Innovative Dental Implants by San Antonio Oral Surgery
Since their first successful procedure in the early 1950s, titanium dental implants are vastly considered to be among dentistry’s greatest modern advances and the ideal tooth replacement systems available. This likely due to their ability to completely restore the entire structure of a missing tooth, from root to crown.
If you’re experiencing the many adverse complications associated with tooth loss, contact our oral surgeon to get your oral and overall wellness back on track today!
With over 30 years of experience in serving the oral health needs of patients throughout San Antonio, Dr. Wert and his team look forward to helping you achieve a long-lasting, functional smile.
What Makes Dental Implants So Successful?
Dental implants are unlike any other tooth replacement option available. A crucial part of their successful nature is that their titanium structure can naturally fuse with living tissue and bone. It is this process, called osseointegration that enables implant posts to provide a reliable, secure, and long-lasting basis for essential jawbone health and successful attachment of your chosen implant-supported restoration.
Because of this, dental implants are often an ideal choice for resolving the many complications associated with tooth loss.
What are Dental Implants Exactly?
Dental implants are titanium posts which, when surgically placed in the jawbone, serve as artificial tooth roots. They are the only available tooth replacement option that completely replaces a tooth’s structure, from its root to its crown.
Dental implants can last a lifetime when properly cared for, eliminating the need for temporary substitutions or loose dental appliances.
Taking a Closer Look into the Anatomy of Dental Implants
Dental implants typically consist of three critical parts. These components include:
- The post is a screw-like post of medical-grade titanium that acts as a root for your new tooth or teeth. Significant advantages of titanium implants are that they will not corrode and their properties allow for permanent fusing with bones and tissues. For completely replacing a full smile of missing teeth, modern dental implants now only require four posts as a bonus.
- The abutment is a small metal attachment that is responsible for holding together the post and the crown or other restoration. Although the abutment can be removed by our oral surgeon if necessary, the connection that the abutment creates strengthens the post and the crown, making your replacement even stronger and permanent.
- The crown is the visible part that serves as your new tooth. It is usually made of porcelain and can be completely customized to look and feel natural.
Our Available Dental Implant Systems
Dr. Jeffrey Wert has provided high-quality dental implants to San Antonio residents and surrounding communities for over three decades. Dental implants improve your oral health and restore confidence to your smile as an innovative solution for missing teeth.
Our dental implant specialist in San Antonio is experienced in dental implant placement and restoration. Whether a single implant or a complete arch replacement, we use 3D imaging and advanced computer-guided surgery to get the best results.
Dr. Wert's continuing education allows him to utilize the most cutting-edge techniques and ensure patients receive the highest quality of implant treatment.
Nobel BioCare Implants
Recognized as the pioneer of implant technology for more than five decades, Nobel BioCare allows you always to expect the best dental implants produced with the utmost precision and efficiency while maintaining the highest quality standards.
Our team at San Antonio Oral Surgery has access to Nobel BioCare’s high-quality and high-performance dental implants. As a result, we can offer our clients restorative and prosthetic solutions that are highly successful and long-lasting.
Astra Tech Implants
Astra Tech has developed a unique dental implant system based on years of extensive research that works with the natural healing power of the body. The implant surface was treated to generate more bone and accelerate the process of healing.
The result is a strong, tight connection between the bone and the dental implant. In clinical studies, this implant system shows unparalleled long-term results.
It is well proven that dental implants from Astra Tech have bone- and gum-stimulating properties and help to maintain healthy bone levels and normal appearance of gums and facial structures.
Discover the Many Benefits of Dental Implants
From promoting proper digestion to restoring your complete ability to chew and speak, replacing missing teeth is as much about your overall health as it is about your smile aesthetics. The comprehensive advantages that implants extend far beyond providing you with a renewed, beautiful smile.
Essential benefits to receiving dental implants include:
- Improved comfort while speaking and smiling
- Enhanced ability to chew properly
- Eliminated and reduced digestion complications
- Keeping neighboring teeth from shifting out of place
- Preserved jawbone volume
- Bone protected against deterioration
- Restored oral health contributing towards overall well-being
How Many Implants Do I Need?
Typically, one dental implant is placed for each missing tooth. Because many of your jaw's larger teeth have two or three roots, replacing missing back teeth with larger implants is the most common approach.
However, the number of posts you will end up needing depends on the unique factors of your smile, which teeth are missing, and how many need replacing.
Continue reading below to discover each option
When a single tooth is missing, the best permanent replacement is a single dental implant affixed with a porcelain crown. This solution both looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
The tooth may be removed in some cases; an implant may be placed, then a temporary crown is used for a final, aesthetic restoration. This leads to the immediate replacement of the tooth, shorter treatment time, fewer procedures and minimized pain.
Often the procedure involves only a few office visits to our oral surgeon. The day after the implant has been placed, most patients may be able to return to work.
Replacing Several Missing Teeth
In this case, when replacing several to three missing teeth in a row, a fixed bridge supported by implants are the only options other than a partial denture.
Having dental implants replace your lost teeth will give you restored, unparalleled strength and stability that allows your smile to function properly while preserving your jawbone.
After the initial examination, a detailed treatment plan will be done with your restorative dentist and oral surgeon. Implants are placed and allowed to heal, then individual crowns or a fixed bridge are placed.
Replacing Up to a Full Arch of Missing Teeth
When all teeth are missing within a smile or are in such condition that they need to be completely replaced, an implant supported denture is an ideal, permanent solution.
Before the introduction of dental implants, there were no fixed solutions available for those who lost all their teeth. Today, life-like dentures affixed to dental implants can be used to replace a full jaw resulting in a permanent, stable and highly aesthetic solution.
Treatment and the number of visits are largely dependent on specific conditions. In most cases, it takes about two to five dental implants to support a fixed denture appliance securely.
Who is an Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants?
Ideal candidates for dental implants should be in good overall and oral health. Suitable bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of infection and disease.
Since our oral surgeon is a dental implant expert, not only does he have the experience, he also has the specialized knowledge, training, and technology needed to make your dreams come true with dental implants.
What Does Dental Implant Treatment Involve?
The time frame to complete your dental implant treatment depends on many factors. The shortest time frame is about five months for the lower jaw and seven months for the upper jaw. This includes detailed consultations, planning, implant placement surgeries, and placement of your final restoration. The process can last a year or more, especially if you need bone grafting or other initial procedures.
Receiving dental implants involves a multi-step process. Below are the three primary phases you can expect when visiting our oral surgery office for dental implants.
- Our oral surgeon uses advanced technology and innovative techniques from the first consultation, to the implant placement process to accurately determine your precise needs for tooth replacement. Dr. Wert takes care to determine the most effective placement and angle of your implant by evaluating your unique facial structure, bone density, and remaining teeth. Depending on the number of implants required for your unique dental health and facial structure, anything can be replaced with implants from a single tooth to an entire dental arch.
- Computer-guided dental implant surgery allows Dr. Wert, our dental implant specialist, to place implants in a precise and less invasive procedure. A precise, 3D cone-beam scan of your smile is used to create virtual surgery, where your mouth models and 3D scans are overlapped to allow our oral surgeon to "perform" a simulated procedure. This vital information is used to create a computer-generated surgical guide to ensure precise implant placement.
This computer-guided technology allows our oral surgeon to know exactly where vital structures are located, including nerves, tooth roots, bone, and sinuses. This technology often results in less pain, swelling, bruising and discomfort after surgery when implant placement procedures are precisely guided. These procedures also often require smaller incisions, resulting in a more rapid process of healing following surgery.
- Fusing, or osseointegration, begins once the titanium implant post is placed in your jawbone. The jawbone grows and bonds with the dental implant surface during this process. This fusing, which can take up to several months, provides a solid foundation for your new artificial tooth and is essential for replacing the entire structures of your missing teeth.
During healing, you may experience some common discomforts associated with any dental surgery. These can include swelling of your gums and face, bruising of your skin and gums, pain at the implant site, as well as some minor bleeding. After surgery, you may need pain medications or antibiotics. Contact our office immediately if swelling, discomfort or any other problem gets worse in the days following surgery.
Increasing Your Chances of Successful Treatment with Bone Grafting
Successful placement of implants requires adequate bone density. Dr. Wert offers treatments such as bone grafting to help improve the volume of your jawbone. Stronger bone density increases the ability of your implant posts to fuse bone and tissue properly.
If your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin, there may be inadequate bone for implant placement. In this case, it is possible to place a bone graft next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months.
After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered, and the implant placed. Bone grafting is a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.
Caring for Your Newly-Restored Smile
For healthy results and optimal healing, it is very important that you practice proper oral hygiene habits before, during and after you get dental implants. We specialize in dental implants and teach our patients how to take care of them properly.
If proper care is not taken, your chances of increased plaque build-up around the dental implant can lead to serious issues like bleeding gums, gum disease, bone loss, infection and other dental problems which can limit the healing process.
- Brush thoroughly, twice a day with a specially-designed, soft-bristled toothbrush
- Floss regularly and gently
- Rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash
- Avoid surgery, sticky or hard roods
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
- Limit or avoid drinking alcohol altogether
- Stay constant with regular dental visits
At San Antonio Oral Surgery, we provide extensive post-op instructions for all our patients to take care of their dental implants. These after care tips are extremely helpful to ensure that your new smile stays healthy and radiant for years to come.
Bring Your Smile Back to Life
As a dental implant expert, Dr. Jeffrey Wert understands the impact your smile can have on your health, everyday life, and self-confidence. If you have questions or have been referred to our surgeon for dental implant treatment, contact our office to set up a consultation appointment to discuss treatment, what to expect and your anesthesia options.
Dr. Wert's continuing education allows him to utilize the most cutting edge techniques and ensure patients receive the highest quality of implant treatment.