getting Dental Implants?
Your sutures are especially vulnerable in the first few days after your dental implant surgery. Therefore, we advise refraining from exercise, as it may cause adverse side effects, including bleeding, swelling, and pain.
After surgery, any trauma to the mouth can cause severe complications and pain. Avoiding strenuous activities for three to four days after your procedure lowers your risk of dental implant failure. When you resume exercise after implant surgery, we recommend starting slowly, with activities such as walking or swimming.
We advise waiting at least two weeks before engaging in any sports, especially contact sports. A mouthguard is always necessary if you resume contact sports after the designated waiting period.
Are There Risks Associated with Dental Implants?
Every surgery comes with risks. However, complications and risks associated with dental implant surgery are rare. Complications from dental implant surgery include dental implant failure, improper placement, and infection.
Dental Implant Failure
Dental implant failure occurs when the bone doesn’t grow around the implant. As a result, the implant won’t securely hold the crown.
Patients experiencing dental implant failure may have the implant fall out independently or need to have it removed. The most common causes of dental implant failure are trauma or injury and infection.
If there is a problem with the location or angle of the implant at the time of placement, it can lead to several complications. These include:
- Improper fusion with the bone
- Discomfort and pain
- Sinus damage
- Nerve damage
- Swelling or injury to the surrounding teeth and bones
If you fear improper implant placement, you may need to get it removed or replaced.
Like most medical procedures, there is a risk of infection after dental implant surgery. You will receive instructions on proper oral care after your surgery. If you follow these instructions, your risk of infection is minimal.
Will Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
There is a lot of variation in coverage from dental insurance plans. Most basic dental insurance plans do not cover implants. However, some plans may cover preliminary procedures, the cost of crowns, bridges, dentures, or coverage for injuries that result in a need for dental implants.
Our team at Smile Texas is happy to work with you to secure financing for any gaps in coverage from your dental insurance provider.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
The process of receiving dental implants involves very little pain. Really, the only pain involved is the minor incision made in the gum tissue to access the jawbone when placing the titanium implant base into the jaw. After we place the implant base, your gums need to heal for a couple of weeks, but this isn’t overly painful. Placing the implant itself is not painful, as your jawbone doesn’t have nerves.
Maintaining Your New Teeth implants
Not only do implants feel and function exactly like your natural teeth, but they also require the same care. Daily brushing and flossing. as well as an annual cleaning at your dentist’s office, are all dental implants need.
Why choose SmileTexas® for my dental implants?
If you need to replace a tooth or a series of teeth, look no farther than our beautiful offices in Sugarland. Between Dr. Kline and Dr. Davis, we’ve performed thousands of implant procedures. We were performing our well-known Teeth-By-Tonight™ procedures while other practices were still trying to figure out how to place a single implant. We’ve changed the lives of thousands of people since that time, giving them an entirely new smile in a single day.
Both Dr. Kline and Dr. Davis have advanced specific training in dental implant planning, technology, and placement. It’s the kind of experience you can count on to successfully replace your missing teeth with beautiful dental implants.
Schedule Your Free Dental Implant Consultation
To learn more about Dental Implants or to schedule a consultation, call our SmileTexas® Sugarland office at (281) 265-7645.
Please click on any of the FAQs below to view their corresponding answer:
Why do I need a dental implant?
You do need to replace a missing tooth or teeth or to have that heavily decayed tooth removed and replaced. This isn’t an arbitrary thing. Yes, there are many people who are missing at least one tooth — 178 million Americans, to be exact (35 million of those people are missing all of their teeth) — but why do you want to go around with a hole in your smile? It’s bad for your jawbone, which needs energy passed down through teeth (or dental implants) to continually rebuild healthy new bone mass. It’s bad for your diet, as you avoid eating hard foods such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables if you’re missing more than a tooth or two. And it’s bad for your smile. If you’re missing one of your front teeth, there’s no doubt you subconsciously limit showing your teeth. If you’re missing a molar, everyone can see it when you’re talking or laughing.
Dental implants look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. They’re highly resistant to staining and will likely last the rest of your life. Let’s get that smile whole again!
Are there alternatives to dental implants?
The main alternative to a dental implant is to replace the missing tooth with a bridge. Traditional bridges consist of porcelain crowns placed on the healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth with an artificial tooth between them. The artificial tooth is fused to metal that is covered with gum-colored acrylic. The entire bridge is a single piece.We place plenty of bridges at SmileTexas®, but we feel an implant is a better solution for replacing a single tooth or even two missing teeth. They last longer (generally for the rest of the patient’s life versus 10-15 years for a bridge) and the patient doesn’t need to worry about breaking his or her bridge.
If you’re missing many teeth, we love to use implant-supported partial dentures or Teeth-By-Tonight™ full implant-supported arches. The implants provide the support usually missing with either partial dentures or full dentures.
Dental Implants Vs. Dentures
Replacing a whole arch of missing teeth with dental implants can be too costly for many patients, so they opt for traditional dentures. But traditional dentures, while giving the patient back their smile, have never been a great solution. This is because the dentures are not anchored; they simply sit atop the gums. This allows them to slip when eating or even talking. Plus, they can leave the gums sore and irritated. And dentures don’t transfer bite energy down into the jawbone, so the jawbone continues to deteriorate. That’s why dentures need to be refit every year or so.
Dental implants operate as independent individual prosthetics. Because they are anchored into the jawbone implants function just like natural teeth. No slipping. No limits on what you can eat. No extra maintenance — just normal brushing and flossing is required. And implants never need to be refit. Even if the artificial porcelain tooth breaks, it is simple to create another and attach it to the implant base.
Still, replacing all of your teeth with implants isn’t realistic for most patients. That’s why we use implants to anchor full arches of artificial teeth with our Teeth by Tonight® procedure. We place four to six implants per arch and then attach the prosthetic to them. Now the patient has a full arch of beautiful teeth that are fully anchored and cannot slip. Teeth by Tonight® and dental implants are far superior to dentures.
Dental Implants Vs. Dental Bridges
Traditional bridges have long been used to replace a missing tooth or two. When replacing a few missing teeth, bridges are sometimes called partial dentures. Traditional bridges are anchored on both sides of the gap by crowns placed on healthy teeth. The crowns are then attached to a metal base with the artificial tooth/teeth fused to it. The crown is one piece and is anchored by the two crowned teeth.
There are a few problems with crowns. First, the healthy teeth need to be shaved down to accept the crowns. Second, bridges only last 10-15 years in most cases. Third, bridges can break or come loose when eating certain foods.
At SmileTexas®, we prefer to replace a single missing tooth or two with dental implants. If more teeth are missing, we place at least one implant and can then anchor the partial artificial teeth to the implant/implants. This solution is far more durable, less likely to break, and the healthy teeth don’t need to be shaved down to accept crowns.
When are dental implants needed?
Do I Need An Implant For Every Missing Tooth?
Cost Of Dental Implants
Can Dental Implants Become Stained?
If you have opted for porcelain for the artificial tooth or teeth, it is incredibly resistant to staining. These implants stain far less than natural tooth enamel. If you have opted to have acrylic resin for the artificial teeth, it can stain.