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Dental Implants — San Antonio, TX

Turn Back the Clock on Tooth Loss

Man smiling after dental implant tooth replacement

If you’re currently missing one tooth or more, you’re definitely not alone, as it’s estimated over 120 million Americans are in your exact same position. Thankfully, Dr. Lorenzana is able to provide a solution that can make you look and feel like your teeth never went missing in the first place: dental implants. Using his decades of experience and the finest dental materials available today, he can rebuild your smile, your bite, and your confidence for a lifetime to come. To learn more about dental implants in San Antonio, T and what it could do for you,  give us a call today .

Why Choose Lorenzana Periodontics For Dental Implants?

  • Board-Certified Periodontist & Implant Specialist for 20+ Years
  • Sedation Dentistry Guarantees a Comfortable Visit Every Time
  • 100% Personalized Treatment Plans for Each Patient

What Are Dental Implants?

Animated dental implant supported dental crown

A dental implant is actually a prosthetic tooth root made of titanium and zirconium. It is inserted directly into the jawbone in the space left by the missing tooth, and then it is topped with a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture. Once in place, the implant actually bonds directly to the adjacent bone much like a real root, ensuring it will provide trusted support for the new teeth, in most cases, for life.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

Dentist explaining how dental implants work in San Antonio

While some practices have to refer their patients out to other doctors just to have dental implants placed, Dr. Lorenzana has many years of experience in placing and restoring dental implants. That means he can handle all phases of your care in one location, making your tooth replacement process all the more easy and convenient. To learn more about the steps that go into placing dental implants ahead of your consultation, you can read about them below!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Implant dentist in San Antonio explaining dental implants to patient

Dr. Lorenzana will need to perform an in-depth exam and consultation to confirm if you are eligible to receive dental implants. He’ll examine your mouth and facial structures as well as your current gum and bone health. In some cases, patients need to complete preparatory procedures before they can undergo dental implant treatment. After these procedures (such as bone grafts, gum disease therapy, gum grafting, etc.) have been completed, he can schedule you for your implant surgery.

Dental Implant Surgery

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Placing dental implants is a relatively straightforward process. After administering local anesthetic to numb the mouth (as well as any sedation, if requested), he’ll create a small incision in your gum tissue, then create a tiny hole in your jaw so the implant has room to integrate. Once the implant has been placed, the gums will be sutured shut so the post can begin to heal. A protective cap is also placed over the implant to maintain the shape of your gums and shield the implant as it heals.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Diagram of an integrated dental implant in San Antonio

Over the next three to six months, the osseointegration process will occur. This step is essential to the longevity of your tooth replacement. Osseointegration is when the titanium post physically fuses with your bone tissue. After the post has fully integrated, you’ll come back to our office to have an abutment attached. This small metal connector acts as the foundation for your permanent restoration. Your gum tissue will need a few additional weeks to heal around the abutment before the crown, bridge, or denture can be placed.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Periodontist in San Antonio speaking with a patient

Your permanent restoration is designed based on the impressions we captured of your mouth ahead of your surgery. Whether you need to have a crown, bridge, or denture placed, you can expect it to fit exactly and feel incredibly natural once it is attached. We work with a trusted dental lab in the area to create your implant restoration, then send it to us once it has been fabricated. We’ll be happy to make any modifications to your restoration ahead of time if needed. Once your implant is covered, you can expect it to be indistinguishable from your natural teeth!

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Ultimately, almost anyone with missing teeth can get dental implants. All you need to qualify (besides tooth loss) is good oral health and stable bodily function. That said, you can only confirm your candidacy by consulting with Dr. Lorenzana. He’ll assess your situation to see if implants could really work for you. If you’d like, we at Lorenzana Periodontics will happily tell you more. Just keep reading or call our office for the details!

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

At your consultation, Dr. Lorenzana will perform an oral exam and review your medical history. Doing so lets him see if you have the qualifying factors for implants. These typically include:

  • Good General Health – Unlike other dental services, implant placement counts as minor surgery. As such, your body must be physically well enough to undergo it.
  • Great Oral Health – Cavities and gum disease can cause implant failure, so they should be treated before placement surgery.
  • Sufficient Jawbone Density – Implants rely on a solid jawbone for support. As such, your jaw must have enough healthy bone tissue for treatment to work.

Still, you shouldn’t panic if you aren’t a good candidate initially. Our team could give you preliminary services that help you qualify later – tooth extractions, gum disease therapy, bone grafting, etc. We’ll also help you schedule such procedures. From there, our office will create an implant treatment based on the number of missing teeth.

Missing One Tooth

If you only lack one tooth, a single implant post with an attached crown will fix things. This solution is sturdier and longer-lasting than alternative restorations. Plus, it doesn’t require a dentist to remove healthy enamel from adjacent teeth.

Treatment works by inserting the implant’s titanium base into the empty jaw socket. Once this post has sufficiently fused with the jawbone, the dentist will place a customized crown. The final result will match the surrounding teeth and blend seamlessly with your smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Those who lack multiple teeth can do better than just several single implants. Instead, such patients can opt for an implant bridge or partial denture.

Per the name, an implant bridge is supported by two implant posts. It thus doesn’t rely on healthy teeth like the more traditional ones. Plus, it tends to be more secure and stable.

Should you lack teeth throughout your mouth, a few implants could anchor a partial denture in place. You could thus use your new teeth without fear of them slipping. Better yet, these artificial chompers would restore more of your bite force.

Missing All Teeth

These restorations could even help if you’re missing all your natural teeth. After all, you’d be a good candidate for all-on-4 dental implants in that case.

Unlike other prosthetic work, this treatment is ideal for patients with inadequate jawbone density. (A patient may have been missing their teeth for a while.) It anchors a full denture securely with just four strategically placed dental implants. You’d then enjoy a whole new row of teeth that look natural, feel secure, and can work for decades.

 

Learn More About All-On-4 Dental Implants

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Man smiling and giving thumbs up after getting dental implants in San Antonio, TX

Every dental implant treatment provided by Dr. Lorenzana is completely customized based on the particular needs of each patient. As such, the overall price of getting dental implants is different for everyone. During your initial consultation, we’ll give you an estimate of how much you can expect to pay for dental implants. Then, we’ll work with you to find a way to make the treatment as affordable as possible.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Illustration of dental implant in San Antonio, TX in lower arch

We may recommend having bone grafting and other preparatory treatments performed before you have dental implants placed. These procedures might add to the overall cost of the implant process, but they’re often necessary to make sure that your implant posts can integrate with the jawbone.

Naturally, implant surgery has its own cost to consider. The exact price will vary based on a few factors, such as where the implants need to be placed and whether sedation was used during the treatment. We’ll make sure you are aware of the different variables that are being taken into account when calculating the final cost of your implants.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Model of lower arch with parts of dental implants in San Antonio, TX

How much will you pay for the implants themselves? That largely depends on:

  • The exact number of implants required. For example, a patient who has only lost one tooth will only need to pay for a single implant; meanwhile, a patient who has lost an entire arch of teeth can expect to pay for four or more implants.
  • The type of restoration that the implants support. Smaller restorations like single crowns cost less than bridges or dentures.
  • The materials used to make the implants. Titanium is the most traditional option, but nowadays zirconium is also a viable choice.
  • The brand of the implant. Different implant manufacturers design their products to meet specific needs. Our team will be happy to explain the benefits of the brand of implant that we’ll use to rebuild your smile.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

Woman with dental implants in San Antonio, TX standing and smiling

Dental implants might cost more than other types of tooth replacement, but in the long run, they often prove to be the better investment. While dentures and bridges usually need to be replaced after 7 to 10 years, dental implants can stay in your mouth for decades with minimal maintenance. That means you won’t have to pay for replacements as often, and you don’t have to worry about buying special solutions to keep your new teeth clean.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Tablet and phone with dental insurance forms

Most of the time, dental insurance companies do not pay for the actual implant posts but are willing to cover parts of the final restoration or certain preliminary procedures. If you’re not sure what coverage is available under your plan, reach out to your insurance provider today. Our team will gladly file any necessary claims so that you can take full advantage of your benefits.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Patient and dentist shaking hands over a desk

If you’re not sure that you can pay the entire cost of the implant process all at once, we can help you apply for financing through CareCredit or LendingClub. You can choose a plan that breaks the cost of care into smaller monthly payments that won’t break your budget. Feel free to ask us about your financing options during your initial consultation.

Dental Implant Technology

a person looking in the mirror and smiling in a dental chair

We’re proud to use the latest dental implant technology in San Antonio to ensure you’re able to enjoy the longest lasting, best results from your treatment. From our 3D cone beam scanner that allows us to precisely plan the placement surgery to our antibacterial coated implants that reduce your risk of infection and implant failure, we want you to enjoy a smile that serves you for a lifetime. Learn more about the advanced instruments we use in our practice to make sure the one defining word of your journey is “success.”

3D Cone Beam Imaging

a cone beam CT scanner

The placement of your dental implants in San Antonio is a delicate process. To ensure that we place them in the best possible position within your jawbone, we’ll capture a 3D cone beam scan of your facial structure during your initial consultation .

Unlike traditional X-rays, our CT scanner allows us to view your complete facial structure in intricate detail, including your jawbone density, nerves, sinuses, and more. This allows us to go into the surgery with a thought-out, precise plan on where we’ll place your implants so they can receive the best support. Not only does this technology lead to higher success rates, but it also provides you with peace-of-mind that you’re receiving the highest quality of care from start to finish.

Guided Dental Implant Surgery

a surgical implant guide placed atop a model of a jawbone

Another piece of technology that allows precise placement of your dental implants are our 3D surgical guides. Based on our oral scans, we’ll create a surgical guide so your periodontist in San Antonio places the implants at the ideal depth and position in your jaw for a long-lasting smile.

Antibacterial Coating

a graphic illustration of a dental implant

While dental implant failure isn’t common, it often occurs due to infections that develop as a result of harmful oral bacteria in the mouth that keep the implants from successfully fusing with the jawbone. To further minimize your risk of this occurring, we coat all of our implants with an antibacterial film before placing them in your mouth. Studies show that this helps reduce chances of infection and inflammation, improving overall treatment outcomes.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Model smile with dental implant supported fixed bridge

After a tooth goes missing, it’s normal for the jawbone in the area to start to deteriorate, gradually shrinking and changing shape. Over time, this can make the bone extremely brittle and unable to support dental implants. In the past, a patient in this situation would simply have to get a removable prosthetic if they wanted to replace their teeth, but at Lorenzana Periodontics, we can actually help someone build up and strengthen their jawbone so they can get the most reliable tooth replacement available today. If you’ve been told that you’re NOT a good candidate for dental implants in the past, we can change that, so  give us a call today  to learn more about advanced dental implant procedure in San Antonio, TX.

Bone Grafting

Animated rendering of bone graft and dental implant placement

Having a strong, healthy jawbone is a necessity before implant placement as well as certain other procedures. However, if the jaw has broken down due to bone loss, then it will need to be restored before moving on with the main treatment. A periodontal specialist such as Dr. Lorenzana can expertly perform a bone graft in-house while helping you stay comfortable throughout the process.

If the jawbone is weakened or damaged in any way, it can be repaired and strengthened by adding new material. Said material is usually taken from another part of your body, but it can also be provided by a donor. Artificial material is also sometimes used. Whatever the case, the goal of a bone graft is to have the jaw integrate the new material to make up for any tissue that has been lost. After the surgery, it takes the jaw a few months to heal; implant placement can be performed once the recovery is complete.

Different bone graft procedures might be performed depending on the extent of the damage. Particulate grafts are used for more minor cases; the material is applied to the jaw in a powdered form. For a more extensive treatment, block grafts – where an entire block of material is placed – are used instead.

Ridge Preservation

Animated smile after ridge preservation and dental implant placement

In many cases, a patient needs to have one or more failing teeth removed so they can be replaced with dental implants. To shorten the time needed between the extraction and implant placement, Dr. Lorenzana can perform ridge preservation right after a tooth is removed. This simply serves to strengthen and protect the bone that’s located right around a tooth and helps hold it in place. By keeping this bone strong, it will not only enable a patient to get their implants relatively quickly, but the bone can also be relied upon to support the implant and new tooth for many years to come.

Bone Regeneration

Man smiling after bone regeneration treatment

In addition to the gums, periodontal disease also breaks down the underlying jawbone that supports the teeth. This can lead to deformities developing in the bone that make it unable to hold a dental implant safely. Dr. Lorenzana can correct these kinds of problems using bone regeneration. After removing any weak or infected bone, he can place a grafting material in the area which will stimulate new tissue growth. After a few weeks, the bone will be like new, and a patient will be able to receive their new implant with confidence.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman with dental implants in San Antonio, TX smiling by window

Dentures and dental bridges remain reliable options for replacing teeth, but there are several reasons why so many patients are starting to favor dental implants instead. There are several benefits that you can only enjoy from new teeth that are supported by stable, reliable dental implants acting as new tooth roots. We can go over these benefits in more detail during a consultation, but for now, here are a few of the biggest reasons to use implants to complete your smile.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Man with dental implants in San Antonio, TX smiling in office

You’ll use your dental implants every day to eat, speak and smile. As such, you’ll be able to enjoy the following benefits regularly:

  • No Diet Restrictions: Dental implants have chewing power that’s comparable to real teeth, so you’ll be able to eat whatever you want.
  • No Slipping: While dentures might occasionally slip and move, dental implants will keep your new teeth anchored in place.
  • Increased Confidence: Dental implants look and feel natural, which can go a long way towards improving your overall self-image.
  • Easy Maintenance: Dental implants can be brushed and flossed as if they were natural teeth, which makes maintaining good oral hygiene a simple matter.

Health Benefits

Woman sitting outside smiling with dental implants in San Antonio, TX

Dental implants offer several unique health benefits due to the way they interact with your jawbone. Some of the most important advantages include:

  • Better Nutrition: Being able to eat all of your favorite foods makes it easier to keep up a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Prevent Bone Loss: Dental implants stimulate the jawbone whenever you bite or chew. This encourages blood flow to the area and helps stop the bone loss that normally occurs when natural teeth are lost.
  • Improved Jaw Strength: By stopping bone loss, dental implants help you maintain a stronger jaw that can support your facial features so that they don’t collapse prematurely.
  • Better Oral Health: Since dental implant maintenance is relatively simple, they can make it easier for you to avoid gum disease, cavities, and other common oral health issues.

Long-Term Benefits

Older man in cabin smiling with dental implants in San Antonio, TX

While dental implants have a notable impact on your everyday life as well as your oral health as a whole, they also have many long-term benefits that you wouldn’t see with more traditional tooth replacement options:

  • High Success Rate: Dental implants have an extremely high success rate of roughly 95%. They remain reliable even after 10 or even 20 years of use.
  • Long Lifespan: When they receive the right kind of care, dental implants can potentially last the rest of your life.
  • Cost-Effective: Patients who are looking to save money on new teeth will be happy to know that dental implants don’t need to be replaced as often as dentures and bridges. This makes them the more cost-effective option even if they have a higher initial price.

Dental Implant FAQs

Even though dental implants might already sound like the perfect solution for you, we’re sure you still have plenty of questions! We love educating patients about their treatment options so they can feel confident about every care decision they make. If you want to learn more about dental implants, follow the link below to find our responses to some of the most popular questions we receive every day.

Will I Need a Bone Graft to Get Dental Implants?

The reason bone grafting is usually performed before implant placement is that tooth loss can directly lead to jaw deterioration. Once the tooth is gone, the bone that supported is considered unnecessary, so it’s resorbed by the body in order to use the materials elsewhere. As a result, the volume of the jawbone will dramatically decrease to the point where it might not be able to support or join with a dental implant post. Thus, we may have to perform a graft in order for implant placement to be viable at all.

Even if bone loss hasn’t occurred yet, Dr. Lorenzana might still perform a bone graft in order to preserve the jaw so that it’s ready for implants in the future. This is called socket preservation, and it’s normally done immediately after tooth extraction.

Are Dental Implants Better Than Traditional Bridges & Dentures?

When it comes to aesthetics, durability, and longevity, dental implants leave every other kind of tooth replacement far behind. The materials used to make them are extremely high-quality and strong, and because they replace the whole tooth and sit within the jawbone, they are able to last multiple times longer than your typical bridge or denture as well. Basically, with implants, it doesn’t feel like you’ve replaced your teeth, but that you’ve gotten your natural teeth  back.

How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?

The timeline for implant treatment can vary quite a bit from patient to patient depending on their particular needs. For example, a patient replacing just one tooth who has healthy, abundant bone may be able to complete the process in as little as 6 to 8 weeks. But, for someone who needs all of their teeth replaced and/or bone grafting and periodontal therapy, it may take 12 weeks to a year. Dr. Lorenzana can go over what your specific timeline will look like during a one-on-one consultation so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Not with Dr. Lorenzana! Thanks to his decades of experience as an implant specialist and use of the latest techniques, our patients report feeling a little pressure during the implant placement procedure, but nothing that resembles pain. Like with any type of oral surgery, a little bit of swelling and tenderness is common afterward, but these symptoms are usually minor and can be managed with an OTC medication.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The cost of getting dental implants will be different for each patient depending on their situation. In general, the more implants a patient needs/wants, the more expensive the procedure. Thankfully, implants are widely considered one of the best investments in all of dentistry, as they have been shown to last for 30+ years on average (regular bridges/dentures typically have a lifespan of seven to ten years).

Why Should I Visit A Periodontist to Get Dental Implants?

A periodontist is a type of dental specialist who has completed at least 3 years of additional training after completing dental school. A big part of this training is focused on dental implant surgery and bone grafting techniques. Compared to a regular dentist, a periodontist will have much more experience and skill when it comes to placing dental implants, leading to a more comfortable procedure as well as a much higher rate of success. When placed by a board-certified periodontist like Dr. Lorenzana, implants have an impressive 98% success rate.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

a closeup of a dental implant in San Antonio, TX

As with any type of oral surgery, dental implant placement is followed by an important recovery period, and our team here at Lorenzana Periodontics is happy to assist you with every step of this process! Directly after your surgery, we’ll provide you with a detailed set of post-op instructions to help ensure a speedy and stress-free recovery. Below we’ve listed out some general guidelines that can give you an idea of what to expect while you recuperate. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you experience any complications.

What To Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

a patient relaxing after undergoing dental implant surgery in San Antonio, TX

The actual implant surgery is one of the most taxing parts of this entire process, but with the right care and proper maintenance, you should be able to make a swift and comfortable recovery. One of the most important things you can do during the initial recovery period is protect the blood clots that form over your surgical sites, so that your gums can properly heal around the implant(s). To help with this, be sure to avoid:

  • Spitting (use tissues instead, or simply swallow your saliva)
  • Drinking through straws
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Touching the surgical site with your tongue or fingers

Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

a patient experiencing some minor soreness after dental implant surgery in San Antonio, TX

If you’ve never undergone oral surgery, it might be difficult to determine what symptoms are normal and which ones you should be concerned about. It’s not uncommon for patients to experience things like gradual and intermittent bleeding, swelling, and general discomfort; however, these symptoms should all disappear on their own over time. If you’re experiencing lasting or worsening symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact us for help! In the meantime, here are some ways you can manage your side effects:

  • If bleeding occurs, you can apply gentle pressure to the area with a clean piece of gauze.
  • To reduce swelling, use a cold compress on the affected side of your cheek.
  • Take your prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications to assist with pain.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

a patient enjoying a bowl of soup following their dental implant placement in San Antonio, TX

You’ll need to stick to a soft diet immediately following your surgery, but within a few days you’ll be able to slowly reintegrate solid foods as long as you avoid chewing directly on the implant surgery site. Here are some foods that we suggest stocking up on for those first few days following surgery:

  • Soups and broths (as long as they aren’t too hot)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Pasta
  • Ice cream
  • Smoothies and protein shakes

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

a patient brushing her teeth after receiving dental implants in San Antonio, TX

It’s incredibly important to keep your mouth clean after your surgery to make sure that your dental implants are able to successfully integrate with your jawbone. Consider the following:

  • You can brush your teeth as you normally would the day after your surgery, but you should show extra caution and care while brushing near the surgery site.
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water two to three times every day, ideally after eating. A prescription mouthwash will also suffice.
  • Avoid any mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

What To Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

a patient admiring her new smile after receiving dental implants in San Antonio, TX

Once your implants have bonded with your jawbone and your mouth has healed up, the hard part is over—and all that remains is simply attaching the prosthetic! You may experience some mild sensitivity in your gum tissue, but with pain medication you should be able to manage it. You should also contact us immediately if you notice any swelling or bleeding following this step; these aren’t typically side-effects that you should experience after the restoration has been attached, so it might indicate a problem.

Congenitally missing tooth
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X-ray of smile with several missing teeth from the bottom row
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Smile with recently placed dental implants
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3 D surgical guide for precise dental implant placement
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Smile with severely damaged tooth
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Lower front tooth with dental damage
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X-ray of tooth with extensive damage
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X-ray of smile with missing tooth
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Smile with extensive tooth loss
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Smile extensive tooth loss two dental implant visible in the gum line
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X-ray of severely damaged teeth
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Smiling patient after dental implant tooth replacement
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Smile with damaged front tooth
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Initial x-ray of damaged teeth
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Gorgeous smile after tooth replacement
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Closeup of smile with braces
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Smile with damaged teeth
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Animated rendering showing the right and left sinus
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